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Newspapers of James J. Strang
1846-1847 Articles

President James J. Strang, Founder of Voree, Wisconsin

1846-1847  |  1848-1850 (Wisc)  |  1850-1855 (Mich)

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New Era 1  |  New Era 2  |  Yale's Strang appointment letter: front   reverse
Iowa, Wisconsin, etc. newspapers  |  Mormons in Wisconsin


Vol. I.                        Voree, (Near Burlington) W. T., January, 1846.                       No. 1.

"Truth  Shall  Prevail."


                                                            NAUVOO, June 18th, 1845 [sic]
My Dear Son: -- Your epistle of May 24th proposing the planting a Stake of Zion in Wisconsin and the gathering of the Saints there, was duly received, and I with most of the brethren whose advice I called in were, of opinion that you was deceived by a spirit not of this world, great but not good. Brother Hyrum however thought otherwise and favored the project, not doubting it was of God. I however determined to return you an unfavorable answer for the present. -- But oh the littleness of man in his best earthly state. Not so the will of the Almighty. God hath ruled it otherwise and a message from the throne of grace directed me as it hath inspired you, and the faith which thou hast in the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel, hath been repaid to thee a thousand fold, and thou shalt be like unto him; but the flock shall find rest with thee, and God shall reveal to thee. his will concerning them.

I have long felt that my present work was almost done and that I should soon be called to rule a mighty host, but something whispers me it will be in the land of spirits where the wicked cease from troubling and the bands of the prisoner fall off. My heart yearns for my little ones, but I know God will be a father to them, and I can claim face to face the fulfillment of promises from him who is a covenant keeping God and who sweareth and performeth and faileth not to the uttermost.

The wolves are upon the scent, and I am waiting to be offered up, if such be the will of God, knowing that though my visage be more marred than that of any it will be unscarred and fair when archangels shall place on my brow the double crown of martyr and King in a heavenly world.

In the midst of darkness and boding danger the spirit of Elijah came upon me, and I went away to inquire of God how the Church should be saved.

I was upon the hill of the Temple. The calm father of waters rolled below changeless and eternal. I beheld a light in the heavens above, and streams of bright light illuminated the firmament varied and beautiful as the rainbow, gentle yet rapid as the fierce lightning.

The Almighty came from his throne of rest. He clothed himself with light as with a garment. He appeared, and moon and stars went out. The earth dissolved in space. I trod on air and was borne on wings of Cherubims. The sweetest strains of heavenly music thrilled in my ear but the notes were low and sad as though they sounded the requiem of martyred Prophets.

I bowed my head to the earth and asked only wisdom and strength for the church. -- The voice of God answered, My servant Joseph, thou hast been faithful over many things and thy reward is glorious, the crown and scepter are thine and they wait thee. But thou hast sinned in some things and thy punishment is very bitter. The whirlwind goeth before and its clouds are dark, but rest followeth and to its days there shall be no end. Study the words of the vision for it tarrieth not.

And now behold, my servant James J. Strang hath come to thee from far for truth when he knew it not and hath not rejected it but had faith in thee, the Shepherd and Stone of Israel, and to him shall the gathering of the people be, for he shall plant a stake of Zion in Wisconsin and I will establish it, and there shall my people have peace and rest, and shall not be moved, for it shall be established on the prairie on White River in the lands of Racine and Walworth, and behold, my servants James and Aaron shall plant it, for I have given them wisdom; and Daniel shall stand in his lot on the hill beside the river looking down on the prairie and shall instruct my people and plead with them face to face.

Behold, my servant James shall lengthen the cords and strengthen the stakes of zion; and my servant Aaron shall be his counsellor, for he hath wisdom in the gospel and understandeth the doctrines and erreth not therein.

And I will have a house built unto me there of stone, and there will I show myself to my people by many mighty works, and the name of the city shall be called Voree, which is, being interpreted, garden of peace, for there shall my people have peace and rest and wax fat and pleasant in the presence of their enemies.

But I will again stretch out my arm over the river of waters, and on the banks thereof shall the house of my choice be. But now the city of Voree shall be a strong hold of safety to my people, and they that are faithful and obey me I will there give them great prosperity and such as they have not had before and unto Voree shall be the gathering of my people, and there shall the oppressed flee for safety and none shall hurt or molest them.

And by this shall they know that I have spoken it; the people there and the owners of the land shall show kindness to them, for great calamities are coming on the church and such as have not been; & if they scatter the ungodly of the world shall swallow them up, but if they gather to my city of Voree there will I keep them under the shadow of my wings and the cities from whence my people have been driven shall be purged with a high hand for I will do it, and my people shall be again restored to their possessions; but dark clouds are gathering for the church is not yet wholly purged.

And now I command my servants, the Apostles and Priests and Elders of the vhurch of the Saints, that they communicate and proclaim this my word to all the saints of God in all the world, that they may be gathered unto and round about the city of Voree and be saved from their enemies, for I will have a people to serve me.

And I command my servant Moses Smith, that he go unto the saints with whom he is acquainted and unto many people, and command them in my name to go unto my city of Voree and gain inheritance therein; and he shall have an inheritance therein, for he hath left all for my sake and I will add to him many fold if he is faithful; for he knows the land and can testify to them that it is very good.

So spake the Almighty God of heaven. Thy duty is made plain; and if thou lackest wisdom, ask of God in whose hands I trust thee and he will give thee unsparingly for if evil befall me, thou shalt lead the flock to pleasant pastures.
                                                              God sustain thee,
                                                              JOSEPH SMITH.


The letter was received at Burlington by regular course of mail coming through the distributing office at Chicago and bears the Nauvoo Post mark of June 18, the day following its date.

SEPT. 1, 1845.

The Angel of the Lord came unto me James, on the first day of September, in the year eighteen hundred and forty-five, and the light shined about him above the brightness of the sun, and he showed unto me the plates of the sealed record, and he gave into my hands the Urim and Thummim. And out of the light came the voice of the Lord saying: -- "My servant James, in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thee, because I have tried thee and found thee faithful. Behold my servant James, I am about to bless thee with a great blessing, which shall be to those that love me an immutable testimony, to those who know me not a stumbling block; but to those who have known me and have turned their hearts from me a rock of offense. Yea, let them beware for shame and destruction walk in their tracks, and their time abideth but not long.

A work shall come forth, and the secrets of the past shalt thou reveal. Yea, by little and little shalt thou reveal it, according to the ability and faithfulness of my church and of my servants whom I have placed above them. Behold the record which was sealed from my servant Joseph, unto thee it is reserved. Take heed that thou count it not a light thing, nor exalt thyself, lest thou be stricken; for by myself I swear that as thou servest me faithfully and comest not short, thou shalt unlock the mysteries thereof which I have kept hid from the world. Yea, as my servants serve me so shalt thou translate unto them.

But in their weakness I have not forgotten them. Go to the place which the angel of the presence shall show thee and there shalt thou dig for the record of my people in whose possessions thou dwellest. Take with thee faithful witnesses, for in evil will the unfaithful speak of thee; but the faithful and true shall know that they are liars and shall not stumble for their words.

Speak thou unto the Elders of my voice, and harken unto my words, for they are true and faithful. Testify, testify unto all the saints. Testify, testify in all the world. He that rejecteth you, him will I reject in the day that I come in my kingdom. Testify, testify unto him who has received my word and turned away. Let him now return unto me, and obey and serve his God, lest he be smitten with a curse, and his children curse him, and his name be blotted out of the Book of Life.

Yea, those to whom I have revealed myself, let them harken unto me now lest they be cast off in the day of my indignation, lest the consuming fire of the day of trial burn them up. Yea, lest the second death make them his prey, and they be cast into the lake that burns with fire and brimstone.

Rejoice, ye holy, for the day of your deliverance is near, and the time of your exaltation is at hand. Faithful and true are my words dividing the marrow from the bones and truth from rottenness. He that rejecteth them, will I reject when I come in my Kingdom. And while I was yet in the spirit, the angel of the Lord took me away to the hill in the east of Walworth, against White River in Voree, and there he showed unto me the record, buried under an oak tree, as large as the body of a large man, It was enclosed in an earthen casement, and buried in the ground as deep as to a mans waist; and I beheld it as a man can see a light stone in clear water; for I saw it by Urim and Thummin, and I returned the Urim and Thummin to the angel of the Lord and he departed out of my sight.

On the thirteenth day of September, 1845, we, Aaron Smith, Jirah B. Wheelan, James M. Van Nostrand, and Edward Whitcomb, assembled at the call of James J. Strang, who is by us and many others approved as a Prophet and Seer of God. He proceeded to inform us that it had been revealed to him in a vision that an account of an ancient people was buried in a hill south of White river bridge, near the east line of Walworth County; and leading us to an oak tree about one foot in diameter, told us that we would find it enclosed in a case of rude earthen ware under that tree at the depth of about three feet; requested us to dig it up, and charged us to so examine the ground that we should know we were not imposed upon, and that it had not been buried there since the tree grew. The tree was surrounded by a sward of deeply rooted grass, such as is usually found in the openings, and upon the most critical examination we could not discover any indication that it had ever been cut through or disturbed.

We then dug up the tree, and continued to dig to the depth of about three feet, where we found a case of slightly baked clay containing three plates of brass. On one side of one is a landscape view of the south end of Gardner's prairie and the range of hills where they were dug. On another is a man with a crown on his head and a scepter in his hand, above is an eye before an upright line, below the sun and moon surrounded with twelve stars, at the bottom are twelve large stars from three of which pillars arise, and closely interspersed with them are seventy very small stars. The other four sides are very closely covered with what appear to be alphabetic characters, but in a language of which we have no knowledge.

The case was found imbedded in indurated clay so closely fitting it that it broke in taking out, and the earth below the soil was so hard as to be dug with difficulty even with a pickax. Over the case was found a flat stone about one foot wide each way and three inches thick, which appeared to have undergone the action of fire, and fell in pieces after a few minutes exposure to the air. The digging extended in the clay about eighteen inches, there being two kinds of earth of different color and appearance above it.

We examined as we dug all the way with the utmost care, and we say, with utmost confidence, that no part of the earth through which we dug exhibited any sign or indication that it had been moved or disturbed at any time previous. The roots of the tree stuck down on every side very closely, extending below the case, and closely interwoven with roots from other trees. None of them had been broken or cut away. No clay is found in the country like that of which the case is made.

In fine, we found an alphabetic and pictorial record, carefully cased up, buried deep in the earth, covered with a flat stone, with an oak tree one foot in diameter growing over it, with every evidence that the sense can give that it has lain there as long as that tree has been growing. Strang took no part in the digging, but kept entirely away from before the first blow was struck till after the plates were taken out of the case; and the sole inducement to our digging was our faith in his statement as a Prophet of the Lord that a record would thus and there be found.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. I.                        Voree, (Near Burlington) W. T., February, 1846.                       No. 2.

"Truth  Shall  Prevail."


Who is brother thirteen? Amasa Lyman. Why do you call him by that bame? Because he is the thirteenth member of the Twelve. What! are there thirteen of the Twelve? There were twelve without him. Well, is he one of them? That is rather uncertain.

Amasa Lyman by some means grew to be considered a counsellor to Joseph. On the death of Joseph, the Twelve were willing to let Rigdon and Lyman set with them but not above them. Rigdon would not do it, but Lyman did. At the October conference 1844, votes were taken on all the Twelve separately by name to sustain them, severally as members of the Twelve, and they were carried unanimously. Times and S. p. 692.

"Moved by Elder H. C. Kimball, that Elder Amasa Lyman stand in his lot. The motion was seconded."

"President Young said by way of explanation that Elder Amasa Lyman is one of the Twelve, just in the same relationship as he sustained to the first Presidency. He is one in our midst and a counsellor with us."

"The motion was then presented and carried unanimously."
Since that time he has been recognized as one of the Twelve, though there were twelve without him. Some suppose he stands in Lyman Wright's [sic] place, but he was unanimously sustained at the same conference, and has not been rejected since. Others think he stands in Wm. Smith's place. But he was also unanimously sustained at the same conference, and it was not till about the time of the October conference 1845 that they prepared to drop him.

By the way who ordained Amasa Lyman and to what office? I can find no evidence that he was ever ordained a counsellor. But suppose he was; ordaining him to one priesthood does not give him another. Who ordained him an Apostle? No one. The conference voted to sustain him in his lot, which was not an Apostleship. Certainly a most singular mode of obtaining the Apostleship, or any other priesthood in this Church.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. I.                        Voree, (Near Burlington) W. T., March, 1846.                       No. 3.

"Truth  Shall  Prevail."


The Apostates have boasted so much of carrying out Joseph's measures that it may not be amiss to give the saints one chapter of his opinions about the Church going to the west.

The Quincy Whig of Sept. 24th 1842, contains the following, which we believe is the first Revelation ever given for this Church to go into the wilderness. Read it, and then read what Joseph says on the subject.

JOE SMITH. -- ... If he will listen to a word from us we would advise him to locate his new Jerusalem, away to the far West, in the Oregon Country, and there to build his temple and govern the Saints in his own way. In that case the advantages would be two-fold: for himself and followers he would procure peace and quietness; for there would be no danger of their molestation in the enjoyment of their peculiar notions in that distant country; -- to the government, the location of himself and followers would be an advantage, because it greatly needs settlers in that region; and doubtless, Government would do something right handsome for Joseph, in the grant of a gift of lands, &c., if he would guarantee the emigration of any number of settlers.

REMARKS. -- So much hypocrisy, so barefaced an attempt at wholesale murder, has not even been contemplated by any other paper in the United States, however servile, mean, debased, or licentious. Locate the Mormons in Oregon, only think of it! After the Society have lost in Missouri some one or two millions of dollars, besides many valuable lives; -- after they have builded a temple in Ohio at a cost of sixty or seventy thousand dollars and after they have commenced a beautiful city at an expense of at least two or three millions of dollars, in Illinois; when their numbers in all parts of the world amount to probably between one and two hundred thousand persons, without the least possible chance under the depreciated state of the currency, and the general stagnation of business, to dispose of any property, but never mind, go to Oregon! -- Take your journey, men, women and children, on horses, mules and asses, for wagons will not pass over the Rocky Mountains [these] many years to come, and a passage round Cape Horn, of twenty thousand miles, would be too long a trip and too expensive; therefore go on horseback and mule back, and those who are fortunate enough to escape famine and flood, will have an excellent chance to fight among the thirty or forty tribes of Indians: and should any get to Oregon, there are from ten to twenty thousand; breeds of all nations; Americans, English, Russians, French, Spanish, New Hollanders, Otaheitans, Chinese, &c., who are every thing but refined society, and they will settle the matter of Mormonism forever, and we, the Editors of the Quincy Whig and all others that believe as we do, will live on the plunder you leave behind, as have our cotemporaries in Missouri.... Sense, feeling, humanity, and kindred consanguinity as members of a great and growing nation, would once have shuddered at the idea of even supposing that men, women, and children, on account of religion of Jesus Christ should be asked to exile themselves from their happy country, [constitutions], rights, and privileges... Yea, strange, [wild, wicked] and outrageous would have been considered a proposition for one or two hundred thousand people to abandon ALL for a wilderness five thousand miles off, [full of] savages. It seems to me that nothing but the heart of a beast, would ever have conceived such a mode of extermination, ruin and death. But this much is certain, as said the Apostle of old: "for I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Jesus our Lord" -- nor willingly from our homes, unless it comes with a thus saith the Lord, though we may meet with Pharaohs, Nebuchadnezzars, Neroes. Boggses and a host of others equally destitute of compassion or mercy. -- {Times & Seasons, Oct. 15, 1842.
                      JOSEPH SMITH, Editor.}

Going to Oregon or going to California we look upon as much the same thing. California probably has the finest climate but Oregon is the most prosperous country and the easiest of access. I hope this may settle the question who is carrying out Joseph's measures, and who are apostates. Let not the Apostates any longer steal the livery of the Prophet to serve the Devil in.

But did not Joseph contrive the California scheme a little before his death? No, nor at any other time. He contrived a scheme for twenty five men without families to take a mission among the Indians and take measures for establishing a stake among them at which they could have the Gospel preached and be taught in the arts of civilization. Quite another thing from taking out thousands of women and children to perish by famine, flood and Indian war. What he did devise would have been accomplished before now but for apostate usurpation, and shall soon be in spite of it.


M. Searls, a messenger from the new Mormon Prophet. James J. Strang, at Voree, Wisconsin, arrived in this city on Friday last, and on Sunday both branches of the Mormons here, the Rigdonites and the Twelveites, disbanded, and all but three individuals acknowledged the power and glory of the new Prophet. The messenger brings the news that Emma Smith, wife of Joseph, and her son, Joseph the Second, acknowledge Strang as the Lord's anointed. One of the Smiths came from Voree, a few days since to Nauvoo, and proclaimed Strang the head of the Church in the Temple, at that place, without molestation. The Saints are flocking to Voree in great numbers; it is to be the gathering place of all this strange people, except the awfully corrupt Twelve and their adherents, now on their way to California, over the Rocky Mountains, or to some other country.

James J. Strang is a lawyer of considerable emmence in the west. We believe he is the person who came out of Missouri with the Mormons at the time of their disturbances, planned the Temple at Nauvoo, and wrote the bulletins of Joe the Prophet. He will doubtless establish the Mormon dominion again at Voree, and, by his intelligence and spirit of enterprise, regenerate this people, casting off the corrupt Twelve and all their followers.

We presume that William Smith, who has been lecturing here, will join with the new Prophet, and Voree will become a second Nauvoo, in all except the wickedness of that place. They declare themselves determined to behave with more respect for the laws of the country; indeed it would seem that those who left the corrupt Twelve and spiritual wife business, as well as the practising of other enormities did it out of principle. However, we must await and see what this new move will amount to. If the Mormons in establishing Voree fully discard all their offensive acts which have heretofore caused them to be outcast and killed, they can get along, but if Strang be not wise and pure, and use judgment in his new position, he will fix himself in a terrible fix, before long. Let him be wise and not take revelations from bad angels, and he may succeed. -- Cin. Dai. Commercial.

Note 1: This news item was obviously written as a "teaser" for the possibility of the Nauvoo Smith family joining Strang's ranks. It was written by John C. Bennett and first appeared in the Feb. 24, 1846 issue of the Cincinnati Daily Commercial.

Note 2: Elder Samuel Searls, a resident of Eaton Co., Michigan, was one of J. J. Strang's first missionaries in Ohio. "One of the Smith... from Voree" was Elder Moses Smith, brother of J. J. Strang's counselor, Aaron Smith. These Wisconsin Smith brothers were not related to the Joseph Smith, Sr. family of Nauvoo.

Note 3: The Cincinnati editor's guess ("that William Smith... will join with the new Prophet") subsequently proved true. Although William did not publicly join Strang's group until the summer of 1846, as early as Mar. 11, 1846 the Hancock Co. journalist, Thomas C. Sharp, was writing: "He [William] did not seem hostile to Strang, it may therefore be that he will yet become the Patriarch of Strang's Church."


Vol.I.                                Voree, W. T., April,1846.                                No. 4.

"Truth  Shall  Prevail."

To The Saints in Hancock County.

Beloved Brethren:

As many inquiries have been made of me by letter and otherwise, what you ought to do in your present perils, especially in regard to disposing of your lands there, and gathering to Voree, I have thought proper to address this public epistle to you all. Where you have doubtful and uncertain titles in your lands it is advisable that to avoid litigation and violence, you sell them at what price they will fetch; and that you prefer to sell on the same terms to the adverse claimant, rather than any other persons because that will leave peace behind you, as well as bring it with you. Where your titles are good, continually offer the lands for sale at prices decidedly moderate until you get a bargain; but don't give away your lands. If you cannot sell at all, rent your lands on the best terms you can; so that they are taken care of and you have means to come to Voree. If you have not the means to come to Voree, but can come part way, take the Mississippi route; seek employ in the mineral country or the Illinois route and seek employ on the Illinois and Michigan Canal, and among farmers till you can gather with your brethren.

But if you cannot, in any honest way, get the means of leaving Hancock county, go to work there like industrious peaceable citizens. Come as soon as you are able; but until then, neither fight nor run. If men put torches to your houses, don't run from them. Non-resistance is a stronger defense than all the artillery on the earth. If your enemies smite you on one cheek, turn to them the other.

In selling lands you may consider good cattle and horses, fit for immediate service, as good as cash at 6 months. All kinds of property is good at its value at Voree, except guns and watches. We are too poor to purchase watches, and too peaceable to need guns, and neither will buy lands of unbelievers, nearly all kinds of personal property you have on hand will bear transportation to this place.
                                                  JAMES J. STRANG.
            Voree, April 1846.

New  Paper  at  Nauvoo.

We have just got our eyes on the first and second nos. of the 'Hancock Eagle,' a new paper just started at Nauvoo. It professes to be entirely disconnected with the Mormon Church. The profession is doubtless just, but in a very different sense than that intended by the editor. It is most decidedly Brighamite. Its defence of the Mormons, against the spirit of persecution and its addvocacy of the supremacy of the law, is eminently just, but its pretended faith in the moral purity of the company just started into the wilderness we look upon as mere cant and sheer hypocricy. We might attribute this to the unsuspecting credulity of a stranger if there were not false statements in the paper where a stranger cannot be deceived; this for instance: "the Twelve," (the soul of the institution) "having gone; and with them the acting spirit of Mormonism. -- Those who remain behind appear like stray sheep and are to all intents and purposes a one-idea party, inasmuch as their united energies all tend to one point -- the road to California."

We have heard that two conferences had been held in Nauvoo about that time. Will the Hancock Eagle tell us which was the most numerously attended, that which was going to California, alias to the western parts of Lowa, or that which opposed to going? Which are the most numerous in Nauvoo and the county at large, the Brighamites or the primitive Mormons? Is it not true that even the quorum of the Twelve are now divided and a part of them engaged in preaching Strang the prophet and Voree the place of gathering? Moreover was not a letter from Brigham Young read in that grand conference at the Temple, telling the Saints not to follow him but scatter among the Gentiles? We have certainly heard that Brigham and his most prominent associates found it necessary to start before the rest of the Saints, and for that purpose obtained nearly every thing that had been provided for the journey by the poor brethren on the promise of replacing it in due season. And it is very confidently asserted that he did send them a letter at the conference telling them that he could do nothing for them, and they must hire to the Gentiles till they could fit themselves out. -- We would like to know too whether the one-idea [club?], of the Mormons, has not been kept up by threats and violence towards those who dissented till they were too strong to be driven.

Moreover we do not credit all that talk about peace and satisfaction in the camp, because we Primitive Mormons have some among us who came from there and they don't tell that story. -- Does the Hancock Eagle estimate that less than 300 wagons have left the grand caravan.

Hyde's  Revelation.

Orson Hyde has brought forth a pretended revelation as a last effort to put down the truth and sustain his apostasy, and for the first time since the world began a pretended command of God to a whole people has come forth anonymously. But the mark of authorship was too plain to keep it secret. Hyde has not only acknowledged it in public but we have in our possession a copy, on the back of which he writes that it "is original and given through" him.

We learn by the Book of Doctrine and Covenants that no one shall be appointed to the gift of revelation except it be through Joseph; and this shall be a law unto us that we receive not the teachings of any not thus appointed, as revelations or commandments; and this God gave us that we might not be deceived, that we might know they were not of him, (see 14th p. 2.) -- Hyde was not appointed to this gift by Joseph, and he does not pretend to have been so appointed, and has declared before a congregation of thousands in Nauvoo that no one was, and never would be. These facts speak for themselves.

The revelation itself contains several commands the import of all which is that the Saints shall not investigate doctrine or principle, any more, but gather up all they have and remove westward without delay.

But the document asserts that President "Strang, was before of old ordained to gather the tares of the field and that the angels have chosen him to do it." "But his spirit and ambition shall soon fail him. and he shall be called to judgment." Now if Satan helps Hyde as he says he helps Strang, he makes a most bungling work of it here. This gathering of tares does not take place till the wheat is harvested. -- (D. & C. sec. 4 p. 2.) If Strang is soon to fail and go to judgment, he will stand a slim chance of gathering tares after all the wheat (Saints) is gathered in the garner. Hyde's opinion to the contrary notwithstanding. If God has ordained and the angels chosen him to gather the tares he will be apt to remain till after wheat harvest to do his work. Be careful Brother Orson or he will bind you for the fire. A pretty bundle you would make by yourself.

But Hyde says )and pretends that God said it) "behold James J. Strang hath cursed my people by his own spirit, and not by mine." Now Strang has during his whole ministry pronounced but one curse, and that was expressly upon those who as ministers of the gospel, teach that fornication and adultery are ordinances of God's house. Copies of that curse were then circulated in Nauvoo and produced much excitement and it was in reference to that, that Hyde said James J. Strang hath not cursed my people by my spirit, but by his own. What does he mean? That the men who as ministers of the gospel teach such doctrines are the people of God and that God does not curse them? Yes, that is just what he means.

Having as an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ taught such doctrines and used the authority of his priesthood to enforce and sanction it, he was a little startled at the maledictions of God on his own head, and attempts to turn the attention of the people from him by saying that Strang has cursed the people of God.

Well here is the curse. Let the thousands who have in the past 10 months witnessed its workings on its victims judge whether God or man spoke it. "As for those who, as gospel ministers, have assumed to teach such damning soul destroying doctrines (that deceit, fraud, lying, perjury, plundering unbelievers, polygamy, fornication, and adultery are required by the command of God in the upbuilding of his kingdom.) In the name of God and the Lord Jesus Christ, may their bones rot in the living tomb of their flesh; may their flesh generate from its own corruptions a loathsome life for others; may their blood swarm a leprous life of motelike ghastly corruption, feeding on flowing life, generating chilling agues and burning fevers. -- May peace and home be names forgotten to them, and the beauty they have betrayed to infamy; may it be to their eyes a crawling mass of putridity and battening corruption; its delicate hues a sickly light that glares from universal corruption; its auburn tresses the posthumous growth of temples of crawling worms; its fragrant breath the blast of perdition. With desires insatiate may each gratification turn to burning bitterness and glowing shame. --- And I prayed unto God, saying, Oh, God, curse them not, and let me not raise my voice against my fellows! But he said, curse, CURSE, CURSE. I will altogether curse, until they return to me, for they have perverted my law and deceived my servants; unto the destroyer shalt thou deliver them, for their prayer is sin."

If Orson Hyde has been teaching the doctrines mentioned above he can tell why the curses herein mentioned have overtaken him and his fellows in iniquity. The matter rests with them and their God. If he has not taught the doctrine he need not be troubled about the curse. Look out Orson; If we bind up tares we shall be apt to put you into the first bundle...

                                                    Nauvoo, March 11, 1846.
Brother Strang:

I have perused with becoming interest your several letters sent to my mother and sister Emma; also some of your papers with your remarks on the order of the church, which clearly evinces the true spirit of old Mormonism as far as I can discern the faith and doctrine that I have been advocating for years, and for which, of late my family (mother Smith not excepted) have been disfranchised from the church (as they call it) BY THE TWELVE, and much abused by their infatuated followers, Time would fail me to mention all of the accumulated wrongs they have inflicted upon a poor and helpless family, whose members have mostly fallen by the hand of a ruthless mob and the treachery of false hearted brethren. A few years yet remains to suffer by the falsehoods heaped upon them, and the confiscation of their goods; their rights of church property taken from them, until the bleeding heart of an aged mother wrung with anxiety & disgust sinks with anguish and faints at the thoughts of a recital of the awful tale. Hear it, O ye Latter Day Saints: your Mother in Israel, who oft-times has nursed you at her side, and with her motherly care and teaching comforted your hearts, must now be driven from your midst, penniless -- robbed of her inheritance in the city of Joseph by the cruelty of your rulers.

On yesterday we were told by a committee of two, a Mr. Babbit and a Mr. Haywood, that unless we would acknowledge the Twelve as the heads of the church, Mother Smith could have no inheritance in Nauvoo. This, they said, was the counsel of the church whom THEY represent.

We are branded also with the epithet of apostates by these men, to drive us from the church and trample us under their feet; they assuming the entire control of the church, regardless if religion, of rights and the laws of God; regardless, also, of all our labors in the church for years gone by.

I shall, if the Lord will, visit your place before long, and would be glad to attend your conference had I the means of doing so. You may be assured that we are thankful for every kind word.

My mother and family in general join with me in sending their love to you and all the saints scattered abroad.

We shall all leave this place (Nauvoo) for some more heavenly land -- the Lord knows where, for I believe he will gather the pure in heart and save them from further ruin.

I have not time to write more. I would be glad to hear from you as soon as convenient. Adieu -- mat the God of love and peace direct all your footsteps and bring us at last unto his heavenly kingdom.
                                                    WM. SMITH,
                                                one of the Twelve and Patriarch.

Note: Orson Hyde's Mar. 14, 1846 broadside was evidently printed on the press of the Hancock Eagle. It reads as follows: "In my meditations this morning, the spirit of the Lord came upon me and I was moved to write; and being grieved in my spirit on account of the false pretenses by evil designing persons to gain power and lead away the flock of God. It whispered to me and said: `Evil men ambitious of power, must needs rise among you, and they shall be led by their own self will and not by me; yet they are instruments in my hands and are permitted to try my people, and to collect from among them those who are not the elect, and such as are unworthy of eternal life. Grieve not after them, neither mourn nor be alarmed. My people know my voice and also the voice of my spirit, and a stranger they will not follow. Therefore such as follow strangers are not my people. --- Behold, James J. Strang hath cursed my people by his own spirit and not by mine. Never, at any time, have I appointed that wicked man to lead my people. Neither by my own voice, nor by the voice of my servant, Joseph Smith, neither by the voice of mine angels; but he hath sought to deceive and Satan helpeth him; but before of old was he one that was ordained to gather the tares of the field and mine angels have chosen him to do it because he was a wicked man even as Judas was chosen to destroy his Lord. --- But his spirit and ambition shall soon fail him and then shall he be called to judgment and receive that portion which is his mete. And his treacherous followers who have forsaken the counsel of their brethren and turned from the covenants of their God and have cast asunder the tenderest ties must come and drink from a bitter cup. --- Let no man who putteth his trust in me be troubled about his rights. The worthy shall have their rights and no power can prevent it; for I will given them the hearts of my people, and their voice is my voice even as my voice is the voice of my Father; and what they bind on earth I will bind in heaven; but the unworthy have no rights except these; repentance or condemnation. If they act upon the former, behold they are justified but, if not, they must suffer the consequences of the latter. By this you may know the unworthy among my people; for whomsoever they reject, the same are rejected of me. And woe to such as shall follow him who hath been rejected by my people. If my people sin I will correct and chasten them because I love them; yet I will not reject them. Neither give my kingdom to another people for behold the end draweth nigh. And judgment will I pour out upon your oppressors and upon those who accurse you to hide their own iniquity and their shame and to get power for unholy purposes and not for the building up of my kingdom. --- Let such beware lest they fall by the hand of the destroyer whose arrows are plague and pestilence before their designs are accomplished. Let my Saints gather up with all consistent speed and remove westward, except such as are counselled to tarry, and must needs remain to settle their business, according to the counsel of my servant Joseph Smith in the day that he was with you in the flesh, and also according to the counsel of my servants, the Twelve whom I have chosen, and who have abode in me. Let there be no more disputes or contentions among you about doctrine or principles, neither who shall be greatest but hearken to those things which I have spoken unto you and which have before been given and you shall rest in my kingdom and have glory and honor forever and ever. Yes! Saith the Spirit and the Spirit is truth and the truth abideth forever!"


Vol. I.                                 Voree, W. T., May, 1846.                                 No. 5.

"Truth  Shall  Prevail."

Mormonism in our day.

Camp of Israel -- Twelveites -- Rigdonites and Voree Mormons. -- We stated yesterday that the emigrating Mormons had assumed the cognomen of the "Camp of Israel," which we are informed includes the awful corrupt "Twelve," the "Danites," the "Destroying Angels," and most of the "bogus makers," "thieves," "assassins," "police," and "vulgar herd" of that strange people. From the best information we can obtain, and we have taken some pains, they are as corrupt a set of "land pirates" as ever disgracedthe earth; though they are much to be pitied on acciunt of the suffering women and children. The poverty and actual suffering of these poor creatures are enough to sicken the heart of all feeling persons, while it should satisfy all who have comfortable raiment, and a sufficiency of food, with their condition in life, and learn them "to be therewith content." The people of Illinois have determined that all the Mormons, of every clique shall leave the State. There are now three principal cliques of Mormons -- wst. The "Twelveites," who are moving off somewhere to the west, with the most corrupt, abandoned, licentious, low and grovelling portion of the church, now called the "Camp of Israel," 2. The "Rigdonites," who are locating their "Zion" near Chambersburgh, Pennsylvania. They acknowledge Sidney Rigdon, Esq., as the leader and prophet. They include in their number, it is said, many excellent men and estimable citizens, who left the Twelveites in consequence of their "spiritual wife doctrine" and other abominations. 3d The "Voree Mormons," who acknowledge James J. Strang, Esq., as their prophet and who consider the beautiful "City of Voree" as the El Dorado of their hopes. This portion of the church is evidently the most orderly and law-abiding, and includes most of the talent and virtue of that people. They are rapidly increasing in numbers, and most of the churches out of Nauvoo have declared for "Strang and Voree," and "Voree Wisconsin," is to be the "great Gathering Place" of the sincere and virtuous portion of the "Latter Day Saints." The "Voree Herald" is their reveille on the watch-tower of Zion to wake up the slumbering world. The "Smith family" have given in their adhesion to the new and talented prophet, Strang, and will go up to Wisconsin. They need fear no opposition, nor molestation, so long as they "deal justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with their God," but, woe betide them if they do wickedly like their brethren, the Twelveites.

We would advise the prophet Strang, to put down promptly every appearance of evil, and every species of vice and immorality, and he will succeed in congregating a very pleasant community at Voree, which is evidently one of the best manufacturing points in the west, & a place of surpassing beauty. Others than Mormons will evidently locate there, and capitalists will make investments in its hydraulic privileges -- the establishment of mills and manufacturies. The Mormons have generally been opposed and despised in consequence of their vices, not on account of their religion. The people in general do not care for the peculiar faith of any church or community whatever, so long as they are moral and law-abiding; we presume, therefore, that Mr. Strang, and his people, will utterly discard that system of robbery, fraud and corruption, which has proved the ruin and dispersion of the Twelveites. Lwt them avoid politics, theft, bogus making, and oppression, and attend to their religion in a meek and lowly manner, and they may expect peace and prosperity. {Ohio Union.


I had a good visit with sister Emma, mother Smith, and others. I had the best opportunity of trying the Twelveites, that one could wish for, as I had a note on Brigham for borrowed money, also the anointing of William Smith's stand and seats, which he had fixed in his mother's door-yard. I spoke my mind in full, to those who approbated the act, in this wise: they that did the acts, were, or should be, looked upon as below brute creation, and those who approbated such acts were as brute beasts, and no better than those that did the acts. Also while I was there, mother Smith received a notice from the Trustees in trust, that she need not look for any support while she suffered William to stay about her house. I wrote to Br. Babbit that my astonishment had been aroused to a greater heighth than it ever had before, that such an unreasonable hard hearted request could be asked at the hands of mother Smith, a woman of her age, an old lady placed under such circumstances, connected with the Church as she, and now be drove to the necessity (after wading through seas of trouble) to drive from her embrace, and shut the door against her only live son on earth, it was asking too much. I then plead in behalf of the Church, in behalf of mother Smith, in behalf of humanity, and for God's sake, to withdraw the inhuman request, and pay her yearly, a reasonable sum together with a comfortable house, and let the old lady's children eat, drink and sleep, under her roof if she wished. On this subject I closed many mouths, shweing that such acts, was positive evidence that they had lost natural affection, and no act was too mean, too bad, for their leaders to do, to gratify their beastly appetites. I am surprised that I am under the necessity of using such language as I do, to give you the foregoing information; but no other will do.     I. P.

Rigdonites. -- We think this party is approaching its end. A friend has sent as an extra from the Messenger giving a most unpromising account of the Conference at Pittsburg; and from what we can learn, the gathering to Green Castle, Rigdon's new Stake, amounts to nothing. The branches which acknowledged Rigdon, generally did so, not because he presented evidence of his appointment, or the works of a Seer, but because he was in fact higher in rank in the Church than were the Twelve. Adopting that rule, when they found the successor of the Prophet they could do no other way than acknowledge him. On Rigdon's account we are very sorry that he did not do the same, but he is now powerless for good or evil. We have sought dilligently to save him but he has refused even to answer a letter.

The Camp which left Nauvoo for the west have been very unfortunate. Nearly all their provisions are spoiled, and clothing mildewed, so that it is falling to pieces. They are now dependant upon roots, bark, and an insufficient supply of game, to save them from starvation. This and a few such men as Hosea Stout to be kept in chains will make their fate as hard as their worst enemies could wish. We pity them; and pity the man that don't.

Note: The letter from "I. P." was almost certainly a communication from Isaac Paden, the former presiding elder in the Knoxville LDS branch, located in the center of Knox Co., Illinois. By the first weeks of 1846 Elder Paden and most of his congregation had broken with "The Twelve" and were drifting into the ranks of the Strangites (where Paden became Strang's "presiding high priest over the District of Nauvoo and Southern Illinois). It is altogether likely that Paden helped make the arrangements for Mother Lucy Smith to relocate to Knox Co., where she and her son-in-laws and daughters, (Mr. & Mrs. Arthur Millikin and Mr. & Mrs. McLerie temporarily lived from mid-1846 until the spring of 1847. Paden owned a farm, located between Galesburg and Knoxville and Lucy may have lived there for a while. William Smith joined his mother at Knoxville late in 1846 and was with Lucy during at least part of her residence in Knox. Co. (See William's letters of Dec. 2, 7, 19, and 25, 1846 to J. J. Strang, typescripts in the University of Utah Library's Special Collections). Mr. and Mrs. Joshua Grant, the parents of William's deceased first wife, lived in the northern part of the county, near Walnut Creek, in what became Altona. William may have placed his children under the Grants' care in 1846. Finally, William's nephew, Joseph Smith III, recalled that his uncle was at this time engaged in activities at Galesburg, in the western part of the county, not far from Knoxville.


Vol. I.                                 Voree, W. T., June, 1846.                                 No. 6.

"Truth  Shall  Prevail."

Opinions of the Smith Family.

                                                            Nauvoo, May 11th 1846.
Dear Brother Hedlock.
  I sit down a few moments to send a line to you, by the hand of Brother Fielding. I have been always on good terms with you, and I hope we ever shall be, but the time has come when all the faithful elders should speak out. I saw your wife the other day poor and broken hearted; she has now gone to Galena to get a living. The Twelve and the brethren here have done all they could to ruin her; and gone off and left her to look out for herself, such is the charity of these men. The Twelve are not the appointed of God, to lead the church. James J. Strang has the appointment, and we have evidence of it. The whole Smith family excepting Hyrum's widow uphold Strang, and say this wilderness move is not of God. Do set the saints in order in England. My love to all the faithful. The family join in these sentiments.
                                                                        WM. SMITH.

                                                              Nauvoo, May 11th 1846.
My Dear Son,
  For so I must call you; as there is little time left me, I will be brief -- The church has passed through much affection, and it pains my heart that it should suffer more. The Twelve (Brighamites) have abused my son William, and trampled upon my children; and have also treated me with contempt. The Lord's hand is in this to save the church; now mark it, these men are not right. God has not sent them to lead this kingdom; I am satisfied that Joseph appointed J. J. Strang. It is verily so. Now, Brother Reuben I exhort you for the love you have for the truth to hear my voice, and warn the Saints concerning these things, and your reward shall be doubled in the heavenly world. This from your mother.
                                                                        LUCY SMITH.
                                                                        Mother in Israel.

This is to certify that we, the undersigned members of the Smith family, fully accord with the sentiments expressed above.

W. J. Salisbury,
Catherine Salisbury,
Arthur Milliken,
Lucy Milliken.

==> Our beloved brother Wm. Smith one of the Twelve and the only surviving brother of the martyred Prophet arrived in Voree with Bishop Wm. Marks a few days since. He is in good health and spirits, and is making arrangements to erect a house for his mother on a lot which a gentleman in this place has given him for that purpose. Br. William will be ordained to the office of Patriarch to the whole church under the hands of the first Presidency according to his inheritance and the blessing of his father.

==> Brother William Smith is making preparation to remove his mother to Voree. As soon as he can erect a house it is thought some of the Brethren will gi and fetch her up from Nauvoo without charge. Will not the brethren scattered abroad sens in a mere trifle to pay the travelling expenses? If the branches which feel for her sufferings in her declining years would each send one dollar, the necessary sum would soon be raised. -- Remittance for this purpose may be made by mail to Wm. Smith, Voree W. T. or Bishop Wm. Marks, Shabbona's Grove Ills.

On the 6th day of April in the year 1846 the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, assembled in conference at Voree.

On motion of Elder William Marks it was unanimously Resolved that the Church receive, acknowledge, and uphold James J. Strang as President of this Church, Prophet, Seer, Revelator, and Translator, with our faith and prayers.

Unanimously resolved, that we sustain and uphold Aaron Smith as Counsellor to the first President, by our faith and prayers,

It was unanimously resolved:

1. That we sustain and uphold Elder John E. Page by our faith and prayers and confidence as one of the Twelve.

2. That we cordially and affectionately invite Elder William Smith and Wilford Woodruff to take their places in the Church as members of the Quorum of the Twelve.

3. That Elders Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Parley P. Pratt, Orson Pratt, Orson Hyde, John Taylor, Willard Richards, George A. Smith and Lyman Wight be left to the ordinary course of discipline.

Whereas the organization of the Seventies has been involved in general confusion by appointing more than thirty Seventies [sic -- quorums of Seventies?] instead of seven, as the law of God requires, and of more than two hundred Presidents instead of seven, and finally by bringing into the seventies several hundred Elders who are not traveling Elders, and have not done any of the duties of the seventies.

Therefore resolved unanimously that in the opinion of the Conference the first Presidency should and ought to organize seven seventies, according to the law of the Church retaining all Presidents and members who legally hold their places and supplying the places of others.

Resolved unanimously that all persons holding any priesthood in this Church and standing in rebellion against the first Presidency and the regular authorities of the Church, be suspended of all their official function, and all power of their priesthood during the continuance of their rebellion and that all acts done by them by virtue of their several offices or priesthood be void.

Resolved unanimously that this conference solemnly protest, in the name and behalf of the whole Church against the sale of the Temple at Nauvoo and Kirtland.

2. That in our opinion the persons professing to act as trustees in trust at Nauvoo are not legally in office; and that titles to Church property given by them are not good.

                                                  Nauvoo, April 12, 1846.
Dear brother Strang,

As the conference held in this place by the Twelve or Brighamites, apostates from the true Church of Christ, is now over, and the last remnants of the bitter cup, with many of their deluded, and no doubt honest souls, are about starting west, some crossing the river daily, shivering with the cold and most starved, yes suffering for want of food and clothing: I thought it would not come amiss to give you a short sketch of the proceedings of the Conference and other matters

The 6th was rainy and the wind blew sharp and cold, consequently orders were given by Orson Hyde for meeting to wait till pleasant weather. -- The 7th was also cold and muddy, and the very elements seemed displeased; no meeting. The 8th a large body gathered on the meeting ground. Mr. Hyde and a Mr. Babbit, appear as the only guns now in the city, Mr. B. is professionally a Lawyer and Minister, known in this city as the established agent and mouth piece of the now fallen and apostate Twelve. They discoursed most of the forenoon in a slanderous, as well as ridiculous manner, concerning Wm. Smith, and the mother of the Prophet, whether it was right to fulfil their promises in deeding to mother Smith a house & lot. It was however decided that the Trustees should act at their discretion, and the subject was left with them to decide, the fear was that William, or the Smith family, would be benefited after her death. In order that they should not, a precaution must be taken, and what will be done remains to be told hereafter. Already their acts bespeak their spirit, and the extent of their wonderful charity they have so loudly professed towards the Smith family. At 3 o'clock P. M. met again, they filled up the afternoon in slandering the Smithites and Strangites. Mr. Hyde with his peculiar style of sophistry beat up for the wilderness all Joseph's measures. Mr. Babbit blows and strikes. A statement was made by Mr. Hyde that I had requested my standing again in the Quorum of the runaway Twelve. This statement I pronounced a falsehood, but it may be proper to state that this is the manner that the Twelve have kept up their wilderness fever, by hints, and winks that Joseph taught them &c., that he is with them on the road, that Emma Smith and her son Joseph, William and mother Smith with all the family were going with them, and would be on the road by and by, "all understood," "don't you understand it." In this way many of the saints have been led off under false pretences, verily believing that my friends were in favor of this wild goose chase but be ye not deceived latter day saints, it is not so. God is not well pleased with this move, neither are his saints.

At the close of conference a blank letter with a bullet in it, was handed to Hyde, then a hurrah was raised against Wm. Smith and the Strangites. Their cursings and their damning threats showed not only the barreness of soul, but their apostate condition from the true gospel of Jesus Christ. Hyde charging it to Wm. Smith, runners are sent in every direction to excite a persecution. Yet I think on the blessed promises of the Savior when we are thus persecuted, for the good book says, "blessed are ye when men shall revile you and persecute you and say all manner of evil against 'you falsely.'" Several brethren have just called into Mother's to see us. Mother is in tears, I am cautioned, my life is threatened, and some have said that I will be a murdered man in on weeks time. The Lord only knows, I am his servant and am ready to be offered, surrounded by false brethren; Joseph and Hyrum were martyred and I am no better than they. My persecutors have the same murderous spirit; they would join a mob, but what is worse, a church to sanction such deeds of death; O shame, where is [thy] blush? Oh, my soul "come not thou into their secret, unto their assembly, mine honor be not thou united." Rumour says again this letter was sent by an insulted husband whose wife had been taught to stray from the path of virtue, and to part from her companion to go to California. Such things are daily occurring; how heart rending to hear the wife, the husband, mourn and sob and the orphans weep, since the proclamation of the Twelve setting all free, the parting of husband and wife, the stealing of children. I think sometimes can it be really possible that a professedly christian people could do such things, but every day experience teaches us that such is the case that it is a part of their faith. And let it be told that at the very time of the endowments in the courts of the Lord, the Twelve had fiddling and dancing going on, What folly! These are common events in Nauvoo, but it is the legitimate fruits of the present [reign]. The swearing, dancing, vanity &c., exhibited by Elders and boys in the street, amply show that the cause of their removal is transgression.

I may inform you that during the Conference our meetings were [well] attended. Preaching by the faithful Elders. Hundreds are turning their courses for your place. It begins to look like old Mormonism again, love and union prevails and a church with a head, a Prophet to lead it can alone have good order, which strictly prevailed amongst us, and I trust all the truly honest will return to the fold of Christ & not follow these wicked rulers into the wilderness: I have not time to speak of my trials, and wrongs inflicted upon me, by the ambitious tyrants, usurpers, but will give it in full on some future occasion. Suffice it to say, that such has been the boasts of those apostates, that they have said, they would destroy the influence of any who would oppose them, by [ruining] their character: It is true they have power with their numerous tongues, and their press to do much injury, but, still I care not for this. Sufficient is coming to light of their unhallowed deeds, to silence every tongue that speaks in their behalf. Ever since Joseph & Hyrum's death the Twelve with their confederates in the Church, have done every thing they could possibly do, against me, and the whole Smith family, my mother and Mrs. Emma not excepted. Cutting off from the Church by private council has been resorted to, and others appointed to act in their place and records being made of the same, without the consent or knowledge of the Smith family. Thus are we trampled under foot; I will now conclude with prayers for your salvation and all the saints. I send you a Revelation in answer to prayer concerning the Twelve, and in answer to a filthy, lying spirit manifested through Orson Hyde, all at your disposal to publish, also some verses of poetry, all of which I would like to see in the Voree Herald, and when I have a more convenient season, I will speak of the treacherous dishonesty the Twelve have practiced upon me in regard to my Patriarchal office, as well as their plans of seduction and the many innocent females they have seduced, these & many other causes of complaint have turned the influence of the Smith family against them and for their usurpation and trampling us under their feet, we will leave the honest in heart to judge between us. It is not for personalities I speak but for the preservation of good morals and the laws of the Church. I also send you the article out of which Orson Hyde made his false statement, all of which I request to be inserted.     My love and friendship to the true saints.     WM. SMITH.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. I.                                 Voree, W. T., July, 1846.                                 No. 7.

"Truth  Shall  Prevail."


I have since I returned to Nauvoo last, for the first time been apprised of an appointment made by Joseph Smith to James J. Strang. On hearing this, I took pains to gather all the evidence that could be adduced to see if there was any foundation at all for the claims of Mr. Strang.

I called in to see sister Emma, to enquire concerning the appointment. Sister Emma says that Joseph received a letter from Mr. Strang -- Hyrum was present, and he called in J. P. Green; at first Joseph thought all was not right, but Hyrum thought otherwise. They talked over matters a while and came to the conclusion that Joseph would write a letter; so Joseph and brother Green went out for that purpose.

Emma also states that her son Joseph saw a woman come into a room in Far West, Mo. and told him this church would go to Voree; the boy was only eight years old. Joseph, his father, was in jail at the time -- the boy remembers the vision, &c. Joseph before he was martyred, when on his way from the temple hill home, saw a vision, and his mother recollects that when he came home he put his hands upon his eyes and prayed that the vision might pass, and that he stated that he heard as it were music in the Heavens, but the notes were low and sad as though they sounded the requiem of martyred prophets.

I remember myself that Joseph said; "My work is almost done; I feel that I shall rule a mighty host, but not in this world; the wolves are on the scent &c." Joseph bid his wife and mother farewell saying, I am going as a lamb to the slaughter; this was his impression. And I further state that Joseph did not appoint the twelve as his successor, and I was in the last council with him and had an opportunity of hearing and knowing his sentiments in regard to these things.

I also heard Joseph say that should the time ever come that Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimbal would lead this church, that they would lead it to hell. This was said in the hearing of sister Emma Smith. -- The whole Smith family of Joseph stock join in sustaining J. J. Strang.

It is to remembered that, soon after Joseph and Hyrum's death, brother Green died, and he was heard by numerous individuals to say that Joseph had appointed Strang.

                                                    WILLIAM SMITH.

This is to certify that the Smith family do believe in the appointment of J. J. Strang.

William Smith, Patriarch.
Lucy Smith, Mother in Israel.
Arthur Milliken,
Nancy Milliken.
W. J. Salisbury.
Catherine Salisbury.
Sophronia McLerie.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. I.                                 Voree, W. T., August, 1846.                                 No. 8.

"Truth  Shall  Prevail."


Letter of Lucy Smith Mother in Israel to the Brighamite Trustees, in answer to a proposition from them that she could have her inheritance only on condition that her son William should not be admitted to her house.

                                                                        March 22d, 1846.
Messrs Babbitt, Heywood and Fulmer. -- I received your letter of to-day, by the hand of the black boy, and I may inform you that I cannot describe my feelings when I perused its contents, such proscribed views as you have there advanced shows plainly that I am the agrieved party, wronged as I am out of a home, long promised to me by my son, and since his death the promises were renewed all last Summer and Winter, and the last thing that Brigham said to me was, I should have a home and be provided for, in all my wants, and I think now if he were here he would not do as you have done, but you restruct my conscience, put limits to my afection, threaten me with poverty, if I do not drive my children from my door because the resent insult and abuse, that has been heaped upon them without measyre, but I grieve for them, I am old my feelings are tender! Yet I must not complain. No, although my children have been the Fathers and Founders of the Church, and spent their all in its service, yea have not withheld their lives, but have been sacrificed on the altar of Mobocracy and at the feet of wicked men, have been torn from their widowed Mother. This is not enough but I am called upon to banish from my home the few of my family who are left as my only solace, as you so proudly and wickedly ask me to do, or my support shall be withheld from me, but thank kind Heaven that has implanted in my bosom affection which gold cannot buy, and which bribes cannot break the vords of, affection that binds me to the children of my bosom even eternity itself cannot break, they are interwoven with the finest arteries of my heart, and the love that flows through them is the only principle that enlivens and cheers me in this vale of tears. You would have me forsake my children in order that you may give me a living, but let it not be said that in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a mother has to forfeit all [natural] ties, to cut asunder the cords of affection that bind her to her children, or she shall not have a subsistance. Tell it not to the World, let it not be heard among natures sons of the forest. I think no Christian Spirit could have dictated such cold charity to me or any one who merits other treatment.

A headless body has no life you say, but it may have pockets into which the head when in its place put the means of my subsistence. I do look for help some way. Provide me a house and do as you think best, if I suffer more my God will plead my cause, something must be done for Spring is coming on. As to the head of the Church I am Mother and ask obedience to the Law of God, and all will be right and none that feel as Joseph did will wrong his Mother, his Brother, or his Sisters. What is done I would like to have done immediately. Give me a deed to a house and lot and advance the Quarterly sum. A part of my family have left me today and I expect William to be gone soon and he will go and come as the Lord directs him. I wish to be cultivating a garden soon, I have no means, no food but coarse corn meal and I am old and feeble in health -- Will you call and see me and talk on these affairs[?] As to William he is my son and he has rights. As to the twelve you say they have rights, but who shall decide between them. Are you the judge. The Twelve speak against William, and William speaks in his own defence. You say he slanders them, he says they have slandered him and robbed him of his rights and done other thinfs as well but I shall leave these things to one who is a just God and will measure to all men their just deserts in the day of accounts. As to the merits of my children none are more worthy to have an inheritance in the city of Joseph and you are now living on the labor of their hands. I will not speak of this further, as it excites my tender feelings, to think that any should be so heartless as to consider that after their labors for years in sickness, in persecution, and perils by sea and land, and suffering privations and the loss of all thing[s] to protect the Prophet my son and build up the Lingdom of God, and now they are not worthy of an inheritance. O shame! where is thy blush? Let this be a sufficient rebuke from your Mother in Israel, Amen.                                                             Lucy Mack Smith Mother in Israel.
P. S. -- Can it be possible that I shall be driven to the necessity of calling upon others, or looking to another source for help, God forbid.

Note: For the LDS Church's response to (and its explanation of the circumstances of) Lucy Mack Smith, at Nauvoo in 1846, see the article "Mother Smith" in the Nov. 14, 1849 issue of the Frontier Guardian.


Vol. I.                                 Voree, W. T., September, 1846.                                 No. 9.

"Truth  Shall  Prevail."


A conference was held at Kirtland on the 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th of August and the Stake at that place reorganized according to the Law of the Lord and the word of his prophets.

The attendance was very general, nearly all the branches in Northern Ohio being represented. President Strang presided -- Lester Brooks was ordained an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, Lester Brooks and Moses Smith of the Twelve, and Martin Harris and Hazen Aldrich, High-priests with several Elders were appointed to go to England. A full set of officers of the stake were appointed, and a most perfect state of union produced.

The Saints in Kirtland are in full legal and peaceable possession of the Temple of God in that place. They hold it by legal title. The usurpers have brought a suit against them, and after preparing the cause for trial they withdrew the suit and paid up the cost leaving the true Church in possession of the Temple. Moreover the organization includes nearly every person in Kirtland who held a standing in any of the parties into which the Church has been divided.

The following resolutions were passed.

Resolved unanimously. That we believe Joseph Smith late President of the Church, was a prophet of the most high God, called to be a Prophet, Seer, Revelator and Translator, an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, and an Elder of the Church. That God spoke to him from Heaven, and gave him Commandments, and ministered to him by his holy Angels, and inspired him, and gave him power to introduce this dispensation and institute this Church according to the will of God.

Resolved unanimously. That we acknowledge the authority of the Bible, Book of Mormon, and Book of Doctrine and Covenants as they have been heretofore held in the Church; but in all cases where the various copies disagree, or of doubtful authority, we will acknowledge the true word, as it shall be ascertained to have been originally established.

Resolved unanimously. That we will uphold and sustain by our faith and prayers all the authorities, Priesthoods, Presidencies, Councils and Quorums of this Church according to the Laws of the Church, and the commands of God, as laid down in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants.

Resolved (one vote in the negative). That we sustain and uphold with our faith and prayers, and acknowledge in his administration James J. Strang, as First President of this Church, and as the duly appointed successor to Joseph Smith, as Prophet, Seer, Revelator and Translator unto this Church, according to the Law of the Church, and the word of God.

Resolved unanimously. That we will be governed in all things by the Law of God.

Resolved unanimously. That we utterly disclaim the whole system of Poligamy known as the spiritual wife system lately set up in Nauvoo, by the Apostates who claim the authority there, and will neither practice such things nor hold any fellowship with those that teach or practice such things.
The High Council consists of:

Hiram L. Rounds,
William Cowdery,
Amos Ranney,
Daniel Bliss,
Roger Plaisted,
James Stray,
Preserved Harris,
James Crompton,
Martin Harris,
William Fuller,
Luman Carter,
John Andrews.

The Presidency consists of Leonard Rich, Amos Babcock and Sylvester B. Stoddard, and Jacob Bump as Bishop.


We have for some time contemplated publishing an article reviewing the foundations of Rigdonism but have delayed it from time to time, until it has become needless. Rigdon's cause is lost. His organization is broken up and will never be renewed. There was much of honesty, integrity and talent in his organization, but it was not the true church. It was a fine edifice built on a rotten foundation. As the foundation sunk the superstructure fell in pieces and no man can rebuild it.

Truth cannot be built up on a lie; Rigdon was one of the First Presidency and as such was above the Twelve (D. & C. sec. 3d, p. 12 -- sec. 104 p. 7th) and had a right to preside over the Church and the High Council, in the absence of Joseph Smith or his duly appointed successor (D. & C. sec. 5th, p. 6th). But this does not make him the successor, or give him the First Presidency. The moment he set up that claim he became a usurper. And when he organized a new church, April 6th, 1845, the falsity of his position became too obvious, (see D. & C. sec. 7th, para. 20, 85, p. 3d). The arguments now relied upon in Rigdon's favor by his few remaining followers are about as ridiculous as those relied on by the Brighamites. The chief reliance seem to be on sec. 85 of the D. & C., par. 3d, which says that Sidney Rigdon and F. G. Williams are accounted equal with Joseph in holding the Keys of this last Kingdom, which was introduced April 6th, 1830, not 1845. It is difficult to perceive on what ground any one can imagine this to make Rigdon the First President of the Church. It gives Joseph the keys of the Kingdom, for time and eternity. It gives Rigdon the same at present but with no assurance for the future. It recognizes in Joseph the oracles, the word of God, and leaves Rigdon and Williams to receive the word of God through the administration of Joseph, thus putting them under him instead of making them successor to him. So Rigdon understood the revelation, and so he acted from 1833 to 1844. Unless this be the true construction of the revelation his whole life for 11 years is but a living lie.

We have got now a record of some forty prophecies made by him within 2 years. The time for the fulfilment of a score of them is passed and not one is fulfilled, but we have not thought proper to show him up on them for teo reasons. First the breaking up of his organization renders it unnecessary; second, Rigdon is insane, is a mere monomaniac. The things he has done no man of his talent ever did while in his right mind. There is no mistake about these matters, and no room for any two opinions. He is as certainly now a maniac as he has one spark of honesty or one grain of common sense.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. I.                                 Voree, W. T., October, 1846.                                 No. 10.

Truth  Shall  Prevail.


BRIGHAMISM. -- There is a clique of Brighamite Mormons amongst us, in and around Voree, who in order to secure themselves from merited disgrace, are continually manufacturing and circulating low vituperation, calumny, and detraction, by oral scandal, abusive letter writing, and clandestine meetings, against some of the most active and efficient members of the church. All matters authorized or countenanced by the First Presidency, and the legal authorities of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and necessary for the public, will appear in the Voree Herald, or in official documents, and commissions, over the signature of the President of the church. The saints, and the public in general, are hereby cautioned against all clandestine or unauthorized movements, not sanctioned as above, as seditious, schismatic, and subvertive of the general good. We do not wish to be classed with those rebellious and restless spirits, who, being destitute of talent, character, or christian integrity, are acting as petty scavengers for those corrupt and wicked men who have gone into the wilderness, and who are constantly striving to stir up strife amongst us. Many of them pretend to be our friends in order to be able to do us the greater injury by false and malicious representations, while at the same time they are our worst enemies. We contend for law, order, and unsophisticated virtue.

We are informed that Orson Hyde, before leaving the camp near Council Bluffs, as a last effort to destroy the churches which he cannot rule, has made a tool of an Indian whom he has baptized and ordained to go out among the churches, and call himself a Lamanite prophet. We presume it is not one of the same two Indians whom Brigham Young employed to murder Col. Dunham, but do not certainly know. He is at least, one of those to whom Col. Dunham was sent by ordination under the hands of Joseph Smith, and his murder was for nothing but refusing to resign that authority.

REUBENISM. -- A petty pamphlet entitled "James J. Strang weighed in the balance and found wanting; his calims as first President of the Melchisedek Priesthood, refuted. By Reuben Miller, elder of the Church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints. Burlington, W. T., 1846," was put into our hands on our return from the east. It is very "small potatoes, and few in a hill," tho' we shall allude to some of its glaring absurdities, misrepresentations, and calumnies, at our earliest convenience. Reuben "is a great man of the kind," but the kind is very peculiar, Brighamite, and terrestrial. "The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; and he will show them his covenant." But neither the Lord or any one else has shown it to Reuben Miller.

Notes: (forthcoming)


"Truth  Shall  Prevail."
Vol. I.                           Voree, W. T., November, 1846.                         No. 11.


This is a conglomerate clique... including within its meshes the Brigamatic, the Aaronic, and a few other sub-cliques of spurious or false Mormons whose operations are centripetal or centrifugal according to the expediency of the case, when directed against the true church. Their recent publication of such vile stuff as none but scoundrels' heads could have conceived, and none but scoundrels' pens have written, render it necessary to call public attention to the following official statement of our officiary. It is signed by every official member of the church who resides here, (excepting the first presidency) and sustained by nine-tenths of the entire membership. The PSEUDOS will find in it a most signal rebuke -- it proves them vile imposters, "wicked, sensual and devilish." All we claim is a just comparison of the testimony: -- ... [certificate and signatures follow]


We have been shown a handbill, headed in large staring capitals, "Mormon Doings," signed by three excommunicated Mormons, and a fourth under discipline, {who, we presume, had hoped, from reports which had been issued by one or two Brighamite Mormons, that their iniquities would be winked at in Voree, and were quite astonished to be dealt with in this manner, when their abominations could be proved, in at least two or three witnesses's mouths -- but we repeat, again and again, that those who do not calculate on keeping the commandments of God, had better remain from Voree} which purports to contain, among other things, the proceedings of two meetings, at which "Aaron Smith, Jun. President of the Church," presided.

We would like to know how Aaron Smith became "jun. president of the church." We certainly were not aware that he ever held that office. He was appointed by revelation (through the prophet Joseph), June 18th, 1844, to be a "counsellor" to President Strang, but not to be "assistant president." Two years afterwards he was confirmed in his priesthood as "counsellor to President Strang," and he is no where named on the records of the church as assistant or junior president, but invariably as counsellor.

At the general conference, in April, 1846 (the only one he ever attended in company with President Strang), whenever President Strang left the chair William Marks, president pro tem. of the high priests, assumed it as the next in order, and not Counsellor Smith. It was voted at that conference to receive and sustain him as counsellor, but there was not one word either in the revelations or records of the church, which recognizes him as holding the office of assistant president. So President Strang was made like unto Joseph in his priesthood, but Counsellor Aaron was not made like unto Hyrum. He was only made counsellor. But having been removed from that office, as he was appointed to fill by revelation, and having been excommunicated from the church by the unanimous voice of the High Council, on a plea of Guilty to the charges of covenant-breaking and lying; apostates, as usual, think his priesthood better than it was before... they have finally come out with the publication of what they please to call "The Covenant." Here it is --

"Of my own free will and accord, without any equivocation, mental reservation, or self evasion of mind in we whatever, I do hereby covenant and swear, that I will ever conceal, and never reveal any of the secrets of this order of the Illuminati that may now or at any time hereafter be revealed unto me.

"I furthermore covenant and swear, that I will never knowingly injure the persons, property, feelings or family of any Illuminates, so long as they are in the fellowship of the Frand Council of Nobles.

"I furthermore covenant and swear, that this Grand Council shall consist of James J. Strang as Imperial Primate and Absolute Sovereign, with two Viceroys under him, John C. Bennett, General-in-Chief, Pontiff, Premier, and Master of Ceremonies..."

Notes: (forthcoming)


"Truth  Shall  Prevail."
Vol. I.                           Voree, W. T., December, 1846.                         No. 12.


Young Joseph Smith, (eldest son of the martyred prophet) has been appointed one of the first presidents of the church, by revelation, in the place of his uncle Hyrum, and William Marks has been appointed his coadjutor, in like manner. The First Presidency now consists of James J. Strang (in place of Joseph Smith martyred), (George J. Adams, (in place of Sidney Rigdon, apostatized), and Joseph Smith, (in place of Hyrum Smith, martyred), William Smith, (the only surviving brother of Joseph and Hyrum), is the Chief Patriarch, and as the Patriarch of the whole church has always held a seat in the councils of the first presidency, as coadjutor, that high prerogative will be freely accorded to him, by virtue of his patriarchate.


We never speak of this man but with reverence and the most profound respect. He is a venerable president of the college of apostles, and has grown gray in the faithful service of the church. No man has done more for the cause than he, and we hope soon to see him again in the field, that his giant intellect and towering eloquence, may be brought to bear against the abominations of the wicked and rebellious of the earth. His name is of itself a tower of strength, and we feel proud to associate with such a noble spirit. We hope the church will soon relieve him from all pecuniary embarrassments as to enable him to take apostolic charge, and execute the prerogatives which pertain to that high ecclesiastical functionary.


The PSEUDOS have stealthily reported that Voree is to be abandoned for the Big Beaver Island enterprise, or the Indian mission, than which nothing is more untrue. Voree is to be built up as one of the stakes of Zion, according to, and in fulfillment of, revelation; though the seat of the Indian Mission, (Big Beaver Island in Lake Michigan,) is to be THE GREAT CORNER STAKE OF ZION, in accordance with another revelation. The one will not at all interfere with the other. The brethren abroad should be very careful how they give credence to the fabrications of the apostate heretical pseudos, in and out of Voree. Zion's Reveille and the Star in the East, will give the only correct information, and every faithful member of the church should take both papers.


B. C. Ellsworth, (one of the Twelve), is directed to proceed immediately to the consummation of his instructions. He will find his commission with full powers, at Oswego, N. Y. His services thus far have been most acceptable, and he will be noticed more fully in our next.


The apostates in Nauvoo kept up the story all winter that William Smith, and all the Smith family, would go west with them in the spring; but during all the same period they kept up a continual fire of their small artillery against his moral character.

Apostasy is always alike. The pseudos have the same way of doing business. They are intending to have William, and all the Smiths, though they have kept up a continual crash of scandal on his devoted head for months past.

When President Strang was in Philadelphia, the Brighamites got an article inserted in the Public Ledger, saying that William did not acknowledge Strang as President ir Prophet of the Mormon church. He immediately called on the editor, and had inserted in that paper a letter from William, in which he not only recognizes President Strang, but states distinctly that God has shown to him, by revelation, that James J, Strang is called of him to stand at the head of this dispensation.

Now the pseudos, after scandalizing him till his friends hardly dare defend him, have suddenly put out the boast that William was with them. If he was half as bad as they call him he ought to be.

But for their satisfaction we publish the following: --

                                      "City of Voree, Wisconsin, July 26th, 1846.
"To the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints,

"Inheriting, as I do, the office of patriarch by literal descent from my progenitors, and having been ordained thereunto, by the first presidency. and being thereby fully invested with the patriarchal authority, I deem it necessary at this time to address you a few lines for the confirmation of your faith in the great work of the last days. As to the claims of Brother James J. Strang, as the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Prophet, Seer, and Revelator, I entertain no doubt whatever, as his appointment by my brother Joseph, and his confirmation by angelic administration, is in strict accordance with the law of God by revelation; for so Jehovah hath revealed it unto me, and I therefore, as your spiritual Father, bear witness to you all of the truth of these declarations; and as God has revealed to me his appointment of Brother Strang to said station, and the investing him with all keys and powers of the priesthood, I rejoice that I am able to confirm your faith, for God is now working gloriously for Zion. Come up, brethren, to Voree, the great gathering place appointed of God, here the people will have peace, and our Heavenly Father will here give us great prosperity. The people are remarkably friendly, and treat us with great kindness. Brethren, put your shoulders once more to the wheel, and let us show ourselves approved of God by acts of righteousness.
                                        Your brother,
                                                     WILLIAM SMITH,
                                              Patriarch of the whole church."

William Smith, Patriarch of the church, went to Kirtland last summer, and assisted President Strang efficiently in the re-organization of the church there. He was precluded from attending conference at Voree by severe indisposition. He is now at Knoxville with his mother, waiting for spring, to come to Voree. And that the pseudos may know what his faith is, we will inform them that he has just sent us us a correspondence between himself and an influential Brighamite, IN WHICH HE IS INFORMED OF THE DEATH OF HIS LATE BRIGHAMITE WIFE, and urged to join the emigrating party. His answer given in that letter concludes with these words:

"Candour and truth will prevail, and the honest saints will find it hard to kicj against it. Mormonism is of God, and James J. Strang is his prophet.
                                                  WILLIAM SMITH, Patriarch.

P. S. A letter from Wm. Smith to Gen. Bennett, dated Knoxville, Dec. 19, expresses his cordial co-operation with President Strang, and that he, and all the Smith family would remove to Voree early in the spring.


                                                  Voree, Dec. 29th, 1846.
Beloved Brethren: --

As I am the printer of the Reveille, as well as editor, you will perceive that my time is wholly occupied, and will the more cheerfully excuse me for not writing to you as often as I intended... I do rejoice with exceeding great joy at the glory which is about to illuminate the church... Some of the abominable PSEUDOS have been guilty of the most damnable heresy in inculcating the principles of the detestable "spiritual wife doctrine;" but, thank God, it has been consumed like stubble before the devouring flame. and its base and licentious advocates have been dispersed like chaff before the wind, or dew before the sun. Brothers Strang and Bennett have been sustained by the entire officiary of the church, and all the truly virtuous members, in putting down this vile and abominable doctrine... O, my brethren, live humbly before God, and in peace with all men; and the God of peace will refresh you abundantly.
                                        Your brother,
                                                    JOHN GREENHOW.

P. S. It may not be unprofitable to you, beloved brethren, to state that myself, Brother Bennett, and about 17 others met at the house of the Prophet on Saturday night last, (the 2d Jan.) for the purpose of praising and magnifying our God, whilst engaged in singing and the Prophet on his knees washing feet, there appeared a light, as consuming fire, and it sat upon each of our heads, and while the fire burnt still more increasingly not a hair was singed, and we united in singing, "The Spirit of God like a fire is burning," &c.,   J. G.

(From the Cincinnati Commercial.)


Mormonism -- The Prophet -- The Pontiff -- Big Beaver Island Enterprise -- &c., &c.

Friend Curtis: -- As I promised to give you an occasional inkling of events in the regions of the north and as the Mormons, with their peculiar isms are attracting considerable attention, I think it would not be amiss to devote a few remarks to the subject. Their present head quarters, as you are aware, is Voree, a little village in Wisconsin where they are congregating in considerable numbers. Those who follow the new prophet are usually denominated "Strangites," and embrace in their number most of the talented. well disposed, honest, law abiding, and devout portion of the church. There are a few of what are called "Brighamite" Mormons, at Voree, who adhere to the emigrating camp, who have recently given some striking proofs of their thieving propensities, to the great annoyance of the citizens. It is supposed they were sent there to bring odium on Strang's adherents. Prophet Strang,(an attorney and Counselor at law by profession) is a small man, about thirty-two or three years of age, light complection, high forehead, intellectual, fluent in speech, of great suavity of manners, companionable, and in a word, what we would call a "first rate clever fellow." His extraordinary governing powers are easily accounted for by the fact that the "Latter Day Saints believe in him." As to whether he is a true or false prophet I will only say "there are various opinions about that." While the Prophet was in the east, last summer, the "Aaronic clique of Pseudo-Mormons." got up a molten calf and established image worship. The calf bawled loudly against the "New and Everlasting Covenant of God," and against "Masonary," "Odd Fellowship," and "all secret associations," whether of God, man, or the devil -- this, however, was soon vetoed by authority. The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; and he will show them his Covenant," Psalms, 25-14. Their former Pontiff whom I saw in Nauvoo, in the palmy days of his military glory as "Joab, General in Israel," is with Strang. The Mormons used to call him their "forty-two pounder." He has filled many high and responsible situations with signal ability; and is a man of great prowess and energy of character. Whether he has been restored to the Pontificate, I am not advised; but he is evidently one of the confidential advisors of the Prophet. Adams, who was lecturing in Cincinnati, last spring, is now the editor of the "Star in the East" printed in Boston, and devoted to "Strangite" Mormonism. It is a beautifully gotten up pamphlet, but presumably you have seen it, I will not notice it in detail. It is pretty generally understood that Adams and young Joseph Smith are the right and left bowers of Strangism, but they do not take the ace. William Smith is the chief Patriarch and is a noble fellow. William Marks and John E. Page, William E. McLellin and John Hardy, are numbered with their great men. Mr. Strang's followers now number about fifty thousand, all told. From twelve to fifteen thousand gave in their adhesion in the eastern states last summer. What number they have in Europe I cannot say. They have a new project on foot, which they call the "Indian Mission," it is understood to be the establishment of a mission school, and a large colony or "stake" of their church, on Big Beaver Island," in Lake Michigan. The island is about twenty-four miles long, by eight wide on an average, and is one of the most delightful spots on earth, fertile, salubrious, and picturesque; which an enterprising population could make an earthly paradise. It has one of the best harbors and fisheries in the world -- there this unfortunate people will be free from unjust persecution, oppression, and violence; and can enjoy all the advantages of commerce and agriculture, the arts of civilization and education, the establishment of their peculiar religion and organization, without molestation. We shall look forward with much interest to the result of this new and grand enterprize and in its consummation we wish them success, happiness and prosperity, so long as they act justly towards all men, and no longer. What adds greatly to the beauty of the scenery is a little lake within the island itself, at one end of which the Indian Village was originally located. Kirtland and Voree are to be continued as "stakes," as they call them, but the island is, most unquestionably, to be the seat of power. This is truly a new era big with interesting events -- political, educational, and religious revolutions, (rapid yet bloodless) appear to be the order of the day.   Yours respectfully,
                                                          W. S. O.

Note: For Prophet Strang's relation of the endowment of "consuming fire," see the Aug. 17, 1848 issue of his Gospel Herald.


Vol. II.                           Voree, W. T., January 14, 1847.                         No. 1.

"Truth  will  prevail."


There have always been patriarchs in the church since its commencement; that is, there have been patriarchs for the branches, occasionally; but these has been but one patriarch of the whole church, at the same time. Joseph Smith sen., was the first; Hyrum Smith was the second; and William Smith is the third. This high ecclesiastical functionary has usually been called the "Chief Patriarch," because he is over all other patriarchs -- and besides this, he is the ONLY patriarch at the seat of the First Presidency, and is for the whole church. William has the legal right to this office, by lineal descent from his progenitors, and will be respected accordingly.


This worthy brother, who is numbered amongst the few surviving relations of the martyred prophet, Joseph, has been appointed a bishop in the church, for which he is most admirably calculated, both by his faithfulness, talents, and Christian integrity.


The brethren, under the direction of Uriel C. H. Nickerson, Daniel Avery, and James M. Adams, (three tried and faithful veterans in the service of God and the church) prepared a most sumptuous feast on New Year's Day, at Josiah Sumner's, of which one hundred and thirty partook, notwithstanding the weather was extremely inclement. This was one of the most pleasant festivals the church has ever witnessed. It was truly a feast of love, (as well as a corporal feast) an outpouring of the most noble feelings of the human heart -- a flow of soul commingling with the Spirit of God. The houses of Brothers Strang and Avery were dedicated with appropriate ceremonies, in which Brothers Fuller, Nickerson, Avery, Strang, Bennett, and Greenhow officiated in their respective offices. The meetings at Brother Strang's, during the day and evening, were most interesting and instructive. The sacrament of the eucharist was administered, addresses were given by Brothers Strang, Bennett, Greenhow, Adams, and Nickerson, and universal satisfaction prevailed. May such peace and harmony ever obtain with the faithful.

(From the Chicago Daily Mail.)


We have received a long communication from this individual, in reply to one which appeared in the Mail several weeks since. It is too long to publish entire, but we will endeavor to give the facts and declarations as stated.

It will be recollected that one of the charges against Strang was, that he sent H. C. Elsworth on a mission to the east, after he knew him to be a thief. THe justice of the peace before whom the examination of Elsworth was had, and the prosecutor both certify to the innocence of the person in question...

The charge of having secret societies in the church is denied by nearly forty members, all of these holding offices in the church, and consequently knowing whether there are such things or not; and they further state that they have the "most implicit confidence in J. J. Strang, as Prophet, Seer, Revelator, Translator, and first President of the Church," in his christian integrity, and gentlemanly deportment. They farther state that "J. C. Bennett jas laboured faithfully as coadjutor of President Strang, for the best interests of the church, and that they entertain for him the highest respect and confidence. They also aver that they "abominate the spiritual wife system, and totally disfellowship it." They charge their opposers with desiring to build up "Brighamism" instead of the true church.

These are the important declarations made in reply to the article before published. Both sides have been heard, and we have no disposition to protract the controversy in our columns farther than if we have misrepresented the Prophet in condensing his communication he can point it out, and the mistake shall be remedied. Here let the matter rest.

Note: For more on Bishop Fuller's role, in helping to provide evidence of the events associated with the "appropriate ceremonies," etc., see Elder Isaac Scott's letter, published in the Dec. 29, 1888 issue of the RLDS Saints' Herald.


Vol. II.                           Voree, W. T., January 21, 1847.                         No. 2.

"Truth  will  prevail."


                                     Burlington, Jan. 20, 1847.


In the Anti-Mormon placard, called "The New Era," I am made one of the principal subjects of the ribaldrous and vituperative remarks of a set of pseudo vagrants and vagabonds, whose statements receive no credance whatever in this region, but who may have some influence where their entire destitution of character and probibty are not so well known. On this account I will simply remark that all such false, unchaste, unchristian, and rancorous articles, the offspring of envy and revenge, require only to be read to be execrated by every honourable person, not wholly lost to every principal of moral obligation. Such articles only evidence the total depravity of their authors and abettors. I cannot lower myself to notice such vile and libelous effusions of apostate and brainless heads. I will only remark, that my character is not to be sullied by the shafts of such a set of paltroons and depraved heretics. As to my honourable and gentlemanly deportment, I refer any honest seeker after truth to Mr. Wells, (our post-master,) Mr. Forbes, (inn-keeper,) Messrs. Sheldon, Stevens, Kendall, and Adams, (merchants,) Messrs. Royce, Barnes, and Cole, (attorneys at law,) and Mr. St. John, Drs. Dyer and Lewis, or to any other person of character and reputation in this vicinity.
                                             Yours respectfully,
                                                        JOHN C. BENNETT.

                                                  Voree,W. T. Jan. 13, 1847.
Elder John Greenhow. -- Dear Friend,

In my letter to you of "Dec. 12th, A. D. 1846," I state "As to the ordination of President Strang I have only to say, I never told Mr. Miller, or any other person, that I was present at, or assisted in, that sacrament: nor did my esteemed friend, the honorable William Smith, (the patriarch,) ever make such a declaration relative to himself in my presence." That statement, I reiterate. IS TRUE in whole and in part. In conversation with Mr. Reuben Miller, to day, I find he is of the opinion that I have done him manifest injustice in the matter, as he avers that William Smith did tell him so -- this he might have done, but he certainly did not IN MY HEARING. We told Mr. Miller that President Strang had been ordained and anointed, and had all the keys and ordinances of the priesthood -- but neither time, place nor persons were named -- and I have never pretended to deny it, at any time or to any person, and the statements I then made I aver to be TRUE toto caelo. I would not intentionally misrepresent any person, even my most inveterate enemy -- I presumed that all sensible men, in a critical and circumstantial controversy, would take as confessed what is not denied. It certainly appears to me that no candid man can take a different view of this position; and I am utterly at a loss to know how a man of Mr. Miller's parts could have misappregended me. I have no disposition to state any thing but the TRUTH, to take any undue advantage of Mr. Miller, or to protract the controversy, -- it was not of my own seeking, but in it I have treated him as a gentleman, and intend to deport myself as such towards all men.
                                             Yours Respectfully,
                                                        JOHN C. BENNETT.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. I.                                   Voree, January, 1847.                                 No. 1.


To the Saints of God in all the World:

We, your servants, and the servants of Jesus Christ, and called by the grace of God as the High Council of the Church of Jesus Christ at the stake of Voree, sendeth greeting:

Dear Brethren -- Having been called upon by the body of the church and our beloved brother and junior President, Aaron Smith, we will endeavor, as far as in us lies, to comply with their request in righteousness and truth. We beg leave, therefore, in all meekness and humility, to make known unto you some things that have transpired here, which, although you may perhaps have heard by vauge and uncertain reports, yet we desire you should have positive knowledge, that you may know how to act in the premises, and not be deceived... We rejected the teachings and usurpations of the apostate Twelve, and having heard that God had appointed a successor to our beloved prophet Joseph, and had established a city of refuge and gathering place for his people, we came here in all confidence and the fullest assurance that God would bring again Zion, and fulfill to her all the promises he had made [concerning her].

The principles set forth by President Strang in the beginning of his ministry, were of the most heart-cheering nature, to those who possessed the spirit of the meek and humble Saviour. His teachings were plain and instructive, his deportment meek and heavenlike; we rejoiced in the dawn of a better day, and a hope of better things. -- Our hearts had long been greived at witnessing the spirit of the world, of military parade, of anxiety for temporal power that was manifested at Nauvoo. A spirit of boasting, lynch-law, and polygamy, that had corrupted every department of the church, and brought a deep stain on the Holy Priesthood of the Son of God. It is with feelings of deep regret that we are under the necessity of admitting that the leaders of the only true church should be thus overcome by the devil, and lead God's people in such high-handed crimes. But so it is: the end thereof God only knows.

We, therefore, having escaped these dangers and vices, and from the consequent necessity of hiding ourselves in a waste, howling wilderness to shelter us from the punishment due in such crimes, took up our line of march and landed safe in Voree. But Satan came also among us. We have closely watched the serpentine windings of the pioneers of iniquity in Nauvoo. The secret springs that originated vice, love for power and worldly pomp in that place. The hidden engine that moved the mighty wheel that dashed fair Nauvoo in one general ruin; and we find, beloved brethren, that the same power that spoiled Nauvoo is here among us; the same arch hypocrite who was the principal mover in orginiating and sustaining the Nauvoo Legion, and the vain-glory and military pomp, the unjustifiable preparation for war, -- he who stirred up in the mind of the prophet a belief that he could become President of the United States, -- he has come hither also. Yes, that same apostate who first taught and practiced the secret wife system, whose whole life, whether in the church or out of it, shows that his motto is Rule or Ruin, whose sole object seems to be to gratify the pride of the heart, and the lust of the flesh, -- he has come hither to establish Satan's kingdom in Voree. But how did he come? Lamb-like of course. At first ready to do or go at the lowest calling. -- President Strang, after preaching a charity sermon, informed us that he had a correspondence with Dr. Bennett, and that he had answered his first letter in a manner cold enough to freeze a volcano. But he had received a letter since, [and?] requesting permission to be [ha---- ----- included] in with the saints. And, says [Strang], "Bennett seems so humble, I cannot refuse him the privilege." Bennett soon came on, and was received by Strang into the church. Strang also stated that Bennett asked no office in the church, but only to be received as a private member. What next? A scheme is presented in form of a secret combination, wherein Bennett claims the office of "Premier, Pontiff, General-in-Chief and Master of Ceremonies!" This is not all. He asks the saints to bind themselves in horrid oaths to obey all his edicts and commands. And this is not all. He has wove his silken web around the heart of our prophet, until he has become so entangled that nothing but the invisible power of God can extricate him from the fatal snare...

We had believed that the hellish devices of Satan in the secret wife system, and all the connecting fixings, and leading strings, could not be again equalled, or, to speak in the vulgar style of the day, that "the devil has shot his biggest gun." But the same unholy plan, moulded, indeed, into a little different shape, is attempted to be carried out here. Brethren, if you want a share in it, come and take the covenant. The master of ceremonies stands ready to administer it...

Let your women understand that God has created them with intelligent minds and understanding hearts; hence the are accountable to God in matters of salvation, and not to man. Sin is the transgression of a known law, and the soul that sinneth it shall die; and if they are ever saved it will be through faith and obedience in the gospel of Christ, and not by being sold to any man. Therefore let them honor their husbands as husbands, and honor God as God... Finally, brethren, be of one heart, [and] one mind, and the God and Father of [our Lord] Jesus Christ will take you into his care, and make you partakers of his [-----at] salvation.


The following production partakes a little too much of the spirit of levity and irony, to be proper for a religious paper. But as it bespeaks some considerable poetical genius, and is appropriate to the occasion, we have consented to give it an insertion.

Wreath the chaplet deck the brow,
Bennett's earned the laurel now;
Satan's held the claim [too] long,
He no more shall Bennett wrong.

Take the crown from off his head,
Crown the General in his stead --
Pontiff, Premeire, Prince, to-boot,
Prince of Darkness Absolute.

Organize his royal train,
Strang and Greenhow next may feign
Nick and Dan, Jim and Shaw,
Answer well for puss's paw.

Beside some smaller trash you see,
Who read the dirty REVILLE,
And wink at lies by wholesale told,
They're surely to the Devil sold.

Fiends of darkness stand aside,
I've a host that's true and tried;
Pontiff Bennett needs you not,
You're too slow to suit my trot.

Satan why, what makes you frown?
Hav'nt I well deserved your crown,
Can you such pranks e'en bring to view?
As I have played in fair Nauvoo.

You need not come to fair Voree,
For I am stationed there you see,
With Prophet Stranf beneath my thumb,
And many more I make succumb.

Go rake the darkest deeds of Hell,
Since first from heaven our Coward fell;
I'll shew you I've out done them all,
From Voree's lies to Adam's fall.

'Tis true you whispered mother Eve,
But through the serpent's silken sleve;
And caused a Solomon to love,
His women more than God above.

But I in holy man's disguise,
Have taught the world the Bible lies;
Make null and void the Marriage ties,
And rolled in lust and luxury.

Then Satan let your whimpering cease,
I'll try to scare these saints to peace;
If not I'll leave for Beavers Isle,
And play the Devil in bigger style.

                BARD OF VOREE.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. II.                           Voree, W. T., January 28, 1847.                         No. 3.

"Truth  will  prevail."

ISAAC SCOTT, Captain Bogart's PROTEGE!!

That the brethren at a distance may know what reliance is to be placed on the statements of this delectable pseudo, who appears in the ANTI-MORMON NEW ERA as the endorser of Wm. E. McLellin's faithfulness, we will simply state that he was the protègè of Capt. Bogart, (par fratrum mobile -- a noble pair of brothers;) and that Bogart, McLellin, and Scott were cheek-by-jowl associates. Scott told Bishop Fuller that he stood by Bogart while he murdered a man, and still he calls Bogart an excellent foster-father. The following certificates will show Scott's and McLellin's co-operation with the mob party for the consummation of their nefarious purposes: --

                                                                  Voree, Jan. 25, 1847.
To whom it may concern:--

This is to certify that William E. McLellin commanded an Anti-Mormon company, in Missouri, who (with their faces blackened) cooperated with the other mob troops, to deprive the Mormons of their possessions, and drive them from the state. McLellin said, "I wish to God that I could see Joe Smith brought into the public square, in Far West and BEHEADED, for if the G-d__d rascal is taken to Liberty he will escape!" At this time Joseph, Sidney, Hyrum, and the other prisoners were in a waggon, and fourteen guns were presented to their breasts, but the general slaughter was prevented by the interference of John C. Annis. McLellin was decorated with a variety of different coloured ribbons upon his hat, shoulders, and arms, as badges of distinction.   M. AVERY.

                                                                  Voree, Jan. 25, 1847.
To whom it may concern:--

This is to certify that Isaac Scott has for many years been regarded as a vile apostate, and that he was, in consequence of his apostacy, removed from the office of chorister of the branch over which Emer Harris presided   D. AVERY.

                                                                  Voree, Jan. 25, 1847.
To whom it may concern:--

This is to certify that Isaac Scott told us that he was cut off from the church in Missouri, and that he continued out of the church ever after, until he came here. He has co-operated with apostates and the enemies of the church. In consequence of his treachery he never had the confidence of the faithful and virtuous members.
                                                U. C. H. NICKERSON.
                                                JOHN McCONNELL.

The Patriarch, William Smith, we learn by the papers, is lecturing at Peoria -- pseudoism does not move him from the path of duty. The Anti-Mormon New Era he thinks will soon be non est inventus.

The pseudos at Kirtland have proclaimed David Whitmer as their prophet, seer, revelator and translator. So writes Brother Barber to Elder Adams.

The pseudos in England have proclaimed that Joseph ordained Brigham Young, prophet, seer, revelator and translator. So writes Elder Brooks to Elder Adams.

Note 1: The New Era newspaper mentioned above was not the well known St. Louis New Era, but rather a supplemental publication of the Elkhorn, Walworth Co., Western Star. It is perhaps telling that, in 1847-49, Elder Oliver Cowdery and his business partner, (Edwin) Alanson Cooley, published the Walworth County Democrat in oposition to the Western Star and its journalistic foster child, the New Era. However, the "Pseudos'" New Era is headlined "Voree," rather than Elkhorn, and neither Cowdery nor Cooley are known to have associated directly with James J. Strang, nor with Strang's local Mormon enemies, (the so-called "Pseudos").

Note 2: Peoria is not far from Knoxville, where William spent the winter of 1846-47 with his mother and two of his sisters. Although William claims to have been ill much of that winter, he evidently was vigorous enough to travel to Peoria, and to preach Mormonism after he arrived there. No reports from the Peoria papers of this period have yet been discovered wherein William's activities in the area are mentioned.

Note 3: Isaac Frank Scott (1814-1890) was baptized a Mormon in 1837 and remained with the Church through the Nauvoo era. It is supposed that he became a Strangite in 1846. Scott was a leader among the anti-Strang movement (the "Pseudos") in Walworth and Racine counties, Wisconsin. His brother, John Scott, was a prominent Utah polygamist. Both Isaac Scott and his wife Sarah Hall Scott joined the RLDS (between 1860 and 1863) and were members of the RLDS branches in Burlington and East Devalan, Wisconsin. It is unclear whether or not he was closely related to the Andrew Scott who married Mary Jane Smith (daughter of William Smith) in Lee Co., Illinois on Oct. 24, 1852.


Vol. II.                           Voree, W. T., February 11, 1847.                         No. 5.

"Truth  will  prevail."


==> When General Bennett had his unfortunate difficulty with the church, he published an Expose. As the pseudos lack brains to endict original articles, we suggest to them the propriety of furnishing some extracts from that racy work, or Tom Paine's "Age of Reason," for the benefit of the infidel patrons, of the Anti-Mormon New Era, in lieu of the quack advertisement re-prints, from the Elkhorn Western Star. Pseudos, will you take the bait?

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. I.                                   Voree, February, 1847.                                 No. 2.


The leaders of the Royal Party, alias Kingdom of God, alias Illuminati Society, have attempted to palm off upon their followers one of the most barefaced and blasphemous impositions ever attempted to be imposed on man. We will give a statement of the facts connected with it for the satisfaction of the Saints abroad.

Last Summer, while President Strang was on his Eastern tour, John C. Bennett was authorized to act as coadjutor for President Strang until he should return. A few favorites were selected, and together they got up and received, together with President Strang, a covenant. This was no sooner accomplished than Pres. Strang started on his journey; when Bennett immediately commenced picking out his victims -- those whom he could gull the easiest into the wicked project, taking care at the same time to solicit those who would have the most influence on others; and so, by degrees, most all the saints in Voree and vicinity were subtlely caught in the fatal snare. We will here observe that brother Aaron Smith went with Pres. Strang on his eastern tour, but returned a length of time before Pres. Strang; but he had no sooner returned than he was caught in the fatal snare also. But to use his own words, he went to God to inquire of him, and God told him the Covenant was not of God. He then immediately began to preach against it, and the mask of iniquity began to show itself, so that dissatisfaction soon began to manifest itself; when Bennett, in order to keep them quiet, promised them a special Illumination; he said those who continued faithful should behold the glory of God, that the Heavens should open to their view, and that they should see angels ascending and descending, and receive intelligence from them; that in order that they should not be deceived, they should see with their eyes, hear with their ears, and handle with their hands those angels which should minister unto them. He further stated that he promised those things by authority from Pres. Strang; and further added that some of the saints in the East had already received the Illumination according to the above description, and if the saints would keep still, it should take place in about five weeks.He then said the light was to exceed the brightness of the Sun at noon-day to the faithful, and that it should be so marvelous and public as not only to perfectly satisfy the faithful that the Covenant was of God, but that it should be a condemnation to the rebellious and the traitors who should dare to expose the Covenant. Those promises were made from time to time.

At length the time was set for the great display of the power of Pres. Strang. Well, the long looked for return of the President arrived, but with him came not the Illumination, but a renewal of the promise. Pres. Strang, in his first lecture after his return to Voree, said that all brother Bennett had said and done was correct, and according to his directions. He also said these things should not be done in a corner nor in a secret place, but that it should be so public that the whole world might gaze on it if they pleased. He said the Covenant was no part of the gospel of Jesus Christ. And any one who wished to have his name erased could do so, and that it should be no hindrance to his being saved in the Celestial Kingdom.

At this time the saints at Voree were building a house for Pres. Strang by donation; but owing to disatisfaction, the work progressed rather tardy. At length, notice was given out that the Illumination could not be attended to until Pres. Strang's house was done. This had the desired effect, for most of the faithful went to work and finished the house. And those who had been faithful to the Covenant, of course expected to be illuminated, according to the promise. But the first thing that was done was to give notice that the faithful should have a feast on New Year's day, and that every one was to bring according to their sunstance, to provide for the feast. Accordingly every thing was furnished; and when the day arrived, you may guess they had a feast of good things, but they could not eat all the was furnished, by a great deal, yet very little was given to the poor.

In the course of the day, Pres. Strang and Daniel Avery's houses were consecrated to God, in a style very similar to the order of the Roman Catholics; being several times, after different sentences, sprinkled with holy water, as they call it, &c., &c. Mr. Bennett then said, "who has got the pass-word for Judah?" Daniel Avery answered, "I have the pass-word for the House of Judah." Mr. Bennett then asked, "who has got the pass-word for Ephraim?" Uriel C. Nickerson answered, "I have got the pass-word for the House of Ephraim." Mr. Bennett then made a sign to which Avery and Nickerson both went to Bennett and whispered in his ear the said pass-words. -- Bennett then pronounced that the pass-words were right. He then took the bible and the book of Mormon and placed them together, and said, putting them in his right hand, "thus shall Judah and Ephraim be one." -- Bennett then took Pres. Strang with a Freemason's grip round the back, and whispered in his ear, the pass-words for Judah and Ephraim, and said they were right again. -- Query -- how did Avery and Nickerson get the pass-words? and if the two worthys were the only two that were to have the pass-words, how did Bennett know that they were right when the prophet did not know until Bennett told him? Does Bennett, or the prophet, or Nickerson, or Avery receive revelations from God? During the ceremony, Bennett said, "we acknowledge no God but the God of J. J. Strang," and all the congregation said amen.

After all this ceremony, the congregation was dismissed until the evening, when they met to receive the Lord's supper, and, for the first time in the history of the Church of Jesus Christ, the communicants were instructed to believe they were eating the actual body of Christ and drinking his blood, the same as the Roman Catholics believe. And so the say passed off.

The next evening, nine or ten of the favorites were selected out and noticed to appear and receive their illumination. Of course, it is useless to tell you that Nickerson and Avery were among the favored few that got the illumination; but shall I tell you? -- yes I will tell you, what kind of an illumination it was.

In the first place, I would inform you that they did not see any angels -- they did not see the heavens open to their view, nor the mighty power of God. Indeed they did not see, hear, nor handle any thing in the shape of angels! But to tell the story at once, there was nothing that could bear the least semblance to what was promised them. But as I said I would tell I will now proceed:

Although the prophet said that these things should not be done in a corner, but that it should be so public that the world might look on it if they pleased, and see the light of heaven burst open to their view; yet strange to tell, all that was done was as secret as death, and even those who have kept the Covenant as sacred and inviolate as men could, were not allowed to behold the dark scene. And even those who were illuminated, were again, sworn by still greater oaths, that they would not divulge any of the secrets of that order, having a mark made on their foreheads, denoting that if they ever should be guilty of divulging any of the secrets of that order, even to those who had kept the Covenant inviolate, until they should be initiated like themselves, that their heads should be cut off. Saints of God, beware how you get ensnared by this arch imposition, for this looks very much like the mark of the Beast, and if that mark is once placed on your forehead, I cannot find any scriptural authority to suppose that you can ever be forgiven. But as I was going to tell what kind of illumination was administered, I will proceed: Mr. Bennett pretended to anoint their heads with consecrated oil, but only look at the imposition; instead of oil, he put phosphorus on their heads. And the great secret is now come out why it was necessary to have two rooms to administer the endowment; for, I suppose Bennett had a man in the room joining with a galvanic battery, and so their heads were, as the poor deluded creatures supposed, lighted up with the fire of Heaven. This is the sum and substance of the endowment. But to the great annoyance of the remainder of the royal family, they have no more money to send to Chicago for phosphorus, and so there has been no more than the first little group illuminated yet. But I am expecting that it will be attended to very soon now, as they are tithing the fraternity as fast as they can.

On the Sunday following, Bennett was at the meeting, and, supposing that those who had been illuminated might feel a little bit dissatisfied, he said this was not the great illumination, but what they had received was only to prepare them for the greater power of God which was to be displayed on them the next time; and that what was done was to cleanse their body from disease, and to give them power, not only to be free from disease themselves, but to heal all the sick, the lame, the halt, the deaf, and the blind. But none of these things have been done yet, for most of the illuminated party who have remained in Voree, have been sick more or less, ever since.

HUMAN VANITY. -- The famous editor of Zion's Reveille, alais Reviler, and his scribbling coadjutors, seem extremely fond of displaying their little smattering knowledge of languages. Now this is perfectly disgusting to a plain lover of the plain word of life. So did not Paul, although he had more knowledge of languages than the whole tribe of the royal party. He taught that the wisdom of this world was foolishness with God, and that God had chosen the weak things of this world to confound the wise. -- How do their vain puffs agree with the Book of Mormon, whose authors were peculiar for their plainness and simplicity? Well, they agree about the same as their conduct and doctrine do with the doctrines of that book. They are as much alike as heaven is like hell, or righteousness like iniquity. I would ask the readers of the Reveille, if they think J. C. Bennett believes the Book of Mormon. I think he does as much as he did when he wrote his Mormon Expose. If he has been acquainted with the Mormons as long and as intimately as he tells for, and has played the hypocrite so much with them, can we suppose him to be anything else now? and how long do you suppose he will continue to profess to believe? Probably until he and Strang shall quarrel about the game, as he did with the leaders at Nauvoo. -- Well, what next? -- a Mormon Expose, of course.

By express we have just received a long letter from brother John Hardy, of Boston, bringing us very important news. But as we are just ready for the press, we can only give an extract in this number:

"The church in Boston have disfellowshipped G. J. Adams, for immoral conduct, such as neglecting to preach the gospel, and in lieu thereof has become a play-actor; for teaching that fornication and adultery is justifiable under certain circumstances, and supporting secret societies, bound together by horrid oaths, which we suppose to be the Voree Covenant. The Church has by vote disfellowshipped every man and body of men, who are bound together by secret oaths.

"P. S. If you wish for the support of the Eastern churches, shun Wm. Smith as you would deadly poison. When Strang came East, if he had not been connected with such men as Wm. Smith, John C. Bennett, and G. J. Adams, he would have got ten to where he got one."

In relation to the story in the Reveille, that one hundred of the same have been ordered to Boston, brother Hardy says the Reveille has not ten subscribers in Boston. So much for the lieing Reveille.

Note 1: This second issue of the Walworth Co. New Era, appears to have been its last. Although some writers cite a third issue, for March, 1847, this and any subsequent numbers have thus far not been located for transcription.

Note 2: A much shorter, but essentially similar, account of the Voree "Illumination" was published in the Ottawa Free Trader during the fall of 1847. President James J. Strang responded to this paper's account, in an article he had published in the Dec. 23, 1847 issue of the Gospel Herald. In the Aug. 17, 1848 issue, Strang blamed the origin of the Free Trader story on William Smith. Smith traveled into Illinois, after the April, 1847 conference at Voree, in the company of Elder Uriel C. Nickerson, who probably related to him eye-witness details concerning the "Illumination."


Vol. II.                           Voree, W. T., February 18, 1847.                         No. 6.

"Truth  will  prevail."



This man has been a very prominent man in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and I for one, and I trust many of my brethren, feel much respect for him; and the question naturally arises, Will he come into the present organization of the church? Let us reason a little from analogy, and then form our conclusions. Sidney presided in the church as spokesman and councillor unto Joseph, like as Aaron did unto Moses. Sidney's power was to be mighty in expounding all scriptures, and Joseph a revelator unto him. -- D. and C. 94, 3. In Joseph's having a spokesman raised up unto him, all ancient prophecy was fulfilled, which is found recorded in the Book of Mormon. "I will raise up unto thy seed, &c., and will make for him a spokesman." Joseph the son of Jacob, was sure that a Moses would be raised up -- power given him in a rod, and a spokesman given him.... Joseph has been an instrument in the hands of God to bring forth his covenants, which shall be proclaimed, and go before the face of the Lord, to prepare the way before him. when he shall enter into his rest, and all his saints with him...

Moses' spokesman did not succeed him in the priesthood, as a leader of Israel. Then can we expect Joseph's spokesman to succeed him in leading the church to rest....

Moses led Israel out of Egypt, but Joshua led Israel into Canaan. Joseph led the church from the midst of darkness and spiritual Babylon, but it is left to James to lead it to peace and prosperity.
                                                  STEPHEN POST.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. II.                           Voree, W. T., February 25, 1847.                         No. 7.

"Truth  will  prevail."


The apostacy at Voree, of which the world has heard so much recently, had its beginning at the last April conference, and originated in disappointed ambition ratherthan in any real question as to the law of God. Nearly all the quorum of the twelve had been summoned to answer, before the first presidency, for various derelictions of duty. Among them John E. Page had appeared, and made full satisfaction, and the conference had voted unanimously to uphold and sustain him.

After this Collins Pemberton started the idea that Brother Page was not an apostle, nor even a member of the church. Aaron Smith and some others coincided with him, contending that no man could hold his standing in the church, in the future, unless he would be REBAPTIZED. after President Strang had spoken at length on the subject, the proposition was voted down. Still many adhered to that doctrine, and, among others, Aaron Smith carried it to the length of teaching that members gathering in from the branches, with regular testimonials, and who had always been in good standing, could not have no privilege in the church in Voree till they were baptized again...

President Strang's voice was always plainly given against this heresy, but they who held it were among the oldest members of the church, and at one time, it is believed, were quite in the majority. In the midst of this controversy Gen. Bennett arrived, and was restored to his standing by a unanimous vote of the church. Soon after which, by the most assiduous labours of himself, William Smith, and a few others, who had themselves been baptized, union and harmony were restored...

Pemberton and Carter had urged Aaron Smith to come out against the covenant of peace and fraternity, which he, with many of the brethren, had entered into; and stirred up his jealousy by pretending that Gen. Bennett was more consulted than he, as they had before, by making the same pretence about John E. Page and William Marks, until he had become the head of what was termed the Anti-Covenant party. Still those who were his especial friends, nearly all proposed to forego all opposition to the covenant if Gen. Bennett could be put down. But to all such propositions President Strang constantly referred them to the proper tribunals of the church, telling them that he must stand or fall by regular discipline. He (Gen. Bennett) himself came before the church and demanded of his defamers to bring him to trial, if they thought they could find any thing against them, but they refused to do so.

Nearly half of the High Council were of the Anti-Covenant party, and on the trials of Pemberton and Carter they gave their voices that they were guilty, and raised their hands to excommunicate them...

From that time forward they have occupied themselves constantly in inventing and repeating scandal on the elders of the church. Divided on all points but one -- they agree in putting every possible obstruction in the way of God's work, and are equally rejoiced whether they hear that a brother has turned to Brighamism, McLellinism, or infidelity, so [long] as he has left the true church. Certainly no apostates have ever laboured as faithfully to turn the hate of mankind on the prophet of God in particular, and Mormonism in general, as these. When they finally separated from the church, many who had previously acted with them, returned to the true fold, and only the more violent and desperate went out. Yet they have the hardihood to call themselves a church, and pretend that their Anti-Mormon placards are issued under the supervision of the high council. Only one single person (Jared Carter) who ever was a member of the high council acts with them, and only three persons who were ever members of the high council of a stake. Indeed they seemed quite dead among us till a few days since they got information that one of the branches in the east had ceased to meet, and an elder in high standing had left preaching for other business, when all is life among them, and they stirred about diligently to issue another Anti-Mormon paper.

==> When Gen. Bennett published his Expose he had no idea that it would ever be received as gospel by any body of men having the semblance of a church organization; but no sooner had we suggested the propriety of the pseudos extracting from its contents for their Anti-Mormon New Era, supplemental to the Western Star, than they congregated at the house of the notorious Isaac Scott, the traitor, and adopted it as their theological text book and gospel reflector, and Scott bore testimony to its unerring truth. Now if they will read homilies from the writings of Paine and Voltaire, and adopt Chivey Chase as their psalter, and walk with Heber C. Kimball's "preparation of the gospel of peace," (as Scott has set the example with his staff,) we will give them due credit for consistency. When men are infidels, as most of the pseudos are, either avowed or covert, we like to see them unfurl their banners to the breeze; but as the pseudos are bogus or spurious Mormons, they are hypocrites and we must look for them consequently to show false colors...

==> The libelous Anti-Mormon New Era, supplemental to the Western Star, (for February,) has just come to hand, with the LIBEL on its front of John Gaylord, Isaac Scott, and Robert Maltly, as editors -- when every body who knows them are aware that they are a set of stupids who cannot write a correct English sentence to save themselves from the gallows. The fact that the Tory Doctor Utter the rabid Anti-Masonic editor of their foster sheet -- the Western Star -- is the Era editor. Speaking of the personal illumination, symbolical or illustrative of the mental illumination by the Spirit, he says Gen. Bennett had a galvanic battery to operate upon phosphorus instead of oil! O profound chemist! Will ignorance and stupidity never cease? You had better enter school again, as you seem to be troubled with the simples. Do you suppose that even a novice in chemistry could not detect such a sophism? Such consummate folly requires no serious notice. It is a gull-trap of the Anti-Mormon party.

In this same paper Hazen Aldrich's name is again FORGED. He never signed the article which purports to be from the pseudo high council; but as FORGERY is one of their cardinal virtues we will let it pass. The saints now understand their knavery and abominable hypocracy.


It is with sorrow we read the following communication from Brother Nickerson, and we suppose it is but a fair average of wretchedness and woe throughout the whole of that infatuated people, led on to destruction by a set of base usurpers. Such accounts, however. do not at all surprise us: --

Brother Greenhow,
    I've just received a letter from my mother, in the Western Mormon Camp, dated Feb. 6th, 1847, detailing unparalleled sufferings. My father (Freeman Nickerson) died of exposure and suffering. Three others of our family, making four out of six, have fallen victims to this rash undertaking. And my mother, now 66 years of age, has been compelled to sleep on the open prairie, in the snow, without tent or bed. This is but the common tale of woe in all the camp.

Dear brother, is not this sufficient, with the many evidences we have of the sufferings of those who have gone west, to prove that God has rejected them -- See D. & C., page 400, 3d edition. Search then, to know the truth and obey it, as God will not be mocked. If Mormonism is true, then Joseph was a prophet, and if so, then his word is truth, and James is his lawful successor, as his word plainly proves.
                       U. C. H. NICKERSON.
Voree, Feb. 25, 1847.

We make the following extracts from two letters from President Adams, which have just come to hand; not, however, by express, as the truth-loving pseudos say they have received one from Boston, but by regular mail.

                                                      Great Falls, N. H., Feb. 5.
President Strang,
    My ever dear brother, I have not received a word from you for some time. I have been away from Boston for three weeks. I have been preaching in New Hampshire... Thousands are eager to hear the word of life in every direction, where Brighamism has never flourished -- but where it has flourished it has left a blight...

                                                              Monday, Feb. 7.
My dear brother, I preached yesterday to over one thousand people, three times; they listened with profound attention. I shall probably go to the capital of this state by next Sunday. I am very anxious to hear from you to know how matters and things are getting along. Where is Brother J. E. Page? What is he doing? Where is William Smith, what is he doing?

May God bless you, and give you great wisdom and uphold you, and may those that surround you be men of truth, or virtue, and of righteousness!

                      As ever believe me yours,
                             G. J. ADAMS.


                                                Knoxville, Feb. 10th, A. D. 1847.
Brother Strang: --

I have seen Miller's second rejoinder, and the faithful manner that Doctor Bennett and others have stood for the cause, calls on me to say a few words on the subject. I perfectly agree with General Bennett in his explanation of the charge made by Miller on the "ordination." I never told Mr. Miller that we had "ordained Mr. Strang," neither did my friend, Doctor Bennett, tell him so in my hearing. It is in my opinion a willful lie, tho' it is possible that Mr. Miller misunderstood, but it does not appear to me very probable, as the subject had been talked over often, and preached in public, and it was no secret or mystery that James J. Strang, the true prophet of God, was ordained by an angel of God. This, Mr. Miller is well aware of, and was before he denied the faith. I shall notice Mr. Miller at length as soon as I arrive in Voree, and I may relate some truths which will be quite interesting to him. At first I thought I would not notice him, but he has made entirely too free a use of my name for him to pass unwhipped of justice. It will take a more accomplished teacher than Reuben Miller to instruct me, or the true church, relative to the acts and teachings of my martyred brothers Joseph and Hyrum. In haste.
                                                Yours, &c.
                                                      WM. SMITH, Patriarch.

Note 1: In the above communication, William Smith speaks optimistically of the approaching day, when "I arrive in Voree." Events kept him close to Knox Co., Illinois, however, for the winter of 1846-47. With so much unrest in Nauvoo, his mother, Lucy Mack Smith, had sought temporary refuge in Knox Co., and William (who was evidently sick part of the time) remained with her or nearby throughout the late fall and winter. William's children may have also then been with him, or perhaps they were then in the care of their grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Joshua Grant, who lived a few miles away, at Altona, Knox Co., Illinois. For more on one of the probable benefactors of Mother Smith, during her temporary exile in Knox Co., see the letter of Elder Isaac Paden, in the May, 1846 issue of the Vorhee Herald.

Note 2: According to indications printed in Zion's Reveille, William Smith visited Voree for the spring, 1847 conference held there. William Smith was apparently in southern Wisconsin for the first three weeks of April, but, according to his own admission, William "left Voree on Tuesday the 20th... for Knoxville." Taking a leisurely route through Illinois, stopping in Lee and Bureau counties, by May 1st he was in Perkins Grove. By May 18, 1847, William had definitely arrived back in Knox Co., for he married Roxie Ann Grant (the younger sister of his deceased first wife) in that place on that date.


Vol. II.                           Voree, W. T., March 4, 1847.                         No. 8.

"Truth  will  prevail."


(From the Cincinnati Commercial.)

MORE OF SHARP. -- Sharp, of the Warsaw (Ills.) Signal, is just about half crazy. He fancies the Mormons are the most desperate animals on the face of creation. If he were in a forest, where the sight of beasts, formidable to excess, came frequently to pass, he would still cry "Mormon!" Nothing startles his shackled nerves like that word. Doubtless the echoes play it for him while his hair dances mad as a sign of his terror. We [pity] this fellow being -- this disturbed "Sucker" -- we do. In his last Signal he states that Bennett, one of the Voree Mormons, wrote a letter to this paper, &c., &c. Now, how does Mr. Sharp know our correspondents? Why just as he knows so many other things destitute of foundation. We tell this knowing gentleman -- this frightened Sucker, that our correspondents are beyond his reach. Now Sharp knows he slanders the people of Voree when he calls them "knaves." Dupes they undoubtedly are, but we learn from our correspondents that the Mormons at Voree are very sober, orderly persons. So much for Sharp's last.

Note: Thomas S. Sharp's harsh words, against one of the "correspondents" (John C. Bennett) of the Cincinnati Daily Commercial, were inspired by the letter which appeared in that paper on Feb. 24, 1846. See also Bennett's reporting in the Commercial, during Nov., 1846.


Vol. II.                           Voree, W. T., March 11, 1847.                         No. 9.

"Truth  will  prevail."


                                               Michigantown, Feb. 27, 1847.
Dear Sirs,
    Though you are strangers to us, yet you are near and dear to many faithful saints in this vicinity, who are beginning to acknowledge the claims of our worthy brother and highly esteemed friend, James J. Strang, though some in this vicinity have been hurt with a blaze of Rigdon's folly, and that of others, yet they are firm in the faith of primitive Mormonism, and we rejoice exceedingly to hear of your great success and prosperity in the west. I might justly be charged with ingratitude by my faithful brethren was I to neglect making some apology for not writing you sooner. Soon after I wrote to B. C. Elsworth, the high waters washed the bridges away to that degree that it was impossible for the mails to pass... The brethren here will universally be ready to do all they possibly can towards establishing peace and righteousness on the face of the earth. I must close, with all my respects to all inquiring friends.
                                                               JAMES W. COOPER.


The pseudos say, (see New Era 'on priesthood') that Joseph was made president by the joint act of God and the church, and after a few years was cut off for his corruptions. That God then took the matter solely into his own hands, and made James president, but that in less than two years he lost his authority by transgression. So God has finally put the whole power of making presidents into the hands of the people, to the end that better men may be selected, who will not thus transgress. They will choose better men, doubtless. When they once agree at what time from 1834 to 1844 Joseph fell, we can make a fair estimate how long a president will be likely to stand, who has his appointment solely from men, without any interference on the part of higher powers.


                                               Laporte, Feb. 10, 1847.
Brother Adams,
    Sir, I received your letter in answer to my last. I was glad to hear from you. I had heard from Voree often by way of the paper "Mormon Doings," and also the "New Era," so called, which have been sent into this section...

Aaron Smith has been reporting through the country that Brother Strang's course has been such, that you are obliged to leave Voree, or be mobbed away; he thinks Brother Strang very wicked, that he will not let him (Smith) have the plates, inasmuch as Strang has fallen. He says Strang has not had a revelation since he turned him off, but he (Smith) has had several. He makes me think of Martin Harris, who says that Joseph went to the devil as soon as he would not let him rule, for the Lord showed him one hundred times as much as he did Joseph. That he has taught the church all they know about the things of God, and if Strang does not let him dictate the church will go to the devil, and Strang with it. I do not want to go to the heaven that either Smith or Harris will lead men to with their spirit that they have present. If Martin Harris ever knew any thing about the principles of the gospel he has lost that knowledge, or I never had any. Either Harris or myself are decidedly wrong.     Your brother,
                                                LESTER BROOKS.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. II.                           Voree, W. T., March 18, 1847.                         No. 10.

"Truth  will  prevail."

(For Zion's Reveille.)

                                                               Kirtland, Feb. 13, 1847.
Astonishing facts! thrilling incidents! Ho! all ye professed saints of these the last days, who inhabit the land of Joseph (America) hearken... For, lo a voice is heard in Kirtland... Whose name, in our tongue, is William E. McLellin... And behold this is his testimony -- that the prophet was fallen and lost his priesthood before 1835. That the authority of the church ceased when it was denominated the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. But that he has retained his, although he resigned his office, denied the prophet, made war with the saints, carried his priesthood through his campaign in the Methodist church, the church called the Bride the Lamb's Wife; hiding up the Record of Joseph, (the Book of Mormon) on which his priesthood was first predicated... Now, this mighty angel of whom I write, was made an apostle of Joseph Smith, in 1835, but died in 1836, and was raised up from the dead on the 2d day of January 1847... Now the history of his body during the interval between his death and resurrection was on this wise. His body was first interred, after his death, in the land of Indiana, thence it was removed to the land of Missouri, about 25 miles from Far West, the city of the saints, from thence it was carried to the land of Illinois, and was buried in a Methodist sepulcher; it was next removed to West Buffalo, Iowa, and laid in a new tomb, that was hewn out by G. M. Hinkle, called the Bride the Lamb's Wife; it was transported from thence by steam boat navigation to Hampton, Illinois, and deposited safely in the same place in which it was when in the Methodist tomb; it was borne from thence in a carriage to the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where it was washed in the waters of the river, and then laid in Sidney Rigdon's splendid tomb. It was next found in the land of the gentiles -- Shalersville, Ohio, where it was visited by a messenger, who inspired it with signs of returning life; from thence it was conveyed to Kirtland... The word of the Lord was, that it was their privilege to go and be baptized anew into the church of Christ; and lo! on Saturday evening the waters of the Chagrin were permitted the privilege of receiving the consecrated bodies of four holy men into its bosom. Yea, men who had not defiled their priesthood! to wit, the angel himself first, to fulfil all righteousness, next Martin Harris, next Leonard Rich, the president of the stake, and Councillor Aaron were baptized -- perhaps for the remission of their sins, for having borne witness that they knew that J. J. Strang was a prophet of the Lord by revelation... we aninimously subscribe ourselves

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. II.                           Voree, W. T., March 25, 1847.                         No. 11.

"Truth  will  prevail."

SEPTEMBER 18th, 1845

My people are no more. The mighty are fallen, and the young slain in battle. Their bones bleached on the plain by the noonday shadow. The houses are leveled to the dust, and in the moat are the walls. They shall be inhabited.

I have in the burial served them, and their bones in the Death-shade, towards the sun's rising, are covered. They sleep with the mighty dead, and they rest with their fathers. They have fallen in transgression and are not, but the elect and faithful there shall dwell.

The word hath revealed it. God hath sworn to give an inheritance to his people where transgressors perished. The word of God came to me while I mourned in the Death-shade, saying, I will avenge me on the destroyer. He shall be driven out. Other strangers shall inhabit thy land. I an ensign there will set up. The escaped of my people there shall dwell when the flock disown the Shepherd and build not on the Rock.

The forerunner men shall kill, but a mighty prophet there shall dwell. I will be his strength, and he shall bring forth thy record. Record my words, and bury it in the Hill of Promise.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. II.                           Voree, W. T., April 1, 1847.                         No. 12.

"Truth  will  prevail."


On the 6th day of April, 1847, the Annual Conference assembled at Voree.

Opened by singing. Prayer by President Strang.

Resolved, unanimously, that the person present at any conference of this church, holding the highest priesthood and office therein, preside as a matter of right, whereupon President James J. Strang took the chair.

President Strang called the general church clerk to serve as clerk, John W. Crane, was appointed assistant clerk.

President Strang read a message to the conference. (This will be published hereafter.)

The message being under consideration, so much thereof as refers to the standing of the members and counsellors of the First Presidency was referred to J. E. Page, J. M, Adams, and Jehiel Savage. So much thereof as refers to the quorum of the Twelve was referred to James J. Strang, Wm. Marks, John C. Bennett, and Wm. Smith. So much as refers to the standing of the presidents of the several quorums, was referred to a committee of five. So much thereof as relates to church property was referred to a committee of three. So much thereof as relates to the time of holding conferences was referred to a committee of three.


Opened by singing. Prayer by John E. Page.

Jehiel Savage preached on the gospel.

President Strang announced the following committees: --

On presidents -- J. M. Adams, D. Avery, J. W. Crane, J. E. Page, and Benjamin Wright.

On church property -- Wm. Marks, J. E. Page, and J. W. Crane.

On time of holding conferences -- Wm. Smith, John Greenhow, and Jehiel Savage...



Dear Brethren in the Church of Christ. Ministers of the New Covenant, -- I congratulate you, at this your assembling together, on the special favours God has shown you over all other people, in these times of oppression, bloodshed and ungodliness. That though you are not free from some share of these miseries, yet you are not ignorant of the straight gate into the kingdom of God, and he has not left you to the uncovenanted mercies of the judge of all the earth. As there is no God but our God; who is just, merciful and true, and as unto us alone, of all people, He has given a dispensation of His Kingdom, in these last days; and renewed unto us, in the end of time, the promises which he swore unto Abraham, covenanted unto Isaac, and confirmed unto Jacob. So upon us is cast the highest responsibility, and at our hands will be exacted the most fearful account, if, by any means we come short of the requirements of our God, and fill not the measure of the stewardship which he has committed unto us.

To this end that we may fill the measure of our calling; exercise in faith, charity, patience, and long-suffering, the authority of our several priesthoods; render accounts of faithful stewardship; bring in everlasting righteousness, receive the kingdom of God, and enter into his rest; it is pre-eminently necessary that the church be all joined together in perfect order, in all its parts, members, quorums, presidencies, priesthoods and authorities. That these be made up of men sound in the faith; of good report among the just and honourable; apt to teach; vigilant in the work of God; lovers of God more than of themselves, and of the church more than earthly possessions.

Such an organization I have earnestly sought to accomplish, since God called me to the ministry, as president of his church, and to speak his word unto his people. At the beginning of my administration, I found myself embarrassed by a very general apostacy, many of the most influential members of the church -- a large portion of whom had been filled with a spirit quite different to the spirit of Christianity, in all ages of the world -- seeking to exercise unlawful power over their brethren; to enrich themselves by unjust means; and to indulge their licentious passions under the sanction of a perversion of the word of God.

In carrying out purposes so wicked, a majority of the quorum [of] the twelve, soon after the death of the prophet Joseph, assumed [to] that quorum the power to "dictate all the affairs of the church in [all] the world," nor under the Presidency, but INDEPENDENT of it. To sustain such an assumption, they proceeded to excommunicate all who stood in their way, or opposed their usurpation, not by the actions of any regular tribunals, but by a series of the most flagrant, unprecedented, and unjust acts of discipline that have ever been heard of among men professing the name of Christ: condemning men mostly without trials, frequently without one word of evidence against them. and some times on charges of virtuous rather than vicious acts. In the course of this usurpation they have attempted to establish many practices contrary to the spirit of our holy religion, and in direct denigration of some of the most explicit declarations of the word of God, constantly justifying every act of wickedness by saying that Joseph so taught them; and as often as they attempted to establish an abominable heresy, pretending that God had revealed it to Joseph, and thus by building up their errors on the confidence the saints had in the martyred prophet, they have given strength to heresies which could not otherwise have been maintained a single day, and at the same time affixed a stain upon his fame which time and truth must struggle long to efface. Faults he doubtless had, being a man of like passions with others: but those who attempt to establish error by the prostitution of his name, with those who seek to establish themselves by parading his frailties, real or pretended, before the public, are alike rejected of God, and will alike be brought to shame.

In the Presidency I am assisted by George J. Adams and William Marks, who stands as coadjutor to Joseph Smith, and a counselor in the presidency, William Smith is Patriarch, and, with John C. Bennett, is a member of the council in the sittings of the First Presidency.

Of the quorum of the twelve, who were in office at the beginning of my ministry, John E. Page and William Smith have abided in the faith, and stand as faithful witnesses of the Lord Jesus Christ. All the others, because they kept not their first estate, (like ten of the twelve whom Moses sent before Israel, into the land of Canaan) are cast out, and rejected of God. Some of their places are regullarly filled, and it is desireable that, if possible, the quorums be filled at this conference. Jehiel Savage, Moses Smith, James M. Adams, Lester Brooks, Wm. E. McLellin, and Samuel Bennett, have been ordained to this quorum. Benjamin C. Ellsworth has also received an appointnent, since leaving here, but has not been ordained. William E. McLellin, since his ordination, has departed from the faith, and disclaimed his apostleship...

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. II.                           Voree, W. T., April 15, 1847.                         No. 13.

"Truth  will  prevail."

For Zion's Reveille.

I had the chance of reading Wm. E. McLellin's first number of his monthly periodical, which seems to be very minute in some particulars. His memory ought to be jogged a little, however, for he ought not to leave out so much weighty matter which might prove interesting to his readers, so I will help him a little, for two heads are better than one. He will remember a poor man of the name of Ebenezer Page, who never had a charge preferred against him yet, though he has belonged to the church of Christ sixteen years. He had his endowment in Kirtland, and went up to Far West the following season, and there buried his wife the 19th of the following July, while in the most destitute of circumstances. The following June he married Hannah Peck, a poor widow, who lost all she had in Jackson Co., Missouri, at the time the church was driven from Independence...

But in the midst of the troubles at Far West, Wm. E. McLellin, and an associate undertook to collect Dr. William's debts, and remembering the circumstances of Brother Page's boy made a demand of five dollars. William E. McLellin was soon afterwards found in the midst of thousands, insisting on a surender of the saints, and the redoubtable William was attached to Bogard's company, and, harlequin like, decorated with red patches on his hat, shoulders, arms, &c. After the saints had surrendered, they were compelled to sign away all their possessions to defray the expenses of what they called the Mormon War. William was the leader of a clan who went about from house to house, plundering the poor saints... But I could not at this time write one-eighth of our miseries and privations. Now, William, who will foot the bill for all this loss and trouble that you have made me when I never laid a straw in your way, only refused to pay you five dollars which I never owed either you or any other man. In your periodical you tell quite a pitiful story about O. Cowdery, D. Whitmer, and others, how they had to leave their homes and comfortable fire-sides, and wander all night. I suppose your heart was melted into a lullaby. William, it does not seem that you ever dreamt that I and others had feelings as well as those two men over whom your heart is bleeding...

Seeing you are the first president of the church, I think you would do well to confess your sins. Now, William, if you will do that I will stand with one foot in Warsaw and the other in Kirtland, and swear by him that rules Aaron Smith, that Tom Sharp and the devil shall preside no longer. Then when Joseph and Hyrum comes to be judged before him that rules in Kirtland, they will call for their old hat and cap to hide them from Wm. E. McLellin. But before that day shall come, Jacob (Bump) shall flourish in the wilderness, and the barren deserts shall be (Lenord) Rich, and all this at the voice of him who was resurrected, according the the account of our much beloved brother, Scrutator.
                                         EBENEZER PAGE.

==> John Greenhow has resigned his office and membership in the church.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. II.                           Voree, W. T., April 22, 1847.                         No. 14.

"Truth  will  prevail."


                                                 Perkins Grove, May 1, 1847.
Dear Brother Greenhow,

It being a little stormy today, I gladly sit down to commune with you a few minutes, and inform you that the work of our God is still onward in these parts, and through the different places I have passed since conference. The saints begin again to feel a renewed interest in the cause. I left Voree on Tuesday the 20th, in company with Elders Nickerson and Shippi, for Knoxville. We called on Brother Robinson, near Pleasant Grove. Stayed over night, and preached at attentive hearers in that neighborhood, and remained one day through the storm, and when we left there was good prospects of some bring baptized into the church, and some who have for a long time been faltering between two opinions, was strengthened in the faith. "The pure testimony will cut its way through." We called on President Marks, and found him strong on the faith of the gospel -- tarried with him all night. We fell in with a family at Paw Paw Grove, who were formerly members of the church, and gave them a word of comfort, and I think the Lord will gather them into his fold, for there are some excellent spirits there. Here we saw a sister from the Brighamite camp. Nothing much from these runaway apostates, only that the main body are not permitted to move over the mountains until peace is declared with Mexico. On Sunday evening we preached at this place, Brother Tourtlott, presiding high priest, assisted by Elders Nickerson and Shippi, and Brother Landers. On Monday I had the pleasure of leading four persons into the water, and address them as worthy members of the church of Christ. Thus you see the Lord is still at work in this land, and the gospel is being preached with power and demonstration of the Holy Spirit. To-morrow I have another appointment, and it is expected that there will be a greater gathering of the people, and I think it probable that more will come forward for baptism. Great is the call for preaching. One hundred elders could be well employed in this region of country. Pray, therefore, that the Lord of the harvest will send more faithful laborers into his vineyard, to gather up the wheat.

I rejoice evermore in the great work of God, and with an anxious heart I look forward to the day when it shall spread forth from the rivers to the ends of the earth; and when Zion shall put on her beautiful garments and rest in peace.   Amen.

I am, as ever, your friend and brother in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ.
                                                WILLIAM SMITH,

(Brother Smith makes some remarks, and exhorts the elders not to buy, or encourage the sale of the books published by the Brighamite leaders, as he says they contain many errors, and false doctrine, and some of them have been boted down at a general conference in the days of Joseph. We, however, believe that whatever truth they may have published is as true as if it had been published by the greatest saint that ever lived; and while the elders continue humble they will be able to detect the error. On these grounds we have declined publishing his observations on that subject.)

Note: The stretch of countryside located between the home of Elder William Marks in Shabonna Grove, De Kalb Co., Illinois and the village of Perkins Grove, Bureau Co., Illinois, comprised much of the eastern half of Lee County. Here lived William Smith's Hale, Wasson and Backenstos relatives and it was from this same Perkins Grove that William wrote his Sept. 24, 1846 denunciations of the "Brighamite Mormons." This region would indeed prove to be a fruitful vineyard for William Smith's evangelizing efforts -- but not until after he parted company with Strang's church. Less than ten miles north of Perkins Grove, in Lee Co., was the burgeoning hamlet of Palestine Grove. Here, in the months that followed his Oct., 1847 excommunication from the Strangites, William Smith, Thomas Tourtillott, John Landers and others would establish the "Palestine Stake of Zion," the headquarters of William Smith's short-lived church.


Vol. II.                           Voree, W. T., June 1, 1847.                         No. 15.

"Truth  will  prevail."


The matter for this paper having been nearly made up before the return of President Strang, from Beaver Islands, precludes the possibility of an extended notice of his mission in the present number. Suffice it for the present to say that, accompanied by a small party of brethren, he has thoroughly explored nearly all the Islands, in lake Michigan, and commenced a permanent settlement of the saints on Big Beaver Island, under the most favourable auspices. The advantages of that and the adjacent Islands for settlement are far greater than we anticipated, furnishing, as they do a large amount of land of superior quality for agricultural purposes, an abundant supply of the best timber, and surrounded by the most extensive island fisheries in the world. The Islands are healthy, well watered, have extensive Indian clearings, waiting for occupants, a superior water power, and by their fisheries, wooding of stream beds, and the various occupations growing out of these, furnish every year employ for some hundred men called in from distant places by the high wages paid. A full account of the islands will appear in our next.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. II.                           Voree, W. T., July 8, 1847.                         No. 16.

"Truth  will  prevail."


...Motioned and carried unanimously, that the following named brethren be ordained High Priests: --

George Brownson, J. L. Griffin, Benjamin G. Wright, Thomas Tourtillott, Ebenezer Leonard and John Archer: they were ordained accordingly.

Phinley Page was also ordained a High Priest, and appointed a member of the High Council of the Stake at Voree.

On motion of Pres. Strang, and carried unanimously, John W. Crane was ordained and anointed the first Bishop of the Church under the hands of the first Presidency.

At the request of Elder Wm. Smith and the sanction of the Conference, he (Smith) was discontinued as a member of the traveling High Council or Twelve Apostles.

Elder Wm. Smith was sustained by the sanction of the Conference in the office of Patriarch to the church, as his legal right by lineage.

On motion, and carried unanimously, that the following named brethren of the quorum of the Twelve Apostles, be appointed to take missions as follows: --

John Greenhow, Wm. Smith, (patriarch,) and John E. Page (if his circumstances will admit) go on a mission to England...

JOHN C. BENNETT has been removed from all official standing in the church, for the following reasons: -- 1st. Suppressing letters addressed to Pres. Strang. 2d. Giving instructions to the Saints, purporting to be by the authority of the First Presidency, which were entirely unauthorized, and directly contrary to their known instructions and settled policy. 3d. Teaching unsound doctrine.   JAMES J. STRANG.
  Voree, June 7th, 1847.

Note 1: It seems incredible that the demonstrably power-hungry William Smith would have willingly allowed the conference to remove him from J. J. Strang's Council of Twelve. Although it might be argued that accepting the change in his status was merely a temporary ploy, initiated by William, to avoid serving a mission in distant England, the truth of the change was probably somewhat more deleterious. What seems likely is that a rift developed between Strang and Smith at the spring conference, due more to matters of authority and prestige than to problems of theology or morality. In an unexplained compromise between the two men, William managed to retain his Patriarchal seat (as his "legal right by lineage"), while he lost his apostleship (due to an unspecified "sanction of the Conference"). Strang delayed publication of this section of the conference minutes, perhaps hoping that some better resolution of the unstated problems could be worked out. However, by July 8th, he was resigned to the fact that he had to admit dropping Smith as an apostle and dropping Elders John Greenhow and John C. Bennett altogether. In the weeks that followed Strang would offer a few hints as to why he carried out this high-level purge of his officials, but he never spelled out the story in any detail. Messrs. Smith, Greenhow and Bennett would not again be mentioned with tolerance or friendliness in the pages of Strang's publications.

Note 2: Either during or right after Strang's April, 1847 conference at Voree, William Smith was charged with adultery. The circumstances which led to this accusation were, that during his first visit to Voree, in July of 1846, William had kept intimate company with a woman (perhaps a married female member of Strang's group) to whom he was not married, (evidently these informal charges are mentioned in the collection of Strang documents in the Yale University "Coe Collection"). John C. Bennett reportedly testified in favor of William's innocence, but by June 7th Bennett was himself disfellowshipped and effectively expelled from Strang's movement. Without Bennett's surreptitious encouragement, probably no other witnesses were willing to testify in William's behalf.


Vol. II.                           Voree, W. T., July 22, 1847.                         No. 18.

"Truth  will  prevail."


By our exchanges we learn that the Brighamite agents in Nauvoo have sold the Temple to the "Roman Catholics" for "$75,000." We feel it is a duty we owe to the public, to say, do not burn your fingers. They that purchase property belonging to the "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints" of any other agents but those who act under the Presidency of James J. Strang, the only legal successor of Pres. Joseph Smith of said Church, will undoubtedly buy a law suit, and consequently a bill of cost of the loss of their money.

As far as the law and power of mobocracy is concerned in keeping us out of the possession of our legal rights, we have nothing to say or predict. But so far as our legal rights are concerned, we fear not; we know what we are about in this matter, MARK THAT, AND BE CAUTIOUS! We have said it before, and say it again emphatically, that James J. Strang is the only man on earth that can sustain the claims of successorship to Joseph Smith as President of the church above named, before any earthly tribunal.   [Ed.


Nothing is more certain than that the sexes are born into the world (as a general thing) equal in numbers. So provided in the wisdom of God that, as a general thing, one of each sex can enjoy the society of a companion of the opposite sex; so that the great design of God in the creation of man can be carried out on just and equitable principles of mercy and justice, under the form of a free and equitable government. Whereas polygamy can only be sustained in an arbitrary or despotic government. We will illustrate our idea by a figure of twenty persons, ten males and ten females, which will represent the case of all mankind in general.

In the case of ten males and ten females, if one man should have two or three wives as a matter of course there would be one or two men who could not have any, for the grand reason that there would not be any to be had, in case all the rest had one a-piece.

It is a well known fact that the three principal sources of life are the improvement of the soil, minerals and the timbers. Should any government whatever adopt and sustain the practice of polygamy, it would of necessity be compelled to enact coercive laws to enforce the collection of a grievous taxation of those who had neither wife, wives or progeny, to sustain those who might have many.

Such an order of things would inevitably throw a portion of mankind into a state of mental servitude, as much to be regretted as the condition of the slaves of the southern States. That there is an attempt to introduce such an order of things in some regions of the west, is too well known to be denied by the intelligent part of the community, in the western part of the country beyond the Mississippi river. The those who are under the influence of what is falsely called "the camp of Israel" read, take the hint, and beware.   [Ed.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. II.                           Voree, W. T., July 29, 1847.                         No. 19.

"Truth  will  prevail."

For Zion's Reveille.

                                                Voree, July 20, 1847.
To the Editor:

Dear Bro. -- Thinking it would not be amiss to give you a short account of our mission to the Brighamite camp, falsely called "the camp of Israel," we shall give you a few outlines of our travels and success in that quarter,

We started from Voree on the 20th of April last, in company with Bro. Wm. Smith, and preached near Pleasant Grove, in Bro. Robinson's neighborhood. There has been a number baptized since we left there. We arrived at Perkins' Grove on Sunday and preached on Sunday and Monday, and Bro. Wm. Smith baptized four, and we had a good time; the spirit of the Lord was manifest in our midst, and more were believing and almost ready to be baptized. -- We left Bro. Smith there and proceeded on our journey to Nauvoo, preaching by the way. We visited the City, and the Temple in particular. We found the city to be one desolate waste. The fair city that was once populated with fifteen thousand souls is now broken down and but few inhabitants in it, the houses and fences torn down and broken up and but a few of the best of them remain, and the worst state of society we ever saw. From thence we proceeded on our way to the Charaton river in Iowa, 130 miles distant, on the track of the Brighamite camp. Many of the camp are scattered in every direction, and their sufferings are beyond the power of our pen to describe. Hundreds on hundreds have dissented from the Brighamite usurpation, and are leaving for other counties and places more congenial to civilized customs and moral habits, and seek their bread for their suffering innocent women and children.

According to the best information we could get, one-fourth of the whole camp have died off. After the battle at Nauvoo, in the small company that started with father Nickerson there has ten of the company died, and father Nickerson was one of the number. While he was sick a boy aged 13 years died in father Nickerson's shanty, of twelve feet square, and laid ten days before he was buried, for the reason of there not being well persons enough to bury him. We were informed that many of them were buried without coffins, some in boxes, some in barks and some without any material but the cold earth to enclose them.

Good evidence of people of our acquaintance, that we cannot doubt, state that George Miller, one of the principal Bishops, has dissented and left the camp with two-thirds of his pioneer company. And others have left, some in one direction and some in another. _______ Emmitt has also left.

There has a negro prophet risen up in the camp and pretends to work with a rod, like those of old, and is drawing away many after him. After we arrived at Charaton river we preached many times, and some believed in the appointment of James J. Strang to be the true and legal successor to Joseph Smith in the prophetic office, and were baptized and agreed to go with us to Voree; in consequence of which our lives and property was immediately sought, there being men appointed in the Brighamite organization for that particular purpose, to confiscate the property of those that dissent from their despotic cruelty. Under those circumstances we deemed it not proper for both of us to leave that place at the same time. -- Accordingly Bro. Shippy agreed to go on to Garden Grove and Mount Pisgah, while Bro. Nickerson stayed at Charaton river to take care of the property.

The Brighamites in Garden Grove and at Pisgah forbid their members going to hear the adherents of James J. Strang preach. -- They sent men around to every family in Garden Grove and forbid them hearing or harboring a Strangite, and threatened the life of Bro. Shippy in different places; yet they had to hear him privately and many believed.

We started for Voree with mother Nickerson in the company, on the 10th of June. We preached by the way many times, and many believed the truth. We visited Nauvoo on our return, with the company we had gathered by the way.

We visited the Prophet Joseph's Mother, found her recovering in health and firm in the gospel, living in her own house with her children at Nauvoo. Many reports have gone abroad that she was going west, but she told us she had no thought of going. -- We visited Emma Smith (the Prophet's widow) and found her firm in the faith; that her husband wrote or dictated the writing of the letter of James J. Strang's appointment to the Prophetic office, and has not changed her mind. She believes in the Bible, the Book of Mormon and the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, and the established claims of Joseph, and also of James J. Strang to be beyond successful contradiction. All who investigate these matters thoroughly must admit them to be true. We visited the Temple and found it much injured in many parts, and the letters on the pulpits broken off. The report has gone abroad that the Temple was sold to the Roman Catholics, but on enquiry we found that it had only been offered for sale to them by the Brighamite agents, but not sold. We visited many of the citizens and showed them that these agents mentioned had no power to give a legal title to it, as time will clearly show, by the law of the land.

We arrived in Voree on the 17th inst., with a company of 22 souls, 7 wagons, 50 head of cattle and 5 head of horses. There are many more families expected soon from that quarter.
                                        With due respect,
                                                URIEL C. H. NICKERSON.
                                                JOHN SHIPPY.

Note 1: LDS High Priest Freeman Nickerson died on Jan, 12, 1847, at Chariton River Crossing, Iowa Territory. Uriel Nickerson (1810-1888) was his fifth child with Huldah Chapman Nickerson. Despite her husband's unhappy passing and her son's Strangite (and later RLDS) connections, Mother Nickerson eventually made it to Utah, where she died in 1860. Elder John Shippy also moved from the Strangites, into the Reorganization, served there for nearly a decade as an apostle, but was excommunicated from that group in 1868, for "misconduct, involving gross violations of the moral law, and the discipline of the church."

Note 2: According to Elders Nickerson and Shippy, they visited with "the Prophet Joseph's Mother" at Nauvoo, at an unspecified date between June 10, 1847 and July 17, 1847 -- probably at the beginning of July. By that time she had returned from her temporary exile in Knox. County, and was "living in her own house with her children," two or more of her daughters. History does not record whether any of Lucy Mack Smith's family (other than her son, the groom) attended William Smith's marriage to Roxie Ann Grant, in Knox County, on May 18, 1847.


Vol. II.                           Voree, W. T., August 5, 1847.                         No. 20.

"Truth  will  prevail."


Our eyes and ears are sometimes saluted with communications from abroad that are [from] persons who profess to be adherents to Pres. J. J. Strang, who are privately teaching and some practicing what is called the "western camp doctrine," or, in other words, "spiritual wifery" or polygamy. We also hear that there are some persons who do Pres. Strang. the injustice to say that he justifies the principle above stated.

This is to say emphatically, and we mean just what we say, and if our course in the future does not prove us true in this matter then let that execration rest on us, that is due to such a course of conduct, that we believe ourself to be as much ingratiated into the confidence of Pres. Strang as any other man. (This we say without egotism, merely to discharge a moral duty.)

We have talked yours, yea, even days with Pres. Strang on the subject of the temporal and moral condition and character of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and we find to our utmost satisfaction that he does not believe in or cherish the doctrine of polygamy in any manner, shape or form imaginable whatever.

Whatever corruptions that may have crept into the church before Pres. Strang's administration, he should not be held accountable for. And to think, or say, that he by this time ought to have fully redeemed the church from those egregious excesses into which she has in a greater or less degree been plunged by usurpers is unreasonable, and more, it is uncharitable, and does not saver of the true faith or brotherly kindness.

The letter of the law of the church will be the track of Pres. Strang and his associate authorities to pursue. We cannot act against any member on mere report. On charges legally preferred we will act up to the letter of our duty, as the law directs. No minor authority in the church can excommunicate any of the major authorities. But any member of the church can prefer a charge before the proper tribunals, to try any person of the church. Should any of the Twelve or High Priests, or others transgress the laws of the church in any part of the earth, let those aggrieved take the gospel steps with them promptly and you shall be heard. It is strange indeed to see the course that some are weak enough to pursue, which us this -- to stand still and neglect their own duty merely because somebody else does, or because somebody does wrong. We wish all such persons would repent. For our part we wish this church to be built up of "lively stones," not dead ones.

Pres. Strang or ourself will not hold ourselves in duty bound to take cognizance of things that pertain to the conduct of others that take place altogether out of the reach of our observation, only as it is made our duty by a due course of legal proceedings. ... [LDS scriptural references on the subject follow]

The above is the faith of the church on the topic of Marriage, and subjects connected therewith; any willful deviation from those laws will not be indulged in any person that comes under our ecclesiastical jurisdiction.   JOHN. E. PAGE.
                        Pres. of the Twelve,

Note: Although John E. Page does not here make the precise admission that one of "The Twelve" in the Strangite church was being charged with polygamy or adultery, he certainly does open the way for any member to bring such charges and supporting evidence before the very highest officials in the organization. Given the fact that William Smith had, in April, been dropped from Page's Twelve, without any clear explanation of why, the stage is here set for further disclosures and developments in that mysterious matter. Critics from outside the Mormon ranks (and even from within) had for years accused William Smith of practicing some form of "spiritual wifery." Similar charges had been brought against William at Voree, in April of 1847 -- now, it seems, J. J. Strang no longer had any interest in trying to protect William from those damning accusations.


Vol. II.                           Voree, W. T., August 12, 1847.                         No. 21.

"Truth  will  prevail."


==> Elder John E. Page has referred me to an article in No. 20 addressed "To the Saints -- Greeting." In the remarks he has there made he has justly and truly represented my sentiments. I am only astonished that it should be necessary to state them at all. Within three years I have, in the work of ministry, traveled over 16,000 miles, visited all the States north of the Carolinas but three, most of them several times -- preached to large congregations in all the principal cities and in most of the large branches in the country: I have uniformly and most distinctly discarded and declared heretical the so called "spiritual wife system" and every thing connected therewith. It is a well known fact that several men of talent and influence have separated from me and the church of God, merely because I would not in any manner countenance such a doctrine. One of them, Reuben Miller, has, in a pamphlet extensively circulated, given as a reason for separating from the church and becoming a Brighamite that I do not believe in the "spiritual wife system." I have recently refused to ordain a man to a high & responsible office, altho a warm personal friend, and after he had been sustained by the unanimous vote of a general conference, for no other reason than that it was discovered that he believed in "spiritual wifery." I now say distinctly, and I defy contradiction, that the man or woman does not exist on earth or under the earth who ever heard me say one word, or saw me do one act, savoring in the least of spiritual wifery, or any of the attending abominations. My opinions on this subject are unchanged, and I regard them as unchangeable. -- They are established on a full consideration of All the scriptures, both ancient and modern, and the discipline of the church Shall conform thereto. But I do not profess to be omniscient, and if any are found in this fault, not in my presence, it is necessary that those who know the facts present them to the proper council, and attend to it. If, like many I know of, when a brother finds others in this sin he renounces the prophet and denies the faith, or like others Stands Still, HIS damnation is sure. I know little difference between the heresy in the one case or the other.
                      JAMES J. STRANG.
                                  Pres. of the Church.
Voree, Aug. 6th, 1847.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. II.                           Voree, W. T., August 26, 1847.                         No. 23.

"Truth  will  prevail."


... Eve having been deceived and induced to eat of the forbidden fruit, by means of which she not only brought death on herself, but a change in her nature and an "inevitable separation from her husband, precluding the possibility of being fruitful and multiplying. Adam, who was not deceived, chose with a full knowledge of the consequences to eat with her and share her fate, that he might beget children, and THUS ONLY HE FELL THAT MEN MIGHT BE.

==> It becomes our painful duty to give public notice that William Smith, the Patriarch, has been sometime since suspended, pending a trial on charges of gross immorality.

Note 1: The editor's juxtapositioning of William Smith's suspension notice, alongside the story of Eve's seduction and inducement "to eat of the forbidden fruit," produces a most uncanny effect, even for the most unimaginative reader. While Messrs. Strang and Page probably did not intend to present a one-to-one equivalence of Eve, the serpent, and Adam with any particular members of the Voree community, their printing of these two texts, one next to the other, effectively absolves the husband of any woman unvirtuously associated with Patriarch William Smith, from any special blame -- even if that unnamed husband allowed the adulterous affair to continue for some time unreported to church officials.

Note 2: The fact that Strang chose to draw out his separation from William Smith, through a series of small steps, taken over several months, probably indicates that he was very reluctant to lose William and the extended Smith family from the Voree church. Could the private correspondence that passed between the two men during the summer of 1847 be recovered and scrutinized, it is more than likely that Strang was therein suggesting ways and making offers whereby William could remain within the Strangite organization, occupying a relatively high position in the church's leadership. Although various evidences of immorality on William's part provided J. J. Strang with sufficient ammunition to remove William Smith, it is doubtful that Strang eventually cut his Patriarch off from the church, simply because of the man's involvement in "spiritual wifery."


Vol. II.                           Voree, W. T., September 9, 1847.                         No. 25.

"Truth  will  prevail."


STAR IN THE EAST. -- Br. Adams having, in consequence of enexpected misfortunes, failed to publish that work, we propose to furnish the subscribers thereto with the REVEILLE instead. The subscribers to the Star will by this means get triple the reading matter, -- we get nothing. We hope they will be satisfied.

ZION'S REVEILLE comes to us weekly laden with the learned logic and lore of John E. Page, its present editor. Not a word in it, however, about John C. Bennett. What has become of him? -- Signal.

Gone farther off than Sharp has from the Signal. We think the Reveille much improved by the change, and doubt not the more sensible of your readers would appreciate a change equally radical in that paper. Is it not a nice commendation to Mr. Gregg, that he recommends his editorials with the advertisement that he is assisted by T. C. Sharp, Esq., advocate of wholesale Murder and Plunder?   Ed.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. II.                           Voree, W. T., September 16, 1847.                         No. 26.

"Truth  will  prevail."


We learn by the California Star that Brannan's colony of Mormons have settled on the river San Joaquin, in California, after a passage of six months from New York. They say the account of the good qualities of the country published here are great exaggerations, Provisions are very high, and all persons going out are recommended to provide themselves with abundant stocks of provisions and thick winter clothing. The party was much divided, and several had been excommunicated, but the party which adhered to Brannan as President prevailed. They have no communications from the brethren in the Society Islands. Withal they are anxiously waiting for another company of saints with supplies &c. from New York and Boston, a hope which they will nit be likely to realize.

Gov. Boggs, the Missouri Bloodhound, is there with his company of emigrants. It does not appear that any collision has taken place, and as Boggs is not satisfied with the country it is to be hoped he will leave. The Missouri emigrants have filled the ears of the Creoles with tales of Mormon wickedness so that jealousies are already up. We wish them more peace than we really look for them to enjoy. The exceeding high price of provisions is owing somewhat to the influx of emigrants, but principally to the calls for army and navy supplies, and consequently will last while they are purchasers and cease when they become producers.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. II.                           Voree, W. T., September 23, 1847.                         No. 27 & 28.

"Truth  will  prevail."

Correspondence of the Rochester Daily Democrat.

                                            Fox Lake, Dodge Co., W. T., July 8, 1846.
We hear a great deal said now-a-days about the Mormons, and the new Mormon Prophets, and perhaps your readers would be interested with a description of Strang, the person who claims to be the successor to Joe Smith, and who is now building in this Territory a new Mormon City, and collecting a good many followers about him.

Being at Southport last February, I fell in with him there, and heard him preach and had an interview with him, from which I learned that he was formerly a lawyer from Chatauque or Cattaraugus county, N. Y., and removed to Illinois several years ago to take charge as contractor, engineer or something of the kind, of a portion of the Illinois canal; but as its construction was soon suspended, he went to Nauvoo, where he became acquainted with Joe Smith. At that time, he was an inveterate unbeliever and opposer of the Mormon faith, and contended with Smith for a considerable time, but was at last converted to the faith; and a short time before Smith's death was baptized by him and sent to Wisconsin to select a suitable place for a new Mormon city, as a branch of Nauvoo. While Strang was executing his mission Smith was killed, leaving Strang as his successor. While here he pretends to have had a vision, and a revelation direct from God, confirming his authority as a prophet, and directing him where to establish the new City, and pointing out to him a certain tree, under which were buried three brass plates, on which was written the history of a people who had inhabited this country many years ago and were true believers, but had passed away, to be revived again in the persons of the Latter Day Saints, or Mormons. He says he was commanded to take with him faithful witnesses, and go to the spot indicated and dig up the said brass plates, and as none were 'faithful' but Mormons, he took three or four of them who dug up the plates, while he stood by a little distance from them, and all testify that the plates must have been there a long time, as they examined very carefully and found no indications of the earth having been recently removed, and that Strang did not throw them in while they were digging, and moreover, that he could not have put them there, as they were enclosed in an earthen box, about three feet from the surface of the ground, under a large tree whose roots were all interwoven about it and had never been disturbed, and that on taking said earthen box, which was covered over with a flat stone, out into the open air, the whole crumbled and fell to pieces. The plates consist of three small pieces of brass about 2 1/2 inches long by 1 1/4 inches wide, and about the thickness of a piece of tin, fastened together at one corner by a ring passing through them. One of them is covered on both sides with writing, and the other two on one side only; and having on the other side, one of them a representation of Christ and other devices, and the other a landscape representation of Gardner's prairie, the spot where the plates were found, and the site of the new City. It is near the line between Racine and Walworth counties about 25 miles west of Southport and Racine, and near the village of Burlington.

The writing on the plates resembles a mixture of Hebrew and short-hand or stenography, and is unintelligible of course, though Strang claims to be able to translate it. The location of the new City is a very suitable one, having a tolerable water power, I believe, on White River, a small but very pretty stream -- and is in the heart of the country. It is called Voree. I am informed that there are now something like a thousand Mormons congregated there, and the number is increasing -- many of them coming from Nauvoo. -- The greater portion of the Mormons deny Strang's authority, and prefer going to California with The Twelve. Strang says if they refuse to join him, and persist in going to California, they will never reach there, but that their bones shall bleach on the plains.

He teaches a little different doctrine from the Brighamite faith in some respects, and disapproves of their practices, and says they should not feel themselves exempt from our laws because they are God's elect, but should strictly obey them.

In person Strang is rather below the ordinary size, very plainly dressed, red face, bold prominent forehead, large eyes and mouth, and cheek bones; possesses considerable talent, great shrewdness, an earnest, energetic manner, is very loquacious, speaks very fast and loud when preaching. When preaching, he appears like a man trying with all his might to convince others that he had something very important to tell them, and that it was absolutely necessary that they should believe it. He is perfectly familiar with the Bible, and very persevering in his efforts to convince others of the truth of peculiar passages.

On the whole, I should think him well calculated to make converts and get together a large body of people and control them, as he possesses talent, energy and shrewdness, is very pertinacious in argument, and has ready wit. They appear to be an honest, inoffensive people. &mnsp;   Yours. &c.

Note: The above article was evidently published in the Daily Democrat about the end of July, 1846. Since it summarizes information from earlier in the year, it was probably one of the first descriptions of Strang to be written for the public press. A slighty different, lengthier version was reprinted in the Aug. 18, 1845 issue of the Illinois Warsaw Signal. See also the Oct. 11, 1845 issue of the Wisconsin Janesville Gazette for contemporary, supplementary information.



Vol. II.                           Voree, W. T., October 7, 1847.                         No. 29.

"Truth  will  prevail."


Pontiac, Mich. -- We recently had occasion to notice a shameful transaction in the return of one of our papers from Pontiac, with such facts as to bring the abuse directly home to that post office. -- (See No. 24.) We have since received from the P. M. at that place the following explanation: --

                                                                    Post Office, Pontiac, Oakland Co.,
                                                                    Mich., Sept. 11, 1847.
To the Editor of "Zion's Reveille:" --

Sir, -- My attention has been directed to an article in your paper of the 2d inst., in which you state that a copy of the Reveille of date July 8, bearing the post mark of this office of July 1, had been returned to you "with some most scurrilous stuff written thereon," which you suspect was the work of "some very large boy in this office." In answer, I can only say that I have no knowledge of the matter of which you complain. If the facts are as you represent, and you will return the paper and envelope to this office, I pledge you my honor that every effort shall be made to ascertain and prosecute the person who placed it in my office. It is possible it was done by or with the knowledge of a young man who was then clerk in this office, but who has since left. At all events it was such a violation of law as will subject the author, if ascertained, to the penalty of five dollars.     Very respectfully,
                                        Your ob't serv't,
                                        S. W. DENTON, P. M.

We have not returned the paper and envelope for the reason which appears below. If any such "young man" has left Pontiac, we wish first to ascertain his name and present residence and obtain a specimen of his hand writing. We wrote to Mr. Denton for this information Sep. 17th, and as yet have got no answer. Does he fear he has written once too often? The paper returned contains, among other things, not fit to print, the following: "from one that was once in high standing with you, but has made a fortune out of you, and noughs enough to leave you." We find by looking over the old records that one S. W. Denton was once an elder. It is said that he did make a pretty little fortune out of the saints, and settle in Michigan. Laying the P. M.'s letter and the returned paper side by side, we perceive a curious likeness in the hand writing. Whether the P. M. has disguised his hand, but left the most perfect likeness in some few particulars, as every disguise does, or the "young man" has attempted to counterfeit it, and succeeded but partially, as counterfeiters usually do, we leave for the future to disclose. It evidently lies between the two.

Note: The above postmaster was Elder Solomon "Wilbur" Denton (1816–1864), who served as a personal guard in Joseph Smith, jr.'s residence at Kirtland, and who was reportedly one of the Mormon participants in the 1837 attempted assassination of Mr. Grandison Newell, near Kirtland. From 1838 to 1844 Denton was co-editor of the Pontiac, Michigan newspaper, The Jacksonian; and twice, between 1844 and 1860, he served as the town's postmaster.



Vol. II.                           Voree, W. T., October 14, 1847.                         No. 30.

"Truth  will  prevail."


On the 6th day of October, 1847, the semi-annual Conference assembled at Voree....

Oct. 8. Conference assembled pursuant to adjournment.

Opened by singing. Prayer by Wm. Savage, Pres, of the Seventies.

The delegates from the branches reported the state of the branches, which we omit for want of room.

The President and various traveling elders gave interesting accounts of their missions.

The excommunications of the following named persons, with the several causes, was laid before the Conference for their actions: --

John C. Bennett, H. P. and M. C., excommunicated for apostacy, conspiracy to establish a stake by falsehood, deception, &c., and various immoralities. Delivered over to the buffetings of Satan till the day of the coming of the Lord, and sealed up against all gospel privileges on earth. The whole congregation lifted their hands against him.

William E. McLellin, Apostle, excommunicated for apostacy and falsehood. Delivered over to the buffetings of Satan till the day of the coming of the Lord, and sealed up against all gospel privileges on earth. he whole congregation lifted their hands against him.

William Smith, Patriarch, excommunicated for adultery. Delivered over to the buffetings of Satan till he repent and make satisfaction. And the whole congregation lifted their hands against him....

Note: It is probably significant that the Strangite Conference did not deliver William Smith "over to the buffetings of Satan till the day of the coming of the Lord, and sealed up against all gospel privileges on earth." Rather, a chance was left open for him to "repent and make satisfaction." Strang knew that by cutting William off, he was effectively losing the adherence of Mother Smith and any other of William's close relatives, previously allied with the Strangite cause. Probably Strang held open the slender hope that William would one day return to full fellowship at Voree. He did not.



Vol. II.                           Voree, W. T., October 28, 1847.                         No. 32.

"Truth  will  prevail."


GOLD, GOLD. -- Who would not be a Mormon for gold? The apostates are drumming up converts to their faith just as the kings of the earth drum up for men of blood. Gold, gold, is the cry now. The apostates have promised gold to those that go with them, as much as they can carry. It is hardly credible, but nevertheless true, that men who have had the credit for a good share of common sense are responding to such calls. But where is the gold coming from? Oh, the old trick of money digging; that is all. -- Money digging is getting in repute again. Lust and avarice hand in hand. The cry of gold and women, and the union of the pseudo and Bennett apostacy, tells it own story. God rid us of all such. We pity any one who is deceived by them. Allowing that any of them are honest, and we do not doubt a very few are, where will they hide their heads when they see the result.

Note: It might be wondered whether the Strangite leadership would have appreciated the irony in the fact, that, as this little item was going forth to their Mormon readers, Brighamites passing through California were making a shiny discovery that would soon spawn the great western gold rush.



Vol. II.                           Voree, W. T., November 4, 1847.                         No. 33.

"Truth  will  prevail."


Many persons have inquired of us by letter at various times during the last year: -- Is Wm. Smith in the church? Has J. C. Bennett joined? Have you received W. E. McLellin? Why did you take them in? What confessions did they make? Why did you not publish their confessions? Very few of these questions have we ever answered, except through the papers. And we wish all such and others who have such questions in mind to take this answer as a full answer to all such questions, both in reference to those men and all other similar cases. They were received according to the law of the gospel. They were held to the discipline of the gospel law while in the church. They were cut off in accordance with that law for violations of it. We did not publish their confessions because we did not deem it profitable, and for the same reason we do not publish them now. We were perfectly aware of the unpopularity of these men when they came into the church. -- We have no doubt that the coming in of these men have kept out hundreds, possibly thousands, and expected such would be the result when they came in. And we are also well persuaded that many of those thus turned back were better men than those on whose account they turned back. We never doubted it. But, -- THEY WERE NOT FIT FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD. The man that will turn back from the fold of God because anybody else, whoever, is in, is a vessel of wrath fitted for destruction. The place for the saint is in the true church, and one who has stamina enough to abide the day of trial knows it is his business to stand in the church, and faithfully do his duty, let others do as they may... Truth is mighty, no matter who speaks it.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. II.                           Voree, W. T., November 18, 1847.                         No. 35.

"Truth  will  prevail."


This man Strang, from what we have been able to learn of his movements and purposes, has more means and ability than any one who has yet aspired to the supremacy of the Church. His previous experience and individual means give us reason to expect that he will also be eminently successful. -- St. Louis Republican.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. II.                           Voree, W. T., November 25, 1847.                         No. 36.

"Truth  will  prevail."


==> It is not probable that elder Page can go that way [New York] this winter. He is just getting up a little cabin only twelve feet squate in the ground, for his family to occupy while he goes out to places nearer at hand, from whence he can attend to their wants this winter. Faithful and honest men have had a hard time for three years past, but better times are at hand, when that that are tried and faithful shall have their reward....

McLellin's  Speech

... I was always sick of saintism, and when I talked of going in with Strang that was in my way. I never liked it. He has published that I was one of his apostles, but I never was. I never had confidence in him... I never joined him. I was not ordained one of his apostles. He never had his hands on my head... All this stuff about my character and my letters and Dr. Bennett is flummery! FLUMMERY!! FLUMMERY!!! I always knew that John C. Bennett and William Smith were corrupt men. I warned him against them. -- I don't believe in taking a man into the church till you have tried him, and know how he will conduct. I told Mr. Strang what I thought. If he had taken my counsel we should have all been going on together.. There would have been none of these divisions, which have used him up until there is hardly a grease spot left. -- My character is well known where I have lived. I never would associate with bad men. I left the old church under Joseph because they were so wicked I could not stand them. I never had any confidence in Gen. Bennett. I told Strang so, and he can't prove the contrary...

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. II.                           Voree, W. T., December 9, 1847.                         No. 38.

"Truth  will  prevail."


One principle of the gospel as taught by Jesus Christ is, that the "Holy Ghost" shall teach his servants all things, and bring all things to their remembrance which he had said unto them. John xii. 26.

Wm. E. McLellin, who now is trying to wake up one David Whitmer of Mo. to a remembrance that he (Whitmer) is a prophet, says that he was present when Joseph Smith ordained Whitmer to the office of First President of the church, sometime in the summer of 1834, constituting Whitmer [as] Smith's legal successor from that instant. After that McLellin joins Geo. M. Hinkle of Buffalo, Iowa Territory. After that he joins S. Rigdon of Pa. After that he acknowledges J. J. Strang as the true successor of Joseph Smith. After all this chases to find Smith's successor, lo and behold! he rises up as out of a snooze and says, "O, I forgot that Smith ordained Whitmer;" and further says, "that God has manifested it unto him by revelation." O! how forgetful such prophets are. -- Again; we have just squinted at a hand bill signed Wm. Smith and Aaron Hook, Pres. The bill is headed in large capitals, "WILLIAM SMITH, PATRIARCH (father) AND PROPHET OF THE MOST HIGH GOD." The analysis of his assumed title is this, -- "Father of God." He further says, "which right of authority (the First President) I claim by revelation from God, and by the ordination which I received from under the hands of Joseph Smith, which was to be a Prophet, Seer and Revelator." Notice, the gift of being a "Translator" is left out.

It is well known that, after Joseph Smith's death, Wm. Smith set himself up as the "guardian" of the church till Joseph, the prophet's son, should become of lawful age to take his place as the President of the church. Wm., why did you not take the President's office at the first? O, I suppose you forgot that you was ordained to that office by Joseph. Why did you adhere to James J. Strang as the President of the church as Joseph's successor, when you say you have "renounced him (Strang) because he has no claims?" -- Why, if you know that now you knew it from the first. O, you "forgot it." Oh! what a set of forgetful prophets! who ever heard the like! David Whitmer forgot that he was a prophet. Brigham Young forgot for a long season that he was a prophet. And now William Smith, the martyred prophet's own natural brother, till lately, forgot that he was a prophet. I wonder who the old prince of tophet will send next to say that they were ordained by Joseph Smith to be his successor, and they "forgot it." Infidels, if you laugh the saints have reason to mourn over the depravity of man.
                                                JOHN E. PAGE.

Note: See Elder Appleby's letter of July 31, 1847, published in the Nov. 29, 1847 issue of the Liverpool Millennial Star for a mention of rumors then in circulation, saying that William Smith wished to rejoin the Brighamite church. William evidently made use of Elder Reuben Miller, as an intermediary in his communications with Brighamite apostles, sinking even to the level of contacting Willard Richards (whom William despised) on his prospects of rejoining the Utah Mormons. When nothing substantial resulted from William's feelers in this regard, he issued his fall 1847 William Smith, Patriarch and Prophet of the Most High God broadside at Ottawa, Illinois, in which he declared for himself the "right of authority" which he professed to have received "by revelation from God, and by the ordination which I received from under the hands of Joseph Smith, which was to be a Prophet, Seer and Revelator."


Vol. II.                           Voree, W. T., December 23, 1847.                         No. 40

"Truth  will  prevail."


The Ottawa Free Trader gives the following with an indorsement of its truth: --

"It appears the prophet Strang needed a new house, and he determined his followers should build it for him. So he called them together, and told them in consideration that [if] they would erect the house, the Lord had authorized him to promise them an extraordinary endowment. The building was soon completed, and now they apply for their reward. All the saints were gathered together in the church, the prophet takes them through a variety of ceremonies, such as head washing, feet washing, &c., and concludes by anointing the heads of all with a composition 'that had a queer smell.' They are then directed to adjourn to another room that was totally dark where they were to receive the endowment, which was to be in the shape of an extraordinary and visible manifestation of the spirit, rendering them at once impregnable thenceforth to all the shafts of Satan. Arrived in the dark room sure enough, the heads of all shone as if lit up by the brightness of the sun, and great was the rejoicing of the saints thereat. But the prophet William, who was present, although staggered a little, mistrusted that 'all was not gold that glittered,' so he took some of the ointment and submitted it to an examination, and lo, the discovery! He found that it was a mixture of oil and phosphorus! and that hence the whole illuminating operation was a gross cheat! He took the first opportunity to accuse the prophet Strang publicly and before the whole congregation of the imposition, who so far from denying it, coolly acknowledged the fact, and then preached a sermon, justifying the act, and maintaining that all the miracles of Christ, Moses, &c., were wrought in the same way -- that is, by natural means."

We find the foregoing in the "Watchman of the Prairies," a Baptist paper recently started at Chicago, a copy of which some unknown friend has sent us. A sister in Voree has received a copy of the same, cut from a Vermont paper by [some] of her friends there. Though we have not seen the article otherwise; yet we understand that it has gone the rounds of the papers generally. Will the editors of any of these papers tell why it is that they always pick up and circulate every such falsehood, and so seldom say any thing favorable to our cause? We can answer for them if they will not speak. It is this: They and their readers, for whose tastes they cater, are of that numerous class who love and make lies. It is impossible to attribute such falsehoods to mere mistake. The story is a self-convicted falsehood. We do not conceive it possible that any man could ever attain to the editorial charge of a respectable paper who could for a moment credit such a tale. The strong features of falsehood are marked in it from beginning to end. The substance of the matter is summed up thus: --

"1st. Prophet Strang wanted a house built by his disciples.

"2d. He promised them, as their REWARD for building it, an outpouring of the SPIRIT of God upon them in a VISIBLE MANIFESTATION, which should render them INVULNERABLE to all the shafts of Satan.

"3d. They built the house.

"4th. That he palmed off upon them, AS THE PROMISED REWARD, an anointing of their heads with phosphorus and oil.

"5th. That prophet William was present, and detected the imposition.

"6th. That prophet Strang acknowledged the imposition, and in his defense preached a sermon to prove that all miracles were impositions of the same kind, in other words, made a public confession that himself and all others before him were mere impostors and graceless scamps, whose whole lives were one living lie."

No man of sense can for one moment believe such a tale. No wonder the editors who re-published it did not send us their papers. They would never wish to see the face of one of their readers after setting up such a falsehood for them, unless they knew him a man of like kidney, loving lies as they do. The man who is capable of believing such a tale, to say nothing of inventing it, is a villain, not fit to live among men. If, by any possibility, the authors of such tales should find a place in heaven, Christ would scourge them out with a lash of twisted wires, as he scourged thieves and money changers out of the Temple at Jerusalem. Not content with gathering and caricaturing the truth, the author of the above has made his story out of whole cloth. Not a single one of the leading points of the tale (as we have analyzed it) is true. If there is one truth to it, it is a mere matter of incident. Such for instance as that prophet Strang did have a house built; a small plain house, which still lacks both floors and doors, more than half the expense of which he paid.

But the editor of the Ottawa Free Trader vouches for the truth of it! Ah! well that makes a difference. How does he know any thing about it? Was he an eye witness to any such transaction? If he was, until impeached, his testimony is legal evidence (whether true or not) in those States where colored men are allowed to be witnesses against whites, and no where else. The long and short of the matter is this, -- The editor of the Ottawa Free Trader knows nothing about the matter more than any other person, living, as he does, more than one hundred miles from here. But William Smith attended Conference here last spring, three months after the dedication of prophet Strang's house, and after hearing all that every clique of apostates could say against prophet Strang and the church, and all their tales about the illumination, went before the Conference and publicly rendered as strong testimony of his confidence in the prophet and the church as any man has at any time given. But before the close of Conference a complaint was lodged against him (William Smith) for adultery, which was persued to final trial and excommunication. And this is all the illumination which has disturbed him, or shaken his faith. And this William is the informant of the Ottawa Free Trader, and he was not in Voree nor within 150 miles of there at the time that this endowment is alledged to have taken place, not for ten weeks before and after that time. He knows as little about the matter as the emperor of Japan. But it has become fashionable for every man when he is cut off from the church to cry iniquity INIQUITY!! for the purpose of covering up his wickedness in the fierceness of his outcry against others. And the public press, secular and religious, has become scavengers of such men's filth and falsehood. We pity this degradation of such editors, and are glad that a race of corrupt wretches are vomiting forth filth enough to keep them from starvation. If they had not the disgorgings of the most corrupt of apostate Mormons for food, we know not where they would obtain any thing rotten enough, except by devouring one another. We can assure them that there is plenty of food of the same kind in store for them. We know a small clique is now engaged in masticating another large and more detestable mass, still higher spiced, which they intend to vomit forth early in the spring ready chewed, for all such editors and their patrons. And we can assure them that it is not only equally false with the article from the Free Trader, but much more filthy. And if their lips water so that they cannot wait for it, we promise that for a reasonable consideration they can get a taste beforehand sufficient to save them from starvation.

One word we have to say to apostates who wish to write an expose on the church. Remember that you cannot tell too tough a yarn. No matter though it is impossible. Some respectful editor will vouch for the truth of it. Though you have been a mean man all your life; though you was a liar and a backbiter before you joined the church; a heretic and a swindler while in it, and are an apostate and a hypocrite now -- just get up the biggest lie you can possibly invent upon the prophet and the church. Spice it strongly with criminal accusations, enrich it with incongruities and impossibilities, and you will suddenly find yourself a respectable man and a gentleman, and both editors and preachers will vouch for the truth of whatever you please tell, the very first time they see you. Have no fears. Try it boldly, and the steeper, the surer is your success. But we need not counsel you. A clique consisting of one from every apostacy which has taken place in the last three years will understand how to do any thing wicked. And they have had experience enough in telling tales to need no monitor in writing them, and as for matter, they have only to accuse the saints of doing what themselves have attempted. The Vulture and Turkey Buzzard of the editorial corps will cry out, "it is enough," -- "it is enough."

Note 1: It seems that J. J. Strang's lengthy diatribe against the editor of the Ottawa Free Trader and others of his ilk proved an insufficient defense against their accusations: Strang again took up the same subject in his issue of Aug. 17, 1848. By breaking up his response into two separate editorials, Strang was able to attack his accusers on the wholesale, but only admit and defend certain sensitive happenings in a disarticulated, piecemeal sort of way. At least this journalistic approach saved him from having to confess too many details of the "phosphorus endowment" in any one paragraph. And, although the Mormon leader spills a good deal of ink in attacking the charges of fraud made against him, he essentially avoids addressing the most damning of the accusations.

Note 2: The exact date and full content of the article in the Ottawa Free Trader remains undetermined. The piece was copied into an early Oct. 1847 issue of the St. Louis New Era, which added the following introduction: "William Smith -- the surviving brother of "Joe" -- has published a manifesto in which he condemns Strang -- another Mormon leader, as an imposter (!) and announces his separation from him. In reference to the jar between these champions of religion and truth, the Ottawa Free Trader tells the following story..."

Note 3: Although William Smith was not in Wisconsin to participate the New Year's events at Voree, he arrived in that place in their immediate aftermath. Strang's disaffected former followers started up a dissident paper in nearby Elkhorn -- the New Era -- and that paper's columns, in its initial three numbers (Jan.-Mar. 1847) were filled with exposures of John C. Bennett's role in the New Year's "illumination." In the Dec. 1846 issue of Zion's Reveille (issued early in January), Elder John Greenhow reported a "light, as consuming fire, and it sat upon each of our heads." William Smith, wise in the ways of Mormonism, no doubt conducted his own surreptitious enquiries as to how the "manifestation" was produced. The fact that William and other exStrangites waited until after their respective breaks with Strang to expose this and other "impositions" says little that is useful for investigation, respective of any member's honesty.

Note 3: When James J. Strang did not extend sufficient "patriarchal powers" to his recent convert, William Smith, that brother of Joseph began to go his own way. As the two leaders fell out of fellowship, Strang threatened to expose William's continuing experiments with secret polygamy and William decided to expose Strang's religious chicanery. Following the accusations made at the 1847 spring conference, Strang began church proceedings against William Smith for adultery, which culminated in William's excommunication in October, 1847. Strang's disfellowshipping of William Smith from the Strangite church, for "gross immorality," was disclosed in the Sept. 15, 1847 issue of the Quincy Whig. Subsequently the Warsaw Signal announced that "Bill has issued a Pronunciamento and a Proclamation to the brethren -- in which he claims to be the true Church himself, and that the new 'Stake of Zion' is to be located at Palestine, Lee Co., Illinois, some where on Rock River. They are published in the Ottawa Free Trader." One of these two publications was an anti-Strang broadside which William had printed in late September, 1847, at Ottawa, Illinois, by the Free Press, entitled: William Smith, Patriarch & Prophet of the Most High God -- Latter Day Saints, Beware of Imposition! In that sheet William proclaimed that "Mr. Strang has knowingly and wilfully lied in the name of the Lord, in promising an endowment to the Saints, and then mixing oil with phosphorous and palming it off upon them as that endowment."

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