(Newspapers of Illinois -- other LDS)

Hancock County, Illinois

Nauvoo Neighbor (a.k.a., Wasp)
1843-46 Articles

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Peoria Register   |  Sangamo Journal   |  Misc. Ill. papers
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Our  Moto: -- The  Saints'  Singularity -- is  Unity, Liberty, Charity.
Vol. II. - No. 2.           Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Wed., May 10, 1843.           Whole No. 54.


Circumstances are daily transpiring which give additional testimony to the authenticity of the Book of Mormon. A few years ago, although supported by indubitable, unimpeachable testimony, it was looked upon in the same light by the world in general, and by the religious world in particular, as the expedition of Columbus to this continent was by the different courts that he visited, and laid his project before. The literati looked upon his expedition as wild and visionary, they suspected very much the integrity of his pretensions, and looked upon him -- to say the least -- as a fool, for entertaining such wild and visionary views. The royal courts aided by geographers, thought it was impossible that another continent should or could exist; and they were assisted in their views by the learned clergy, who, to put the matter beyond all doubt, stated that it was contrary to Scripture; that the apostles preached to all the world, and that as they did not come to America, it was impossible that there should be any such place. Thus at variance with the opinions of the great, in opposition to science and religion, he set sail, and actually came to America; it was no dream, no fiction; but a solid reality; and however unphilosophical and infidel the notion might be. men had to believe it; and it was soon found out that it would agree both with religion and philosophy. So when the Book of Mormon first made its appearance among men, it was looked upon by many as a wild speculation, and that it was dangerous to the interest and happiness of the religious world. But when it was found to teach virtue, honesty, integrity, and pure religion, this objection was laid aside as being untenable.

We were then told that the inhabitants of this continent were and always had been a rude, barbarous race, uncouth, unlettered, and without civilization. But when they were told of the various relics that have been found indicative of civilization, intelligence, and learning, when they were told of the wealth, architecture, and splendor of ancient Mexico, -- when recent developments proved beyond a doubt that there are ancient ruins in Central America, which, in point of magnificence, beauty, strength, and architectural design, vie with any of the most splendid ruins on the Asiatic Continent,-when they could trace the fine delineations of the sculptor's chisel on the beautiful statue, the mysterious hieroglyphic, and the unknown character, they began to believe that a wise, powerful, intelligent, and scientific race had inhabited this continent; but still it was improbable -- nay almost impossible, notwithstanding the testimony of history to the contrary, that anything like plates could have been used anciently, particularly among this people.

The following letter and certificate will perhaps have a tendency to convince the sceptical that such things have been used and that even the obnoxious Book of Mormon may be true. And as the people in Columbus' day were obliged to believe that there was such a place as America, so will the people in this day be obliged to believe, however reluctantly, that there may have been such plates as those from which the Book of Mormon was translated.

Mr. Smith has had those plates, what his opinion concerning them is, we have not yet ascertained. The gentleman that owns them has taken them away, or we should have given a fac-simile of the plates and characters in this number. We are informed however, that he purposes returning with them for translation, if so, we may be able yet to furnish our readers with it.

It will be seen by the annexed statement of the Quincy Whig, that there are more dreamers and money-diggers than Joseph Smith in the world; and the worthy editor is obliged to acknowledge that this circumstance will go a good way to prove the authenticity of the Book of Mormon. He further states that "if Joseph Smith can decipher the hieroglyphics on the plates, he will do more towards throwing light on the early history of this continent than any man living." We think that he has done that already in translating and publishing the Book of Mormon, and would advise the gentleman and all interested to read for themselves and understand. We have no doubt, however, but Mr. Smith will be able to translate them.


On the 16th of April last, a respectable merchant, by the name of Robert Wiley, commenced digging in a large mound near this place; he excavated to the depth of ten feet and came to rock. About that time the rain began to fall, and he abandoned the work.

On the 23rd, he and quite a number of the citizens, with myself, repaired to the mound; and after making ample opening, we found plenty of rock, the most of which appeared as though it had been strongly burned; and after removing full two feet of said rock, we found plenty of charcoal and ashes; also human bones that appeared as though they had been burned; and near the encephalon a bundle was found that consisted of six plates of brass of a bell shape, each having a hole near the small end, and a ring through them all, and clasped with two clasps. The rings and clasps appeared to be iron very much oxydated.

The plates appeared first to be copper, and had the appearance of being covered with characters.

It was agreed by the company that I should cleanse the plates. Accordingly I took them to my house, washed them with soap and water and a woolen cloth; but, finding them not yet cleansed, I treated them with dilute sulphuric acid, which made them perfectly clean, on which it appeared that they were completely covered with hieroglyphics that none as yet have been able to read.

Wishing that the world might know the hidden things as fast as they come to light, I was induced to state the facts, hoping that you would give it an insertion in your excellent paper; for we all feel anxious to know the true meaning of the plates, and publishing the facts might lead to the true translation.

They were found, I judged, more than twelve feet below the surface of the top of the mound.

I am, most respectfully, a citizen of Kinderhook,


The following certificate was forwarded for publication, at the same time.

We the citizens of Kinderhook, whose names are annexed do certify and declare that on the 23d April, 1843, while excavating a large mound, in this vicinity, Mr. R. Wiley took from said mound, six brass plates of a bell shape, covered with ancient characters. Said plates were very much oxidated -- the bands and rings on said plates mouldered into dust on a slight pressure. The above described plates we have handed to Mr. Sharp for the purpose of taking them to Nauvoo.

G. W. F. WARD,

(From the Quincy Whig.)


A Mr. J. ROBERTS, from Pike county, called upon us last Monday, with a written description of a discovery which was recently made near Kinderhook, in that county. We have not room for his communication at length, and will give so much of a summary of it, as will enable the reader to form a pretty correct opinion of the discovery made.

It appeared that a young man by the name of Wiley, a resident in Kinderhook, dreamed three nights in succession, that in a certain mound in the vicinity, there was treasures concealed. -- Impressed with the strange occurrence of dreaming the same dream three nights in succession, he came to the conclusion, to satisfy his mind by digging into the mound. For fear of being laughed at, if he made others acquainted with his design, he went by himself, and labored diligently one day in pursuit of the supposed treasure, by sinking a hole in the centre of the mound. Finding it quite laborous, he invited others to assist him. Finally, a company of ten or twelve repaired to the mound, and assisted in digging out the shaft commenced by Wiley. After penetrating the mound about 11 feet, they came to a bed of limestone, that had apparently been subjected to the action of fire, they removed the stone, which were small and easy to handle, to the depth of two feet more, when they found SIX BRASS PLATES, secured and fastened together by two iron wires, but which were so decayed, that they readily crumbled to dust upon being handled. The plates were so completely covered with rust as almost to obliterate the characters inscribed upon them; but after undergoing a chemical process, the inscriptions were brought out plain and distinct. There were six plates -- four inches in length, one inch and three quarters wide at the top, and two inches and three quarters wide at the bottom, flaring out to points. There are four lines of characters or hieroglyphics on each; on one side of the plates are parallel lines running lengthwise. A few of the characters resemble, in their form, the Roman capitals of our alphabet -- for instance, the capital B and X appear very distinct. In addition, there are rude representations of three human heads on one of the plates, the largest in the middle; from this head proceeds marks or rays, resembling those which usually surround the head of Christ, in the pictorial representations of his person. There is also figures of two trees with branches, one under each of the two small heads, both leaning a little to the right. One of the plates, has on it the figure of a large head by itself, with two ==> pointing directly to it.

By whom these plates were deposited there, must ever remain a secret, unless some one skilled in deciphering hieroglyphics, may be found to unravel the mystery. Some pretend to say, that Smith the Mormon leader, has the ability to read them. If he has, he will confer a great favor on the public by removing the mystery which hangs over them. We learn there was a Mormon present when the plates were found, who it is said, leaped for joy at the discovery, and remarked that it would go to prove the authenticity of the Book of Mormon -- which it undoubtedly will.

In the place where these plates were deposited, were also found human bones in the last stage of decomposition; also some braid, which was at first supposed to be human hair, but on a closer examination proved to be grass; probably used as a covering for the bodies deposited there; this was also in the last stage of decay. There were but few bones found in the mound; and it is believed, that it was but the burial place of a small number, perhaps of a person, or a family of distinction, in ages long gone by, and that these plates contain the history of the times, or of a people, that existed far -- far -- beyond the memory of the present race. But we will not conjecture any thing about this wonderful discovery, as it is one which the plates alone can reveal.

On each side of this mound in which this discovery was made, was a mound, on one of which is a tree growing that measures two feet and a half in diameter, near the ground. -- Showing the great antiquity of the mounds, and of course, all that is buried within them. These mounds like others, that are found scattered all over the Mississippi valley, are in the form of a sugar loaf.

The plates above alluded to, were exhibited in this city last week, and are now, we understand, in Nauvoo, subject to the inspection of the Mormon Prophet. The public curiosity is greatly excited, and if Smith can decipher the hieroglyphics on the plates, he will do more towards throwing light on the early history of this continent, than any man now living.

Note 1: The report was, that on April 23, 1843, some residents dug into a large Indian mound near Kinderhook, Pike, Co., about 65 miles south of Nauvoo, Illinois. They allegedly discovered human bones, traces of ancient fires, and six small, bell-shaped plates, made of bress. These plates (only one of which survives) were covered with strange pictographic or glyphic writing, that had never before been seen in the Americas or elsewhere.

Note 2: View the text accompanying the plate facsimiles in the June, 1843 broadside published on the press of the Nauvoo Neighbor. See also Rev. R. B. Neal's "The Champion Hoaxer Hoaxed," in the June, 1909 number of his Sword of Laban.

Note 3: On Sept. 3, 1856, the Salt Lake City Deseret News published the following sentences, as a part of its serialization of "The History of Joseph Smith": "I insert fac similes of the six brass plates found near Kinderhook, in Pike county, Illinois, on April 23, by Mr. R. Wiley and others, while excavating a large mound. They found a skeleton about six feet from the surface of the earth, which must have stood nine feet high. The plates were found on the breast of the skeleton, and were covered on both sides by ancient characters.... I have translated a portion of them, and find they contain a history of the person with whom they were found. He was a descendant of Ham,through the loins of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and that he received his kingdom from the ruler of heaven and earth" (cf. LDS HC 5:374-375). Smith wrote very litte of his published history and this entry was evidently copied by its editors from the Nauvoo Journal of William Clayton.


Our  Moto: -- The  Saints'  Singularity -- is  Unity, Liberty, Charity.
Vol. I. - No. 10.           Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Wednesday, July 5, 1843.           Whole No. 62.


It has fallen to our lot of late years to keep an account of any remarkable circumstance that might transpire, in, and about this, and the adjoining states; as well as of distant provinces and nations. Among the many robberies, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tornadoes, fires, mobs, wars, &c. &c., which we have had to record, there is one circumstance of annual occurrence, which it has always fallen to our lot to chronicle. We allude not to the yearly inundations of the Nile, nor the frequent eruptions of Vesuvius or Etna, but to the boiling over of Tophet, alias the annual overflow of the excrescence of Missouri. Not, indeed, like the Nile, overflowing its parched banks, invigorating the alluvial soil and causing vegetation to teem forth in its richest attire; but like the sulphurious flame that burns unnoticed in the bowels of a volcano; kept alive by the combustion of its own native element, until it can contain itself no longer within the limits of its crater, it bursts beyond its natural bounds; and not satisfied with burning what is within its own bowels, it rushes furiously, wildly, and wantonly forth, and spreads its sulphurious lava all around, scattering desolations in its path, destroying the cot of the husbandman, the fisherman, and the palace of the nobleman, in one general sweep; covering vegetation with its fiery lava, and turning the garden into a bed of cinders. So Missouri has her annual ebulitions, and unable to keep her fire within her own bosom, must belch forth her sulphuric lava, and seek to overwhelm others with what is burning in her own bowels and destroying her very vitals; and as it happens that we are so unfortunate as to live hear the borders of this monster, we must ever and anon, be [smutted] with the soot that flies off from her buming crater.

Without entering here into the particulars of the bloody deeds, the high-handed oppression, the unconstitutional acts, the deadly and malicious hate, the numerous murders, and the wholesale robberies of that people; we will proceed to notice one of the late acts of Missouri, or of the Govemor of that state towards us. We allude to the late arrest of Joseph Smith.

Some two years ago Mr. Smith was apprehended upon a writ issued by Gov. Carlin upon a requisition from the Governor of Missouri, charging Mr. Smith with murder, arson, treason, &c. &c. Mr. Smith obtained a writ of Habeas Corpus, which was made returnable at Monmouth; he appeared before Judge Douglas and was honorably acquitted. We thought then that the eyes of community would be opened, and that a stop would have forever been put to those unhallowed proceedings, but no! this could not be, she must still pursue her victim, and for want of some more plausible excuse, after that monster of iniquity Gov. Boggs, whose iniquitous exterminating order has rendered him notorious not only in this country, but throughout Europe, had been shot at by some unknown ruffian, and his life jeopardized; it was thought a good opportunity to commence an attack upon Joseph Smith, particularly as an election was near at hand in this State, and it was thought by some of our political demagogues that some political capital could be made of it; Joseph Smith must therefore be sacrificed at the shrine of the hellish despotism of Missouri, and that of political aspirants of this State. What was the pledge that Gov. Duncan gave the people, if they would elect him? that he would have the Mormon charters repealed, and deprive them of all their other privileges. Thus the Mormons and Joseph Smith must be at the disposal of such inhuman reckless, blood thirsty, (we had like to have said,) republicans as these. Oh shame where is thy blush! and the attempted murder of Governor Boggs, to them is a good pretext. As if it were impossible that there should be found among the inhabitants of a State who had butchered scores in cold blood, who had robbed on innocent people of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of property; and who had driven thirteen thousand people from their homes, who had never violated law, a man who was base enough to seek to murder another without having the thing so far fetched as to try to heap it upon the head of a man who had not been in the State for years. This case like the other was finally brought to an issue, and Mr. Smith after an immensity of trouble and expense was exculpated in Springfield, before Judge Pope of the United States Court for the District of Illinois. The persecution and injustice of Missouri, and the illegality of the case was then abundantly developed, and Judge Pope ordered the case to be inserted on the docket in a manner that Mr. Smith should no more be troubled in relation to that matter. (Governor Ford at that time manifested a friendly disposition, and seemed disposed to put a stop to that executive influence which had sought the destruction and overthrow of Mr. S.)   Mr. S. returned in peace to the bosom of his family, and was received with joyous acclamation by a numerous host of friends who felt to rejoice that innocence had triumphed over persecution, fanaticism. and despotism.

Once more at peace, Mr. Smith flattered himself that his relentless persecutors must have satiated their rage and exhausted their ingenuity to find means to prosecute; and he had favorably hoped that had they invented any thing else, that the executive of this state, alive to the injustice that Mr. Smith had already experienced from the hands of Missouri, would not have countenanced or furthered any demands that might be made by that state upon the executive of this, for the person of Joseph Smith. This we believe he had reason to expect; he was in hopes that the time of his trials, pertaining to the tyrrany [sic] of that state, was at an end, and that he would be allowed to enjoy the precious boon of liberty, and to dwell in peace in the bosom of his family, and with his friends. Feeling perfectly secure, he set off with his family to Mr. Wassons', to visit his wife’s sister, Mrs. Wasson and family, who resided about twelve miles from Dixon, Lee county, in this state. While he was there, a Mr. J. H. Reynolds, Sheriff of Jackson county, Missouri, (so he says) and Mr. Harman Wilson, of Carthage, arrived at Dixon, professing to be Mormon preachers; from thence they proceeded to Mr. Wasson’s, at whose house Mr. Smith was staying. They found Mr. Smith outside of the door, and accosted him in a very uncouth ungentlemanly manner, quite in keeping however, with the common practice of Missourians. The following is as near the conversation as we can gather. Reynolds and his coadjutor Wilson, both stepped up at a time to Mr. Smith with their pistols cocked, and without shewing any writ or serving any process, Mr. Reynolds with his pistol cocked at Mr. Smith's breast, cried out, "G_d d__n you if you stir I'll shoot -- G_d d__n you -- if you stir one inch I'll shoot you, G_d d__n you -- be still or I’ll shoot you by G_d." "What is the meaning of this?" interrogated Mr. Smith. "I'll show you the meaning by G_d, and if you stir one inch I’ll shoot you, G_d d__n you." "I am not afraid of your shooting," answered Mr. Smith, "I am not afraid to die." He then bared his breast, and said "shoot away, I have endured so much oppression I am weary of life and kill me if you please. I am a strong man however, and with my own natural weapons could soon level both of you; but if you have any legal process to serve, I am at all times subject to law and shall not offer resistance." "G_d d__n you if you say another word, we'll shoot you, by G_d." "Shoot away" answered Mr. Smith, "I am not afraid of your pistols." They then hurried him off to a carriage that they had, and without serving process, were for hurrying him off without letting him see, or bid farewell to his family or friends. Mr. Smith then said, "gentlemen if you have any legal process I wish to obtain a writ of Habeas Corpus," and was answered, "G_d d__n you, you sha’nt have one." Mr. Smith saw a friend of his passing and said these men are kidnapping me, and I wish a writ of habeas corpus to deliver myself out of their hands. This friend immediately proceeded to Dixon whence the Sheriff also proceeded full speed; on arriving at the house of Mr. McKennie, tavern keeper, Mr. Smith was thrust into a room and guarded there without being allowed to see anybody, and horses were ordered in five minutes. Mr. Smith then stated to Reynolds: "I wish to get counsel," and was answered "G_d d__n you, you sha’nt have counsel, one word more G_d d__n your and I'll shoot you." "What is the use of this so often," said Mr. Smith, "I have often told you to shoot, and I now tell you again to shoot away;" and seeing a person passing he said, I am falsely imprisoned here, and I want a lawyer. A lawyer came, and had the door banged in his face with the old threat of shooting if he came any nearer, another afterwards came and received the same treatment. Many of the citizens of Dixon by this time being apprised of his situation stepped forward, and gave the Sheriff to understand, that if that was their mode of doing business in Missouri, they had another way of doing it here, that they were a law-abiding people, and republicans, that Mr. Smith should have justice done him, and have the opportunity of a fair trial, but that if they persisted in their course, they had a very summary way of dealing with such people -- and gave them to understand that Mr. Smith should not go without a fair and impartial trial. Mr. Reynolds finding farther resistance to be useless allowed one or two attorneys to come to Mr. Smith, who gave them to understand that he had been taken up without process; that they had insulted and abused him, and he wanted a writ of habeas corpus. Up to this time they had altogether refused to allow the counsel to have private conversation with him.

A writ was sued out by Mr. Smith against Harman Wilson for a violation of the law in relation to writs of habeas corpus, the said violation consisting in said Wilson having transferred said Smith to the custody of Reynolds for the purpose of removing Mr. Smith to Missouri, and thereby avoiding the effect and operation of said writ contrary to law.

There was also another writ sued out from the circuit court of Lee county, in favor of Mr. Smith, against Reynolds and Wilson for private damage, for false imprisonment, upon the ground that the writ issued by the Governor of Illinois, was a void writ in law, upon which said writ, said Reynolds and Wilson were held to bail; and were in the custody of the Sheriff of Lee county. Reynolds and Wilson obtained a writ of habeas corpus for the purpose of being discharged before Judge Young of Quincy, but they did not go before Judge Young, but gave bail at Carthage for their appearance at the circuit court of Lee county in said action.

Mr. Smith obtained a writ of habeas corpus from the Master in Chancery of Lee county, returnable before the Hon. John D. Caton, Judge of the ninth judicial circuit, at Ottawa, upon which said writ Mr. Smith was conveyed by Reynolds and Wilson, towards Ottawa as far as Pawpaw Grove, at which last mentioned place it was ascertained that Judge Caton was on a visit to New York. Upon which the party, Messrs. Smith, Reynolds, Wilson and others in company returned to Dixon, where another writ was issued by the said Master in Chancery, in favor of Smith, returnable before the nearest tribunal in the fifth judicial circuit authorised to hear, and determine, writs of habeas corpus. It was ascertained that the nearest tribunal authorised to hear and determine upon writs of habeas corpus, was at Nauvoo. On their arrival at Nauvoo, a writ of habeas corpus was sued out before, and made returnable to the Municipal court of the city of Nauvoo, directed to Mr. Reynolds, upon which said writ Mr. Reynolds did produce the body of said Smith before said court, objecting however, to the jurisdiction of said court. It was ascertained by the counsel for said Smith that the Municipal court had full and ample power to hear and determine upon writs of habeas corpus. Upon examination before said court he was discharged from said arrest upon the merits of said case, and upon the further ground of substantial defects in said writ so issued by the Governor of the State of Illinois.

Why Governor Ford should lend his assistance in a vexatious prosecution of this kind we are at a loss to determine. He possesses a discretionary power in such cases, and has a right to use his judgment, as the chief magistrate of this State, and knowing, as he does, that the whole proceedings, connected with this affair are illegal, we think that in justice he ought to have leaned to the side of the oppressed and innocent, particularly when the persecuted and prosecuted were citizens of his own State who had a right to his sympathies and to be shielded by his paternal care, as the Father of this State. Does not his Excellency know? and do not all the citizens of the State know that the Mormons have been robbed and pillaged and plundered in that State without any redress? that the Mormons en-masse were exterminated from that State without any legal pretext whatever; and how then could they have any legal claim upon Joseph Smith or any Mormon? Have the Mormons ever obtained any redress for injuries received in Missouri! No! Is there any prospect of their receiving remuneration for their loss, or redress for their grievances? No! When a demand was made upon the Governor of Missouri, by Governor Carlin of this State for the persons who kidnapped several Mormons, were they given up by that State? No. Why then should our Executive feel so tenacious in fulfiling all the nice punctillios of law, when the very State that is making these demands has robbed, murdered and exterminated by wholesale without law and are merely making use of it at present as a cats-paw to destroy the innocent and murder those that they have already persecuted nearly to the death. It is impossible that the State of Missouri should do justice with her coffers groaning with the spoils of the oppressed and her hands yet reeking with the blood of the innocent. Sall she yet gorge her bloody maw with other victims? Shall Joseph Smith be given into her hands illegally? Never! NO NEVER!! NO NEVER!!!

Next week we expect publish the details of the trial in which will be found testimony concerning actions that was perpetrated by Missouri; the most foul, black and diabolical that ever disgraced the footstool of God, and as we have had a general knowledge of these things we may then give our views more at large.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Our  Moto: -- The  Saints'  Singularity -- is  Unity, Liberty, Charity.
Vol. I. - No. 11.           Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Wednesday, July 12, 1843.           Whole No. 63.

To the Editor of the Neighbor.

Mr. Editor. -- I learn from the last Neighbor, that Messrs. Wilson and Reynolds, who arrested Gen. Joseph Smith, for the purpose of transporting him to Missouri, not long since, near Dixon, Lee County, very deliberately took upon themselves the holy priesthood, and passed along as Mormon elders. And now let the people understand this, for by their fruits ye shall know them -- "Do men gather grapes of thorns or figs of thistles?" Like all true disciples, who have followed their master, the people have a right to expect that these new disciples, 'clothed with a little brief authority,' knowing that he that will not lay down his life in the cause may lose his reward; yes, honest men must say, that such pilgrims of promise should seal their ministry, like Peter at Rome, or Rogers at Smithfield. AS MARTYRS.   SAUL among the Prophets.

Joseph Smith -- is at Nauvoo, in peace, quietly pursuing his own business; where we hope he will long remain free from the power of his inhuman persecutors.

The testimony already given needs no comment. It shows but too plainly the inhumanity, recklessness, barbarism, and lawlessness of the state of Missouri; and we could wish, for the sake of humanity, for the sake of suffering innocence, and for the sake of our honored institutions, that our nation's escutcheon had never been stained by the inhuman acts and bloody deeds of Missouri, and that the non-efficiency of the nation to execute law had not been so fully developed. -- But it is too true, we have witnessed most of the things mentioned by Mr. Smith, and we have also witnessed the carelessness and apathy of Congress on this subject, or their inefficiency to remedy the evil; the which, had it been fully investigated, and the perpetrators of those damning crimes brought to condign punishment, it would have exposed a blacker history than ever was written of any pagan, not to say Christian nation, and would have exposed half of that state to the charge of treason, murder, robbery, arson, burglary, and extermination.

As it is, the blood of the innocent yet cries for vengeance, and if it overtakes them not here, and God spares my breath, if no one else does it, their deeds shall be handed down to posterity, that unborn generations may execrate these anti-republico cannibals, and tell that in the state of Missouri lived a horde of savages, protected and shielded by American republican legislative authority, who, in the face of open day, dragged the innocent to prison, because of their religion; who murdered the oppressed that they had in their power, and fed the victims with their flesh; that they glutted their diabolical lust on defenseless innocence, and violated female chastity in a manner too horrid to relate -- that in their mock tribunals they refused all testimony in favor of the accused, and thrust their witnesses into prison; that, after robbing them of their property, they drove 15,000 persons from the state -- that they cried to the authorities of that state for redress, and from them to Congress; but the echo from both was, we can render you no assistance.

Note: The Neighbor's thinly veiled assassination threat against "Messrs. Wilson and Reynolds" was not lost upon those two non-Mormons. Harmon T. Wilson retreated to the safety of his constable's office at Carthage and Joseph H. Reynolds returned to Missouri, where he published his own version of recent events at Dixon and at Nauvoo. The "Saul among the prophets" taunt was obviously meant to show that the local Mormon ruffians had sufficient temporal reach -- to notice that "the blood of the innocent yet cries for vengeance," and to enforce the vengeful predictions of their outraged leaders in the prophetic offices at Nauvoo.


Our  Moto: -- The  Saints'  Singularity -- is  Unity, Liberty, Charity.
Vol. I. - No. 12.           Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Wednesday, July 19, 1843.           Whole No. 64.

From the State Register.


(see original article in the Springfield paper)


To the Editor of the Chicago Democrat:
     Dear Sir: Our little town has been in an unusual state of excitement for a few days past, originating from the arrest of General Joseph Smith, which took place at the Inlet Grove, while he was on a visit with his family to a sister [sic] who resides there. He was arrested on Friday last by an officer from Hancock county, and delivered over to the sheriff of Jackson county, Missouri, in compliance with the orders of the Governor.

The officers who took him brought him into town in the evening and confined him closely to his room; refusing admission not only to the citizens whose curiosity had drawn them to the spot, but to counsel whom he had requested to have employed.

Our citizens, conceiving it a violation of right that a man should be deprived of that advice and assistance which is accorded to the most degraded and guilty offender in all civilized countries under such circumstances, expressed themselves in such strong and indignant terms, that the officers finally permitted counsel to have access to him. He applied for the benefit of the habeas corpus; and, while the lawyers were busy drawing up the necessary papers, the officers frequently asserted that they would not wait, but would leave for the Mississippi at all hazards. They were however, induced, by the force of argument, to desist from their intention and wait until morning, when the habeas corpus was served. After which, they stated their determination to go to Rock Island and by steamboat from thence to Galena, before Judge Brown. General Smith justly felt fearful that once on a steamboat, he should hardly reach Galena. The distance from this place to Rock Island is the same as from here to Galena. General Smith, finding this their determination, commenced suit against the sheriff of Missouri for trespass, and held him to bail; which he was unable to procure, which circumstance lowered his tune a little; and thus finally, to-day, has left for Quincy in search of Judge Young.

The severe treatment of the general, together with his pleasing deportment and equanimity under all his trials, has made him many friends and created almost universal sympathy. Persecution or oppression always helps the cause of the persecuted or oppressed, whether their cause is right or wrong.

In haste, yours,   G.

THE LATE ARREST. -- Our Friend Mr. Patch, of the "Warsaw Message," has written a plain ungarnished statement relative to the capture, detention, and acquital of Mr. Smith. We have noticed that since the paper changed hands, it has taken a more dignified and exalted stand, and are pleased to find our new editorial friend, a man that is not afraid, nor ashamed of speaking the truth. The paper is now edited in an ably and gentlemanly manner; is neatly executed, and worthy of the attention and patronage of our friends.

Note: If Apostle Taylor found Thomas H. "Patch" Gregg to be a man after his own heart, that editorial honeymoon did not last for long. The Message soon evolved into the Signal and Gregg's wonted alooftness from Mormon controversies gradually subsided -- opening the way for the truly hostile editorial barbs of his successor, Thomas C. Sharp.


Our  Moto: -- The  Saints'  Singularity -- is  Unity, Liberty, Charity.
Vol. I. - No. 13.           Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Wednesday, July 26, 1843.           Whole No. 65.


... SIDNEY RIGDON, sworn. Says, I arrived in Far West, Caldwell county, Missouri on the 4th of April, 1838, and enjoyed peace and quietness in common with the rest of the citizens, until the August following, when great excitement was created by the office-seekers. Attempts were made to prevent the citizens of Caldwell [sic] from voting. Soon after the election, which took place in the early part of August, the citizens of Caldwell were threatened with violence from those of Davis county, and other counties adjacent to Caldwell.

This, the August of 1838, I may date as the time of the beginning of all the troubles of our people in Caldwell county, and in all the counties in the state where our people were living. We had lived in peace from the April previous until this time, but from this time till we were all out of the state, it was one scene of violence following another in quick succession.

There were at this time settlements in Clay, Ray, Carroll, Caldwell, and Davis counties, as well as some families living in other counties. A simultaneous movement was made in all the counties where settlements were made in every part of the state, which soon became violent, and threatenings were heard from every quarter. Public meetings were held and the most inflammatory speeches made, and resolutions passed which denounced all the citizens of these counties in the most bitter and rancorous manner. These resolutions were published in the papers, and the most extensive circulation given to them that the press of the country was capable of giving.

The first regular mob that assembled was in Carroll county, and their efforts were directed against the settlements made in that county, declaring their determination to drive out of the county all the citizens who were of our religion, and that indiscriminately, without regard to anything else but their religion. The only evidence necessary to dispossess any individual or family, or all the evidence required, would be that they were Mormons, as we were called, or rather that they were of the Mormon religion. This was considered of itself crime enough to cause any individual or family to be driven from their homes, and their property made common plunder. Resolutions to this effect were made at public meetings held for the purpose, and made public through the papers of the state, in the face of all law, and all authority.

I will now give a history of the settlement in Carroll county. In the preceding April, as myself and family were on our way to Far West, we put up at a house in Carroll county, on a stream called Turkey creek, to tarry for the night. Soon after we stopped, a youngerly man came riding up, who also stopped and staid through the night. Hearing my name mentioned, he introduced himself to me as Henry Root, said he lived in that county at a little town called De Witt, on the Missouri river, and had been at Far West, to get some of those who were coming into that place, to form a settlement at De Witt; speaking highly of the advantages of the situation, and soliciting my interference in his behalf, to obtain a number of families to commence at that place, as he was a large proprietor in the town plat. He offered a liberal share in all the profits which might arise from the sale of property there, to those who would aid him in getting the place settled. In the morning we proceeded on our journey.

Some few weeks after my arrival, the said Henry Root, in company with a man by the name of David Thomas, came to Far West on the same business; and after much solicitation on their part, it was agreed that a settlement should be made in that place; and in the July following, the first families removed there, and the settlement soon increased, until in the October following, it consisted of some seventy families. By this time a regular mob had collected, strongly armed, and had obtained possession of a cannon, and stationed a mile or two from the town. The citizens, being nearly all new comers, had to live in their tents and wagons, and were exerting themselves to the uttermost to get houses for the approaching winter. The mob commenced committing their depredations on the citizens, by not suffering them to procure the materials for building, keeping them shut up in the town, not allowing them to go out to get provisions, driving off their cattle, and preventing the owners from going in search of them. In this way the citizens were driven to the greatest extremities, actually suffering for food and every comfort of life, in consequence of which there was much sickness and many died. Females gave birth to children without a house to shelter them, and in consequence of the exposure, many suffered great afflictions and many died.

Hearing of their great sufferings, a number of the men of Far West determined on going to see what was doing there. Accordingly we started, eluded the vigilance of the mob, and notwithstanding they had sentinels placed on all the principal roads, to prevent relief from being sent to the citizens, we safely arrived in De Witt, and found the people as above stated.

During the time we were there, every effort that could be, was made to get the authorities of the county to interfere and scatter the mob. The judge of the circuit court was petitioned, but without success, and after that the governor of the state, who returned for answer that the citizens of De Witt had got into a difficulty with the surrounding country, and they might get out of it; for he would have nothing to do with it, or this was the answer the messenger brought, when he returned.

The messenger was a Mr. Caldwell, who owned a ferry on Grand river, about three miles from De Witt, and was an old settler in the place.

The citizens were completely besieged by the mob, no man was at liberty to go out, nor any to come in. The extremities to which the people were driven were very great, suffering with much sickness, without shelter, and deprived of all aid either medical or any other kind, and being without food or the privilege of getting it, and betrayed by every man who made the least pretension to friendship; a notable instance of which I will here give as a sample of many others of a similar kind. There was neither bread nor flour to be had in the place; a steamboat landed there and application was made to get flour but the captain said there was none on board. A man then offered his services to get flour for the place; knowing, he said, where there was a quantity. Money was given to him for that purpose; he got on the boat and went off; and that was the last we heard of the man or the money. This was a man who had been frequently in De Witt during the siege, and professed great friendship. In this time of extremity, a man who had a short time before moved into De Witt, bringing with him a fine yoke of cattle, started out to hunt his cattle, in order to butcher them, to keep the citizens from actual starvation, but before he got but a little way from the town, he was fired upon by the mob and narrowly escaped with his life, and had to return, or at least, such was his report when he returned. Being now completely inclosed on every side, we could plainly see many men on the opposite side of the river, and it was supposed that they were there to prevent the citizens from crossing, and indeed a small craft crossed from them, and three men in it, who said that that was the object for which they had assembled.

At this critical moment, with death staring us in the face, in its worst form; cut off from all communication with the surrounding country, and all our provisions exhausted, we were sustained as the children of Israel in the desert, only by different animals. They by quails, and we by cattle and hogs which came walking into the camp, for such it truly was, as the people were living in tents and wagons, not being privileged with building houses. What was to be done in this extremity? why, recourse was had to the only means of subsistence left, and that was to butcher the cattle and hogs which came into the place, without asking who was the owner, or without knowing, and what to me is remarkable is, that a sufficient number of animals came into the camp to sustain life during the time in which the citizens were thus beseiged by the mob. This indeed was but coarse living, but such as it was, it sustained life.

From this circumstance the cry went out that the citizens of De Witt, were thieves and plunderers, and were stealing cattle and hogs. During this time the mob of Carroll county said that all they wanted was that the citizens of De Witt should leave Carroll county and go to Caldwell and Davis counties. The citizens finding that they must leave De Witt, or eventually starve, finally agreed to leave; and accordingly preparations were made and De Witt was vacated. The first morning after we left, we put up for the night in a grove of timber. Soon after our arrival in the grove, a female who a short time before had given birth to a child, in consequence of exposure, died. A grave was dug in the grove, and the next morning the body was deposited in it without a coffin, and the company proceeded on their journey; part of them going to Davis county, and part into Caldwell: This was in the month of October, 1838.
In a short time after their arrival in Davies and Caldwell counties, messengers arrived, informing the new citizens of Caldwell and Davies, that the mob was marching to Davies county, with their cannon with them, threatening death to the citizens, or else that they should all leave Daviess county. This caused other efforts to be made to get the authorities to interfere. I wrote two memorials, one to the governor and one to Austin A. King, circuit judge, imploring their assistance and intervention to protect the citizens of Davies against the threatened violence of the mob. -- These memorials were accompanied with affidavits which could leave no doubt on the mind of the governor or judge, that the citizens before mentioned were in eminent [sic] danger. At this time things began to assume an alarming aspect both to the citizens of Davies and Caldwell counties. Mobs were forming all around the country, declaring that they would drive the people out of the state. This made our appeals to the authorities more deeply solicitous as the danger increased, and very soon after this the mobs commenced their depredations; which was a general system of plunder; tearing down fences, exposing all within the field to destruction, and driving off every animal they could find.

Sometime previous to this, in consequence of the threatenings which were made by mobs, or those who were being formed into mobs, and the abuses committed by them on the persons and property of the citizens; an association was formed, called the Danite Band.

This, as far as I was acquainted with it, (not being myself one of the number, neither was Joseph Smith, Senior,) was for mutual protection against the bands that were forming, and threatened to be formed; for the professed object of committing violence on the property and persons of the citizens of Davies and Caldwell counties. They had certain signs and words by which they could know one another, either by day or night. They were bound to keep these signs and words secret; so that no other person or persons than themselves could know them. When any of these persons were assailed by any lawless band, he would make it known to others, who would flee to his relief at the risk of life. In this way they sought to defend each other's lives and property, but they were strictly enjoined not to touch any person, only those who were engaged in acts of violence against the persons or property of one of their own number or one of those whose life and property they had bound themselves to defend.

This organization was in existence when the mobs commenced their most violent attempts upon the citizens of the before mentioned counties, and from this association arose all the horror afterwards expressed by the mob at some secret clan known as Danites.

The efforts made to get the authorities to interfere at this time was attended with some success. The militia was ordered out under the command of Major General Atchison, of Clay county, Brigadier Generals Doniphan, of Clay, and Parks of Ray county, who marched their troops to Davies county, where they found a large mob, and General Atchison said in my presence, that he took the following singular method to disperse them. He organized them with his troops as part of the militia called out, to suppress and arrest the mob; after having thus organized them, he discharged them and all the rest of the troops as having no further need for their services, and all returned home.

This, however, only seemed to give the mob more courage to increase their exertions with redoubled vigor. They boasted after that, that the authorities would not punish them, and they would do as they pleased. In a very short time their efforts were renewed with a determination not to cease until they had driven the citizens of Caldwell, and such of the citizens of Davies as they had marked out as victims, from the state. A man by the name of Cornelius Gillum who resided in Clay county, and formerly sheriff of said county, organized a band, who painted themselves like Indians, and had a place of rendezvous at Hunter's Mills on a stream called Grindstone. I think it was in Clinton county, the county west of Caldwell, and between it and the west line of the state. From this place they would sally out and commit their depredations. Efforts were again made to get the authorities to put a stop to these renewed outrages, and again General Doniphan and General Parks were called out with such portions of their respective brigades as they might deem necessary to suppress the mob, or rather mobs, for by this time there were a number of them. General Doniphan came to Far West, and while there, recommended to the authorities of Caldwell to have the militia of said county called out as a necessary measure of defence; assuring us that Gillum had a large mob on the Grindstone, and his object was to make a descent upon Far West, burn the town and kill or disperse the inhabitants; and that it was very necessary that an effective force should be ready to oppose him, or he would accomplish his object.

The militia was accordingly called out. He also said that there had better be a strong force sent to Davies county to guard the citizens there: he recommended that to avoid any difficulties which might arise, they had better go in very small parties, without arms, so that no legal advantage could be taken of them. I will here give a short account of the courts and internal affairs of Missouri, for the information of those who are not acquainted with the same.

Missouri has three courts of law peculiar to that state. The supreme court, the circuit court, and the county court. The two former, about the same as in many other states of the Union. The county court, is composed of three judges, elected by the people of the respective counties. This court is in some respects like the court of probate in Illinois, or the surrogate's court of New York; but the powers of this court are more extensive than the courts of Illinois or New York. The judges, or any one of them, of the county court of Missouri, has the power of issuing habeas corpus, in all cases where arrests are made within the county where they preside. They have also all power of justices of the peace in civil, as well as criminal cases; for instance, a warrant may be obtained from one of these judges, by affidavit, and a person arrested under such warrant. From another of these judges, a habeas corpus may issue, and the person arrested be ordered before him, and the character of the arrest be inquired into, and if in the opinion of the judge, the person ought not to be holden by virtue of said process, he has power to discharge him. In the internal regulation of the affairs of Missouri, the counties in some respects are nearly as independent of each other as the several states of the Union. No considerable number of men armed, can pass out of one county into, or through another county, without first obtaining the permission of the judges of the county court, or some one of them, otherwise they are liable to be arrested by the order of said judges; and if in their judgment they ought not thus to pass, they are ordered back from whence they came; and, in case of refusal, are subject to be arrested or even shot down in case of resistance. The judges of the county court or any one of them, have the power to call out the militia of said county upon affidavit being made to them for that purpose, by any of the citizens of said county; shewing it just, in the judgment of such judge or judges, why said militia should be called out to defend any portion of the citizens of said county. The following is the course of procedure: Affidavit is made before one or any number of the judges, setting forth, that the citizens of said county, or any particular portion of them, is either invaded or threatened with invasion by some unlawful assembly whereby their liberties, lives, or property may be unlawfully taken. When such affidavit is made to any one of the judges or all of them, it is the duty of him or them, before whom such affidavit is made, to issue an order to the sheriff of the county, to make requisition upon the commanding officer of the militia of said county, to have immediately put under military order such a portion of the militia under his command as may be necessary for the defence of the citizens of said county.

In this way the militia of any county may be called out at any time deemed necessary by the county judges, independently of any other civil authority of the state.

In case that the militia of the county is insufficient to quell the rioters, and secure the citizens against the invaders, then recourse can be had to the judge of the circuit court, who has the same power over the militia of his judicial district, as the county judges have over the militia of the county. And in case of insufficiency in the militia of the judicial district of the circuit judge, recourse can be had to the governor of the state, and all the militia of the state called out. and if this should fail, then the governor can call on the President of the United States, and all the forces of the nation be put under arms.

I have given this expose of the internal regulation of the affairs of Missouri, in order that the court may clearly understand what I have before said on this subject, and what I may hereafter say on it.

It was in view of this order of things that General Doniphan, who is a lawyer of some celebrity in Missouri, gave the recommendation he did at Far West, when passing into Davies county with his troops, for the defence of the citizens of said county. It was in consequence of this, that he said, that those of Caldwell county who went into Davies county, should go in small parties, and unarmed, in which condition they were not subject to any arrest from any authority whatever.

In obedience to these recommendations the militia of Caldwell county was called out; affidavits having been made to one of the judges of the county, setting forth the danger which it was believed the citizens were in, from a large marauding party assembled under the command of one Cornelius Gillum, on a stream called Grindstone. When affidavit was made to this effect, the judge issued his order to the sheriff of the county, and the sheriff to the commanding officer, who was Colonel G. M. Hinkle, and thus were the militia of the county of Caldwell put under orders.

General Doniphan, however, instead of going into Davies county, soon after he left Far West returned to Clay county with all his troops, giving as his reason the mutinous character of his troops, which he said would join the mob, he believed, instead of acting against them, and that he had not power to restrain them.

In a day or two afterwards, General Parks of Ray county, also came to Far West, and said that he had sent on a number of troops to Davies county to act in concert with General Doniphan. He also made the same complaint concerning the troops, that Doniphan had, doubting greatly whether they would render any service to those in Davies, who were threatened with violence by the mobs assembling; but on hearing that Doniphan, instead of going to Davies county, had returned to Clay, followed his example and ordered his troops back to Ray county, and thus were the citizens of Caldwell county and those of Davies county, who were marked out as victims by the mob, left to defend themselves the best way they could.

What I have here stated in relation to Generals Doniphan and Parks, were conversations had between myself and them, about which I cannot be mistaken, unless my memory has betrayed me.

The militia of the county of Caldwell were now all under requisition, armed and equipped according to law. The mob after all the authority of the State had been recalled, except from the force of Caldwell county, commenced the work of destruction in earnest; showing a determination to accomplish their object. Far West, where I resided, which was the shire town of Caldwell county, was placed under the charge of a captain by the name of Killian, who made my house his head quarters; other portions of the troops were distributed in different places in the county, wherever danger was apprehended. In consequence of Captain Killians' making any house his head quarters, I was put in possession of all that was going on, as all intelligence in relation to the operations of the mob was communicated to him. Intelligence was received daily of depredations being committed not only against the property of the citizens, but other [sic - their?] persons; many of whom when attending to their business, would be surprised, and taken by marauding parties, tied up and whipped in a most desperate manner. Such outrages were common during the progress of these extraordinary scenes, and all kinds of depredations were committed. Men driving their teams to and from the mills where they got their grinding done, would be surprised and taken, their persons abused, and their teams, wagons and loading all taken as booty by the plunderers. Fields were thrown open, and all within exposed to the destruction of such animals as chose to enter. Cattle, horses, hogs and sheep were driven off, and a general system of plunder and destruction of all kinds of property, carried on to the great annoyance of the citizens of Caldwell, and that portion of the citizens of Davies marked as victims by the mob. One afternoon a messenger arrived at Far West calling for help, saying that a banditti had crossed the south line of Caldwell, and were engaged in threatening the citizens with death if they did not leave their homes and go out of the state within a very short time; the time not precisely recollected; but I think it was the next day by ten o'clock, but of this I am not certain. He said they were setting fire to the prairies, in view of burning houses and desolating farms, that they had set fire to a wagon loaded with goods, and they were all consumed; that they had also set fire to a house, and when he left it was burning down. Such was the situation of affairs at Far West at that time, that Captain Killian could not spare any of his forces, as an attack was hourly expected at Far West. The messenger went off, and I heard no more about it, till some time the night following, when I was awakened from sleep by the voice of some man apparently giving command to a military body; being somewhat unwell, I did not get up. Some time after I got up in the morning, the sheriff of the county stopped at the door, and said that David Patten, had had a battle with the mob last night at crooked river, and that several were killed and a number wounded; that Patten was among the number of the wounded, and his wound supposed to be mortal. After I had taken breakfast another gentleman called, giving me the same account, and asking me if I would not take my horse and ride out with him and see what was done. I agreed to do so, and we started, and after going three or four miles, met a company coming into Far West. We turned and went back with them.

This mob proved to be that headed by the Reverend Samuel Bogard, a Methodist preacher, and the battle was called the Bogard Battle. After this battle there was a short season of quiet, the mobs disappeared, and the militia returned to Far West, though they were not discharged, but remained under orders until it should be known how the matter would turn. In the space of a few days, it was said that a large body of armed men were entering the south part of Caldwell County. The county court ordered the militia to go and enquire what was their object, in thus coming into the county without permission. The military started as commanded, and little or no information was received at Far West about their movements until late the next afternoon, when a large army was descried making their way towards Far West. Far West being an elevated situation, the army was discovered while a number of miles from the place. Their object was entirely unknown to the citizens as far as I had any knowledge on the subject, and every man I heard speak of their object, expressed as great ignorance as myself. -- They reached a small stream on the east [sic south?] side of the town, which was studded with timber on its banks, and for perhaps from half a mile to a mile on the east [sic - south?] side of the stream, an hour before sundown. There the main body halted, and soon after a detachment under the command of Brigadier General Doniphan, marched towards the town in line of battle. This body was preceded, probably three fourths of a mile in advance of them, by a man carrying a white flag, who approached within a few rods of the eastern boundary of the town, and demanded three persons, who were in the town, to be sent to their camp, after which the whole town, he said, would be massacred. When the persons who were inquired for, were informed, they refused to go, determined to share the common fate of the citizens. One of those persons did nor belong to the "Church of Latter Day Saints." His name is Adam Lightner, a merchant in that city.

The white flag returned to the camp. To the force of General Doniphan, was the small force of Caldwell militia, under Colonel Hinkle, opposed. Who also marched in line of battle to the eastern [sic - southern?] line of the town. The whole force of Colonel Hinkle did not exceed three hundred men -- that of Doniphan perhaps three times that number. I was in no way connected with the militia, being over age, neither was Joseph Smith, Senior. I went into the line formed by Colonel Hinkle though unarmed, and stood among the rest to await the result, and had a full view of both forces, and stood there. The armies were within rifle shot of each other. About the setting of the sun Doniphan ordered his army to return to the camp at the Creek: they wheeled and marched off. After they had retired, it was consulted what was best to do -- by what authority the army was there no one could tell, as far as I knew -- it was agreed to build through the night a sort of fortification, and if we must fight, sell our lives as dear as we could; accordingly all hands went to work, rails, house-logs, and wagons, were all put in requisition: and the east [sic - south?] line of the town as well secured as could be done by the men and means, and the short time allowed; expecting an attack in the morning. The morning at length came, and that day passed away and still nothing was done; but plundering the cornfields, shooting cattle and hogs, stealing horses and robbing houses, and carrying off potatoes, turnips, and all such things as the army of General Lucas could get, for such in the event they proved to be. The main body being commanded by Samuel D. Lucas, a Deacon in the Presbyterian church. The next day came and then it was ascertained that they were there by order of the Governor.

A demand was made for Joseph Smith, Senior, Lyman Wight, George W. Robinson, Parley P. Pratt and myself, to go into their camp; with this command we instantly complied, and accordingly started to their camp. When we came in sight of their camp the whole army was on parade, marching toward the town, we approached and met them; and were informed by Lucas that we were prisoners of war. A scene followed that would defy any mortal to describe, a howling was set up, that would put any thing I ever heard before or since at defiance. I thought at the time it had no parallel except it might be the perdition of ungodly men. They had a cannon. I could distinctly hear the guns as the locks were sprung, which appeared, from the sound to be in every part of the army. General Doniphan came riding up where we were, and swore by his maker that he would hew the first man down that cocked a gun, one or two other officers on horseback also rode up, ordering those who had cocked their guns to uncock them, or they would be hewed down with their swords, we ware conducted into their camp and made to lay on the ground through the night.

This was late in October -- we were kept here for two days and two nights. It commenced raining and snowing until we were completely drenched and being compelled to lay on the ground, which had became very wet and the water was running round us and under us -- what consultation the officers and others had in relation to the disposition that was to be made of us, I am entirely indebted to the report made to me by General Doniphan as none of us was put on any trial. General Doniphan gave an account of which the following is the substance, as far as my memory serves me: "That they held a Court Martial and sentenced us to be shot at 8 o'clock the next morning after the Court Martial was holden, in the public square in the presence of our families -- that this Court Martial was composed of seventeen preachers and some of the principal officers of the army -- Samuel D. Lucas presided -- Doniphan arose and said 'that neither himself nor his brigade should have any hand in the shooting, that it was nothing short of cold blooded murder' and left the Court Martial and ordered his brigade to prepare and march off the ground."

This was probably the reason why they did not carry the decision of the Court Martial into effect. It was finally agreed that we should be carried into Jackson county, accordingly on the third day after our arrest the army was all paraded, we were put into waggons and taken into the town -- our families having heard that we were to be brought to town that morning to be shot. When we arrived a scene ensued such as might be expected under the circumstances. I was permitted to go alone with my family into the house, there I found my family so completely plundered of all kinds of food that they had nothing to eat but parched corn which they ground with a hand mill, and thus were they sustaining life. I soon pacified my family and allayed their feelings by assuring them that the ruffians dared not kill me. I gave them strong assurances that they dared not do it, and that I would return to them again. After this interview I took my leave of them, and returned to the waggon, got in and we were all started off for Jackson county. Before we reached the Missouri river a man came riding along the line apparently in great haste. I did not know his business. When we got to the river Lucas came to me and told me that he wanted us to hurry, as Jacob Stollings had arrived from Far West with a message from Gen. John C. Clark, ordering him to return with us to Far West as he was there with a large army, he said he would not comply with the demand, but did not know but Clark might send an army to take us by force. We were hurried over the river as fast as possible with as many of Lucas' army as could be sent over at one time and sent hastily on, and thus we were taken to Independence, the Shire town of Jackson county, and put into an old house and a strong guard placed over us. In a day or two they relaxed their severity, we were taken to the best tavern in town and there boarded, and treated with kindness -- we were permitted to go and come at our pleasure without any guard. After some days Colonel Sterling G. Price arrived from Clark's army with a demand to have us taken to Richmond, Ray county. It was difficult to get a guard to go with us, indeed, we solicited them to send one with us, and finally got a few men to go and we started; after we had crossed the Missouri, on our way to Richmond, we met a number of very rough looking fellows, and as rough acting as they were looking, they threatened our lives. -- We solicited our guard to send to Richmond for a stronger force to guard us there, as we considered our lives in danger. Sterling G. Price met us with a strong force and conducted us to Richmond where we were put in close confinement.

One thing I will here mention, which I forgot -- while we were at Independence I was introduced to Russell Hicks, a lawyer of some note in the country. In speaking on the subject of our arrest and being torn from our families, [he] said he presumed it was another Jackson county scrape. He said the Mormons had been driven from that county and that without any offence on their part. He said he knew all about it, they were driven off because the people feared their political influence. And what was said about the Mormons was only to justify the mob in the eyes of the world for the course they had taken. He said this was another scrape of the same kind.

This Russell Hicks, by his own confession, was one of the principal leaders in the Jackson county mob.

After this digression, I will return -- The same day that we arrived at Richmond, Price came into the place where we were, with a number of armed men, who immediately on entering the room cocked their guns, another followed with chains in his hands, and we were ordered to be chained together -- a strong guard was placed in and around the house, and thus we were secured. The next day General Clark came in, and we were introduced to him -- the awkward manner in which he entered and his apparent embarrassment were such as to force a smile from me. He was then asked for what he had thus cast us into prison? -- to this question he could not or did not give a direct answer. He said he would let us know in a few days, and after a few more awkward and uncouth movements he withdrew. After he went out I asked some of the guard what was the matter with General Clark, that made him appear so ridiculous? They said he was near sighted. I replied that I was mistaken if he were not as near witted as he was near sighted.

We were now left with our guards, without knowing for what we had been arrested, as no civil process had issued against us -- for what followed until General Clark came in again to tell us that we were to be delivered into the hands of the civil authorities, I am entirely indebted to what I heard the guards say -- I heard them say that General Clark had promised them before leaving Coles county, that they should have the privilege of shooting Joseph Smith, Senior and myself. And that General Clark was engaged in searching the military law to find authority for so doing; but found it difficult as we were not military men and did not belong to the militia; but he had sent to Fort Leavenworth for the military code of law, and he expected, after he got the laws, to find law to justify him in shooting us.

I must here again digress, to relate a circumstance which I forgot in its place. I had heard that Clark had given a military order to some persons who had applied to him for it, to go to our houses and take such goods as they claimed. The goods claimed, were goods sold by the sheriff of Caldwell county on an execution, which I had purchased at the sale. The man against whom the execution was issued, availed himself of that time of trouble to go and take the goods wherever he could find them. -- I asked Clark if he had given any such authority. He said that an application had been made to him for such an order, but he said, "your lady wrote me a letter requesting me not to do it -- telling me that the goods had been purchased at the sheriff's sale; and I would not grant the order." I did not, at the time, suppose that Clark, in this, had barefacedly lied; but the sequel proved he had -- for, some time afterwards, behold there comes a man to Richmond with the order, and shewed it to me, signed by Clark. The man said he had been at our house, and taken all the goods he could find. So much for a lawyer, a Methodist, and a very pious man at that time in religion, and a major general of Missouri.

During the time that Clark was examining the military law, there were something took place which may be proper to relate in this place. I heard a plan laying among a number of those who belonged to Clark's army, and some of them officers of high rank, to go to Far West and commit violence on the persons of Joseph Smith Senior's wife and my wife and daughter.

This gave me some uneasiness. I got an opportunity to send my family word of their design, and to make such arrangements as they could to guard against their vile purpose. The time at last arrived, and the party started for Far West. I waited with painful anxiety for their return. After a number of days, they returned. I listened to all they said, to find out, if possible, what they had done. One night, I think the very night after their return, I heard them relating to some of those who had not been with them the events of their adventure. Inquiry was made about their success in the particular object of their visit to Far West. The substance of what they said in answer, was, "that they had passed and repassed both houses, and saw the females, but there were so many men about the town, that they dare not venture for fear of being detected, and their numbers were not sufficient to accomplish anything, if they made the attempt, and they came off without trying."

No civil process of any kind had been issued against us: we were then held in duress without knowing what for, or what charges were to be preferred against us. At last, after long suspense, General Clark came into the prison, presenting himself about as awkwardly as at the first, and informed us, "that we would be put into the hands of the civil authorities. He said he did not know precisely what crimes would be charged against us, but they would be within the range of treason, murder, burglary, arson, larceny, theft, and stealing." Here, again another smile was forced, and I could not refrain, at the expense of this would-be great man, in whom, he said, "the faith of Missouri was pledged." After long and awful suspense, the notable Austin A. King, judge of the circuit court, took the seat, and we were ordered before him for trial, Thomas Birch, Esq., prosecuting attorney. All things being arranged, the trial opened. No papers were read to us, no charges of any kind preferred, nor did we know against what we had to plead. Our crimes had yet to be found out.

At the commencement we requested that we might be tried separately; but this was refused, and we were all put on our trial together. Witnesses appeared, and the swearing commenced. It was so plainly manifested by the judge that he wanted the witnesses to prove us guilty of treason, that no person could avoid seeing it. The same feelings were also visible in the States' Attorney. Judge King made an observation something to this effect, as he was giving directions to the scribe, who was employed to write down the testimony -- "that he wanted all the testimony directed to certain points" -- Being taken sick at an early stage of the trial, I had not the opportunity of hearing but a small part of the testimony when it was delivered before the court.

During the progress of the trial, after the adjournment of the court in the evening, our lawyers would come into the prison, and there the matters would be talked over.

The propriety of our sending for witnesses was also discussed. Our attornies said that they would recommend us not to introduce any evidence at that trial. Doniphan said it would avail us nothing, for the judge would put us in prison, if a cohort of angels were to come and swear we were innocent; and beside that, he said that if we were to give the court the names of our witnesses, there was a band there ready to go, and they would go and drive them out of the country, or arrest them and have them cast into prison, to prevent them from swearing, or else kill them. It was finally concluded to let the matter be so for the present.

During the progress of the trial, and while I was lying sick in prison, I had an opportunity of hearing a great deal said by those who would come in. The subject was the all absorbing one. I heard them say that we must be put to death -- that the character of the State required it. The State must justify herself in the course she had taken, and nothing but punishing us with death, could save the credit of the State; and it must therefore be done.

I heard a party of them one night, telling about some female whose person they had violated, and this language was used by one of them: "The damned bitch, how she yelled." Who this person was, I did not know; but before I got out of prison, I heard that a widow, whose husband had died some few months before, with consumption, had been brutally violated by a gang of them, and died in their hands, leaving three little children, in whose presence the scene of brutality took place.

After I got out of prison, and had arrived in Quincy Illinois, I met a strange man in the street, who inquired of me respecting a circumstance of this kind -- saying that he had heard of it, and was on his way going to Missouri to get the children if he could find them. He said the woman thus murdered was his sister, or his wife's sister, I am not positive which. The man was in great agitation. What success he had I know not.

The trial at last ended, and Lyman Wight, Joseph Smith, Senior, Hyrum Smith, Caleb Baldwin, Alexander McRae, and myself were sent to jail in the village of Liberty, Clay county, Missouri.

We were kept there from three to four months; after which time we were brought out on habeas corpus before one of the county judges. During the hearing under the habeas corpus, I had, for the first time, an opportunity of hearing the evidence, as it was all written and read before the court.

It appeared from the evidence, that they attempted to prove us guilty of treason in consequence of the militia of Caldwell county being under arms at the time that General Lucas' army came to Far West. This calling out of the militia, was what they founded the charge of treason upon -- an account of which I have given above. The charge of murder was founded on the fact, that a man of their number, they said, had been killed in the Bogard battle.

The other charges were founded on things which took place in Davies. As I was not in Davies county at that time, I cannot testify anything about them.

A few words about this written testimony.

I do not now recollect one single point about which testimony was given, with which I was acquainted, but was misrepresented, nor one solitary witness whose testimony was there written, that did not swear falsely; and in many instances I cannot see how it could avoid being intentional on the part of those who testified -- for all of them did swear to things that I am satisfied they knew to be false at the time -- and it would be hard to persuade me to the contrary.

There were things there said, so utterly without foundation in truth -- so much so -- that the persons swearing, must at the time of swearing, have known it. The best construction I can ever put upon it, is, that they swore things to be true which they did not know to be so, and this, to me, is wilful perjury.

This trial lasted for a long time, the result of which was that I was ordered to be discharged from prison, and the rest remanded back; but I was told by those who professed to be my friends, that it would not do for me to go out of jail at that time, as the mob were watching, and would most certainly take my life -- and when I got out, that I must leave the State, for the mob, availing themselves of the exterminating order of Governor Boggs, would, if I were found in the State, surely take my life -- that I had no way to escape them but to flee with all speed from the State. It was some ten days after this before I dared leave the jail. At last, the evening came in which I was to leave the jail. Every preparation was made that could be made for my escape. There was a carriage ready to take me in and carry me off with all speed. A pilot was ready -- one who was well acquainted with the country -- to pilot me through the country, so that I might not go on any of the public roads. My wife came to the jail to accompany me, of whose society I had been deprived for four months. Just at dark, the sheriff and jailer came to the jail with our supper. I sat down and ate. There were a number watching. After I had supped, I whispered to the jailer to blow out all the candles but one, and step away from the door with that one. All this was done. The sheriff then took me by the arm, and an apparent scuffle ensued, -- so much so, that those who were watching, did not know who it was the sheriff was scuffling with. The sheriff kept pushing me towards the door, and I apparently resisting, until we reached the door, which was quickly opened and we both reached the street. He took me by the hand and bade me farewell, telling me to make my escape, which I did with all possible speed. The night was dark. After I had gone probably one hundred rods, I heard some person coming after me in haste. The thought struck me in a moment that the mob was after me. I drew a pistol and cocked it, determined not to be taken alive. When the person approaching me spoke, I knew his voice, and he speedily came to me. In a few moments I heard a horse coming. I again sprung my pistol cock. Again a voice saluted my ears that I was acquainted with. The man came speedily up and said he had come to pilot me through the country. I now recollected I had left my wife in the jail. I mentioned it to them, and one of them returned, and the other and myself pursued our journey as swiftly as we could. After I had gone about three miles, my wife overtook me in a carriage, into which I got, and we rode all night. It was an open carriage, and in the month of February, 1839. We got to the house of an acquaintance just as day appeared. There I put up until the next morning, when I started again and reached a place called Tenney's Grove; and, to my great surprise, I here found my family, sad was again united with them, after an absence of four months, under the most painful circumstances. From thence I made my way to Illinois, where I now am. My wife, after I left her, went directly to Far West and got the family under way, and all unexpectedly met at Tenney's Grove.
SIDNEY RIGDON.            

After hearing the foregoing evidence in support of said Petition -- it is ordered and considered by the Court, that the said Joseph Smith, Senior, be discharged from the said arrest and imprisonment complained of in said Petition, and that the said Smith be discharged for want of substance in the warrant, upon which he was arrested, as well as upon the merits of said case, and that he go hence without day.
[L. S.] In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and affixed the seal of said Court, at the city of Nauvoo, this 2d day of July, 1843.
                        JAMES SLOAN, Clerk.

Note 1: Sidney Rigdon's published testimony of July 2, 1843, in the Joseph Smith case at Nauvoo, is strangely devoid of mention of any significant duties and powers he possessed, as a member of the Church's First Presidency in Missouri. Even more striking is Rigdon's failure to testify to the role played by Joseph Smith at Far West in 1838. An uninformed reader of Rigdon's statement could be forgiven for picturing Smith as a disinterested, detached religious hermit, who had no particular interest or influence in the Mormon theocracy of those times.

Note 2: Had President Rigdon wished to better refresh his memory, regarding the charges and testimony facing him during his last months in Missouri, he might have taken the trouble to consult the 1841 pamphlet Document Containing the Correspondence, Orders, &c. In Relation to the Disturbances with the Mormons. His store of Mormon War anecdotes might also have been entertainingly supplemented with quotes taken from the 1841 booklet Document Showing The Testimony... on the Trial of Joseph Smith, jr. Best of all, Rigdon could have enhanced his own ecclesiastical stature by citing passages in the Mormon Church's 1838 tract Oration Delivered by Mr. S. Rigdon. He chose instead to recall vague, largely undated and undocumented, fragments from his shadowy memory -- as testimony well suited to the policies and practices of a Nauvoo court room.


Our  Moto: -- The  Saints'  Singularity -- is  Unity, Liberty, Charity.
Vol. I. - No. 17.        Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Wednesday, August 23, 1843.        Whole No. 69.

Independence, Mo., July 23, '43.         
My Dear Old Friend:
      Your letter dated on the 12th, and mailed on the 14th inst., is just at hand, and not being able to answer your questions correctly or advise you judicially, in relation to the Rockwell case until after I see him and some other of my friends, I will postpone that part of this letter until tomorrow, and in the meantime will say such things as I can write about without much reflection.

Sheriff Reynolds, upon his return gave me his compliments from you and for the first time I learned that you resided in Illinois. He also gave a narrative of his adventures in your state, which was anything but favorable, either to the reputation of your people or yourself, as a law abiding people or a profound or honest lawyer. Certainly there can be but little virtue in the community, and little honesty in the officers or the law, who will trample upon the forms of justice, the laws of the country and bid open defiance to both in the manner that Sheriff R. informs us that you acted with him, after his arrest of the Mormon prophet. That the state courts have a right upon a writ of habeas corpus to investigate the legality of all imprisonment within their respective chartered limits, whether such imprisonment is by the authority of the United States or of a state, no sound lawyer, perhaps, will doubt; but it is equally certain that no court upon such a writ has any right to go beyond the forms and the prima facia evidence of the case. If the officers of courts and the community are so corrupt as to disregard their own laws and trample them under their feet, and liberate their criminals in defiance of law, then it appears to me that the power of self government is extinct; if Illinois by her own authority, cannot capture the prophet, it will be but a small matter to raise volunteers enough here to raze the city of Nauvoo to the ground; if Illinois fails to deliver up Jo Smith, there will be something serious between the two states. Missouri will have Jo Smith for trial or impose as powerful restrictions as the Constitution will allow upon the intercourse of the citizens of Illinois in Missouri. If the Governor of Illinois is so imbecile as to allow his warrant to be disregarded by the Mormons, and permit the prophet to go at large, then let him be impeached, and a new, honorable, energetic man be placed in his stead. I have it from a high source that Missouri will hold the whole state responsible for the treatment of our messenger, and for the delivery of the prophet. Had you liberated the prophet by a regular writ of habeas corpus without mistreating our Reynolds, I should have gloried in my acquaintance with you; but to have done it in the manner it was done reflects no honor either on yourself, your people, or your government. The Mormons are only a lawless banditti, and I fear the pestilence has contaminated the whole community; and if Reynold's opinion be correct, yourself among the rest, Holy Jo was not afraid of the "injustice of our people;" it is the just punishment and their violated laws that he fears.

I will now give you an impartial opinion of the prejudices against Rockwell here, and my opinion of his guilt. There is not a man in this community but believes him guilty. There is a chain of circumstances against him so strong that no rational man can doubt his guilt. I was at Bogg's house two minutes after the deed; it is in sight of mine; and the incidiousness of the offense renders it difficult to restrain the citizens from hanging him up without judge or jury. So far, however, we have succeeded in quelling it; but should he be discharged upon trial, the power of man cannot save him. (More to-morrow.)   J. HALL.

The foregoing letter was sent from J. Hall, of Independence, Mo., to a respectable lawyer of Dixon, Ill., and by him with an explanatory letter enclosed and forwarded to Gen. Smith of this city; and, after retaining copies, it was thought advisable to forward both the originals to Governor Ford, for his consideration. -- By this proceeding it is not to be understood that the citizens of Nauvoo fear that 'volunteers from Missouri will raze Nauvoo to the ground;' there is too much honor and patriotism in Illinois to allow such a barbarous and disgraceful transaction; but it was done to apprize his excellency of the mode and manner of doing business in cases of emergency in Missouri, and to show his excellency how much responsibility he and the state were under in case the prophet should not be delivered up on the requisition of Missouri; where, according to the nicest calculations of the famous lawyer Hall, taking Rockwell's case for a sample, if he was discharged upon his trial, the power of man could not save him!!!

As to the non-intercourse, or 'restrictions' which Missouri may assume or inflict over the citizens of Illinois, we have nothing to say. The Latter Day Saints have seen Boggs' signature to such a bill as that, and many know the penalty.

There is little need of comment on Mr. Hall's famous letter; for to us it seems to be of itself a comment that makes honesty, virtue and common sense blush, and law, liberty and republicism shudder! We appeal to the liberal-minded and proud-hearted Americans, whether such a spot upon the withering character of Missouri, could be removed, any more than an African could be washed white, or a wolf be possessed of the innocence of a lamb, unless the Lord interfered.

Talk of justice in Missouri! You might as well make a burning lime kiln, or coal-pit an ice-house or hospital! The ice would melt, and the sick would suffocate and the power of man could not save them! No wonder a negro could be burned alive in Missouri! No wonder a criminal could be taken out of jail and murdered while the sheriff held a respite in his hand, in Missouri; and no wonder that a Mormon will not risk his life in Missouri; the power of man could not save him, even if discharged by what is styled a 'court of justice!'

To glance at the whole without recurring to the many crimes of the people of the state, officially or unofficially, whether it be feeding prisoners on 'human flesh' or taking them out of jail and lynching them without mercy, to help justice before hand, or whether it be Boggs' exterminating order, or even the present hint at 'restriction' and assumption of responsibility, we are apt to believe that the good sense and virtue of the citizens of Illinois in general, and the Mormons especially, like the 'old experienced rat,' will shun Missouri as a whitened heap under which there is mischief concealed!

Notes: (forthcoming)


Our  Moto: -- The  Saints'  Singularity -- is  Unity, Liberty, Charity.
Vol. I. - No. 20.        Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Wednesday, September 13, 1843.        Whole No. 72.

From the New Haven (Con.) Herald


A gentleman of this town, of undoubted veracity, who has lately spent several weeks at Nauvoo, and among the Mormons, informs us that the general impression abroad in regard to that place and people is very erroneous. During his residence there he became quite familiar with their manners, principles, and habits, and says there is not a more industrious, moral, and well-ordered town in the country. Society is as much diversified there as it is here, the Mormons constituting about two-thirds of the population, while all religious sects are as freely tolerated as in any other part of the State. He was at the late trial and acquittal of Joe Smith, and says that the charges against him were of the most frivolous and unsubstantial nature. He is an agreeable man in conversation, is respected by those who know him, and is 'as much sinned against as sinning.' He only claims the privilege of exercising and enjoying his own religion -- a privilege which he and his followers cheerfully award to others. They invite immigrants to come among them, and receive those who design to enter into the Mormon community with great attention and kindness. Houses are prepared for their reception, to which they are conducted on their arrival by a committee appointed for that purpose, whose next business is to attend to their immediate wants and see them comfortably situated. Education is by no means neglected -- proper schools and teachers being provided, and temperance reigns throughout. It has now about 15 to 18,000 inhabitants, and promises to become a place of extensive business, four or five steamboats stopping there every day. The gentleman remarked to us that he wished he 'could speak as well of his own native town as he could of Nauvoo.' This is news to us, as no doubt it will be to many; but no one who knows him can doubt the integrity of our informant.

For the Neighbor.

Mr. Editor: --
      Sir. -- I have read with astonishment a letter which appeared in the Neighbor of the 23rd ult., over the signature of J. Hall, written at Independence, Mo. Indeed, I cannot sufficiently express my surprise when reading that letter. Missouri has ever been making a great noise about her [nationality], and has been [blowing] continually about her patriotism, and strict adherance to, and distribution of justice; yet the principles of many of her citizens are so corrupt that they cannot do any thing just or honorable. They have at length fairly discovered their cloven foot. They profess to the world to be a law abiding people; that they are more intent upon executing the law on offenders than any other people. So much for profession. They now tell us they will have Jo Smith for trial. The next paragraph informs us that "If Rockwell should be discharged on trial the powers of man cannot save him." This has been the case with many others that might be mentioned before Rockwell. They plead justification to exterminate free born American citizens called Mormons, because, forsoth, old Boggs ordered it. And if 'they were discharged on trial the power of man could not save them.' The blood of innocent men, women and children is now crying day and night to God against them for revenge, and though he bear long with them, 'yet will he avenge his elect."

A 'Negro burnt alive,' prisoners murdered while the sheriff held a respite in his hand, and winked at by the government, murder, rapine, plundering, and firing houses, carried on under executive patronage, by authority of an exterminating order, of a modern Nero! No wonder Hall tells us that, 'if they were discharged on trial the power of man could not save them.' Yet so intent on shedding innocent blood, 'they will have Jo Smith for trial.' Hear all the world!! all ye honest men and women!!! what is the use of a trial? 'If he should be discharged on trial the power of man could not save him.' Great God! who ever heard of such a requisition... Missouri has tortured herself and her law; she has made every kind of exertion, ordinary and extraordinary, and has greatly desired to prefer a plausible charge against Joseph Smith, so that they might get him into their mobocratic hands to murder him, as they have done others before. He was arrested again and again, and tried for an alleged offence against the laws of Missouri and acquitted. He has been tried by the Court of the United States for the District of Illinois and discharged; and, as our officers are not murderers but have the fear of God before their eyes, 'the power of man' did 'save him.' Hall relies very much on the statements of Reynolds, a barbarous, unfeeling deamon, who would mistreat and abuse a prisoner, arrested by authority of law. Nor would he permit the prisoner the benefit of council; but contrary to every thing sacred, when his authority was demanded, he presented a loaded pistol in a threatening manner, as his authority. He exercised so much cruelty that the citizens of Dixon, though strangers to the parties, rose as one man and compelled the mobocrats, Reynolds and Wilson, to yield to the violated laws.

On a writ of Habeas Corpus the parties started for Nauvoo, Reynolds still exercising barbarity over Mr. Smith, (as testified to by the lawyers in company.) They met on their way a company of men from Nauvoo, destined for Ottaway, where they expected the trial; they were going thither as witnesses. They were indeed competent witnesses, some of them had been wounded and maimed in Missouri, and were acquainted with all the circumstances.

Reynolds and Wilson now became alarmed for their own personal safety. No doubt Reynolds' guilty conscience bringing to his mind the innocent sufferers he had contributed to murder, rob of their chastity and property, and burn their houses &c., in Missouri.

Now ye that fear God and love mercy give [heed]. Mr. Smith (yes I will say Brother Joseph, for I am proud of my relationship with a man possessing such a generous soul) notwithstanding he was suffering in his flesh for the bruises they had inflicted; he told them he would spill his blood for them, before they should be barbarously treated, or unlawfully dealt with. He was Reynolds' prisoner, and Reynolds and Wilson were prisoners of the sheriff of Lee County. They all came to Nauvoo; and, on their arrival, Smith was given up to the Municipal Court for trial: he was honorably discharged, and 'the power of man' did once more 'save him.'... Again, as soon as Reynolds and Wildon left Nauvoo, they endeavored to excite a mob by reiterating base falsehoods about us... Hall says 'Missouri will have Jo Smith for trial, and if Illinois cannot capture the prophet, it will be an easy matter to raise volunteers there enough to raze Nauvoo to the ground!'...

Hall says 'Holy Jo was not afraid of the injustice of our people,' yet he says 'the power of man cannot save him.' I now ask who does believe him a truthful honest man?... So now Sir, I have shown you that if Hall speaks of contamination he has not proven any thing, but I have, as regards contamination and influence of unholy spirits. The world cannot but see them. Although entirely unaccustomed to writing for the press, I am not unapprised of the awkward style in which my address is written; but in discharge of my duty to God, and my country, that the world may know the truth, I have written it.
As ever yours,
                        A. YOUNG.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Our  Moto: -- The  Saints'  Singularity -- is  Unity, Liberty, Charity.
Vol. I. - No. 40.        Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Wed., Jan. 31, 1844.        Whole No. 92.


Your memoralist, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and now an exile in the state of Illinois, begs leave, most respectfully to represent to your honorable body, that he was born in the state of Pennsylvania, on the 19th of February, A. D. 1793, in Alleghany county, and township of St. Clair, that he continued his permanent residence in said state until the year 1826, when he moved to the state of Ohio. In 1831, he went into the state of Missouri, and in connexion with other members of said Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, became the owner of real estate in the county of Jackson, in said state: but by reason of the violence of a formidable mob, and the unwillingness of the authorities of Missouri to protect your memorialist, and those connected with him, in the possession of their rights, they were forbidden the privilege of enjoying their property, or receiving any benefit therefrom; that in the month of April, 1838, your memorialist moved with his family into the state of Missouri, into Caldwell county, and became owner of real estate in the said county of Caldwell, without however being privileged to enjoy the benefit of his lands in Jackson county. All the lands owned by your memorialist and his brethren, in Jackson county, were purchased from the United States, for which payment had been made in full; the benefits of which payment the United States now enjoy, and has ever since the purchase. There had large numbers of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints settled in Caldwell county, at the time your memorialist went into that county, as also in Davies county, in said state. We commenced building houses, and improving our lands; building mills and other machinery, for our mutual benefit; quietly and peaceably enjoying our new homes, and using much industry and economy, to render the desolate waste, whither we had been driven, a pleasant habitation for man. The toils of the day, were followed by the sound of the hammer, the noise of the plane, and the hum of the wheel, at night. Day and night all was bustle, all was stir; every hour of the day, and many of the night, brought forth the fruits of industry, for the benefit of the settlers, and added additional improvement, beauty and comfort to our new homes. Our social circles, however, were not unfrequently disturbed by the tears and sobbings of some disconsolate widow, or the weeping of some bereaved orphan, bewailing the loss of a husband or a father, who had fallen a victim to the violence of the Jackson and Clay county mobs. Jackson county was the place of our choice, and nothing but violence could have caused our people to leave it. Their hearts were set upon it, and all their feelings associated with that place, as the future home of themselves and their posterity. The location in Caldwell and Davies counties, was only made by our people, by reason of violence and lawless outrages committed upon them. It was always received by us as a place of exile, and not of choice, and in dispite [sic - spite?] of all our efforts at cheerfulness, at times, the mind would be almost overwhelmed with melancholy, and we would say in our hearts, and often with our lips, 'what availeth us that our ancestors bled. and our fathers fought for liberty, while we are as captives in a strange land?' and like Israel along the streams of Babylon, we would be almost ready to hang our harps on the willows, and refuse to sing the song of Zion. O where is the patrimony our fathers bequeathed to us? Where is the liberty they purchased with their blood? Fled! alas fled!! but we hope not forever.

But the wants of our families would dissipate our feelings; we would engage in the labors of the day, and the toils of the night, with untiring perseverance, and struggle with all the powers of both mind and body, to render our families comfortable, and make our homes pleasant. But alas! this privilege was not allowed us. Our quiet industry, and untiring perseverance soon awakened the jealousy of our enemies, and the cry went forth, that if the Mormons (as they called us) were let alone. Caldwell county would, in five years, be the most wealthy and populous county in the state. This our enemies could not endure; and a regular system of mobocracy, of violence, and plunder, was formed to check us in our course to wealth and greatness, as our enemies supposed: and, indeed, they had some reason to think so; for an extent of improvement had been made in this remote and wild region, in the space of a few months, which had no parallel in the history of our western settlements, and I strongly doubt whether any where else.

This banditti of marauders increased in numbers and violence, until by device and stratagem, duplicity and falsehood, they got the authorities of the state to interfere, and aid them in their diabolical purposes; and the then Governor of the state, Lilburn W. Boggs, actually sent a large military force into the county, with orders to exterminate us and confiscate our property; or such was the authority the commanders of the military array claimed, by virtue of the order received from the governor. -- Suffice it to say, that our settlements were broken up, our towns plundered, our farms laid waste, our crops ruined, our flocks and herds either killed or driven away, our houses rifled, our goods, money. clothing, provisions and all we had, carried away; men were shot down like wild beasts, or had their brains dashed out: women were insulted and ravished, until they died in the hands of their destroyers. Children were killed, while pleading for their lives. All intreaties were vain and fruitless; men, women and children, alike, fell victims to the violence and cruelty of these ruffians. Men moving into the county with their families, were shot down; their waggons, teams and loading, taken by the plunderers as booty, and their wives, with their little ones, ordered out of the state forthwith, or suffer death, as had their husbands; leaving them no means of conveyance but their feet, and no means of subsistence but begging. Soldiers of the revolution were slain in the most brutal manner while pleading for their lives, in the name of American citizens. Many were thrown into prison to endure the insults of a mock trial, that would have disgraced an inquisition. This last part of the scene, was doubtless designed to make the distant public believe, that there was some excuse for all this outrage and violence. Among the number of those cast into prison, was your young memorialist, who had to endure four months imprisonment, part of the time in chains.

To give your honorable body a correct idea of the origin of these scenes of cruelty and woe, we will here transcribe the preamble to a set of resolutions passed by these plunderers, at their first meeting held in Jackson county, for the purpose of taking measures for the expulsion of our people from that county. It is as follows:

"We the undersigned, citizens of Jackson county, believing that an important crisis is at hand, as regards our civil society, in consequence of a pretended religious society of people that have settled and are still settling in our county, styling themselves Mormons; and intending as we do, to rid our society, peaceably if we can, forcibly if we must, and believing as we do, that the arm of the civil law does not afford us a guarantee, or at least, a sufficient one against the evils which are now inflicted on us, and seem to be increasing by the said religious sect, deem it expedient and if the highest importance to form ourselves into a company for the better and easier accomplishment of our purpose, which we deem it almost superfluous to say, is justified as well by the law of nature, as by the law of self defence."

Your honorable body will see by the above, that the reason assigned for the formation of the company (and this was the first that was formed,) was the want of power in the civil law to enable them to effect their object. Hear their own words- -- And believing as we do, that the arm of civil law does not afford us a guarantee, or at least a sufficient one against the evils which are now inflicted upon us.' What were the evils complained of? Strange must be the answer, themselves being judges; the existence of a religious society among them; a society too against which even envy and malice themselves could not find an accusation, or ferret out a lawless impropriety, or one act which the lawless recognized as crime. For, says the complainants, we form ourselves into a company, because the laws do not provide for the evils which afflict us; or this in effect is what they say. If any individual or individuals of said society, or the society as a body, had transgressed the laws, had not the state power to lawfully inflict the punishment due to said offence? The sequel shows they had. What are the facts of the case, our enemies being the judges themselves? They are, that our people had so deported themselves, as to be justified by the laws; claiming no right but such as the laws guaranteed; exercising no power beyond the limits set for them by the laws of the country; and this was the reason why our enemies formed themselves into a company for our expulsion, or at least, they so say. If our people had been transgressors of the laws, no need then for the people of Jackson county to form themselves into a company to drive us from our homes; they could have done this lawfully; no need of a companys' being formed, all could have been done without, that humanity could have demanded.

By virtue then of the unholy determination, as stated above, our people were attacked, indiscriminately, men women and children: their houses were rifled; the inmates driven out into open fields or wild prairies; their farms desolated; their crops all destroyed; their goods, and chattels carried off or otherwise destroyed; men were caught, tied up, whipped, until some died in their hands, others had to tie handkerchiefs round their bodies to keep their bowels from falling out: others were shot down; their wives and little ones driven from their habitation! and this often in the night, having nothing but their night clothes on; their houses would be set on fire, and all consumed, leaving hundreds of women and little children thus destitute and naked. wandering bare-footed and nearly naked, in the darkness of the night and dead of winter, in the fields and open prairies, without any covering but the heavens, or any bed but the earth; and their condition so terrible that they might be followed by their blood, which flowed from their lacerated and bleeding feet. Females in this heart rending condition, gave birth to children, in the open air, and exposed to the inclemencies of the winter. The consequences were that many sickened and many died. And if we ask, why all this abuse? the answer must be, because the people had not transgressed the laws; if they had, their persecutors would have punished them by the laws: but they had not done it, and for this cause they must suffer all the cruelties which the most inhuman barbarity could invent. The lands which your memorialist and his brethren had purchased from the general government, and on which large improvements were made, were thus taken possession of by our persecutors, and the same are held by them till this day, and we are forbid the privilege of enjoying them or any benefit arising from them, I mean the lands in Jackson County.

After wandering about for a length of time, those that were thus unlawfully deprived of their earthly all and cruelly driven from their homes, got into Clay county in said state of Missouri; and again began to get homes; but in a short time, the same scenes began to be acted in Clay, as had been in Jackson county, and the people were again driven, and got into Caldwell or what was afterwards Caldwell county, and into Davies county, or a large majority of them, and here again purchased lands from the general government.

To give your honourable body a correct idea of how those who had been thus driven and stripped of their all, were enabled again to purchase, it is only necessary to say, that there was a constant emigration into the country of the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints; many of those had money, and they loaned part of what they had to those who had none, and enabled them to purchase homes. The land soon began to rise in value, and the first purchasers were enabled to sell part of what they had purchased for enough to pay for the whole, and save themselves a home: some more and some less. There were few, if any who did not in this way get homes, but were privileged only a very short time to enjoy them. We were followed into Caldwell and Davies counties, by the same relentless spirit, and by the same persecutors who had desolated our people in Jackson county, under the command of Major General Lucas, of Independence, Jackson county seat of the first mob, and the place where the first company was formed for our destruction. He was joined on his way hither by many of other counties, and invaded our towns and settlements, laid all waste and drove us into exile.

Lilburn W. Boggs, who was Lieutenant Governor of the state, when the persecution first commenced, and one of the principal actors in the persecution, was now (l838) Governor of the state, and used his executive influence to have us all massacred or driven into exile; again taking all we had, and holds it till this day; and all this because we were not lawless and disobedient. For if the laws had given them a sufficient guarantee against the evils complained of by the existence of our religious society among them, then would they have had recourse to the laws. If we had been transgressors of law, our houses would not have been rifled, our women ravished, our farms desolated, and our goods and chattels destroyed; our men killed, our wives and children driven into the the prairies, and made to suffer the indignities that the most brutal barbarity could inflict, but would only have had to suffer that which the laws would inflict, which were founded in justice, framed in righteousness and administered in humanity. But scourged by this banditti, without the forms of law, and according to their own declaration, in violation of all law, or the principles of humanity, we were doomed to suffer all kinds of cruelty which barbarity or inhumanity could invent. And they have gravely told the world that they deem it almost superfluous to say that their cause was justified, as well by the law of nature as by the law of self defence. Now, in the name of all humanity, what law of nature justified, or law of self defence required the infliction of such shameless cruelties? In so saying they show most assuredly but very little respect to the intelligence of humanity of American citizens, and in the eyes of the civilized world have cast a shade, and a dark one too, on the character of the sons of a noble ancestry, for they have virtually said that Americans look upon such cruelties as the acts of virtue and the fatherly chastisements of humanity.

During the whole progress of those scenes of cruelty, from the beginning, we petitioned the authorities of Missouri for protection and redress. In the name of American citizens, we appealed to their patriotism, to their justice, to their humanity, and to their sacred honors; but they were deaf to our entreaties, and lent a listless ear to our petitions. All attempts at redress or protection were vain, and they heeded us not, until we were exiles in a strange land, though one (and to its honor be it spoken) where we found both friends and a home. But since our residence in Illinois, Missouri has followed us with the same relentless spirit of persecution. Warrants have been sent by the governor of Missouri to the governor of Illinois, demanding the body of your memorialist, and a number of others; for that of Joseph Smith three several warrants have been sent, all of which have been set aside by the legal authorities of Illinois; and yet they cease not their persecution. Our people are kidnapped, and carried into Missouri, and there are insulted and whipped (as many have been) and cast into prison, and left to get out as they could. All this without the forms of trial. Missouri is by these brutal means endeavouring to make the public think that they have cause for this barbarity. But, let me ask your honorable body, what excuse can be pled for such inhuman barbarity and brutal recklessness? Let me further ask the attention of your honorable body to the fact, that all the before described outrages were committed by a body of men calling themselves militia, called out by order of the governor for the professed object of seeing that the laws were kept, and their supremacy maintained. Such was their pretended object, and under this cover they put at defiance the laws of both God and man; of nature, humanity, and decency; and in these unhallowed abuses of all the laws of civilized society in the world, they were upheld by the authorities of the state, and actually paid by the state, for committing theft, robbery, rapine, violence rape, and murder, with innumerable cruelties, painful to mention. And when we made application to the authorities for redress, we were insulted instead of receiving common civilities. The constitution of the United States provides, that the United States shall give to each state a republican form of government. Is it a republican form of government where such outrages can be committed in the face of the authorities, and yet no redress can be had; where all law is suspended to give place to cruelty, barbarity, and inhumanity? Let your honorable body answer.

Her statesmen in the national councils may attempt to plead excuses for these diabolical outrages, but all they can do is stamp infamy on their own characters, and engrave disgrace on the urn that contains their ashes after they sleep. What, I ask your honorable body, can be pled in extenuation of crimes so barbarous, cruelties so infamous, and outrages so violent. What crime can any man commit, it matters not how flagrant, which can, according to the laws of the civilized world, subject his wife to insult, his daughters to rape, his property to public plunder, his children to starvation, and himself and family to exile. The very character of the outrage is all the testimony I think your honorable body can ask -- that it was without provocation on the part of the sufferers; for if there had been provocation then would the transgressors have had to suffer the penalty of broken laws, but their punishment -- if such it can be called -- was not the penalty inflicted for the breach of any law, for no law in existence knows such a penalty or penalties. Why then all this cruelty? Answer, because the people had violated no law; nor prevented from exercising the rights, which they, (according to the laws,) enjoyed, and had a right to be protected in, in any state in the union.

Being refused redress by the authorities of Missouri, to whom shall your memorialist look? He answers, to the people of his native state, and through them to the general government, and where can he look with more confidence, than to the patriots of Pennsylvania, the state of his nativity, and the place of the sepulchers of his fathers. Yes, your memorialist says in his heart, "I will tell you my wrongs and grievances and that of my brethren, in Pennsylvania; I will publish them in the streets, high ways and high places of the 'Key Stone State,' that her statesmen may plead the cause of suffering innocence in the halls of the National Legislature; her matrons may arise in the strength of patriotism; her fair ones in virtuous indignation, and their united voices cease not, until the cause of the innocent shall be heard, and their most sacred rights restored." To your honorable body then, the representatives of the people of his native state, your memorialist utters his complaining voice; to you he tells the tale of his wrongs, and his woes, and that of his brethren, and appeals to your honorable body, as one of Pennsylvania's native sons, and asks you in the name of all that is patriotic, republican and honorable, to instruct the whole delegation of Pennsylvania in congress, to use all lawful and constitutional means to obtain for us redress for our wrongs and losses. Believing as your memorialist does, that the general government has not only the power to act in the premises, but are bound by every sacred obligation by which American citizens are bound to one another, in our national compact, to see that no injury is inflicted without redress being made.

Weak indeed must be our republican institutions, and as contemptible our national capacity, if it is a fact, that American citizens, after having purchased lands from the government, and received the government guarantee to be protected in the enjoyment of them, they can be lawlessly and causelessly driven off by violence and cruelty, and yet the government have no power to protect them, or redress their wrongs. Tell not this in Pennsylvania, publish it not in the streets of Harrisburg, for surely, the sons of the 'Key Stone State' will feel themselves insulted.

Well may the nations of the old world ridicule the weakness, and impotency of our free institutions, a government not able to protect its own citizens! A government, it must be famous indeed in the annals of history, and a pattern to the world, which is so governed as to admit the most flagrant abuses known to the civilized world, and acknowledged by all to be such; and yet no power to redress them. Hear it O ye barbarians! Listen to it O ye savages!! and hasten, yea hasten all of you to America; there you can glut your avarice by plunder, and riot in the blood of innocence, till you are satisfied, and the government has no power to restrain, nor strength to punish, nor yet ability to redress the sufferers at your hands.

From the acquaintance which your memorialist has with the history of his native state, he has been induced to make his appeal to your honored body-a state whose people are noted for their civic virtues and zealous attachment to the principles of civil and religious liberty; a people venerable from the beginning of our national existence; whose virtuous efforts to the sacred principles of freedom, religious, civil, and political, have obtained for themselves imperishable laurels in the history of our country's glory; a people whose colonial organization was based upon the holy principles of equal rights and equal privileges; a people whose national escutcheon has never been stained with the martyrs blood; a state whose statesmen, divines and heroes, labored in the cabinet, the desk and the field, to secure, and hand down to their posterity, in all succeeding ages, the boon of heaven, the sacred rights of freemen.

It was in the honored metropolis of Pennsylvania, the seat of the first colonial congress, when the principles of liberty were matured, from whence emanated the voice of independence, whose echoes rolled and reverberated, till it reached the circumference of the colonial settlements, and inspired the sons of freedom, until there was but one voice heard: "Freedom or death." It was there when the leaders and heroes of the revolution, pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honors, to each other, to be scourged by a tyrant's scepter no longer, until all they had, and all they were, were offered on the altar of freedom.

Not only were the principles of equal rights inscribed in legible characters on the flags which floated on her towers, in the incipient stages of our national existence, but they were engraven on the hearts of the people, with an impression which could not be obliterated. All who collected in her towers, or fought under her banners, could contend and fight for freedom only. Her teachers of religion, whose influence in the pulpit, and eloquence in public assemblies, wielded an overwhelming influence in the pulpit, and eloquence in public assemblies, wielded an overwhelming influence in forwarding the cause of liberty; did they use this influence in securing to themselves governmental patronage, or religious preferences? All acquainted with the history of the times answer no. They were citizens of Pennsylvania, and the immortal Penn had inscribed on every pot and bell in the colony, 'Civil and Religious liberty.' The patriotism of Pennsylvania's religious teachers was pure. They threw in their whole weight of character and influence to promote a cause which made others equal with themselves; for the glorious privilege of seeing a people free. Her heroes bore the horrors of war, not to sway the tyrant's scepter, or enjoy a lordling's wealth, but to found an asylum for the oppressed, and prepare a land of freedom for the tyrant's slave. --- Her statesmen, while in the councils of the nation, devoted all their wisdom and talents to establish a government where every man should be free; the slave liberated from bondage, and the colored African enjoy the rights of citizenship; all enjoying equal rights to speak, to act, to worship, peculiar privileges to none. Such were Pennsylvania's sons at the beginning; and surely their sons and successors must have degenerated, lamentably degenerated, from the purity and patriotism of their fathers and predecessors, if crimes and cruelties, such as your memorialist complains of, go unheeded and unregarded. Honorable regard for the people of my native state forbids the thought.

In confidence of the purity and patriotism of the representatives of the people of his native state, your memorialist comes to your honorable body, through this his winged messenger, to tell you that the altar which was erected by the blood of your ancestors, to civil and religious liberty, from whence ascended up the holy incense of pure patriotism and universal good will to man, into the presence of Jehovah, a savior of life, is thrown down and the worshipers thereat, have been driven away, or else they are laying slain at the place of the altar. --

He comes to tell your honorable body, that the temple your fathers erected to freedom, whither their sons assembled to hear her precepts and cherish her doctrines in their hearts, has been desecrated; its portals closed, so that those that go up hither, are forbidden to enter.

He comes to tell your honorable body, that the blood of the heroes and patriots of the revolution, who have been slain by wicked hands for enjoying their religious rights, the boon of heaven to man, has cried, and is crying in the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth, saying, 'redress, redress our wrongs, O Lord God of the whole earth.'

He comes to tell your honorable body, that the dying groans of infant innocence, and the shrieks of insulted and abused females -- and many of them widows of revolutionary patriots have ascended up into the ears of Omnipotence, and are registered in the archives of eternity, to be had in the day of retribution, as a testimony against the whole nation, unless their cries and groans are heard by the representatives of the people, and ample redress made, as far as the nation can make it, or else the wrath of the Almighty will come down in fury against the whole nation.

Under all these circumstances, your memorialist prays to be heard by your honorable body, touching all the matters of his memorial; and as a memorial will be presented to congress this session, for redress of our grievances, he prays your honorable body will instruct the whole delegation of Pennsylvania, in both houses, to use all their influence in the national counsels, to have redress granted.

And, as in duty bound, your memorialist will ever pray.

            SIDNEY RIGDON, P. M.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Our  Moto: -- The  Saints'  Singularity -- is  Unity, Liberty, Charity.
Vol. I. - No. 51.        Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Wed., April 17, 1844.        Whole No. 103.

From the Sangamo Journal.


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.

(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.


In the daily Globe of March 14th, Mr. Blair notices my 'Views on the Power and Policy of our Government,' under the head of 'A new advocate for a National Bank,' with remarks and extracts. As it does not bespeak a gentleman to tell all he knows, nor indicate wisdom to murmur at the oddities of men, I rarely reply to the many remarks, sayings and speculations upon me and my plans, which seem to agitate the world, for like the showers upon the verdure of the earth, they give me vigor, beauty and expansion -- but when a man occupies a station in his country, which ought to be honored as an exaltation; which ought to be sustained with dignity; and which should be filled by a friend and a patriot of the nation, too wise to be cozened by counterfeit principles; too great to blur his frame with sophistry; too proud to stoop to the vanity that is [momentarily] wasting the virtue of the Government; -- and too good to act the hypocrite to accumulate wealth-or to frustrate the ends and aims of justice; I feel it my duty to bring forth the truth, that the man and his measures, if right may be sustained; and if wrong, may be rebuked.

Without reference to men, parties, or precedents, the plan of banking, suggested in my 'Views,' is assumed upon the all-commanding, and worthily considered, omnipotent petition of the people, and whether, as a 'fiscal agent,' 'great financier, prophet, priest or king,' I act wisely and righteously, so as to answer their virtuous prayers, without fear, favor, or partiality; and produce union; give satisfaction to twenty millions of freemen, rather than sport with their holy supplications to boost a few hungry, crafty, hypocritical demagogues into office to gamble for the 'loaves and fishes' -- no matter whether the game is played "upon the tables of the living or the coffins of the dead, -- or whether I raise the honor and credit of the nation above the little, picayune, cramped, narrow minded schemes of the dominant, undominant, and would be dominant parties, cliques, knots and factions; or whether, like the venerable fathers, I launch my new ship into the great ocean of existence, and, like them, luckily bring relief to the oppressed is all the same, so long as the people are honored as noble in their patriotism; and almighty in their majesty: vox populi -- vox Dei!

But it is extraneous, irrelevant and kick shawing to connect me or any part of my 'Views on the Powers and Policy of the government,' with Mr. Clay, or Mr. Webster, Mr. Adams, Mr. Benton, Mr. Calhoun, Mr. Van Buren, or any of their galvanic cronies. -- what have they done to benefit the people? The simple answer is -- nothing but draw money from the Treasury. It is entirely too late in the age of this Republic, to clarify a Harry of the west; deify a Daniel of the east; quidify a Quincy of the Whigs, or bigify a Benton of the democrats; leaving Mr. Calhoun and Mr. Van Buren such fair samples of bogus-democracy, that he that runs may read.

As the beautiful excellence of a => head <= may be a desideratum only remedied by the 'Excelsior,' of the brain, so a great man ought to exhibit his wisdom by his liberality to the unfortunate among men as a token of philanthropy, unbounded by party lines, unfettered by chain-cable opinions, and untrammeled by cast-iron rules. Why slur the noble project of letting the prisoners go free by petition? It is sanctioned by ancient custom; it is the counsel of God, and would be the only visible testimony to the world that this realm is what it professes to be, a Government of Liberty! Heaven, earth, and hell know that the penitentiaries of the several states are a disgrace to the United States, and a stink in the nostrils of the Almighty. And the county and city prisons are still worse. Unfortunate men, and in nine cases out of ten, innocent, are hurled into prison by corrupted Judges, suborned witnesses, or ungodly men who gamble themselves into Congress, into Legislatures, into courts, into churches, and into notice and power, and thus damn their friends and fellow beings to prison, wretchedness and ruin. And in ninety and nine cases out of a hundred, the prisoners are treated meaner than dogs; half starved to put money into the pockets of speculators; fed upon unwholesome provisions; whipped without mercy and even murdered with impunity. Look at the beastly conduct of * * * * to the female in Auburn State Prison, N. Y. Remember a man was whipped to death, not long since in Alton penitentiary, Illinois; and it is not uncommon to lacerate with the 'rope's end' thirty men at once, in the parish prisons of New Orleans, so that the voice of reason now cries from the vast number of prisons and the multiplying number of prisoners in the United State for relief; and the death like groans from cells, bastiles [bastilles] castles, and cursed holes throughout the whole earth, is ascending up into the ears of the Lord Sabaoth to be avenged of such cruelty. And when great men, in high places, see a Governor Reynolds shoot out his own brains with a rifle; or gaze upon the havoc made by the bursting of a 'great gun' among the 'Executives' of the nation, then know ye, the hour of his judgment is come!

The United States is the boasted land of 'Liberty,' where 'these truths are held self evident' -- that ALL men are created equal; and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life LIBERTY and the pursuit of happiness: but at the same time, in the face of these truths, slavery is tolerated by law: imprisonment is tolerated by law: and murder is tolerated by law: and even fifteen thousand free citizens are exiled from one State to another -- and the General Government has no power, (according to the opinions of Van Buren and Benton) to redress the wrong. O, Queen Victoria, and ye lords and commons of Great Britain, what think ye of a Republican Government? and how do you imagine your daughter will come out in her attempt at equal rights and reigning in righteousness? Pshaw! (will they answer,) your coffers are robbed with impunity; your citizens are mobbed, and driven like chaff from the threshing floor, and the government controlled by a set of money gambling, chicken hearted, public fed cowards, cannot redress you! Ask the reigning sovereigns of Europe, Africa and Asia, what they think of the boasted Republic in America! and they will not laugh in the face of the whole world, and taunt the United States, by exclaiming: Ah! hah! ah! hah! If there is any power in a Republican Government, in a real case of necessity, you have failed to find just men to exercise it. Party spirit cuts the cords of union; patronage veils the face of justice, and bribery closes the lips of honor, and when the wicked rule the people mourn.

Perhaps it may be said, the government has been adequate to the calls of justice; and I answer, if it has, it was because the officers in authority considered their honor and the rights of the people, paramount to patronage, pelf and popularity!

They were patriots who carried out the poet's explanation of true greatness:

"A wit's a feather, and a chief's a rod,
  But an honest man's the noblest work of God"
It is said that 'out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh,' and when men are called 'quadrupeds,' and ridicule occupies the place of reason, and the virtue, dignity, honor, power, and majesty of the people seem to be buried in rubbish; covered with dust; mildewed with fog; tainted with treachery; burlesqued by blackguards; or humbled by debauchees; it is high time for humanity to exclaim: "how has the gold become dim, and where has the glory departed?"

The only suggestion worthy of commendation relative to a National Bank, in Mr. Blair's remarks, is, that the mother bank should be located at Nauvoo.

This is correct, for Nauvoo as a city, collectively or individually, cannot be reproached with dishonor, crime, corruption or bribery. -- Neither has a Swartcout or Price mingled his millions with the majesty of monarchs by walking out of the unwalled and ungated Nauvoo. The blood of Commodores and Congressmen, shed by the heaven-daring, hell-begotten, earth disgracing practice of dueling, has never stained the soil or city of Nauvoo. Nor does a slave raise his rusting fetters and chains, and exclaim, O liberty where are thy charms? Wisdom, freedom, religion, and virtue, like light, love water and air, "spread undivided, and operate unspent," in the beloved Nauvoo; while the gay world, and great politicians may sing, and even the "great Globe" itself may chime the melodious sounds: --

Hail Columbia, "free and equal"--
  Lo, the saints, the Mormons, bless ye!
Felt thy glory most severely,
  When Missouri gave them jesse.

Hail Columbia, "free and equal"--
  Negro slaves, like common cattle,
Bought and sold at common auction;
  Prayers and chains together rattle!

Hail Columbia, "free and equal"--
  "Gold and silver" is thy tender;"
Treasury notes (aside from Biddle,)
  Foreign loans, and fallen splendor!
As the "world is governed too much" and as there is not a nation or dynasty, now occupying the earth, which acknowledges Almighty God as their law giver, and as "crowns won by blood, by blood must be maintained," I go emphatically, virtuously, and humanely, for a THEODEMOCRACY, where God and the people hold the power to conduct the affairs of men in righteousness. And where liberty, free trade, and sailor's rights, and the protection of life and property shall be maintained inviolate, for the benefit of ALL. To exalt mankind is nobly acting the part of a God; to degrade them, is meanly doing the drudgery of the devil. Unitas, libertas, caritas -- esto perpetua!

With the highest sentiments of regard for all men, I am an advocate of unadulterated freedom.
                                    JOSEPH SMITH.
  Nauvoo, Ill., April 15, 1844.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Our  Moto: -- The  Saints'  Singularity -- is  Unity, Liberty, Charity.
Vol. II. - No. 4.        Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Wed., May 29, 1844.        Whole No. 109?.


                                                    NAUVOO, Illinois,
                                                    May 13th, 1844.

Sir:-- Your answer to my inquiry, "What would be your rule of action towards the Latter-day Saints, should you be elected President of the United States?" has been under consideration since last November, in the fond expectation that you would give (for every honest citizen has a right to demand it,) to the country a manifesto of your views of the best method and means which would secure to the people, the whole people, the most freedom, the most happiness, the most union, the most wealth, the most fame, the most glory at home, and the most honor abroad, at the least expense. But I have waited in vain. So far as you have made public declarations, they have made, like your answer to the above, soft to flatter, rather than solid to feed the people. You seem to abandon all former policy which may have actuated you in the discharge of a statesman's duty, when the vigor of intellect and the force of virtue should have sought out an everlasting habitation for liberty; when, as a wise man, a true patriot, and a friend to mankind, you should have resolved to ameliorate the lawful condition of our bleeding country by a mighty plan of wisdom, righteousness, justice, goodness, and mercy, that would have brought back the golden days of our nation's youth, vigor, and vivacity, when prosperity crowned the efforts of a youthful republic, when the gentle aspirations of the sons of liberty were, "We are one!"

In your answer to my questions last fall, that peculiar tact of modern politicians declaring, "If you ever enter into that high office, you must go into it free and unfettered, with no guarantees but such as are to be drawn from your whole life, character, and conduct," so much resembles a lottery-vendor's sign, with the goddess of good luck sitting on the car of fortune, a-straddle of the horns of plenty, and driving the merry steeds of beatitude, without reins or bridle, that I cannot help exclaiming -- O frail man, what have you done that will exalt you? Can anything be drawn from your life, character, or conduct, that is worthy of being held up to the gaze of this nation as a model of virtue, charity and wisdom? Are you not a lottery picture, with more than two blanks to a prize? Leaving many things prior to your Ghent treaty, let the world look at that, and see where is the wisdom, honor, and patriotism, which ought to have characterized the plenipotentiary of the only free nation upon the earth? A quarter of a century's negotiation to obtain our rights on the north-eastern boundary, and the motley manner in which Oregon tries to shine as American territory, coupled with your presidential race and come-by-chance secretaryship, in 1825, all go to convince the friends of freedom, the golden patriots of Jeffersonian Democracy, free trade and sailor's rights, and the protectors of persons and property, that an honorable war is better than a dishonorable peace.

But had you really wanted to have exhibited the wisdom, clemency, benevolence, and dignity of a great man in this boasted republic, when fifteen thousand free citizens were exiled from their own homes, lands, and property, in the wonderful patriotic State of Missouri, and you then upon your oath and honor occupying the exalted station of a Senator of Congress from the noble-hearted State of Kentucky why did you not show the world your loyalty to law and order, by using all honorable means to restore the innocent to their rights and property? Why, sir, the more we search into your character and conduct, the more we must exclaim from holy writ, The tree is known by its fruit.

Again: this is not all. Rather than show yourself an honest man, by guaranteeing to the people what you will do in case you should be elected President, "you can enter into no engagement, make no promises, and give no pledges" as to what you will do. Well, it may be that some hot-headed partisan would take such nothingarianism upon trust; but sensible men and even ladies would think themselves insulted by such an evasion of coming events! If a tempest is expected, why not prepare to meet it, and, in the language of the poet, exclaim --

"Then let the trial come, and witness thou
If terror be upon me, if I shrink
Or falter in my strength to meet the storm,
When hardest it besets me."

True greatness never wavers; but when the Missouri compromise was entered into by you, for the benefit of slavery, there was a mighty shrinkage of western honor; and from that day, sir, the sterling Yankee, the struggling Abolitionist, and the staunch Democrat, with a large number of the liberal-minded Whigs, have marked you as a blackleg in politics, begging for a chance to shuffle yourself into the presidential chair, where you might deal out the destinies of our beloved country for a game of brag, that would end in "Hark, from the tombs a doeful sound." Start not at this picture, for your "whole life, character, and conduct," have been spotted with deeds that cause a blush upon the face of a virtuous patriot. So you must be contented in your lot, while crime, cowardice, cupidity, or low cunning, have handed you down from the high tower of a statesman to the black hole of a gambler.

A man that accepts a challenge, or fights a duel, is nothing more nor less than a murderer, for the holy writ declares that "whoso sheds man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed;" and when, in the renowned city of Washington, the notorious Henry Clay dropped from the summit of a senator to the sink of a scoundrel, to shoot at that chalk line of a Randolph, he not only disgraced his own fame, family, and friends, but he polluted the sanctum sanctorum of American glory; and the kingly backguards throughout the whole world are pointing the finger of scorn at the boasted "asylum of the oppressed," and hissing at American statesmen, as gentlemen vagabonds and murderers, holding the olive branch of peace in one hand and a pistol for death in the other! Well might the Savior rebuke the heads of this nation with Wo unto you Scribes, Pharisees, Hypocrites, for the United States Government and Congress, with a few honorable exceptions, have gone the way of Cain, and must perish in their gainsayings, like Korah and his wicked host. And honest men of every clime, and the innocent, poor, and oppressed, as well as Heathens, Pagans and Indians, everywhere, who could but hope that the tree of liberty would yield some precious fruit for the hungry human race, and shed some balmy leaves for the healing of nations, have long since given up all hopes of equal rights, of justice, and judgment, and of truth and virtue, when such polluted, vain, heaven-daring, bogus patriots, are forced or flung into the front rank of government, to guide the destinies of millions. Crape the heavens with weeds of woe, gird the earth with sackcloth, and let hell mutter one melody in commemoration of fallen splendor! For the glory of America has departed, and God will set a flaming sword to guard the tree of liberty, while such mint-tithing Herods as Van Buren, Boggs, Benton, Calhoun, and Clay, are thrust out of the realms of virtue, as fit subjects for the kingdom of fallen greatness; vox reprobi, vox Diaboli!

In your late addresses to the people of South Carolina, where rebellion budded, but could not blossom, you "renounced ultraism," "high tariff," and almost banished your "banking systems" for the more certain standard of "public opinion." This is all very well, and marks the intention of a politician, the calculations of a demagogue, and the allowance for [leeings] of a shrewd manager, just as truly as the weathercock does the wind when it turns upon the spire. [Hustings] for the south, barbacues for the west, confidential letters for the north, and "American system" for the east.

"Lull-a-by baby upon the tree top,
And when the wind blows the cradle will rock."

Suppose you should also, taking your "whole life, character, and conduct," into consideration, and, as many hands make light work, stir up the old "Clay party," the "National Republican party," the "High Protective Tariff party," and the late "Coon Skin party," with all their paraphernalia, ultraism, ne plus ultraism, sine qua non, which have grown with your growth, strengthened with your strength, and shrunk with your shrinkage, and ask the people of this enlightened Republic, what they think of your powers and policy as a statesman; for verily it would seem, from all past remains of parties, politics, projects, and pictures, that you are the Clay, and the people the potter; and as some vessels are marred in the hands of the potter, the natural conclusion is, that you are a vessel of dishonor.

You may complain that a close examination of your "whole life, character, and conduct" places you, as a Kentuckian would pleasantly term it, "in a bad fix." But, sir, when the nation has sunk deeper and deeper in the mud at every turn of the great wheels of the Union, while you have acted as one of the principal drivers, it becomes the bounden duty of the whole community, as one man, to whisper you on every point of government, to uncover every act of your life, and inquire what mighty acts you have done to benefit the nation, how much you have tithed the mint to gratify your lust, and why the fragments of your raiment hang upon the thorns by the path as signals to beware!

But your shrinkage is truly wonderful! Not only your banking system and high tariff project, have vanished from your mind, "like the baseless fabric of a vision," but the "annexation of Texas" has touched your pathetic sensibilities of national pride so acutely, that the poor Texans, your own brethren, may fall back into the ferocity of Mexico, or be sold at auction to British stock-jobbers, and all is well, for "I" the old senator from Kentucky, am fearful it would militate against my interest in the north, to enlarge the borders of the Union in the south. Truly, "a poor wise child is better than an old foolish king, who will be no longer admonished." Who ever heard of a nation that had too much territory? Was it ever bad policy to make friends? Has any people ever become too good to do good! No, never; but the ambition and vanity of some men have flown away with their wisdom and judgment, and left a croaking skeleton to occupy the place of a noble soul.

Why, sir, the condition of the whole earth is lamentable. Texas dreads the teeth and toe nails of Mexico. Oregon has the rheumatism, brought on by a horrid exposure to the heat and cold of British and American trappers; Canada has caught a bad cold from extreme fatigue in the patriot war; South America has the headache, caused by bumps against the beams of Catholicity and Spanish sovereignty. Spain has the gripes from age and inquisition. France trembles and wastes under the effects of contagious diseases. England groans with the gout, and wiggles with wine. Italy and the German States are pale with consumption. Prussia, Poland, and the little contiguous dynasties, duchies, and domains, have the mumps so severely, that "the whole head is sick, and the whole heart is faint." Russia has the cramp by lineage. Turkey has the numb palsy. Africa, from the curse of God, has lost the use of her limbs. China is ruined by the Queen's evil, and the rest of Asia fearfully exposed to the small-pox, the natural way, from British peddlers. The islands of the sea are almost dead with the scurvy. The Indians are blind and lame and the United States, which ought to be the good physician with "balm from Gilead" and an "asylum for the oppressed," has boosted and is boosting up into the council chamber of the Government a clique of political gamblers, to play for the old clothes and old shoes of a sick world, and "no pledge, no promise to any particular portion of the people" that the rightful heirs will ever receive a cent of their father's legacy! Away with such self-important, self-aggrandizing and self-willed demagogues! Their friendship is colder than polar ice, and their profession meaner than the damnation of hell. O man! when such a great dilemma of the globe, such a tremendous convulsion of kingdoms shakes the earth from centre to circumference; when castles, prison-houses, and cells raise a cry to God against the cruelty of man; when the mourning of the fatherless and the widow causes anguish in heaven; when the poor among all nations cry day and night for bread, and a shelter from the heat and storm; and when the degraded black slave holds up his manacled hands to the great statesmen of the United States, and sings--

"O liberty, where are thy charms,
That sages have told me were sweet?"

And when fifteen thousand free citizens of the high-blooded republic of North America are robbed and driven from one State to another without redress or redemption, it is not only time for a candidate for the Presidency to pledge himself to execute judgment and justice in righteousness, law or no law; but it is his bounden duty as a man, for the honor of a disgraced country, and for the salvation of a once virtuous people to call for a union of all honest men, and appease the wrath of God by acts of wisdom, holiness, and virtue! "The fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."

Perhaps you may think I go too far with my strictures and innuendos, because in your concluding paragraph you say: -- "It is not inconsistent with your declarations to say, that you have viewed with a lively interest the progress of the Latter-day Saints, that you have sympathized in their sufferings, under injustice, as it appeared to you, which has been inflicted upon them; and that you think, in common with all other religious communities, they ought to enjoy the security and protection of the Constitution and the laws." If words were not wind, and imagination not a vapor, such "views" "with a lively interest" might coax out a few "Mormon" votes; such "sympathy" for their suffering under injustice might heal some of the sick, yet lingering amongst them; raise some of the dead, and recover some of their property, from Missouri; and finally, if thought was not a phantom, we might, in common with other religious communities, "you think," enjoy the security and protection of the Constitution and laws. But during ten years, while the Latter-day Saints have bled, been robbed, driven from their own lands, paid oceans of money into the Treasury to pay your renowned self and others for legislating and dealing out equal rights and privileges to those in common with all other religious communities, they have waited and expected in vain! If you have possessed any patriotism, it has been veiled by your popularity for fear the Saints would fall in love with its charms. Blind charity and dumb justice never to much towards alleviating the wants of the needy, but straws show which way the wind blows. It is currently rumored that your dernier resort for the Latter-day Saint is to emigrate to Oregon or California. Such cruel humanity, such noble injustice, such honorable cowardice, such foolish wisdom, and such vicious virtue, could only emanate from Clay. After the Saints have been plundered of three or four millions of land and property, by the people and powers of the sovereign State of Missouri -- after they have sought for redress and redemption from the county court to Congress, and been denied through religious prejudice and sacerdotal dignity -- after they have builded a city and two temples at an immense expense of labor and treasure -- after they have increased from hundreds to hundreds of thousands -- and after they have sent missionaries to the various nations of the earth, to gather Israel, according to the predictions of all the holy prophets since the world began -- that great plenipotentiary, the renowned Secretary of State, the ignoble duellist, the gambling senator, and Whig candidate for the presidency, Henry Clay, the wise Kentucky lawyer, advises the Latter-day Saints to go to Oregon, to obtain justice, and set up a government of their own. O ye crowned heads among all nations, is not Mr. Clay a wise man, and very patriotic! Why, great God! to transport 200,000 people through a vast prairie, over the Rocky Mountains, to Oregon, a distance of nearly 2,000 miles, would cost more than four millions, or should they go by Cape Horn, in ships to California, the cost would be more than twenty millions! and all this to save the United States from inheriting the disgrace of Missouri, for murdering and robbing the Saints with impunity! Benton and Van Buren, who make no secret to say, if they get into power they will carry out Boggs' exterminating plan, to rid the country of the Latter-day Saints, are "Little nipperkins of milk," compared to "Clay's" great aquafortis jars. Why, he is a real giant inhumanity! "Send the Mormons to Oregon and free Missouri from debt and disgrace!" Ah! sir, let this doctrine go to-and-fro throughout the whole earth -- that we, as Van Buren said, know your cause is just, but the United States Government can do nothing for you, because it has no power. "You must go to Oregon, and get justice from the Indians!"

I mourn for the depravity of the world; I despise the hypocrisy of Christendom; I hate the imbecility of American statesmen; I detest the shrinkage of candidates for office, from pledges and responsibility: I long for a day of righteousness, when He "whose right it is to reign, shall judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth," and I pray God, who hath given our fathers a promise of a perfect government in the last days, to purify the hearts of the people, and hasten the welcome day.

With the highest considerations for virtue and unadulterated freedom, I have the honor to be,
                        Your obedient servant,
                                          JOSEPH SMITH.

Ashland, Ky.

Note: The Nauvoo Expositor, on June 7th, reported: "We find in the Nauvoo Neighbor of May 29th, a lengthy letter from Joseph Smith a candidate for the Presidency on his own hook, to Henry Clay, the Whig... Smith charges Clay with shrinking from the responsibility of promising to grant whatever the Mormons might ask, if elected to the Presidency." Dr. B. W. Richmond, writing in the Chicago Times of Nov. 20, 1885, attributes the letter's rhetoric to the pen of Elder William W. Phelps, who, along with Elder G. J. Adams, served as Smith's chief political advisor at Nauvoo,


Our  Moto: -- The  Saints'  Singularity -- is  Unity, Liberty, Charity.
Vol. II. - No. 5.        Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Wed., June 5, 1844.        Whole No. 110?.


    'If I'd as many wives as there's stars in the skies...'

This old verse puts us in mind of the Presidential campaign... there is one honest man in the field, who is not afraid of every thing. Gen Smith is in favor of men, rights and Jehovah. He is a saint, -- huzza for Saint Joseph!


The following is part of the speech of Mr. Reed, esq., as delivered at the State Convention, in Nauvoo. We expected according to a resolution passed, to have had the whole; but as Mr. Reed was in a hurry, he was unable to furnish us with any more than the following, which refers more particularly to Gen. Smith's early history,

Mr. Chairman: -- I cannot leave this subject and do justice to my own feelings, and the character of Gen. Smith, without giving a short history of the first persecution that came upon him in the counties of Chenango and Broome, in the State of New York, commenced by that class of people calling themselves Christians.

The first acquaintance I had with Gen. Smith, was about the year 1823. He came into my neighborhood, being then about eighteen years of age, and resided there two years; during which time I became intimately acquainted with him. I do know that his character was irreproachable; that he was well known for truth and uprightness; that he moved in the first circles of community, and he was often spoken of as a young man of intelligence, and good morals, and possessing a mind susceptible of the highest intellectual attainments.

I early discovered that his mind was constantly in search of truth, expressing an anxious desire to know the will of God concerning his children here below, often speaking of those things which professed christians believe in. -- I have observed to my best informed friends, (those that were free from superstition and bigotry) that I thought Joseph was predestinated by his God from all eternity to be an instrument in the hands of the great dispenser of all good, to do a great work; what it was I knew not. After living in that neighborhood about three years, enjoying the good feelings of his acquaintances, as a worthy youth, he told his particular friends that he had had a revelation from God to go to the west about eighty miles, to his father's, in which neighborhood he should find hid in the earth, an old history written on golden plates, which would give great light and knowledge concerning the will of God towards his people in this generation; unfolding the destiny of all nations, kindreds, and tongues; he said that he distinctly heard the voice of him that spake. Joseph Knight, one of the fathers of your church, a worthy man, and my intimate friend, went with him.

When I reflect upon our former friendship, Mr. Chairman, and upon the scenes that he has passed through in consequence of mal-administration, mobocracy, and cruelty, I feel to lift up my voice to high heaven, and pray God to bless the aged veteran, and that his silver locks may go down to the grave in peace, like a shock of corn fully ripe. In a few days his friends returned with the glad news that Joseph had found the plates and had gone down to his father-in-laws' for the purpose of translating them. I believe he remained there until he finished the translation. After the book was published, he came to live in the neighborhood of father Knights', about four miles from me, and began to preach the gospel, and many were pricked in their hearts, believed and were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. He soon formed a church at Colesville, his meetings were numerously attended; the eyes of all people were upon him with astonishment. O Mr. Chairman, the world was turned upside down at once, and the devil always ready to assist and help along in all difficulties that arise among men, personified in some of the religionists, begun to prick up his ears, and jump, and kick, and run about, like Jim Crow, calling for rotton eggs to help in the wake; you would have thought sir, that Gog and Magog was let loose on the young man. He called upon the world's people, (as they are called) but got no help; he then flew about in the sectarian churches, like lightening, and they immediately came to his aid, and uniting their efforts roared against him like the thunders of Mount Sinai. When those fiery bigots were let loose, they united in pouring the red hot vials of their wrath upon his head. The cry of "false prophet! false prophet!!" was sounded from village to village, and every foul epithet that malice and wicked ingenuity could invent, was heaped upon him. Yes sir, the same spirit that influenced the Presbyterians of Massachusetts, about one hundred and fifty years ago, in their persecution of the Quakers, when they first began to preach their doctrines in that State, was fully manifested by those religious bigots who were afraid if they let them alone, their doctrines would come to naught. What was the result of the persecution in Massachusetts? -- Why, Sir, warrants were made out by those churches having authority, and the Quakers were tried for heresy. But what was the result of those trials? The sentence of death was passed upon the Quakers for heresy, by those religious fanatics, and three of them were hung by the neck on Bloody Hill, in Boston, to make expiation for that unpardonable crime. "Tell it not in Gath" nor publish it on the tops of the mountains in this boasted land of freedom, that the Puritans of New England, who had fled from the Old World in consequence of religious intolerance, that they might enjoy the sweets of liberty, so soon became persecutors themselves and shed innocent blood, which still cries aloud from the dust for vengeance upon their heads. Let shame cover our faces when we mention the name of freedom in our grand Republic.

O my God! when in one portion of our country blood is flowing for the crime of worshipping our Creator according to the dictates of conscience, or as the spirit directs, and in the other are great rejoicings in consequence thereof; where, I ask, is that boasted freedom for which our fathers fought and bled? O thou who holds the destinies of all things in thine hands here below, return these blessings unto us, that we may keep them as precious jewels, till time is no more. But, Mr. Chairman, I am wandering too far from the subject. I will return to the persecutions which followed Gen. Smith, when his cheeks blossomed with the beauty of youth, and his eyes sparkled with innocence.

Those bigots soon made up a false accusation against him and had him arraigned before Joseph Chamberlain, a justice of the peace, a man that was always ready to deal out justice to all, and a man of great discernment of mind. The case came on about 10 o'clock, A. M. I was called upon to defend the prisoner. The prosecutors employed the best counsel they could get, and ransacked the town of Bainbridge and county of Chenango for witnesses that would swear hard enough to convict the prisoner; but they entirely failed. Yes Sir, let me say to you that not one blemish nor spot was found against his character; he came from that trial, notwithstanding the mighty efforts that were made to convict him of crime by his vigilant persecutors, with his character unstained by even the appearance of guilt. The trial closed about 12 o'clock at night. After a few moments of deliberation, the court pronounced the words 'not guilty,' and the prisoner was discharged. But alas! the devil not satisfied with his defeat, stirred up a man not unlike himself, who was more fit to dwell among the fiends of hell than to belong to the human family, to go to Colesville and get another writ, and take him to Broome county for another trial. They were sure they could send that boy to hell, or to Texas, they did not care which; and in half an hour after he was discharged by the court, he was arrested again, and on the way to Colesville for another trial. I was again called upon by his friends to defend him against malignant persecutors, and clear him from the false charges they had preferred against him. I made every reasonable excuse I could, as I was nearly worn down through fatigue and want of sleep; as I had been engaged in law suits for two days and nearly the whole of two nights. But I saw persecution was great against him; and here let me say, Mr. Chairman, singular as it may seem, while Mr. Knight was pleading with me to go, a peculiar impression or thought struck my mind, that I must go and defend him, for he was the Lord's annointed. I did not know what it meant, but thought I must go and clear the Lord's annointed I said I would go; and started with as much faith as the apostles had when they could remove mountains, accompanied by father Knight, who was like the old patriarchs that followed the ark of God to the city of David. We rode on till we came to the house of Hezekiah Peck, where a number of Mormon women had assembled, as I was informed, for the purpose of praying for the deliverance of the prophet of the Lord. The women came out to our waggon and Mrs. Smith among the rest. O my God, Sir, what were my feelings, when I saw that woman who had but a few days before given herself, heart and hand, to be a consort for life, and that so soon her crimson cheeks must be wet with tears that came streaming from her eyes; yes Sir, it seemed that her very heart strings would be broken with grief. My feelings Sir, were moved with pity and sorrow, for the afflicted; and on the other hand they were wrought up to the highest pitch of indignation against those fiends of hell who had thus caused the innocent to suffer.

The next morning about 10 o'clock the court was organized. The prisoner was to be tried by three justices of the peace, that his departure out of the county might be made sure.-Neither talents nor money were wanting to ensure them success. They employed the ablest lawyer in that county, and introduced twenty or thirty witnesses before dark, but proved nothing. They then sent out runners and ransacked the hills and vales, grog shops and ditches, and gathered together a company that looked as if they had come from hell, and had been whipped by the soot boy thereof; which they brought foreward to testify one after another, but with no better success than before, although they wrung and twisted into every shape, in trying to tell something that would criminate [incriminate] the prisoner. Nothing was proven against him whatever. Having got through with the examination of their witnesses about 2 o'clock in the morning, the case was argued about two hours. There was not one particle of testimony against the prisoner. No Sir, he came out like the three children from the fiery furnace, without the smell of fire upon his garments. The court deliberated upon the case for half an hour with closed doors, and then we were called in. The court arraigned the prisoner and said: "Mr. Smith, we have had your case under consideration, examined the testimony and find nothing to condemn you, and therefore you are discharged." They then proceeded to reprimand him severely; not because anything derogatory to his character in any shape had been proven against him by the host of witnesses that had testified during the trial, but merely to please those fiends in human shape, who were engaged in the unhallowed persecution of an innocent man, sheerly on account of his religious opinions.

After they had got through, I arose and said: 'This court puts me in mind of a certain trial held before Felix of old, when the enemies of Paul arraigned him before that venerable judge for some alleged crime, and nothing was found in him worthy of death or of bonds. Yet, to please the Jews, who were his accusers, he was left bound contrary to law; and this court has served Mr. Smith in the same way, by their unlawful and uncalled for reprimand after his discharge, to please his accusers.' We got him away that night from the midst of three hundred people without his receiving any injury; but I am well aware that we were assisted by some power higher than man; for to look back on the scene, I cannot tell how we succeeded in getting him away. I take no glory to myself, it was the Lord's work, and marvelous in our eyes.

This Mr. Chairman, is a true history of the first persecution that came upon Gen. Smith in his youth among professed christians, and in a county [country?] heralded to the ends of the earth, as a land of freedom; where all men have the constitutional right to worship as they please, and believe what they please without molestation, so long as they do not interfere with the rights and privileges of others. Yes Sir, a persecution got up through the influence of religious bigotry by as vile a set of men as ever disgraced the family of man. But their devices against him were brought to naught by that overruling power that controls all things and brings to naught the councils of the wicked. -- Mr. Chairman, little did I think, that I was defending a boy that would rise to eminence like this man; a man who God delights to honor as a prophet and leader of his people;-one to whom he has given the keys of heaven and earth, and the power of David, and said to him whatsoever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against you. And may he live to put his foot upon the neck of his enemies in love and meekness. I know, Sir, that God has made him a leader of many thousands of people, and may he teach them in meekness, and with that wisdom and judgement that God shall direct.

I add no more.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Monday Morning, June 10, 1844.


A knot of base men, to further their wicked and malicious designs towards the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and to bolster up the intents of blacklegs and bogus-makers, and advocate the characters of murderers, established a press in this city last week, and issued a paper entitled the Nauvoo Expositor. The prospectus showed an intention to destroy the charter, and the paper was filled with libels and slanderous articles upon the citizens and City Council from one end to the other.

"A burnt child dreads the fire." The Church as a body and individually has suffered till "forbearance has ceased to be a virtue." The cries and pleadings of men, women and children, with the authorities were, "Will you suffer that servile, murderous paper to go on and vilify and slander the innocent inhabitants of this city, and raise another mob to drive and plunder us again as they did in Missouri?" Under these pressing cries and supplications of afflicted innocence, and in the character, dignity, and honor of the corporate powers of the charter, as granted to the city of Springfield, and made and provided as a part of our charter for legislative purposes -- viz.. "to declare what shall be a nuisance and to prevent and remove the same." The City Council of Nauvoo on Monday, the 10th instant, declared the establishment and Expositor a nuisance; and the city marshal, at the head of the police, in the evening, took the press, materials and paper into the street and burned them.

And in the name of freemen, and in the name of God, we beseech all men who have the spirit of honor in them to cease from persecuting us, collectively or individually. Let us enjoy our religion, rights and peace like the rest of mankind. Why start presses to destroy rights and privileges, and bring upon us mobs to plunder and murder? We ask no more than what belongs to us -- the rights of Americans.

Note 1: This same proclamation was reprinted in the next regular Wednesday issue of the Neighbor, on June 12, 1844.

Note 2: The Neighbor's condemnation of the Nauvoo Expositor, and its justification for Joseph Smith's destruction of that newspaper and its printing press presents the reader with a glaring irony. The "mob" who sought to "drive and plunder" the Mormons in Jackson County, "in Missouri," first destroyed their printing press and newspaper in 1833. Both the 1833 and the 1844 acts were blatantly in conflict with the Constitution of the United States, of course. Whether or not the Missourians, in 1833, had first declared the Saints' Evening and Morning Star, a "nuisance," their action against the right of freedom of the press would have been just as abhorrent. Joseph Smith and the City Council of Nauvoo appear to have forgotten the illegalities of 1833 -- and only recalled the fact that the press-destroying Missourians had never been brought to justice. If Smith expected the same nonchalant outcome in this instance of press destruction, he was making a fatal mistake.


Our  Moto: -- The  Saints'  Singularity -- is  Unity, Liberty, Charity.
Vol. II. - No. 18.        Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Wed., August 28, 1844.        Whole No. 122.


A laudable respect for the wise course pointed out to us, as a church and people, by our late venerable and distinguished fellow-servant, and president of said church, Joseph Smith, who was our candidate for the Presidential chair of the United States, but who was inhumanly murdered by a portion of the powers that exist in this land, would say to us, if nothing more, beware how you vote for a Chief Magistrate of this Government! As a people we have exercised the elective franchise, heretofore, as far as we could, for our own good, and the best interest of the nation, but what have we gained? Nothing is the simple answer, as touching any redress or redemption in consequence of our banishment without just cause or provocation, from the "Independent Republic of Missouri," at an immense sacrifice of land and property, and the land purchased of the general government.

It would seem from all past experience in our case, that partizans and politicians, while they love our votes, they hate our influence and prosperity, and therefore, after they have obtained their aims and ends, leave us among the missing; perfectly contented to chuckle over the subterfuge of having used us as a passport to honor, profit, fame and wealth for their own gracious benefit, and then shove us aside to guess our way to respectability, competency, privilege, and even a moderate share of morality -- clandestinely acting the "Levite," that we may drag out and draw along a scrimptexistence in exile, among what is highly lauded to the nations of the earth, as a great, mighty free people, -- THE ASYLUM OF THE OPPRESSED!!

Such conduct manifested to us as a people, is cruel, unjust, and oppressive; and, as not one of the candidates now before the nation for the high office of Chief Magistrate, has given us a pledge, that if he be elected to that exalted station, he will use all honorable means, constitutionally, lawfully, physically and forcibly to grant us redress and redemption for all wrongs -- and as our candidate for this high office, has been butchered in cold blood, for aught we know to the contrary, to prevent him from being elected, and the murderers running at large with impunity -- and as we are not Abolitionists, and will not go against one half the interest of the nation -- what shall we do as honest and consistent men? Shall we honor the "views of the powers and policy of the Government," as published by the now martyred Gen. Joseph Smith? WE WILL. Therefore let every man of our faith be left free to choose and act for himself, but as a people we will honor the opinions and wisdom of our martyred General; and as a matter of propriety, we cannot vote for, or support a candidate for the Presidency, till we find a man who will pledge himself to carry out Gen. Smith's views of the powers and policy of the Government, as he published them. Patriotism and integrity demand this course from the true Latter day Saint. Unus pro omnium.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Our  Moto: -- The  Saints'  Singularity -- is  Unity, Liberty, Charity.
Vol. II. - No. 19.        Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Wed., Sept. 4, 1844.        Whole No. 123.

Elder Lyman Wight last week, removed up the river, with a company of about 150 saints, to settle on government lands in Wisconsin Territory. He calculated to locate 60 or 80 miles above Prairie du chien.

==> Notice. -- Fellowship was last evening withdrawn from Elders Rigdon, James Emmet, and Zachariah Wilson, by the Counsel of the Twelve, and on Sunday next the matter will be laid before the church for their action.

Note: As events worked out, Apostle Lyman Wight and his followers did not settle a permanent colony "up the river," but instead moved to Texas and organized a church in opposition to Brigham Young and the other leaders in Nauvoo. For more on Rigdon's fate, see the next issue of the Neighbor.


Our  Moto: -- The  Saints'  Singularity -- is  Unity, Liberty, Charity.
Vol. II. - No. 20.        Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Wed., Sept. 11, 1844.        Whole No. 124.


On Sunday the 8th inst. Elder Sidney Rigdon was tried for unchristian-like conduct. -- Fellowship had been previously withdrawn from him by the quorum of the Twelve and he notified to attend and make his defence on the above day. The oldest bishop of the church at the head of twelve high priests according to the Doctrine and Covenants of said church, acted as the tribunal, while the other quorums in order, and between six and seven thousand members, with the Twelve presiding, patiently investigated the matter for five or six hours. Elder Rigdon and his party held a private meeting in the morning, and sent word to the stand that he should not attend the trial or pay any attention to it.

After the meeting was opened by singing and prayer, Elder Young proceeded to lay the specifications against Elder Rigdon before the church both verbally and written, which plainly exposed a secret plan to divide the church, by false prophecy and false pretences; blessing the church and people while on the stand before them. but secretly cursing the authorities, and the present course of the church, and many other matters derogatory to men of God. ELDER HYDE followed as testimony and fully substantiated the charges, and made some very excellent remarks, quoting the trial of the two women for the child before King Solomon, wherein Rigdon said divide the child; but the "Twelve" like the true mother, exclaimed don't divide the child: -- let it live.

He was followed by ELDER P. P. PRATT as testimony confirmatory of the same facts, and adding some new items. He was very pointed and plain giving a detailed account of Elder Rigdon's course since he came from Pittsburg and before, having known him before he was a Mormon. ELDER AMASA LYMAN supported the previous witnesses and gave some new items, and closed by saying that Sidney Rigdon has prophesied falsely in Kirtland, in 1832, lost his license, and was suspended three months.

ELDER PHELPS made a few remarks and read a revelation concerning Sidney Rigdon, given in 1833, in which it seems he was "to bow down under the yoke like unto an ass that croucheth under his burthen, but would yet rejoice on account of him that putteth forth his hand and lifteth him up out of deep mire," &c.

ELDER KIMBALL continued the testimony, setting his face against Sidney Rigdon's impunity and false revelations declaring them par with Gladden Bishop's, adding that Joseph Smith shook him off last fall, but through the mercy of brother Hyrum, the saints agreed to try him a spell longer.

ELDER YOUNG again proceeded and summed up the testimony and refered the matter to the council.

ELDER MARKS rose and said he felt it his duty to speak in favor of Elder Rigdon; he was patiently listened to some time, but he produced nothing to prove him clear of the charges or show his innocence.

ELDER YOUNG replied with great force and spirit.

ELDER TAYLOR (the editor of this paper) laid the matter open in a masterly manner, and was listened to with great attention. After a few remarks from some others, Bishop Whitney, in a very candid manner gave his decision that Elder Sidney Rigdon be cut off from the church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, and the twelve high priests, sanctioned the decision by a unanimous vote. The congregation, also (excepting some few whom Sidney had ordained to be prophets, priests, and kings among the Gentiles) sanctioned these proceedings by a unanimous vote.

Fellowship was then withdrawn from his followers, especially Samuel James, Jared Carter, Samuel Bennett, Leonard Soby, George Morey, Joseph H. Newton, and John A. Forgeus, were cut off from the church.

Elder Marks was called upon for his views, &c., and he said he was willing to go by the decision of the church.

==> The proceedings will be published in full hereafter.

Note: The prominent role played by Bishop N. K. Whitney and elders Pratt and Hyde in these proceedings indicates the sentiment among the Mormon leaders that Rigdon's apostasy had begun long before his reaction to the tragic events of 1844. All three men were faithful early Rigdonites, prior to their becoming Mormons. If men such as these early associates of his could truthfully testify to Sidney Rigdon's religious perfidy, then Rigdon must have demonstrated substantial moral flaws throughout his ten year career as the second highest leader of the LDS Church. This sobering thought does little to reinforce certain LDS claims, alleging that Rigdon was fully honest and sincere in his 1830 profession of a wonderful spiritual experience, leading to conversion and baptism into the Mormon movement -- let alone to his claim that of knowing nothing of Joseph Smith, the "golden plates," or the "Mormonites," prior to that 1830 conversion.


Our  Moto: -- The  Saints'  Singularity -- is  Unity, Liberty, Charity.
Vol. II. - No. 22.        Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Wed., Sept. 25, 1844.        Whole No. 126.


Sidney Rigdon, Esq. -- We ask pardon for again obtruding the name of Sidney Rigdon before the public. A letter of his, in the "Peoples Organ" of the 16th inst. merits a passing notice. He states in that that he and others, "were cut off from the church, -- all for the crime of wishing to go to Pittsburgh and live."

As Elder Hyde said in his reply, in the same paper of the 18th, this statement, with the rest of the letter, "is false."

If any person wishes to know what Sidney Rigdon was cut off for, let him read the Neighbor of September 11th and the Times and Seasons of Sept. 16th, and the coming number of October 1st., where the facts of his spiritual wickedness, and ordaining men to fight a great and bloody battle near Pittsburgh, among the Gentiles, will show the old man as he is! We are really sorry for any man who is so short-sighted and decayed in virtue, as to try to palm off a tissue of lies for the truth, when 6 or 7000 witnesses were within 200 miles to prove that they all voted for Rigdon to go to Pittsburg in peace. The old man never learnt Christ that way, and his right hand had better forget its cunning than for him to belie the saints.

Note 1: Just prior to the publication of Rigdon's letter in the St. Louis Peoples Organ, Elder Orson Hyde wrote the following to the Twelve at Nauvoo, the following: "St. Louis, Sept. 12, 1844.   Dear Brethren, We arrived here yesterday all well. Elder Rigdon said that he never felt happier, but his happiness appeared to me like the blaze from shavings lively and brilliant, but of short duration. I do not think he intends to publish so much as he talked of.... I shall write to the "Prophet," N. Y. soon.... (Journal History of the Church, Thursday, Sept. 12, 1844.)

Note 2: In another letter to the Twelve, Orson Hyde reportedly said: " a friend... I indulged the hope that he [i, e., Sidney Rigdon] would see the error into which he had fallen, and erelong retrace his steps... 'be careful how you put pen to paper in this time of your excitement... wait a few months and then see how you will feel'..." [but Rigdon replied that] "his course was marked out before him and that he should pursue it... that he never felt happier. [However, according to Hyde, the man's] "happiness appeared to me like the blaze from shavings -- lively and brilliant, but of short duration..." This quotation is taken from Richard Van Wagoner's 1994 Sidney Rigdon A Portrait of Religious Excess, p. 359. Mr. Van Wagoner cites as the original source, Orson Hyde's Sep. 12, 1844, letter to "Dear Brethren," [i. e., Brigham Young and the Council of 12 Apostles] in the Brigham Young Collection, Box 39, folder 18, at the LDS Church Archives. However, only the final clause is from that source. Van Wagoner prefaces his Sep. 12th quotation with some uncited words actually taken from Hyde's Sep. 17 letter to the St. Louis People's Organ

Note 3: In a subsequent letter (original also in Brigham Young Collection, Box 39, folder 18) Orson Hyde wrote to Brigham Young from St. Louis on Sept. 16th, saying that Rigdon claimed in St. Louis to be "in possession of facts and power [sufficient] to have hurled Joseph from his station long ago." It is doubtful that Rigdon was speaking merely of Mormon secrets regarding polygamy, the Council of Fifty, or recent political intrigues in Illinois. His reference to "long ago" appears to place the "facts" he claimed to possess against Smith among the early days of the Church. Perhaps Rigdon was making a subtle reference to long-held secrets concerning Book of Mormon authorship.

Note 4: On page 324 of his 1994 book, Van Wagoner accuses Apostle Orson Hyde of being the Twelve's "de facto agent of disinformation" and of taking "particular pleasure in attacking Rigdon's reputation." According to Van Wagoner, much of the top LDS leaders' portrayal of Rigdon's last years within the Church consisted of highly distorted or downright falsified "disinformation." This pattern of portraying known falsehood as unmitigated truth, in the case of Elder Sidney Rigdon, was apparently merely part of a larger effort by those same leaders to hide the practice of Mormon polygamy and to discredit Rigdon's early exposure of that secret religious practice at Nauvoo. For more on this, see Hyde's letter of Sept. 19, 1844, published in the The Return of April, 1890 and Hyde's letter of Oct. 21, 1844, published in the New York Prophet of Nov. 9, 1844, (reprinted in the Dec. 4, 1844 issue of the Nauvoo Neighbor.)


Our  Moto: -- The  Saints'  Singularity -- is  Unity, Liberty, Charity.
Vol. II. - No. 31.        Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Wed., Dec. 4, 1844.        Whole No. 135.

From the New York Prophet,


Cincinnatti, Oct. 21, 1844.    

Dear Brother:

To-morrow is the great and awful day on which, the Lord shall ride forth in view of all nations upon his burning throne, wrapped in the garments of vengeance, environed with fleecy clouds, with streams of burning fire issuing from his mouth, whilst the shrill blast from Gabriel's trump shall wreck nature in her onward passage, and summon her guilty sons to appear in judgement, according to Mr. Miller's system of computation; but all the believers in these notions will undoubtedly learn one thing by the stand which they have taken, and that is, that they understand but little of God, of his ways, or of his word.

I have just heard from Nauvoo. They are going on at a firm and steady pace, since the expulsion of the Laws, Higbees, Fosters, and Elder Rigdon and his followers; the people there are now settling down in a strong and heavenly union; everything moves on like clock-work, and I will now venture a prediction, that since Nauvoo has thrown off so much bile from its stomach it will be more healthy, and less complaints and noise about spiritual wives, adultery, bogus making, &c. &c. Eder Rigdon has been associated with Joseph and Hiram Smith as a counsellor to the Church, and he told me in the city of Far West that it was the imperative duty of the Church to obey the word of Joseph Smith, or the presidency, without question or inquiry, and that if there were any that would not, they should have their throats cut from ear to ear. I did not believe this -- said I to myself, can the spirit of God dwell in that man's heart? -- I answer, no! This, together with some other transactions of his and his son-in-law, was the cause of my taking the course I did in Missouri; let my offence, then, be charged to their account in the day of Judgement, for I do declare before God and man, that they were the cause of it. Such kind of language I never heard from Joseph and Hiram Smith; neither did they ever preach a "salt sermon," nor tell a 'granny parish story,' nor boast of throwing any one aside into the hazel brush.

Now, Elder Rigdon, admitting all your charges against the church and the Twelve to be correct for the sake of argument, I would ask by whom have they been led? By Joseph Smith, Hiram Smith, and your humble self.

Why, then, do you turn traitor, to bring distress and reproach upon a people, for crimes with which you charge them, when you have had the honor, according to your present position, of leading and conducting us into them? You may say that you have taken little or no part with the Church for the last five year[s] -- very well. Then as you have not been faithful over a few things, how could you expect to be made ruler over many? But you may say that you have been ignorant of the wickedness and crime carried on in our church for several years; what! and stood next to the head too!! If your vision was not clear enough to discover such glaring wickedness before, you are not a seer keen enough to be entrusted with the care of this Church. You may say that these crime[s] were committed in secret, and unknown to you; if you possess the spirit of God you would have known them if they had existed, for that searches all things; but if any man have not the spirit of Christ, he is none of of his. The Church knew you came to them, not with the spirit of Christ but with a lying spirit, and therefore, they would not hear you; "my sheep," says Christ, "hear my voice, but a stranger they will not follow." This is the reason they would not follow you. Then they were the sheep of the bad shepherd, and you said you were the shepherd to lead. You may say that we are all goats; well -- who built us up and taught us? your humble self claims this; can a stream rise above its fountain? No. You claim to have stood at the head, and if we are goats, you are a goat, and possibly, Daniel's the goat whose horn was broken.

Elder Rigdon, if you knew the people of Nauvoo were so basely wicked as you now represent them; why did you use the following language to them on the sabbath before you were expelled from the church in a public address to some five or six thousand people. 'Brethren, the time of your affliction and trouble is almost at an end, you shall prosper, and go forward, and not backward. You shall rise up and not be put down; you shall prevail against your enemies, and not be prevailed against; you sha;; have prosperity, and not adversity. You shall be blest with all blessings in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.' (Balaam could not curse Israel, but bless.)

'Glory, hallelujah to God and the Lamb!' You may say that you did not know then that the Church would reject you; but they had rejected you from being a leader two or three weeks before that, by a unanimous vote. But you may say that you blest us upon the condition that we did not take away your license, and reject you altogether as a minister; why, then, did you use this language to us when we demanded your license? -- 'I have set here and laughed at your proceedings all the evening, to see you fulfil the vision which the Lord gave me in Pittsburgh. I saw you demand my license, and cut me off.' Oh shame! shame!! on a man that will suffer himself to be drawn away in the gulf stream of inconsistency, and wrecked upon the fatal reefs of falsehood and treachery.

Now, Elder Rigdon, if you had the vision in Pittsburgh that you would be rejected by the Church in Nauvoo, as you declared to us you did, after we really cut you off; why did you declare to a public audience in Pittsburgh just before you left for Nauvoo the last time, that you were to be the leader, and that the matter was known and understood by the Church?

And again, if you had the same vision in Pittsburgh concerning Joseph and Hyram's death, that Cole said he, and Joseph, and Hyram had in Nauvoo, and on examination of the date of your vision, found it to have taken place at the same time that the vision was shown to them in Pittsburgh on hearing of the death of Joseph and Hyrum through the newspapers, that such a thing could not be true, that you did not believe it. When the vision was that they saw Joseph and Hyram in Carthage jail -- saw a great number of men running towards it, armed -- saw them point their guns at the jail -- saw the flash and smoke arise -- heard the report of guns, and saw Joseph fall out of the window dead; and you claimed that the very same was shown you in Pittsburgh before the scene really took place; and yet, when the report came to you in the paper you told a large audience in that place that it could not be true -- did not believe it. Wait! -- did not believe your own vision? then how can you blame others for not believing it? You may say that you never made any such statements in Pittsburgh; but I stand ready to prove that you did.

Now, Elder Rigdon, I [will] ask a few plain and serious questions for you to answer if you please. If you had known for a long time that we had not been led by the Lord, as you said you had when we demanded your license, why did you wait till that last hour before you apprised us of our condition? Why did you remain silent while the prophet lived? Why did you not find out your duty towards us before we cut you off from the Church? If the Twelve were such bad men you now represent them why did you not come into our councils when we respectfully solicited you to do so, and there lift up your voice and try to reclaim us from those damning sins of which you say we are guilty? If sin we have committed, we have committed it in following your instructions too far, and you have been one of our leaders. -- Your declaration was, in Far West, that, "if any would not tamely listen to the dictations of their leaders, they should have their throats cut from ear to ear;" and you have evidence that they have ever since looked upon you as a base and wicked tyrant. And in that character do I so regard you.

Now, sir, you have taken a stand against a virtueous and innocent people, and because your lying, hypocritical spirit was detected in Nauvoo, as it was once before in Kirtland, Ohio, by Joseph Smith, when you lied to the Church in the name of the Lord, and afterwards confessed to the people your black and wicked design; you now try to cover your inglorious retreat by throwing dust and smoke into the eyes of your pursuers, but, sir, the Spirit of God will clear our way. And now I will speak a word of thy brethren, John C. Bennet, Higbees, Fosters, and Laws. They are beasts, or cattle made to be taken and destroyed in their own nets. But thou art cursed above all cattle, on thy belly shalt thou go until thou lick up the dust of the feet of those persons whose characters thou hast so vilely and wickedly traduced. If this people had received you as their leader, they would have been, in your mouth, a good people; but now they rejected you, they are very bad, and guilty of all manner of crime. We tell you plainly, sir, that we have suffered enough by your extravagancies. We will try to get out of the difficulties into which you have brought us, and when we want your labors or assistance hereafter we will call on you.

One week before Elder Rigdon was expelled from the church, he told us in his sermon that he was going to fight a great many battles in this country, and then carry his victorious arms over to Old England, encounter the Queen's forces and subdue them. Then he would enter the palace of Her Majesty, and demand of her a portion of her wealth and dominions; "and if," said he "she will not do it, I will take the little madam by the nose, and lead her out, and she shall have no power to help herself. The Lord has declared this to me from heaven, and if I do not do it, the Lord never spoke by a mortal." Elder Rigdon will never do this unless he is born again. But he went on to tell us that his army was to be composed of Saints, worldlings, black-legs, counterfeiters, bogus-makers, &c., &c. 'Yet' said he 'these are all to be honorable-minded men, and lovers of liberty.' The people of Nauvoo thought if such characters were to compose his conquering army, they would not enlist; for they did not believe that the God of heaven ever suggested any such thing; yet the god of this world might. This company were to rendezvous at, or near Pittsburgh, and also commence their fighting near that place. I left Nauvoo in the same boat with Elder Rigdon, several of his adherants went with him, and also three or four men who had been pointed out to me as suspicious characters, supposed to be counterfeiters, came on board in his company, and with whom he appeared intimate and friendly.

Well, with this force, perhaps Elder Rigdon will go forth, conquering and to conquer, and gather together the nations and kings to the battle of the great God.

He is going his whole length in lies and slander, and his satellites in Pittsburgh are charging the Saints in Nauvoo with the things that eye hath not seen, nor ear heard; neither hath it entered into the heart of man, except his own and those who are of their spirit. Let not the Saints in the East be insulted by such a tirade of abuse and slang, the spirt of which they possess is a lying spirit, and as an evidence of this, Ebenezer Robinson came down to this city the other day to get a printing press, and reported here that Elder Page had been on his knees to Elder Rigdon and acknowledged his authority. Wonderful! wonderful! -- all excitement and confusion! But Elder Page came the very day that Robinson left, and he says that he told Elder Rigdon if he would present the same amount of evidence that he held the keys of the kingdom that Joseph Smith had, that he held them, he would confess his authority on his knees; and bent his knees to the floor in the presence of Elder Rigdon, to show him what he would do if he could show proper reasons; "But," says Elder Page, "if you do not do it I will never acknowledge your authority; and I know you cannot do it." I have merely given you this example to let you see that you can put no confidence in what they say, for they will lie and basely misrepresent.

O. HYDE.      

N. B. Elders Taylor and Richards who were Joseph's intimate friends were in the prison with him and Hyram until they were shot. But they never heard Joseph intimate a word about such a vision as Cole and Rigdon tell of. If Joseph had had any such vision, Brs. Taylor and Richards are the very men to whom he would have told it, if he had told it to any one.

Note 1: The above letter to Sidney Rigdon was written by Apostle Orson Hyde to Elder Sam Brannan at The Prophet newspaper in New York City; it was originally published in the The Prophet of Nov. 9, 1844. It was there introduced with this explanation from the editors: "We publish in this number of our paper a letter from Elder Hyde in Cincinnatti, on the claims of Sidney Rigdon; which we hope will be carefully read by every Latter Day Saint. It truly makes manifest the deception of that ambitious man, who has endeavored to obtain the hearts of the saints, by his false visions and revelations, but, when he found they would not receive him, he turned against the church by charging them with every species of crime; O shame! upon such base wickedness and imposition."

Note 2: The content of Apostle Hyde's letter reads very much like a rehearsal for Hyde's subsequent anti-Rigdon attack, as published in his 1845 pamphlet, The Speech of Elder Orson Hyde.

Note 3: Hyde subtly accuses Rigdon and his followers of having been the cause of many of the Gentiles' complaints against the Nauvoo Mormons, insinuating that Rigdon's departure from that city rid it of "spiritual wives, adultery, bogus making, &c." In fact, Rigdon was very much opposed to polygamy and very likely also to any form of "adultery." Polygamy in Nauvoo increased under the leadership of the Twelve and did not depart the city until they moved west. Hyde's accusation of Rigdon having associated with counterfeiters and other rough criminals is rather more believable. He probably left Nauvoo with at least a small number of bodyguards and strong-arms.


Our  Moto: -- The  Saints'  Singularity -- is  Unity, Liberty, Charity.
Vol. III.             Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Wed., May 14, 1845.             No. 2.

N O T I C E.

A tight fit. -- We really think Elder Hyde's Speeches on Rigdonism, published at this office, is a tight fit. It has emphatically knocked the Apostates' case into [random characters, for confusion].

Meeting. -- An uncommon large audience listened to a discourse from Elder W. Smith on Sunday forenoon. And who could hear without reflecting that he was the last man of five brothers who had carried this kingdom in their arms when it was a child?

Murder. -- About midnight on Saturday the 30th inst., a shocking murder was committed in Lee Co., Iowa. A Dutchman from Pennsylvania, by the name of Miller, and his son Hizen, had recently moved into the county and it was currently reported through the neighborhood that the old man had brought a large sum of money into the place. The murderers entered the house (three in number) with their hands and faces blackened, and demanded what money there was -- upon which the old man and his son sprang from their beds, and instead of handing out the cash, ordered the villains out, and soon succeeded in executing the order, by the use of such weapons as were at hand; nor were the woman less vigilant in lending their assistance.

As the ruffians were driven from the house the old man fell dead upon the floor from a stab. -- The young man followed them out and felled one of them, and received a pistol ball through his right breast, and a cut over the left eye which fractured the scull; he also received a stab in the left side of his back. He has since died.

From 500 to 1000 persons were in search of the murderers on Sunday and Monday, without any success.


                                                                Nauvoo, May 10, 1845.
Dear Brethren: --
    I improve this opportunity to say through the Neighbor, that after a journey of two weeks and one day, I have arrived safely in Nauvoo, with my family, although it was with much difficulty I could keep my wife alive to reach this point; but thank God, we have met with our friends once more, who are alive; and rejoice to see Nauvoo, the holy Zion of God not yet laid in ruins to fulfil the revengeful prophecy of the ites of Rigdon.

To meet with friends that I have been so long absent from is truly refreshing. Yesterday I took a look through the Temple; -- this is truly an imposing and a stupendous work; it has progressed beyond all expectation; -- one would hardly imagine so far from Nauvoo, considering the time and means, and the greatness of the work, that as much would have been done as has been, in building this Temple; -- but the saints at home and abroad have truly been faithful and zealous, and it is my prayer to Almighty God, that peace and true fidelity will continue in the camp of the saints, until we can do the work the Lord has called us to.

Let the saints be true to one another and never desert a friend and our God will protect us. We have many things to contend with -- the prejudices of the world, and these continually increased by falsehoods and lies told by apostates; and here permit me to say for once, that Nauvoo is far ahead of any other city, in the world for morality, none more moral. It is true of late we have been cursed or rather blessed with a few wolves in sheep's clothing, that go about to establish their own righteousness by lying, and vilifying others; and one of these holy, sanctified devils has published a paper in Pittsburg, and begins with a lie upon the very frontispiece. "He is not going to meddle with private character;" and yet a more abusive, scandalous, filthy sheet never need find its way to the public; and lest these Rigdonites should [pride] themselves too much in the mighty wonder they have done in the expose of imaginary evils, under the pretended garb of sanctity, and to relieve their burden; I speak for one as an individual, and in my own defence, so far as the charge of spiritual wifery is concerned. I know of no such doctrine in the Church of Christ, nor have I any alliance with such a system, neither have I ever practiced or taught any such doctrine, and let the world understand it, and all Rigdonites.

Duty to an injured people bids me speak. Nauvoo contains some 15,000 or 20,000 inhabitants. To cast them all among the unvirtuous, yet, even more into one common grave of immorality is an outrage and scandal that honest men and women will not tamely submit to. The marriage contract should be kept sacred and holy, and the introduction of any law or government that would throw off the sacred obligations of this contract, as laid down by Jesus Christ in his holy gospel, would open a gate to a flood of licentiousness that would destroy the morals of any people. A man should have his wife and cleave unto her, and the twain should be one flesh. Further remarks on this subject I deem unnecessary, and I hope my friends or enemies will do me the justice to not attribute to me the belief or advocacy of a doctrine that I do not believe and have never taught.

It is true, by throwing myself into the gap, to save the eastern churches from the wreck of Rigdonism, I have incurred their displeasure. John Hardy, one of these new-light come-outers, or more properly speaking, an apostate, cut off member from the old orthodox Mormon church, (excommunicant,) has become the author of a book in which he records himself a slanderer by a vote of 95 to 25, and himself cut off [sic - off from?] the church by a vote of 75 to 25; thus by his own statement proving me innocent of the charges alleged; and it is to be remembered, and all that were present at the trial will bear me witness, that a super abundance of testimony on my part was brought forward, and from the highest to the lowest charge, they were shown to be falsehood of the blackest dye. But mark ye, this Mr. Hardy, the free, brave, and valorous son of _____, does not give, in his pamphlet, the other side of the question, or both sides; a most ungentlemanly thing. This I need not say, for neither the tale [sic - title?] of gentleman or christian is applicable to the man -- and it must be evident to all, that a more filthy, lying sheet never found its way to the public, in regard to its charges and spirit, as the number of votes given in my favor plainly show[s].

I should have taken more notice of this matter, only the brethren advised me not to do it. As it is, I hope the friends in Boston will take up the subject, and set a true statement of the trial, or facts before the public; and for the gratification of my own feelings. I will here insert a certificate given me by the Boston church.

                                                      Boston, Nov. 11, 1844.
Br. Smith -- You having desired of the church of Jesus Christ in Boston, their opinion in relation to the evidence that was brought against you at the trial of John Hardy, we do conscientiously say, that there was no evidence to give a candid and unprejudiced mind the least ground to believe that you was guilty of the charges alleged against you, but on the contrary believe you to be a deeply injured man, -- and as to the reputation of Mrs. Sperry and Miss Perry, we consider them both to be perjured women; and furthermore, we would say, in relation to the charges that were made against you, we do not consider them well grounded, but on the contrary, believe that it was a plan devised to injure your character, and help kindle the fire of intolerance against you; and furthermore we consider you in full fellowship and would commend tou to the saints throughout the world.

Written by order of the church of Jesus Christ in Boston.

Chas. W. Griggs, Francis Robbins, Mary A. Brown, Martha Atwood, Maria Bryant, Susan Haskill, W. H. D. Joyce, A. MacAllister, Mary MacAllister, Margaret E. Rowe, David Brown, Freeman Nickerson, Jacob Phelps, Geo., Phelps, John Teague, E. Bickford.

And even more testimonies might be added touching person and character concerned in this libelous pamphlet -- but since have seen their error, and confessed their crime, and said their husbands and John Hardy over persuaded them to come into trial and testify lies against me, (this id truth, and they cannot deny it,) but the truth is, John Hardy had become a Rigdonite, and must build himself a reputation, consequently must do it by lying, as this is a spirit peculiar to Rigdonism, -- and when this fallen son of Lucifer repents of his lies, slander, and former acts of Sodomy, or abominations, and asks forgiveness, as he has of his spiritual wifery, in profession, I am ready to forgive him; otherwise he must expect to meet his fate with the damned in hell, where all Rigdonites, liars, whoremongers, sorcerers and dogs will meet theirs, for these are "kindred spirits" and go to one place, and one too that is hotter or much warmer than the most heavenly meeting time they had at their conference at Pittsburg, at the time of the conflagration; -- and one more affinity they can claim; after numbering several apostates that have found shelter under this piratical flag, Tom Sharp, the supposed and indicted murderer of Joseph and Hyrum is added to the number of their twelve apostles; -- kindred spirit; -- 13th apostle perhaps.

Rigdonites will deny having any influence with this demon and lawless murderer; but to perfect this new church and system of scandal, he of course is not left out of the question.

I wonder if William E. [McLellin] will shake this new apostle by the "hand," and shed tears, and swear to uphold him.

Hinkle is another beautiful specimen of perfection. The history of Judas would plainly tell the character of this man. These facts are too glaring to be passed over unnoticed. Missouri scenes I have not forgotten, and no doubt they are still fresh in the memory of this betrayer of innocent blood. Wm. E., too, might remember the distinguished mark of a green rag or patch on his shoulder, to show he was mob. Perhaps he can remember Joseph and Hyrum's library of books. I suppose this was all right, as it did not enrich them, and it was mobbing time too. But, Wm. E., since you have become an apostle, and have got [connected]. I presume you will restore fourfold. Now Joseph and Hyrum are dead, their widows and children would like to have their books returned. Be honest now, and no grumbling, This is a new dispensation, and more perfection is expected, and I do really hope there will be a reform, and that many will have their pockets replenished again, who have been mobbed, robbed, plundered of their all by traitors and such lying scoundrels.

But to close this communication I will only add, it is in vain for Rigdonites to deny the charges that many of them are mobbers, and are at this time in various parts of the country, their most conspicious ones, apostles and prophets and kings stumulating the citizens to a mob; -- sent out too by Rigdon in all directions in governors, judges, rulers, to tell the tale of their grief and woe, and traduce the character of Nauvoo. What, does this look like carrying out their pretended righteousness? If it is, God deliver me from such holiness; the partaker is as bad as the thief.

Remember, brethren, that if a mob destroys Nauvoo this summer to fulfil Rigdon's prophecy, innocent men, women and children must perish in the onslaught and what is the difference between the two parties, Rigdonites and the mob? I would require no prophet to tell they are alike, of the same spirit; -- while one is prepared to do the work, the other is ready to kindle the flame; while one is prepared to shoot the gun, the other is ready to hold it.

Again, should any doubt further on this subject, they will notice the often and frequent quotations in their paper, from the Warsaw Signal, a filthy, nasty, dirty sheet; -- so it is all of a plan, an unholy warfare of conquest, and to get a name amongst the prophets. And Rigdon's party has not one that will last them their life time and stains and guilt that time cannot wear away. Then once more, next Monday the court sits at Carthage. But what will be done with the murderers? It is said the mob from Augusta, and other parts of Hancock county will assemble at court, to arrest the prisoners out of the hands of the law, provided there should be any danger of their being convicted and sentenced.

Such are the mean that can complain of Mormons, and speak of them as a disorderly community. Oh, shame! The Ledger of Philadelphia, and other papers will no doubt have fine fuel, while things are in such an unsettled state. Crows like carrion, and the Ledger is famous for living on stinking meat taken from the Warsaw Signal...

The brethren still manifest a disposition to keep the peace and observe law and good order. It is truly astonishing to see the long forbearance on their part while the mob are vilifying, and unwilling to submit to law or justice, and to hide their own crimes must raise a storm on the saints.

The Temple is fine, and fast progressing. From two to three hundred laborers are at work upon the walls, the stone, the timber and the inside work. The yard, a wall about the Temple is designed to save it from the common, and is quite like your eastern churchyards. It will enclose six acres, -- and to conclude, Nauvoo still looks beautiful, and bids fair in peace, to be a great city. My respects to many fine friends in the east, and to all the faithful prayerful hearts and true and living faith in God will save to the utmost; -- and, oh, that your hearts may truly be bound in this work, that must endear forever your humble and faithful servant.
                                                      WM. SMITH.

Note: The pamphlet that so bothered William Smith was the late 1844 production from Boston, titled: History of the Trials of Elder John Hardy, before the Church of Latter Day Saints in Boston, for Slander, in saying that G. J. Adams, S. Brannan and William Smith, were licentious characters. Apostle Wilford Woodruff arrived in the area in time to observe the trial that led to Boston LDS Branch President John Hardy's excommunication on Oct. 22, 1844. While Apostle Woodruff publicly supported William Smith in William's subsequent excommunication of several Boston elders who sided with Hardy in his claims, Woodruff's personal journal entries and private letters indicate that he knew William was engaging in secret polygamy and that Hardy was right in most, or all, of his charges. Early the following year the Twelve replaced the recreant William Smith, in his office as the supreme LDS leader in the eastern states, with the more circumspect Parley P. Pratt.


Our  Moto: -- The  Saints'  Singularity -- is  Unity, Liberty, Charity.
Vol. III.             Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Wed., May 28, 1845.             No. 4.

N O T I C E.

To the Eastern Churches; we would inform them. in the case of Elder Brannan's being cut off from the church, it was by the testimony that was laid before us. When Br. Wm. Smith returned from the east, he laid the case of Br. Brannan before us, and upon his testimony we restored Br. Brannan to fellowship. About ten days after this, Br. Brannan came to Nauvoo and we had a council with Brs. Wm. Smith, Geo. G. Adams, and Samuel Brannan. Br. Wallace being the person [aggrieved]; on hearing the testimony on both sides, we felt it our duty to restore Br. Brannan to full fellowship in the church, praying for his success in the official capacity. And inasmuch as Br. Pratt has suggested in the Prophet of May 10th, that some one had counselled Br. Brannan wrong, that we have reason to suppose that Br. Wm. Smith has not counselled him wrong in this case,

We give this notice to the churches for the satisfaction of Brs. Pratt, Smith, Brannan, Wallace, and all concerned.
                                                     BRIGHAM YOUNG.
Willard Richards, Clerk.


Died on Thursday, May 22d., Mrs. Caroline, wife of Mr. William Smith, aged 30y, 4m.

There seems to be a strange futility following this devoted family. Hardly four years have passed since one of five brothers departed this life; and not a year has gone by since three of them have gone to that bourne whence no traveller returns; two of them were inhumanely murdered by a cowardly mob, while under the protection of the laws. and the solemn pledge of the Governor, and the death of the other, doubtless, greatly accelerated in consequence of his mourning and grief, for the loss of his beloved brethren. And now, there is but one left. All of them were in the prime of their manhood, in the vigor of their intellect and in the midst of a most useful and glorious career. But they are gone -- for what purpose, He only knows, "who giveth and who taketh away" -- 'blessed be his holy name."

The last of the Smiths, by another afflictive dispensation of Providence is now called to add his tears, for the loss of a beloved companion, to those of the widows and children of the deceased brothers, for their husbands and fathers

Truly, "in the midst of life we are in death." But, God "who tempereth the wind to the shorn lamb," will doubtless order every thing for the benefit of his children, and the accomplishment of his great designs. Our beloved sister has only passed behind the veil, and is now enjoying the full fruition of all her troubles, trials, and tribulations in this cold unfriendly world, where her sweetness of charity and disposition, and her virtues rightly appreciated by all who knew her. She was indeed one of whom the world was not worthy, and she died in the firm belief that her "redeemer liveth, and shall stand in the latter day upon the earth." For three successive years, she suffered the most exquisite pain, with the patience of a sincere and devoted christian and a resignation to the will of God well worthy of imitation. After enduring so much in this life, and dying in the triumphs of the Gospel, and in the faith of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; who can doubt, but that she is now enjoying a glorious reward for all her sufferings, at the right hand of God, in the mansions of eternal bliss. Through the long period of her sickness, every thing that the most consummate skill could devise, and the most unequaled love invent, was done for the relief of the sweet sufferer. But all was of no avail. Human skills could not restore her to her health and happiness among her friends -- she has gone to enjoy a far greater happiness in the regions of the blest. The friends and relatives of the deceased can have no painful reminiscences of neglect to call up, for every thing was done to make her comfortable, and smooth her journey through "this vail of tears." It is natural to mourn the loss of our friends, for, to be deprived of their company, conversation, and example, is, indeed, a great loss; but, let us remember, "that our loss is their infinite gain,." Let not the relatives of the deceased "mourn as those who have no hope," for the time is not distant, when you will meet again to part no more forever; where you can enjoy her sweet company through unnumbered ages, in the celestial kingdom of our God, where there is no more death, sorrow, sickness, or pain, but ecstatic joy and everlasting bliss, in the company of the redeemed for evermore. Remember that "our light afflictions are but for a moment and will work for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory." The connexions and friends of the deceased were, no doubt, somewhat prepared for her departure, as it was evident for some time before her final end, that she was not long for this world, but, however resigned and prepared we may be, when death comes, it comes sudden;y, as was the case in this instance. But, as saints, who live in hope of a glorious resurrection, they should not murmur at the dispensations of Providence, which are ill suited to the accomplishment of his great purposes.

She has left two orphan children to mourn the loss of their beloved mother, and they most bitterly weep over her departed remains; a father's care will but inadequately supply the loss of a mother's tenderness, and they will, doubtless, see many times, when they will most keenly feel their loss; but time, the grand panacea for all earthly wounds, will, gradually heal their grief, and they will live in hopes of again meeting her in heaven, and there with renewed pleasure receive her parental care. The departed was a faithful companion, a devoted wife, a fond mother, and a true friend, as such, her loss must be greatly felt by the whole circle of her numerous acquaintances and friends. And the entire community will sympathize in the grief of her afflicted partner, the only surviving brother of our lamented Prophet and Patriarch, whose murder, yet unavenged, calls loudly from the blood-stained walls of Carthage jail, for justice on their murderers. For, although offences must come, yet wo be to them by whom they come, and notwithstanding God suffered the murder of these noble men, to answer his own purposes; yet, great and tremendous will be the punishment of those by whom the deed was committed. "Vengeance is mine saith the Lord; and I will repay;" in his hands we leave it. When the trump of God shall sound, and the sleeping dead rise from their graves, then can we strike hands with our departed friends and relatives, enjoy their society, and in their company, tune our voices in praise to Israel's God; while those wicked men who had power over us here, will be weeping, wailing and gnashing their teeth in the regions of the damned.

Then will they most bitterly repent their unhallowed persecution of God's people, and the stings of their guilty consciences will add fresh fuel to the flame already gnawing their vitals.

The doctrine of the resurrection, is a most glorious one. It is the solace of the miserable, the comfort of the mourner, the hope of the righteous, and the curse of the wicked; it is to this joy-inspiring principle, that we refer the relations and friends of the deceased for consolation. But a few years will pass, during which she will be in a society where her virtues will be rightly established, before you will be called to travel the same road and enter upon an untried sphere of existence,

May you be as well prepared and as resigned to the will of God as she was. May her glorious example and righteous precepts be long imprinted upon your memory, and when you meet above, may she welcome you to her embrace, and continue her kind offices to you in another world, as she has done in this.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Our  Moto: -- The  Saints'  Singularity -- is  Unity, Liberty, Charity.
Vol. III. - No. 36.        Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Wed., June 11, 1845.        Whole No. 162.

N O T I C E.

Dear Brethren and sisters: -- After having been for so long a time buffeted upon the waves of affliction; after having suffered for so long a series of years; after having sacrificed all of this world's goods, by mobs at different times; and after having suffered much [story?] and afflictions from the loss of friends and relatives, I still do not complain, but remain resigned to the will of God who knows what is best for his Saints.

And I hope that my brethren and sisters will remember their old friend, (William Smith.) I am now ready to receive the calls of the Saints, and confer upon them their patriarchal blessings as they may desire. Residence on Water street, home formerly occupied by Mr. William Marks.
                        WILLIAM SMITH.

==> The office of Patriarch over the whole church is to be a father to the church, and to confer blessings on its members, according to the order handed down from the first of Patriarchs to the present. By some of these, great and most marvellous events have been predicted, which have received their fulfilment after many generations have passed away: for instance: Jacob blessing his son Joseph. Moses blessing the tribes of Israel, &c., &c.

Father Smith, the first Patriarch and Hyrum his successor conferred many blessings upon the Saints that made their hearts glad. But they, in the wisdom of God, have been called away, and William the son and brother succeeds them. How many, now will say, I wish I had my patriarchal blessing? This has been the lamentation of many since the death of Joseph and Hyrum. William is the last of the family, and truly inherits the blood and spirit of his father's house, as well as the priesthood and patriarchal office from his father and brother, legally, and by hereditary descent. (ED.

Note: William Smith published a somewhat lengthier notice in the columns of the Times and Seasons, simultaneously with the appearance of the above "Notice" in the Nauvoo Neighbor. William W. Phelps responded to both insertions, holding up Apostle William Smith as the "Patriarch over the whole church." See the June 25th issue of the Neighbor, for Senior Editor Taylor's journalistic back-peddling on this imposing designation for William's position within the Mormon hierarchy. It seems quite obvious that some of "The Twelve" had met, considered the drawbacks of granting so great of a title unto "wayward William," and then instructed John Taylor to scale back the published title for William's office to "Patriarch to the Church" (wherein he would not present so much of a potential threat to Brigham Young's control over the ecclesiastical organization).


Our  Moto: -- The  Saints'  Singularity -- is  Unity, Liberty, Charity.
Vol. III. - No. 37.        Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Wed., June 18, 1845.        Whole No. 163.


                        Pittsburg, June 2, 1845.
Mr. Editor:

Sometime since, I wrote to you from this place, to apprise you of the "church" here. Rigdon, having taken the "responsibility" of the foundation of HIS church upon himself, I thought I would drop you another line. His "servants go forth," as he told my friend, the other day, "to make proselytes out of the Mormons," and so far as I am acquainted they have not converted to their faith, one person who had not before been influenced or baptised into what we call the pure Mormon doctrine.

The fire, having whispered so close to this "little horn of Daniel" three times, one more such will be mighty apt to put him into a bad fix. His pompous course in religion, and assumption if power, have put him over the bay of the sects of the day, and even infidelity is bewattled. A Dutch gander, by the name of Schwackhammer, has capt this new scheme of grace, by heading an epistle in the year "1" of the Kingdom of Gof -- Rigdon carries the same idea when he says "the 'church of Christ' was oeganized in April last." I must say, though I am no Mormon they carry the joke too far for their own good.

The Book of Mormon and of Covenants, of which they make much ado, must have remained a dead letter about fourteen years, while Rigdon was sitting on his eggs to hatch out the "Kingdom of God," (as he calls it,) in this city. The Lord preserve us from another such a hatching! Two or three of the brood, pin feathered thorough-go-nimbles, are rather flying into that great rejected's arrangements of spiritual regularity: I mean his "evangelists." They had a brush the other day, who was greatest, and who was the real Johns.

They have to "cut and cover" at a severe rate about "marrying and giving into marriage," or rather not marrying nor give in marriage, nor respecting marriage in extreme unction.

I do not know how they acted when they pretended to be Mormons, but I tell you in sober earnest, I shall soon be able to send you terrible things from the "kingdom" of Pittsburg, and wonderful doings in the church of Christ.

But one opninion prevails here, and that is, that Rigdon is a base synciphant -- every paragraph he writes shows it.

The water is so low in the Ohio that much business is heavy. Building progresses, and the most of the sufferers by the fire, are doing as well as could be expected.
                        Yours &c.
                                   S***** S*****

P. S. I dreamed, (while thinking of Rigdon,) one night the following: that a great eagle built a nest in the crotch of a large oak. He carried from living trees, sprigs of cedar, rose of sharon, fir, &c., and stuck the ends into the water that was under his nest in the crotch, by which they retained their verdure and beauty for a time, in connection with the grandeur of the tree; but about the time the eagle was hatching his eagles, the owner of the forest, seeing the "axe was laid at the root of the tree," took it up and girdled the tree, which withered and died, and so died the sprigs, and the young eagles were scorched with the heat of the sun and died also. The old eagle was filled with wrath, and seeing a great snake passing beneath, he lit upon him and fastening his talons in him, was furiously hurled into a coal mountain, from whence I saw a few feathers rise up in a large volume of smoke. I awoke much surprised! Who can interpret the dream? Will any one try in Nauvoo?

If Nauvoo does not interpret the dream, I shall call upon the chaldeans, astrologers, soothsayers, and magicians of Pittsburg; for the dream is certain and the interpretation thereof sure.

Mr. Editor: --

If you think the following thoughts of mine worth laying before the public, you are at liberty to publish them.

I have been able of late by the aid of Divine Providence, to solve two problems of scepticism, which have been the main pillars of my unbelief in Christianity during the last ten years. It has been affirmed I believe by the best informed Sceptics, that if believers in the Bible could only show a logical analogy, in relation to Bible miracles, and the laws of nature; they would become believers in the whole Christian system. This is the ground at any rate upon which I have always stood.

The first pillar is, that it is impossible for any cause ever to perform a real miracle, for this reason; if we once admit of a miracle being performed, it amounts to a tangible truth. Now take notice of the rock on which I split. I have always supposed that a miracle amounted when performed, to a positive contradiction of some known truth or law of nature, which by the sceptical school I believe is considered a physical impossibility; but this is not the case. The principles that heal, are on the first principles of that healing art, that raises the dead to life again, and we know that it is a law of nature that all animate organized bodies tend to a speedy dissolution. This is accelerated by coming in contact with various deleterious influences, which have a tendency to destroy life. When this is the case the organic derangement is in proportion to the injury received. Now it is just as absurd to believe that the dead cannot be raised as it is to deny the healing influence of medical aid... It was this rule of faith no doubt that caused Abraham, as Paul said, against hope to believe in hope, that he might be the father of many nations.
                                   W. J. SALISBURY.

Note 1: Wilkins Jenkins Salisbury (1809-1853) was married to Katherine Smith (1813-1819), the sister of Joseph Smith, Jr., at Kirtland, in 1831 Salisbury was excommunicated from the LDS Church in 1836, but remained married to Katherine and continued to live in close proximity to the Mormons in Missouri and Illinois. See also his later letter, published in the Apr. 8, 1846 issue of the Warsaw Signal.

Note 2: For an engraved illustartion of Katherine Smith Salisbury, see the Salt Lake Tribune of June 24, 1894.


Our  Moto: -- The  Saints'  Singularity -- is  Unity, Liberty, Charity.
Vol. III. - No. 38.        Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Wed., June 25, 1845.        Whole No. 164.


On Monday evening last, at about half past 10 o'clock Irvine Hodges of Mechanicsville in this county was inhumanly murdered, in this city, about 35 yards west of this office. He had been to Burlington Iowa, to witness the trial of his two brothers who were tried for the late murder in that Territory, and returning stopped at Nauvoo for the night. Although the blows and shrieks were heard at a little distance, yet no trace of the assassin or assassins have been found. The Sheriff has offered a reward of $200, for the apprehension of the murderers.

An inquest was held immediately over the body and a verdict found as follows:

"That the deceased came to his death by violence, but by some person unknown to the Jury, and the said body has upon it the following marks and wounds inflicted by some person unknown to the Jury, and which this Jury find to have been the cause of his death, to wit: with two or three cuts and bruised on the head supposed to have been inflicted by a club, also four cuts on his left side measuring from one inch to one inch and a quarter, supposed to have been inflicted by a bowie knife."

Conviction. -- We are informed by persons who have returned from Burlington that the two young Hodges were convicted of the crime of murder, and will be executed in July, if not reprieved.


Since the publication of the last Times and Seasons, we have frequently been interrogated about the meaning of some remarks made by Eld. Wm. Smith in an article headed patriarchal, and also concerning some expressions in the editorial connected therewith; and as the nature of the office of Patriarch, does not seem to be fully understood, we thought a little explanation on this point might not be amiss.

So far as the editorial is concerned it was written rather hastily by our junior editor, W. W. Phelps, and did not come under our notice until after it was published. There are some expressions contained in it, which might have been worded better and have rendered it less subject to criticism; but he assures us that no such intention was intended to be conveyed as that which is conceived by some. And concerning Brother Wm. Smith, we are better acquainted with him, and with his views, than to believe that he intended to convey any such idea as the one which some persons would put upon, or gather from his sayings.

In regard to the office of Patriarch, William Smith has been ordained Patriarch to the church; but he is not the only Patriarch, but would act as a senior Patriarch, holding the keys of that priesthood; and his labors would be more especially connected with the church in Zion; and he would take the lead, priority, or presidency of the Patriarchal office in this place; and in this capacity if there should be a council of Patriarchs, he as a matter of course would preside by right of office. -- But every legally ordained Patriarch has the same right to bless that he has, and their administrations are just as legal as his are. Every ordinance that is administered by a legal administrator, is legal. A priest has just as much right to baptize a person for the remission of sins as an elder, a high priest, or an apostle; but he cannot lay on hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, because he does not [possess] the authority to do it; but an elder does, and an elder's administration would be just as legal as the administration of any of the before mentioned persons, or as that of the president of the church.

Every father, after he has received his patriarchal blessing, is a Patriarch to his own family; and has the right to confer patriarchal blessings upon his family; which blessing will be just as legal as those conferred by any Patriarch of the church: in fact it is his right; and a Patriarch in blessing his children, can only bless as his mouth-piece.

A Patriarch to the church is appointed to bless those who are orphans, or have no father in the church to bless them. Not as stated inadvertently, in the editorial above alluded to "to bless all, and such as have not a father to do it," for this he could not do, where the church is so extensive; the burthen burden would be too onerous; hence other Patriarchs have been ordained, both in this country, an in England, to assist the Patriarch to the church, and hence the provision made in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants: "It is the duty of the Twelve, in all large branches of the church, to ordain evangelical ministers, Patriarchs as they shall be designated unto them by revelation." Page 104. And should any of those Patriarchs remove here, they have just as much right to administer in their patriarchal office under the direction of the patriarch to the church, as an elder or priest would, who should remove from one of the branches to this place, under the direction of the presidency. Brother Wm. Smith however, "holds the keys of the patriarchal blessings upon the heads of all my people," and would of necessity have the seniority, and of course the priority and presidency; yet it would be left for those who wished to be administered to, to make their choice; just as much as it would for a candidate for baptism to choose who should administer to him.

The above is the true doctrine of the church in regard to this matter, and we speak of it for the information of the brethren at large, lest those who may have received their patriarchal blessing from other sources, or from their fathers, might be tempted to think they were of no avail, and also, to set at rest this agitated question.

We now proceed to answer some of the remarks which we have heard:

We have been asked, "Does not patriarch over the whole church" place Brother William Smith at the head of the whole church as president?

Ans. No. Brother William is not patriarch over the whole church; but patriarch TO the church, and as such he was ordained. The expression "over the whole church," is a mistake made by W. W. Phelps. He is patriarch TO the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Twelve are commanded to ordain evangelical ministers in all large branches of the church abroad, and who has charge over them, the patriarch? No. Those who ordained them, and to whom is committed the power and authority to regulate all the affairs of the churches abroad. And who has the charge of the whole priesthood here? Ans. The presidency of the church; and not the patriarch.

But does not the Book of Doctrine and Covenants say,

"First, I give unto you Hyrum Smith to be a Patriarch unto you to hold the sealing blessings of my church, even the Holy Spirit of promise whereby ye are sealed up unto the day of redemption, that ye may not fall."

Yes. But that is in regard to seniority not in regard to authority in priesthood, for it immediately follows, "I give unto you my servant Joseph to be a presiding elder over all my church," In page 110, D. C. we read "the duty of president of the office of the high priesthood, is to preside over the whole church, and to be like unto Moses." And from this it is evident that the president of the church, not the patriarch, is appointed by God to preside.

But does not the Patriarch stand in the same relationship to the church, as Adam did to his family, and as Abraham and Jacob did to theirs? No. This is another mistake which is made by our junior, and one that may be very easily made inadvertently. Adam was the natural father of his posterity, who were his family and over whom he presided as patriarch, prophet, priest, and king. Both Abraham and Jacob stood in the same relationship to their families. But not so with Father Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith, or William Smith. They were not the natural fathers of the church, and could not stand in the same capacity as Adam, Abraham, or Jacob; but inasmuch as there had been none to bless for generations past, according to the ancient order, they were ordained and set apart for the purpose of conferring patriarchal blessings, to hold the keys of this priesthood, and unlock the door, that had long been closed upon the human family: that blessings might again be conferred according to the ancient order, and those who were orphans, or had no father to bless them, might receive it through a patriarch who should act as proxy for their father, and that fathers might again be enabled to act as patriarchs to their families, and bless their children. For like all other ordinances in the church, this had been neglected; and must needs be restored. But Father Joseph Smith was not president of the church, nor the president's counsel. Nor was Hyrum Smith either president or president's counsel. He was once counsel but when he was ordained patriarch he gave it up and another was ordained in his stead, (Wm. Law) and in all probability if Br. William magnifies his calling he will not be able henceforth to attend to the duties of an apostle; but officiate in the same capacity in regard to blessing as his brother Hyrum did. Not as president of the church; but as patriarch to it.

The president of the church presides over all patriarchs, presidents, and councils of the church; and this presidency does not depend so much upon genealogy as upon calling, order, and seniority. James and Joses were the brothers of Jesus, and John was his beloved disciple, yet Peter held the keys and presided over all the church. Br. William was in the Quorum of the Twelve yet he was not president of the Twelve during his brother's lifetime, nor since; and if being ordained a patriarch would make him president of the church, it would have made Father Joseph Smith and Hyrum Smith, presidents over the church instead of Joseph.

Br. William understands the matter, and were it not for the folly of some men there would be no necessity for these remarks.

A Patriarch is what is termed in scripture an evangelist, and Br. William acts in that capacity, and God placed in the church "first apostles," not first evangelists, but the president stands in the same relationship to the church as Moses did to the children of Israel, according to the revelations.

Again, who ordained Father Smith to the office of patriarch? His son Joseph: and Father Smith ordained Hyrum, and the Twelve (of whom Br. William is one) ordained him. -- Who are appointed to ordain evangelical ministers? (See page 104 D. C.) Can a stream rise higher than its fountain? No. Says Paul, "verily the less is blessed of the better."

We think that every one will see that Br. William Smith's patriarchal office will not exalt him higher in regard to priesthood than he was before, as one of the Twelve; but will rather change the nature of his office.

But will it take any thing from his priesthood? it may be asked. No. You cannot take any man's priesthood away without transgression. Br. William will still retain the same power, priesthood and authority that he did before, and yet will hold in connexion with that the patriarchal office and the keys of that priesthood, and as one of the Twelve must maintain his dignity as one of the presidents of the church, of whom President Brigham Young is the president and head, and presides over all patriarchs, presidents and councils of the church.

Further Particulars. -- Mr. Hodges was asked by the bystanders, before he died, if he knew who had stabbed him. -- He answered, 'It was, as I supposed, my best friend.' This was repeated four or five times, but he refused to give the name till he died. Where he was assaulted are evidences if broken slivers from the rails on the fence, as if they had been earnestly engaged in conversation.

It is also rumored that a dispute was overheard, wherein Hidges claimed a portion of a large sum of money, (to pay his brothers' expenses at Burlington,) which money, it was understood, was buried in the ground at or near the mouth of the Illinois river. This may lead to something further.

Every exertion is making to ferret out the mysterious tragedy.

M U R D E R!
$200 reward!

MURDERED on the eve of the 23d inst., about 10 o'clock, in the streets of Nauvoo, Irvine Hodges of Mechanicsville in this county. The above reward will be given by me for the apprehension of the murderers.

                                          M. R. DEMING.
                                          Shff. Hancock Co.
Nauvoo, June 25, 1845.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Our  Moto: -- The  Saints'  Singularity -- is  Unity, Liberty, Charity.
Vol. III. - No. 11.        Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Wed., July 16, 1845.        Whole No. 167.


Dinner to the Smith Family -- On Wednesday last, the 9th inst., the church, through Bishops Whitney and Miller, gave the Smith family a public dinner at the Mansion. The families and 'remnants' were about as follows: --

Lucy Smith, (widow of Joseph Smith, Sen.) Mary Smith, (widow of Hyrum Smith,) John Smith, Jerusha Smith, Sarah Smith, Joseph F. Smith, Martha Ann Smith. -- Loren Walker, Lavina Walker. -- Emma Smith, (widow of Joseph Smith,) Julia Smith, David Hyrum Smith. -- Lavirn Smith, (widow of Samuel H. Smith,) Samuel Smith. -- William Smith, Mary Jane Smith, Caroline Louisa Smith. -- Agnes Smith, (widow of Don Carlos Smith.) Agnes Smith, Josephine Smith. -- William McLery, Sophronia McLery, Maria Stoddard. -- W. J. Salisbury, Catherine Salisbury. -- Arthus Milliken, Lucy Milliken. -- Asahel Smith, Betsey Smith, Elias Smith, Martha Smith. -- Silas Smith, Elizabeth Smith. -- Amos B. Fuller, Esther Fuller. -- Mary Jane Gee (widow.) -- M. Martin, Jolin H. Martin. -- Mary Smith (widow of Silas Smith,) Silas Smith, Jesse Smith. -- John Smith, Clarissa Smith, Caroline Smith, George A. Smith, Bathsheba Smith. -- A few of the children present were not named.

At about 2 p. m. the families were seated at the table... Thanks were offered to our Father in heaven, by Elder William Smith... about sundown the guests retired, to meditate upon the felicity of the "family feast."

Another Murder. -- For the lack of particulars in time, we did not mention the murder of Gen. Davenport, of Rock Island, last week. The account from one of our cotemporaries, is:

"Gen. George Davenport was murdered at his residence on Rock Island, on the fourth instant about 1 o'clock. Five persons entered the house during the absence of the family, and shot him through the thigh, mortally wounding him; and then dragged him through the house until he told them his money was, which they took with his watch; they then tied him to an armed chair and escaped, with some $600 in Missouri Bank paper. One of the persons, named Budd, was known to Gen. Davenport, and had been peowling about Rock Island with several others for four or five weeks. The Gen. lived until 9 o'clock on Friday night, when he expired, 'after having given full particulars of the robbery and murder.

One or all of the murderers have been apprehended and conveyed to Davenport, for examination."

This Gentile world, as they have it at 'the point,' is becoming quite blood thirsty.

Note: Editor John Taylor's dissimulation, in the last comment above, is palpable. The murderers of Davenport were part of the same gang of outlaws who killed John Miller and Henry Leicy in Lee County, Iowa and Irvine Hodges (within a stone's throw of Taylor's office) in Nauvoo. The gang included some rough-edged Mormon Elders (Redding, Hickman, Haight, etc.) who managed to ellude punishment and ended up in Utah. One of the accessories to the Davenport murder (Granville Young) was actually arrested at Nauvoo -- another, Jackson Redding was, arrested there, but freed by a sympathetic Mormon crowd. For more on the Mormon connections with Davenport's murder, see the Nov. 29, 1845 issue of the Lee County Democrat.


Our  Moto: -- The  Saints'  Singularity -- is  Unity, Liberty, Charity.

Vol. III. - No. 12.        Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Wed., July 23, 1845.        Whole No. 168.


Removal of the Hodges. -- By a unanimous vote of the citizens of Nauvoo, the Hodges are to be removed from the grave tard of the saints, to a place to be specially purchased for that purpose.

Note: These were the same two Mormon Hodges who were executed in Iowa for the murder of John Miller and Henry Leicy. LDS records do not show whether the brothers were officially excommunicated prior to their deaths, but the removal of their bodies from the Nauvoo cemetary fits in well with contemporary and subsequent denials by the Mormons that the brothers were members of their church. As their father was a leading member in the Pittsburgh Rigdonites, perhaps the Saints in Nauvoo considered the two brothers apostates rather than "real" Mormons.


Our  Moto: -- The  Saints'  Singularity -- is  Unity, Liberty, Charity.
Vol. III. - No. 13.        Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Wed., July 30, 1845.        Whole No. 169.


We present our readers this week with the following correspondence, for the estimation of the men whose names are to; they are worthy, though the carcass they speak of is so putrid that if the fire fails to purify it, public opinion will assume the charity to bury it.

Mr. Foster, of Pittsburg, is not a Mormon, but a gentleman in every sense of the word, and Elder Page, though he has fussed over the Guinea fowls' eggs as an experiment, is a man of merit, called and chosen to help carry salvation and the kingdom of Christ, to all the world, and honest men will honor him: so we let the 'cat jump':

                                          Pittsburgh, July 5, 1845.
Mr. J. E. Page: --

Dear Sir: I have proposed for some time addressing you a few lines to let you know how the 'cat jumps' in Pittsburgh; but some how or another I delayed until now. 'Things are not now as they used to was,' here in the holy city. We have been used up and salted down, by the late fire, together with [disasters?], until there is hardly a grease spot left of us. And alas! for your nest eggs, chickens and all have gone over to Rigdonism. The last of the Mohegans -- I mean the Mormons, renounced 'spiritual wifeism' as they call it, and went over body and breeches the other night. This was Mrs. Ageut, your firm friend. They said all along that they would not have her on account of her having two husbands living in this city, but on her making satisfaction to His Holiness Elder Rigdon, for some [unaccounted -----ks], she was received and immersed, and the door of Heaven opened to her, which was shut against her individually last winter by him who holds the 'keys of David.' He prophesied that she would never be buried and that her bones should [whiten?] in the streets, and that herself and her infant then dead should never enter the gates of the celestial city. This [interdiction] was pronounced against her because she said she did not believe he had authority to lead the church. But now she is a very proper person! Mrs. Hamilton and Mary Reid are also Rigdonites, so is Mathews and his wife.

Rigdon said in his prophecy that the Temple would never be built, and his followers here are strong in the belief that it will prove true. These things I suppose you are better prepared to answer than many people here. I did see in a Philadelphia paper, that the Temple was finished. But the Mormons here say it is not true. I hope you will write me and give me all the information relative to the Temple and Nauvoo that you can, so that I can show it to the saints. Rigdonism is not flourishing here, but they always say it is going ahead elsewhere; of this I don't know. I don't think the society is larger than when you were here, notwithstanding the four hundred that 'was to come from Nauvoo,' and the three hundred that 'was to come' from divers other places. Rigdon said when he came back from Nauvoo the second time that he did not know the 'spiritual wife' system was carried on there until he went back from Pittsburgh! Bah! we are not green here. Elder Hardy in his pamphlet lately published, says: 'The spiritual wife men are now no longer found denying the charge, but strenuously advocating the doctrine.' In fact, says he, 'no one who has lived in Nauvoo any length of time can deny it, unless he is a consummate scoundrel or woefully ignorant.' A hard lick that for his friend Rigdon who lay so sick five years in Nauvoo, that he could neither hear, see nor smell (!) Alas! alas! save me from my friends!

P. S. July 7. Mrs. Hamilton is dead; she was buried to-day; disease, cancer in the breast: -- finale mortification. Not faith enough to live till the coming of Christ, as all Rigdonites expect.

I conclude with sending you my kind regard.
                                          A. J. FOSTER.

P. S.  I saw a letter sent by you to Mrs. Whitmore sometime last winter, in the which you sent your respects to me. I read the letter at that time, but don't recollect much of its contents now. Mrs. Whitmore, (I suppose you know) married Elder Devine. I was at the wedding on Christmas night. They soon after applied for membership in the Rigdon church; but they would not receive them unless they would separate until Mrs. D. could get lawfully divorced from her other husband who is still living. This they agreed to do, and were admitted. Devine had a singular dream. He thought he was in the woods and Elder Rigdon was preaching to a large audience, when he exclaimed, run for your lives or the bears will be upon you. A great many 'believed not,' that the bears would come, and so were devoured, whilst Elder D., believing, clamored up a tree and was saved, together with Rigdon, who climbed up also and took a coffee pot of summel with him to refresh him while he would be on his roost. This being conclusive that Elder R. was the man to lead the church, Elder D. could sustain the Twelve no longer, and forthwith joined Rigdonism. When Devine came here he said the spiritual wife doctrine was not practiced in Nauvoo at all, and that B. Young was a lovely man, one that he would stand between and the cannon's mouth. But lo! when he turned, the same Brigham Young wanted to swap him two women for his two daughters, for spiritual wives! Thus his memory was wonderfully refreshed so soon as he united with Rigdon. I could say a great deal concerning the 'sayings and doings' of the saints in these parts; but must conclude my letter for want of room to say more. Suffice it to say, Rigdon's absurdities are no go here, save with a few who follow him. And strange as it may seem, they do.

I hope you will not neglect writing to me as I feel very desirous to hear from you. Our crops in this part of the country are not so good as usual this season; consequently things are somewhat higher, but aside from this we get along as well as common.
                           Yours truly,
                                          A. J. F.

                                                             Nauvoo, Ill., July 28, 1845.

Dear Sir: Your favor of the 5th inst., came to hand very agreeably, and after consulting my friends, it seemed advisable (and I think you will pardon me for the same,) to make the contents public, that the 'saints' as we are styled in Nauvoo, may know of the 'ups and downs' of Rigdonism. Here in Nauvoo, the '400,' the '300,' or even the 'one' regular built Rigdonite, is not easier to be found than a white blackbird. The old magicians, sorcerers, Priests of Baal, or modern nincompoops of Phantasmagoria, like Millerism, and perfectionists, hold a more conspicuous place among 'all sorts' of people, than do the peculiar doctrines inculcated by the servants of him who pretendeth to carry on his shoulder the 'key of David.'

I am pleased with your candor in giving the 'Devil his due,' and it cannot be amiss to say, 'to do good an communicate, forget not.' You will see by the course that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints take, that they do not consider Rigdon, or his followers, of the value of the ashes of a tow string, or a burnt sheet of paper -- when the burning is over what will be left?

As to Nauvoo, it goes ahead with union, communion, and peace. The Temple is finishing as fast as possible. The roof is on and the steeple, to the Belfry, 130 feet from the ground, is up. All the hands that can conveniently labor, are busy, and a blessed season they have too. Nauvoo and its vicinity, looks like a sea of gardens and grain-fields. The Nauvoo House is going on rapidly. In fact, as a stranger observed the other day: -- 'It is easy to observe where the power is, for whatever the real Latter Day Saints set their hands to, goes ahead and God blesses the work.' So, Mr. Foster, I can bear testimony to the fact, it goes ahead and God prospers it, and having taken the liberty to publish your letter, I have concluded it would be no harm to let my answer follow it, praying the Lord of the whole earth, to bless whatever in either may tend to better the condition of man, not thinking Rigdonism of any more consequence than the fog of the morning which a light breeze scatters, or a warm sun dries up, leaving not even the 'egg shell.' The Latter Day Saints have every thing to rejoice them, and Almighty God to sustain them. and who can ask more?
                                        Respectfully yours,
                                                             J. E. PAGE.

Mr. A. J. Foster.

P. S.  I forgot to say, that we have one of the most fruitful seasons I ever witnessed, almost a double crop. Even the rumbling of Rigdonism at as great a distance as Pittsburgh, garnished with the old musty flowers of 'spiritual wifery,' with the thorns pricking through the frail covering, with all that terrible litter of Guinea fowl chickens from my 'old nest' to cry 'o do'ent! o do'ent! they'r pi'sen! they'r pi'sen!' -- has not influenced the Lord to turn away his goodness from his people, and so we have given the Rigdonites a fair chance to go one full Rig-a-doon, naked before this generation, that they manifest their own shame, and fester in their own folly.
                                                             J. E. P.

Note: Although Apostle John E. Page attempts to put a fair face upon his religious defeat in Pittsburgh, the fact remained that the once fruitful field for Mormon conversions had disappeared, along with all of his former Brighamite brethren. Not only had Rigdon managed to displace Page as the "Presiding Elder" in the Iron City, the Rigdonites had so messed up Page's former work there that it was useless to send Twelveite missionaries back to that city and the regions round about. Also, although Page dismisses Rigdonism as inconsequential to the Later Day Saints (a few too many times it seems), he does not dare to discuss in any detail what the Rigdonites, Strangites, and other dissenters were revealing about Mormon polygamy in Nauvoo. The Twelve must have felt some pressure to at least mention the polygamic charges being made against them, but then Page dismisses the whole problem as "the old musty flowers of 'spiritual wifery.'" It is not unreasonable to conclude that the exposures of Mormon secrets then being made by the Rigdonites and the Strangites were costing the Twelve dearly in terms of new American converts and in terms of losing some of their own to "the apostates." Otherwise, Page and his apostolic brethren would have not even bothered to print the kinds of charges alluded to in Foster's letter.


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last updated: Apr. 2, 2012