(Newspapers of Illinois & Indiana)

Misc. Illinois & Indiana Papers
1840-45 Articles

Mormons Preaching on the Western Frontier (1840s)

1830-1839  |  1840-45  |  1846-99  |  1900-99

Note: Chicago newspaper articles have been moved to here

StRg Mar 20 '40  |  StRg Aug 14 '40  |  StRg Nov 13 '40  |  StRg Nov 27 '40  |  UMiss Feb ? '41
Illin Apr 17 '41  |  StRg Jun 11 '41  |  StRg Jun 25 '41  |  JCour Jul ? '41  |  T&S Jul 01 '41
OFT Jul 30 '41  |  StRg Aug 13 '41  |  StRg Aug 27 '41  |  Illin Oct 16 '41  |  StRg Dec 10 '41
CAd Mar ? '42  |  IlRep Jul 02 '42  |  StRg Jul 08 '42  |  IlRep Jul 09 '42  |  StRg Jul 15 '42
StRg Jul 22 '42  |  PMisc Jul 27 '42  |  StRg Jul 29 '42  |  NWGz Sep 30 '42  |  CAd Oct ? '42
IlRep Dec 10 '42  |  StRg Jan 06 '43  |  StRg Jan 20 '43  |  StRg Mar 31 '43  |  T&S May 15 '43
StRg Jun 23 '43  |  StRg Jul 07 '43  |  NWGz Aug 18 '43  |  StRg Aug 18? '43  |  StRg Aug 25 '43
StRg Sep 15 '43  |  StRg Oct 20 '43  |  StRg Oct 27 '43  |  StRg Feb 16 '44  |  Pol Apr 13 '44
Pol Apr 20 '44  |  NWGz May 03 '44  |  NWGz May 17 '44  |  NExp Jun 07 '44  |  StRg Jun 14 '44
StRg Jun 28 '44  |  OFT Jun 28 '44  |  OFT Jul 04 '44  |  StRg Jul 05 '44  |  VFP Jul 06 '44
StRg Aug 16 '44  |  StRg Aug 30 '44  |  BH Sep 06 '44  |  SCB Sep 17 '44  |  BH Sep 20 '44
NWGz Sep 20 '44  |  BH Sep 27 '44  |  NWGz Sep 27 '44  |  StRg Oct 11 '44  |  StRg Nov 08 '44
StRg Nov 25 '44  |  StRg May 23 '45  |  StRg July 04 '45  |  StRg July 11 '45  |  StRg. Oct 24 '45
StRg. Oct 31 '45 |  StRg. Nov 07 '45  |  StRg. Nov 14 '45  |  StRg. Nov 21 '45 |  NWGz Dec 12 '45

Peoria papers   |  Alton Telegraph   |  Sangamo Journal
Quincy papers   |  Warsaw Signal   |  Nauvoo Wasp, etc.
Return to: Old Newspapers Articles Index


Vol. ?                               Friday, March 20, 1840.                               No. ?

                            For the Register.


The following is a statement of facts that may be relied on:

A short time since it was ascertained that a Mr. Clark, a member of the Methodist Episcopal church in Logan county, had in his possession the Book of Mormon. For this glaring outrage he was severely reprimanded, deprived of his station as a class leader, and the book demanded of him by his preachers, a Mr. Martin and a Mr. Watt.

He (the said Clark) contended that the book was his own property, and unless the bought it, they could not have the same. Accordingly, the necessary sum was raised, and paid for the book. Shortly after the said book was taken into De Witt county, to a Quarterly Conference meeting, there to await its final trial, and it was condemned, and burnt to ashes -- the judges themselves being the executioners. And what is still more appalling, Mr. Watt, a preacher, has been heard unblushingly to assert, that if burning the book would not do, they would next burn the Mormons themselves. If testimony is required on this subject, it can be had at any time.   AB'M PALMER.
  Springfield, Ill., Mar. 12.

Note: The Illinois State Register was the chief mouthpiece of the Democratic Party in Illinois at this time. The Mormon leaders fleeing Missouri quickly made polical alliances with the Democrats in the western part of the state and reporting in the Register, after a brief lapse at the end of the 1840 Presidential campaign, became increasingly sympathetic to the LDS cause throughout the early 1840s.


Vol. ?                        Springfield, Friday, August 14, 1840.                        No. ?


                                            CARTHAGE, Ill., Aug. 4, 1840.

I hasten to communicate to you the result of the elections in this county.

The whigs have carried their entire ticket by a majority of about 300 votes. The Democracy were active and vigilant, and when the polls were closed, it was generally believed that we had elected our Representatives and Sheriff; but when the news came in from Commerce Precinct, every body was surprised. The average vote against us there was about 290. The whig vote in this county gave a majority of about 320 [votes]; so you see that you have not lost any thing in two years. If the Democrats have done as well in the other counties as in this, Illinois is safe.

Joseph Smith took an active part, and sustained the entire whig ticket.

Note: The "Commerce Precinct" spoken of in the above report was the new Mormon town of Nauvoo and its environs. Joseph Smith, having received no succor for LDS grievances from the Democratic President in Washington (Martin van Buren), temporarily allied with the Whigs and threw the Mormon political support into the camp of candidate William Henry Harrison. Smith's shift in politics was a tactical one and he soon realigned his block-voting followers with the Democrats.


Vol. V                        Springfield, Friday, November 13, 1840.                        No. 37.


The Missouri Republican and Quincy Whig both assert that the Hon. Richard M. Young and Stephen A. Douglass, Esq., were at Nauvoo, in Hancock county, on the day of the election, and it is insinuated by these Federal prints that they "induced two hundred Mormon voters to erase the name of A. Lincoln from the Whig electorial ticket, and substitute the name of James H. Ralston in its stead." Now, for part of the above, every citizen of Springfield, can answer for its falsity. Mr. Douglass was in this place on the day of the election near the polls all day

The Quincy Whig speaks of the erasure of Mr. Lincoln's name as "a trick played upon "two hundred Mormon voters." We do not view it in this light. It is very certain that Mr. Lincoln runs near 200 votes behind his ticket in Hancock county, and it is equally as certain that Judge Ralston runs near 200 ahead of his ticket, but this the voters had a perfect right to do. The "Mormon voters," as well as all other voters have the right to vote for whomsoever they please, and no editor has the right to insinuate that any voter is governed by improper motives, or has been "tricked." as this Whig editor calls it. The only think that looks like a trick, in connection with the vote of Hancock, is in the omission by the clerk of the name of Mr. Eldredge from the official returns which he has sent to the office of the Secretary of State but this was probably accidental.

There is something connected with the vote at Nauvoo precinct, which needs explanation. Two hundred Mormon voters were induced to erase the name of A. Lincoln, from the whig electoral ticket, and substitute the name of James H. Ralston, in his stead. Rumor says that the Hon. Richard M. Young, of the U. S. Senate, and the "little giant," Stephen A. Douglass, who wants to go to Congress, were present at this election, and of course their names were freely used in connection with this little petty trick. If these rumors should prove correct, we shall have a column to spare for their benefit hereafter.

Note: It certainly "passeth all understanding" how the Almighty God of Heaven could object to the character and candidacy of Abraham Lincoln for a state election in Illinois, and then allow the same man to rise to fill the highest office in the land, in the presidential election of 1860. Could the answer to this riddle possibly lie in the fact that the Mormons voted against Lincoln in 1840, simply as a knee-jerk reaction to the local political whims and intrigues of "the Lord's Anointed," Joseph Smith, Jr.? What was both reprehensible and dangerous, at the time, is that the partisans of both sides were ready and willing that the Nauvoo Mormons should cast their votes in a single block, based not upon individual views of conscience, but upon decree from religious leaders. This was a slippery, immoral path that both Whigs and Democrats began to slide down, when they courted the favor of the Nauvoo hierarchy in 1839 and 1840. Within the span of the following five or six years, Illinois politicians like Stephen A. Douglass would begin to see the error of their ways, in a strategic sense -- but the tactic of seeking the block-vote support of a mentally enthralled religious sect remained, in Illinois and elsewhere in America, a great partisan temptation.


Vol. V                        Springfield, Friday, November 27, 1840.                        No. 39.


An English paper has the following paragraph about a new shipment to this country. It's location of Quincy, "on the Mississippi in Michigan," is amusing, and shows wonderful precision in its knowledge of transatlantic geography -- ""The New York packet ship North America, Capt. Lowner, sailed on Tuesday week with 10 cabin passengers and 200 in the sterage. The whole of the steerage passengers belong to the sect called "Latter Day Saints," and are bound for Quincy, in the State of Michigan, on the borders of the Mississippi, where a settlement has been provided for them by one of that sect, who has purchased a large tract of land in Michigan. We understand that upwards of 2000 are in treaty to embark early next spring for the same locality. A great portion of those who sailed in the North America, are members of the total abstinence society, and are from Leicestershire and Herefordshire."

For the State Register.                
                               JACKSONVILLE, Illinois, Nov. 23d, 1840.

I this moment met with our democraticpaper published in this place, and was surprised to see some allusions there against Mr. Van Buren and his cabinet, and some of his immediate friends, and associates. There are now present in the room with me, a large number of our democratic friends, and every one of them to a man disapproves of the sentiments there uttered; and I am satisfied that there is not one Van Buren man out of a hundred in Morgan that would approve them. They with one voice say that Mr. Van Buren is an enlightened statesman, an honest man, a pure republican and an unflinching and uncompromising democrat; and although we are beaten the fault is not his, and to charge our misfortunes to him is unjust and ungenerous, and deserves the contempt of every honest man.

How such utterances found their way into a democratic paper is unaccountable but some people have a large stock of every other kind of sense but common sense.

The allusion in the same paper in relation to Joe Smith and the Mormons was equally unjust and uncalled for. It is true the Mormons voted against us, but this they had a right to do, and they are nevertheless in the main honest men, good citizens and democrats, and the sober second thought will bring them right.

Yours, &c,      

Notes: (forthcoming)


The  Upper  Mississippian.

Vol. ?                            Stephenson, Ill., February ?, 1841.                            No. ?



Nauvoo -- Mormon Religion

Nauvoo city. This place is in the north western part of Hancock county, Illinois, and was formerly known by the name of Commerce, but has recently received a city charter by the name of Nauvoo, the name given by the Mormons. The town is situated upon a slightly inclined plain, or piece of ground, of from one to two miles in extent, projecting westward into the Mississippi, somewhat in the shape of a man's arm, half bent; presenting a fine appearance for some miles above and below the town. Since the Mormons, or "Latter Day Saints," (as they call themselves) were so wantonly driven from their homes and estates in Missouri, by an armed mob, under the excited authorities of that State, these persecuted people have settled in this town, and the adjacent country upon both sides of the Mississippi-and added from 75 to 100 buildings, mostly neat and painted, spread over a large extent of ground, and covering the plain and the bluffs in the rear.-These numerous new, bright looking buildings, scattered about amongst the trees and shrubbery which abound here, present, in warm weather, a delightful appearance. Under the shade of some beautiful shrubbery near the river's brink, seats are erected for the accommodation of the society, at their religious meetings. The spot selected is favorable to a calm and serene temper, and a devotional frame of mind.

Nauvoo is said to have a population of about 3000 inhabitants some 300 buildings, several small traders, Tavern keepers, Physicians, and various kinds of mechanics and laborers: and some water craft, among which is a small steam-boat called Nauvoo. The landing, soil and timber about the town, are favorable to its future growth but being at the Head, instead of the foot of the rapids, its location is not so advantageous for trade as that of Warsaw or Keokuck, mentioned in my last letter. Besides this, there being considerable low lands upon the Islands in its vicinity, their decomposing vegetable matter is supposed to send forth deleterious [exhalations] prejudicial to the health of the town. However, Nauvoo has a fine country in its rear, and if to many drones and rogues do not creep in among these generally quiet, industrious and economical people, we may expect to see a very considerable city built up here -- particularly as many of this sect in Europe, are now known to be about removing to this country -- and indeed some two hundred have already arrived at Nauvoo, and the vicinity. Mr. Smith is reported to have said that it is destined to be the largest city in the world! It is some 18 miles above Warsaw, and 6 or 8 below Fort Madison.

Religion of the Mormons.

In the course of two land journeis between Stephenson and Quincy, I stopped overnight at Nauvoo, rode one day in company with a Mormon preacher, and two days with one of the most respectable private members of the society. I also saw, in Stephenson, the celebrated Joseph Smith, but had no opportunity to converse with him respecting the peculiar tenets of their religion. Mr. Smith (commonly called "Joe Smith,") is a stout, muscular, course looking man, of about 32 or 33 years of age, and six feet high-and is said to be a man of good natural talents, but of inferior education-and that, as a scholar and logician, Mr. Rigdon is much his superior. Dr. Bennett, one of their preachers, and with whom I rode as above, appeared to be a man of considerable reading and general intelligence -- to possess a christian temper, and pretty correct ideas of personal piety. He was courteous and gentlemanly in his deportment, though somewhat selfish, exclusive and bigoted in notions about other sects and creeds. I, however, derived considerable information, and consequent satisfaction from conversing with him upon the subject of this strange religion. I may not be able in this brief and hasty newspaper sketch, to do full and exact justice to their creed as represented by this and the other gentleman, but I will aim to do so.

I understood from them as follows, viz: -- That their society did not recognize Mormon, as a Prophet or a Teacher sent from God to the "Latter Day Saints"-that they did not discard the Bible as used by other christian sects -- that the book, commonly called "the Mormon bible," was considered by them as an additional revelation from heaven, made by God himself, to Joseph Smith, when 17 years of age, and under deep and prayerful concern of mind about his spiritual condition-that it relates principally to the history of the house of Ephraim and their descendants, which these people say was lost, or omitted, in the compliation [compilation] of the generally accredited christian bible. That the Almighty spoke orally, and disclosed to Smith, in a vision, where to find the long buried "Brass Plates," containing some unknown hieroglyphics, the further and hitherto undiscovered history of this branch of the Jewish nation -- which history foretells, as they say, the character, condition and duty, of the "Latter Day Saints," or Mormons -- and the persecutions which they have endured in Missouri and elswhare [elsewhere], on account of their religion. They hold that the Lord made a verbal, personal communication to Smith, an uneducated and ignorant youth of 17, and instructed him to employpersons to translate the history contained in these few strange characters, engraven upon these brass plates, and directed him to communicate it to the ignorant and uninspired translators, to be by them penned down for publication. And also that at a certain stage of the proceeding, the Almighty directed Smith to cease the work of translation, and again to bury the plates until mankind should become more virtuous, and better qualified for the reception of a further and complete revelation of the whole matter, at which time the Lord would again appear upon the earth, and direct Smith how to proceed upon this momentous subject!!!

The object and plan of these letters will not admit of pursuing this matter further, or commenting upon the monstrous delusion that could take possession of so many apparently sensible and intelligent people -- or upon the success with which an uneducated man, like Smith, has impressed belief in this extraordinary imposition, which fact induces the belief that he is a man of very considerable talents. But I really believe that these people, after all, are generally quite conscientious in this matter-are more to be pitied than despised, and "more sinned against than sinning.

Note: The exact date of this article is uncertain, but it evidently appeared about the beginning of Feb., 1841. The text is taken from its reprint in the Feb. 15, 1841 issue of the Times and Seasons. The Sangamo Journal published a shortened reprint of the same article on Feb. 9, 1841.



Vol. VI.                       Jacksonville, Saturday, April 17, 1841.                       No. 13.


In the Warsaw 'World,' of the 7th, we find a brief notice of the ceremonies at the laying of the corner stone of the Temple at Nauvoo, the city of the Mormons, on the 6th. The number assembled is variously estimated at from 7000 or 8000, and some said 12,000. The Nauvoo Legion, consisting of [630] men, was in attendance, and made a very respectable appearance. Mr. Rigdon officiated at the laying of the chief comer stone, and addressed the assembly in a very energetic manner in a speech of about an hour's length. On the whole the exercises passed off with the utmost order, without accident or the slightest disturbance. Gen. Bennett commanded the Legion, under the direction of the Prophet, and acquitted himself in a truly officer-like manner.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. V                        Springfield, Friday, June 11, 1841.                        No. 15.


The Missouri Republican a few days since contained some absurd remarks, pretended to be founded upon the report of a steamboat Captain, to the effect that the Mormons were erecting a fort at Warsaw under the pretence of erecting a temple, and that Gov. Carlin had united with them, not only in their creed, but also in some embryo schemes, which were darkly shadowed forth, the objects of which were to revolutionize the state, and subvert our institutions, which the Republican, with all "the kind mendacity of hints" would have it understood they designed shortly to put into execution. We were a little surprised at the time that our unscrupulous neighbor of the Journal, as he is accustomed to do, did not copy this villainous article, without reference to its truth or untruth. The design of the Republican was to make political capital out of the slander it originated. The scheme however was not like the almanacs, "calculated for Missouri and the adjoining States." -- Here the whigs have another game to play. It is their great object to palter with the Mormons. They need their votes to elect John T. Stuart. Therefore he and they are coquetting with this sect, and have made great efforts, if not pledges, to secure their votes, by making them believe that their particular views will be promoted, by the instrumentality of Mr. Stuart.

We have not any prejudices against the Mormons, believing that every man has a right under his own vine and fig tree to worship God as to him shall seem right. But we think it portends some danger, when a candidate for Congress, bargains in advance with any particular sect, to foster their especial interests at all hazzards -- without reference to such christian sects, as have, to say the least of them, equal claims to attention and patronage. Ket Mr. Stuart veware that he does not dig a pit for himself to fall inro; he may meet the fate of Mr. Little of Hancock, who after having paid his addresses with great assiduity to the Mormons, while he was toying with others, has been jilted, and he now finds himself the discarded of all. A word to the wise is said to be sufficient, but to John T. Stuart, many words may be necessary.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. V                        Springfield, Friday, June 25, 1841.                        No. 17.

We have become so much accustomed to the ,isrepresentations of the Journal, that we seldom deem them worthy of notice. The public are too well acquainted with its mendacious character to take its statements as even prima facie evidence of truth. In the last number of that print, we are regaled with a gross sample of this kind, on the subject of the Mormons. It says we had a long article against them. The motive of this statement is as base as the statement itself is false. We never conceived such a thing. We assailed the insidious and hypocritical course of Stuart and the Junto; and the Journal man, with cool impudence, shifts it off and says it was intended for the Mormons. We look upon them as we do upon the rest of our felloe citizens. With their peculiar faith we have nothing to do. This is a matter between them and their God. We have, it is true, sympathised with them on account of the reported barbarity of their expulsion from Missouri. We received them as fellow beings in distress, and believed, and we are now confirmed in the belief, that, with equal and impartial treatment, they make good, peaceable and orderly citizens. The intention of the Journal is obvious. It is attempting to induce the Mormons in a body to vote for John T. Stuart, regardless of the public good, which demands no religious sect should become a political faction. The democratic party seek to sustain their principles upon their own intrinsic merit; but it has ever been the policy of federalism to seek support and strength from every sect and faction, and desert them afterwards when they have gained power. We protest against the unworthy course of the Journal, the Junto, and John T. Stuart, in thus dragging the Mormons before the public.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. ?                            Joliet, Ill., July ?, 1841.                            No. ?


                                                   Monmouth, June, 1841.

My Dear Sir: -- Before this reaches you -- I have no doubt you will have heard of the trial of Joseph Smith; familiarly known as the Mormon Prophet. As some misrepresentations have already gone abroad in relation to Judge Douglass' decision and the merits of the question decided by the Judge; permit me to say that the only question decided, though many were debated, was the validity of the executive writ which had once been sent out, I think in Sept. 1840, and a return made on it that Mr. Smith could not be found. The same writ was issued in June 1841. There can really be no great difficulty about this matter -- under this state of facts.

The judge acquitted himself handsomely, and silenced clamors that had been raised against the Defendant. Since the trial I have been at Nauvoo on the Mississippi, in Hancock co. Ill, and have seen the manner in which things are conducted among the Mormons. In the first place I cannot help noticing the plain hospitality of the Prophet Smith, to all strangers visiting the town, aided as he is, in making the stranger comfortable by his excellent wife, a woman of superior ability. The people of the town appear to be honest and industrious, engaged in their usual avocations of building up a town, and making all things around them comfortable. On Sunday I attended one of their meetings, in front of the Temple, now building, and one of the largest buildings in the State. -- There could not haste been less than 2,500 people present, and as well appearing as any number that could be found in this or any State, -- Mr. Smith preached in the morning, and one could have readily learned then the magic by which he has built up this Society, because as we say in Illinois -- "they believe in him," and in his honesty. Dr. Bennett a talented man, preached in the evening-he is the mayor of the city and cannot but be a useful man to them and to his country, as he has learning and great force of character. I wanted to hear Elder Rigdon of whom so much has been said by the talkers and slanderers of this Society. His name is closely identified with Mr. Smith as one of the persecuted, and builders up of the Mormons; a word I am happy to learn is no longer a word of reproach in this free land.

It has been a matter of astonishment to me, after seeing the prophet, as he is called, Elder Rigdon and many other gentlemanly men, any one may see at Nauvoo, who will visit there, why it is that so many professing christianity, and so many professing to reverence the sacred principles of our constitution, which gives free religious toleration to all, have slandered, and persecuted this sect of Christians? There can be no danger in the United States from any denomination. If they are in an error, (and who is to decide that ) let freedom of opinion combat it, and nothing is to be apprehended from such error. I know the time when the "Methodist's were said to be a deluded ignorant set." What sect now equal them in the U. States? For the honor of our State I hope no such degrading brutish persecutions, will he got up in Illinois as was in Missouri, against the Mormons.

You would admire the manner in which the town of Nauvoo is situated and laid out. It covers over 1000 acres and laid off into acre lots. The Temple is building on the hill nearly a mile from the river in front. The river running here in a half circle. I am told that it numbers now over 5,000 persons and they are fast arriving from Europe and different parts of the United States.

So much for the present, when I see you I will give you further particulars of Nauvoo, and this part of our State which is certainly beautiful.

Note: The exact date of the above article is unknown. The text is from its reprint in the Aug. 2, 1841 issue of the Times & seasons. The "Juliet Courier" was soon after re-named the "Joliet Courier," and then the "Joliet Signal."


Vol. 2. No. 17.                     Nauvoo, Ill., July 1, 1841.                   Whole No. 73.

Steamer  President.

This splendid vessel, with more than one hundred persons, is undoubtedly lost. All hopes of her safety seem to be at an end. The probability is that she struck an iceberg in the night, and sunk. Among the persons on board was the Rev. G. Cookman, late Chaplain of the H. of Representatives, and who was favorably known as a Minister in the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Our exchange papers teem with accounts of bank swindling, forgeries, robberies &c.; the contemplation of which must be painful to the patriotic mind. Notwithstanding the great revivals which for several years have excited this continent, and the high pretensions to piety and virtue, there appears to be an evident lack of morality and common honesty. At this rate it will be some considerable time before the millennium!!

Note 1: The above notice, of the sinking of the U. S. S. President in the Atlantic, should be considered in connection with a report given by Dr. Robert D. Foster, in the item "A Testimony of the Past," in the Apr. 15, 1875 issue of the RLDS Saints' Herald. There Dr. Foster purports to give a personal reminiscence, from January, 1840, of Joseph Smith, Jr. pronouncing a curse against the Rev. George Grimston Cookman and his family. Most 1841 newspaper accounts of the sinking of the Steamship President do not provide the detail of Rev. Cookman having been aboard -- thus, it is possible that the Times and Seasons' report was meant to bring to its readers' attention the fact that Cookman died under tragic circumstances, only a year and a half after Smith pronounced a curse upon him. The Mormon newspaper, however, gives no other details that might help confirm this possibility.

Note 2: Dr. Foster's recollection of a preaching and prophecy session held by Joseph Smith, Jr., at Carusi's saloon in Washington, D. C. is not otherwise documented. Smith left Washington for Philadelphia on Dec. 21, 1839 and apparently remained in the latter city until Jan. 27, 1840. Therefore, if Joseph Smith, Jr. really did preach before a distinguished audience in Carusi's saloon, it must have been on or about Jan. 27, 1840. On about Feb. 10, 1840 Smith left the nation's capital for Nauvoo. Therefore, if there is any record of his preaching and prophecy in Carusi's saloon, it should be preserved as a newspaper article, journal entry, mention in a letter, etc., from the short period between Jan. 27 and Feb. 10. In fact, there are sketchy reports of Smith having preached in Washington on Wed., Feb. 5, 1840, but that can hardly be the session held at Carusi's saloon, when Joseph Smith, Jr. had "just come in on the train from Philadelphia."

Note 3: Dr. Foster does not specify exactly when it was that Rev. Cookman preached to his Washington congregation, telling them that Joseph Smith's "new" Bible (the Book of Mormon) had been "dug up in Palmyra, New York; and that it was nothing but an irreligious romance, and that Smith had obtained it from the widow of one Spaulding, who wrote it for his own amusement." Presumably this occurred on or about Jan. 5, 1840, in Cookman's first Sunday sermon of the new year. Dr. Foster had time to write about the matter to Smith, who was then in Philadelphia, and to obtain Smith's reply by mail, telling him (Foster) to do "some preaching in Washington to counteract these statements" of Cookman's. Thus, it is more than likely that when elders Joseph Smith, Parley P. Pratt, Dr. Foster, Sidney Rigdon and Benjamin Winchester sat down to hold a "special conference" in Philadelphia on Jan. 13, 1840, that the subject of Rev. Cookman's repetition of the Solomon Spalding authorship claims was a fresh matter of importance and instantly became one of the important topics discussed by those same men at their "special conference." Pratt was then able to inform the group how he had counteracted similar claims about the Spalding authorship then being made in the New York papers. Winchester subsequently consulted with Pratt at length in Liverpool, and returned to Philadelphia to produce his 1840 pamphlet, the first major Mormon response to the Spalding claims.

Note 4: Assuming that Joseph Smith, Jr. really did preach at Carusi's saloon, on or about Jan. 27, 1840, he had plenty of time to prepare himself for a public refutation of Rev. Cookman's allegations concerning the origin of the Book of Mormon and the "irreligious romance... of one Spaulding." Exact details are lacking, but this reported preaching session may have marked Joseph Smith, Jr.'s first (and only known) formal, public disavowal of the Spalding authorship claims.

Note 5: The Rev. George Grimston Cookman (1800-1841) served as the Chaplain of the United States Senate from December 31, 1839 to June 11, 1841. As Dr. Foster points out in his letter, Rev. Cookman sailed from New York City for Liverpool, England, March 11, 1841, on the steamship "President." The ship apparently sank during its crossing of the Atlantic, as it was never heard from again. His first son, Rev. Alfred Cookman was born Jan. 4, 1828 in Columbia, Lancaster, Pennsylvania and died Nov. 13, 1871 in Newark, New Jersey. Another son, Rev. John Emory Cookman, was born in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, June 8, 1836, and died in New York City some time after 1886. Given this documented survival of two of Cookman's sons, it is difficult to understand why Dr. Foster says that "his whole family were suddenly cut off, both root and branch." During the early years of the 20th century, the Herald twice published an admission of the facts, implying that Foster's memory had failed him when it came to the fate of Cookman's family.


Vol. II.                                   Ottawa, Ill., July 30, 1841.                                   No. 10.


Within the last ten days between three and four hundred Mormons passed through this place on their way to the Mormon settlement in Hancock county, in this State. On Tuesday last we counted seventeen wagons, occupied with men, women and children, all wending their way towards the settlement of the "Latter Day Saints." We understand they were from Western New York, and their appearance was quite respectable, apparently being chiefly composed of farmers.

We notice that a large number from Europe have recently arrived at the same settlement, and that others from different portions of the old and new world are on their way. The settlement is now said to contain between ten and fifteen thousand inhabitants, and the town of Nauvoo is represented as being in a flourishing condition. A large Temple is being created, which is to contain a Baptismal Font, supported by twelve oxen, overlaid with gold, all the most costly and magnificent structure.

We notice by the Warsaw Signal, published in the vicinity of Nauvoo, that considerable prejudice exists in that section against this class of people. The editor battles Prophet Smith with much spirit, and denounces him as a hypocrite and impostor, and comments severely on their military parades and warlike preparations.

Whether these charges are correct we are not prepared to say, having never had an opportunity of witnessing their conduct or operations. We have always thought that little danger need be apprehended from this class of people, as respects the welfare and happiness of the people in general, even if the many charges brought against them are partly founded in truth. That they are a misled and deluded people is the opinion of almost every intelligent mind, but that delusion cannot be remedied by persecution and lawless opposition -- the reserve will be the result, as their treatment in Missouri clearly demonstrates.

If they violate the laws of our State, a remedy can be found at the bar of justice. Our constitution throws its protecting aegis over every religious doctrine and suffers every man to worship Omnipotence in any manner suitable to the dictates of his conscience. The Mormons enjoy this privilege in common with every other citizen, be their religious opinions true or false -- sinners or hypocritical. From the peculiar nature of their doctrine their creed must soon fall of itself, if founded on fiction, and this alone should exempt them from a lawless spirit of persecution, unbecoming American citizens and our free institutions.

Note: At this date, the newspaper's masthead still read: "Illinois Free Trader and La Salle County Commericial Asvertiser."


Vol. V                        Springfield, Friday, Aug. 13, 1841.                        No. 24.

                From the Peoria Register. -- After the Election.


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

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. V                        Springfield, Friday, Aug. 27, 1841.                        No. 26.


Many of our readers having been under the impression that Judge Ralston received the vote of the Mormons, we extract from the Sangamo Journal, the vote at Nauvoo, by which it appears that Stuart received 452 votes and Ralston 16! We learn that there are about 12 or 15 democrats, not Mormons, who reside in that precinct.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. VI.                       Jacksonville, Saturday, October 16, 1841.                       No. 39.


Professor Turner of Illinois College has prepared for the press a work of the above title to be comprised in about three hundred octavo pages. The work will be furnished to the public at as reasonable a price as [possible], but not to exceed one dollar per single copy and it is hoped for a still smaller price. The general subject is discussed under the following heads:

Chap. 1. History of Mormonism from its first origin to the present time, embracing the biography of Joseph Smith, Jr. from the most authentic sources.

Chap. 2. Brief history of similar fanaticism in all ages.

Chap. 3. Exhibition of the grounds on which a professed revelation can be rendered creditable to mankind.

Chap. 4. Book of Mormon and other writings of Smith examined on this ground and their claims shown to be absurd from a comparison of proof texts from their own writings.

Chap. 5. Doctrines of the Mormon Church, examined and refuted from a similar comparison of their own professedly inspired writings

Chap. 6. Exhibition of facts never before published, showing the real origin of the book of Mormon, and the true causes of Smith's success.

Chap. 7. Philosophy of the progress of Mormonism in our own age, and remedies for the evil.

The facts and arguments eshibited in the above work have been gathered from a careful perusal of all the published documents of the Mormon Church and their leading antagonists amounting to some twenty of thirty volumes of books, pamphlets, periodicals, &c. and from extensive correspondence with original witnesses both east and west of the Mountains, bounding the quiet valley of the west. References are given throughout the work to the chapter and page of the several authorities so that all errors and misstatements may be detected if any occur.

It is believed that the rise and progress of Mormonism in such a Country and age as this, is in and of itself one of the most singular and interesting events of the age. The scholar, the statesman, the philosopher, and the republican as well as the christian may here find matter for reflection and indeed reason for deep concern. Not because Mormonism exists, for in itself it is [too?] contemptible to create alarm. But because those deep and silent causes which have produced it, and which are daily adding thousands to its victims, exist and work and triumph in a free and enlightened land in spite of all opposition. If Mormonism should become extinct in name in a week, then some great causes would engender another fanaticism equally hidious if not equally apparent and absurd before another year was past. But considering the rapid progress of Mormonism in Europe and the immense influx of Mormon emigrants we may expect from that quarter and the inevitable conflict which must ensue with the citizens of a sister State if not with their own. The good people of Illinois have immense temporial as well as spiritual interests at stake in this great game of folly and delusion. It behooves us to look to it with all that earnest solicitude which our peculiar position demands, and still with all that calmness, justice, and inflexible regard to law and right -- (the rights of the Mormons as well as our own) which is due to our own character as freemen to our beloved State and to the American name. The author of the above work has taken the ground neither of an alarmist nor of a declaimer. Those who have perused the Manuscript fully agree with him both as regards the existence and the undoubted proofs he has given of our danger as well as of the absurdity of Mormonism.

X. Y.

Note: It is perhaps significant that "X. Y." had the foresight to predict that the activities of Mormon theocracy at Nauvoo, increasingly strengthened by a seemingly endless flow of devoted converts from abroad, would sooner or later result in an "inevitable conflict" with the "Gentiles" in that region of the country. The writer perhaps did not realize that, even as he was having his article published, that the non-Mormons of Hancock county were sturdily responding as a growing backlash to the Mormon presence there. It would be the local hostile response (not one from the Missourians) that would eventually force the Mormons from the state of Illinois.


Vol. V                        Springfield, Friday, Dec. 10, 1841.                        No. 41.


Mormons. -- The St. Louis Gazette says the Gen. Pratte brought up last week, two hundred and fifty Mormons. They are from England and are going to Nauvoo, the city of the Latter Day Saints.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Columbia Advocate.

Vol. ?                            Columbia, Ill., March ? 1842.                            No. ?



Having recently had occasion to visit the city of Nauvoo, I cannot permit the opportunity to pass, without expressing the agreeable disappointment that awaited me there. I had supposed from what I had previously heard, that I should witness an impoverished, ignorant and bigoted population, completely priest ridden and tyranized over by Joseph Smith, the great prophet of these people. On the contrary, to my surprise, I saw a people apparently happy, prosperous and intelligent. Every man appeared to be employed in some business or occupation, I saw no idleness, no intemperance, no noise, no riot, all appeared to be contented; with no desire to trouble themselves, with any thing except their own affairs. With the religion of these people, I have nothing to do, if they can be satisfied with the doctrines of their new Revelation, they have a right to be so. The Constitution of the country guarantees to them the right of worshipping God according to the dictates of their own conscience, and if they can be so easily satisfied, why should we, who differ with them, complain. But I protest against the slanders and persecutions that are continually heaped on these people. I could see no disposition on their part to be otherwise than a peaceable and law-abiding people, and all they ask of the country is to permit them to live under the protection of the laws, and to be made amenable for their violations, they may have among them men of bad and desperate characters, and what community has not? but I am satisfied as a body the Mormon people will never be the aggressors or violators of the law.

While at Nauvoo, I had a fine opportunity of seeing the people in a body. There was a Masonic celebration, and the Grand master of the State was present for the purpose of Publicly installing the officers of a new Lodge. An immense number of persons assembled on the occasions, variously estimated from 5 to 10,000, and never in my life did I witness a better dressed or a more orderly and well behaved assemblage; not a drunken or disorderly person to be seen, and the display of taste and beauty among the females, could not well be surpassed any where.

During my stay of three days, I became well acquainted with their principal men, and more particularly with their Prophet, the celebrated 'Old Jo Smith." I found them hospitable, polite, well informed and liberal. With Joseph Smith, the hospitality of whose house I kindly received, I was well pleased; of course on the subject of religion, we widely differed, but he appeared to be quite as willing to permit me to enjoy my right of opinion, as I think we all ought to be to let the Mormons enjoy theirs; but instead of the ignorant and tyranical upstart, judge my surprise at finding him a sensible, intelligent, companionable and gentle manly man. In frequent conversations with him, he gave me every information that I desired, and appeared to be only pleased at being able to do so. He appears to be much respected by all the people about him and has their entire confidence. He is a fine-looking man, about 36 years of age and has an interesting family.

The incorporated limits of Nauvoo, contains, it is said, about 7,000 persons; the buildings are generally small and much scattered. The Temple and Nauvoo House now building will probably, in beauty of design, extent and durability, excel any public buildings in the State, and will both be enclosed before winter. From all I saw and heard, I am led to believe that before many years the city of Nauvoo will be the largest and most beautiful city of the west, provided the Mormons are unmolested in the peaceable enjoyment of their rights and privileges, and why they should be troubled while acting as good citizens, I cannot imagine; and I hope and trust that the people of Illinois have no disposition to disturb unoffending people who have no disposition but to live peaceably under the laws of the country and to worship God under their own vine and fig tree
                                              AN OBSERVER.
Adams co., March 22, 1842.

Note 1: The exact date of the above article is unknown -- evidently it appeared shortly after Mar. 22, 1842. The text is taken from a reprint in the April 1, 1842 issue of the Times & Seasons.

Note 2: The "Observer" who wrote the letter was Illinois Grand Master Abraham Jonas of Columbia. Early in the summer of 1841 some of the Mormon Freemasons in Nauvoo petitioned the Bodley Lodge No. 1, in Quincy for a charter to establish a new lodge at Nauvoo. The Bodley Lodge members appeared to have been against the idea, but on Oct. 15, 1841 Grand Master Jonas agreed to authore the lodge at Nauvoo. On March 15, 1842, Jonas visited Nauvoo to set the new lodge in proper order. After returning to Columbia, Jonas penned an unusually positive account of Nauvoo and its supposedly "unoffending people." It seems likely that Mr. Jonas received some unmentioned "incentives" to postively publicize the "sensible, intelligent, companionable and gentlemanly" Joseph Smith, jr. -- the newest and foremost Freemason in western Illinois.


Illinois  Republican.

Vol. ?                       Shawneetown, Saturday, July 2, 1842.                       No. ?


HOLLISTON, APRIL 8, 1839.          

To the Editor of the Boston Recorder.

Dear Sir, -- As the Pastor of the Congregational church and society in this town, I have had occasion to come in contact with Mormonism in its grossest forms. Consequently, I have been led to make inquiries relative to its origin, progress, and, so far as they have any, the peculiar sentiments of its votaries. My object in this has been, as a faithful pastor, so far as possible, to arrest the progress of what I deem to be one of the rankest delusions ever palmed on poor human nature. However, not supposing that the readers of the Recorder would be interested in the details of Mormonism in general, I send you for publication in your valuable periodical, the following communication, as a paper of unusual importance, giving a certified, sufficiently well attested and true account of the origin of the "Book of Mormon," or "Golden Bible," ...

(see Boston Recorder of Apr. 19, 1839 for this text)

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. V                        Springfield, Friday, July 8, 1842.                        No. 41.

Unchangeable Jo, the Journal and the Mormons,

If ever hypocricy and trick were united to accomplish an imposition, and to arm prejudice, it is in the combined efforts of Unchangeable Jo and his minion editors, in their affected crusade against the Mormons,

One short year has brought a great change in the course of the Journal. In June 1841, because our paper discountenanced then as it does now, and has at all times, the use of factious means to array prejudice against any people for matters of conscience, and thought it wrong to court the votes of any sect by promises to favor their peculiar notions, over those of others, the Journal then being the semi-organ and wooer of the Mormons, read us a severe lecture. We thought it wrong in John T. Stuart and his whig friends to court the Mormon votes, by giving that sect unequal advantages, and we spoke of it, as the Journal says, "not in direct terms, but in language that could not be misunderstood," and forthwith we were charged with a desire "to drag the Mormons into this political contest, thinking by exciting prejudice against them among the citizens of the State;" and all this, says the enraged and philanthropic Journal, because John T. Stuart was A FRIEND TO THE MORMONS Then it suited the purposes of the Journal, to send back a most piteous wail for the poor Mormons, the poor persecuted, reviled Mormons. John T. Stuart was then their friend, he was the master spirit of whiggery and Mormonism, and all those who wrre not then heart and hand for the Mormons were intolerants and bigots.

Conspiracies haunted the over zealous mind of the Journal man, and it was "ominous." ominous indeed, that at about this time the Register published its paragraph, "Governor Carlin was making a movement at Quincy against the Mormons." And the Journal enquires, with tears in its eyes, and a sigh to its breast, whether this was "a concerted movement, with the Rewgister and its friends to get up another MORMON WAR, in order to make political capital," and if such had been the intention, the reader of the Journal now a-days, will think of course the Journal was then in favor of such a war, but not so. Let the Journal speak for itself -- it said: "If so, we depreciate it. We will ever regret to see any sect in religion, drawn into the political contests of the day. We would be sorry to see prejudice for or against any sect for party purposes -- and for this reason we depreciate (depreciate again) this movement of the Register against the Mormons."

Does this appear like a bargain between the democrats and the Mormons? Does it not rather show the reserve? Does it not show that the bargain was between the whigs and the Mormons, and were not the fruits of the bargain realized by the whigs? And did not all, aye, ALL the Mormons vote for John T. Stuart, as their friend, as a return for the services which he and his whig friends had rendered them?

The Journal and its whig friends, then shed their tears copiously, because it pretended to believe that Gov. Carlin, the Register and its friends, were making a concerted movement to get up another Mormon war.

But presto, change, a new "spirit has come over the vision of their dream," and the Journal, which on the 18th of June 1841, was so wo-begone and sorrowful for the Mormons, lest the democrats should wage war upon them, and mercilessly persecute them, is now foaming with fury against these same Mormons.

How plain and glaring the movement -- deception and humbug are stamped upon its every feature.

a hue and cry, now comes from these same whigs, against the Mormons, and they say that a bargain has been made by the democrats with the Mormons; and therefore the Mormons are bad men. The Mormons are very good men, if they vote for the whigs, but very bad men if it is supposed they may vote for the democrats. Out upon such stuff as this.

If the Mormons shall vote for the democratic candidates, which judging from all that has transpired is not very probable, they will do so, of their own free will and accord, without any hope of reward, or without being counted, sought for, or sued to do so, by any democrat. Their unbiassed judgments, must alone influence them. They will receive at the hands of the democracy, what its principles guaranty -- free and equal justice, nothing more. Their religious tenets, will nether be inquired into or specially favored. If the Mormons seek any advantage, they must and will go to their old allies the whigs. Whiggery is the friend of the castes, of classes, of especial favor and exclusive privileges. The Mormons with all others know this, and therefore they will naturally cultivate amity with the whigs if they hope for or desire any of these.

We have made a quotation of the entire article of the Sangamo Journal, published on the 18th of June, 1841, without any garbling. Here it is, let every man read, for there are some good things in it:

From the Sangamo Journal, June 18, 1841.

(article not transcribed - see original)

A New Mormon paper.

We understand that S. Francis & Co. propritors and publishers of the Sangamo Journal, intend to publish a paper, exclusively devoted to the interests of the Mormons. See Journal of to-day.

Awful Disclosures.

The Journal from this date to the day of election, is to furnish divers awful disclosures, got up for the occasion, by those Mormon brothers, Simple Sim, Gen. Bennett, and the whig-Mormon candidate for Lieut. Governor, W. Henderson.

About two weeks ago Gen. Bennett, a master spirit among the Mormons, was in this city. He was seen in conversation with several of the leaders pf the Junto, who made arrangements with him to make sundry awful disclosures about the Mormons. Here was a bargain between the Junto and the Mormon General, to get up an excitement against the Mormons for political effect. The affairs of our State call for sober reflection, yet the Junto here desire to turn the attention of the people from the consideration of important principles and measures by getting up an excitement about Mormonism. The people, being so often deceived, scarcely believe the truth when presented for political effect on the eve of an election. Why did not Bennett wait till after the election to make his disclosures? Surely his statements would have received more credit. The real object of this Joseph is to aid whiggery, his dagger is aimed at the breast of democracy concealed by a pretended aim at Mormonism.

What are the Whigs going to do with their members of the last Legislature, all of whom voted for the Mormon charter, and who are candidates for re-election? Brown, of Sangamon, Harrison of Jo Daviess, Fithian of Vermillion, and a host of others? Gov. Duncan says these men have all betrayed their constituents by voting for the charter.

Of course, if the Whigs believe Gov. Duncan, they cannot re-elect these candidates.

The Mormon Charter.

The Alton Telegraph seeks to elect Gov. Duncan on the ground of his opposition to the Mormon charter. The same print seeks to elect Gen. Henderson, who voted for this very Mormon charter!!! Could humbug go further than this?

A correspondent from a distance writes us, that he overheard a conversation between Unchangeable Jo, and Henderson, in which it was arranged between them, that Jo Should abuse the Mormons as much as he pleased, while Henderson was to secure their votes, in consideration of the service he rendered them in the last Legislature. We have no doubt that such an arrangement was made, but we scarcely believe that our correspondent heard it

Wm. Henderson the whig candidate for Lieut. Governor has had the freedom of the city of Nauvoo voted him by the Mormons. Does not this show that he is the favorite of the Mormons? Does not Unchangeable Jo know this fact? Yet he and Henderson are cuddling to each other, one for, and the other pretending to be against the Mormons. But any way, say they, if we can humbug the people to vote for us.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Illinois  Republican.

Vol. ?                         Shawneetown, Saturday, July 9, 1842.                         No. ?


The Kaskaskia Republican gives an account of the murder of a Mr. John Stevenson of Jackson county. A letter from the brother of the deceased says that the writer and his brother had joined the Mormons some two years before -- that two Mormon preachers visited him and his brother a few days before his death for the purpose of levying contributions to aid in the completion of the Mormon Temple. They refused to give as much as demanded and were greeted with the emphatic threat "you may think youselves well off if you have any of your property long." Mr. John Stevenson was murdered five or six days afterwards. Mr. Edward Stephenson, says that the deceased was a harmless inoffensive man and had not an enemy on earth. His house was entered in the absence of Mrs. S. and whilst Mr. S. was ploughing in the field -- his trunk broken open and robbed of its contents (only three dollars) and his gun taken from its stand and fired at Mr. S. in the field. It seems to have been the general impression, that these Mormons must have been the murderers. Comment is unnecessary.

It is said Joe Smith, has given orders to the Danites to murder Gen. Bennett. He has also attacked Sidney Rigdon, George Robinson and other leading men of intelligence belonging to the gang.

Judge Ford, of Illinois, unites the support of a most motley group of polticians and fanatics. He is the favorite of the Mormons, and will receive not only Jo. Smith's support, but that of the Locofocos, Abolitionists and Tyler men. It is stated, however, with entire confidence, that Gov. Duncan will [------ the] whole [---------] condition. -- St. Louis New Era.

The Ottawa Free Trader, one of the Mormon supporters of Judge Ford, denounces Governor Duncan as a 'political renegade.' ...
               (see Alton Telegraph of July 2, 1842 for this article)

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. III.                        Springfield, Friday, July 15, 1842.                        No. 50.

How can the Journal answer this?

The Sangamo Journal, for the last few weeks, has been charging, that a bargain exists between the Democrats and the Mormons, and that the Mormon charter was the fruits of that bargain. To sustain this charge, the Journal issued divers handbills, last week, containing letters from the Mormon General John C. Bennett. The Journal has thus made a good witness of Bennett, and of course is bound to admit all his statements.

We copy the following letter of this same Gen. Bennett, from the Wasp, published at Nauvoo. The readers will perceive that Bennett expressly declares that he himself wrote the Mormon charter, and procured its passage "without any CORRUPT BARGAIN or nefarious plot and league, as charged by Mr. Francis." Thus the Journal's charge is disproved from the mouth of his own witness. It did not suit the purposes of the Journal to copy this letter of Bennett's. This letter he entirely suppresses, while he pompously parades before the public such of Bennett's letters as suits his purpose. The Journal dare not publish the whole of Bennett's testimony. It suppresses that part which gives the lie direct to all the Journal's assertions.

We extract the following, from Bennett's letter, as given in the "Wasp."

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

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

  *   *   *   *   *

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

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

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

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

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

Col. Henderson and the Mormons --
The Whig candidate at Nauvoo.

Col. Henderson, the whig candidate for Lieut. Governor of this State, in his speeches to the people in many parts of the State, has denounced the Mormons in the bitterest terms and condemned their charter as a monstrous measure, (although he voted for the very charter in the last Legislature.) In these speeches, Col. Henderson every where wound up his remarks on this subject by declaring, that he intended to visit Nauvoo in person, and when there, make the same speech against the Mormons and their charter, that he had made in other places.

Now, reader, mark the result. Col. Henderson was at Nauvoo last week, and made his speech. We have just conversed with a highly respectable citizen of Macon county, a man of unquestionable veracity, who was present at Nauvoo, and heard Col. Henderson make his speech. He says that Col. Henderson from the beginning to the end of his speech, did not allude to the Mormons in any manner whatever, nor say a word one way or the other, about their charter. It thus appears that Col. Henderson is a Mormon when at Nauvoo, and an anti-Mormon every where wise!

The Journal of to-day comes out with a pitiful apology for its numerous articles published for the last two years, upholding the Mormons, and condemning us and Governor Carlin for [stated] opposition to that sect.

The Mormon Prophet and the
Mormon General at daggers' points.

The people of this State have been aroused, as with an avalanche, by the publication of certain "awful disclosures" of our neighbor the Journal. Bulletin after bulletin has been successively issued, as in times of war, or of miraculous revelation. The days of Maria Monk seem to have returned upon us; nay they are evidently to be eclipsed by the Journal, Jo Duncan, and the Mormons, under the instructions of that virtuous, disinterested and truthful set, the Junto.

We have no objective whatever to see Mormonism and its leaders exposed to the world. Indeed we would encourage it, if attempted with a view to do justice and develop truth, but we have no confidence in this exposition, because it is purposely designed to affect the approaching gubernatorial election.

As soon as Gov. Duncan entered the field as a candidate, he labored to secure the votes of the Mormons. Not being able to succeed, he saw the necessity of some desperate stratagem to gull the people. In sin and iniquity he conceived one -- he determined to excite if possible all the other religious sects against the Mormons, hoping to gain their favor by his hostility to this mushroom sect. He next charges the Democrats with having brought up the Mormons, by granting them a charter of extraordinary privileges, at the last session of the Legislature. But seven months after the passage of the Charter, the time he asserts the bargain was made, we find the Mormons to a man, voting for John T. Stuart the whig candidate for Congress. So if they were bought up with the Charter the whigs must have bought them. Duncan and his friends are angry because they wouldn't stay bought. The Mormons went for "Tip and Tyler too" in 1840, and for Stuart in 1841. Then they were a holy people in the estimation of these heroes of log cabins and coon skins. Now, they are to be crucified because they are walking in the footsteps of their illustrious predecessors, Captain Tyler and the Godlike Webster, in marching from the ranks if the "great whig party." The Mormon General Bennett is thrust from the temple at Nauvoo as too unclean to mingle with those who minister there, and forthwith the Springfield Junto, a herd of kindred spirits, send for him -- they hug him to their bosoms with a grin of infernal joy. Promises, flattery and perhaps money are bestowed upon him. Finally a plan for horrible disclosures is proposed and agreed upon, and the Journal, the miserable harlot of the Junto, is made to bring forth to the world, a litter of crippled and mis-shapen monsters, to frighten half-witted men, women and children, and divert the [attention] of the people from a sober consideration of the important interests involved in the election. By such foul means -- by such base trickery the managers of the whig party hope to elect the corrupt Prince of town-lot speculators, Governor of the State of Illinois.

The whole mystery of the political course of the Mormons, in our opinion, is simply this: Smith is a shrewd fellow. He supports the popular side in politics for his own interest. When in Missouri he went for Van Buren, because there the Van Buren party was largely in the majority. In 1840 he saw the tide and wind setting in strong for Tippecanoe, hence he threw up his hat for Harrison. In 1841 he believed this was a whig congressional district, and therefore he went for Stuart "without a why or wherefore." In 1842, believing, as almost every body else, that Illinois is decidedly a Democratic State, he cries out lustily, hurrah for Snyder and Moore. Such we candidly believe to be the sole motives of Smith's political changes -- motives that have changed some of the most prominent politicians of the country, and will continue to change others as long as man is impelled by self-interest

Regarding the war against the Mormons, at this particular time, as an electioneering scheme, got up by unprincipled political demagogues, we denounce it.

The Journal, the Mormons and
Gov. Duncan.

A hot controversy is now going on between Joseph Smith (the Mormon prophet) through the columns of the "Times & Seasons," and the Mormon General John C. Bennett, through the columns of the Sangamo Journal. In this controversy, it suits the views of Gov. Duncan, the Journal, and the Junto, to take sides with Bennett, and accordingly we find the Journal publishing Bennett's letters in daily bulletins, and circulating them all over the State.

Many thousand copies of Bennett's letters have been struck off at the expense of Gov. Duncan, as we have been credibly informed, and distributed gratuitously everywhere, they taking good care to suppress the first letter of Bennett, which denies, in express terms, the charges of Duncan and Francis against Judge Ford and the Democratic party.

In this controversy between Duncan, Francis, Bennett and Smith, we take no part. If we are to believe what they say of each other, it would be difficult to decide which is the biggest rascal.

We have another objection to the publication of these statements, and this is, that they are so very obscene and vulgar, as to be unfit for the columns of any respectable newspaper. Smith charges Bennet, in the Times and Seasons, with crimes of the blackest, and most immoral character. Bennett retorts these same charges on Smith in the columns of the Journal. Which is the public to believe?

Duncan and Francis, with a total disregard to decency, publish and circulate one side of these obscene, vulgar, statements, which must shock the mind of every virtuous, chaste, and moral individual in every part of the State. We cannot devote our columns to such obscene publications.

We leave Duncan, Bennett, Smith, and the Journal all the honor of the controversy; only cautioning them to beware the fate of the Kilkenny cats, and not eat each other up, in this family quarrel.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. III.                        Springfield, Friday, July 22, 1842.                        No. 51.

Course of Gov. Duncan, and his
hireling press in this canvass.

When the people in this State look back to the beginning of the present canvass, and the course of the Federal-whig leaders from that time to the present, it will afford them a lesson of instruction. It will be remembered that the Clay-whig leaders, last winter, were almost unanimously in favor of holding a Convention to nominate candidates for Governor and Lieut. Governor...

Accordingly, we have seen Duncan, and his hireling troops, commence a war on the Mormons, their former allies -- on a sect who have uniformly supported whig men and whig measures for the last two or three years. We have seen this same Duncan profess reverance for Gen. Jackson, while every old citizen knows that he turned traitor to Jackson...

All these things, and many more, Gov. Duncan and his whig allies, say nothing about to the people. It would not be policy to do so. O, no! We must get up mere humbugs, say these deceivers -- more raw heads and bloody bones -- more log cabins and coon skins -- only we will change the manner now. The people found out our deceptions in 1840. We must now try them with a dose of Mormonism, at the expense of our ally, Jo Smith -- we must get up "awful disclosures" without number, and tell more lies on little Tom Ford than would sink a seventy-four.

Such is whig policy -- such is Gov. Duncan's policy and that of his hirelings, Simple Sim and Attorney Davis.

The game of the whigs.

While the Sangamo Journal publishes Bennett's letters, and professes to believe their contents, the Quincy Whig does not publish them and doubts their accuracy. The Whig says:

"We can hardly put entire reliance upon the statements of Bennett -- they disclose so much wickedness."

This game of the different whig papers is well understood. At Quincy, and in other parts of Adams county, there are many Mormons, and hence the whig paper there sides with the Mormons, in order to procure their votes for Senator and Representatives; while the organ here is hot against them, in the hope of arraigning every anti-Mormon vote in favor of Duncan!

Further insight in the game.

Does it not seem strange that while Duncan is denouncing the Mormons, Henderson is currying favor with them? Witness his speech at Nauvoo last week.

More of the Whig Plot.

Since we wrote the foregoing paragraph, we have received "The Wasp" of July 16, published by Wm. Smith, a relative of Jos. Smith, a relative of Jos. Smith, at the Mormon city of Nauvoo. We extract the following paragraph from that paper. The plot of the whigs is now developed. It is a startling disclosure, and will arouse the indignation of every honest man in the community. While Duncan and the Journal are denouncing the Mormons, this paragraph shows that it is all pretence: all done to suit "the prejudices of the people," but which is well understood at Nauvoo. "There is no misunderstanding," says the Mormon writer, "between Gov. Duncan, Henderson and the Mormons."

May God forgive the hypocrisy and deceptions of the whig leaders! It is enough to sink the State, like a second Sodom, on account of their wickedness.

From the Wasp.


Col. Henderson was in our city last week and delivered what we should call a first rate political speech. He is a man of first rate talent and a gentleman, and goes it with a perfect rush for retrenchment and reform. He spoke in the highest possible terms of Gov. Duncan, and the way he used up the Locofocos was a caution to sinners.

Gov. Duncan is also a man of the first order. The prejudices of the people where he has travelled, has led him to take a course apparently against the Mormons; but we know Gov. Duncan, and he knows us -- there is no misunderstanding between us. The August election is near at hand and that will show who will be Governor. After the election it will be right with us. Hurrah for the Colonel and Jo.

Note: The above "Col. Henderson and Gov. Duncan" reprint was supposedly copied from a pro-Whig article featured in Apostle William Smith's The Wasp, at Nauvoo, on July 16, 1842. However, it seems that the notice only appeared in the very limited print-run of a specially prepared edition of that paper, intended only for export to the capital city of Springfield. The suspicious pro-Whig piece did not appear in the general print-run of that paper, as distributed locally in Hancock county. It appears very likely that the editorial staff members at the State Register were working hand-in-glove with Elder George J. Adams at Nauvoo, to joint;y set up and promote a public relations smoke screen, masking a covert Democrat-Mormon cooperation throughout the Illinois election of August, 1842. The Register, all through July, promulgated untrue reports saying that the Nauvoo Mormons were planning to vote the Whig ticket in the coming election. John C. Bennett's anti-Mormon exposure letters, as printed in the Whig flagship newspaper, the Sangamo Journal, were dismissed by the Register as nothing more than a Whig attempt to grab sensational publicity and in the process deflect the voters' attention from allegations of Whig-Mormon political dealings. Once the August election was over, it became clear that Joseph Smith had influenced his followers to votes as a block for the Democrat candidates in all the political contests. Once this fact became evident, the writers at the Register fell silent regarding both the Bennett claims and the fanciful stories of there being any cooperation between Whigs and Mormons. For more on this matter see the Sangamo Journal of July 29, 1842.


The People's Miscellany
  and Illinois Herald.

Vol. I.                               Alton, Wednesday, July 27, 1842.                               No. 1.


The 4th was celebrated at this far-famed city of imposture and delusion, with military and prophetic honors. The prophet displayed his Legion, and harangued the people. The only thing wirth noticing about it was, that Capt. Ross of Burlington, Iowa, with the command of about "100 gentlemen" went down to unite with them in the celebration. If "Joe Smith" is ejected from Illinois, as some think he will be, he may return the compliment. Those splendid prairies west of Burlington would be a rare chance for "the latter day Saints," when Illinois becomes too strait for them. The Burlingtonians could not but receive them with every attention and hospitality. -- We drop the hint for the benefit of the prophet. It is worthy of his consideration.

"MORMONISM in all ages: in the Rise, Progress and Causes of Mormonism: with the biography of its Author and Founder, Joseph Smith, Jr., by Prof. J. B. Turner, Illinois College, Jacksonville, Ill." pp. 304.

We anticipated much pleasure from the perusal of this work, and we were not disappointed. Here we have a full length portrait of Mormonism, drawn by an able hand. And it is made to appear, what it really is, a most hidious monster.

Hitherto, we, in common with a multitude of others, have indulged no serious fears respecting this last form of fanaticism. A remark made in our hearing by a friend, when speaking on this subject, viz. -- that "It is a mere storm in a tea-pot" -- expressed our views precisely. Indeed, we looked upon it as an error which, like thousands of a similar character, would shortly cure itself. But we can no longer regard Mormonism with such indifference. Our readers have but to peruse the work of Prof. Turner, to be convinced that there is something rather squally in that corner. We do not anticipate any very great evil, beyond what ordinarily results from fanaticism of the kind. But it is evident that the leaders in this cause have far-reaching designs, that wear another than a religious aspect. What these are time will determine; and that, too, as we believe, long before they can be carried into effect. -- Com.

Note: The above abbreviated review originally appeared in the New York Journal of Commerce. For an pre-publication look at this same book by Dr. Jonathan B. Turner, see The Illinoian of Oct. 16, 1841. Turner's book on Smith and the Mormons appeared only a few weeks prior to Bennett's more audacious volume on the same subject. Both writers relied heavily upon Eber D. Howe's 1834 Mormonism Unvailed for their respective histories of the "rise" of early Mormonism.


Vol. III.                         Springfield, Friday, July 29, 1842.                         No. 52.

for the use of
Editor of the Whig Sangamo Journal.
Wherein he may see himself and the Mormons, as they
stood together in 1840-41

The first article is a severe and unmerited condemnation of Gov. Carlin for performing a simple act of duty, in issuing a writ for the apprehension of Jo Smith, on the demand of the Governor of Missouri. The Journal threatens Gov. Carlin with the "public indignation." These articles were issued before the Presidential election, when Smith and his Mormon followers went for Harrison and Tyler to a man.

The third article, contains a direct and unequivical endorsement of the Mormon charter, while it was pendng in the Legislature. The Journal and its friends were the authors of the charter, and hence their anxiety that it should pass. Seven months after its passage the Mormons voted for John T. Stuart for Congress, the Whig candidate.

The fifth article, Jan 19, speaks of the Mormons as a "persecuted" people, and indirectly recommends that their prayers to Congress may be heard.

The 6th article, put out just before the last August election, takes strong ground for the Mormons, censures us for publishing a very mild article cautioning the whigs about their bargains with the Mormons, and condemning Gov. Carlin for making a move against the Mormons, The Journal then "depreciated" this conduct, and declared itself opposed to the getting up of a Mormon war, and to the arraying of "prejudice against any sect for party purposes." The very thing the Journal is doing now might and main.

From the Sangamo Journal, Sept. 17, 1840.    

                    More Mormon Persecution in contemplation.

Our attention has been arrested by the following EXTRAORDINARY STATEMENTS on the Quincy Whig. We had before heard rumors to the same effect, but could not credit them. It now appears certain that the Governor of Missouri, after the lapse of a year or more from the time they made their escape from THEIR INHUMAN PERSECUTORS, has demanded of Gov. Carlin, Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon, to be taken to Missouri FOR TRIAL, and that Gov. Carlin has decided to give them up! We refer to the article from the Whig for particulars. We hope that the voice of PUBLIC INDIGNATION against this measure will yet reach Gov. Carlin and COMPEL him to revoke this decision:

From the Quincy Whig.    

The Mormons. -- We learn that the agent or officer despatched by Governor Carlin to the Governor of Missouri, for the purpose of demanding the authors of the outrages committed upon certain Mormon citizens of this State, at Tully, in July last, has returned, and that the demand was successful. The authors of the outrage will be given up, to be dealt with according to our laws.

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

Gov. Carlin and the two Missouri agents held a conference on Sunday last -- yes, on the Sabbath day! -- and the result was, as we learn, that Gov. Carlin is to give up Messrs. Smith and Rigdon, to the Missouri authorities.

So it appears the locofoco Governors of Missouri and Illinois, are carrying out a fine scheme between them. The Governor of Missouri is perfectly willing to give up the Tully rioters, to be tried by our laws, if in return, the Governor of Illinois, will surrender up two citizens of this State, to be sacrificed by a Missouri mob.

We greatly doubt the policy of this step on the part of Gov. Carlin. Most certainly, Smith and Rigdon should not be given up. The Governor well knows the prejudices existing in Missouri against the Society, of which they are prominent members. Should they be given up, and the Governor of Missouri should protect them from a mob, they could never expect justice in a trial under the laws of Missouri. The prejudices against their Society, originating in foul injustice and official persecution, so deeply affect the minds of the people of Upper Missouri, that a trial for crimes alledged against them, would be a mere mockery -- a farce. Their cases are all pre-judged. Even if tried and acquited, the mob would not leave them to go harmless from the State. Under this view of the circumstances, the Governor should have reflected more than two hours before he consented to give up Smith and Rigdon. If he gives them up, he gives them up as victims for a sacrifice, and their families will see them no more.

From the Sangamo Journal, Dec. 15, 1840.   

                          "MORMONS ARRIVED FROM ENGLAND.

"The packet ship North America, which arrived at New York last week, brought in her steerage 200 passengers, the whole of whom were "Latter Day Saints" or Mormons, bound for the Mormon settlement at Quincy. The Liverpool Chroncile states that upward of 2000 are entreating to embark early next spring for the same locality. A great portion of those who sailed in the North America, are members of the abstinence society, and are from Leicestershire and Herefordshire."

"We find the above un the Baltimore Patriot of the 2d instant. The information seems to be vertain that during the ensuing summer, several thousand additional emigrants, attached to the church of the "Latter Day Saints" will be added to the population of Adams and Hancock counties. A late number of the "Times and Seasons," published at Nauvoo, contains letters from England, showing that the success of the Mormon Missionaries there is most extraordinary: we believe that their success even astonished themselves. It is not all surprising that the English converts are disposed to emigrate to the neighborhood of their leader; as, in doing so, they will find the most fertile and healthy country, and a liberal population ready to welcome them. We should not be surprised, if, within a few years, the counties of Illinois, embracing the Military Tract, should become possessed of a population of which we can now hardly form an estimate. We have understood that, generally, these emigrants are not wealthy; but they bring with them what is of far more value -- Sobriety, Industry, and Intelligence -- with which qualities they will make good citizens, and add much to the prosperity of the State.

"As connected with the subject, we will add, that the senate of this state have passed a bill incorporating the "City of Nauvoo," in Hancock County which embraces the most liberal provisions. The bill will undoubtedly pass the House. -- The infant city now embraces a population, as we understand, of about three thousand; and is fast improving. The stagnant waters near it have been drained off and it may now be considered a decidely healthy location."

From the Sangamo Journal, Jan. 19, 1841.   

While Col. Benton, in the Senate of the United States, is endeavoring to procure an appropriation to pay the troops who served against the Mormons in Missouri, two individuals of that PERSECUTED people have petitioned the House for relief from the OUTRAGES committed upon them, and the Mormons generally, by these same troops. The memorial of the Mormons alluded to -- Messrs. Elias Higbey and Rob't. B. Thompson -- states that "they have purchased lands of the general government, lying in the State of Missouri, from which they have been driven with force by the constituted authorities of that State, and prevented from occupying the same" -- (embracing details of the measures employed vy the State for that purpose) -- "for which they pray Congress to provide a remedy." -- This petition was laid before the House on the 21st of December, referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, and ordered to be printed. We have received a copy of this document from our Representative -- and as it gives authentic details of the transaction to which it refers, is a document of more than general interest.

From the Sangamo Journal, June 18, 1841.   

The last State Register has a long article against the Mormons; not in direct terms, it is true, but still in language that cannot be misunderstood. If not, why does that paper attack Mr. Stuart for being willing to do them an act of injustice. The Mormons have been driven from Missouri and under such circumstances that they thought it their duty to make application to Congress for redress. They are consitituents of Mr. Stuart who was bound, as their Representative to prefer their claims before Congress. Yet for doing this plain act of duty, the Register reads him a lecture. That paper says, "Let Mr. Stuart beware that he does not dig a pit for himself to fall into." Is Mr. Stuart to dig a pit for himself by doing a simple act of justice to a portion of his constituents?

The object of the Register cannot be misunderstood. It is to drag the Mormons into this political contest, thinking by exciting prejudice against them among the citizens of the State, that they may gain votes against Mr. Stuart, because HE HAS BEEN A FRIEND TO THE MORMONS. It seems ominous that this paragraph in the Register make its appearance about the same time that Gov. Carlin is making a movement at Quincy against the Mormons. Is there a concerted movement with the Register and its friends to get up another Mormon war in order to make political capital? If so, we depreciate it. We will ever regret to see any sect in religion drawn into the political contest of the day. We would be sorry to see prejudice for or against any sect for party purposes -- and for this reason we depreciate this movement of the Register against the Mormons. The creed they believe may be wrong, but in this free country they have the right to worship their Maker in any form their consciences may approve. Their belief is a question between them and their God, and with them as a sect the Register has no right to interfere. Why, then, do they seek to draw them into a party struggle?

Testimony of a Whig Paper --
Mormons vote for Duncan.

The following article from the Peoria Register tells a very different story from the Sangamo Journal...

From the Peoria (Whig) Register.

JUDGE FORD. -- We have not published a line about Judge Ford since his nomination for Governor by the loco foco party. We supposed his principles to be those of his party, viz: a hard money currency with its consequent low wages -- and opposition to a tariff. On matters of State policy we supposed him to be northern in his views, and that he would favor the completion of our canal so far as was consistent with the true interest of the State. On the Mormon question, which has recently been brought into the canvass with all the frightfulness of a raw head and bloody bones, we believed he would do what was right, and that if it became necessary to resort to any legislation to undo what has been done, or otherwise to control within due bounds this growing sect, no political considration would influence his conduct. Whatever private understandings there may be between the Mormon prophet (J. Smith) and certain leaders of the loco foco party, we do not believe that Judge Ford is any party in the contract, and therefore we have published nothing conveying such an imputation, and, until we have some evidence thereof, we shall not do so. We believe if the Mormons depend on Judge Ford's favor in case he is elected Governor, they will be deceived, and though there are several about here, we do not know one who will vote for him. They have no more to gain from him than from Gov. Duncan, and hence they will vote for either only as they may be affected by the opinions they entertain of their national or state politics.

The charge made in the Journal of to-day, that Gen. Adams, by contact with us, procured the article to be written in the Wasp, which we copied in our last, is a base, wilfull, and deliverate falsehood, which could only emanate from a desperate, reckless, and villanous source, like the Journal or the Telegraph.

Let the editor of the Journal look at the admission of the last Peoria Register (copied by us above.) Surely, we shall not be accused of concerting with that editor, and sending it up to him for publication. Such a charge would be too absurd. The fact is, the Wasp and the Peoria Register know what they are about. They know who is to get the Mormon vote, Duncan and Henderson! says the Peoria Register. Henderson and Jo, repeats the Wasp.

The Mount Carmel Certificate.

The Sangamo Journal and the Peoria Register parade before their readers a certificate... the signers to which are all rank whigs... This is the substance of this certificate... Judge Ford... has also everywhere declared himself in favor of repealing such parts of the Mormon charters as are inconsistent with justice and equal rights; and of putting the Mormons on the same footing as all other citizens...

The Whigs -- The Mormons -- Joe Duncan
-- Jo Smith -- the Wasp and the Journal.

As the election approaches we find the Mormons, like the sow to her wallowing, are turning to the Whigs, and as always before, on the day of election every vote will be cast for the whig candidates. Henderson, as we have all along said, has an understanding with the Mormons. He reached Nauvoo and made a very flattering and concilliatory speech just in time to have the Wasp, the Mormon paper, publish the news and have it reach the Mormons throughout the State, & direct them to vote for Duncan and Henderson. Hence the object of the article we copied into our last paper from the Wasp. The bargain has been consummated between Henderson and the Prophet. -- All things between the two Josephs have been reconciled by Henderson, and the Mormon vote is to be cast for the Whigs. -- This was a desperate gamem, and desperately have Duncan and Henderson played it. They are old political gamblers. They had not only marked the cards, but they cut and shuffled the pack, so as to throw the game into their own hands. They held all the trumps, and they have not only out-tricked "the Jews" but the Mormons also.

Henderson visits the Mormons and propitiates them by a speech, assures them that if he and Duncan shall be elected that they will protect and aid them. Duncan keeps away from the Mormons, denounces them, and charges that the Democrats have been bargaining with them, to induce the honesat yeomanry, whom he expects to mislead, to go against the Democratic candidates. Thus they play a double game -- they are for the Mormons among Mormons, and against the Mormons among anti-Mormons. * The people will not be fooled by such naked trickery. Let every Democrat adhere to his principles, do his duty at the polls, vote for Ford and Moore, and the Democratic ticket will succeed by thousands, even though the Mormons should vote for the Whigs.

* We have been informed that not a single copy of the Sangamo Journal has been sent to Hancock county for four weeks.

The Journal of to-day publishes "a rumor" that "Holy Joe" (meaning Jo Smith) has been demanded by the Governor of Missouri, and that certain friends of Judge Ford have persuaded Gov. Carlin not to give up Smith until after the August elections, &c.

.This is all a lie, from first to last! There is no such rumor even! Gov. Carlin has had no application made to him for Smith.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Northwestern  Gazette
  and Galena Advertiser.

Vol. VIII.                            Galena, Friday, September 30, 1842.                            No. 47.

Bennett, the former co-worker of Jo Smith in rascality, is treated much as he deserves to be at the East. In exposing Jo, he lays himself bare to the lash, and the public, in their censure, apply it with an unsparing hand.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Columbia Advocate.

Vol. ?                            Columbia, Ill., Oct. ? 1842.                            No. ?


THE MORMONS. -- These unfortunate beings -- unfortunate in the estimation of the newspaper scribblers -- are perhaps the subject of more notoriety than almost any thing else that has for the last year agitated our mundane sphere. All sorts of stories are afloat reflecting on their alleged wickedness and the dangers to which the citizens of Illinois are constantly exposing themselves by permitting them to hold an asylum on our territory. We saw it stated not long since -- in the N. Y. Commercial Advertiser we think -- that there had been a skirmish between the militia of the State of Illinois and the Mormon forces, in which the latter were severely beaten, sixteen lives lost and property confiscated by the ruthless mob who had collected from the neighboring counties, and the opposite side, Missouri. Another New York print states that Joe Smith has been kidnapped and taken, no one know where-that the greatest disorder and excitement pervade the Holy City. These stories, got up by the scullions of the press, may all do very well in the East, where alone a morbid taste for mystery and a delight for evil seems to be coeval with their existence. But it is passing strange to us how any well informed editor -- Col. Stone for instance; can give publicity to these "idle tales, told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." Here in our own State, where Mormonism rears its bold front, these vague rumors and strange disclosures, only excite the ridicule and contempt they so justly deserve. Would it not be as well, if the eastern press would desist from their course, and bestow their sympathies upon the more charitable subjects who are the immediate causes of so much misery in their own vicinities? We think so.

The exact date of the above article is unknown. The text is taken from a reprint in the Oct. 15, 1842 issue of the Times & Seasons.


Illinois  Republican.

Vol. ?                     Shawneetown, Saturday, Dec. 10, 1842.                     No. ?


A MORMON MIRACLE KNOCKED IN THE HEAD. -- One of Joe Smith's holy clan, finding that the disclosure of Mormonism by Bennett, had had the effect of shaking the faith of his followers, determined to set his brain to work to invent a scheme how to recover the lost confidence of his congregation, cost what it might. For this purpose he procured a dove and taught the bird to fly to him and eat from his ears in which he placed the grains that served for its daily food. Having, as he thought, sufficiently trained the bird, he gave out that on the next Sabbath after lecturing he would prove by a miracle that he was a Prophet of God. The day came -- the meeting house was crowded -- one of Erin's unsophisticated sons had been procured under promise of eternal secrecy, to hide himself in the garret, and to let the messenger of peace fly at the word of command. All was arranged; with a countenance lit up with confidence of success, the Latter Day Saint began his exhortation, pronounced Bennett a scoundrel, a liar and impostor, and to prove his assertions, he with a loud voice called on heaven to send down its holy spirit, in the form of a dove, as it appeared hovering over oyr Savior when baptized in the river Jordan. A dread silence prevailed -- each eye fixed with superstitious awe on the excited prophet, who with extended arms loudly called for the Holy Ghost. Again and again he called, but still no answer was made; at last, fearful that his Hiberian agent in the loft had not heard him, he fairly burst forth as he frantically clapped his hands, and stamped his feet, "Holy Ghost appear!"

When lo! and behold the Irishman's red phis protruded through the crack of the ceiling and addressed the discomfitted prophet in this wise,

"Arrah, be-Jesus, how can the Holy Ghost be arter making his appearance. Hasn't the cat ate him? -- Wills' Point Herald.

Note 1: The story of the designing preacher and his trained "holy" dove (untimely eaten by a cat or rat) was an old piece of American folklore appropriated by anti-Mormon writers to typify what they saw as the hoax of Joseph Smith's Mormonism -- no matter whether or not Smith and his saintly associates ever actually engaged in such outrageous conduct. Just such an account appeared in the columns of the Cincinnati Enquirer late in 1842. The Enquirer's dubious report may have been the first time the trained dove story was coupled with an account of the religion of Joseph Smith. The basic premise of the scene was not alien to Mormonism, however. Smith himself described the bird figure in his 1842 publication of the "Book of Abraham" graphics as a the Holy Ghost descending in the form of a dove. And, in a portion of the Book of Mormon supposedly written six centuries before the birth of Christianity, the ancient writer Nephi says "the Holy Ghost descended upon him in the form of a dove." See also the old legend concerning a trained dove (or trained pidgeon), that picked grain from the ear of Mohammed, creating the impression of its bringing whispered revelations to the prophet from Allah.

Note 2: A person whose identity was "withheld for prudential reasons" in Arthur B. Deming's Naked Truths No. 2 applies the time-worn dove tale to the scene of Smith's pulpit speech at the dedication of the Kirtland Temple. Two other of Deming's "witnesses," Stephen H. Hart and Mrs. Barber provide similar accounts. The Syracuse Empire State Democrat ran a series of "Mormon Anecdotes," of the same genre, beginning in its issue for July 20, 1844.


Vol. IV.                         Springfield, Friday, January 6, 1843.                         No. 23.


The District Court of the United States have had under consideration, during the last few days, the case of Jos. Smith, arrested under a requisition from the Governor of Missouri as an alleged accessory to the attempted murder of Governor Boggs. The question before the Court, was whether Jos. Smith was a fugitive from justice, within the meaning of the laws and constitution of the United States. The court, after argument decided that Smith was not a fugitive, having been in the State of Illinois at the time of the attempted assassination. Smith has since been released from custody. The Attorney General argued the cause in behalf of the State, and Mr. Butterfield for the prisoner.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. IV.                         Springfield, Friday, January 20, 1843.                         No. 25.


On Thursday last a discussion sprung up in the House of Representatives upon a bill to repeal the Nauvoo charters. The bill was defeated through the exertions of Mr. Smith and Mr. Owen, the representatives from Hancock County. Mr. Smith (who we learn is a brother of the prophet) made a powerful speech in defense of his brethren, in the course of which he gave Mr. Davis of Bond county a very severe castigation. This is the second time the proposition to repeal these charters has been defeated. We are opposed to persecution, in all its forms. The Mormons are entitled to the same rights as other citizens but no more. Any attempt to repeal their charters is wrong unless all other charters are repealed also. It may be that the Nauvoo charters require amendment. If so, let them be amended, but this idea of depriving the Mormons of rights which other citizens possess, is worse than the edicts of the Spanish inquisition, and will not be tolerated in a free country. Messrs. Davis, Smith and Owen, are a perfect team in standing up by the rights of their constituents.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. IV.                         Springfield, Friday, March 31, 1843.                         No. 35.


(speech on Nauvoo charters -- under construction)


Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. 4. No. 13.                   Nauvoo, Ill., May 15, 1843.                 Whole No. 73.

For the Times & Seasons.

A Visit to Nauvoo.

By Samuel A. Prior, a Methodist Minister.

Mr. Editor: -- I feel somewhat unwilling to go from this city, until I have returned my sincere thanks for the kind treatment I have received from all with whom I have had any intercourse, since I first came into this place. I must confess that I left home with no very favorable opinions of the Latter Day Saints.--I have had the misfortune to live always among that class of people who look upon a Mormon as being of quite another race, from the rest of mankind, and holding no affinity to the human family. My ears had been so often assailed by the tales of their vice and immorality, that I could not but reflect, in spite of my determination to remain unprejudiced, that I should witness many scenes detrimental to the christian character, if not offensive to society. My friends crowded around me, giving me many cautions against the art and duplicity of that deluded sect, as they called them and intreated me to observe them closely, and learn the true state of their community. I set out on foot, making my arrangements to continue there until I was satisfied what kind of beings the Mormons were. It was something over sixty miles, and on the road I often had time to reflect upon the errand of my journey,. and fancy to myself the condition in which I expected to find them.

On my arriving at Carthage, I accidentally met an old, and much beloved friend, who was himself, a member of the church. Having been apprised of my design in visiting the church of Latter Day Saints, he very kindly offered to accompany me to Nauvoo, the city of the prophet, but stated that he would be compelled to visit a little town called Macedonia, before he could go up, and wanted me to go with him, as it was only eight miles distant. I kept up a lively discourse upon the subject of Mormonism, and the ready and appropriate answers he gave to the numerous questions I put to him, convinced me that their doctrine was not as bad as I had anticipated. At Macedonia I was kindly received by Mr. Andrews who, being informed by my friend, who and what I was, cordially received me, bidding me welcome to his humble abode, with all the feelings of a long absent, though respected brother. This reception, so vastly different from what I had expected, totally enamoured me, and put to blush all my former anticipations of cold, harsh, and morose expressions, which I expected to meet from all who became acquainted with my calling and station in life. I found Mr. Andrews a man of general intelligence, of good moral notions, and correct religious ideas. Although I could not agree with him in all points, yet I found him liberal and open hearted, far beyond my fondest expectations. The next day at 11 o'clock, I had the honor for the first time in my life, to hear the prophet preach; a notice of which had been circulated the evening before. I will not attempt to describe the various feelings of my bosom as I took my seat in a conspicuous place in the congregation, who were waiting in breathless silence for his appearance. While he tarried, I had plenty of time to revolve in my mind the character and common report of that truly singular personage. I fancied that I should behold a countenance sad and sorrowful, yet containing the fiery marks of rage and exasperation. I supposed that I should be enabled to discover in him some of those thoughtful and reserved features, those mystic and sarcastic glances, which I had fancied the ancient sages to possess. I expected to see that fearful, faltering look of conscious shame which, from what I had heard of him, he might be expected to evince. He appeared at last; but how was I disappointed when instead of the heads and horns of the beast and false prophet, I beheld only the appearance of a common man, of tolerably large proportions. I was sadly disappointed, and thought that, although his appearance could not be wrested to indicate anything against him, yet he would manifest all I had heard of him when he began to preach. I sat uneasily, and watched him closely. He commenced preaching, not from the Book of Mormon, however, but from the Bible; the first chapter of the first of Peter was his text. He commenced calmly, and continued dispassionately to pursue his subject, while I sat in breathless silence, waiting to hear that foul aspersion of the other sects, that diabolical disposition of revenge, and to hear that rancorous denunciation of every individual but a Morrnon. I waited in vain; I listened with surprise, I sat uneasy in my seat, and could hardly persuade myself but that he had been apprized of my presence, and so ordered his discourse on my account, that I might not be able to find find fault with it, for instead of a jumbled jargon of half connected sentences, and a volley of imprecations, and diabolical and malignant denunciations heaped upon the heads of all who differed from him, and the dreadful twisting and wresting of the scriptures, to suit his own peculiar views, and attempt to weave a web of dark and mystic sophistry around the gospel truths, which I had anticipated, he glided along through a very interesting and elaborate discourse, with all the care and happy facility of one who was well aware of his important station, and his duty to God and man, and evidencing to me, that he was well worthy to be styled "a workman rightly dividing the word of truth," and giving without reserve, "saint and sinner his portion in due season" -- and I was compelled to go away with a very different opinion from what I had entertained when I first took my seat to hear him preach. In the evening I was invited to preach, and did so. -- The congregation was large and respectable -- they paid the utmost attention. This surprised me a little, as I did not expect to find any such thing as a religious toleration among them. -- After I had closed, Elder Smith, who had attended, arose and begged leave to differ from me in some few points of doctrine, and this he did mildly, politely, and affectingly; like one who was more desirous to disseminate truth and expose error, than to love the malicious triumph of debate over me. I was truly edified with his remarks, and felt less prejudiced against the Mormons than ever. He invited me to call upon him, and I promised to do so. The next morning I started for Nauvoo; but my feelings were beginning strangely to alter. I found one stay after another, fast giving away, and a solemn and awful reflection was awakened in my mind.

But there was one thing yet remaining, -- I had not yet seen Nauvoo, and so often having heard that it was the most degraded place in the world, the very sink of iniquity, and that all who lived there were liars, thieves, and villains, who were the refuse of society, and the filth of the world, that in spite of my better judgment, expected to see some traces at least, of that low prostitution which I had so often heard charged upon them.

At length the city burst upon my sight. Instead of seeing a few miserable log cabins and mud hovels, which I had expected to find, I was surprised to see one of the most romantic places that I had visited in the West. The buildings though many of them were small, and of wood, yet bore the marks of neatness which I have not seen equaled in this country. The far-spread plain at the bottom of the hill was dotted over with the habitations of men with such majestic profusion, that I was almost willing to believe myself mistaken, and instead of being in Nauvoo of Illinois, among Mormons, that I was in Italy at the city of Leghorn, which the location of Nauvoo resembles very much. I gazed for some time with fond admiration upon the plain below. Here and there arose a tall majestic brick house, speaking loudly of the genius and untiring labor of the inhabitants, who have snatched the place from the clutches of obscurity and wrested it from the bonds of disease, and in two or three short years rescued it from a dreary waste to transform it into one of the first cities of the West. The hill upon which I stood was covered over with the dwellings of men, and amid them was seen to rise the hewn stone and already accomplished work of the temple, which was now raised fifteen or twenty feet above the ground. The few trees that were permitted to stand are now in full foliage, and are scattered with a sort of fantastic irregularity over the slope of the hill.

But there was one object which was far more noble to behold, and far more majestic than any other yet presented to my sight, and that was the widespread and unrivaled Father of Waters, the Mississippi River, whose mirror-bedded waters lay in majestic extension before the city, and in one general curve seemed to sweep gallantly by the beautiful place. On the farther side was seen the dark green woodland, bending under its deep foliage, with here and there an interstice bearing the marks of cultivation. A few houses could be seen through the trees on the other side of the river, directly opposite to which is spread a fairy isle, covered with beautiful timber. The isle and romantic swell of the river soon brought my mind back to days of yore, and to the bright emerald isles of the far-famed fairy land. The bold and prominent rise of the hill, fitting to the plain with exact regularity, and the plain pushing itself into the river, forcing it to bend around its obstacle with becoming grandeur, and fondly to cling around it to add to the heightened and refined luster of this sequestered land.

I passed on into the more active parts of the city, looking into every street and lane to observe all that was passing. I found all the people engaged in some useful and healthy employment. The place was alive with business -- much more so than any place I have visited since the hard times commenced. I sought in vain for anything that bore the marks of immorality, but was both astonished and highly pleased at my ill success. I could see no loungers about the streets nor any drunkards about the taverns. I did not meet with those distorted features of ruffians. or with the ill-bred and impudent. I heard not an oath in the place, I saw not a gloomy countenance; all were cheerful, polite, and industrious.

I conversed with many leading men -- found them social and well informed, hospitable and generous. I saw nothing but order and regulation in the society. Where then, I exclaimed, is all this startling proof of the utter profligacy of Nauvoo? Where, in the name of God, is the immorality charged upon the citizens of it; and what dreadful outbreaking crimes have given men the license to deprecate this place so much as they do? Where is the gang of marauders, horse thieves and ruffians, the drunkards and vicious men of Nauvoo? Where are the horrid forms of human beings distorted with hellish rage and maddened ire? Where are the dark diabolical superstitions? Where are those specimens of credulity and ignorance? Where are those damning doctrines of demons? Where, in fine, is this slough, this sink of iniquity of which I have heard so much? Surely not in Nauvoo. They must have got; the wrong place, or wilfully lied about it. I could but bluish with disappointed shame for my friends who had so misinformed me, and very soon made up my mind, like the Queen of Sheba, not to believe any reports of enemies, but to always, like her, go and see for myself. Reader, go thou and do likewise; and if you have heard the place praised, go up and see, and lo and behold, you will find the half has not been told you.

Note: A partial reprint of the above article may be found in Smucker's History of the Mormons, pp. 152-155. H. H. Bancroft, in chapter 6 of his History of Utah, misattributes Rev. Prior's published comments to a certain Mr. Newhall, a public lecturer who presented an account of his own 1843 visit to Nauvoo in the Salem Massachusetts Salem Advertiser. Quoting from Bancroft, several subsequent authors perpetuate this particular citation mistake.


Vol. IV.                         Springfield, Friday, June 23, 1843.                         No. 47.


More Whig Intrigue. -- On Saturday last an agent of Missouri presented to Gov. Ford, a demand from the Governor of Missouri for the arrest of Joseph Smith the Mormon prophet. -- This demand was founded on an indictment got up in Missouri against Smith for the old alleged treason of which he was formerly accused. There is some evidence already, and facts are fast developing, to excite the belief that this indictment has been procured to be found by the friends of Messrs. Browning & Walker, in the hopes that at this critical juncture of affairs the congressional election in two districts might be affected by it. It seems to have been the object of the two gentlemen engaged in this matter to compel the Governor of Illinois to issue a warrant against Smith at this particular time, so as to insense the Mormons and insure their votes for Browning & Walker. They foresaw that the Governor would be compelled by the constitution to issue a warrant; but it remains to be seen whether their villanous scheme will succeed.

If we rightly remember, Smith and the Mormons were driven from Missouri by force of arms. If this fact is susceptible of proof, Smith could not, in any sense, be considered a fugitive from justice; and we give it as our individual opinion, that this fact, if proved, the warrant issued against him in this instance ought to be revoked. --

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. IV.                         Springfield, Friday, July 7, 1843.                         No. 49.


JO SMITH. -- More of the late arrest. -- Our city was visited this week by the agent of Missouri and his counsel, and also by Mr. Walker, counsel of Joseph Smith. An application has been made to Gov. Ford for a military force to retake Smith, which, we learn, is now under consideration. We proceed to give the facts, as we have learned them. of the proceedings under the arrest thus far:

Joseph Reynolds, the agent of Missouri, after leaving this place, with a writ, proceeded to Nauvoo, to arrest Smith. On his arrival he ascertained that Smith was at Dixon, in Lee county. Reynolds, in company with a constable of Hancock, proceeded to Lee, and arrested Smith at Palestine Grove, near Dixon. All in company then returned to Dixon. Cyrus Walker (the Whig candidate for Congress) was at Grand du Tour, only six miles off, and was immediately retained by Smith. Under the management of Walker as his lawyer, Smith sued out a capias against Reynolds and the constable for damages in arresting him, and they were immediately arrested by the Sheriff of Lee county.

Smith, Reynolds, and the constable, all obtained writs of habeas corpus, and proceeded towards Quincy for the purpose of having a trial before Judge Young: Smith being in the custody of Reynolds, and Reynolds and the constable being in the custody of the sheriff of Lee county.

They all proceeded towards Quincy together, Smith being attended by his counsel, Cyrus Walker, who broke all his appointments in the district, where he was to have addressed the people; and Reynolds was attended by his counsel, Mr. Mason, of Dixon.

The whole party made some stop at Nauvoo, where the Missouri agent says he was forced to go against his will. Smith and Walker then sued out a writ of habeas corpus from the Municipal Court of Nauvoo. The case of Smith, was brought before that court, which, after hearing a very able speech from Mr. Walker three hours long, and very loud in favor of Smith, that Court discharged him from imprisonment. Thus the matter now stands, The Executive of Illinois has so far performed the duty required by the Constitution and laws, and he will doubtless persevere in that course without deviation.

Note 1: Smith's charges against Mr. Reynolds and Constable Wilson, for "damages in arresting him," may have something to do with Smith's disgrace and dishevelment in being chased and caught by the two Gentile officers -- see Thomas Gregg's telling of the story in his 1890 book, The Prophet of Palmyra. Gregg quotes the July 1, 1843 issue of the Nauvoo Times and Seasons, in placing Joseph Smith, Jr.'s 1843 arrest at "Mr. Wasson's... house" to which Smith had fled -- an isolated spot in south central Lee Co., Illinois, where stood "his wife's sister's residence, 12 miles from Dixon." The same incident was told in slightly varying versions by Lucy Mack Smith, in her son's biography and by her grandson, Joseph Smith III, who wrote of the events as an eye-witness, recalling the adventure in an article published posthumously in the Jan. 22, 1935 issue of the RLDS Saints' Herald.

Note 2: In their 1994 retelling of the capture episode, Linda King Newell and Valeen Tippetts Avery locate the Benjamin Wasson residence "in an area of Amboy Township called Inlet Grove." This is unlikely. The reporter of the 1843 new item locates the spot of the arrest "at Palestine Grove, near Dixon." At the time, Palestine Grove was located within Inlet Township, but a subsequent restructuring of the Lee County townships left Palestine Grove on the border of Sublette and May townships, while Inlet Grove was relegated to Lee Center Township, six miles north of "old Palestine." During the first part of 1850, Joseph Smith, Jr.'s sole surviving brother, William, abandoned his wife, Roxie Ann Grant Smith, in Knox County, with her parents, and continued the scene of his church organizing activities at Palestine -- a place had had been operating in since March, 1849, if not earlier. The potentially helpful presence of his Wasson relatives in the Palestine area may have influenced William's decision to "set up shop" there, but other factors were also involved. In 1843, one of the Dixon lawyers who had helped Joseph Smith, Jr. escape the "long arm of the law" was Joseph Wood, Esq. Mr. Wood was temporarily "converted" to William Smith's fledgling church and he served as William's spokesman for a few years (see William's letter of Dec. 5, 1851 for an interesting reference to Wood). Another convert from the region was former Strangite Elder Aaron Hook, who lived a dozen miles east of Palestine, in what is now Compton, Illinois. Although William spent a good deal of his time during the early 1850s on missionary trips, as far afield as Covington, Kentucky, etc., he appears to have maintained his official residence at Palestine until he left Lee Co. during the summer of 1854.


Northwestern  Gazette
  and Galena Advertiser.

Vol. IX.                            Galena, Friday, August 18, 1843.                            No. 41.


It is said that Joe Smith's brother, upon whom the mantle of prophecy, it is alleged, has descended, pretended to have a to the effect that all the brethren must support Mr. Hoge. A rich sample of humbuggery. This is verily the age of humbugs, and it is astonishing that they should be frequently practiced upon sensible men.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. V.                         Springfield, Aug. 18?, 1843.                         No. 3.


We have seen and heard a statement that Governor Ford had delayed making a decision upon the demand of Missouri for the militia to arrest Joseph Smith, until after the election: so as by intimidation to compel the Mormons to vote the democratic ticket. The authors of this desperate and reckless slander take counsel from their own corrupt hearts, and judge others by a knowledge of what they would do in like case. No doubt but that they would do this and more too if necessary to secure the success of their party, and hence their readiness to believe evil of others. If, however, they had been in the least degree inclined to judge correctly, they would have gone as we have done to the records of the Secretary's office, where they would have ascertained that all these suspicions were groundless; and that the Governor had actually decided not to call out the militia, eleven days before the election.

The following letters we copy from the record in the office of the Secretary of State.


Springfield Illinois, July, 16, 1843. }

To His Excellency, Thomas Reynolds,

Governor of Missouri:

SIR: The demand of Joseph H. Reynolds, Esq. the agent appointed by you to receive Joseph Smith, jr., for a detachment of militia to assist in retaking said Smith, has been duly considered by me, and I now, at the earliest moment, after coming to a conclusion on the subject, proceed to lay before you the result of my deliberations.

The request for a military force is declined. The reasons which have influenced me in coming to this determination will be furnished to you at large, as soon as I can obtain leisure to do so. I have the honor to be

Very respectfully,

Your obedient servant,



Springfield, Illinois, Aug. 14, 1843 }

To His Excellency Thomas Reynolds,

Governor of the State of Missouri:

SIR: On the 26th day of July last, I had the honor to inform you by letter, that after full consideration, I had come to the conclusion to decline ordering out a detachment of militia to assist in retaking Joseph Smith, jr., who was said to have escaped from the custody of the Missouri agent and in that letter I engaged to furnish you with my reasons at large for coming to that determination.

It appears that an indictment was found at a special term of the Davies Circuit Court, Missouri, held on the 5th day of June last, against Smith for treason. Upon this indictment the Governor of Missouri issued a requisition to the Governor of this State, demanding the arrest and delivery of Smith. A writ was thereupon duly issued by me for the apprehension and delivery of Smith as demanded. This writ was put into the hands of an officer of this state to be executed. The officer to whom it was directed immediately arrested Smith, and delivered him to Joseph H. Reynolds, the agent of Missouri, appointed to receive him. The writ has been returned to me as having been fully executed.

After Smith was delivered into the hands of Mr. Joseph H. Reynolds, it is alleged that he was rescued from his custody by the municipal court of the city of Nauvoo.

Affidavits on both sides of the question have been filed before me, and I also have additional information on the subject contained in a report of M. Brayman, Esq., a special agent appointed by myself to investigate and collect facts in relation to the whole matter.

The undisputed facts of the case are that Smith was arrested near Dixon, in Lee county; he was immediately delivered over to Mr. Reynolds: Smith immediately brought an action against Mr. Reynolds for false imprisonment, and held him to bail in the sum of four hundred dollars. Mr. Reynolds being in a strange country, and unable to give bail, was taken into custody by the sheriff of Lee county, and held as a prisoner; whilst Reynolds held Smith as his prisoner. The parties finally concluded to get out writs of habeas corpus, and try the legality of the imprisonment in each case. The writs were accordingly issued, returnable before the nearest judicial tribunal; in the circuit in which Quincy is situated, and thereupon all parties proceeded in the direction of Quincy: Smith being in the custody of Reynolds, and Reynolds himself in the custody of the sheriff of Lee county. On the road during their progress, they were met by parties of the citizens of Nauvoo; some or most of whom are said to have been members of the Nauvoo legion; though there is no evidence that they appeared in a military capacity. There was no exhibition of arms of any description, nor was there any military or warlike array; nor was there any actual force used; though Mr. Reynolds testifies that he felt under constraint, and that Smith, soon after meeting the first parties of Mormons enlarged himself from his custody.-Mr. Reynolds also testifies, (and there can be no doubt of the fact,) that he was taken to Nauvoo against his will. But whether he was taken there by the command of Smith and his friends, or by the voluntary act of the sheriff of Lee county, who had him in custody, does not appear by any testimony furnished by Mr. Reynolds. The affidavit of the sheriff has not been obtained; though there is evidence on the other side to show that the sheriff of Lee county voluntarily carried Mr. Reynolds to the city of Nauvoo, without any coercion on the part of any one.

After arriving at Nauvoo, a writ of habeas corpus was issued by the municipal court of that city, and Mr. Reynolds was compelled by the authority of the court to produce Mr. Smith before that tribunal. After hearing the case, the court discharged Smith from arrest.

There is much other evidence submitted; but the foregoing is the material part of it to be considered on the present occasion.

Now Sir, I might safely rest my refusal to order a detachment of militia to assist in retaking Smith upon the ground that the laws of this state have been fully exercised in the matter. A writ has been issued for his apprehension. Smith was apprehended; and was duly delivered by the officer of this state, to the agent of the state of Missouri, appointed to receive him. No process, officer, or authority of this state has been resisted or interfered with. I have fully executed the duty which the laws impose on me, and have not been resisted either in the writ issued for the arrest of Smith, or in the person of the officer appointed to apprehend him. If there has been any resistance to any one, it has been to the officer of Missouri, after Smith came to his custody; and every thing had been done on my part which the law warranted me in doing.

Another objection to ordering a detachment of militia, arises out of the militia laws of this State; the forty-third section of which is as follows: "Whenever it may be necessary to call into actual service any part of the militia of this State on a requisition of the executive of the United States, on an actual or threatened invasion of this State, or any of the neighboring States or Territories of the United States, the commander-in-chief shall forthwith demand from each division a detachment in proportion to the strength thereof, except as hereinafter excepted; which order shall be delivered by a special messenger to the several commandants of divisions, specifying the number demanded from each division; the time and place of rendezvous, if ordered to march; and if the same be detached under any particular act of the U. States to endorse the same on such order: Provided, that whenever the safety of any of the frontier settlements in this State, shall, in the opinion of the Governor, require it, he may exempt the militia in such settlements from being called into service, and make such further provision for the defence as the necessity of the case may require; which exemption shall be expressed in his orders to commandants of the division; who, together with the commandants of brigades, regiments, battalions and companies, shall govern themselves accordingly; -- And provided also, that such militia-men may be required to serve as spies on their own frontiers; and that on actual invasion or any extreme emergency, the commander-in-chief, commandants of divisions, brigades, battalions and companies may call on the whole or any part of the militia under their respective commands, as the nature of the case may require, who shall continue in service, if necessary, until the militia can be regularly called out."

The Governor has no other authority in calling out the militia, than that which is contained in this section; by which it appears that there must be either a requisition from the President, an actual or threatened invasion, or some extreme emergency to warrant the Governor in exercising this power. No one of these contingencies has arisen. There has been no requisition from the President-there has been no actual or threatened invasion of the State-nor is this such an extreme emergency as is contemplated by the law. If we allow that force was exhibited and threatened, to compel your agent to carry his prisoner before the municipal court of Nauvoo; that the court there took cognizance of the cause without jurisdiction, and against the consent of your agent, it would amount at most to a riot; and to a resistance of authority in a single case, and that too under color of law and legal process. To constitute an extreme emergency, so as to justify a call for the militia, there ought, in my opinion, to be something more than a mere illegal act -- something more than a design to resist the law in a single instance. The design ought to be general as in treason, rebellion, or insurrection; in which cases an universality of design is essential to constitute the offense.

If a person resist a constable or sheriff, or other officer charged with the execution of process, with an intention to resist the law in that particular instance; such an act is a misdemeanor at most -- is indictable as such, and may be met by the posse comitatus. But something more than a mere misdemeanor must have been contemplated by the law. It would seem to me that it could never have been intended that the Governor should call out the militia in every case where a constable or sheriff may be resisted; and even in a case of a riotous resistance, it would not be an extreme emergency without some military array, some warlike show, or some threatened resistance to the government itself,

In this case, there had been no warlike array in the proceedings of Smith and his friends: no exhibition of arms, and no actual force of an illegal character. Mr. Reynolds was not subjected to illegal imprisonment. He was arrested on lawful process, and although that process may have been wrongfully obtained, yet his arrest was not riotous or unlawful, but according to the forms of law. Mr. Reynolds continued in the custody of the sheriff by virtue of that process until he was taken to Nauvoo; and although he was taken to that city against his will, and was by that means compelled to take his prisoner there, yet was he taken by lawful process; by an authorized officer who acted, so far as I have any evidence, freely and voluntarily in so doing. In no one aspect of the case can I consider the present an extreme emergency, warranting a call for the militia according to the provisions of law in this State.

Thus, sir, I have stated to you the principal reasons which have influenced me in refusing to order a call of the militia. To my mind they are entirely satisfactory; and I hope they will meet with the approval of your excellence, and the citizens of Missouri.

I have the honor to be your excellency's most obedient servant.


Note: These letters may have actually been published in another August, 1843 issue of the Register. Their texts are taken from the Aug. 15, 1843 issue of the Nauvoo Times and Seasons.


Vol. V.                         Springfield, Friday, August 25, 1843.                         No. 4.

The Whigs and the Mormons.

The lamentations of the Journal and its Federal coadjutors throughout the State at the result in the Jo Daviess district is no more than could have been expected under the circumstance. Baffled in their attempts t;o mislead the Mormons, who at the hands of the whigs have received naught but abuse and contumely, they attempt to impress the public mind with the belief that Gov. Ford has bartered his official power for their votes on condition that Smith should be protected, in any event, from the authorities of Missouri. There is no proof offered of such a transaction between Smith and the Governor by the Journal, but the mere fact of the Mormons have voted the Democratic ticket is sufficient evidence to bring the Governor and others "in high places" this wholesale charge of the Federal press. We pronounce the whole a band fabrication of the Junto here to vent their spleen against Gov. Ford, and to hide their chagrin and mortification at the defeat of one of their cherished partisans. We challenge the Journal and the whole Federal press to furnish a particle of evidence of the reprehensible means spoken of between men "in high places" and Smith and the Mormons. No, the reverse is the fact, Walker and his Federal backers left no stone unturned to coerce and wheedle the Mormons into his support and when his strenuous exertions to procure their votes had rendered him obnoxious to the Anti-Mormons, he took the "back track" and endeavored to betray the trusts reposed in him by the Mormons, as their lawyer -- in endeavoring to grasp all he lost both. We have been told that he even went so far as to endeavor to induce the Deputy Marshall who was over there, to pretend to have a writ for Smith, and to take him in custody, and thereby frighten him into acquiescence. But that gentleman refused to be a party to any such "reprehensible means."

It is unnecessary for us here to repeat the circumstances of the serving of the writ upon Smith by the officer of Missouri, the whole matter was given in our last, in a letter from Gov. Ford to Gov. Reynolds of Missouri. He then gives his reasons for his refusal to deliver up Smith to the authorities of Missouri, if his reasons are not good, let the Journal show up the errors. No, that course will not do -- the senseless cry of corruption "in high places" suits their purposes better, without giving any evidence of the corruption charged.

But why these heart-burnings -- these out pourings of wrath upon the poor Mormons? Why should the Mormons vote the whig ticket? Certainly there is no affinity between them and the whigs -- they [have] no reason to love whiggery -- above all Illinois whiggery. How can these men expect the assistance of Smith? Who was it during the Gubernatorial campaign of last summer that denounced the Mormons for every thing that was base? Whose papers sought to stir up Rebellion among the people to put down these people merely because they were Democrats. Does Francis suppose that they have forgotten the oft repeated story of Smith and his Danite Band -- his stories vamped up by the scoundrel Bennett and vouched for by the Junto here. Has he forgotten in one short years charges made upon Smith by Bennett, and these again vouched for by himself, of Smith's attempt to murder Governor Boggs .

Does he suppose that these people, whom he pursued with the malignity of a fiend, week after week, month after month, with charges which modesty would blush to repeat, have forgotten his baseness. Not only were the men assailed, but the domestic sanctuary of private life -- their mothers, their daughters, and their wives were held up to the country as the "spiritual wives" and concubines of Smith and his order of priests. They were accused of treason to the State of assembling with arms in their hands to bid defiance to the laws of the country-thereby exciting against them the people of the State. Now, forgotten the Federal Junto here after their wanton persecution of these people cannot account for their opposition to their candidate for Congress other than by a bargain between Smith and "men in high places." "Smith must be a whig, and if let alone would vote the whig ticket" says Sim. Verily, if you believed what you said of him last summer, you must have thought him a whig truly.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. V.                         Springfield, Friday, September 15, 1843.                         No. 7.


Rockwell, charged with the attempt to murder Ec-Governor Boggs, has been remanded back to Jackson Co., in consequence of some informality in the change of venue. The Western Expositor says no evidence to warrant an indictment has been produced against him -- Mo. Republican.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. V.                         Springfield, Friday, October 20, 1843.                         No. 12.

The Mormons and the Whigs.

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

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

It is truly amusing to hear the organ of O. H. Browning denouncing the Mormons as disturbers of the peace and violators of the law for "dictating to their former benefactors and controlling the elections of the country." But a few months have elapsed since the junto here dispatched a messenger to Nauvoo to induce these very Mormon leaders to control the election in his congressional district, under written instructions from Nauvoo, in pursuance of an understanding between the leaders here and there to that effect. Before the election the Mormons were all that is pure, moral, honest and patriotic; but now they are accused by the same men of "trampling upon the laws, and by their arrogant, dictatorial and turbulent conduct, creating discord, confusion and perhaps civil war."

The Mormons would doubtless feel much mortified and chagrined that the opinions of their fast friends, Browning, Jonas, &c. should undergo such a radical change were it not for the expectation that they will change back again before the next election. Perhaps the Mormons will console themselves for being abused by the whigs now with the assurance of being praised by them next year.

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

Note 1: The quoted paragraph presumably was published in the Sept. 27, 1843 issue of the Quincy Whig. The remainder of the article has been attributed to the rival Quincy Herald of Oct. 4, 1834, although no copy of that date has yet been located for confirmation. The Springfield Register reprinted the Herald's commentary, but the final two paragraphs of Democratic remarks may have appeared only in the Register's version of the article.

Note 2: The noted Illinois Whig politician, Orville Hickman Browning, did not own the Quincy Whig. The paper was his "organ" only in the sense that it supported and publicized Browning's politics.


Vol. V.                         Springfield, Friday, October 27, 1843.                         No. 13.

Gov. Ford, the Mormons and the
Hon. S. A. Douglass.

The lying organs of Federalism, such as the Sangamo Journal, and other papers of that stamp in this State, have repeatedly charged that Gov. Ford was instrumental in procuring the Mormons to vote against Judge Douglass, at the last August election. We have before given that lie direct to this most ridiculous charge. No doubt the charge was made for the purpose of hiding Mr. Browning's coalition with the Mormons. We noe state, that we have taken the trouble to enquire of several of our most respectable citizens, who could not fail to have a knowledge of the facts, if any such existed and we bow declare that the charge against the Governor in this case is false -- maliciously and basely false.

Furthermore -- We are authorized by the Governor himself, to say, that if any man of respectability will publicly repeat this charge, he will furnish evidence of its utter falsity to the people of the State.

We have reason to believe that slander's foul and poisonous breath has been busy secretly in fulminating this charge against the Executive of the State, by letter writing, &c. We forbear to drag these vipers to the light; -- if they have a spark of manliness in their nature, they will come forth, and make their charges publicly.

Note: (forthcoming)


Vol. V.                         Springfield, Friday, February 16, 1844.                         No. 29.


The Nauvoo Neighbor of the 7th inst. contains the following paragraph:

"Who shall be our next President? Do you want to know? We will let it out soon. We have our eye upon the man and when the proper time comes we will publish it from "Dan to Beersheba," and then as American citizens, we will go to it wish a rush."

The Neighbor has since announced Jos. Smith, the Mormon Prophet, as its candidate.

Note: This item may have also appeared in the Register of Feb. 23, 1844.


Vol. I.                         Belleville, Illinois, April 13, 1844.                         No. 1.

BY F. A. SNYDER &Co....


... Our paper being entirely free and independent of any sect, clique or party, we of course have the glorious privelege, of consulting our own individual judgement and preferences as to the men whom we will support for office. That privilege we are determined to enjoy and exercise, even at the risk of incurring the imputation of singularity. We shall not be whimsical, however, in our choice of candidates; nor present to the public the name of any man for office who is not fully convinced of his own fitness for the place; as the following ticket will show.

For President,

For Vice President,
of the New York Herald...

A few words in behalf of our candidates. Since it has been ascertained that Captain Tyler can beat Mr. Van Buren, or Mr. Clay, or both of them together, it has occurred to us that Joe Smith is the only individual who would stand even a tolerable chance of success against the Captain, to whom, be it understood we are decidedly opposed. That Joe is qualified for the place will be evident to any one who will read with attention his recent address to the people of New Hampshire.

His availability will hardly be questioned when it is considered with what unexampled rapidity he has risen in fame and notoriety, within the last five years, while his well-known spiritual zeal precludes all doubt of his moral fitness for any political station to which he has any prospect of attaining.

James Gordon Bennett. We think there is a peculiar propriety in running this gentleman for vice President pn the same ticket with Joe Smith. The only plausible objection to Smith is the fact that his hitherto exclusive devotion to spiritual concerns may lead him to give the affairs of our Government a little too much of a religious turn, resulting in a virtual union of Church and State. This result, however, will be effectually guarded against by investing Bennett with the second office in the Government....

Note: It appears that this little, satirical sheet, (obviously created expressly for the term of the 1844 Presidential campaign), was short-lived and of little consequence in Illinois. The editor may have taken the surname of his hypothetical vice-presidential candidate from news reports indicating that Joseph Smith, Jr. had chosen a "famous Mr. Bennett of New York City" as his running mate. Smith's original selection in this case was not James G. Bennett, but rather, James A. Bennett. The latter retired from the field when it was discovered that he was not an American by birth. James G. Bennett's favorable attitude towards Smith and the Nauvoo establishment must have been evident to anybody who read his New York Herald on a regular basis.


Vol. I.                         Belleville, Illinois, April 20, 1844.                         No. 2.

BY F. A. SNYDER &Co....

For President,

For Vice President,
of the New York Herald...

All persons in favor of Joseph Smith, jr., Lieutenant commander of the Nauvoo Legion, and Chief of the Latter Day Saints, for President, are requested to meet in all the States of the Union, for the purpose of appointing delegates to the Smith Convention, to be held in Nauvoo, on the first Monday of November next.
Smith Central Committee of the United States

JOE SMITH. -- A gentleman has furnished us with a pamphlet of 12 pages, entitled, "Gen. Joseph Smith's views of the powers and policy of the Government of the United States," printed at Nauvoo. Joe appears to have become the incarnate representative of Church and State united, and as all the fools are not dead yet, he obtains a considerable number of servile followers.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Northwestern  Gazette
  and Galena Advertiser.

Vol. X.                            Galena, Friday, May 3, 1844.                            No. 26.


The Globe of the 14th has a long article, attacking Joe Smith's "views of government," as lately published by him in the Nauvoo paper. -- The real cause for this attack, we presume, may be found in the fact, that Smith does not choose to buckle on his armor, and support Martin Van Buren for President. Smith has done pretty well for the Globe party, by electing one member to Congress for them; and as it is an object for the Globe to keep him there, we presume, the editors were satisfied, that however much they might abuse Smith, he would be compelled to go for Hoge again. The Globe evidently believes in the potency of the rod held over Joe by Gov. Ford.

The following paragraph and quotation from Smith's "views," we copy from the Globe. If Joe never misses the truth more than in the quotation here made, he will get along quite well. -- Sang. Jour.

From the Globe

"We cannot refrain from treating our readers to the following glowing passage in which our friend Joseph so eloquently describes the defeat of Mr. Van Buren. We have read nearly all the whig slants on this same subject; and we have met with nothing equal to the gloomy grandeur of this portentous paragraph:

At the age, then, of sixty years, our blooming republic began to decline, under the withering touch of Martin Van Buren. Disappointed ambition, thirst for power, pride, corruption, party spirit, faction, patronage, perquisites, fame, tangling alliances, priestcraft and spiritual wickedness in high places, struck hands, and revelled in midnight splendor. Trouble, vexation, perplexity and contention, mingled with hope, fear, and murmuring, rumbled through the Union, and agitated the whole nation, as would an earthquake at the centre of the earth, heaving the sea beyond its bounds, and shaking the everlasting hills. So, in hopes of better times, while jealousy, hypocritical pretesions, and pompous ambition were luxuriating on the ill-gotten spoils of the people, they rose in their majesty, like a tornado, and swept through the land, till Gen. Harrison appeared as a star among the storm-clouds, for better weather.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Northwestern  Gazette
  and Galena Advertiser.

Vol. X.                            Galena, Friday, May 17, 1844.                            No. 28.


The Mormons recently held a meeting at Gen. Smith's store in Nauvoo, to consult upon measures for the furtherance of their designs in the next presidential election. Several gentlemen addressed the meeting in their grievances, their rights, numbers and political influence. The official proceedings say: "From the statements, we have no reason to doubt, that we can bring, independent of any other party, from two to five thousand votes, in the field. Several gentlemen were nominated to attend the Baltimore Convention, to make overtures to that body."

A State Convention was to be held at Nauvoo on Thursday last. And neasures have been taken to secure the appointment of delegates from the several States to a National Convention, to be held at Baltimore at such time as may be hereafter agreed upon. -- Missouri Republican.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. I.                         Nauvoo, Ill., Friday, June 7, 1844.                         No. 1.


We give place this week to the following Preamble, Resolutions and Affidavits, of the Seceders from the Church at Nauvoo. -- The request is complied with on account of their deeming it very important that the public should know the true cause of their dissenting, as all manner of falsehood is spread abroad in relation to the schism in the Church. In our subsequent numbers several affidavits will be published, to substantiate the facts alleged. Hereafter, no further Church proceedings will appear in our columns, except in the form of brief communications. -- ED.


It is with the greatest solicitude for the salvation of the Human Family, and of our own souls, that we have this day assembled. Feign would we have slumbered, and "like the Dove that covers and conceals the arrow that is preying upon its vitals," for the sake of avoiding the furious and turbulent storm of persecution which will gather, soon to burst upon our heads, have covered and concealed that which, for a season, has been brooding among the ruins of our peace: but we rely upon the arm of Jehovah, the Supreme Arbiter of the world, to whom we this day, and upon this occasion, appeal for the rectitude of our intentions.

If that God who gave bounds to the mighty deep, and bade the ocean cease -- if that God who organized the physical world, and gave infinity to space, be our front guard and our rear ward, it is futile and vain for man to raise his puny arm against us. God will inspire his ministers with courage and with understanding to consummate his purposes, and if it is necessary, he can snatch them from the fiery furnace, or the Lion's den as he did anciently the three Hebrews from the former, and Daniel from the latter.

As for our acquaintance with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, we know, no man or set of men can be more thoroughly acquainted with its rise, its organization, and its history, than we have every reason to believe we are. We all verily believe, and many of us know of a surety, that the religion of the Latter Day Saints, as originally taught by Joseph Smith, which is contained in the Old and New Testaments, Book of Covenants, and Book of Mormon, is verily true; and that the pure principles set forth in those books, are the immutable and eternal principles of Heaven, and speaks a language which, when spoken in truth and virtue, sinks deep into the heart of every honest man.--Its precepts are invigorating, and in every sense of the word, tend to dignify and ennoble man's conceptions of God and his atributes. It speaks a language which is heard amidst the roar of Artillery, as well as in the silence of midnight: it speaks a language understood by the incarcerated spirit, as well as he who is unfettered and free; yet to those who will not see, it is dark, mysterious, and secret as the grave.

We believe that all men, professing to be the ministers of God, should keep steadily in view, the honor and glory of God, the salvation of souls and the amelioration of man's condition: and among their cardinal virtues ought to be found those of faith, hope, virtue and charity; but with Joseph Smith, and many other official characters in the Church, they are words without any meanings attached--words as ornaments; exotics nurtured for display; virtues which, throwing aside the existence of a God, the peace, happiness, welfare, and good order of society, require that they should be preserved pure, immaculate and uncorroded.

We most solemnly and sincerely declare, God this day being witness of the truth and sincerity of our designs and statements, that happy will it be with those who examine and scan Joseph Smith's pretensions to righteousness; and take counsel of human affairs, and of the experience of times gone by. Do not yield up tranquilly a superiority to that man which the reasonableness of past events, and the laws of our country declare to be pernicious and diabolical. We hope many items of doctrine, as now taught, some of which, however, are taught secretly, and denied openly, (which we know positively is the case,) and others publicly, considerate men will treat with contempt; for we declare them heretical and damnable in their influence, though they find many devotees. How shall he, who has drank of the poisonous draft, teach virtue? In the stead thereof, when the criminal ought to plead guilty to the court, the court is obliged to plead guilty to the criminal. We appeal to humanity and ask, what shall we do? Shall we lie supinely and suffer ourselves to be metamorphosed into beasts by the Syren tongue? We answer that our country and our God require that we should rectify the tree. We have called upon him to repent, and as soon as he shewed fruits meet for repentance, we stood ready to seize him by the hand of fellowship, and throw around him the mantle of protection; for it is the salvation of souls we desire, and not our own aggrandizement.

We are earnestly seeking to explode the vicious principles of Joseph Smith, and those who practice the same abominations and whoredoms; which we verily know are not accordant and consonant with the principles of Jesus Christ and the Apostles; and for that purpose, and with that end in view, with an eye single to the glory of God, we have dared to gird on the armor, and with god at our head, we most solemnly and sincerely declare that the sword of truth shall not depart from the thigh, nor the buckler from the arm, until we can enjoy those glorious privileges which nature's God and our country's laws have guarantied to us--freedom of speech, the liberty of the press, and the right to worship God as seemeth us good.--We are aware, however, that we are hazarding every earthly blessing, particularly property, and probably life itself, in striking this blow at tyranny and oppression: yet notwithstanding, we most solemnly declare that no man, or set of men combined, shall, with impunity, violate obligations as sacred as many which have been violated, unless reason, justice and virtue have become ashamed and sought the haunts of the grave, though our lives be the forfeiture.

Many of us have sought a reformation in the church, without a public exposition of the enormities of crimes practiced by its leaders, thinking that if they would hearken to counsel, and shew fruit meet for repentance, it would be as acceptable with God, as though they were exposed to public gaze,

"For the private path, the secret acts of men,
If noble, far the noblest of their lives."
but our petitions were treated with contempt; and in many cases the petitioner spurned from their presence, and particularly by Joseph, who would state that if he had sinned, and was guilty of the charges we would charge him with, he would not make acknowledgment, but would rather be damned; for it would detract from his dignity, and would consequently ruin and prove the overthrow of the Church. We would ask him on the other hand, if the overthrow of the Church was not inevitable, to which he often replies, that we would all go to Hell together, and convert it into a heaven, by casting the Devil out; and says he, Hell is by no means the place this world of fools suppose it to be, but on the contrary, it is quite an agreeable place; to which we would now reply, he can enjoy it if he is determined not to desist from his evil ways; but as for us, and ours, we will serve the Lord our God! It is absurd for men to assert that all is well, while wicked and corrupt men are seeking our destruction, by a perversion of sacred things; for all is not well, while whordoms and all manner of abominations are practiced under the cloak of religion. Lo! the wolf is in the fold, arrayed in sheep's clothing, and is spreading death and devastation among the saints: and we say to the watchmen standing upon the walls, cry aloud and spare not, for the day of the Lord is at hand -- a day cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate. It is a notorious fact, that many females in foreign climes, and in countries to us unknown, even in the most distant regions of the Eastern hemisphere, have been induced, by the sound of the gospel, to forsake friends, and embark upon a voyage across waters that lie stretched over the greater portion of the globe, as they supposed, to glorify God, that they might thereby stand acquitted in the great day of God Almighty. But what is taught them on their arrival at this place? -- They are visited by some of the Strikers, for we know not what else to call them, and are requested to hold on and be faithful, for there are great blessings awaiting the righteous; and that God has great mysteries in store for those who love the Lord, and cling to brother Joseph. They are also notified that brother Joseph will see them soon, and reveal the mysteries of Heaven to their full understanding, which seldom fails to inspire them with new confidence in the Prophet, as well as a great anxiety to know what God has laid up in store for them, in return for the great sacrifice of father and mother, of gold and silver, which they gladly left far behind, that they might be gathered into the fold, and numbered among the chosen of God. -- They are visited again, and what is the result? They are requested to meet brother Joseph, or some of the Twelve, at some insulated point, or at some particularly described place on the bank of the Mississippi, or at some room, which wears upon its front -- Positively NO admittance. The harmless, inoffensive, and unsuspecting creatures, are so devoted to the Prophet, and the cause of Jesus Christ, that they do not dream of the deep-laid and fatal scheme which prostrates happiness, and renders death itself desirable, but they meet him, expecting to receive through him a blessing, and learn the will of the Lord concerning them, and what awaits the faithful follower of Joseph, the Apostle and Prophet of God, when in the stead thereof, they are told, after having been sworn in one of the most solemn manners, to never divulge what is revealed to them, with a penalty of death attached, that God Almighty has revealed it to him, that she should be his (Joseph's) Spiritual wife; for it was right anciently, and God will tolerate it again: but we must keep those pleasures and blessings from the world, for until there is a change in the government, we will endanger ourselves by practicing it -- but we can enjoy the blessings of Jacob, David, and others, as well as to be deprived of them, if we do not expose ourselves to the law of the land. She is thunder-struck, faints, recovers, and refuses. The Prophet damns her if she rejects. She thinks of the great sacrifice, and of the many thousand miles she has traveled over sea and land, that she might save her soul from pending ruin, and replies, God's will be done, and not mine. The Prophet and his devotees in this way are gratified. The next step to avoid public exposition from the common course of things, they are sent away for a time, until all is well; after which they return, as from a long visit. Those whom no power or influence could seduce, except that which is wielded by some individual feigning to be a God, must realize the remarks of an able writer, when he says, "if woman's feelings are turned to ministers of sorrow, where shall she look for consolation?" Her lot is to be wooed and won; her heart is like some fortress that has been captured, sacked abandoned, and left desolate. With her, the desire of the heart has failed -- the great charm of existence is at an end; she neglects all the cheerful exercises of life, which gladen the spirits, quicken the pulses, and send the tide of life in healthful currents through the veins. Her rest is broken. The sweet refreshment of sleep is poisoned by melancholy dreams; dry sorrow drinks her blood, until her enfeebled frame sinks under the slightest external injury. Look for her after a little while, and you find friendship weeping over her untimely grave; and wondering that one who but so recently glowed with all the radiance of health and beauty, should so speedily be brought down to darkness and despair, you will be told of some wintry chill, of some casual indisposition that laid her low! But no one knows of the mental malady that previously sapped her strength, and made her so easy a pray to the spoiler. She is like some tender tree, the pride and beauty of the grove -- graceful in its form, bright in its foliage, but with the worm praying at its heart; we find it withered when it should be most luxuriant. We see it drooping its branches to the earth, and shedding leaf by leaf until wasted and perished away, it falls in the stillness of the forest; and as we muse over the beautiful ruin, we strive in vain to recollect the blast or thunder-bolt that could have smitten it with decay. But no one knows the cause except the foul fiend who perpetrated the diabolical deed. Our hearts have mourned and bled at the wretched and miserable condition of females in this place; many orphans have been the victims of misery and wretchedness, through the influence that has been exerted over them, under the cloak of religion and afterwards, in consequence of that jealous disposition which predominates over the minds of some, have been turned upon a wide world, fatherless and motherless, destitute of friends and fortune; and robbed of that which nothing but death can restore. Men solace themselves by saying the facts slumber in the dark caverns of midnight. But Lo! it is sudden day, and the dark deeds of foul fiends shall be exposed from the house-tops. A departed spirit, once the resident of St. Louis, shall yet cry aloud for vengeance. It is difficult -- perhaps impossible -- to describe the wretchedness of females in this place, without wounding the feelings of the benevolent, or shocking the delicacy of the refined; but the truth shall come to the world. The remedy can never be applied, unless the disease is known. The sympathy, ever anxious to relieve, cannot be felt before the misery is seen. -- The charity that kindles at the tale of wo, can never act with adequate efficeiency, till it is made to see the pollution and guilt of men, now buried in the death-shades of heathenism. -- Shall we then, however painful the sight, shrink from the contemplation of their real state? We answer, we will not, if permitted to live. As we have before stated, it is the vicious principles of men we are determined to explode. It is not that we have any private feelings to gratify, or any private pique to settle, that has induced us to be thus plain; for we can respect and love the criminal, if there is any hope of reformation: but there is a point beyond which forbearance ceases to be a virtue. The next important item which presents itself for our consideration, is the attempt at Political power and influence, which we verily believe to be preposterous and absurd. We believe it is inconsistent, and not in accordance with the christian religion. We do not believe that God ever raised up a Prophet to christianize a world by political schemes and intrigue. It is not the way God captivates the heart of the unbeliever; but on the contrary, by preaching truth n its own native simplicity, and in its own original purity, unadorned with anything except its own indigenous beauties. Joseph may plead he has been injured, abused, and his petitions treated with contempt by the general government, and that he only desires an influence of a political character that will warrant him redress of grievances; but we care not -- the faithful followers of Jesus must bear in this age as well as Christ and the Apostles did anciently; although a frowning world may have crushed him to the dust; although unpitying friends may have passed him by; although hope, the great comforter in affliction, may have burst forth and fled from his troubled bosom; yet, in Jesus there is a balsom for every wound, and a cordial to assuage an agonized mind. Among the many items of false doctrine that are taught the Church, is the doctrine of many Gods, one of the most direful in its effects that has characterized the world for many centuries. We know not what to call it other than blasphemy, for it is most unquestionably, speaking of God in an impious and irreverent manner.--It is contended that there are innumerable Gods as much above the God that presides over this universe, as he is above us; and if he varies from the law unto which he is subjected, he, with all his creatures, will be cast down as was Lucifer; thus holding forth a doctrine which is effectually calculated to sap the very foundation of our faith: and now, O Lord! shall we set still and be silent, while thy name is thus blasphemed, and thine honor, power and glory, brought into disrepute. See Isaiah c 43, v 10; 44, 6-8; 45, 5, 6, 21, 22; and book of Covenants, page 26 and 39. In the dark ages of Popery, when bigotry, superstition, and tyranny held universal sway over the empire of reason, there was some semblance of justice in the inquisitorial deliberations, which, however, might have been dictated by prudence, or the fear of consequences: but we are no longer forced to appeal to those states that are now situated under the influence of Popery for examples of injustice, cruelty and oppression -- we can appeal to the acts of the inquisitorial department organized in Nauvoo, by Joseph and his accomplices, for specimens of injustice of the most pernicious and diabolical character that ever stained the pages of the historian. It was in Rome, and about the twelfth century, when Pope Innocent III, ordered father Dominic to excite the Catholic princes and people to extirpate heretics. But it is in this enlightened and intelligent nineteenth century, and in Nauvoo -- a place professing to be the nucleus of the world, that Joseph Smith has established an inquisition, which, if it is suffered to exist, will prove more formidable and terrible to those who are found opposing the iniquities of Joseph and his associates, than even the Spanish inquisition did to heretics as they termed them. On thursday evening, the 18th of April, there was a council called, unknown to the Church, which tried, condemned, and cut off brothers Wm. Law, Wilson Law, and sister Law, (Wm's. wife,) brother R.D. Foster, and one brother Smith, with whom we are unacquainted; which we contend is contrary to the book of Doctrine and Covenants, for our law condemnest no man untill he is heard. We abhor and protest against any council or tribunal in this Church, which will not suffer the accused to stand in its midst and plead their own cause. If an Agrippa would suffer a Paul, whose eloquence surpassed, as it were, the eloquence of men, to stand before him, and plead his own cause, why should Joseph, with others, refuse to hear individuals in their own defence? -- We answer, it is because the court fears the atrocity of its crimes will be exposed to public gaze. We wish the public to thoroughly understand the nature of this court, and judge of the legality of its acts as seemeth them good. On Monday, the 15th of April, brother R.D. Foster had a notice served on him to appear before the High Council on Saturday following, the 20th, and answer to charges preferred against him by Joseph Smith. On Saturday, while Mr. Foster was preparing to take his witnesses, 41 in number, to the council-room, that he might make good his charges against Joseph, president Marks notified him that the trial had been on Thursday evening, before the 15th, and that he was cut off from the Church; and that same council cut off the brother Laws', sister Law, and brother Smith, and all without their knowledge. They were not notified, neither did they dream of any such thing being done, for William Law had sent Joseph and some of the Twelve, special word that he desired an investigation before the Church in General Conference, on the 6th of Ap'l. The court, however, was a tribunal possessing no power to try Wm. Law, who was called by special Revelation, to stand as counsellor to the President of the Church, (Joseph,) which was twice ratified by General Conferences, assembled at Nauvoo, for Brigham Young, one of the Twelve, presided, whose duty it was not, but the President of the High Council. -- See Book of Doctrine and Covenants, page 87.


Resolved 1st, that we will not encourage the acts of any court in this church, for the trial of any of its members, which will not suffer the accused to be present and plead their own cause; we therefore declare our decided disapprobation to the course pursued last Thursday evening, (the 18th inst,) in the case of William and Wilson Law, and Mrs. William Law, and R.D. Foster, as being unjust and unauthorized by the laws of the Church, and consequently null and void; for our law judgeth no man unless he be heard; and to all those who approbate a course so unwarranted unprecedented and so unjust, we would say beware lest the unjust measure you meet to your brethren, be again meeted out to you.

Resolved 2nd, Inasmuch as we have for years borne with the individual follies and iniquities of Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith, and many other official characters in the Church of Jesus Christ, (conceiving it a duty incumbent upon us so to bear,) and having labored with them repeatedly with all Christian love, meekness and humility, yet to no effect, feel as if forbearance has ceased to be a virtue, and hope of reformation vain; and inasmuch as they have introduced false and damnable doctrines into the Church, such as a plurality of Gods above the God of this universe, and his liability to fall with all his creations; the plurality of wives, for time and eternity, the doctrine of unconditional sealing up to eternal life, against all crimes except that of sheding innocent blood, by a perversion of their priestly authority, and thereby forfeiting the holy priesthood, according to the word of Jesus: "If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch and is withered, and men gather them and cast them into the fire, and they are burned," St. John, xv. 6. "Whosoever transgresseth and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God, he that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, hath both the Father and the Son; if there come any unto you and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed, for he that bideth him God speed is a partaker of his evil deeds;" we therefore are constrained to denounce them as apostates from the pure and holy doctrines of Jesus Christ.

Resolved, 3rd, That we disapprobate and discountenance every attempt to unite church and state; and that we further believe the effort now being made by Joseph Smith for political power and influence, is not commendable in the sight of God.

Resolved 4th, That the hostile spirit and conduct manifested by Joseph Smith, and many of his associates towards Missouri, and others inimical to his purposes, are decidedly at variance with the true spirit of Christianity, and should not be encouraged by any people, much less by those professing to be the ministers of the gospel of peace.

Resolved 5th, That while we disapprobate malicious persecutions and prosecutions, we hold that all church members are alike amenable to the laws of the land; and that we further discountenance any chicanery to screen them from the just demands of the same.

Resolved 6th, That we consider the religious influence exercised in financial concerns by Joseph Smtih, as unjust as it is unwarranted, for the Book of Doctrine and Covenants makes it the duty of the Bishop to take charge of the financial affairs of the Church, and of all temporal matters pertaining to the same.

Resolved 7th, That we discountenance and disapprobate the attendance at houses of revelling and dancing; dram-shops and theatres; verily believing they have a tendency to lead from paths of virtue and holiness, to those of vice and debauchery.

Resolved 8th, That we look upon the pure and holy doctrines set forth in the Scriptures of Divine truth, as being the immutable doctrines of salvation; and he who abideth in them shall be saved, and he who abideth not in them can not inherit the Kingdom of Heaven.

Resolved 9th, That we consider the gathering in hasted, and by sacrifice, to be contrary to the will of God; and that it has been taught by Joseph Smith and others for the purpose of enabling them to sell property at most exhorbitant prices, not regarding the welfare of the Church, but through their covetousness reducing those who had the means to give employment to the poor, to the necessity of seeking labor for themselves; and thus the wealth which is brought into the place is swallowed up by the one great throat, from whence there is no return, which if it had been economically disbursed amongst the whole would have rendered all comfortable. That notwithstanding our extensive acquaintance with the financial affairs of the Church, we do not know of any property which in reality belongs to the Church (Except the Temple) and we therefore consider the injunction laid upon the saints compelling them to purchase property of the Trustee in trust for the Church, is a deception practiced upon them: and that we look upon the sending of special agents abroad to collect funds for the Temple and other purposes as a humbug practiced upon the saints by Joseph and others, to aggrandize themselves, as we do not believe that the monies and property so collected, have been applied as the donors expected, but have been used for speculative purposes, by Joseph, to gull the saints the better on their arrival at Nauvoo, by buying the lands in the vicinity and selling again to them at tenfold advance; and further that we verily believe the appropriations said to have been subscribed by shares for the building of the Nauvoo House to have been used by J.Smith and Lyman Wight, for other purposes, as out of the mass of stock already taken, the building is far from being finished even to the base.

Resolved 11th, That we consider all secret societies, and combinations under penal oaths and obligations, (professing to be organized for religious purposes,) to be anti-Christian, hypocritical and corrupt.

Resolved 12th, That we will not acknowledge any man as king or law-giver to the church; for Christ is our only king and law-giver.

Resolved 13th, That we call upon the honest in heart, in the Church, and throughout the world, to vindicate the pure doctrines of Jesus Christ, whether set forth in the Bible, Book of Mormon, of Book of Covenants; and we hereby withdraw the hand of fellowship, from all those who practice or teach doctrines contrary to the above, until they cease so to do, and show works meet for repentance.

Resolved 14th, That we hereby notify all those holding licences to preach the gospel, who know they are guilty of teaching the doctrine of other Gods above the God of this creation; the plurality of wives; the unconditional sealing up against all crimes, save that of sheding innocent blood; the spoiling of the gentiles, and all other doctrines, (so called) which are contrary to the laws of God, or to the laws of our country, to cease preaching, and to come and make satisfaction, and have their licences renewed.

Resolved 15th, That in all our controversies in defence of truth and righteousness, the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty through God, to the pulling down of the strong holds of Satan; that our strifes are not against flesh, blood, nor bones; but against principalities and power against spiritual wickedness in high places and therefore we will not use carnal weapons save in our own defence.

Note: The entire text for this one and only issue of the Nauvoo Expositor is available for viewing elsewhere on-line.


Vol. V.                         Springfield, Friday, June 14, 1844.                         No. 44.


The last number of the "Nauvoo Neighbor," contains a lengthy correspondence between these two extraordinary men.

Smith addressed a letter to Clay, interrogating him as to what his course would be, if elected President, in relation to the Mormon vlaims upon Missouri.

Mr. Clay, in reply, says:

"Should I be a candidate, I can enter into no engagement, make no promises, and give no pledges, to any particular portion of the people of the United States. If I ever enter into that high office, I must go into it free and unfettered, with no guarantees but such as are to be drawn from my whole life, character and conduct."

Smith goes on to show, that in a Republican form of government, the candidates ought to be required by the people, who they seek to represent, to make pledges on any and every important question that is likely to come before them.

He next attempts to come to some conclusion as to what would be the policy of Mr. Clay, if elected, "from his whole life, character and conduct," and handles him as a duellist, black-leg, profane swearer, and intriguer, very severely, and arrives at the conclusion, that Mr. Clay's administration, if elected, would be corrupt, and a disgrace to justice and morality.

Smith also denounces Mr. Van Buren, Benton, and Calhoon, supposing Van Buren would be the Democratic candidate; and says, the people should elect him, the Mormon Prophet, to the Presidency, if they want the country to prosper. The letter is certainly well written, and Shows that Smith is a shrewd fellow.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. V.                         Springfield, Friday, June 28, 1844.                         No. 46.


The Journal of yesterday asserts that the Governor has ordered out 4000 of the militia to arrest Jo Smith at Nauvoo. We have no confirmation of this intelligence from any quarter. Gov. Ford left this place for Hancock county on Monday last week for the purpose of preserving the public peace of the State. He has not yet returned. We place but little reliance on the rumors which reach here, of hostile parties from St. Louis, Missouri, Iowa, &c., holding themselves in readiness to enter the State; because all such proceedings are violations of the laws and constitution of the United States. We have no doubt the Governor will have succeeded in satisfying all parties, by enforcing the laws against all.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. V.                                   Ottawa, Ill., June 28, 1844.                                   No. 2.

From  Nauvoo.

Our accounts from Nauvoo are up to the 24th. There has yet been no blood shed, though there is still danger there may be. It appears no attempt was made by the citizens of Hancock county to arrest the persons who destroyed the "Expositor" press on the 19th, the day they had appointed for that purpose; but they determined to await the arrival of Gov. Ford. The Gov. reached Warsaw on the 20th. He immediately declared publicly his fixed determination to bring to the aid of the civil authorities all the forces he possessed for the arrest of those concerned in the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor, and for the faithful and fearless administration of the law. To this end, he sent orders to the brigadier general of the fourth brigade to rendezvous forthwith at Warsaw, provided with eight days' provisions. This brigade consists of four regiments, and is about two thousand strong. There were, also, under arms at Carthage and its vicinity, one thousand citizens, ready to aid in the execution of the laws. Gov. Ford has despatched two expresses to Nauvoo commanding Smith to send two of the most discreet members of the common council to the governor, with an explanation (if any they had to make) of their conduct in destroying the private property of citizens of this state. These messengers had not returned to Warsaw at the latest accounts.

The Gov. also sent orders to Col. Buckmaster, at Alton, for all the arms of the state in his possession fit for service, and they were sent up on the Die Vernon. The number of these is comparatively trifling; consisting of, say 100 yaugers, twenty muskets, and three six-pounders.

On the 20th the Mormons were about 3,500 strong, all fully armed and equipped, with a full supply of provisions and ammunition. They were also in possession of six pieces of artillery, carrying six pound balls. The city of Nauvoo was under martial law; and the forces of Smith were daily increased by arrivals of Mormons from other sections of the country.

The above particulars we get by a slip from the office of the Alton Telegraph. We find the following additional information in the St. Louis New Era of the 24th:

The Ohio and Hibernia passed Nauvoo yesterday morning, and it was then currently reported that Joe Smith and the members of the Nauvoo City Council had eloped during the night previous. It was stated that they had crossed into Iowa at Montrose. The leaders had thus deserted and left their deluded followers as victims to the fury of the indignant citizens of the surrounding country. Joe had declared his determination not to go to Carthage or Missouri, for he could not get justice at either place, but he would surrender himself at any other place. He, however, concluded that discretion was the better part of valor, and escaped. The people of Warsaw were under arms; they searched the Osprey to see if she carried any arms for the use of the Mormons. Nothing unusual appeared to be going on at Nauvoo yesterday morning.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. V.                                   Ottawa, Ill., July 4, 1844.                                   No. 3.

Important  from  Nauvoo.

==> We are indebted to a passenger on board the steamer "Frolic," which had just arrived at our wharf, for an extra from the office of the St. Louis "Reveille," dated Saturday morning, June 29, containing the following highly important and shocking details of the shooting of JOE SMITH and others.

(reprint from June 29, 1844 Reveille)


Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. V.                         Springfield, Friday, July 5, 1844.                         No. 47.


The following particulars of the most disgraceful and cold blooded murders ever committed in a christian land is copied from an Extra from the office of the Quincy Herald. Rumors of the bloody deed reached this city several days ago, but were not believed until Tuesday evening when there was bo further room left for doubt. Next week we will have all the particulars. Every effort will be made to bring the assassins to punishment.

(reprint from June 29, 1844 Quincy Herald)


Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. ?                         Vandalia, Fayette Co., Ill., July 6, 1844.                         No. ?


DEATH OF JOE AND HIS BROTHER HYRUM SMITH. -- All day on Saturday our town was in a state of feverish excitement, caused by the reception of news of the death of the Mormon Prophet, Joe Smith, and of his brother Hyrum Smith, and, as was then reported, of others of the Mormon sect. As usual, too, there was no consistency in the circumstances, as the public caught hold of them, and this tended to incease the anxiety. Slips and publications from "the infested district" stated that the death of these men was the result of an attempt, by the Mormons, to rescue their leaders from confinement in the jail at Carthage -- that an attack was made upon the guard from without -- that the prisoners who were said to have been armed, participated in the struggle, by firing from the window of the prison, and wounding several citizens; and that then, the jail was entered, and the prisoners shot down...

... [Contrary reports] say that perfidity and cowardice marked every act of the enemies of the Smiths at Carthage. According to the most reliable statements, a mob, in the absence of Gov. Ford, disguised, by blackening their faces, proceeded to the attack. The jail is situated near a wood -- it was an easy matter to overpower the guard -- and this done, their way to the prison was clear. They entered it and killed both the Prophet and his brother instantly, by shooting and stabbing them. Another prisoner, Taylor, the editor of the Nauvoo Neighbor, was wounded: Richards escaped unharmed. It is averred that there...

... [The above reports will be verified by our editor] who left on Saturday with a view to ascertain all the facts, by personal inquiry..."

Note: A full copy of the above rare newspaper item has not been obtained for confirmation and transcription of the entire text.


Vol. V.                         Springfield, Aug. 16, 1844.                         No. ?


Brigadier Gen. John J. Hardin, has been ordered by the Governor to take command of such a militia force as may be necessary to suppress disturbances in Hancock county, if any further disturbances should take place during the short absence of the Governor at the Nashville convention.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. V.                         Springfield, Aug. 30, 1844.                         No. ?


                                             SPRINGFIELD, Aug. 27, 1844.
Messrs Walters & Weber:

Since my return from Nashville, I perceive that a portion of the public press have been charging me, that I influenced the Mormon vote to the Democratic Ticket at the late election. This charge is wholly untrue, and does me great injustice. My letter to the Warsaw people was not designed to have, nor did it in fact have, any influence whatever upon the determination of the Mormons in regard to politics. On the contrary, portions of that letter gave great offense to them, as I am informed. I have not endeavored to conciliate one of those parties more than another, and it is a great satisfaction to me to know that I have not pleased either of them. No man could have done so, and done right.

As to the Mormon vote, I would have been exceedingly glad if they had omitted to vote at all; though I would not advise them, or any other people, to divest themselves of the privileges of freemen -- to disfranchise themselves in this free country by so doing. But still I was selfish enough to hope that they would not vote at the last election. For no one knew, better than I did, the amount of difficulty with which I would be embarrassed in my future efforts to preserve the peace and enforce the laws in that section of the country, in case the Mormons voted, and more especially if they voted the Democratic Ticket. I knew well the tendency of such an event to run the whole matter into a political and civil war. For this reason I have assiduously endeavored to keep this controversy separated from the party politics of the day, by every means in my power. I have not been in the habit of controverting what has been said of me in the newspapers; andmust plead as my apology in the present instance for so doing, the danger, in case of another outbreak, of men dividing in the war, without reference to the merits of the controversy.

I am perfectly willing that a committee of Whig members of the Legislature may investigate the subject, and to abide by their resprt; so confident am I that even my political opponents will, upon a proper inquiry, be compelled to acquit me of censure.
                           I am most respectfully,
                                           THOMAS FORD.

P. S. Will the Editors who have copied this charge against me, do me the justice to insert this note.           T. F.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. IV                         Bloomington, Ill., September 6, 1844.                         No. 44.


The Warsaw Signal says that Daniel Spencer has been elected Mayor of Nauvoo pro tem. Geo. Miller and Whitney have been elected Trustees of the Church property, under their management the Temple is progressing rapidly. Samuel H. Smith, brother of the Prophet, died at Nauvoo about two weeks since. William is now the only survivor brother.

Sidney Rigdon, who claimed the leadership of the church, on the ground of his being the only survivor of the first Presidency, and also, on the ground of his having been named by Joe at one time, as his successor, has had his claims rejected by the twelve, who have decided not to have one man for leader, but that the church shall be governed by them collectively.

Note 1: The first known publication of the accusation of Patriarch Samuel H. Smith's having been murdered at Nauvoo came five years later, in an appendix to the article "Martyrs of the Latter Day Saints," in the Nov. 1, 1849 issue of the LDS Gospel Herald. Samuel's brother, William B. Smith, claimed in an 1892 letter that Dr. Willard Richards entrusted the secret killing to the Nauvoo chief of police, Elder Hosea Stout (who had been assigned to watch over Samuel after his suddenly succumbing to a supposed illness). Elder Stout was allegedly ordered to finish off the sickened Samuel, in order to prevent the potentially competitive Smith brother from assuming a consummate leadership role, as Patriarch of the Church, before the Council of the Twelve consolidated their hold over the Latter Day Saints. Sixteen years later, Samuel H. Smith's daughter, Mary Smith Norman, wrote that her uncle, Elder Arthur Milliken and her father were both being slowly poisoned at the same time, in Nauvoo during the summer of 1844, and the two men were both receiving "medicine" from the same doctors (Willard Richards and his associate physician). Elder Milliken stopped ingesting the substance and lived -- while Samuel H. Smith took all that had been prescribed for him and died almost immediately thereafter. According to Mary, after her father took the final dose of his "medicine," the man "spit [it] out and said he was poisoned. But it was too late -- he died."

Note 2: For more evidence on Samuel H. Smith's alleged poisoning, see Michael Quinn's 1994 book, The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power, pp. 152-153. John Krakauer recently resurrected these old murder claims, in his 2003 book, Under the Banner of Heaven -- there he says: "Compelling circumstantial evidence" points to the murder of Samuel H. Smith, who evidently "succumbed from poison administered by Hosea Stout, the chief of the Nauvoo police, who was loyal to Brigham Young and other polygamists."

Note 3: Joseph Smith's former Assistant President of the LDS Church, William Law, stated in 1887 that "the Smiths... tried to get rid of me in different ways. One was by poisoning... Hyrum called one day and invited me for the next day to a reconciliation dinner ... That very same evening of the day on which Hyrum had been to my house inviting me, my detective told me that they had conceived the plan to poison me at the reconciliation dinner... I know that several men, six or seven, died under very suspicious circumstances [at Nauvoo]. Among them were two secretaries of the prophet... Dr. Foster, who was a very good physician, believed firmly that those six or seven men had been poisoned, and told me so repeatedly." Evidence for the Smiths' alleged propensity for secretly poisoning some of their very closest associates comes from a most unexpected source -- the Mormon Prophet Brigham Young. In his later years President Young publicly asserted that Emma Smith had attempted to kill her husband Joseph, by slipping poison into his coffee.



Vol. ?                                     Belleville, Ill., September 17, 1844.                                    No. ?


... The great aim of Joseph Smith was evidently to clothe himself with the most unlimited power, civil, military and ecclesiastical, over all who became members of his society. And to that end his' whole efforts were put in requisition, from the day of their organization under their charters, down to the hour of his death. The first step taken by him, was to satisfy his people that he had received a revelation from God, disclosing his origin as well as that of his wife, and detailing the events that were to occur, as well as the part he and his descendants were to take, in their consummation. This he succeeded in, and gave the following as the substance of his revelation. He stated that Emma his wife, was of Indian descent, in a line from one of the tribes of Israel. That he (Joseph) was a descendant from Joseph of old through the blood of Ephraim. And that God had appointed and ordained that he, with his descendants, should rule over all Israel, meaning the Latter Day Saints or Mormons, the Indian tribes and ultimately the Jews and Gentiles. That the authority with which God had clothed him, being “Jure Divino,” extended over all mankind, and was paramount and superior to any Human authority. Joe further stated, that God had revealed to him, that the Indians and Latter Day Saints, under Joe as their King and Ruler, were to conquer the Gentiles, and that their subjection to this authority was to be obtained by the sword! From this revelation, he enforced upon them that it was necessary he should be crowned King, and they, believing in the gross imposition, yielded to his edict. Joe was accordingly CROWNED KING under God, over the immediate house of Israel. This ceremony was performed in 1842, by a council of fifty in number, denominated the "Ancient or Days." And thenceforward his authority as such was recognized and obeyed by the church and its authority in all respects and under all circumstances. The peculiar attributes of his power, Joe insisted, were that he could direct the actions of the entire House of Israel -- that they were bound to obey his commands, whatever they might be -- and that finally the whole earth was to become under subjection to him. He further impressed upon the council crowning him, that God's desire was, as revealed to him, (Joe,) that, for the time being, this was to remain a perfect secret until God should reveal to the contrary. And accordingly Joe swore them all to present secrecy, under the penalty of death! It is also a fact, ascertained beyond controversy, that the Indian tribes of Sacs and Foxes, Siouxs and Pottowattamies, were consulted, and their assent obtained previous to the mock crowning of this unmitigated Impostor, and that delegations were sent to Nauvoo from each of the above tribes about the time of the ceremony being performed, by the council of fifty. These delegations of Indians were seen by hundreds and hundreds at Nauvoo, but the object of their visitation never was ascertained without the pale of the church, until secessions commenced taking place from the Mormons.

Note: Article's exact title not yet determined. It is an excerpt from G.T.M. Davis' Aug., 1844 pamphlet, An Authentic Account of the Massacre of Joseph Smith.



Vol. IV                         Bloomington, Ill., September 20, 1844.                         No. 46.


The Warsaw Signal of the 11th says that it is rumored that on the previous Sunday, nineteen of the leading Mormons were ejected from the Church of Nauvoo, among whom were John A. Forges and Emma Smith, the Prophet's widow. The temple was going up very fast as nearly the whole population is engaged upon it. The third tier of windows is ready to receive their capitals. Private building has almost entirely ceased as so many people are leaving the town. -- Property has fallen to about one third of its value, previous to the Prophet's death. -- Twenty-five Mormon families have left Bear Creek, and those at Morley's settlement are also leaving. Great dissension continues and it is quite probable [that] in a year or two the followers of the Mormon Prophet will be scattered to the [four] quarters of the Globe. A late St. Louis Republican says that Sidney Rigdon had arrived in that city on his way to Pittsburgh, where he would establish a paper. He is still a believer in the doctrine, though the Twelve would not allow him to rule. -- Hawkeye.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Northwestern  Gazette
  and Galena Advertiser.

Vol. X.                            Galena, Friday, September 20, 1844.                            No. 46.


The news below is mainly from the Warsaw Signal. There is evidently trouble in the Mormon Camp. The hand of fellowship has been withdrawn from Elders Rigdon, James Emmit, and Zachariah Wilson. It is also rumored, that on Sunday last, nineteen of the leading Mormons were ejected from the church, and amongst these were John A. Forges, and Emma Smith, the widow of the Prophet. There appears to be great dissension, but it is not known exactly what it is about. Sidney Rigdon has gone to Pittsburg. -- He is said to have about four hundred followers in Nauvoo, who acknowledge his right to the leadership. Meetings are held daily to discuss the relative claims of Rigdon and the Twelve. Some of the most influential men of the Church are for Rigdon. John P. Green, Marshall of Nauvoo, is dead.

The Temple is progressing with surprising rapidity towards completion -- the third tier of windows being ready to receive their capitals. Above them is to be a belt course of stone, and then six feet of plain cut stone work will finish the walls. Nearly the whole production seems to derive its support from their labor on the Temple. Property has fallen in Nauvoo to about one-third of its value, previous to the death of the Smiths. The anxiety to leave the city appears to be increasing.

Notes: (forthcoming)



Vol. IV                         Bloomington, Ill., September 27, 1844.                         No. 47.


A letter from a gentleman at Springfield, Ill., states that Gov. Ford has issued orders for the march of twenty-five hundred Illinois militia and volunteers to Nauvoo, for the protection of that place. -- The detachment from Morgan county had been ordered to rendezvous at Beardstown on the 20th ult. No reasons are assigned for this new movement of the Governor, but as it involves a very considerable expenditure to the State, it may be presumed that it has not been done without urgent necessity.

Note: The above report was copied from a late September issue of the St. Louis Missouri Republican.


Northwestern  Gazette
  and Galena Advertiser.

Vol. X.                            Galena, Friday, September 27, 1844.                            No. 47.


Later accounts confirm much that has been heretofore said with regard to the confused state of things at Nauvoo. A gentleman recently from there informs us, that the anxiety to get away from the place is as great as it has been heretofore to get there. It was mentioned that, among others Sidney Rigdon had been expelled from the Church. He comes out with a letter in the St. Louis Organ, giving the reasons why he was expelled. It seems, that he and a number of his friends wished to leave Nauvoo and settle in some part of Pennsylvania. Their intention soon became known and it occasioned great excitement. Public meetings were called, Rigdon was assailed with every abusive epithet, such as a mobocrat, conspirator and murderer, and one speaker intimated, that he might be rode on a rail. He says, his only crime was, his daring to leave Nauvoo, without asking the permission of certain individuals. In short, every thing is in a state of dissolution. The Mormons have no head, neither is there a probability that Smith's place will be supplied. What can such a body of undisciplined spirits do without a leader?

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. V.                                   Ottawa, Ill., October 4, 1844.                                   No. 16.

Mormon  Diffivulties.

We learn from various sources that forces to the number of about 800, collected from Sangamon, Morgan, and the neighboring counties, have proceeded to Hancock county, under the command of Gen. Hardin, to suppress anticipated disturbances in that region. Gov. Ford, it is understood, has gone along. The reason assigned for this movement, as our readers have already been informed, is, that the citizens of Hancock have advertised a large wolf hunt to come off on the 17th inst., and it is feared that it is a mere cloak under which to get up an attack on the Mormons. That such is the intention, we have no doubt the governor has assurances from sources upon which he can rely, in addition is the evidence that is already public, but if he had not, the handbill advertising this wolf hunt would be enough to justify the step the governor has taken. All acquainted with the manner in which a large "wolf hunt" on our prairies is conducted know that, on such an occasion there are no fire arms used -- they are never allowed to be brought on the ground. The persons engaged in the hunt form a large circle, and gradually close in to the centre, where the game collects and is killed with spears, clubs, &c. In the melee

Another suspicious circumstance is, that large numbers of Missourians are expected to join in the hunt. Every body knows the feelings of the inhabitants of the counties of Missouri opposite to Hancock county, towards the Mormons. They would at any time gladly join in a concerted attack on Nauvoo, though it [is] to us very doubtful whether they would go all the way to Warsaw to join in a mere wolf hunt when they are more annoyed by wolves at home than the people of Hancock county are,

Sidney Rigdon, the Mormon, is out in a long communication in the St. Louis Organ, in which he gives a full history of the bobbery he recently kicked up at Nauvoo, and the reasons for his expulsion from the church. His only sin, he says, was that a number of families in Nauvoo desired to move to Pittsburg, (where Rigdon lives,) and that he agreed to aid them all he could; for which he came several times near being mobbed, and was finally thrust out of the pale of the church. He is very hard on Orson Hyde, who, according [to] R.'s statement, is very clearly no better than he should be, howbeit he is one of the Twelve.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. VI.                         Springfield, Oct. 11, 1844.                         No. 10.


... Notwithstanding this plan to have the Governor murdered, these same treacherous scoundrels, for whom some of the Whigs feel so much sympathy, about the middle of August last, procured George T. M. Davis, Mayor of Alton, to write to the Governor a letter informing him distinctly, that if he encouraged prosecutions against the assassins, they intended to implicate him as a particips criminis. This information we get from the Governor himself. We further learn from him that he offered himself to submit to the law, if any persons had any accusation to make. He told the people of Hancock that he would take no advantage of the force he had with him, nor would he run away to Missouri to avoid inquiry....

Note: The full text of the above article has not yet been located for transcription.


Vol. VI.                         Springfield, Nov. 8, 1844.                         No. 13.


Some weeks since the State Register charged that the Hancock people had procured this gentleman, to write a threatening letter to the Governor, informing him that if he encouraged prosecutions, against the murderers of the Smiths the persons accused would implicate him in the murder. This statement has been denied by Mr. Davis, and he has called for the publication of the letter. -- Here it is; No one could doubt but that it was written at the instance of the Hancock people. It bears internal evidence of the fact.

We also publish another letter to the Governor, advising him to call out the militia when they were not needed. Let this letter stand side and side by some of the paragraphs of Davis, [censoring] the Government for calling out the Militia when they were needed.

The Governor's letter in answer was prepared at the time it bears date; but by the advice of his friends, he did not send it. It is now given to the public as a correction of the many misrepresentations contained in Mr. Davis' letter to him.

                            Quincy, June 30, 1844.
To his Excellency, Thomas Ford, Governor.

Dear Sir: -- Fully appreciating the embarrassing situation in which you are placed, by the information derived from the seat of War, this morning, that a design exists among a portion of the militia, whom you had relied upon to aid in maintaining the majesty and supremacy of the law, to wage a war of extermination against the Mormons, it is only from a desire to aid and support you at this trying crisis, that I have presumed to offer you any suggestions as to the course best adopted to preserve peace and save the State from the disgrace of a mob.

From the personal knowledge I possess, I am convinced that a war of extermination can only be guarded against, by your selecting a body of from 2500 to 3000 men most distant from the seat of excitement, ordering their encampment within four or five miles from Nauvoo, and then issuing a proclamation disbanding the forces in the immediate neighborhood, and giving all persons inclined to mob the Mormons notice, that an attack can only be made upon them through a body of our citizens who are determined under any emergency to uphold the law and maintain the peace. The force thus located, would, in my humble judgment, have the double tendency of protecting the citizens of Hancock from any contemplated attack from the Mormons, while at the same time it would secure the latter against the merciless violence of an excited populace bent upon extermination.

I repeat that my only apology for venturing to offer any advice is from a desire to aid you to the utmost of my ability in the honorable, determined, and fearless course you are taking to preserve the peace of the citizens of Illinois and to secure the supremacy of the law. With sentiments of respect I am very respectfully,
                            Your obedient servant,
                                GEO. T. M. DAVIS.

                            Quincy, August 9, 1844.

Dear Sir: -- You are well aware of the relation I bear towards you in regard to the late Mormon difficulties, and the position I have occupied before the public. You cannot be otherwise than satisfied that from the previous relation existing between us, my motives could not have been otherwise than pure... (lengthy text -- under construction)

... Far be it from me to advise you what course you ought to take. Such is not my design. I feel as if I had discharged my duty towards you as a citizen, when I state what has come to my knowledge as above delineated, your future course must be directed by your own superior judgment and experience.
                            Yours very respectfully,
                                GEO. T. M. DAVIS.
His Excellency, Thomas Ford,
Springfield, Ill.

                            Springfield, Aug. 28, 1844.

Dear Sir: -- Upon my arrival at home a few days since your letter of the 9th instant was presented to me... (lengthy text -- under construction)

                            I am respectfully,
                                 Your obedient servant.
                                      THOMAS FORD.
George T. M. Davis, Esq.
Alton, Ills.

Notes: (under construction)


Vol. VI.                         Springfield, Ills., November 25, 1844.                         No. ?


Fragments of the following letter have been going the rounds for some time, here is the whole of it at last:

                                               Ashland, Nov. 15th, 1843.
Dear Sir: -- I have received your letter in behalf of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, stating that you understand that I am a candidate for the Presidency, and inquiring what would be by rule of action relative to you as a people, should I be elected.

I am profoundly grateful for the numerous and strong expressions of the people in my behalf, as a candidate for President of the United States; but I do not so consider myself. That much depends upon future events, and upon my sense of duty.

Should I be a candidate, I can enter into no engagements, make no promises, give no pledges to any particular portion of the people of the United States. If I ever enter into that high office, I must go into it free and unfettered, with no guarantees but such as are to be drawn from my whole life, character, and conduct.

It is not inconsistent with this declaration to say that I have viewed with a lively interest the progress of the Latter-day Saints; that I have sympathized in their sufferings under injustice, as it appeared to me, which has been inflicted upon them; and that I think, in common with all other religious communities, they ought to enjoy the security and protection of the Constitution and the laws.

       Your friend and obedient servant,
                                                H. CLAY.


Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. VI.                         Springfield, May 23, 1845.                         No. 40?


                       Nauvoo, Thursday eve. May 15th, 1845.

Messrs. Editors: I have barely have time to say the murderers are arrested, and, by their own consent removed to Fort Madison, Lee County, Iowa, where the murder was committed. But, perhaps you have mot heard of this shocking affair. -- John Miller, a German farmer, came with his family, two weeks since, from Ohio, and stopped for a time ten miles west of Fort Madison. He had with him $2,500. His son-in-law, Henry Leisy, also had money, and lived with his father-in-law.

On Saturday night last three men, in disguise, (painted black) entered the house, and opening their lanterns, commenced operations. Mr. Miller, under pretence of getting the money, got hold of an old shot gun, by which he hoped to expel the robbers. Mr. Leisy was around, as also a young man or boy, who was in the same room. -- The old man struck at the principal robber with the gun, when another of the robbers stabbed him to the heart with his bowie-knife. Mr. Leisy did what he could, with weapons, but was shot down by a pistol ball by one of the robbers, which, entering the breast, passed through his body. -- The young [man] escaped harm, though fired at, by the robbers, the ball passing through his shirt sleeve. Mr. Leisy's skull was cut through and fractured, by a blow from a bowie-knife, though there is some hope for recovery.

In their scuffle one of the robbers left his cap. This, in the morning, was recognized as worn by one of three men who had, for several days previous, been hunting a yoke of stray oxen, in the vicinity of Miller's house. A young man, by the name of Thomas Brown, was one of the party, and was seen and recognized by a person who conversed with him and saw a bowie-knife about him, while in the neighborhood. These circumstances, with the direction of the tracks, gave a clue for the discovery and apprehension of two of the murderers. They were found by Mr. Estes, the sheriff of Lee county, at the river, opposite to Nauvoo, where two of their tracks led to the bank of the river.

The circumstances of the murder, and the suspicion of young Brown's connection with it, were made known to some of the old police of Nauvoo, who instantly repaired to the house of a man, by the name of Hodge, who had long been suspected by them of being in the horse stealing and bogus business. -- Being refused admittance to this house, with the threat to kill, if they attempted to enter, the police were assured of their guilt, and a crowd of the citizens of Nauvoo surrounded the house, to prevent escape, while measures were taken to secure a legal arrest of the Hodges. Three brothers of this name were arrested on Tuesday morning, on suspicion. At the same time every possible effort was made to arrest Brown, which as yet has proved [unavailing].

Their examination was to have taken place yester-day. A bill of indictment in Lee county had been found against two Hodges and Brown, and they were committed by Messrs. Johnson and Higbee, justices of the peace in Nauvoo, till requisition could be made upon the executive of Illinois for their removal to Iowa. -- They, however, by the persuasion of their counsel, volunteered to go at once to Iowa, for imprisonment. I am informed by Mr. Estes, whose promptness and perseverance is deserving of the public thanks, that he received every assistance from the citizens of Nauvoo that could be desired, in the discovery and apprehension of these young monsters. Brown though scarce twenty-one years old, is notorious in Hancock and the adjoining counties. He has been in jail, in Brown county, for stealing. His father was expelled from the Mormon church, six years ago, and forcibly driven from the community. He has since been in the penitentiary of this State, and is now there a second time, for [w----ing]. The Hodges are sprightly looking young men -- the oldest not more than twenty-three. None [sic] of them are, or ever have been Mormons.

The evidence against these men, though only circumstantial, is complete, and the most conclusive of their guilt; it could not be stronger. These men are only part of an extensive combination of villains -- murderers, robbers and bogus makers -- who are scattered over the military tract and Iowa, and who, I am satisfied, have an efficient organization to baffle [pursuit or] detection. These operations are put down to the credit of Mormonism, though I think, in truth, the great [body] of the population are slandered by such a charge. But it is undeniably true that Nauvoo, from its facilities for concealment, is a theatre for much iniquity; and it is high time that her citizens should purge her of these men; they are her worst foes; and, however deep into her body the knife may enter, the excision must separate and destroy them, if they hope to secure peace at home or abroad. And I am well assured that their own interests, the security of property and their abhorrence of crime, will lead them to persevere in their attempts to ferret out and bring to justice those that prowl from their midst upon themselves and the surrounding community.

                Yours, &c.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. VI.                         Springfield, July 4, 1845.                         No. 49?


We are called upon to record another cold blooded and willful murder. On Saturday night last Edwin [sic] Hodges, a brother of the two men who have just been found guilty, at Burlington, of the horrible murder lately committed in Lee county, Iowa, -- was called out of his house about midnight by some person who was desirous of speaking with him. The mement he stept out of the door he was felled to the sands by a club, and afterwards stabbed in several places with his own knife; he lived a short time after he was discovered, said he knew the person who committed the deed, but would not name him because he was a friend. -- Quincy Herald.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. VI.                         Springfield, July 11, 1845.                         No. 50?


HORRID MURDER. -- By the War Eagle, arrived yesterday from St. Louis, we learn that about 1 P. M., of the 6th inst., five persons entered the house of Col. Geo. Davenport, on Rock Island, during the absence of his family, and shot him through the thigh, mortally wounding him, and then dragged him through the house, until he told them where his money was, which they took with his watch. They tied him to an easy chair, and left, and had not been seen when the War Eagle passed down on Saturday morning. They obtained about $500 in Missouri paper. One of the persons was known to Col. Davewnport by the name of [Fred?], and had been prowling about Rock Island with the others for four or five weeks. The Col. lived until 9 P. M., on [-----day] [night] when he expired, after having given full particulars of the robbery and murder.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. VII.                         Springfield, Oct. 24, 1845.                         No. 10.


THE MURDERERS OF COL. DAVENPORT. -- The last Burlington (Iowa) Hawk Eye says:

According to the confession of Burch, there is a gang of nearly one hundred, scattered through the whole north-west engaged in the nefarious business of murder and robbery. The house of the Reddings, near Devil Creek, was one of the rendezvous of the whole Mormon gang and the Hodges frequenters of that house.

By an examination of the affidavits of the Hodges, it appears that a great number implicated as principals or accessaries in the murder of Col. Davenport, were, summoned by them as witnesses. They were doubtless linked together.

On Tuesday evening the Reddings were brought up to this place by the Sheriff of Lee County to obtain a writ of habeas corpus. As the Sheriff was bringing them from the boat, some of the crew gently pushed the Sheriff on the shore while the boat was starting, thus keeping the prisoners on board and leaving the Sheriff in Burlington. Those who were instrumental in doing this assured the Sheriff that the prisoners should be safely landed where they ought to be, at Rock Island. He, of course, had to submit and make his retuen accordingly. No one seems to regret the transaction, who knows the character of the Reddings.

From all the circumstances that have transferred, there can be little doubt that all or most of those directly engaged in this diabolical transaction as well as others, will be brought to justice, thus verifying the old adage, "Murder will out."

Note: One reprint cites this source as being dated "Nev. 21, 1845." Possibly the newspaper first issued this article in an "Extra" of that date.


Vol. VII.                         Springfield, Oct. 31, 1845.                         No. 11.


Birch, one of the persons arrested for the murder of Col. Davenport, says Jack Redmon (or Redding) murdered Arvine Hodges. This agrees with the information given us a few days ago by Wm. Smith, "the Mormon Patriarch," from whose statements it is evident that Brigham Young was privy to the crime, and probably instigated it. --   Missouri Reporter.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. VII.                         Springfield, Nov. 7, 1845.                         No. 12.

From  Nauvoo.

The St. Louis Gazette of Oct. 31 says:

By the Boreas, which arrived from Keokuk just as our paper was going to press, we learn that serious difficulties are engaging in and about Nauvoo. The Saints had expelled Maj. Warren and his hundred men, saying they had no further use for them. Maj. Warren had gone off in the direction of Carthage, to get a reinforcement The Sheriff of Rock Island county was dangerously wounded at Carthage -- the effect of the affray at Nauvoo recently, when Redding was taken from the custody. It is reported that the U. S. Marshall for the District of Illinois has been impowered to arrest the "Twelve," which he has intimated his intention of doing forthwith.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. VII.                         Springfield, Nov. 14, 1845.                         No. 13.


We are informed by an officer of the steamer Dial, which arrived yesterday, that the Sheriff of Rock Island county, Illinois visited Nauvoo with a posse, and arrested Redding, a few days since and conducted him on board the Sarah Ann, when a body of Mormons, armed with pistols and stones attacked the boat -- some of the bullets penetrating the cabin of the Sarah Ann. The Sheriff and the prisoner were both wounded seriously, and Redding was rescued. The one hundred men stationed there by the Governor were called upon to quell the riot, but it is not known whether they responded to the call or not. The Mormons appear to be highly incensed at the proceedings against Backenstos, and think it will be another affair similar to the murder of Joe and Hiram Smith.   -- Missouri Reporter.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. VII.                         Springfield, Nov. 14, 1845.                         No. 13.


Sales of Mormon property. -- The Signal says: We have heard of a few sales of Mormon property and a number of negotiations for sales in the county, but the Saints seem to estimate their property generally higher, in the immediate vicinity of Nauvoo, than it can be sold for.

Several persons from a distance, have visited this county to purchase Mormon property. We hear that a company [from] St. Clair is about to purchaee largely. We hope they will succeed in settling the terms with the Saints.

Persons from abroad who have a superabundance of stock and a little cash, to lay out in real property, cannot do better than invest it in Mormon lands. Hancock is one of the best counties in the State and in every way desirable for a residence, so soon as the Saints are gone. Come on with your cattle, wagons and cash. -- Here is the place to invest it. -- Quincy Whig.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Northwestern  Gazette
  and Galena Advertiser.

Vol. XII.                            Galena, Friday, December 12, 1845.                            No. 6.


Mormon Preparations. -- James Arlington Bennett writes thus to the New York Sun: -

There are already organized twenty-five companies of one hundred families each, to be filled up during the winter, for the march to California. Each family of ten persons will have a wagon drawn by four oxen, and supplied with everything necessary for the journey. A troop of horse will be organized as an advance guard. The whole Mormon people are called in from Europe and America, so that they expect about two hundred thousand persons to congregate within one year at the Bay of San Francisco! Several ships will be fitted out in England to take their people round Cape Horn, and others will sail from New York in the Spring.

Note: A more complete version of this James Arlington Bennet letter was reprinted in the Nauvoo Times and Seasons of Dec. 1. 1845

Back to top of this page.

News Articles Page    |    News Articles Index    |    History Vault
Bookshelf    |    Spalding Studies Library    |    Mormon Classics

last updated: Oct. 22, 2010