The Project Gutenberg eBook of History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Volume 6

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Title: History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Volume 6

Creator: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Author: B. H. Roberts

Jr. Joseph Smith

Release date: November 22, 2019 [eBook #60758]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by the Mormon Texts Project (




History of Joseph Smith, the Prophet,

By Himself.

Volume VI.

An Introduction and Notes


B. H. Roberts

Published by the Church.

Salt Lake City, Utah,





The Time Period.
Why the Latter-day Saints were Welcomed to Illinois.
Nauvoo as a Possible Manufacturing Center.
Educational Measures at Nauvoo.
Jealousy of Nauvoo's Promising Greatness.
The Character of the People of Western Illinois.
Educational Status of the People of Western Illinois.
The Political Phase.
Mischief Arising from False Legal and Political Counsel.
Subserviency of Politicians and Lawyers.
The Fate of a Balance of Power Factor in Politics.
Joseph Smith's Candidacy for the Presidency.
Missouri as a Factor in the Affairs of Nauvoo.
Apostate Conspirators at Nauvoo.
The Expositor Affair.
The Appeal to the Mob Spirit.
The Prophet's Nobility in the Hour of Trial.
Prophet and Patriarch.



Minutes of the Manchester Conference.
"Joe Smith, the Mormon Prophet."
Preamble and Resolutions.
Historical Sketch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Important Conference of the Twelve held at Boylston Hall, Boston.



The Drought of 1843.
Woodruff in a Train Wreck.
Nauvoo and Joseph Smith.
The Prophet on Socialism.
"Nauvoo Mansion."
"Nauvoo Mansion" made a Hotel.
Legion Parade and Inspection.
Letter of Governor Ford to the Prophet.
Conference in Nova Scotia.
Porter Rockwell.
Pacific Island Mission.
Report from the Pinery.
Stewardship vs. Common Stock.
Concerning Horse Thieves.
Meeting of a Special Council.
Who shall be our next President?.
The Appointment of a Mission to Russia.
{IV} Movements of Apostles in the East.
Pleasure Party and Dinner at the Nauvoo Mansion.
Elder Reuben Hedlock to the First Presidency.
The Prophet's Visit with Justin Butterfield.
Instructions Respecting Plurality of Wives.
The Prophet's Dissatisfaction with Sidney Rigdon.
Minutes of a Special Conference.
The Prophet's Remarks on the Demise of James Adams.
Pacific Island Mission Embarks.



Ancient Ruins—Introduction.
Letter—H. R. Hotchkiss to Joseph Smith.
Letter—Joseph Smith to H. R. Hotchkiss.
Location of the Mind.
The Prophet on the Constitution of the United States and the Bible—Temporal Economies.
The Prophet's Visit to Macedonia.
Misrepresentations Corrected.
Labors of the Apostles in the East.
Hyrum Smith Appointed on Temple Committee.
Letter—Joseph L. Heywood to Joseph Smith.
Letters to Candidates for Presidency of the U. S. Decided upon.
An Epistle of the Twelve to the Elders and Churches Abroad.
President Smith's Letter to John C. Calhoun, and other Presidential Candidates.
Post Script to Van Buren.
Work in the British Mission.
The Prophet's Anxiety Concerning the History of the Church.
Preliminary Steps to Publishing Nauvoo Edition of Doctrine and Covenants.
Communication of President Joseph Smith to the Saints.



Prosperity of the Work in England.
Letter—James Arlington Bennett to President Joseph Smith.
Letter—President Joseph {V} Smith to James Arlington Bennett.
Grammar for the Egyptian Language Suggested.
Meeting at the Prophet's Home.
Canal Around the Des Moines Rapids.
The Prophet's Stand on Chastity and General Morality.
Letter—Brigham Young in Behalf of the Twelve to Elder John E. Page, Appointing him to go to Washington.
Renewal of Petitions to Congress.
Activities in Renewal of Appeals to Congress.
President Smith's Appeals to his Native State—Vermont.
Letter: W. L. D. Ewing, State Auditor, to Major John Bills—Legion Affairs.
Letter: J. Lamborn, Attorney General of Illinois, on Above.
Letter: J. N. McDougal to State Auditor.



Progress of the Work.
Hyrum Smith meets with an Accident.
Number of the Prophet's Vexations Lawsuits.
Chapman's Affidavit in the Avery Case.
Letter: President Joseph Smith to Governor Ford.
Public Meeting at Nauvoo.
Provisions for German Meetings.
Precautionary Steps Against Missouri Invasions.
Richards and Lewis Affidavit.
An Order to the City Marshal.
The City Marshal's Reply.
Mayor's Order to the Commander of the Nauvoo Legion.
Special Ordinance in the Prophet's Case, vs. Missouri.
Petition for Nauvoo to be Placed Under the General Government.
Public Meeting at Nauvoo.
Letter of Wilson Law to Joseph Smith.
Avery Case—a Reminiscence of Missouri Days.
Affidavit of Sissiou Chase.
Letter: Joseph Smith to Governor Ford.
Nauvoo's Police Force Enlarged.
Letter: Joseph Smith to John Smith.
Ordinance Enlarging Police Force.
Ordinance on the Personal Sale of Liquors.
Public Meeting at Nauvoo—the Aggressions of Missouri.
Letter: Governor Ford to President Smith.
Comment of the Prophet on Gov. Ford's attitude.
A Sudden Illness of the Prophet.
Comment on Appeal to the General Government for Protection.
The Trial of John Elliott.
Legion Aid Applied for.
Detachment of the Legion Ordered into Service.
{VI} Affidavit of Willard Richards that Nauvoo was in Danger.
Legion Ordered into Service—Moves and Counter Moves of Forces.
Strange Celestial Phenomena of 1860.
Affidavit of Amos Chase.
Affidavit of Philander Avery.
Affidavit of the Hamiltons.



The Prophet for a Clean, Orderly City.
Memorial of the City Council to Congress.
An Ordinance.
Letter: W. W. Phelps to J. White.
Attitude of Prophet on Mobocracy and Politics.
A Christmas Serenade.
Rockwell's Return to Nauvoo.
Rockwell's Experience in Missouri.
Release of Daniel Avery.
A Plan for Women's Subscription to the Temple.
Prophet's Joy at the Return of Rockwell and Avery.
Mr. Rockwell—Editorial.
Affidavit of Orson Hyde.
Affidavit of Daniel Avery.
Joseph H. Jackson—Prophet's Interview with.
Police Force of Nauvoo Increased.
Address of the Mayor to the Nauvoo Public.
The Mayor Blesses the Police.
Letter to Governor Ford.
Pro et con Mormonism, Publications.



New Years at Mansion.
Letter: John C. Calhoun to Joseph Smith.
Letter: Joseph Smith to John C. Calhoun.
Release of Pugmire and Cartwright from Prison, England.
{VII} Cartwright—Drowning.
Difficulty of William Law et al. with the Police.
Reconciliation of the Prophet and William Law.
Repartee of Joseph and Emma Smith.
Alarm of William Marks.
Special Sessions of the City Council.
Reflections of the Prophet as to Traitors in High Places.
Disgraceful Affair at Carthage.
John Smith, Uncle of the Prophet, Ordained a Patriarch.
Special Sessions of City Council—Complaints of Carthage Citizens Considered.
Complaints of F. M. Higbee Against the Prophet.
Conference in Michigan.
Threats of Francis M. Higbee.
Letter: the Twelve Apostles to the Saints at Morley Settlement—Material Help Asked for.
Appeal to the State of Maine.
Francis M. Higbee on Trial—Reconciliation with the Prophet.
An Ordinance Concerning the Sale of Spirituous Liquors.
An Ordinance Concerning Witnesses and Jurors' Fees.
Assault upon Nelson Judd.



Discourse: The Sealing Power in the Priesthood.
Nauvoo Mansion Leased.
Sale of the Printing Establishment to John Taylor.
Importance of Elders Keeping Journals.
The Presidential Election Considered.
The Prophet on the Campaign.
Commencement of Prophet's Views on Powers and Policy of U.S.
Governor Ford's Warning to the People.
Winchester's Mission to Warsaw.
Preparation of Rigdon's Appeal to Pennsylvania.
An Appeal to Massachusetts—Phinehas Richards.
The Prophet's Dream—Troubled Waters Overcome.
Mormon Improvement.
The 144,000 Selection Begun.
Architecture of the Nauvoo Temple.
Originality of The Prophet's Bank Views.
Views of the Powers on the Government of the United States—Joseph Smith.



Views of the Prophet on his Candidacy for President of United States.
Public Meeting.
Letter: Joseph Smith to Joseph L. Heywood.
Who shall be our Next President?.
Pacific Inuendo.
Anti-Mormon Convention at Carthage.
Delegation from Lyman Wight on Indian Affairs.
Western Movement for the Church Contemplated.
The Prophet on the Necessity of Complete Obedience to God.
Minutes of a Council of the Twelve.
The Western Exploring Equipment.
A Prophecy of the Deliverance of the Saints.
The Case of Botswick's Slander of Hyrum Smith.
For President, Joseph Smith.
A Reply Sketched to Cassius M. Clay.
The High Council to the Saints in Nauvoo.
Minutes of a Council Meeting.
Letter: Willard Richards to James Arlington Bennett.



Special Session of the City Council.
Packard's Memorial to Legislature of Massachusetts.
Minutes of a General Meeting in the Interest of the Temple.
Arrival of William Kay and Company of English Saints.
James A. Bennett Ineligible for Vice-President U. S.
A Friendly Hint to Missouri.
St. Louis' Comment on the Prophet's Candidacy.
Copeland, Tennessee, Considered as Candidate for Vice-President.
Matter of Wharfage.
Death of King Follett.
King Follett's Biography.
Discourse of the Prophet on.
Letter: Lyman Wight to the First Presidency.
Letter: Lyman Wight to President Joseph Smith Suggesting a Southwest Movement for the Church.
Special Council Meeting on Wight and Miller Letters.



Credentials of Orson Pratt as Agent for the City of Nauvoo.
Co-operative Store Planned.
Credentials of Elder Amos Fielding on Departing for England.
John Wilkie, the Blessing upon him.
Status of Nauvoo in the Spring of 1844.
Wind Storm at Nauvoo.
General Joseph Smith a Candidate for President.
New Candidate in the Field.
Origin of Memorial to Congress.
The Seventies' Hall, Instruction on Rebuilding.
President Smith's Interview with Mrs. Foster.
Discourse of President Smith—Conspiracies in Nauvoo.
Progress on Memorial to Congress.
The Prophet's Memorial to Congress.
Affidavit of Abiathar B. Williams.
Affidavit of M. G. Eaton.
The Robbery at Rollasson's Store in Nauvoo.
Memorial to the President of the United States.
Credentials of Orson Hyde.



Comments on the Negro Chism's Case.
The Higbee Brothers in Trouble.
Counter Move of the Higbees.
Conference in New York.
General Conference Minutes of the Church.
Opening Address of President Joseph Smith.
Elder Sidney Rigdon.



Address of Elder Hyrum Smith, Patriarch of the Church—Plans suggested to secure Means for Completing the Nauvoo Temple.



President Joseph Smith's Remarks—the whole of America Zion.
Special Meeting of Elders.
Address of Brigham Young.
North and South America Zion.
Address of Hyrum Smith, the Patriarch.
Address of Heber C. Kimball.
Brigham Young's Instruction to the Elders.
Comment of President Smith on the Conference.
A General Conference in England.



Excommunication of the Laws Fosters, et al.
Violence of the Fosters and Higbees.
The Foster-Higbee Embroilment.
Letter: Brigham Young and Willard Richards to Reuben Hedlock.
Letter: Parley P. Pratt to Joseph Smith, et al.
The Prophet's Petition for Writ of habeas corpus.
Order of the Municipal Court.
The People of the State of Illinois to the Sheriff of Hancock County.



Theatricals in Nauvoo.
President Joseph Smith's Address—Defense of his Prophetic Calling.
Nauvoo and President Smith—Neighbor Editorial.
Letter: Elder Orson Hyde's Report of Labors in Washington.
Letter: Orson Hyde's Second Letter from Washington Anent the Western Movement of the Church.
Letter: Henry Clay to the Prophet.
The Prophet's Answer to Clay's Letter.
Status of Affairs at Nauvoo.
Withdrawal of William Smith as Candidate from the Legislature.
Session of Municipal Court—Case of Jeremiah Smith.
Letter: William Clayton, Describing the Farcical Proceedings of the Court at Dixon in the Case of Joseph Smith.
Steamboat Election.



State Convention at Nauvoo.
Synopsis of the Remarks of Hon. John S. Reid.



Court Session at Carthage.
Letter: George A. Smith to Times and Seasons.
Visit of Sac and Fox Indians to Nauvoo.
Address of the Prophet to the Indians.
Hyrum's Caution to the Prophet on the Freedom of Speaking.
Letter: Central Campaign Committee to Hugh Clark, Esq.
Reported Indictment of the Prophet.
Letter: Willard Richards to Orson Hyde.
Editorial Comment.
Conference in Jefferson Co., N. Y.
Conference, Dresden, Tenn.
Threat to Kidnap Jeremiah Smith.
{XII} President Smith Voluntarily Goes to Carthage to Meet Indictments.
The Return to Nauvoo.



Arrest of Jeremiah Smith by U. S. Authority.
Letter: D. S. Hollister to Joseph Smith.
Municipal Court—Case of Jeremiah Smith.
Municipal Court Minutes in the Case of Jeremiah Smith.
Letter: Joseph Sith to Judge Pope, Introducing Jeremiah Smith.
Affidavit: H. T. Hugins Anent Threat to Bring Dragoons Against Nauvoo.
Joel H. Walker to Joseph Smith—Proposes to Join Prophet in Western Volunteer Movement.
Letter: Joseph Smith to Joel H. Walker.
Conference at Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Conference at Glasgow, Scotland.
Letter: "Horace" to President Joseph Smith—Threatened Invasion of Nauvoo.
Letter: Joseph and Hyrum Smith to Mr. Tewkesbury—Seeking to Restore Latter to Fellowship.
Prosecution of the Laws and Fosters Discussed.
Letter: Joseph Smith to I. Daniel Rupp—Book on Religious Sects.
Prophet's Conversation with Dr. Foster.
First Number of the Expositor.
Conference at Pleasant Valley Michigan.



Nauvoo Expositor Before Nauvoo City Council.
Ordinance on Libels.
Ordinance Concerning Libels and for Other Purposes.
Synopsis of Proceedings in the City Council Against the Nauvoo Expositor.
Prospectus of the Nauvoo Expositor.
Letter: L. W. Hickock to Joseph Smith—Probability of Indictment of the Prophet et al. at Springfield.
Letter: H. T. Hugins to Joseph Smith—Warning the Prophet of Probable Indictment.



The People of the State of Illinois to all Constables, Sheriffs and Coroners of the State.
The Prophet Asserts his Rights Under the Law.
The Prophet's Petition for Writ of habeas corpus.
Petition of the Prophet Granted.
Hearing on the Expositor Affairs Before the Municipal Court at Nauvoo.
Letter: Washington Tucker to President Smith—Asking that Elders be Sent to Arkansas.
Letter: Joseph Smith to Washington Tucker, Promising that an Elder should be Sent.
Retributive Justice.
Further Action of Municipal Court on Expositor Case.
The Prophet's Dreams on Condition of Apostates at Nauvoo.
Threats of Carthage Mob Against Nauvoo.
Mass Meeting at Warsaw.
Letter: Joseph Smith to Governor Ford—Explaining Action of City Council in Proceedings in Expositor Affairs.
Letter: John M. Bernhisel to Governor Ford—Confirming Correctness of the Prophet's Report of Expositor Affairs.
Letter: Wakefield to Governor Ford—Anent the Expositor Affair.
The Prophet's Advice on Giving up Arms.
Letter: A. Ladd to Joseph Smith.



Conference in Michigan.
Sermon by the Prophet—the Christian Godhead—Plurality of Gods.
Advice of Judge Thomas on Expositor Affair.
Inquiry of Delegation from Madison.
Letter: Joseph Smith to Governor Ford—Inviting the Governor to Nauvoo.
Affidavit: Mob Movements.
Letter: Isaac Morley to Joseph Smith—Mob Threats.
Letter: Joseph Smith to Isaac Morley—Instructions on Resisting Mob.
Minutes of a Public Meeting at Nauvoo.
Letter: John Smith to Joseph Smith, Accompanying Delegation {XIV} to the Prophet.
Letter: Joseph Smith to John Smith—Instructions in Case of Mob Violence.
Letter: Hyrum Smith to Brigham Young—Calling Home the Twelve.
Arrest of the Prophet et al. for Destroying the Expositor Press.
Minutes of the Trial of Joseph Smith et al. Before Esquire Wells—Expositor Affair.



Affidavit of Stephen Markham—Nauvoo to be Attacked.
Order to the Legion.
Legion Placed at Command of City Marshal.
Letter: H. T. Hugins to Joseph Smith—Probable Indictment of the Prophet at Springfield.
Charge of Threats Against Foster's Life.
Declaration of Martial Law.
Affidavit: Truman Gillett—the Treachery of William Law.
Letter: Joseph Smith to H. T. Hugins—Congratulating Jeremiah Smith on his Release.
Governor Ford's Treatment of the Mob.
Threats Against the Prophet's Life.
Affidavit, Canfield and Belknap—Concerning Threats of Invasion from Missouri.



Effort to Draft Chester Loveland into Mob Service.
Roads Leading into Nauvoo Picketed.
Affidavit: Call, Evans, and Horner—Treatment of Nauvoo Committee by Levi Williams et al.
Preparations for an Attack.
Report of Dr Southwick.
Affidavit: Carlos W. Lyon.
An Appeal to President Tyler.
Affidavit: Mont and Cuningham—Attempt to Draft them into Mob Service.
Affidavit: Allen T. Wait—Attempt to Draft him into Mob Service.
Affidavit: Isaac Morley et al.—Attempt to Draft into Mob Service.
Affidavit: Hancock, Garner, Lofton—Attempt to Draft them into Mob Service.
Affidavit: James Guyman—Threats of Invasion from {XV} Missouri.
Affidavit: Obediah Bowen—Attempt to Draft him into Service of Mob.
Affidavit: Alvah Tippetts—Violence of John Williams Upon.
Reinforcement for Nauvoo from Ramus.
Letter: Joseph Smith to Ballantyne and Slater—Advice on Moving into Nauvoo.
Affidavit: Greene and Bernhisel—Threatened Invasion from Missouri.
Letter: Willard Richards to James Arlington Bennett—Affairs in Nauvoo—Western Movement.



The Apostles Called Home.
A Prophecy—No Gun Fired on Part of Saints.
Letter: Robert D. Foster to John Proctor—Fragment—Instruction as to Property.
Hyrum Smith's Fidelity to the Prophet.
Letter: Governor Ford to Mayor and Council of Nauvoo, Asking Representatives to Meet him at Carthage.
Joseph H. Jackson at Nauvoo.
Letter: Joseph Smith to Governor Ford—Submitting Documents.
Affidavit: John P. Greene—Joseph H. Jackson Threatens Prophet's Life.
Affidavit: Joseph Smith—Conspiracy Against Affiant's Life.
Affidavit: Joseph Jackson—Francis M. Higbee's Threat to Kill the Prophet.
Affidavit: Joseph Jackson—Reporting Mob at Pilot Grove.
Letter: Joseph Smith to Governor Ford—Inviting the Governor to come to Nauvoo and investigate Conditions.



Orders from Nauvoo's Entrenchment.
Affidavit: Edward Robinson—Threats Against Nauvoo.
Affidavit: James Olive—Mob Movements on the Carthage Road.
Affidavit: George G. Johnston—Militia Under Governor to Move on Nauvoo.
Affidavit: Gideon Gibbs—Mob on La Harpe Road.
Affidavit: Luman H. Calkins—Nauvoo {XVI} Conspiracy Against The Prophet's Life.
The Prophet's Life.
General Orders.
A Petition to hear the Prophet Speak.
Letter: Governor Ford to Mayor and City Council of the City of Nauvoo.
Letter: Joseph Smith to Governor Ford—Defending the Action of the City Council in the Expositor Affair.



Governor Ford's Biased Judgment.
Elder John Taylor's Account of Interview with Governor Ford at Carthage.



The Warning to Flee to the Rocky Mountains.
Preparations for the Western Movement.
Arrival of the Constable's Posse.
Emma's Message to the Prophet.
Consultation with Rockwell.
Letter: Joseph and Hyrum Smith to Governor Ford—Consenting to go to Carthage.
Letter: Joseph Smith to H. T. Hugins—Engaging Counsel.
Letter: Joseph Smith to J. R. Wakefield—Soliciting Latter's Attendance as Witness.
The Prophet Returns to Nauvoo.
Vacillation of Governor Ford.
Certificate: Captain Anderson—on Retention of People in Nauvoo.
Letter: Ed. Johnston to Joseph Smith—About Counsel.
Preparations for Going to Carthage.
Defendants in the Expositor case.
Incidents en route for Carthage.
Meeting with Captain Dunn.
A Pathetic Prophecy.
Dunn's Request that the Prophet Return to Nauvoo.
Letter: Joseph Smith to Governor Ford—Explaining his Return to Nauvoo.
Order: Joseph Smith to General Dunham—Complying with Governor Ford's Demand for State Arms.
Messengers sent to Carthage.
Surrender of State Arms.
The Prophet's Farewell to his Family.
Looking Back—Sadness.
Letter: Messrs. Reid and {XVII} Woods to Joseph Smith—Documents for Defense.
The Prophet's Arrival at Carthage.
The Governor Pacifies the Mob.
The Apostates at Carthage.



The Governor's Pledge of Protections.
The Arrest for Treason.
Writ of Arrest for Treason.
Governor Ford's Speech to the Prophet.
The Prophet's Request for an Interview with Governor Ford.
The Prophet Presented to the Troops.
Revolt of the Carthage Greys.
Threats of Apostates to Plunder Nauvoo.
Letter: the Prophet to Emma Smith—Governor Ford Going to Nauvoo.
The Prophet's Warning to Rockwell.
The Prophet's Interview with Militia Officers.
Law Cannot Reach Them, Powder and Ball must.
Arraigned on the Expositor Affair.
Prophet et al. Bound Over to Circuit Court.
The Sureties for the Prophet.
Another Warrant Sought—Daniel's Kingdom and Treason.
Illegal Imprisonment of the Smith Brothers.
Gov. Ford Refuses to Interfere with Illegal Proceedings.
Elder Taylor's Remonstrance with Gov. Ford.
Elder Taylor Takes Independent Action.
In Carthage Jail.



Messages to the Governor.
Letter: Joseph Smith to Governor Ford—Soliciting an Interview.
Word from Governor Ford.
Consultation with Counsel.
Interview with Governor Ford.
Elder John Taylor's Account of Governor Ford's and President Smith's Interview.
Affidavit: Alfred Randall—Threats Against the Prophet's Life in Carthage.
Affidavit: Jonathan C. Wright—Conspiracy Against the Prophet's Life at Carthage.
Affidavit: Orrin P. Rockwell—Governor Ford in Nauvoo.
Affidavit: William G. Sterrett—Conduct of Governor Ford {XVIII} and posse while in Nauvoo.
Letter: Joseph Smith to Judge Thomas—Engaging Thomas as Legal Counsel.



The Prophet's Anxiety for his own Safety.
Hyrum as Comforter.
Status of Prisoners Under the Law.
Letter: General Miner R. Deming to Joseph Smith—Protection and Admission to Presence of the Prophet.
Effect of a False Commitment.
Threats in the Governor's Presence.
Conference of Governor Ford and Justice Smith.
Letter: Joseph Smith to Messrs. Woods and Reid—Anent Excitement in Carthage.
Joseph and Hyrum Smith Forced from Prison.
Prisoners before the Court.
Examination Postponed.
Brave Patriarch John Smith.
Pathetic Interview Between the Prophet and "Uncle John."
Letter: William Clayton to Joseph Smith—Conditions in Nauvoo.
Militia Council Meeting at Carthage.
The Last Night in Carthage Prison.
Conversation with John S. Fullmer.
Prophecy on the Head of Dan Jones.



Threats of Frank Worrell.
Governor Ford Warned of Worrell's Threats.
Jones' Warning to Governor Ford.
Boasts of the Mob.
Chauncey L. Higbee to Kill the Prophet.
Letter: Joseph Smith to Emma Smith—Prophet's Instructions as to Reception of the Governor.
Dr. Southwick's Report of the Carthage Meeting.
Appointment of the Carthage Greys to Guard the Prisoners.
Wheelock's Remonstrance to Governor Ford.
Arms Given to the Prisoners.
Reflections of the Prophet on Exposing Wickedness.
The Prisoners' Message to Friends in Nauvoo.
The Prophet's Dream of his Kirtland Farm.
Testimony of Joseph and Hyrum to the Book of Mormon.
Letter: Postscript.
Governor Ford Warned of the Conspiracy Against Prisoners' Lives.



Pass for Willard Richards.
Letter: Joseph Smith to O. H. Browning—Engaging Browning as Legal Counsel.
The Guard's False Alarm over the Nauvoo Legion.
Markham Forced out of Carthage.
Anxiety of the Jailor.
Wine for the Guard.
The Assault on the Jail.
The Prisoners' Defense.
Death of Hyrum Smith.
The "Handsome Fight" of Joseph Smith and John Taylor.
Taylor Wounded and Helpless.
Two Minutes in Jail.
First Message to Nauvoo.



Governor Ford in Nauvoo.
Military Display.
Departure of the Governor from the Danger Zone.
The Start from Nauvoo with the Bodies of the Martyrs.
The Address of Dr. Richards et al..
Preparation of the Bodies for Burial.
Lying in State.
The Real Burial.
Official Statement of the Martyrdom of the Prophet and Patriarch.


I. The Time Period.

The time-period covered in this sixth volume of the HISTORY OF THE CHURCH is less than one year. Nine months and twenty-eight days, to be exact; or from the 1st of September, 1843, to the 29th of June, 1844. Events within this period are therefore given in elaborate detail. The general reader and the student of our history will find in this volume a larger collection of documents, official and otherwise, covering this period, than will be found elsewhere.

This volume also closes the first Period of our Church History, the period marked off by two events: (1) the birth of the Prophet Joseph Smith; and (2) his martyrdom and that of his brother Hyrum, at Carthage, Illinois.

The Journal History of the Prophet, that great source of historical knowledge concerning the development of the New Dispensation, closes with his entry of the 22nd of June, 1844. After that, for our knowledge of the remaining events of the Prophet's life, we are dependent upon collections of data by the Church historians from public and private sources, of which collections there are two: the first extends from the 22nd of June to the 29th of that month, and forms the concluding chapters of this volume; the second begins also with the 22nd of June, and extends to the 8th of August, 1844; at which time the Twelve Apostles were sustained for the time being as the presiding council of the Church. This second collection of data by the Church historians will open Volume VII of this History.

In the present volume we see the Prophet's brave struggle against the overwhelming odds of his foes—foes within the Church, false brethren; and foes without the Church—the combination of political and sectarian enemies fixed in their determination to kill him, destroy Nauvoo, and expel the Saints from Illinois: for all these things were included in the program of the anti-Mormons of Illinois, even before the death of the Prophet was encompassed. Three score and seven years now give perspective to the stirring events in which the really great drama was enacted; and from that vantage ground of perspective said events may be reviewed to the enlightenment of those who seek to know the truth, {XXII} and the injustice of the things enacted in Illinois during the closing months of the Prophet Joseph's earthly career.

II. Why the Latter-day Saints were Welcomed to Illinois.

On the one hand, in the above mentioned struggle, was a people who but a few years before had been welcomed into Illinois as exiles from a neighboring state, the victims of a cruel and ignorant intolerance. They were welcomed, in part, because of the injustice to which they had been subjected in a neighboring state, and because their physical sufferings, arising from want of shelter and food in an inclement season of the year to which they were exposed, was such as to move adamantine hearts to pity. Also they were welcomed because, as pointed out in the Introduction to Volume IV of this HISTORY, the state of Illinois needed augmentation of her population by just such a people as the Latter-day Saints were—industrious, frugal, skilled mechanics, successful farmers, experienced men of affairs, men capable of trade and commerce, enterprising and with a larger proportion of educated men and women among them than was to be found among the people of western Illinois in those days. I do not here employ the language of adulation on the one hand, nor seek to make invidious distinctions upon the other. Either would be vain, since the well-known and accepted facts of history would disprove the declarations made if not founded in truth. The fact is, however, that all that is claimed above for the Missouri exiled Latter-day Saints is true and well-attested by their achievements in settling Nauvoo, which in four years rose from a ware-house or two and a few half tumbledown shacks on the banks of the river, and called "Commerce," to the dignity of being the first city in Illinois in population and commercial enterprise, and also gave promise of developing into a manufacturing center of great importance. This last item was evidenced in the fact that the founder of Nauvoo, President Joseph Smith, and the Nauvoo city council appreciated the possibilities in the water power of the Lower Des Moines Rapids in the Mississippi, at the head of which the city was located. Reference to his journal entry for the 23rd of September (this volume, p. 80) will witness that he suggested that a petition be sent to the national Congress for the construction of a canal around the rapids to overcome the obstruction for the free passage of river craft, which the rapids prevented during the low water period of each year, and thus enhance the value of the great stream to the inland commerce of the west.[1] Reference again to President Smith's journal {XXIII} entry for the 8th of December, 1843 (this volume, p. 103) will disclose the fact that he gave instruction in the forenoon to his clerk to draw a plan for a dam in the Mississippi; and that in the afternoon of the same day the city council met and passed an ordinance authorizing Joseph Smith to "erect a dam of suitable height to propel mills and machinery from any point within the limits of said city, and below the Nauvoo House;" also in connection with this dam to construct a "harbor or basin for steamboats and other craft;" and to construct docks, wharfs and landings," the wharfage fees to be "regulated by ordinance of said city (this volume p. 106).

III. Nauvoo as a Possible Manufacturing Center.

What further contributed to the promise that Nauvoo would be a great manufacturing center as well as the center of an immense agricultural region with a splendid commercial outlet, was the fact that artisans and tradesmen of the very first order in skill, were rapidly gathering into the city, not only from the New England and other Eastern states of our own country, but also from the British Isles. It was inevitable if let alone that Nauvoo would become the greatest manufacturing center of Illinois, and among the first of such cities in the United States. The Prophet did not live to see even a commencement made upon these large enterprises he had conceived, but subsequently his zealous followers organized a company to carry them to a successful conclusion under the title of "The Nauvoo Water Power Company,"[2] which began the construction of the dam on the 29th of April, 1845; but which had to be abandoned because of the hostilities that soon after increased and continued until they culminated in the expulsion of the Latter-day Saints from Illinois.[3]

{XXIV} In addition to these measures, manufacturing and agricultural associations were incorporated; also the "Nauvoo House Associations" for the erection of a hotel, ambitious to be known as the finest hostelry in the Upper Mississippi country. One of the agricultural associations, known as the "Big Field Corporation," held six sections, or three thousand eight hundred and forty acres of land east of Nauvoo; and the year following the Prophet's death the company harvested about thirty thousand bushels of corn, nearly the same amount of wheat, besides an "abundance of oats, barley, buckwheat, potatoes and other vegetables."[4]

IV. Educational Measures at Nauvoo.

And not only in material things was the superior character of Nauvoo's founders and builders proclaimed; but equally broad and comprehensive were their preparations for an educational system. By their city charter they were empowered to establish an institution of learning within the limits of the city for the teaching of the arts and sciences and learned professions, to be called the "University of the City of Nauvoo;" also a common school system for the city, all of which was in course of development even in the early years of Nauvoo's existence. And in addition to these direct educational institutions of common schools and projected university, literary and dramatic associations were organized, as also choral and band organizations for the cultivation of musical talents and to promote the pleasure and refinement of society; while the religious zeal of the community expressed itself in the rapidly rising walls of the splendid temple—soon to be the most solid and pretentious building in the state; and in the tireless missionary enterprise of the dominant Church.

{XXV} V. Jealousy of Nauvoo's Promising Greatness.

Nothing was lacking, then, in the promises of constant and rapid growth, of prosperity and future greatness of Nauvoo. Small wonder if the narrow bigotry and jealousy of small-souled men of the time and vicinity—especially those who were inhabitants of rival towns, particularly those of Warsaw and Carthage—were envious of Nauvoo's prosperity and promise of future greatness. Hitherto this element of jealousy of Nauvoo's prosperity and promise of future greatness has not been accorded the importance due to it as a contributing cause to the warfare made upon that city and the Saints. Little doubt, however, can be entertained, now attention has been called to it, but what as a contributing cause jealousy of Nauvoo stood next to religious prejudice and political distrust and hatred.

A correspondent from Fair Haven, Connecticut, to a gentleman in Nauvoo, set forth this matter most convincingly. An excerpt of the letter was published in the Nauvoo Neighbor of August 7th, 1844. It is proper to say that the writer was not a member of the Mormon Church; "but," as the editor of the Neighbor describes him, "a citizen of Connecticut, loving law and liberty and life;" and now the paragraph dealing with the point under discussion:

"It is now known here that the lazy speculators of Warsaw, and the still lazier office drones at Carthage, cared nothing for Joseph Smith personally, or for his tenets either; but the prosperity of Nauvoo increasing as it did, beyond any former parallel, even in the western world, excited in their bosoms envy, hatred and all ungodliness. This is the true secret of all their barbarous movements against Mormonism—and they supposed by destroying the Smiths they should extinguish their religion, disperse the Mormons—depopulating and desolating Nauvoo."

Also a correspondent to the State Register published at Springfield, Illinois, speaking of Thomas C. Sharp, editor of the Warsaw Signal and the anti-Mormon disturbances in Hancock county said:

"He [Sharp] is also described as having made himself the 'organ of a gang of town lot speculators at Warsaw,' who are afraid that Nauvoo is about to kill off their town and render speculation abortive."[5]

Mr. Backenstos in January, 1845, when the repeal of the Nauvoo Charter was under discussion in the Illinois legislature, referred to this same subject in a speech on the floor of the house of representatives, in the course of which he said:

"Town rivalry had also something to do with this opposition to Nauvoo. While Warsaw was on the decline, Nauvoo was rapidly increasing {XXVI} in wealth and population; a plan to bring about a re-action was soon concocted by the leading men of Warsaw, who made one pilgrimage after another to Nauvoo, imploring the Mormon Prophet to aid them in building up a city adjoining the town of Warsaw, by settling a portion of the Mormon population in and about Warsaw, and commence the building of a new city. The bubble soon exploded, and the speculation failed. This gave rise to dissatisfaction with some who had heretofore been exceedingly polite to 'Lieutenant General Joseph Smith!'"[6]

Thus in every way, to refer back to the point of starting the discussion of this subdivision, the Latter-day Saints are proven by their achievements and the foundations they laid for the future greatness of their city, to be a superior people, and hence a desirable addition to the population of the then young commonwealth of Illinois.

VI. The Character of the People of Western Illinois.

On the other hand there was a population in western Illinois, and perhaps more especially in Hancock county, which had more than its full share of lawless and desperate men; who, as by a law of social gravitation, seek the frontiers of civilization. Moreover it is notorious that the whole upper Mississippi was a rendezvous for gamblers, counterfeiters, horse thieves, murderers and other criminals that infested the great river, which gave easy ingress and egress to a frontier wilderness on the one hand, and to such centers of population and activity, on the other, as New Orleans, St. Louis, and many minor places, besides. "I must give some account of the anti-Mormons," says Governor Ford in his History of Illinois, when referring to the inhabitants of Hancock county. "I had a good opportunity to know the settlers of Hancock county," he continues. "I had attended the circuit courts there as state's attorney, from 1830, when the county was first organized, up to 1834: and to my certain knowledge the early settlers, with some honorable exceptions, were in popular languages hard cases" (page 406). Then for a period of several years to the advent of the "Mormons" he had no means of knowing the character of the people who drifted into the country: "But," he adds, "having passed my whole life on the frontier, on the outer edge of the settlements, I have frequently seen that a few first settlers would fix the character of a settlement for good or for bad, for many years after its commencement. If bad men began the settlement, bad men would be attracted to them, upon the well known principle that birds of a feather will flock together. Rogues will find each other out, and so will honest men. From all which it appears extremely probable, that the later {XXVII} immigrants were many of them attracted to Hancock by a secret sympathy between them and the early settlers."

Indeed the governor suggests that it may have been "the promptings of a secret instinct," which led the "Mormons" to "discern their fellows" and induced them to settle in Hancock in preference to other localities open to them. All which may be regarded as an ingenious thrust at the Latter-day Saints, but which fails of reaching its mark from the fact that it was the criminal element chiefly in Hancock county's population which arrayed itself in antagonism against the Saints, and against whom they were arrayed in all their conflicts in that county. Whereas, under the governor's theory, this criminal element among the "old citizens" and the Saints should have been as hand in glove in their cooperation of encompassing evil things. But to the contrary; from the time the "Mormons" appeared on the scenes at Commerce, in 1839, until they were expelled, they steadfastly and emphatically set their faces against the evils that cursed that community, and denounced all manner of evil both as manifested in a few of their own delinquent members, apostates and camp followers who trailed after the main body of the Church from Missouri, as well as in others: such as dram-drinking, swearing, Sabbath-breaking, contracting debts under pretense of poverty and distress without any prospects or intention of paying,[7] and especially did they denounce stealing, under any and all pretexts whatsoever.[8]

And as it was largely the criminal element among the "old citizens" that was arrayed against the Saints (with unprincipled politicians and a few bigoted and jealous religious leaders added), so was it the conservative and law-abiding portion of the community among whom they had many friends; and nearly all of whom were at least so far friendly with the Saints that they could not be induced to oppose them, much less join in acts of mob violence to the injury of their persons or property; for which reason this portion of the non-Mormon population were called by the contemptuous name of "Jack-Mormons," which epithet was invented by the editor of the Warsaw Signal, Thomas C. Sharp, who also originated the term "Jack-Mason" when editing an anti-Masonic paper in western New York. In all probability it was this second name which suggested the first.

{XXVIII} VII. Educational Status of the People of Western Illinois.

Education among the masses of Hancock's non-Mormon population was of the meagrest kind. Even Mr. Gregg, the historian of the county, who always gives the best report possible of conditions, remarks, when treating of the county's educational status, that "a new country and among pioneers, is not the place where prosperous colleges and seminaries, or even high schools, are actually found. Hence common schools and, in many instances, very 'common' ones at that, were the best means of education in Hancock county in early days," But this is said of the schools of Hancock county; the greater number of the adult population, 1839-1846, which represent the years when the Saints lived in the county, had migrated from states where educational opportunities were even fewer and less advanced than in western Illinois. Even some of the men prominent in political life in the state were men of extremely limited education. "Joseph Duncan, elected governor of Illinois in 1834, and who had served four terms in Congress previous to his election as governor, had but a limited education," says Gregg.[9] And of Thomas Carlin, who was the governor of Illinois when the exiled Saints moved into the state—he had previously held many minor offices—the same authority says: "He had but a meager education."[10]

But while the above represents the educational conditions both among the masses of Hancock county and western Illinois in general, and of some of the men in public life, it is also true that there were here and there men in Hancock and surrounding counties of good education and enlightened culture, such as Stephen A. Douglas, O. H. Browning, Major Warren, John J. Hardin, General Minor R. Deming, Samuel Marshal, Judge Jesse B. Thomas, Josiah Lamborn, Governor Ford and others.

VIII. The Political Phase.

It has already been observed in these volumes (Vol. IV, Introduction) that in addition to the Latter-day Saints being welcomed into Illinois on account of their economic value in a newly and sparsely settled country, as wealth creators through their industry, frugality and skill in mechanics and husbandry, political parties of Illinois both Whigs and Democrats vied with each other in heartiness of welcome, each hoping the profit by the influx of the new population in both state {XXIX} and national elections. Hence it was possible to obtain for Nauvoo the exceptional powers that constituted her, under the letter of her charter, an autonomy within the limits of her boundaries more akin to a sovereign state than to a municipality within a state and a county. And such were the powers claimed for her by her founders.[11] Hence also that catering to the misconception and wrong interpretations of the chartered powers of Nauvoo by lawyers and politicians seeking professional and political favors of the people, which encouraged the belief that the city government was the omnipotent political power within the city limits; and that her municipal court was not only equal to, but even superior to the state courts—"for all other courts were restricted," it was contended, while the municipal court of Nauvoo was not restricted! Similar claims of absolutism were made respecting Nauvoo misled by their legal and political advisers, who gave false counsel instead of true, and who encouraged people in their prejudices and flattered their vanity rather than corrected their errors by an appeal to sound judgment and to the law.

IX. Mischief Arising from False Legal and Political Counsel.

Much mischief arose from this source. It was because of these misconceptions in respect of the character of their city government that led to the enactment of those ill advised and unwarranted city ordinances—

That made gold and silver alone legal tender within the city;

That declared Joseph Smith exempt from arrest on requisitions from Missouri founded upon the old difficulties in that state, and providing that persons making an attempt to arrest him might be taken with or without process, imprisoned for life, and might not be pardoned by the governor without consent of the mayor;[12]

That authorized the city council, marshal, constables and city watch to require all strangers entering the city or already tarrying there to give their names, former residence and for what intent they were tarrying in the city, and answer such other questions as the officers respectively deemed proper to ask; refusal to give the desired information, or giving false names or information subjected them to the same penalties as "vagrants and disorderly persons;"

That further authorized and required the above named officers to {XXX} "hail and take all persons found strolling about the city at night after nine o'clock and before sunrise, and to confine them in ward for trial under the ordinances concerning vagrants and disorderly persons, unless they could give a good account of themselves for being out after nine o'clock;"

That further authorized and required the aforesaid officers to enter all hotels or houses of public entertainment, and such other habitations as they may judge proper, and require the inmates to give immediate information of all persons residing in said hotel or habitation, and their business, occupation or movements, under penalty of forfeiture of license, if a public house, and they and the transient persons subject to the penalties visited upon vagrants for failure to give the information required, or giving false information; while the officer who should "refuse or neglect to perform the above duties should be fined $100, and be broke of his office;"

That forbade the search and seizure of person or property by foreign process [i. e. other process than that issuing from the city's authority] within the city of Nauvoo, leading to the widespread belief that the design of said ordinance was "to hinder the execution of the statutes of Illinois" within said city;[13]

That asked the general government to ratify the Nauvoo Charter, and in addition constitute the city a territorial government, by granting "all rights, powers, privileges and immunities belonging to territories and not repugnant to the constitution of the United States," with power granted to the mayor to call to his aid a sufficient number of the United States troops, in connection with the Nauvoo Legion, to repel the invasion of mobs, keep the public peace, protect the innocent from lawless banditti; the United States officers to obey the requisition of this ordinance; and the Nauvoo Legion, when in service quelling mobs and preserving the public peace, to be under the same regulations, rules and laws of pay as the troops of the United States; the territorial privileges to continue until the "state of Missouri restores to those exiled citizens [the Latter-day Saints] the lands, rights, privileges, property, and damages for all losses" they had sustained by being banished from that commonwealth;[14]

And, finally, that asserted the right of the municipal court to arrest {XXXI} process issued by the state's circuit courts, and even by the United States courts, by habeas corpus proceedings; and insisted, not only upon the right to pass judgment upon the sufficiency of writs under which arrests were made, but upon the right also to go behind the writs and try the cases upon their merits.

X. Subserviency of Politicians and Lawyers.

Blame for this political subserviency and misleading political and legal advice, may not be charged on one party more than another. If Cyrus Walker, a Whig candidate for congress, assented to the doctrine as understood by Nauvoo's leading men, that the municipal court of Nauvoo held the power under habeas corpus procedure to arrest execution of process of the state courts, as he did,[15] so, too, did Joseph P. Hoge, Democratic nominee; and even Governor Ford, when requested to call out the militia to rearrest Joseph Smith after he had been liberated from the custody of Sheriff Reynolds, agent of Missouri, under habeas corpus proceedings, took refuge behind the habeas corpus proceedings of the Municipal Court at Nauvoo. In that case the court not only inquired into the sufficiency of the writ of requisition from Missouri, and granted by Governor Ford himself, but also went back of the writ and tried the case exparte on its merits, and finally discharged the prisoner, both "for want of substance in the warrant, * * * as well as upon the merits of the case."[16] When answering the request of Missouri to rearrest Joseph Smith, Governor Ford, I say, at least took refuge behind the aforesaid proceedings of the Municipal Court to the extent of saying, in the face of that procedure, that "no process, officer or authority of Illinois had been resisted or interfered with,"[17] and therefore refused to call out the militia to rearrest President Smith.

It is but fair to Governor Ford, however, to say that in his inaugural speech of December 8th, 1842, he pointed out what he regarded as objectionable features in the Nauvoo charter, and recommended its modification,[18] and later censured the lawyers for misleading the Nauvoo city authorities in this matter, in the following passage from a letter to the Mayor and City Council of Nauvoo, under date of June 22nd, 1844.

You have also assumed to yourselves more power than you are entitled to in relation to habeas corpus under your charter. I know that you have been told by lawyers, for the purpose of gaining your favor, {XXXII} that you have this power to any extent. In this they have deceived you for their own base purposes. Your charter supposes that you may pass ordinances, a breach of which will result in the imprisonment of the offender.

For the purpose of giving more speedy relief to such persons authority was given to the Municipal Court to issue writs of habeas corpus in all cases arising under the ordinances of the city.

It was never supposed by the Legislature, nor can the language of your charter be tortured to mean that a jurisdiction was intended to be conferred which would apply to all cases of imprisonment under the general laws of the state or of the United States, as well as the city ordinances.

To which President Smith replied:

Whatever power we have exercised in the habeas corpus has been done in accordance with the letter of the Charter and Constitution as we confidently understood them; and that, too, with the ablest counsel; but if it be so that we have erred in this thing, let the Supreme Court correct the evil. We have never gone contrary to constitutional law, so far as we have been able to learn it. If lawyers have belied their profession to abuse us the evil be on their heads.[19]

XI. The Fate of a Balance of Power Factor in Politics.

Being misled by false legal and political advice was not the only misfortune of the kind perpetrated upon the Saints, first by the subserviency of, and then the betrayal by, politicians and lawyers. The hope of both parties to secure political advantage by the influx of the now Latter-day Saint population into the state has been already referred to; as also the efforts of both parties to gain their favor by granting exceptional favors to them in founding Nauvoo. When, however, the time for voting came, and the Saints voted according to their convictions of duty, or as their inclinations prompted, the defeated party or candidates blamed them for the defeat, and straightway favored the adoption of an anti-Mormon policy, which found support not only in the defeated party, but also among those who felt a grievance against the Saints on other accounts; some because Nauvoo's prosperity and constantly increasing importance as a center of population and trade and commerce was rapidly eclipsing all other towns of the state; and others, over-anxious to retard, if not destroy, a rival system on account of religious prejudice. When an anti-Mormon party took the field, pledged itself to repeal the Nauvoo charter, and to drive the Mormons from the state—as was the pledge of Joseph Duncan, Whig candidate for Governor of Illinois in 1841,[20] there was really no other course for the Saints to pursue but to combine solidly for the defeat of the candidate and {XXXIII} party making such pledges; the instinct of self-preservation impelled such a course, rather than the prompting of inclination.

For a time, as in all such cases, the party receiving the support of this practically solid Mormon vote could be relied upon to protect and defend those who had made success possible for them; but at the first indication that the hold of the favored party upon such vote is precarious, that there is a possibility that it might go to the other side,[21] naturally the ardor of their friendship, seldom or never sincere, cools; and they are as ready to combine for the destruction of their former allies as others have been. And when in addition to precariousness of hold upon those who possess the balance of power there stands up in the back ground of things the possibility that the balance of power party may become strong enough in the political subdivision in which they are located to run affairs on their own account, the likelihood of all parties combining against them becomes all the more assured. In Illinois the Latter-day Saints ran the entire political gamut of experience as a "balance of power" factor in the politics of western Illinois. The final phase of that experience had been reached when at a mass meeting held at Carthage on the sixth of September, 1843, it was—

Resolved, That as it has been too common for several years past for politicians of both political parties, not only of this county, but likewise of the state, to go to Nauvoo and truckle to the heads of the Mormon clan for their influence, we pledge ourselves that we will not support any man of either party in the future who shall thus debase himself.[22]

Politicians still sought Mormon aid to encompass their own political ends, but, as Governor Ford later remarked, "they were willing and anxious for Mormon voters at elections, but they were unwilling to risk their popularity with the people, by taking part in their favor even when law and justice, and the Constitution, were all on their side;"[22] and {XXXIV} so finally all parties turned against them, and they were at the last, as we shall see in the future volume of this history, expelled without mercy from the state.

XII. Joseph Smith's Candidacy for the Presidency.

The mischief that threatened during the Prophet's life time, and which finally befell the Saints, was clearly foreseen by the Church leaders; and the desire to escape from the threatening portents of it prompted the nomination of Joseph Smith for the office of President of the United States, in the general election of 1844. Of course there could be no hope seriously entertained that he would be elected; but, as explained by an editorial in the Times and Seasons,[23] if the Saints could not succeed in electing their candidate, they would have the satisfaction of knowing that they had acted conscientiously; they had used their best judgment, under the circumstances, and if they had to throw away their votes, it was better to do so upon a worthy than upon an unworthy individual who might use the weapon they put into his hand to destroy them. The Prophet himself evidently regarded his nomination humorously rather than seriously, except that it might result in withdrawing the Saints from the position of shuttle-cock between the battle doors of the two old political parties. "I care but little about the presidential chair," he said on one occasion. "I would not give half as much for the office of President of the United States as I would for the one I now hold as Lieutenant General of the Nauvoo Legion." Again he said: "When I get hold of eastern papers, and see how popular I am; I am afraid myself that I shall be elected; but if I should be, I would not say [i. e. to the Latter-day Saints] your cause is just but I can do nothing for you."

As a further evidence that Joseph Smith did not regard his candidacy as likely to be successful, he was, at the time of his nomination and afterwards, pushing vigorously his project of a western movement for the Church. He had drawn up a memorial and ordinance to the national congress asking to be authorized by the general government to raise one hundred thousand armed volunteers to police the intermountain and Pacific coast west from Oregon to Texas, for the purpose of assuring Texas her independence, and maintaining the claims of the United States to Oregon, and affording the whole western population of our country protection from Indian depredations; and thus contribute to the rapid settlement and development of that noble extent of country lying between the Mississippi and the Pacific Ocean. His agents, Orson Hyde and Orson Pratt, presented the matter to senators {XXXV} and representatives at Washington, and a number favored the project of the removal of the Mormons to the west, but generally urged that Joseph Smith go without seeking special authorization from the government. Reference to Orson Hyde's report of the procedure among congressmen and their views upon the subject will be found in his two important communications to the Prophet from Washington, in chapter XVI of this volume. Mr. John Wentworth, representative to Congress from northern Illinois, introduced President Smith's Memorial and Ordinance into the House on the 25th of May, to be read for the information of the House; but before the reading was concluded, objection was made, and as it required unanimous consent to have it read, further reading was prevented. A vote to suspend the rules in order that Mr. Wentworth might secure the reading of the memorial stood 79 yeas, and 86 nays, which vote gives evidence at least of a widespread desire to have the matter presented to the House.[24]

XIII. Missouri as a Factor in the Affairs of Nauvoo.

In addition to all the Illinois factors that entered into the complex situation confronting the Saints at Nauvoo, at the time of the Prophet's death, and some time previous to his arrest, was the attitude and course pursued by Missouri with reference to Nauvoo and the Saints. Disgraced as a state by her own conduct towards the Latter-day Saints, when they were inhabitants within her borders, her people were all too willing to co-operate with any party or agency that would continue to make war upon them. If the state of Illinois which with open arms had received the people that Missouri exiled from her borders, under such circumstances of cruelty, could also be brought to drive them from that state, it would be regarded, in a way, as a vindication of Missouri and the course she had taken in her treatment of the Saints, since in effect it would say, that the people of Illinois, no less than the people of Missouri, found it impossible to tolerate the "Mormons;" and therefore there must be something fundamentally wrong with them, rather than with the people of these states. Hence the anti-Mormons of Hancock and adjoining counties in Illinois, always found support in whatever of violence or wrong they planned against the Saints. Hence the constant threats of invasion of mobs from Missouri, emphasized by occasional kidnapping expeditions into Hancock county, together with frequent requisitions upon the Illinois authorities for the arrest and extradition of Joseph Smith on the old charges against him in Missouri. And these {XXXVI} Missouri threats and outrages were not among the least of the annoyances and anxieties of the Saints; and they make clear the necessity that was felt for an efficient militia force at Nauvoo. Hence the Nauvoo Legion and the lively interest manifested in its frequent musters and drills, and its thorough equipment; all of which, but for the constant danger of invasion from Missouri mobs, and the co-operation with them of like forces in Illinois, would have been inconsistent with the deportment of a religious community whose mission was one of peace and good will towards men; and who had been especially commanded to "renounce war and proclaim peace" (Doc and Cov. Sec. 98:16); and commanded also to "sue for peace," both to those who had "smitten" them—the revelation was given after the expulsion from Jackson county, Missouri—and "to all people;" and "lift up an ensign of peace, and make a proclamation of peace unto the ends of the earth" (Doc. and Cov. sec 105: 38-40). But invasions from Missouri constantly menacing them, and the danger of mob violence breaking out in Illinois, justified the organization of the Legion, and the maintenance of its efficiency by full equipment of arms and frequent drills and musters; for the right of self-preservation is not abrogated by any divine law given to the Saints; and duty to protect home and family against the assaults of the evil-disposed, presses as firmly upon the Saints, as upon those who have not definitely pledged themselves to a program of righteousness.

XIV. Apostate Conspirators at Nauvoo.

One other factor only remains to be mentioned of those that enter into that combination of forces that resulted in the death of the Prophet and the Patriarch. That is the conspiracy of apostates within Nauvoo itself.

The apostates and their sympathizers were headed by a coterie of prominent young men: The two Law brothers, William and Wilson; Robert D. and Charles A. Foster, brothers; Francis M. and Chauncey L. Higbee, brothers, and unworthy sons of that most faithful man and the Prophet's devoted friend, Judge Elias Higbee (See Vol. IV pp. 81-100 passim); Sylvester Emmons and Joseph H. Jackson. Of these, William Law was counselor in the First Presidency, and Wilson Law was a major general, and commander of one of the cohorts of the Nauvoo Legion, and all were or had been more or less prominent in the public life of Nauvoo.

The cause of their apostasy seems to have been the baneful influence of John C. Bennett's immoralities; for these men were quite generally associates of his before his flight from Nauvoo. They evidently lost {XXXVII} the spirit of the gospel, wandered through sin into spiritual darkness, and seemingly were obsessed by a murderous spirit against the Prophet who boldly revealed their wickedness and publicly denounced their conduct; and in retaliation this coterie of apostates entered into conspiracies to encompass President Smith's death, and that of his brother Hyrum. They were in communication with the Prophet's enemies in Missouri, and sought to betray him into their hands. They were among the chief actors in all schemes of opposition and conspiracies against him in the closing year of his life, including those plots which eventuated in the martyrdom of both Prophet and Patriarch at Carthage.

XV. The "Expositor" Affair.

Such are the chief factors that enter into the combination of events detailed in this volume of HISTORY and which have a direct relationship to the martyrdom of the Smith brothers. They existed as combustible materials awaiting only the spark that would set them aflame to work death and destruction.

The spark came. It came in the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor, published by the above mentioned coterie of apostates. It was the intention of the Expositor, as its name would indicate, to make an expose of alleged conditions in Nauvoo, in the moral, social, religious and political phase of them. Also to agitate for the "unconditional repeal of the Nauvoo Charter." This was a challenge to mortal combat, the issue being the life of the city of Nauvoo; and after that the question of the existence of the Church in Illinois, or even within the confines of the United States; for undoubtedly the city charter once repealed, carrying with it the disorganization of the Legion, protection for the Saints, as matters stood in 1844, both civil and military, would be gone. It was a life and death struggle then that the advent of the Expositor inaugurated. The Saints stood at such disadvantage in the proposed contest that if the Expositor was allowed to run its course it would inevitably have won its case against the city; and against the Church, so far as the latter continuing in Illinois, and perhaps as far as its continuance in the United States was concerned.

The new marriage system, involving the practice, within certain limitations and under very special conditions, of a plurality of wives, constituted a ground of appeal to popular prejudices and passions that would have been absolutely resistless if the paper had been allowed to proceed. The charter would have been repealed; the city government destroyed, or at the least modified and placed in the hands of an apostate or anti-Mormon minority whose administration would have been intolerable to the large majority of Nauvoo's citizens; and finally the {XXXVIII} scenes of Missouri would have been re-enacted in an Illinois setting.

In the presence of such difficulties, what was to be done? In addition to declaring the existence of the practice of plural marriage, not yet announced or publicly taught as a doctrine of the Church, and agitating for the unqualified repeal of the Nauvoo charter, gross immoralities were charged against leading citizens which doubtless rendered the paper grossly libelous. In other cities such an avowed enemy as the Expositor was, would have been destroyed by a mob. For the people of Nauvoo to have so proceeded would have been a departure from their principles of upholding law and order, and would have brought upon them the people of the surrounding counties, and from Missouri in overwhelming numbers. Mob violence could not be thought of; and yet the safety of the community imperatively demanded the suppression of the Expositor at any cost.

Under these circumstances the city council met and took under consideration the Expositor and the necessity of destroying it. As their charter conferred upon the city the right to remove nuisances, the city council declared the Expositor press a nuisance and directed the Mayor to have it destroyed, which he did by giving an order to that effect, and it was destroyed without riot or tumult.

The legality of the action of the Mayor and City Council was, of course, questionable, though some sought to defend it on legal grounds; but it must be conceded that neither proof nor argument for legality are convincing. On the grounds of expediency or necessity the action is more defensible. The existence of the city, the preservation of the Latter-day Saints until provision could be made for a retreat from Illinois—which retreat was even then being provided for by the Prophet in the projected movement of the Church to the west—demanded the cessation of the publication of the Expositor. By proceeding at least under the forms of law, the city council, though they might be conscious of the illegality of their action, avoided the necessity of the people resorting to mob action for self-preservation, and made it possible for the legality of their course to be determined in the courts, and the parties injured to recover compensation for the press and damages by civil process. Meantime the libelous press with its mission of destruction of the Saints at Nauvoo was silenced; and had events taken the course which the action of the city council provided, a respite would have been gained from impending violence, during which arrangements for the retreat of the Saints from Illinois could have been completed and a goal of safety won for them. Under a plea, then, of absolute necessity to self-preservation of a community, and to achieve the retreat here alluded to, and with the certainty that those injured in property by the Expositor's destruction would be fully compensated {XXXIX} in civil action before the courts—the action of the mayor and city council of Nauvoo is defensible, even if not on the ground of the legality of their procedure.[25]

XVI. The Appeal to the Mob Spirit.

Events did not take the course planned for them. The uproar that followed the destruction of the Expositor press, put all reason at defiance. At Warsaw a mass meeting was held which issued a statement, in connection with the resolutions it passed, that "A mob at Nauvoo, under a city ordinance, has violated the highest privilege in government; and to seek redress in the ordinary way would be utterly ineffectual. * * * Resolved, that we hold ourselves at all times in readiness to co-operate with our fellow citizens in this state, Missouri, and Iowa, to exterminate, utterly exterminate the wicked and abominable Mormon leaders, the authors of our troubles. * * * The time, in our opinion, has arrived when the adherents of Smith as a body should be driven from the surrounding settlements into Nauvoo. That the Prophet and his miscreant adherents should then be demanded at their hands; and, if not surrendered, a war of extermination should be waged to the entire destruction, if necessary for our protection, of his adherents. And we hereby recommend this resolution to the consideration of the several townships, to the mass convention to be held at Carthage."

The Carthage meeting held a few days later embodied the above in their resolutions, as did other mass meetings held at various places. The Warsaw Signal in its impression of June 12th, passionately said:[26]

"We have only to state that this [i. e. The destruction of the Expositor press] is sufficient! War and extermination is inevitable! CITIZENS ARISE, ONE and ALL!!! Can you stand by, and suffer such INFERNAL DEVILS! to ROB men of their property rights, without avenging them? We have no time to comment: every man will make his own. LET IT BE MADE WITH POWDER and BALL!!!"

All the combustible material to which attention is called in this Introduction was instantly aflame at the destruction of the Expositor press. Every passion was appealed to, jealousy, envy, cupidity, hatred. All the lawless elements of the community were practically invited to {XL} assemble and run riot in lawless violence, and excess of carnage and destruction of property and life. Nothing but the wholesome fear of the strength and effectiveness of the Nauvoo Legion at that time held this lawless element in check.

It was all in vain that hearings were had before the municipal court of Nauvoo, on the Expositor matter; in vain that a subsequent hearing was had before Esquire Wells, then not a Mormon and living outside of Nauvoo limits; in vain that the Nauvoo Neighbor sought to conciliate the awakening wrath that was aroused in the community, by pleading that if the city council had "exceeded the law of the land, a higher court could regulate the proceedings;" in vain that President Smith urged Governor Ford to come to Nauvoo to make personal investigation of conditions and take the necessary steps to prevent riot and war—all was in vain; preparations were in the making on all sides for an uprising against Nauvoo and the Saints, and there was nothing left but to defend the city by placing it under martial law and calling upon the Legion to resist the threatened assault, which act was made the basis for the subsequent charge of "treason."

Then followed in quick succession the demand of the governor for the Mayor and members of the City Council to come to Carthage and submit to trial under circumstances that inevitably meant death; the inspiration of the Prophet to go to the West and all would be well; the crossing of the Mississippi by the Prophet and a few trusted friends to make preparations for that journey; the accusation by false friends of cowardice on the Prophet's part, the flight as of a false shepherd leaving the flock to be devoured by wolves; the lightning-like retort of the Prophet—"If my life is of no value to my friends, it is of none to myself;" the return to Nauvoo; the subsequent going to Carthage to submit to the demands of the governor of Illinois in every particular, and the well-known story of Carthage jail—the martyrdom.

XVII. The Prophet's Nobility in the hour of Trial.

The bearing of the Prophet throughout the closing months with which this volume deals is admirable. There is no faltering or evidence of weakness at any point of his conduct. If criticized at all it would be for over-daring, for over self-confidence, that approached sublimity. Strong men through wickedness fell away from their discipleship, and conspired against him; the Prophet reproved them in the gate, and proclaimed their iniquities in public when hope of reforming them was gone. He saw mobs forming for the destruction of himself and Nauvoo and his people; he calmly prepared to meet force with force, and drilled and prepared his legion for the conflict, entrenched some of the approaches to the city, and picketed them with guards; as mayor of the {XLI} city he placed the city under martial law; and as lieutenant-general he took personal command of the Nauvoo Legion and stood ready to defend the rights of himself and his people, for which his revolutionary ancestry had fought in the war for American independence. He believed gloriously in the right of self-defense, and resistance to oppression by physical force if necessary. To his uncle John Smith at Ramus who had asked for counsel in the disturbed state of things, he wrote ten days before his death:

"I write these few lines to inform you that we feel determined in this place not to be dismayed if hell boils over all at once. We feel to hope for the best, and determined to prepare for the worst, and we want this to be your motto in common with us: We will never ground our arms until we give them up by death."

And from Carthage prison, on the morning of the day of his martyrdom, he wrote to his wife for transmission to his people:

"There is one principle which is eternal: It is the duty of all men to protect their lives and the lives of their household, whenever necessity requires, and no power has a right to forbid it, should the last extreme arrive; but I anticipate no such extreme; but caution is the parent of safety."

When the jail in Carthage was assailed, and the mob was pouring murderous volleys into the room occupied by himself and friends, the Prophet turned prom the prostrate form of his murdered brother to face death-dealing guns and bravely returned the fire of his assailants, "bringing his man down every time," and compelling even John Hay, who but reluctantly accords the Prophet any quality of virtue, to confess that he "made a handsome fight" in the jail.[27]

XVIII. Always the Prophet-Teacher.

But what was more wonderful than the manifestation of moral and physical courage and good generalship during these turbulent months of his career, was the pursuance of his duties as a teacher of religious truth—his calling as a Prophet of God. Notwithstanding he was troubled on every side, he could compose his mind to instruct the {XLII} Church on such doctrines as the complete salvation of their dead; how to proceed with the administration of all ordinances given for and in behalf of the dead; the doctrine of the resurrection and the reality of spiritual existences; the plurality of Divine Intelligences, or Gods; the nature of man's spirit; the doctrine of eternal progress for intelligences who keep the estates through which they are appointed to pass; the nature and character of the Godhead, and the relationship of man to God. All these themes and many more he dwelt upon in public discourse and private interview and written communications. He lived his life, as I have said elsewhere, in crescendo, it grew in intensity and volume as he approached its close. Higher and still higher the inspiration of God directed his thoughts; bolder were his conceptions, and clearer his expositions of them. So far was he from being a "fallen prophet" in the closing months of his career, as apostates charged, that he grew stronger with each passing day; more impressive in weight of personal character, and charm of manner; for he preserved amid all the conflicts and trials through which he passed—until the shadows of impending death began to fall upon him in Carthage prison—the natural sweetness of his nature, and the intellectual playfulness characteristic of him from boyhood—so do not fallen prophets.

* * * * * * *

Side by side on the banks of the majestic river that half encircles Nauvoo, the "beautiful," carrying with it also the idea of "rest," peacefully sleep the brothers, Joseph and Hyrum Smith, the Prophet and the Patriarch of the Church in the New Dispensation of the Gospel. Their lives were interlaced by almost daily associations from childhood to the last awful scene of martyrdom. It was therefore most fitting that they should be buried beside each other, on the banks of the "Father of Waters" in the city they had founded, where they had toiled and suffered and achieved; where their joys rose to greater heights and their sorrows sounded greater depths than falls to the lot of but few men in this world. Undisturbed may their death slumber be until it shall be ended by the trump of God, calling them forth to a glorious resurrection.

* * * * * * *

Prophet and Patriarch

In the Temple square at Salt Lake City, where tens of thousands, made up of people of nearly every nation in the world view them, stand two bronze statues, life size, on granite bases. They are the statues of the Brothers Smith, the Prophet and the Patriarch of the New Dispensation of the Gospel. On the granite basements, respectively, are bronze tablets on {XLIII} which is engraved the Life Record of these men, and what is characteristic of each.

The text of the bronze plate of Hyrum Smith's statue is as follows:


The Patriarch and a witness of the Book of Mormon.

An elder brother, and the steadfast friend and counselor of Joseph Smith, the Prophet.

Born at Tunbridge, Vermont, February 9th, 1800; suffered martyrdom with the Prophet at Carthage, Illinois, on the 27th of June, 1844.

The friendship of the brothers Hyrum and Joseph Smith is foremost among the few great friendships of the world's history. Their names will be classed among the martyrs for religion.

The Book of Mormon—the plates of which Hyrum Smith both saw and handled; the revelations in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants; the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—these, to bring them forth for the salvation of the world, cost the best blood of the 19th century.

"I could pray in my heart that all men were like my brother Hyrum, who possesses the mildness of a lamb and the integrity of Job, and, in short, the meekness and humility of Christ. I love him with that love that is stronger than death."—Joseph Smith.

"If ever there was an exemplary, honest and virtuous man, the embodiment of all that is noble in the human form, Hyrum Smith was the representative."—President John Taylor.

As he shared in the labors, so does he share in the honor and glory of the New Dispensation with his Prophet Brother.

In life they were not divided; in death they were not separated; in glory they are one.

The text on the west side of the base of Joseph Smith's tablet is:


The Prophet of the New Dispensation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ our Lord. He was born at Sharon, Vermont, on the 23rd of December, 1805; and suffered Martyrdom for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus at Carthage, Illinois, on the 27th of June, 1844.


I saw two Personages whose glory and brightness defy all description. One of them spake unto me and said:

"This is my Beloved Son: hear Him."

I asked which of all the sects was right, and which I should join. I {XLIV} was answered I must join none of them; they were all wrong; they teach for doctrine the commandments of men; I received a promise that the fullness of the Gospel would at some future time be made known to me.


This book was revealed to him, and he translated it by the gift and power of God. It is an inspired history of ancient America, and contains the fullness of the Gospel. It is the American Testament of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.


Joseph Smith received divine authority through the ministration of angels to teach the Gospel and administer the ordinances thereof. He established again in the earth the Church of Jesus Christ, organizing it by the will and commandment of God on the 6th day of April, 1830.

He also received commission to gather Israel and establish Zion on this land of America; to erect temples and perform all ordinances therein both for the living and the dead; and prepare the way for the glorious coming of the Lord Jesus Christ to reign on earth.

The contents of the tablet on the east side of the base of the Prophet's statue are these gems from his teachings:


The glory of God is intelligence.

It is impossible for a man to be saved in ignorance.

Whatever principles of intelligence we attain unto in this life will rise with us in the resurrection.

There is a law irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world upon which all blessings are predicated; and when we obtain any blessing from God it is by obedience to that law on which it is predicated.

This is the work and glory of God: to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.

Adam fell that man might be; and men are that they might have joy.

The intelligence of spirits had no beginning, neither will it have an end. Jesus was in the beginning with the Father: man was also in the beginning with God. Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be.

The spirit and body is the soul of man; and the resurrection from the dead is the redemption of the soul.

It is the first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the character of God; and to know that man, (as Moses) may converse with Him as one man converses with another.

{XLV} This message of the Prophet, and these doctrines of the east bronze tablet, together with other doctrines taught by him in this PERIOD I of our CHURCH HISTORY, and to be found scattered through the six volumes now published of that history, await only the mind of some God-inspired Spencer to cast them into synthetical form—to be adequately presented and witnessed—to constitute Mormonism both the Religion and the Philosophy of modern times—to bring to pass and to glorify the Golden Age of the long-promised Millennium of Christian hope.


1. That the general government of the United states has since constructed such a canal from Keokuk to Montrose, directly opposite Nauvoo on the west, and at a cost of more than four and a half million dollars, completing it in 1877 is noted in this volume, p. 80 and footnote.

2. See Nauvoo Neighbor for March 5th and March 12th. John E. Page was president of the company; and in a communication to the Neighbor (March 12, 1845) urging a vigorous prosecution of the enterprise, he said:

"We have commenced active operations for the building of a dam in the river, as noticed in the Neighbor of last week. * * *

"Here is the proud and gallant Mississippi, with her rapid current, tumbling to the broad Atlantic, seeming to say (as she quickens her pace over the rugged rocks of the lower rapids just opposite to our beautiful Nauvoo) only improve my shores and banks, ye Saints, as ye improve my neighboring soil; and I will propel your mills, cotton and woollen manufactories, by which your laborers can find employ, and your poor can be clothed and fed."

3. As the suggestion of Joseph Smith for building the canal around the Des Moines Rapids by the general government of the United states was carried out; so also is the water power of the Des Moines Rapids being utilized for manufacturing and other purposes, first suggested by the Prophet, but now, of course, in a way and on a larger scale than it was possible even for men to dream of when the city council of Nauvoo, in 1843, authorized the construction of a dam to harness this power in the Mississippi for the service of man. This, however, is now nearly an accomplished fact through the enterprise of the Keokuk and Hamilton Water Power Company, which, between Hamilton on the Illinois side, and Keokuk on the Iowa side of the Mississippi (eight or nine miles below Nauvoo), has in course of construction a dam which, including abutments, will be 4,700 feet in length, will stand 32 feet above the river bed, and be 42 feet wide at its base, built of solid concrete. In connection with the dam, and incident to it will be wharfage and a large drydock for the construction and repair of floating craft. There will be developed and for sale as the result of this enterprise, 200,000 horsepower for the service of St. Louis and other towns of Missouri, Illinois and Iowa. The dam and power house will be built at a cost of $22,000,000.

4. See "History of the Mormon Church," Americana magazine, number for January, 1911, Ch. LIX; also Elder John Taylor's Journal entry for 5th of September, 1844.

5. The Register article is copied into the Nauvoo Neighbor for November 13th, 1844.

6. Nauvoo Neighbor, March 12th, 1845.

7. See John Taylor's communication to the Quincy Argus, May 1st, 1839. HISTORY OF THE CHURCH, Vol. III, Chapter XXIII.

8. See Denunciation of Thieves, 1844, by Hyrum Smith; by President Smith and the formal action of the Apostles quorum, this HISTORY Vol. IV, Chapter XVII. Also the minutes of the conference held at Nauvoo April, 1843, this HISTORY, Vol. V, Chapter XVII.

9. History of Hancock County, p. 158.

10. Ibid.

11. See this HISTORY Vol. V, Ch. XXIV and Vol. IV. Introduction pp, 22 et seq.

12. This ordinance about a month after its enactment was repealed at the suggestion of President Smith. See this volume pp. 55-6.

13. This alleged "design" of the ordinance President Smith specifically denied in the open session of the city council, and to a committee of lawyers from Carthage, who waited upon the city council to protest against this ordinance; and the ordinance was amended by a third section disclaiming such alleged intention, but still retaining the feature that forced state process to be served through the agency Nauvoo's city officers. See this vol. pp. 173-4.

14. This volume pp. 130-132.

15. This HISTORY Vol. V, pp. 467-8, 472.

16. This HISTORY, Vol. V. pp. 473-4.

17. See Ford's letter to Thomas Reynolds, Governor of Missouri, under date of August 14, 1843. This HISTORY, Vol. V, pp. 553-6.

18. Ibid p. 200.

19. This HISTORY, Vol. VI. Ch. XXVI, where both letters will be found at length.

20. See Ford's History of Illinois. p. 269; also this HISTORY, Vol IV, pp. 479-481 and footnotes; Vol. V, p. 490.

21. Such appeared to be the very great probability in the election of 1843. As will be remembered by the readers of Vol. IV of this HISTORY, Cyrus Walker, Esq., Whig candidate for Congress, rendered valuable service in delivering the Prophet from the hands of those bent upon running him into Missouri for trial on the old complaint against him in that state. That service could only be obtained in that crisis by Joseph Smith pledging himself to vote for Walker, which was interpreted to mean, of course, the Mormon vote; and it was generally conceded that the Whigs receiving the Mormon vote would be successful. Before the day of election, however, there had arisen strong reasons for believing that the arrest of Prophet and the effort to take him to Missouri, as also Walker's appearance upon the scene to effect his liberation, was itself a political trick to secure the Mormon vote for the Whig party, which was thwarted by the Mormons voting, at the last moment, the Democratic ticket. (See Vol. V, Chapter XXVI).

22. Ford's History of Illinois, p. 364.

23. See this volume, pp. 214-217, where the editorial is given in extenso.

24. See Chapter XI, this volume, where the memorial itself, Hyde's two letters and the action in the House of Representatives will be found in full.

25. See Chapter XXX, passim this volume for a discussion of the Expositor; also Taylor-Colfax Discussion on the "Mormon" Question, p. 20. Also an editorial from the Nauvoo Neighbor, see p. 496, this volume.

26. I follow the typing and punctuation from the Signal as given by the late John Hay, secretary of state, Atlantic Monthly of December, 1869.

27. This is the late Secretary of State John Hay, in the Atlantic Monthly for December, 1869; "Joe Smith died bravely, he stood by the jam of the door and fired four shots, bringing his man down every time. He shot an Irishman named Wills, who was in the affair from his congenital love of a brawl, in the arm; Gallaghor, a Southerner from the Mississippi bottom, in the face; Voorhees, a half-grown hobbledehoy from Bear Creek, in the shoulder; and another gentleman, whose name I will not mention, as he in prepared to prove an alibi, and besides stands six feet two in his moccasins." In a later paragraph he refers to "the handsome fight in the jail." {1}






Friday, September 1, 1843.—A conference was held in Buffalo, New York, Elder John P. Greene presiding; Wm. H. Folsom,[1] clerk: 13 branches, 1 High Priest, 58 {2} Elders, 2 Teachers, 1 Deacon, and 247 members were represented.

I attended the meeting of the High Council as a witness in the case of Cowles[2] vs. George J. Adams. Charges not sustained.

Saturday, 2.—I was not well, and therefore adjourned Mayor's Court.

Sunday, 3.—I attended council with my brother Hyrum, Newel B. Whitney, Willard Richards, William Law and William Marks, and gave instructions to the brethren in relation to things in futurity.

A tremendous storm at Chester, Penn. The creek rose twenty-three feet in two hours, and swept away all the bridges, many factories and houses, and upwards of twenty persons drowned.

A conference was held at Hayward's Hotel, Manchester, England.

Minutes of the Manchester Conference, held 3rd of September, 1843.

Charles Miller, President; William Walker, Clerk. Present: 1 Patriarch, 1 High Priest, 25 Elders, 40 Priests, 21 Teachers, and 4 Deacons.

Total number of members represented was as follows: 1,549 members, including 44 Elders, 99 Priests, 56 Teachers, 22 Deacons. Baptized since last general conference, 80; cut off, 29; emigrated, 18; removed, 26; died, 4.

Monday, 4.—Attended mayor's court and tried three cases—viz.,

City versus A. Dodge, S. Dodge, and Luther Purtelow.

The two first I fined five dollars, and the last one dollar and costs. One, p.m., called and gave licence for {3} a circus performance, which I attended with my family until five, p.m.

I copy from the New York Sun as follows:—


This Joe Smith must be set down as an extraordinary character, a prophet-hero, as Carlyle might call him. He is one of the great men of this age, and in future history will rank with those who, in one way or another, have stamped their impress strongly on society.

Nothing can be more plebeian, in seeming, than this Joe Smith. Little of dignity is there in his cognomen; but few in this age have done such deeds, and performed such apparent miracles. It is no small thing, in the blaze of this nineteenth century, to give to men a new revelation, found a new religion, establish new forms of worship, to build a city, with new laws, institutions, and orders of architecture,—to establish ecclesiastic, civil and military jurisdiction, found colleges, send out missionaries, and make proselytes in two hemispheres: yet all this has been done by Joe Smith, and that against every sort of opposition, ridicule and persecution. This sect has its martyrs also; and the spirit in which they were imprisoned and murdered in Missouri, does not appear to have differed much from that which has attended religious persecutions in all ages of the world.

That Joe Smith, the founder of the Mormons, is a man of great talent, a deep thinker, and eloquent speaker, an able writer, and a man of great mental power, no one can doubt who has watched his career. That his followers are deceived, we all believe; but, should the inherent corruptions of Mormonism fail to develop themselves sufficiently to convince its followers of their error, where will the thing end? A great military despotism is growing up in the fertile West, increasing faster in proportion, than the surrounding population, spreading its influence around, and marshalling multitudes under its banners, causing serious alarm to every patriot.

What is the reason that men are so blind that they cannot or will not see the hand of the Lord in His work of the last days!

Tuesday, 5.—Went to the office at nine, a.m., with Mr. Hamilton, of Carthage, who had obtained a deed from {4} the sheriff of the county for lot 2, block 103, in the city of Nauvoo, for taxes, although I had previously paid them; which is another specimen of the oppression, injustice, and rascality of Mr. Collector Bagby, who by such foul means robs me and other Saints, and abuses all who come unfortunately in his power.

I requested my clerk to make out a bill of fare for the "Mansion."

The ship Metoka sailed from Liverpool with a company of Saints on board.

Wednesday, 6.—I went to the recorder's about half past six, a.m., and found him in bed.

Held mayor's court in the case, "City versus Joseph Owen."

Anti-Mormon Meeting at Carthage, Seat of Hancock, County Illinois.[4]

Meeting convened pursuant to adjournment. The former chairman[5] not being present.

Edson Whitney, Esq., was called to the chair, and the meeting being organized, the following preamble and resolutions were submitted by the committee, and unanimously adopted:—


This meeting having convened for the purpose of taking under advisement a subject of vital importance not only to this county, but to all the surrounding counties, regret that we are necessarily and irresistibly forced to the conclusion that a certain class of people have obtruded themselves upon us, calling themselves Mormons, or Latter-day Saints, and under the sacred garb of Christianity, assumed, as we honestly believe, that they may the more easily, under such a cloak, perpetrate the most lawless and diabolical deeds that have ever, in any age of the world, disgraced the human species.

In evidence of the above charge, we find them yielding implicit obedience to the ostensible head and founder of this sect, who is a pretended prophet of the Lord, and under this Heaven-daring assumption {5} claiming to set aside, by his vile and blasphemous lies, all those moral and religious institutions which have been established by the Bible, and which have in all ages been cherished by men as the only means of maintaining those social blessings which are so indispensably necessary for our happiness.

We believe that such an individual, regardless as he must be of his obligations to God, and at the same time entertaining the most absolute contempt for the laws of man, cannot fail to become a most dangerous character, especially when he shall have been able to place himself at the head of a numerous horde, either equally reckless and unprincipled as himself, or else made his pliant tools by the most absurd credulity that has astonished the world since its foundation.

In the opinion of this meeting, a crisis has arrived, when many of the evils to be expected from a state of things so threatening have transpired. We feel convinced that circumstances have even now occurred which prove to us most conclusively that Joseph Smith, the false Prophet before alluded to, has evinced, in many instances, a most shameless disregard for all the forms and restraints of law, by boldly and presumptuously calling in question the acts of certain officers, who had fearlessly discharged the duties absolutely imposed upon them by the laws, particularly when they have come in contact with his own sordid and selfish interests.

He has been heard to threaten—nay, he has committed violence upon the person of an officer, because that officer dared honestly to do his duties according to law.

He has caused his city council to pass laws contrary to the laws of the state, and subversive of the rights of citizens of this state.

Citizens have been arrested, tried and punished for breaches of those mock laws, from time to time, in such manner, that they have been compelled to the humiliating necessity of seeking an asylum elsewhere, in order to escape the tyranny and oppression of this modern Caligula.

He has caused the writ of habeas corpus to be issued by the municipal court of the city of Nauvoo, in a case not provided for in the charter of this city, and indeed contrary to the letter of that instrument; and, himself a prisoner, arrested under grave charges made by a neighboring state, brought before said court, tried, and acquitted; thereby securing his own rescue from the custody of the law.

Citizens from the adjoining counties have been denied the right to regain property stolen and taken to Nauvoo, even after they have discovered both the thief and the property; and themselves, under the most frivolous pretenses, arrested, fined, and other property rifled from them, to satisfy the mock judgments and costs of his cormorant officers.

{6} Persons upon whom stolen property has been found in the city of Nauvoo, have been brought before this religio-political chief; and he, in the capacity of mayor of the city, has refused to convict, where the cases have been most clear and palpable.

We have had men of the most vicious and abominable habits imposed upon us to fill our most important county offices, by his dictum, in order, as we verily believe, that he may the more certainly control our destinies, and render himself, through the instrumentality of these base creatures of his ill-directed power, as absolutely a despot over the citizens of this county as he now is over the serfs of his own servile clan.

And, to crown all, he claims to merge all religion, all law, and both moral and political justice, in the knavish pretension that he receives fresh from heaven divine instructions in all matters pertaining to these things; thereby making his own depraved will the rule by which he would have all men governed.

He has caused large bodies of his ragamuffin soldiery to arm themselves, and turn out in pursuit of officers legally authorized to arrest himself; he being charged with high crimes and misdemeanors committed in the state of Missouri, and these officers arrested by the vilest hypocrisy, and placed in duress, that he might enable himself to march triumphantly into Nauvoo, and bid defiance to the laws of the land.

In view of the above grievances, this meeting feel that it is their bounden duty to resist, by every laudable means, all such unwarrantable attacks upon their liberties. Therefore—

Resolved, 1st. That inasmuch as we honestly believe that the combination of people calling themselves Mormons, or Latter-day Saints, have given strong indications, in their recent movements, that they are unwilling to submit to the ordinary restraints of law, we are therefore forced to the conclusion that the time is not far distant when the citizens of this country will be compelled to assert their rights in some way.

Resolved, 2nd. That while we would deprecate anything like lawless violence, without justifiable cause, yet we pledge ourselves in the most solemn manner to resist all the wrongs which may be hereafter attempted to be imposed on this community by the Mormons, to the utmost of our ability,—peaceably, if we can, but forcibly, if we must.

Resolved, 3rd. That in the event of our being forced into a collision with that people, we pledge ourselves that we will stand by and support each other in every emergency up to the death.

Resolved, 4th. That we believe that it is also the interest of our friends in the neighboring counties and also neighboring states to begin to take a firm and decided stand against the high pretension and base designs of this latter-day would-be Mahomet.

{7} Resolved, 5th. That provided we must necessarily, for the well-being of this community, the protection of our dearest rights, and the preservation of our excellent institutions, adopt measures to humble the pride and arrogance of that audacious despot; we therefore call upon all good and honest men, without distinction of party or place, to come to the rescue.

Resolved, 6th. That we pledge ourselves in the most determined manner that if the authorities of the State of Missouri shall make another demand for the body of Joseph Smith, and our Governor shall issue another warrant to stand ready at all times to serve the officer into whose hands such warrant may come, as a posse, in order that it may not be said of us, in future, that the most outrageous culprits have been suffered "to go unwhipped of justice."

Resolved, 7th. That a corresponding committee be appointed to communicate with the different parts of this county, and also with other counties; and we would also recommend to all surrounding counties to appoint like committees for the purpose of a mutual interchange of views in regard to the subjects embraced in these proceedings.

Resolved, 8th. That as it has been too common for several years past for politicians of both political parties, not only of this county, but likewise of the state, to go to Nauvoo and truckle to the heads of the Mormon clan for their influence, we pledge ourselves that we will not support any man of either party in future who shall thus debase himself.

Resolved, 9th. That if the Mormons carry out the threats they have made in regards to the lives of several of our citizens, we will, if failing to obtain speedy redress from the laws of the land, take summary and signal vengeance upon them as a people.

Resolved, 10th. That when the Government ceases to afford protection, the citizens of course fall back upon their original inherent right of self-defense.

In pursuance of the 7th resolution, the following gentlemen were appointed to act as a central corresponding committee at Carthage—namely, Captain Robert F. Smith, Major T. J. Bartlet, Harmon T. Wilson, Frank A. Worrel, and Walter Bagby.

On motion of Henry Stevens, it was ordered that committees, consisting of two persons, be appointed in each election precinct of this county, for the purpose of communicating with the central committee at Carthage; and that those two may add to their number at discretion.

On motion of Daniel Beaver, it was made the duty of the person whose name stands first on the list of each committee to act as chairman; and that all communications from the other committees, or from any other sources shall be added.

{8} The following gentlemen were then appointed by the chair as committees in the several precincts, to wit:—

Green Plains—Edson Whitney and Levi Williams.

Bear Creek—William White and Andrew Moore.

Chili—Stephen Owen and Arthur Morgan.

Augusta—William D. Abernethy and Alexander Oliver.

Saint Mary's—William Darnell and Daniel Beaver.

Fountain Green—Thomas Geddis and S. H. Tyler.

La Harpe—Jesse Gilmer and Charles Comstock.

Camp Creek—James Graham and Thomas Harris.

Appanooce—John McCanley and John R. Atherton.

Montebello—Samuel Steel and Benjamin B. Gates.

Warsaw—Thomas C. Sharp and Mark Aldrich.

On motion of Levi Williams, Colonel Root, of McDonough county, was added to the central corresponding committee of Carthage.

On motion of Henry Newton, Esq.,

Resolved, That the central committee of correspondence act as a general committee of supervision; and, in case of a contingency occurring requiring aid, that they immediately call on the precinct committees and upon all others favorable to our cause to furnish such aid as the exigency of the case may require.

On the motion of Charles C. Stevens, the following supplementary resolutions were unanimously adopted:—

Resolved, That the president of this meeting be requested to communicate with the Governor of Missouri, and respectfully request him to make another demand upon the authorities of this state for the body of Joseph Smith, commonly called the Mormon Prophet; and in the event of a requisition and an order for his arrest and delivery to the proper officers of the state of Missouri, we offer our services to enforce said order, and pledge ourselves to sustain the supremacy of the laws at all hazards and under all circumstances.

Resolved, That a copy of the proceedings of this meeting be forwarded to the publisher of the Warsaw Message, Quincy Whig, and Quincy Herald, for publication, with a request to them to add a note, soliciting all editors friendly to our cause in this state, Missouri, and Iowa Territory, to copy.

It was then moved and seconded, That this meeting adjourn, subject to the call of the central corresponding committee.

Edson Whitney, Chairman.

W. D. Abernethy, Secretary.

Editors throughout Illinois, Missouri, Iowa Territory, friendly to the Anti-Mormon cause, are requested to publish the proceedings, in today's paper, of a meeting held at Carthage on the 6th instant.

{9} Thursday, 7.—I took home the letter written to Harrisburg[6] for the Church History, a small fragment of which only has been preserved, and is as follows:—

Historical Sketch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Messrs. Editors,—The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was founded upon direct revelation, as the true Church of God has ever been, according to the Scriptures (Amos 3:7, and Acts 1:2); and through the will and blessings of God, I have been an instrument in his hands, thus far, to move forward the cause of Zion: therefore, in order to fulfill the solicitations of your letter of July last, I shall commence with my life.

[Then follows a brief historical sketch of the Church from the birth of the Prophet to the settlement of the Saints at Nauvoo, much in the strain of the "Wentworth Letter" already published in this HISTORY, (Vol. IV, Ch. XXXI); and for the reason that all the historical data in this I. Daniel Rupp sketch is contained in the Wentworth Letter, it is thought unnecessary to reproduce it here, excepting the closing paragraphs which deal with conditions and prospects at Nauvoo, on the date at which we have arrived in our HISTORY, viz. September, 1843.—Editor.]

Nauvoo, upon every point connected with increase and prosperity has exceeded the most sanguine expectations of thousands. It now contains near 3,500 houses, and more than 15,000 inhabitants. The charter contains, among its important powers, privileges or immunities, a grant for "The University of Nauvoo," with the same liberal powers of the city, where all the arts and sciences will grow with the growth and strengthen the strength of this beloved city of the Saints of the last days.

Another very commendatory provision of the charter is that that portion of the citizens subject to military duty are organized into a body of independent military men, styled the "Nauvoo Legion," whose highest officer holds the rank and is commissioned lieutenant-general. This Legion, like other independent bodies of troops in this Republican Government, is at the disposal of the Governor of the state, and President of the United States. There is also an act of incorporation for an Agricultural and Manufacturing Association, as well as the Nauvoo House Association.

Since the organization of this Church, its progress has been rapid, and its gain in numbers regular. Besides these United States, where {10} nearly every place of notoriety has heard the glad tidings of the Gospel of the Son of God, England, Ireland and Scotland have shared largely in the fullness of the everlasting Gospel, and thousands have already gathered with their kindred Saints to this the corner stone of Zion. Missionaries of this Church have gone to the East Indies, to Australia, Germany, Constantinople, Egypt, Palestine, the islands of the Pacific, and are now preparing to open the door in the extensive dominions of Russia.

There is no correct data by which the exact number of members composing this now extensive and still extending Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can be known. Should it be supposed at 150,000, it might still be short of the truth.

Believing the Bible to say what it means and mean what it says, and guided by revelation, according to the ancient order of the fathers, to whom came what little light we enjoy, and circumscribed only by the eternal limits of truth, this Church must continue the even tenor of its way.

Called at the office, and administered the laying on of hands to Sister Partington and her two children.

Dreadful conflagration at Stuhlweissenburg, in Hungary. About six hundred houses destroyed.

Friday, 8.—My wife being sick, I was at home all day.

Stephen Markham started for Dixon with the court papers in relation to the writ of habeas corpus, and as a witness.

I directed William Clayton to go to Augusta, Iowa, to get a deed signed by Mr. Moffit for the steamer Maid of Iowa.

Muster day of the first cohort.

The Twelve held a meeting in Boylston Hall, Boston. Present—Elders Heber C. Kimball, Orson Pratt, George A. Smith, Wilford Woodruff, John E. Page.

Saturday, 9.—My wife a little more comfortable. William Clayton went to Augusta, got the deed signed by Mr. Moffit and his wife, and returned in the evening.

General training of the Nauvoo Legion.

The quorum of the Twelve met the church in Boston, at Boylston Hall, in conference. Sixteen branches were represented, containing 878 members. A great deal of {11} valuable instruction was given by the Twelve, and the hall, a very large one, was crowded. A number were baptized during conference, which lasted three days. The minutes of conference I here insert:—

Important Conference of the Twelve, Held at Boylston Hall, Boston, September 9, 1843.

Present of the Quorum of the Twelve—Elders Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Parley P. Pratt, Orson Pratt, Orson Hyde, John E. Page, Wilford Woodruff, George A. Smith.

[Reported by Wilford Woodruff.]

Conference opened with prayer by Elder George A. Smith.

After the various branches in the New England States were represented, Elder P. P. Pratt made a few remarks, of which the following is a synopsis:

Some Elders tell us that they have taught the gathering according to the Scriptures. But it is not sufficient to teach the principle from the Scriptures alone; for if there was no other guide, the people would be left in doubt as to whether they should gather to Jerusalem, Africa, America, or elsewhere. It is right to teach the gathering according to the Scriptures, although some predictions of the Prophets are obscure; but we are not left to them alone. We know and all the Saints ought to know that God has appointed a place and time of gathering and has raised up a Prophet to bring it about, of which we are witnesses. Our message is that we are witnesses of the fulfillment of the predictions of the Prophets.

We have not to lay down a long, round-about [system] of arguments and calculations. The specific time and place are pointed out, the stakes are driven, the foundations of the city and temple are laid, and a people already gathered. We therefore know where to go; and to reject the revelations of God, which have pointed out these things to us, only brings condemnation. If this is not the case, then our faith is vain, and our works and hopes are vain also.

We worship a God who can inspire His servants to tell the people what to do. We have already got the opinions of men enough concerning the coming of Jesus Christ; but we need the voice of a Prophet in such a case and we have it. I am willing to risk my all upon it: and if the Elders understand the principle of gathering, and teach it correctly, the people will have the correct spirit of the gathering.

It is time we come out and declared boldly and definitely what God had for the people. We want more than opinions—we want your works. He has said he would send a Prophet to prepare the way. And {12} let me ask these profound sectarians, why He has not done it? If the angels found a God in heaven able to give instructions, shield them from sword and famine, &c., why have we not found Him? Let the teachers bear the message they are entrusted with; and if the people wish then for Scripture, tell them that their message is in fulfillment of prophecy; but let them have the whole message.

Elder E. P. Maginn said he for one had taught the gathering according to the Scriptures; but he considered all modern revelations Scripture as well as those given anciently.

Elder Brigham Young addressed the meeting on the subject of our faith. We hear the Elders represent the feeling of the brethren concerning the gathering. This is right. The Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ is a gathering spirit. Its tendency is to gather the virtuous and good, the honest and meek of the earth, and, in fine, the Saints of God. The time has come when the Lord is determined to fulfill his purposes. The people are apt to say that if they had lived in the days of Jesus Christ they would have received His work. But judge ye if the people are better now than then. They are not. When the full, set time was come, the Lord came in the flesh to do His work, whether the people were prepared or not; and He would not have come at all, if He had waited till the people were prepared to receive Him. It was decreed from all eternity that He should come, and He came. The people were not prepared then, nor are they any more prepared now. And now the full set time has come for the Lord God Almighty to set His hand to redeem Israel. We are not bound to make the people believe, but we are bound to preach the Gospel; and having done this, our garments are clear.

The Lord does not require every soul to leave his home as soon as He believes. Some may be wanted to go to the isles of the sea, and some to go north, and some south. But He does require them to hearken to counsel, and follow that course which He points out, whether to gather or stay to do some other work.

The Spirit of the Lord and His work are on the alert, and those who keep up with the work must be on the alert also. The Spirit of the Lord will leave them who sit down and refuse to obey. When the Lord says, "Gather yourselves together," why do you ask Him what for? Had you not rather enjoy the society of Saints than sinners whom you cannot love? Is it not the principle of the Saints to mingle together and promote the great cause in which they are engaged?

Perhaps some of you are ready to ask, "Cannot the Lord save us as well where we are as to gather together?" Yes, if the Lord says so. But if He commands us to come out and gather together, He will not save us by staying at home. Have you not received the Gospel? Yes. {13} Then do you believe what we say? Have you not received the Holy Ghost, by receiving the Gospel which we have brought unto you? Yes, thousands have; and it stands as a testimony that God has got a Prophet on the earth. You might have been baptized seventy times seven in any way except the way God had ordained and pointed out, and you would not have received the Holy Ghost. This also is a testimony to you.

Are you engaged with us in this great work? "Yes, certainly," you answer, "heart and hand." "Can we do any good?" Yes, you can. The sectarian world send the Bible to the nations of the earth. The poor among them put sixpence, fifty cents or a dollar into the box to carry out that object; and can the Latter-day Saints do nothing? Let them do what God requires. He has required that we should build a house unto His name, that the ordinances and blessings of His kingdom may be revealed, and that the Elders may be endowed, go forth and gather together the blood of Ephraim—the people of God, from the ends of the earth.

Can you get an endowment in Boston or anywhere, except where God appoints? No, only in that place which God has pointed out. Now, query—Could Moses have obtained the law if he had stayed in the midst of the children of Israel, instead of going up on to the mountain? The Lord said, "Go and do so and so; stand before Pharaoh; pull off thy shoes, for the place is holy." Moses obeyed, and obtained blessings which he would not have received if he had been disobedient.

Has the Lord spoken in these last days, and required us to build Him a house? Then why query about it? If He has spoken, it is enough. I do not care whether the people gather or not, if they don't want to do so. I do not wish to save the people against their will. I want them to choose whether they will gather and be saved with the righteous, or remain with the wicked and be damned. I would like to have all people bow down to the Lord Jesus Christ; but it is one of the decrees of the Lord that all persons shall act upon their agency, which was the case even with the angels who fell from heaven.

Now, will you help us to build the Nauvoo House and Temple? If so, you will be blessed: if not, we will build it without you. And if you don't hearken, you will not have the Spirit of the Lord; for the Spirit of the Lord is on the move.

The Apostles tried to gather the people together in their day. Christ said He would gather the Jews oft as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, but they would not. Neither God nor angels care whether men hear or forbear: they will carry on their work; for the full, set time is come for God to set up His kingdom, and we go about it. We must build a house, and get an endowment, preach the gospel, {14} warn the people, gather the Saints, build up Zion, finish our work, and be prepared for the coming of Christ.

Now, we want to send four missionaries to the Pacific Islands, and we want a little clothing, and beds, and money to pay their passage. Can you do something for them? This is not all. We want you to give all you have to spare towards building the Temple. We shall be able to build it, if we have to work with a sword in one hand. But perhaps you are afraid you will not have enough for yourself, when you get there; yet how easy it is for the Lord to take it away from you by fire or otherwise!

Elder Maginn had an ivory cane. I asked him for it, but he declined making me a present of it. Not long after, he had it stolen from him in a crowd, and it now does neither of us any good. Perhaps your purse may slip through your pocket, or you may lose your property; for the Lord can give and take away. Jacob, with his faith, obtained all the best cattle his father-in-law had.

If I had a wife and ten children, I would give all my money to build the Temple and Nauvoo House, and I would trust in God for their support. Yet I will be richer for it; for God would prosper me in business. Men are apt to serve God on Sunday, and neglect Him all the week. Who blesses you and all the people? God. But do the people acknowledge the hand of God in all these things? No; they turn away from Him, and do not acknowledge Him, or realize from whom their blessings flow. They know not who blesses them. It never comes into their hearts. So with the farmer. The blessings are constantly flowing to him, and he considers not whence they come.

Let me tell you a secret. When the Lord shakes the earth, and every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, He will bring gold for brass, silver for iron, brass for wood, and iron for stones. Then you will have no use for gold, for money and gods as you now have. You will not care so much about it; but the Lord will think as much of it then as now.

But now we want some of the gods of the Gentiles—some of the gold and silver to build the Temple and Nauvoo House for the accommodation of the kings, princes and nobles of the earth, when they come to inquire after the wisdom of Zion, that they may have a place for their entertainment, and for the weary traveler to be refreshed. Let us have your gold to take to Nauvoo for this purpose.

Is there wisdom in Zion? We think so, and the world begins to think so. Let the world come forward and translate the plates that have of late come forth,[7] if they have wisdom to do it. The Lord {15} intends to take away the gods of the Gentiles: He pulleth down and He buildeth up at His own pleasure.

Sacrifice your gods for the building up of Zion. Administer of your substance. Send our missionaries to the islands of the seas. Don't be afraid of a dollar, or a hundred dollars, or even a thousand dollars. I would not. I have made a sacrifice of all I possessed a good many times. I am richer the more I give; for the Lord has promised and does reward me a hundredfold; and if I sacrifice all for the cause of God, no good thing will be withheld from me. I have taken this course to get rich. I have given all I had, and God has given many blessings in consequence. If I am too bold in asking, be too bold in giving. I ask, expecting to receive. Put your shoulders to the wheel with all your might. Give your all, and become rich by receiving a hundredfold.

Adjourned until half-past two o'clock, when the meeting was opened by singing.

Prayer by Elder Parley P. Pratt. Singing.

Elder Parley P. Pratt said: I have a few remarks to make concerning the subject spoken of in the forenoon by Elder Brigham Young, who said we wanted all your gold, silver, and precious things. We not only want your all as pertaining to gold, silver, &c., but we want you, your wives and children, and all you have to be engaged in the work of the Lord.

I don't know that I can give you a better pattern of what we want than the case of Joseph in Egypt. Israelites will get all they can. They are very great to go ahead. The Egyptians believed in dreams; and by the peculiar gift of interpretation of dreams, Joseph entered into a great scheme of speculation. He used the gift of interpretation to become great in the eyes of the Egyptians. He obtained great political influence, came out with gold ornaments, and rode in the king's chariot in great splendor. He laid up corn in great abundance during the seven years of plenty; and when the famine came, he got all their gold, silver, cattle, land, property, and, finally their persons. * * *

God is the origin of power—the Sovereign. He made the people and the earth, and He has the right to reign. There will be good times and good government, when the world will acknowledge the God of heaven as the Lawgiver, and not till then; and if I could live under His government, I should be thankful, although I am a real Republican in principle, and would rather live under the voice of the people than the voice of one man. But it will be for the good and happiness of man when that government is established, which we pray for when we say, "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven;" and until that time arrives we must pray for it.

{16} This Joseph in Egypt—the speculator—what a great and good man he was! I love him, I admire his course, and I believe a little of his blood is in my veins. But had Joseph been like the religious world at the present day—had he said he had got religion and done with the world, he would not have rode the king's horse, worn his robe, or had to do with gold and silver; and he would have done no good, built no storehouses, and saved no corn, for fear of speculation.

But he acted differently. And there is an ancient prediction respecting our modern prophet, Joseph—namely, that a prophet and seer should be raised up, and those who seek to destroy him shall be confounded. This has proved true. Upwards of thirty law suits have been brought against the Lord's anointed, and his persecutors have as often been confounded. He has been raised and supported according to the prophecy, to do a work on the earth, and the Lord has been with him. Every weapon formed against him has been broken. He has overcome all the lawsuits which have been brought against him, and no accusation has been sustained against him; yet he will lay a plan to speculate as large as ancient Joseph did; he will have power to buy up all the rest of the world.

What Elder Young said is good. We want all he spoke of, and a great deal more, We do not want it for ourselves, but for you. We want you to use it; and we have a Prophet who tells how, when and where to use it. Take your means and unite your exertions in this work. We want you to take that course which will save you. Build up a city and temples, and enjoy them, and do as the Lord tells you, and hearken to counsel.

We have prophets to tell us what to do, and we should get as much wisdom as the world. If they want a railroad built, all they have to do is to open books. The people subscribe stock, a railroad is soon built, and an income is realized. The Saints ought to be as well united as the world, and do the things that God has required, that a great nation may be saved from all nations.

The old gentleman [Satan] that rules the nations has ruled long enough; and if I were an infidel, I would like to have the Lord raise up a Joseph, or a Daniel, or a Mordecai, or an Esther, to obtain political, temporal, and spiritual power, and cause a change for the good of the world. Thank heaven, he has begun to raise them up. He has raised up another Joseph to do the great work of God, and it will continue on until the saying goes forth that the Lord has built up Zion.

The kingdom of God must be established, and it will be. I read that gold, silver, power, thrones, and dominions will be connected with the great work of God in the last days. Then let us wake up {17} to see what God says shall come to pass, and let us enlarge our hearts and prepare for the great and glorious work.

Do the Saints here in Boston know that they are identified with the laying of the foundation, and establishing of a great and mighty kingdom, which is to include all the great and glorious work to be fulfilled in the last dispensation and fullness of times? And I prophesy, in the name of the Lord, that whether the Saints of Boston or any other place, stand for it or rise against it, numberless millions will celebrate that day when the foundation of this work was laid.

Elder George A. Smith said: I am pleased with the many remarks which have been made this day. You can easily see a similarity between the two Josephs, and the revelations that are given for the salvation of the present generation. Joseph in Egypt, a savior of his father's house and the Egyptians: Joseph [Smith] at this day holds the keys of salvation not only to the Gentiles, but also to the house of Israel.

I do not know but some may have reflections different from my own. I will, however, show how the Lord deals with mankind. Some may say, "Who can believe that God who dwells in heaven will condescend to speak to the people about building Him a house in this day of religion and science?"

This may be considered simple in the eyes of many; but the day was when the salvation or damnation of the whole world hung upon as small a circumstance. "Noah, by faith, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house, by which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteous which is by faith."

Had the editors of this day lived then, I think they would have said and written more against it than they have against Joseph Smith and the revelations he has received and published.

We find God was in the habit of telling men to do many simple things, even to the giving of a law concerning the protection of birds' nests. You talk about God condescending to speak of small things in the last days, but it is only as it was in the days of Moses; for we read in the Bible how God commanded the children of Israel, when they found a bird's nest, (Deut. XXII:7) not to take the dam with the young: "But thou shalt in any wise let the dam go, and take the young to thee." Why? "That it may be well with thee, and that thou mayst prolong thy days."

We see from this, that however small and simple the commandments of God appear to be, they are great in their results. Connecting this with the law of God to Israel concerning the eating of locusts, beetles and grasshoppers (Leviticus XI:22). "Even these of them ye may {18} eat; the locust after his kind, and the bald locust after his kind, and the beetle after his kind, and the grasshopper after his kind."

Is this as small business for the Lord to talk about as it is for Him to command the Saints to build a tavern or boarding house for visitors who constantly go to Nauvoo, which, when done, will do much good for the spreading of the work to all nations. What good could arise from a law of God permitting the eating of beetles and grasshoppers, I cannot say.

All the prophecies have aimed at the gathering of the people, and saving them in the last days. But it is better never to have known the Master's will than to know it and not perform it; and my advice is, If you cannot take hold of the work and go through the whole course, stop and go no further. If you have not courage to go on at the expense of all things, it is better to turn back.

We do not want to deceive you. Our traditions have taught us to be very religious, to wear long faces, never to tell an amusing story, nor to laugh, &c. This was the case with the long-faced Christians in Missouri, and they were the first to strike a dagger to our hearts. It is better for a man to act out what he is than to be a hypocrite. "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father, is this," says James, "to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world."

I do not like that religion which lies in a man's long face, or his coat or his hat. If I wear a strange hat, it is not because of my religion: for where the religion of a man is in the shape of a hat or coat, it is not very extensive anywhere else.

Some of the Elders want to appear very big, and to be called great preachers; but whenever I have seen them trying to preach something large and mysterious, to get a name, I have concluded they have yet much to learn. I have been eleven years a member of this Church, and was a believer two years before I entered it; and during that time I have seen many Elders who like to preach large and mysterious sermons.

As many are desirous of hearing mysteries, I will rehearse a short sermon of mysteries for their edification. Elder Kimball has had a long standing in the Church. He has preached much, done much good, brought many souls into the kingdom, had great influence, and is considered the most successful minister among us.

Elder Amasa Lyman and myself went into Pike county, Illinois, to preach where the Elders had preached all the mysteries about beasts, heads and horns. They wanted us to preach mysteries. We told them we were not qualified to preach mysteries; but if they would send for Elder Kimball he would preach them. So they sent about forty miles {19} for Elder Kimball, and brought him down, they were so anxious to hear mysteries.

When he came, he had a large congregation assembled. He arose and remarked that he understood they had sent for him to come and preach the mysteries to them. "I am well qualified, and fully competent to do it, and am happy to have the privilege. I want the attention of all." When every mind was stretched and eager to learn these great mysteries he said, "The first mystery I shall present before you is this, 'Look at Elder Amasa Lyman; he needs a pair of pantaloons and a new hat. But it appears you do not see it; consequently I want to open your eyes and reveal to you a great mystery; for an Elder in the Church has need of a hat and a pair of breeches as well as yourselves, and especially when the Saints know he is so much in need of them!'" He preached a few more mysteries of the same nature, and the result of this sermon was that Elder Lyman got a pair of pants and a new hat, and Elder Kimball and myself each a barrel of flour for our families.

Elder Brigham Young arose and said: I will make an apology for my remarks in the former part of the day. Some may think I spoke very plainly; but the object I had in view was to teach you your duty, as I am aware the people are not made to feel it; and the apology I have to make is this: I will turn Thomsonian doctor, and give the composition without cream and sugar,—it matters not whether I get friends or foes. If this work does not live, I do not want to live; for it is my life, my joy, my all; and if it sinks, God knows I do not want to swim.

I wish you to understand this—that he that gathereth not with us scattereth, and they have not the Spirit of God. We live in anticipation of the day when mobs cannot harm us, and they who have tasted the bitter cup feel to realize this hope. Wake up, ye Elders of Israel who have sought to build yourselves up, and not the kingdom of God, and put on your sword. Wake up, ye that have daubed with untempered mortar! Hearken and hear me; for I say unto you, in the name of Jesus Christ, that if you do not help us to build the Temple and the Nauvoo House, you shall not inherit the land of Zion.

If you do not help to build up Zion and the cause of God, and help me and my brethren on our way when we want to go on the Lord's business, you shall not partake of the blessings which are laid up in store for the Saints. Many Elders seek to build themselves up, and not the work of the Lord. They will say "Put gold rings on my fingers; give me what I want;" and they care nothing about the Temple. This they should not do. I will not allow myself to do so; and when any one does this, no matter who he may be, even though he was one {20} of the Twelve, he will not prosper. Those of the Twelve and others of the Elders who have apostatized, I have known their hearts and their breathings. I have known their movements although they thought I did not know much. But I knew all about them; and when I see men preaching to build themselves up, and not Zion, I know what it will end in. But you may say you are young. I don't care if you are. Are you old enough to know what you are about? If so, preach and labor for the building up of the city of Zion; concentrate your means and influence there, and not scatter abroad. Instead of which, some of the Elders appear to be dumb and lazy, and care for nothing but themselves.

Now, ye Elders, will you be faithful? If not, you will not be chosen, for the day of choosing is at the door. Why be afraid of a sacrifice? I have given my all many times, and am willing to do it again. I would be glad to hear the Lord say through His servant Joseph, "Let my servant Brigham give again all that he has," I would obey it in a moment, if it took the last coat off my back.

A hymn was sung.

Elder Kimball arose and said: I get up of necessity to say a few words. I am unwell, but I feel the importance of this work. I have been a member of this Church twelve years. I came out of the Baptist church and joined this with all my heart, as I was seeking after truth. I have passed through everything but death; in fact I have been brought into situations even worse than death. It has been my lot and privilege to sacrifice all I possessed from time to time; and we have come here to call for help to build the Temple and Nauvoo House. I have spent thirty dollars to get here, and have collected fifteen and that with much difficulty.

We were commanded of the Lord to come: but it seems as though but few felt interested in it. Here I see four brethren going as missionaries to the Sandwich Islands, and destitute of means to help themselves. I could weep for them. I feel interested in this great work. We are seeking to bring about a work that could never before be performed.

When the time is brought about that we are to receive our inheritances, the more faithful we are, the larger will be our reward. We have come out to reap, but do we have time to reap new grain? No; for it takes all our time to try to save that which is already reaped.

We have reapers in the field, and we are trying to save the wheat. We want to get it on the barn floor, so that we may thrash it. We have come after it to warn you. You think Elder Young put the flail on rather heavy; but it is nothing to be compared with the thrashing you will get in Zion, and those who have the hardest heads will, of {21} course, have to be thrashed the hardest. But don't be troubled about the chaff when it comes to the barn, for God will prepare a great winnowing mill which will blow all the chaff away, and the wheat will be found before the mill: then it has to go through the smut machine, then ground, then put through the bolting machine, and many will bolt in going through. I speak in parables. I compare the Saints to a good cow. When you milk her clean, she will always have an abundance of milk to give; but if you only milk her a little, and don't strip her, she will soon dry up. So with the Saints: if they do but little in building up Zion, they soon have but little to do with. This was the case in Cincinnati.

The night before arriving at Cincinnati, I had a dream while on the steamboat. I dreamt that I had a wagon with a rack on it, and an individual with me. We were going to a field of wheat of mine that had been cut, bound and shocked up, in order to haul into the barn. When we came to the field, I jumped off the wagon, and got over the fence to examine it, pulled off the cap sheaf, and behold it was oats. Pulling the bundles apart, I found there were clusters of rats. On further examination I found clusters of mice, and the oats were all eaten up.

In my dream I was going to haul in wheat, but to my astonishment it was oats, and they were all eaten up by the rats and mice.

I thought these rats and mice were the Elders and official members who had been in and lain on the Church at Cincinnati—lived on the wheat—eaten it up instead of building up new branches; so that when the Twelve came along, they could not get anything for the Temple or Nauvoo House, or hardly a place to stay. The rats had eaten up the wheat, so we had to go to the world for a home to stay while we were there.

We do not profess to be polished stones like Elders Almon W. Babbitt, George J. Adams, James Blakeslee, and Eli P. Maginn, &c., &c.; but we are rough stones out of the mountain; and when we roll through the forest, and knock the bark from the trees, it does not hurt us, even if we should get a corner knocked off occasionally; for the more we roll about, and knock the corners off, the better we are; but if we were polished and smooth when we get the corners knocked off, it would deface us.

Joseph Smith never professed to be a dressed, smooth, polished stone, but to have come rough out of the mountain; and he has been rolling among the rocks and trees, yet it has not hurt him at all: but he will be as smooth and polished in the end as any other stone, while many who were so very polished and smooth in the beginning get badly defaced and spoiled while they are rolling about.

Elder Parley P. Pratt said—Some are going to Zion, and the rest {22} want to know what they shall do. The Lord, through Jeremiah (III, 14,15) says, "I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion; and I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding." Inasmuch as you hearken to counsel, you will know what the will of the Lord is concerning you in all things. Meet often together to worship God and to speak to each other of the things of God. Gather as soon as you can. Come up to the mountain of the Lord's house, and there learn of these things, that the Scriptures may be fulfilled.

Elder Orson Pratt said—I do not know that I can say anything to impress the subjects which have been spoken upon more fully upon your minds than has been done. There are some things, however, I wish to mention. We have learned from what we have heard this day that great blessings will be given to the faithful when the Temple is finished. I will speak of some of the consequences that will follow, if we do not obey.

When the Temple is reared, God will manifest Himself in a peculiar manner. If we are obedient, He has told us He will make manifest to us things we are ignorant of. He has said He will reveal things which pertain to this dispensation that have been hidden and kept secret from the foundation of the world.

No former age or generation of the world have had the same things revealed: all other dispensations will be swallowed up in this. He declares, in His revelations, the consequences of not building the house unto His name within such a time. The Lord says, If you build the house in that time, you shall be blessed; but if not, you shall be rejected as a church with your dead, saith the Lord. So, if that house is not built, then in vain are all our cares; our faith and works, our meetings and hopes are vain also; our performances and acts will be void.

The servants of God who are faithful and do their duty will get the blessing; and we are determined to do our duty, and lay these principles before the Saints, so that they may have the privilege of contributing. We will turn this responsibility upon the heads of the Saints; then our garments will be clear, and the Lord is able and will be willing to endow all the faithful in some other place.

This Church, in its infancy, was directed to do a certain work, and the consequences pointed out. The Lord gave a revelation several years since to the Church to appoint our wise men, and send up our moneys by them to buy land; if not, we should not have an inheritance, but our enemies should be upon us. We went through and told the Saints these things; but did the churches do as God commanded? No, they did not. But the revelation was fulfilled, and the enemies of the Saints came upon them, and drove them from their houses and homes, {23} and finally from the State of Missouri. This was in consequence of their disobeying the commandments of God through His servant Joseph.

Many suppose they must get direct revelation from God for themselves. Not so. He has a prophet, and he says the Church shall give heed to the words of the Prophet, as he is to hold the keys of the kingdom of God in this life and in the world to come. Then it is of much consequence that you give heed to his word.

Says one, Suppose we are not satisfied that this is the work of God? You can ask God if the work is true, and He will give you a testimony. You can put every confidence in the Book of Mormon and in Joseph, the Prophet; and if you are not satisfied, go to God. I doubt in my own mind if men can stand what they will have to pass through, unless they do get a witness for themselves; and I pray you to give heed to the words which the Twelve have taught you, and ask God to help you.

The conference was adjourned until ten o'clock tomorrow morning.

Sunday, 10th. Conference met according to adjournment.

Meeting was opened by singing, and prayer by Elder Maginn; after which Elder Wilford Woodruff addressed the assembly from Amos III:7—"Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets?" According to the testimony of the Scriptures in all ages of the world, whenever God was about to bring a judgment upon the world or accomplish any great work, the first thing he did was to raise up a Prophet, and reveal unto him the secret, and send him to warn the people, so that they may be left without excuse. This was the case in the days of Noah and Lot. God was about to bring judgments upon the people, and he raised up those Prophets who warned the people of it; yet they gave no heed to them, but rejected their testimony; and the judgments came upon the people, so that they were destroyed, while the Prophets were saved by pursuing the course marked out by the Lord.

Jesus Christ testified to the Jews of the things that awaited them as a nation, the fall of Jerusalem, and their dispersion among the Gentile world; but they did not believe it. Yet the secret of all these things was revealed to the Prophets and Apostles. They believed it, and looked for its fulfillment; and it came to pass as it was predicted, though contrary to the expectation of the Jewish nation.

In like manner do we look for the certain fulfillment of those tremendous events upon the heads of the Gentile world which have been spoken of and pointed out by all the holy Prophets and Apostles since the world began, they having spoken as they were moved upon by the power of God and the gift of the Holy Ghost, events which more deeply {24} concern the Gentile world than the overthrow of Jerusalem and the dispersion of the Jews did the Jewish nation; for while they stumbled at the stone they were broken; but when it falls upon the heads of the Gentile world, it will grind them to powder.

The full set time is come for the Lord to set His hand to accomplish these mighty events; and as He has done in other ages, so has He done now—He has raised up a Prophet, and is revealing unto him His secrets. Through that Prophet He has brought to light the fullness of the everlasting Gospel to the present generation, and is again once more for the last time establishing His Church upon the foundation of the ancient Apostles and Prophets, which is revelation, Jesus Christ being the chief corner stone.

In the Church is now found judges as at the first, and counselors as at the beginning; also Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, and Teachers, with gifts and graces, for the perfecting of the Saints, the work of the ministry, and the edifying of the body of Christ.

The Lord has raised up His servants, and sent them into the vineyard to prune it once more for the last time, to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and to warn the nations, that they may be left without excuse in the day of their visitation; also to gather the honest in heart and the meek of the earth, that Zion may be built up, and the sayings of the Prophets fulfilled.

One of the secrets that God has revealed unto his Prophet in these days is the Book of Mormon; and it was a secret to the whole world until it was revealed unto Joseph Smith, whom God has raised up as a Prophet, Seer, and Revelator unto His people. This record contains an account of the ancient inhabitants of this continent and of the cities with which they overspread this land from sea to sea, the ruins of which still remain as standing monuments of the arts, science, power, and greatness of their founders. It also points out the establishing of this our own nation, with the conditions for its progress, and those predictions contained in the Book of Mormon—the stick of Joseph in the hand of Ephraim, will as truly be fulfilled as those contained in the Bible—the stick and record of Judah; and both these sticks or records contain prophecies of great import concerning the Gentile nations, and especially this land and nation, which are not yet fulfilled, but must shortly come to pass: yea, their fulfillment is nigh, even at the doors.

Though the secrets which God is revealing through His servant the Prophet in these last days may be unpopular and unbelieved in by the world, yet their unbelief will not make the truth of God of none effect, any more than it did in the days of Lot and Noah, or at the fall of Jerusalem.

When Jesus Christ said there should not be left one stone upon {25} another in the temple that should not be thrown down, the Jewish nation did not believe it, neither would they receive such testimony; but they looked at outward circumstances, and were ready to say, "Who can prevail against us? What nation like unto our nation? We have held the giving of the law, the oracles, and the Urim and Thummim; the lawgiver has never departed from between our feet; we have held the power of government from generation to generation; and what nation hath power now to prevail against us?"

Through this order of reasoning they were blinded, and knew not the day of their visitation: they understood not the things that belonged to their peace; they rejected their Lord and King, contended against the word and testimony, and finally put Him to death on the cross, with many who followed Him. But this did not hinder the fulfillment of His predictions concerning that nation. The words of the Lord had gone forth out of His mouth, and could not return unto Him void. The things that belonged to their peace were hid from their eyes, and they were counted unworthy as a nation. The kingdom was to be rent out of their hands and given to another; the die was cast, and judgment must come.

Jerusalem was soon surrounded by the Roman army, led on by the inspired Titus; and a scene of calamity, judgment, and woe immediately overspread the inhabitants of that city, which was devoted to destruction,—such a calamity as never before rested upon the nation of Israel. Blood flowed through their streets; tens of thousands fell by the edge of the sword, and thousands by famine. Women were evil towards the children of their own bosoms in the straitness of the siege, the spectacle of which shocked the Roman soldiers as they entered the city. The Jews were crucified in such numbers by their enemies that they could find no more wood for crosses, or room for their bodies; and while despair was in every face, and every heart sinking while suffering under the chastening hand of God, their enemies rushed upon them in the city to strike the last fatal blow; and, as their last resort, they rushed for safety into the temple, which was soon on fire, and they sank in the midst of the flames with the cry of their sufferings ascending up on high, accompanied by the smoke of the crackling spires and towers.

The remaining population were sold as slaves, and driven like the dumb ass under his burthen, and scattered, as corn is sifted in a sieve, throughout the Gentile world. Jerusalem was razed from its foundations, the ruins of the temple thrown down, and the foundation thereof ploughed up, that not one stone was left upon another. Christ said that Jerusalem should be trodden down of the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled, which has been the case to the very letter until the present generation.

{26} Will not God in like manner as truly and faithfully bring to pass those great, important and tremendous events upon the heads of the Gentile world which have been proclaimed by the Prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and many other holy Prophets; also by Christ and the Apostles on the continent of Asia, as well as by Lehi, Nephi, Alma, Moroni, and others on this continent—all of whom have proclaimed these things as they were moved upon by the Spirit of inspiration, the power of God, and the gift of the Holy Ghost?

The Apostle says that "No prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation, for the prophecy came not of old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost."

Isaiah's soul seemed to be on fire, and his mind wrapt in the visions of the Almighty, while he declared, in the name of the Lord, that it should come to pass in the last days that God should set His hand again the second time to recover the remnant of His people, assemble the outcasts of Israel, gather together the dispersed of Judah, destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea and make men go over dry-shod, gather them to Jerusalem on horses, mules, swift beasts, and in chariots, and rebuild Jerusalem upon her own heaps; while, at the same time, the destroyer of the Gentiles will be on his way; and while God was turning the captivity of Israel, he would put all their curses and afflictions upon the heads of the Gentiles, their enemies, who had not sought to recover, but to destroy them, and had trodden them under foot from generation to generation.

At the same time the standard should be lifted up, that the honest in heart, the meek of the earth among the Gentiles, should seek unto it; and that Zion should be redeemed and be built up a holy city, that the glory and power of God should rest upon her, and be seen upon her; that the watchman upon Mount Ephraim might cry—"Arise ye, and let us go up unto Zion, the city of the Lord our God;" that the Gentiles might come to her light, and kings to the brightness of her rising; that the Saints of God may have a place to flee to and stand in holy places while judgment works in the earth; that when the sword of God that is bathed in heaven falls upon Idumea, or the world,—when the Lord pleads with all flesh by sword and by fire, and the slain of the Lord are many, the Saints may escape these calamities by fleeing to the places of refuge, like Lot and Noah.

Isaiah, in his 24th chapter, gives something of an account of the calamities and judgments which shall come upon the heads of the Gentile nations, and this because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, and broken the everlasting covenant. The Apostle Paul says to his Roman brethren, that if the Gentiles do not continue in the {27} goodness of God, they, like the house of Israel, should be cut off. Though Babylon says, "I sit as a queen, and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow," the Revelator says, "Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death and mourning and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her."

Jesus communicated the parable of the fig-tree, which in putting forth its leaves betokens the approach of summer; and so likewise, when we see the signs in the sun, moon, and stars, and in the heavens and the earth of which He spoke, we might know that His coming is near—that the generation in which those signs appeared should not pass away till all should be fulfilled.

These things are about to come to pass upon the heads of the present generation, notwithstanding they are not looking for it, neither do they believe it. Yet their unbelief will not make the truth of God of none effect. The signs are appearing in the heavens and on the earth, and all things indicate the fulfillment of the Prophets. The fig-tree is leafing, summer is nigh, and the Lord has sent his angels to lay the foundation of this great and important work.

Then why should not God reveal His secrets unto His servants the Prophets, that the Saints might be led in paths of safety, and escape those evils which are about to engulf a whole generation in ruin?

Monday, 11. Conference met at Boylston Hall at nine o'clock, a.m. Present of the quorum of the Twelve, Elders Brigham Young, Parley P. Pratt, Orson Pratt, John E. Page, Wilford Woodruff, George A. Smith, Heber C. Kimball, and Orson Hyde.

Opened with prayer by Elder Page.

Elder Brigham Young stated the object of the meeting. The first item of business is the spread of the Gospel of salvation. I want to state what devolves upon the Twelve. Nine years ago a revelation was given which was fulfilled in 1835; and when fulfilled, the Prophet lifted up his head and rejoiced before the Lord. Previously, the responsibility of spreading the Gospel rested on him; now it is on the Twelve. This is the relation we hold between the living and the dead—to direct how you may escape.

Last winter we were directed to send men to the nations of the earth. Elder Addison Pratt had been to the Sandwich Islands, and proffered his services. We have power to ordain them, and call upon the Church to assist in sending them. Here are four men willing to go, and we do not wish them to cease trying, unless it be to die trying. One of them is ill. If he stays, he will die. I would go, or die trying.

We call on the churches to fit out these men with necessaries. Elder Eli P. Maginn and Elder Philip B. Lewis we call on to fit them out. If {28} Elder Lewis does not, Maginn will do it himself. This takes the responsibility from us.

If the Saints will not help, the curse of God will rest upon them. If the Temple at Nauvoo is not built, we will receive our endowments, if we have to go into the wilderness and build an altar of stone. If a man gives his all, it is all God requires. Brother Kimball has received one dollar since he came to Boston, and seventeen dollars and a half before, towards building the Temple. A book is kept of all sums given. This book will also be opened. All is recorded. I have received twenty-three dollars, and I have spent about forty-five or fifty dollars. I am rich, and expect to be so throughout all eternity, with the help of God and my brethren. I can get home, if I can sell land. Some of the Twelve are more destitute; but they are the best set of boys you ever saw.

During the persecution in Missouri, when the mob came against Far West, Elder Kimball stood near me in one of the companies; and every time they formed, he rammed down another ball into his old musket, until he got five balls in. We are a good-feeling set of men, because of the Spirit which is in us. What produces it? The impulse of the heart. We should feel the same on the desert of Arabia, or on the islands of the sea; we feel happy wherever we are. When we ask for victuals, and get turned away, as we often have been, we feel just as well.

The Spirit which is in me prompts me to look forward to something better. We have a prospect of selling shares of the Nauvoo House, and of obtaining subscriptions for the Temple, and we feel better.

Here are twelve men, and I defy all creation to bring a charge of dishonesty against them. We had to give security for the faithful performance of our duty as agents for the Nauvoo House and Temple. This has been heretofore unheard of in the Church. I glory in it. The financial affairs of the Church rest on our shoulders, and God is going to whip us into it. When men are in future called to do like Brigham, I will be one to bind them; this is a precedent. We are the only legally authorized agents of the Church to manage affairs, give counsel to emigrants how to dispose of goods, &c.

Some men come into this Church through designing purposes. Mr. Cowen, who lives about 30 miles above Nauvoo, wanted Brother Joseph to make a settlement at Shoquokon. Several of the brethren went there and preached, and some families moved up with the intention of settling. Mr. Cowen was all love—a charming fellow, and calculated to magnetize. He is now in the Eastern country, and going amongst the brethren. He gives one a kiss, and says he, "I am not a Mormon, but expect to be: Brother Joseph and myself are confidential friends. Can't you lend me five hundred dollars? I have got land, and I will give you {29} a mortgage." At the same time, he knew quite well that his land was in a perfect swamp, and that the place was not fit for a settlement. Even the captains of steamers could with difficulty be persuaded upon to call there, either on account of goods or passengers. His name is John F. Cowen, and he stands five feet six inches high. There are others.

I would ask the Latter-day Saints, Do you know your benefactors? Do you know the source from whence you derive your knowledge? Take in the publications and periodicals of the Church. They give you intelligence of all matters pertaining to this dispensation with revelations for the guidance of the Church.

I know that men who go through the world with the truth have not much influence; but let them come with silk velvet lips and sophistry, and they will have an influence. It is your privilege to be discerners of spirits. If you don't know me or the Twelve, walk with us fifty years, and perhaps you will know us then; and if such a man as Cowen comes along, will you trust him or me? No power can hide the heart from the discerning eye. If we are ignorant, what knowledge have the rest of the people? I sit down with all my ignorance, and read people's hearts as I see their faces, and they can't help themselves.

No one has ever stepped aside but I have known it. I know the result of their actions, and they cannot help themselves. If you find out my heart, you are welcome to it. If any of the Twelve take a wrong path, or a course by themselves, I know the path, and know the end of it. They are soon in the ditch, crying for help. I sit down and let others run. I strike with a crooked stick to hit the whole.

Now, the Twelve must be helped home, and there must be something for the Temple and the Nauvoo House. We have got a plot of the city of Nauvoo for lithographing. If any wish to advance the money to lithograph, and have a few thousands struck off, they shall be paid till they are satisfied. There was not wealth enough in New York and the regions round about. [He here exhibited the map of Nauvoo.] He concluded with a few remarks relative to the circumstances of Elder Hyde, who had just returned from his mission to Jerusalem.

Elder Parley P. Pratt spoke as follows:—In the middle of last April I arrived at Nauvoo houseless and with a large family. Brother Joseph said to me, "Brother Parley, stay at home and build a house." I was behindhand in instructions and information, while others had been at home learning the great things of God. I have now come East principally on business, though I always have a mission, wherever I am. I speak for my brethren: they have an absolute claim; it belongs to them, and they want it. It is justly theirs. I ask for nothing for myself.

Elder Heber C. Kimball said, I suppose you all understand what {30} Elder Young has said, and I consider his counsel good. He is my superior and my head in the council of the Twelve. If I go astray, it will be through ignorance. We must be subject to the powers that be; and there are no powers but what are ordained of God; and if we reject their counsel, we shall be damned. Some of our finest-looking and smartest men have fallen.

I consider those trees in the forest which have the largest and highest tops are in the greatest danger: they are blown down; and there is no way of restoring them but to cut them off. Let the stump go back, and new sprouts come out. Those who have most responsibility are in most danger. We must be careful how we treat God's officers.

No man ever fell, unless it was through rejecting counsel. I as well as my brethren see this. My superior knows more than I, because he is nearer the fountain. To get knowledge, begin at the foot of the stream, and drink all up till you get to the fountain, and then you get all the knowledge.

It is necessary for the people here to obey counsel. God has sent me forth, through his servants, to take my part in this great work, and the work is true. I know there are but few in this Church who will be able to walk in this narrow path. We must keep the celestial law in the flesh. The more simple we teach, the better for us.

It is a wrong idea of Elders whipping sects. Try and win the people; salt both sheep and shepherd too; get them up so that they will lick the salt out of your hands. [An infidel here handed money to Brother Kimball, who prophesied that he would be a Saint and an Elder, and all his family should be Saints.] Give them good salt, gain the affections of the shepherd, and the whole flock will come. Now, we get sheep up to lick; and when the old shepherd of the sheep comes up to lick salt, the Elders will hit him over the head with a cane. Their religion is as dear to them as ours to us. Don't feed too much salt at once, but give a little at a time, or they are cloyed.

Elders of Israel, be wise! Give short discourses, as long ones cloy your hearers, who will say, "A good discourse, but I got tired."

Never infringe on the right of other people, and never tear down other people's houses until you have built a better. We are sent to preach repentance, and let people alone. How do you like to go into other Churches and hear them abuse us? Do as you would be done by. Persuade men, and not compel them, unless the time spoken of by the Savior comes, when the Lord shall say unto His servants "Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled." (Luke 14 ch., 23-25.) Let men be humble, kind and affectionate.


1. William H. Folsom named above afterward became prominent as an architect in Utah. He was born in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, in March, 1815, and died in Salt Lake City, 1901, at the advanced age of 86 years. When a boy he moved to Buffalo N.Y. with his parents. When in his twenty fifth year he heard a Mormon Elder preach and was converted to the gospel and joined the Church. As a consequence of this act he was ostracized by his people. He took his family and moved to Nauvoo and established himself as an architect and builder, and assisted in the construction of the Nauvoo Temple.

Brother Folsom was expelled from Nauvoo at the time of the general exodus of the Saints and settled for a time at Keokuk. He subsequently moved to Council Bluffs, and in 1860 went on to Salt Lake valley. His ability as an architect and builder was soon required by President Brigham Young. President Young conceived the general plan of the now celebrated "Mormon Tabernacle" at Salt Lake City, but William Folsom took President Young's suggestions and worked out the plans. While others scouted the idea of the structure, Folsom had faith in it, and as a consequence he has associated his name inseparably with the building, that stands as one of the world's centers of interest and curiosity. He was the architect and superintendent of construction of the Manti Temple, and was an able assistant in the construction of all the Temples in Utah. He was the designer of the Salt Lake Theater, and of many other buildings that are this day admired for their architectural grace and durability.

2. This was Austin Cowles, for some time counselor in the Nauvoo stake of Zion (HISTORY OF THE CHURCH, Vol. IV, p. 323) and subsequently a member of the High Council. The nature of the charges made against George J. Adams at this time is not known.

3. This article is much of the complexion of one published many years later—1882—by Josiah Quincy of Boston, who visited the Prophet about eight or nine month later, and published an account of his visit, and his impression of the Prophet his "Figures of the Past," under the title "Joseph Smith at Nauvoo."

4. This was an adjourned meeting from one of the same character which had met at the same place of the 19th of August previous, which after hearing Anti-Mormon addresses and appointing committees to draft resolutions against the Mormons, adjourned to meet again on the above date, 6th of September. (See HISTORY OF THE CHURCH, Vol. IV pp. 537-8).

5. The former chairman was Major Reuben Groves. (See minutes of the 19th of August, above note.)

6. This was a Brief Historical Account of the Rise and Progress of the Church prepared for one I. Daniel Rupp, of Harrisburg, Penn. It was published in 1844, a "History of Religious Denominations," p. 409.

7. Having reference to certain plates known as the "Kinderhook Plates," found at Kinderhook, Illinois, April, 1843. See this HISTORY, Vol. V., pp. 372-378.




The Drought of 1843

Sunday, September 10, 1843.—Cold, and considerable rain. Kindled a fire in the office for the first time this fall. This is the first rain of any consequence since the first of June. There have been occasional—say three or four slight showers, but not enough to wet the potato hills, and the vegetables in the gardens have generally stopped growing, on account of the drought. Even corn is seriously injured,—much of it by a worm in the ear. Early potatoes are scarcely worth digging.

Monday, 11.—Early in the morning a petition was presented to me, as Lieut.-General, to devise means to get the public arms of the State for the Legion; whereupon I appointed William W. Phelps, Henry Miller, and Hosea Stout a committee to wait on Governor Ford on the subject.

Election for probate justice; weather cold; people cold. Greenleaf received most of the votes in Nauvoo—say seven hundred votes.

Six, p.m., I met with my Brother Hyrum, William Law, Newel K. Whitney, and Willard Richards in my private room, where we had a season of prayer for Brother Law's little daughter, who was sick, and Emma, who was somewhat better.

Tuesday, 12.—Rainy day.

Woodruff in a Train Wreck.

{32} Elder Woodruff left Boston for Portland by railroad and while passing through Chester woods, the engine was thrown off the tracks, and with the baggage cars smashed to pieces. Several of the passenger cars mounted the ruins, but none of the passengers were injured, except two very slightly. The engineer, however, was killed instantaneously. Elder Woodruff, with most of the passengers, remained all night in the woods, and found it very cold.

Wednesday, 13.—I attended a lecture at the Grove, by Mr. John Finch, a Socialist, from England, and said a few words in reply.

The following article appears [this day] in the Neighbor, copied from The New Haven, Conn., Herald.—


A gentleman of this town, (New Haven, Conn.) 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 Joseph Smith, and says that the charges against him were of the most frivolous and unsubstantial nature. He [Joseph Smith] 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 15,000 to 18,000 inhabitants, and promises to become a place of extensive business, four or five steamboats stopping there every day. {33} 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.

The Prophet on Socialism.

Thursday, 14.—I attended a second lecture on Socialism, by Mr. Finch; and after he got through, I made a few remarks, alluding to Sidney Rigdon and Alexander Campbell getting up a community at Kirtland, and of the big fish there eating up all the little fish. I said I did not believe the doctrine.

Mr. Finch replied in a few minutes, and said—"I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness. I am the spiritual Prophet—Mr. Smith the temporal."

Elder John Taylor replied to the lecture at some length.

Friday, 15.—I put up a sign,

"Nauvoo Mansion."

"Nauvoo Mansion" Made a Hotel.

In consequence of my house being constantly crowded with strangers and other persons wishing to see me, of who had business in the city, I found myself unable to support as much company free of charge, which I have done from the foundation of the Church. My house has been a home and resting-place for thousands, and my family many times obliged to do without food, after having fed all they had to visitors; and I could have continued the same liberal course, had it not been for the cruel and untiring persecution of my relentless enemies. I have been reduced to the necessity of opening "The Mansion" as a hotel. I have provided the best table accommodations in the city; and the Mansion, being large and convenient, renders travelers more comfortable than any other place on the Upper Mississippi. I have erected a large and commodious brick stable, and it is capable of accommodating seventy-five horses at one time, and storing the requisite amount of forage, and is unsurpassed by any similar establishment in the State.

There was an officers' drill in Nauvoo.

{34} Rhoda Ann, daughter of Willard and Jenetta Richards, was born at fifteen minutes to three, p.m., in Nauvoo.

Legion Parade and Inspection.

Saturday, 16.—General parade of the Nauvoo Legion near my farm. Went in company with my staff to the muster, was met by an escort, and arrived before the Legion about noon. I was received and saluted with military honors. The Legion was dismissed at about one, p.m., for two hours, and I rode home to dinner. I returned about twenty minutes after three, attended the review, and with my staff inspected the Legion; after which, I took my post and gave orders.

After the inspection, I made a speech to the Legion on their increasing prosperity, and requested the officers to increase the Legion in numbers.

I was highly gratified with the officers and soldiers, and I felt extremely well myself.

About sundown the Legion was dismissed. I rode home with my staff, highly delighted with the day's performance, and well paid for my services.

Sunday, 17.—I was at meeting; and while Elder Almon W. Babbitt was preaching, I took my post as Mayor outside the assembly to keep order and set an example to the other officers.

After preaching, I gave some instructions about order in the congregation, men among women, and women among men, horses in the assembly, and men and boys on the stand who do not belong there, &c.

In the evening Mr. Blodgett, a Unitarian minister, preached. I was gratified with his sermon in general, but differed in opinion on some points, on which I freely expressed myself to his great satisfaction,—viz., on persecution making the work spread, like rooting up a flower garden or kicking back the sun!

Monday, 18.—I received a letter from Governor Ford as follows:—

{35} Letter of Governor Ford to the Prophet.

SPRINGFIELD, September 13, 1843.

DEAR SIR,—In answer to your letter, I have the honor to reply, that I will consider it my duty to prevent the invasion of this State, if in my power, by any persons elsewhere for any hostile purposes whatever.

From information in my possession, I am of opinion that there is but little danger of any such invasion. It is altogether more likely that some other mode of annoyance will be adopted. My enemies here, I think, are endeavoring to put something of the kind on foot.

I am, most respectfully,

Your obedient servant,


I attended a council at my old house.

Conference in Nova Scotia.

A conference was held at Preston, Halifax County, Nova Scotia. 1 Elder, 1 Teacher, 1 Deacon, and 14 members were represented. Robert Dixon, president; J. Jermen, clerk.

David Greenleaf was elected probate judge for the county of Hancock, by a majority of 598 votes.

Tuesday, 19.—I directed Brother Phelps to answer the letter recently received from the Governor, and to enclose a copy of the resolutions passed at the meeting of the mobocracy at Carthage; which he did.

Wrote a letter to J. B. Backenstos.

A portion of the Twelve were present at a general muster of the independent companies of Boston. Saw a sham battle, in which thirty-five brass cannon were discharged seven times. One party was commanded by the Governor of Mass., and the other by the officer next in rank.

Wednesday, 20.—Visited my farm, accompanied by my Brother Hyrum.

The Neighbor has the following:—


A few short months ago, it was heralded through this State that Porter Rockwell was the individual who attempted to murder ex-Governor Boggs, of Missouri. It was confidently stated that Joseph Smith {36} was accessory before the fact. The thing was swallowed as a precious morsel by the enemies of Mormonism. It was iterated and reiterated by the public journals, and the general expression of a certain class was that Mr. Smith ought to be hung; there was no doubt of his guilt; he was one of the most inhuman, diabolical, dangerous, and malignant persons in the universe; and when a requisition was made for him by the Governor of Missouri, it was considered worse than "arson" or "treason" that he should be acquitted by the legal authorities of this State, under habeas corpus; and afterwards, when Porter Rockwell was taken, it was exultingly stated that they had got the scoundrel, and that he would now receive the due demerit of his crime. How stands the matter when it is investigated—investigated by a Missouri court? The following will show:—

The last Independence Expositor says:—"Orin Porter Rockwell, the Mormon confined in our county jail, some time since, for the attempted assassination of ex-Governor Boggs, was indicted by our last grand jury for escaping from our county jail some time since, and sent to Clay county for trial. Owing, however, to some informality in the proceedings, he was remanded to this county again for trial. There was not sufficient proof adduced against him to predicate an indictment for shooting ex-Governor Boggs, and the grand jury therefore did not indict him for that offense."—[St. Louis New Era.]

It appears, then, after all the bluster, the hue-and-cry about Mormon outrages, Mormon intrigue, "blood," "arson," and "murder," that "there was not sufficient proof adduced against him to predicate an indictment for shooting ex-Governor Boggs, and the grand jury therefore did not indict him for that offense." This speaks for itself: it needs no comment. We are glad, for the sake of suffering innocence, that Mr. Rockwell stands clear in the eyes of the law. Thus it seems that after exerting all their malice and hellish rage to implicate the innocent, they can find no proof against him. But yet he must be again incarcerated, without proof, for another hearing. This is Missouri justice. If he was guilty of breaking jail, why not try and punish him for that before that court? Where is the necessity of remanding him to another county for another hearing? It is evident that they wish to immolate him, and, by offering him as a sacrifice, glut their thirst for innocent blood.

Pacific Island Mission.

I answered Governor Ford's letter received on the 18th. Elder Brigham Young instructed Elder Addison Pratt to go and engage a passage for himself and Elders Noah Rogers, Knowlton F. Hanks, and B. F. Grouard, as missionaries to the Pacific Islands, {37} although they had not one-tenth of the means on hand to pay their passage.

In the evening, Elders Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Orson Pratt, Wilford Woodruff, George A. Smith, and John E. Page visited Mr. O. S. Fowler, the phrenologist, who examined their heads and gave their phrenological charts.

Thursday, 21.—Made affidavit with Willard Richards and William Clayton to Auditor of State v. Walter Bagby.

About eleven, a.m., called with my Brother Samuel H. to see about getting a copy of his blessing, and wished Doctor Richards much joy in his new daughter.

About noon, went on board the Maid of Iowa, with William Clayton, clerk of the boat.

One, p.m., the thermometer stood at 100 deg. in the shade.

Friday, 22.—The Twelve visited the Navy Yard and Harbor of Boston, the Mississippi steamship, the ropewalk, the Bunker-hill monument, the State-house, and the State's prison. In the evening they addressed the Saints in Boylston Hall.

Elder Addison Pratt, accompanied by Elder Philip B. Lewis engaged a passage to the Society Islands at $100 each for himself, Noah Rogers, Knowlton F. Hanks, and B. F. Grouard.

Saturday, 23.—Elder Stephen Markham returned from Dixon, the trial of Reynolds and Wilson being postponed till May next.

Report from the Pinery.

Bishop George Miller returned from the Pinery. He reports the water in Black River so low that they could not get their raft into the Mississippi.

I had an interview with Elder Orson Spencer, from whom I borrowed $75 for the Temple.

Stewardship vs. Common Stock.

Sunday, 24.—I preached on the stand about one hour on the 2nd chapter of Acts, designing to show the folly of common stock. In Nauvoo every {38} one is steward over his own. After preaching, I called upon the brethren to draw stone for the Temple, and gave notice for a special conference for the 6th of October next. Adjourned the meeting about one, p.m., on account of the prospect of rain. Judge McBride and a lawyer from Missouri were present at the meeting.

Monday, 25.—Wet day. At home. Held a conversation with the Missouri lawyer.

Tuesday, 26—Held Mayor's Court, and tried the case of "Dana v. Leeches." No cause of action. Called at the store about six, p.m., and directed the clerk to issue papers in the case of "Medagh v. Hovey."

Wednesday, 27.—The Neighbor of this date has the following editorial:—


We find that the Quincy Whig has some very righteous remarks to make concerning the Mormons, emanating from the purest principles of patriotism. (?) The editor has had some "private conversation" with some individual or individuals about certain charges brought against the Mormons, particularly that of screening horse thieves.

We think that the Whig has not done itself much credit in advocating the principles contained in those resolutions. We leave that, however, for a discerning public to judge.

Concerning the horse thieves, however, the informant of the Whig would have shown himself a better friend to society to have given information to the proper authorities, and had these pests of society brought to condign punishment. And the editor of that paper would have proved himself more patriotic by telling us who these people are that are screened in our midst, than dealing thus in generals and stabbing in the dark.

Come, Mr. Whig, out with it, and let us know who it is that is found transgressing. Who knows but that, far fallen as we are, there yet may be virtue enough left to prosecute a horse thief! We have tried this more than once, and prosecuted them as far as Carthage; but no sooner do they arrive in the jail there than we lose all track of them. The lock of the door is so slippery, that it lets them all out. We presume, however, that it is on account of the honesty of the people. (?) We are pleased to find that the Whig is in the secret!

Mr. Ivins, of this city, had a horse stolen last week, and we frequently have occurrences of the kind. Will the editor of that paper be {39} so kind as to ask his informant who the thieves are, and where they live, and give us the desired information? and we shall esteem it a peculiar favor.

I was at home all day, and gave Brother Phelps the privilege of occupying the small house near the store.

Meeting of a Special Council.

Thursday, 28.—At half-past eleven, a.m., a council convened over the store, consisting of myself, my brother Hyrum, Uncle John Smith, Newel K. Whitney, George Miller, Willard Richards, John Taylor, Amasa Lyman, John M. Bernhisel, and Lucien Woodworth; and at seven in the evening we met in the front upper room of the Mansion, with William Law and William Marks. By the common consent and unanimous voice of the council, I was chosen president of the special council.

The president led in prayer that his days might be prolonged until his mission on the earth is accomplished, have dominion over his enemies, all their households be blessed, and all the Church and the world.

Friday, 29.—Elder Brigham Young started from Boston for Nauvoo. The Twelve were now scattered among the branches in the Eastern States.

Saturday, 30.—Rainy, and strong west wind.

Elders Young and Woodruff stayed at Elder Forster's, in New York.

Sunday, October 1, 1843.—I copy the following from the Times and Seasons of this date:—


This question we frequently hear asked, and it is a question of no small importance to the Latter-day Saints.

We, as a people, have labored and are still laboring under great injustice from the hands of a neighboring state. The Latter-day Saints have had their property destroyed, and their houses made desolate by the hands of the Missourians; murders have been committed with impunity, and many, in consequence of oppression, barbarism, and cruelty, have slept the sleep of death. They [the Saints] have been obliged to flee from their possessions into a distant land, in the chilling frosts of winter, robbed, spoiled, desolate, houseless, and homeless, without any just pretext {40} or shadow of law, without having violated the laws of that state, or the United States; and have had to wander as exiles in a strange land, without as yet being able to obtain any redress for their grievances.

We have hitherto adopted every legal measure. First, we petitioned the State of Missouri, but in vain. We have memorialized Congress, but they have turned a deaf ear to our supplication, and referred us again to the State and justice of Missouri. Doubtless many of the members of that honorable body were not sufficiently informed of the enormity and extent of the crimes of our persecutors, nor of the indelible stain which our national escutcheon has received through their inhuman daring. They have been allowed to revel in blood and luxuriate in the miseries of the oppressed, and no man has laid it to heart.

The fact is that gentlemen of respectability and refinement, who live in a civilized society, find it difficult to believe that such enormities could be practiced in a Republican government. But our wrong cannot slumber. Such tyranny and oppression must not be passed over in silence. Our injuries, though past, are not forgotten by us; they still rankle in our bosoms, and the blood of the innocent yet cries for justice; and as American citizens we have appealed and shall still continue to appeal to the legally-constituted authorities of the land for redress, in the hopes that justice, which has long slumbered, may be aroused in our defense; that the spirit which burned in the bosoms of the patriots of '76 may fire the souls of their descendants; and though slow, that their indignation may yet be aroused at the injustice of the oppressor; and that they may yet mete out justice to our adversaries, and step forward in the defense of the innocent.

We shall ask no one to commit themselves on our account. We want no steps taken but what are legal, constitutional and honorable. But we are American citizens; and as American citizens we have rights in common with all that live under the folds of the "star-spangled banner." Our rights have been trampled upon by lawless miscreants. We have been robbed of our liberties by mobocratic influence, and all those honorable ties that ought to govern and characterize Columbia's sons have been trampled in the dust. Still we are American Citizens; and as American citizens we claim the privilege of being heard in the councils of our nation. We have been wronged, abused, robbed, and banished; and we seek redress. Such crimes can not slumber in Republican America. The cause of common humanity would revolt at it, and Republicanism would hide its head in disgust.

We make these remarks for the purpose of drawing the attention of our brethren to this subject, both at home and abroad, that we may fix upon the man who will be the most likely to render us assistance in obtaining redress for our grievances; and not only give our own votes, but use our influence to obtain others; and if the voice of suffering innocence {41} will not sufficiently arouse the rulers of our nation to investigate our case, perhaps a vote of from fifty to one hundred thousand may rouse them from their lethargy.

We shall fix upon the man of our choice, and notify our friends duly.

I published the following in the same number of the Times and Seasons:


To all the Saints and honourable men of the earth to whom the Lord has given liberally of this world's goods, greeting:

Our worthy Brother, Elder George J. Adams, has been appointed by the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at Nauvoo to present to them the importance, as well as the things connected with his mission to Russia, to introduce the fullness of the Gospel to the people of that vast empire, and also to which is attached some of the most important things concerning the advancement and building up of the kingdom of God in the last days, which cannot be explained at this time. But as the mission is attended with much expense, all those who feel disposed to bestow according as God has blessed them shall receive the blessings of Israel's God, and tenfold shall be added unto them, as well as the prayers of the Saints of God.

With sentiments of high esteem, we subscribe ourselves your friends and brethren in the now and everlasting covenant,



Presidents of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.[1]

I attended meeting this morning, and adjourned it in consequence of the cold and rain. The afternoon being more pleasant, the people assembled, and were addressed by Elders Marks, Charles C. Rich and Bishop Jacob Foutz.

Council met in the evening same as on Thursday previous.

Monday, 2.—At home.

Movement of Apostles in the East.

Tuesday, 3.—Elders Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Orson Hyde, George A. Smith, Wilford Woodruff, and Jedediah M. Grant spent the day in visiting the Saints in Philadelphia. In the evening they partook of an oyster supper, on the invitation of Mr. Jeffreys.

{42} The brethren assembled with their wives, to the number of about one hundred couple, and dined at the Mansion as an opening to the house. A very pleasant day, and all things passed off well.

The following is extracted from the Neighbor of this date.


General Joseph Smith, the proprietor of said house, provided a luxurious feast for a pleasure party; and all having partaken of the luxuries of a well-spread board, the cloth was removed, and a committee appointed to draft resolutions suitable to the occasion. They adjourned for a few moments and returned, when Robert D. Foster was appointed chairman.

The object of the meeting was then briefly stated by the chairman; after which a hymn was sung, and prayer by Elder Taylor. The chairman then arose and made some appropriate remarks for the occasion, touching upon the rise and progress of the city, the varied scenes through which the Saints had to pass, the persecutions and abuses the Prophets had to undergo, &c., &c. After which he read the following resolutions and toast, which were unanimously adopted:—

Resolved, 1st. That a vote of thanks be presented to General Joseph Smith and lady, through the medium of the Nauvoo Neighbor, for the very bountiful feast by them provided, for the accommodation of this party of more than one hundred couple at their Mansion.

Resolved, 2nd. General Joseph Smith, whether we view him as a Prophet at the head of the Church, a General at the head of the Legion, a Mayor at the head of the City Council, or as a landlord at the head of his table, if he has equals, he has no superiors.

Resolved, 3rd. Nauvoo, the great emporium of the West, the center of all centers, a city of three years' growth, a population of 15,000 souls congregated from the four quarters of the globe, embracing the intelligence of all nations, with industry, frugality, economy, virtue, and brotherly love, unsurpassed by any age in the world,—a suitable home for the Saints.

Resolved, 4th. Nauvoo Legion, a well disciplined and faithful band of invincibles, ready at all times to defend their country with this motto, "Vive la Republique."

Resolved, 5th. Nauvoo Charter, like the laws of the Medes and Persians, an unalterable decree by a patriotic band of wise legislators for the protection of the innocent.

Resolved, 6th. Thomas Ford, Governor of Illinois, fearless and {43} faithful in the discharge of all official duties,—long may he live, and blessings attend his administration.

Colonel Francis M. Higbee was then called to the stand, who addressed the audience in a very spirited and appropriate manner for the day.

Professor Orson Spencer was then called, who arose, and in his usual easy and eloquent manner highly entertained the company for nearly half-an-hour.

The next called was Elder John Taylor, who alone was capable of putting on the top stone of the entertainment. His address was highly interesting, combining, like a Lacoon, a volume in every gesture.

General Smith then arose, and, in a very touching and suitable manner, tendered his thanks to the company for the encomiums and honors conferred on him. He recited the many woes through which he had passed, the persecutions which he had suffered, and the love he had for the brethren and citizens of Nauvoo. He tendered his gratitude for the pleasing prospects that surrounded him to the great Giver of all good. He said he thought that his case was similar to that of old Job's—that after he had suffered and drank the very dregs of affliction, the Lord had remembered him in mercy, and was about to bless him abundantly.

After he had done, Mrs. Emma Smith presented her thanks, through the chair, to the company present; after which, a motion was made and carried, to adjourn, whereupon the company were called to their feet. Benediction by Elder Taylor, and the party retired with the most perfect satisfaction and good humor as was ever witnessed on such occasions.


In the evening Mr. William Backenstos and Clara M. Wasson were married at the Mansion. I solemnized the marriage in presence of a select party.

Wednesday, 4.—I extract the following from the Neighbor of this date:—


With respect to the Carthage meeting, I take upon myself to deny the charges in toto, and challenge them to the proof. If we harbor horse-thieves among us, as is basely asserted, let the man that has lost his horse publish his name and the name of the villain, or how he knows him to be a Mormon, and where he is harbored, that we may have something more than vague assertions. They well know that no such proof can be produced, but that the charges had their birth in the minds of one or two heartless scoundrels thirsting for revenge for their late disappointments. The whole of the charges are a tissue of falsehoods {44} got up with the idea of intimidating a peaceable body of citizens. But, sir, we set such designing knaves at defiance and laugh at their threats, treating them with utter contempt, but ever ready to abide by the truth.


Elder Reuben Hedlock wrote the following letter:—

Elder Reuben Hedlock to the First Presidency.

LIVERPOOL, October 4, 1843.

To the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, greeting:—

DEAR AND MUCH ESTEEMED BRETHREN,—I hasten to inform you of my arrival in Liverpool on the 30th day of September, in company with Elders John Cairns, James Sloan and wife, James Houston, and William G. Jermon. We left six of the Twelve in the city of New York, the 2nd day of September, and came on board of the ship Columbus. Our passage money was five dollars. We had a very hard passage. We were very much crowded in the steerage. There were 236 persons—Dutch, Irish, English and Scotch, and as dirty as any I ever saw. We were not much sick; the weather was cold. Had it been otherwise, we should have suffered more. A steamer leaves for New York today, and I thought I would announce to you my arrival by this opportunity, and such information as I was in possession of up to this date. There is a ship to sail on the 14th instant, by which I shall write you again.

I found Elders Hyrum Clark, Thomas Ward, and Amos Fielding in Liverpool, and they were well; and as far as I was informed by them, the Church is in a good state and on the increase; it numbers somewhere between eight and nine thousand members. There is a great want of laborers in the vineyard. Many of the first Elders have left this for Nauvoo, leaving their places vacant. I presented to the Presidency here your decision relative to the printing. Elders Ward and Fielding received it, and manifested a desire to abide by it. Elder Fielding wept when I showed him your decision concerning him and his coming to Nauvoo by the first ship to see you face to face. The brethren say here that he has been too hasty in some things, and has given some an offense; but I do not as yet know anything derogatory to his character that I could say aught against him. I shall write you all the particulars as fast as I come in possession of them. As regards the printing in this land, we shall stop it after the next number is published. In it we wish to publish the news from Nauvoo for the benefit of the Saints, and to announce our arrival in this country.

Permit me here to give you my opinion as regards the printing in this land, and I will cheerfully abide your advice notwithstanding. After we stop the Star, we shall have during the shipping season to advertise {45} and give general information in the emigration business to the Saints scattered abroad. I think it would be best to republish the Times and Seasons for the benefit of the Church. The duties on books are £2-10s. per hundredweight; and there are now 1,600 Stars circulated here at the present, and the demands of our publications are on the increase. The duties would almost reprint the Times and Seasons, and then we could do our advertising on the last page, if thought advisable. We could afford it as cheap as the present Star, and pay you something for the privilege of publishing, as well as to pay it to the crown. I have not yet learned the amount of funds remaining here subject to your order. I have not had much time as yet to inquire into those matters, in consequence of the multitude of business in unloading our freight from shipboard.

The brethren that came with me wish to say to those whom it may concern, that they are well, and will in a few days leave for their fields of labor.

I shall write to you once a month, no preventing Providence, and should be glad to have you write to me as often, and give me your advice and counsel relating to those things you, in your wisdom, may think beneficial to the Saints and emigration in this land.

I wish Elder Taylor would forward to me the amount of the number that will make the volume of the Times and Seasons complete by the first opportunity. By so doing I can sell the 200 volumes to advantage. I will try to forward to him what I can obtain for the Times and Seasons already here. If it should be thought wisdom to reprint the Times and Seasons here, I wish Brother Taylor would be particular to send, so that we could obtain them, if possible. I am informed by Elder Ward that they have not received any intelligence from you since last February.

I wish you would write me your mind concerning the printing immediately on the receipt of this sheet, so that our communication with the Saints in England may not be stopped long.

I am, as ever, your humble servant in the bonds of the new and everlasting covenant,


The Prophet's visit with Justin Butterfield.

I was at the mansion preparing some legal papers.—Justin Butterfield, Esq., U. S. Attorney for Illinois, arrived this afternoon; and I spent the rest of the day in riding and chatting with him.

Council of the quorum [special council, see p. 39] met and adjourned to Sunday evening; my Brother Hyrum's child being sick.

{46} The quorum of the Twelve started from Philadelphia for Pittsburgh.

Thursday, 5.—This morning I rode out with Esquire Butterfield to the farm.

Instructions Respecting Plurality of Wives.

In the afternoon, rode to the prairie to show some of the brethren some land. Evening, at home, and walked up and down the streets with my scribe. Gave instructions to try those persons who were preaching, teaching, or practicing the doctrine of plurality of wives: for, according to the law, I hold the keys of this power in the last days; for there is never but one on earth at a time on whom the power and its keys are conferred; and I have constantly said no man shall have but one wife at a time, unless the Lord directs otherwise.

Friday, 6.—I attended special conference; but as few people were out, in consequence of the weather proving unfavorable, the organization of the conference was adjourned until to morrow, or the first pleasant day.

The Prophet's Dissatisfaction with Sidney Rigdon.

After giving notice that President Rigdon's case would be considered, &c., I walked towards home, and gave instructions to my scribe to cause all the papers relating to my land-claims in the Half Breed Tract in Iowa, to be placed in the hands of Esquire Butterfield.

Saturday, 7.—I attended conference.

Sunday, 8.—Slight frost last night. Conference convened in the morning; but, as it rained, adjourned till Monday at ten, a.m.

Prayer-meeting at my house in the evening. Quorum present; also, in addition, Sisters Adams, Elizabeth Ann Whitney, my aunt Clarissa Smith, and my mother.

My brother Hyrum and his wife were blessed, ordained and anointed.

The Twelve arrived at Pittsburgh at ten, a.m., and again left by the steamer Raritan, at eleven, a.m., en route for Nauvoo.

{47} Monday, 9.—Attended conference, and preached a funeral sermon on the death of General James Adams; a brief synopsis of which, as reported by Dr. Willard Richards, will be found in the minutes below.

I here insert the conference minutes.


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in Special Conference, held in the City of Nauvoo, commencing on the 6th of October, 1843.

Friday, October 6, ten o'clock, a.m.

The weather proving unfavorable, the organization of the Conference was postponed until the next day at ten o'clock, a.m.

Saturday, ten o'clock, a.m.

Conference assembled and proceeded to business.

President Joseph Smith was called to the chair, and Gustavus Hills was chosen clerk.

Singing by the choir, and prayer by Elder Almon W. Babbitt.

The president stated the items of business to be brought before the conference to be—

1st. The case and standing of Elder Sidney Rigdon, Counselor in the First Presidency.

2nd. The further progress of the Temple; after which, any miscellaneous business.

Elder Sidney Rigdon addressed the conference on the subject of his situation and circumstances among the Saints.

President Joseph Smith addressed the conference, inviting an expression of any charges or complaints which the conference had to make. He stated his dissatisfaction with Elder Sidney Rigdon as a Counselor, not having received any material benefit from his labors of counsels since their escape from Missouri. Several complaints were then brought forward in reference to his management in the post office; a supposed correspondence and connection with John C. Bennett, with Ex-Governor Carlin, and with the Missourians, of a treacherous character; also his leaguing with dishonest persons in endeavoring to defraud the innocent.

President Joseph Smith related to the conference the detention of a document from Justin Butterfield, Esq., which was designed for the benefit of himself, (President Smith,) but was not handed over for some three or four weeks, greatly to his disadvantage; also, an indirect testimony from Missouri, through the mother of Orrin P. Rockwell, that said Rigdon and others had given information, by letter, of President Smith's visit to Dixon, advising them to proceed to that place {48} and arrest him there. He stated that, in consequence of these and other circumstances, and Elder Rigdon's unprofitableness to him as a Counselor, he did not wish to retain him in that station, unless those difficulties could be removed; but desired his salvation, and expressed his willingness that he should retain a place among the Saints.

Elder Almon W. Babbitt suggested the propriety of limiting the complaints and proofs to circumstances that had transpired since the last conference.

President Joseph Smith replied, and showed the legality and propriety of a thorough investigation, without such limitation.

Elder Sidney Rigdon pleaded, concerning the document from Justin Butterfield, Esq., that he received it in answer to some inquiries which he [Rigdon] had transmitted to him [Butterfield]; that he [Rigdon] received it at a time when he was sick, and unable to examine it; did not know that it was designed for the perusal and benefit of President Joseph Smith; that he had, consequently, ordered it to be laid aside, where it remained until inquired for by Joseph Smith. He had never written to Missouri concerning the visit of Joseph Smith to Dixon, and knew of no other person having done so. That, concerning certain rumors of belligerent operations under Governor Carlin's administration, he had related them, not to alarm or disturb any one; but that he had the rumors from good authorities, and supposed them well founded. That he had never received but one communication from John C. Bennett, and that of a business character, except one addressed to him conjointly with Elder Orson Pratt, which he handed over to President Smith. That he had never written any letters to John C. Bennett.

The weather becoming inclement, conference adjourned until Sunday, ten o'clock, a.m.

Sunday, 8th, ten o'clock, A.M.

Conference assembled agreeably to adjournment.

Singing by the choir, and prayer by Elder William W. Phelps.

Elder Sidney Rigdon resumed his plea of defense. He related the circumstances of his reception in the city of Quincy, after his escape from Missouri,—the cause of his delay in not going to the city of Washington, on an express to which he had been appointed: and closed with a moving appeal to President Joseph Smith, concerning their former friendship, associations, and sufferings; and expressed his willingness to resign his place, though with sorrowful and indescribable feelings. During this address, the sympathies of the congregation were highly excited.

Elder Almon W. Babbitt related a conversation he had had with Esquire Johnson, in which he exonerated Elder Sidney Rigdon from the {49} charge or suspicion of having had a treacherous correspondence with ex-Governor Carlin.

President Joseph Smith arose and explained to the congregation the supposed treacherous correspondence with ex-Governor Carlin, and expressed entire lack of confidence in his integrity and steadfastness, judging from their past intercourse.

Patriarch Hyrum Smith followed with appropriate and impressive remarks on the attributes of mercy in God, as that by which He influences, controls and conquers; and the propriety and importance of the Saints exercising the same attribute towards their fellows, and especially towards their aged companion and fellow-servant in the cause of truth and righteousness.

Elder Almon W. Babbitt and President William Law followed with remarks in defense of Elder Sidney Rigdon.

On motion by President William Marks, and seconded by Patriarch Hyrum Smith, conference voted that Elder Sidney Rigdon be permitted to retain his station as Counselor in the First Presidency.

President Joseph Smith arose and said, "I have thrown him off my shoulders, and you have again put him on me. You may carry him, but I will not."[2]

Singing. Prayer by Elder William Law.

Conference adjourned for one hour.

Three, p.m.

Conference assembled; but in consequence of the inclemency of the weather, business was postponed until Monday, ten o'clock, A.M.

Monday, ten o'clock, a.m.

Conference assembled, and resumed business.

Singing by the choir. Prayer by Elder Alpheus Cutler.

The business pertaining to the Temple was then announced by the President as next in order.

Elder Alpheus Cutler, on the part of the Temple Committee, represented the work of the Temple to be retarded for want of team work and provisions—also of iron, steel, blasting powder, and clothing,—giving as his opinion that the walls could easily be completed next season, if these embarrassments were removed, and the brethren would come forward to sustain them in the work with the means that were in their hands.

Elder Reynolds Cahoon followed, seconding the remarks of Elder Cutler, and setting forth the importance of the Saints using their utmost exertions to fulfill the revelation concerning the Temple, earnestly exhorting the Saints here and abroad to roll in the necessary means into the hands of the Trustee, that the work may advance with rapidity.

{50} President Hyrum Smith followed with pertinent remarks on the importance of the work—the ease with which it might be advanced to its completion,—that it had already become a monument for the people abroad to gaze on with astonishment. He concluded with some advice to parents to restrain their children from vice and folly, and employ them in some business of profit to themselves, to the Temple, or elsewhere.

On motion by Elder William Law, and seconded by President Hyrum Smith, conference voted that we, as a conference and individuals, will use all the means, exertions, and influence in our power to sustain the Temple Committee in advancing the work of the Temple.

Conference adjourned for one hour.

Two o'clock, p.m.

Conference re-assembled, and listened with profound attention to an impressive discourse from President Joseph Smith, commemorative of the decease of James Adams, Esq., late of this city, and an honorable, worthy, useful and esteemed member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


All men know that they must die. And it is important that we should understand the reasons and causes of our exposure to the vicissitudes of life and of death, and the designs and purposes of God in our coming into the world, our sufferings here, and our departure hence. What is the object of our coming into existence, then dying and falling away, to be here no more? It is but reasonable to suppose that God would reveal something in reference to the matter, and it is a subject we ought to study more than any other. We ought to study it day and night, for the world is ignorant in reference to their true condition and relation. If we have any claim on our Heavenly Father for anything, it is for knowledge on this important subject. Could we read and comprehend all that has been written from the days of Adam, on the relation of man to God and angels in a future state, we should know very little about it. Reading the experience of others, or the revelation given to them, can never give us a comprehensive view of our condition and true relation to God. Knowledge of these things can only be obtained by experience through the ordinances of God set forth for that purpose. Could you gaze into heaven five minutes, you would know more than you would by reading all that ever was written on the subject.

We are only capable of comprehending that certain things exist, which we may acquire by certain fixed principles. If men would acquire salvation, they have got to be subject, before they leave this {51} world, to certain rules and principles, which were fixed by an unalterable decree before the world was.

The disappointment of hopes and expectations at the resurrection would be indescribably dreadful.

The organization of the spiritual and heavenly worlds, and of spiritual and heavenly beings, was agreeable to the most perfect order and harmony: their limits and bounds were fixed irrevocably, and voluntarily subscribed to in their heavenly estate by themselves, and were by our first parents subscribed to upon the earth. Hence the importance of embracing and subscribing to principles of eternal truth by all men upon the earth that expect eternal life.

I assure the Saints that truth, in reference to these matters, can and may be known through the revelations of God in the way of His ordinances, and in answer to prayer. The Hebrew Church "came unto the spirits of just men made perfect, and unto an innumerable company of angels, unto God the Father of all, and to Jesus Christ, the Mediator of the new covenant." What did they learn by coming of the spirits of just men made perfect? Is it written? No. What they learned has not been and could not have been written. What object was gained by this communication with the spirits of the just? It was the established order of the kingdom of God: the keys of power and knowledge were with them to communicate to the Saints. Hence the importance of understanding the distinction between the spirits of the just and angels.

Spirits can only be revealed in flaming fire or glory. Angels have advanced further, their light and glory being tabernacled; and hence they appear in bodily shape. The spirits of just men are made ministering servants to those who are sealed unto life eternal, and it is through them that the sealing power comes down.

Patriarch Adams is now one of the spirits of the just men made perfect; and, if revealed now, must be revealed in fire; and the glory could not be endured. Jesus showed Himself to His disciples, and they thought it was His spirit, and they were afraid to approach His spirit. Angels have advanced higher in knowledge and power than spirits.

Concerning Brother James Adams, it should appear strange that so good and so great a man was hated. The deceased ought never to have had an enemy. But so it was. Wherever light shone, it stirred up darkness. Truth and error, good and evil cannot be reconciled. Judge Adams had some enemies, but such a man ought not to have had one. I saw him first at Springfield, when on my way from Missouri to Washington. He sought me out when a stranger, took me to his home, encouraged and cheered me, and gave me money. He has been a most intimate friend. I anointed him to the patriarchal power—to receive {52} the keys of knowledge and power, by revelation to himself. He has had revelations concerning his departure, and has gone to a more important work. When men are prepared, they are better off to go hence. Brother Adams has gone to open up a more effectual door for the dead. The spirits of the just are exalted to a greater and more glorious work; hence they are blessed in their departure to the world of spirits. Enveloped in flaming fire, they are not far from us, and know and understand our thoughts, feelings, and motions, and are often pained therewith.

Flesh and blood cannot go there; but flesh and bones, quickened by the Spirit of God, can.

If we would be sober and watch in fasting and prayer, God would turn away sickness from our midst.

Hasten the work in the Temple, renew your exertions to forward all the work of the last days, and walk before the Lord in soberness and righteousness. Let the Elders and Saints do away with lightmindedness, and be sober.

Such is a faint outline of the discourse of President Joseph Smith, which was delivered with his usual feeling and pathos, and was listened to with the most profound and eager attention by the multitude, who hung upon his instructions, anxious to learn and pursue the path of eternal life.

After singing by the choir, and prayer by the President, Conference adjourned sine die, with the benediction of the President.

JOSEPH SMITH, President.


Pacific Island Mission Embarks.

The missionaries to the Society Islands went on board the ship Timoleon, Captain Plasket, at New Bedford, and got under way. Elder Philip B. Lewis donated $300 towards their passage and fitout. Elder Knowlton F. Hanks' health was very poor.


1. The fact that Sidney Rigdon and Wm. Law did not sign this document as in the First Presidency, should be noted.

2. This paragraph in Italics appears as footnote in the Ms. History.




Tuesday, October 10, 1843.—My brother Hyrum was appointed, by the voice of the Spirit, one of the Temple Committee, in place of Judge Elias Higbee, deceased.

I spent the day in council with J. and O. C. Skinner and the Rhodes' about the sale of land, and appointed William Clayton to buy the property.

Wednesday, 11—I was at home this morning. In the afternoon I went with my brother Hyrum, William Law, and our wives, to Brother John Benbow's.

The following is from the Times and Seasons:—


Every day adds fresh testimony to the already accumulated evidence on the authenticity of the Book of Mormon. At the time that book was translated, there was very little known about ruined cities and dilapidated buildings. The general presumption was that no people possessing more intelligence than our present race of Indians had ever inhabited this continent; and the accounts given in the Book of Mormon concerning large cities and civilized people having inhabited this land were generally disbelieved and pronounced a humbug. Priest, since then, has thrown some light on this interesting subject. [Stephens, in his "Incidents of Travels in Central America," has thrown in a flood of testimony, and from the following statements it is evident that the Book of Mormon does not give a more extensive account of large and populous cities than those discovered demonstrate to be even now in existence.—Ed.]

(Article from the Texas Telegraph, October 11.)

We have been informed by a gentleman who has traversed a large portion of the Indian country of Northern Texas, and the country {54} lying between Santa Fe and the Pacific, that there are vestiges of ancient cities and ruined castles or temples on the Rio Puerco, and on the Colorado of the West.

He says that on one of the branches of the Rio Puerco, a few days' travel from Santa Fe, there is an immense pile of ruins that appear to belong to an ancient temple. Portions of the walls are still standing, consisting of huge blocks of limestone regularly hewn and laid in cement. The building occupies an extent of more than an acre. It is two or three stories high, has no roof, but contains many rooms, generally of a square form, without windows; and the lower rooms are so dark and gloomy that they resemble caverns rather than the apartments of an edifice built for a human habitation.

Our informant did not give the style of architecture, but he believes it could not be erected by Spaniards or Europeans, as the stones are much worn by the rains, and indicate that the building has stood many hundred years. From his description, we are induced to believe that it resembles the ruins of Palenque or Otulum.

He says there are many similar ruins on the Colorado of the West, which empties in the Californian sea. In one of the valleys of the Cordilleras traversed by this river, and about four hundred miles from its mouth, there is a large temple still standing, its walls and spires presenting scarcely any traces of dilapidation; and were it not for the want of a roof, it might still be rendered habitable. Near it, scattered along the declivity of a mountain, are the ruins of what must have been once a large city.

The traces of a large aqueduct, part of which is, however, in the solid rock, are still visible. Neither the Indians residing in the vicinity nor the oldest Spanish settlers of the nearest settlements can give any account of the origin of these buildings. They merely know that they have stood there from the earliest periods to which their traditions extend.

The antiquarian who is desirous to trace the Aztec or the Toltec races in their migrations from the northern regions of America may find in their ancient edifices many subjects of curious speculation.

Thursday, 12.—Prayer-meeting in my room. We prayed for William Marks, who was sick.

I sent William Clayton to Lathrop, to borrow $50, that I might be able to redeem $5000 worth of property, which was published to be sold today at Rhodes'; but Lathrop refused. He also went to Eli Chase's, but was refused by him. I was grieved that the brethren felt so penurious in their spirit, although they professed to be guided by the {55} revelations which the Lord gives through me. On my afterwards giving a pledge that I would repay the $50 in forty-eight hours, Lathrop lent the money and enabled me to redeem the land.

I received the following from H. R. Hotchkiss:

Letter—H. R. Hotchkiss to Joseph Smith.

NEW YORK, 27th September, 1843.

Rev. Joseph Smith.

DEAR SIR,—I see by the newspapers that there has been a meeting of citizens at Carthage relative to the Mormons, and that several severe resolutions have been passed condemning the conduct of the Mormons. Knowing how little I can rely upon public rumor upon such subjects, I have taken the liberty of applying directly to you for correct information, and solicit as a particular favor that you will communicate at your earliest convenience the facts in the case.

Of course I feel an interest in the prosperity of Nauvoo, and an interest also in the success of the Mormon enterprise, and a deep interest in the welfare of your people; and the more so, certainly, as their pecuniary interest is identified with my own. I make this frank acknowledgment, because it is always best for men of sense to talk as they mean. I should, however, be solicitous for a successful termination of your great enterprise, had I not one dollar invested in Nauvoo, because the complete triumph of energetic exertions is always gratifying to all business men.

Your obedient servant,


I wrote this reply:—

Letter—Joseph Smith to H. R. Hotchkiss.

NAUVOO, Ill., Oct. 12, 1843.

DEAR SIR,—Your letter of the 27th ult. is at hand, soliciting information concerning the "Carthage resolutions." In answer to your very candid inquiry and interest relative to our welfare, brevity will suffice. Unprincipled men and disappointed demagogues, with here and there an "untamed sucker," composed that disgraceful and disgracing as well as mobocratic assemblage; and I feel proud to say that patriots and honest men generally frown upon such audacious proceedings as beneath the dignity of freemen. It is to be hoped that public opinion will continue to spurn at such doings, and leave the actors to fester in their own shame.

With the smiling prospects around us at present, success seems {56} certain; and, with the blessings of Jehovah, we shall reap the reward of virtue and goodness. I go for the good of the world; and if all honest men would do so, mean men would be scarce. You are at liberty to use this to counteract falsehoods as you may deem proper.

Respectfully, I am your obedient servant,


Friday, 13.—First severe frost at Nauvoo this season. Ice on the water.

At home; made arrangements to prepare provisions for the workmen in the pinery. From ten, a.m. to three, p.m., presided in municipal court, on habeas corpus in favor of Charles Drown, to be delivered from the custody of Samuel Waterman. The prisoner being sick, adjourned the case to the 16th.

In the afternoon, trying a span of grey horses in the carriage.

Dr. Turner, a phrenologist, came in. I gratified his curiosity for about an hour by allowing him to examine my head.

I was engaged settling accounts with D. S. Hollister.

Saturday, 14.—In the morning, at home, having a long [Location of the mind.] conversation with a physiologist and mesmerizer. I asked them to prove that the mind of man was seated in one part of the brain more than another.

Sat in City Council till one, p.m., which passed "An Ordinance concerning the inspection of flour," and appointed William E. Horner inspector of flour for the city of Nauvoo.

Sunday, 15.—Cool, calm, and cloudy. At eleven, a.m., I preached at the stand east of the Temple. The following synopsis was reported by Dr. Willard Richards:—

The Prophet on the Constitution of the United States and the Bible—Temporal Economies.

It is one of the first principles of my life, and one that I have cultivated from my childhood, having been taught it by my father, to allow every one the liberty of conscience. I am the greatest advocate of the {57} Constitution of the United States there is on the earth. In my feelings I am always ready to die for the protection of the weak and oppressed in their just rights. The only fault I find with the Constitution is, it is not broad enough to cover the whole ground.

Although it provides that all men shall enjoy religious freedom, yet it does not provide the manner by which that freedom can be preserved, nor for the punishment of Government officers who refuse to protect the people in their religious rights, or punish those mobs, states, or communities who interfere with the rights of the people on account of their religion. Its sentiments are good, but it provides no means of enforcing them. It has but this one fault. Under its provision, a man or a people who are able to protect themselves can get along well enough; but those who have the misfortune to be weak or unpopular are left to the merciless rage of popular fury.

The Constitution should contain a provision that every officer of the Government who should neglect or refuse to extend the protection guaranteed in the Constitution should be subject to capital punishment; and then the president of the United States would not say, "Your cause is just, but I can do nothing for you," a governor issue exterminating orders, or judges say, "The men ought to have the protection of law, but it won't please the mob; the men must die, anyhow, to satisfy the clamor of the rabble; they must be hung, or Missouri be damned to all eternity." Executive writs could be issued when they ought to be, and not be made instruments of cruelty to oppress the innocent, and persecute men whose religion is unpopular.

I cannot believe in any of the creeds of the different denominations, because they all have some things in them I cannot subscribe to, though all of them have some truth. I want to come up into the presence of God, and learn all things; but the creeds set up stakes, and say, "Hitherto shalt thou come, and no further;" which I cannot subscribe to.

I believe the Bible as it read when it came from the pen of the original writers. Ignorant translators, careless transcribers, or designing and corrupt priests have committed many errors. As it read, Gen. VI:6, "It repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth;" also, Num. XXIII:19, "God is not a man, that he should lie, neither the Son of man, that he should repent;" which I do not believe. But it ought to read, "It repented Noah that God made man." This I believe, and then the other quotation stands fair. If any man will prove to me, by one passage of Holy Writ, one item I believe to be false, I will renounce and disclaim it as far as I promulged it.

The first principles of the Gospel, as I believe, are, faith, repentance, baptism for the remission of sins, with the promise of the Holy Ghost.

{58} Look at Heb. VI:1 for contradictions—"Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection." If a man leaves the principles of the doctrine of Christ, how can he be saved in the principles? This is a contradiction. I don't believe it. I will render it as it should be—"Therefore not leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment."

It is one thing to see the kingdom of God, and another thing to enter into it. We must have a change of heart to see the kingdom of God, and subscribe the articles of adoption to enter therein.

No man can receive the Holy Ghost without receiving revelations. The Holy Ghost is a revelator.

I prophesy, in the name of the Lord God of Israel, anguish and wrath and tribulation and the withdrawing of the Spirit of God from the earth await this generation, until they are visited with utter desolation. This generation is as corrupt as the generation of the Jews that crucified Christ; and if He were here to-day, and should preach the same doctrine He did then, they would put Him to death. I defy all the world to destroy the work of God; and I prophesy they never will have power to kill me till my work is accomplished, and I am ready to die.

I will now speak a little on the economy of this city. I think there are too many merchants among you. I would like to see more wool and raw materials instead of manufactured goods, and the money be brought here to pay the poor for manufacturing goods. Set our women to work, and stop their spinning street yarns and talking about spiritual wives.

Instead of going abroad to buy goods, lay your money out in the country, and buy grain, cattle, flax, wool, and work it up yourselves.

I proclaim, in the name of the Lord God Almighty, that I will fellowship nothing in the Church but virtue, integrity, and uprightness.

We cannot build up a city on merchandise. I would not run after the merchants. I would sow a little flax, if I had but a garden spot, and make clothing of it.

The temporal economy of this people should be to establish and encourage manufactures, and not to take usury for their money. I do not want to bind the poor here to starve. Go out into the country and into the neighbouring cities, and get food, and gird up your loins, and be sober. When you get food, return, if you have a mind to.

Some say it is better to give to the poor than build the Temple. The building of the Temple has sustained the poor who were driven from Missouri, and kept them from starving; and it has been the best means for this object which could be devised.

{59} Oh, all ye rich men of the Latter-day Saints from abroad, I would invite you to bring up some of your money—your gold, your silver, and your precious things, and give to the Temple. We want iron, steel, spades, and quarrying and mechanical tools.

It would be a good plan to get up a forge to manufacture iron, and bring in raw materials of every variety, and erect manufacturing establishments of all kinds, and surround the rapids with mills and machinery.

I never stole the value of a pin's head, or a picayune in my life; and when you are hungry don't steal. Come to me, and I will feed you.

The secret of masonry is to keep a secret. It is good economy to entertain strangers—to entertain sectarians. Come up to Nauvoo, ye sectarian priests of the everlasting Gospel, as they call it, and you shall have my pulpit all day.

Woe to ye rich men, who refuse to give to the poor, and then come and ask me for bread. Away with all your meanness, and be liberal. We need purging, purifying and cleansing. You that have little faith in your Elders when you are sick, get some little simple remedy in the first stages. If you send for a doctor at all, send in the first stages.

All ye doctors who are fools, not well read, and do not understand the human constitution, stop your practice. And all ye lawyers who have no business, only as you hatch it up, would to God you would go to work or run away!"

Monday, 16.—At home nearly all day, attending to family concerns.

Went to municipal court, and adjourned hearing of the case[1] to the 17th.

Tuesday, 17.—Went to municipal court. The prosecutor not appearing, court ordered that the prisoner be discharged.

Wednesday, 18.—Pleasant and comfortable day.

Fifteen deaths have occurred during the past week in the city.

The Prophet's Visit to Macedonia.

Thursday, 19.—Warm and pleasant day. The water has risen about two feet in the Mississippi, and is still rising.

About noon, started for Macedonia, in company with Brother William Clayton. Arrived there about {60} sundown, and I stayed at Brother Benjamin F. Johnson's for the night.

Friday, 20.—In the evening I gave instructions to Benjamin F. Johnson and others in relation to the blessings of the everlasting covenant and the sealings of the Priesthood.

Elder John P. Greene returned from a Mission to the State of New York, with about 100 emigrants, some of them from Pennsylvania, who joined his company on the way.

Warm, smoky day, with strong wind, very dark evening.

Saturday, 21.—We left Macedonia, and arrived home about two p.m. Pleasant cool day.

Sunday, 22.—Meeting at the stand. Elder Rigdon preached half-an hour on "Poor Rich Folks."

I remained at home all day, and held a prayer-meeting at my house at two, p.m.; twenty-four persons present.

Labors of Apostles in the East.

Elders Young, Kimball, and George A. Smith returned from their mission to the Eastern States, having, in connection with Elders Orson Pratt and Wilford Woodruff, visited the branches in Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Maine; held conferences, set in order the churches collected tithings for the Temple and subscriptions for the Nauvoo House, baptized many, and stirred up a general system of gathering among the Saints in the Eastern countries. They have been absent nearly four months, and have accomplished a good work. I was very glad to see them, and blessed them in the name of the Lord. Elders Daniel Spencer and Bradford Elliot also returned from their missions, and quite a respectable number of Saints came in their company.

Pleasant, cool day.

Monday, 23.—Those of the Twelve who returned from the East yesterday visited me through the day, and paid over the means they had received for the Temple and the {61} Nauvoo House. I immediately gave directions to send to St. Louis for groceries and different articles necessary for the Temple and the workmen thereon.

Hyrum Smith Appointed on Temple Committee.

This morning President Hyrum Smith entered upon the duties of his office, having previously been appointed by the voice of the Spirit to supply the place of the late Elias Higbee, deceased, as one of the Temple Committee. On his arrival at the Temple he was greeted by a hearty welcome from those engaged on the works, and the universal feeling is that great good will result from this appointment.

The day cloudy, with strong east wind.

Tuesday, 24.—William W. Phelps and Colonel Dunham started for Springfield to see the Governor, and endeavor to obtain from him the quota of State arms which belong to the Legion.

Morning warm and pleasant; afternoon wind west by north. At four, a little rain, accompanied by snow, for the first time this fall.

Wednesday, 25.—Ice one-third of an inch thick on small bodies of water. Cloudy and cold day.

In the evening settled the taxes for the Temple and Nauvoo House.

Eleven deaths in the city reported this week.

Friday, 27.—I was at home and received a visit from Bishop George Miller and Elder Peter Haws, who have just returned from their trip to Mississippi and Alabama.

Many emigrants have arrived in Nauvoo the last few weeks.

Prayer-meeting at my house in the evening.

Saturday, 28.—Cold east wind. At home all day.

Sunday, 29.—Meeting at the stand, south side of the Temple, from eleven, a.m. to two, p.m. Elders Brigham Young and John Taylor preached. Dr. Willard Richards called for a collection of $8, to buy a new book in which to record history, which sum was made up.

At nine, a.m., Elders Richards, Miller and Haws {62} ordained William C. Steffey (who was going to Texas on business,) an Elder.

Two, p.m., prayer-meeting in my house; twenty-five present. I gave instructions on the priesthood.

Monday, 30.—At nine, a.m., went to mayor's court, and adjourned it for one week.

Twelve, noon, attended a court in the office, when the parties agreed to leave their difficulty to be settled by the arbitration of Brother Flagg.

I received $300 from Brother Spencer, and immediately paid it to Dr. Robert D. Foster.

On account of the cold weather, most of the masons have discontinued the work on the Temple.

Tuesday, 31.—At nine, a.m., Mr. Moore was brought before me for a breach of city ordinance, which was proved, and I fined him $5.

I rode out with Hyrum in the carriage to the prairie, returning about three, p.m. Snow on the ground this morning; cold east wind, and rain all day.

Wednesday, November 1, 1843.—In the evening there was a prayer-meeting in the mansion; twenty-nine present.

Thursday, 2.—Sitting in council with Hyrum, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Willard Richards, John Taylor, William Law, and William Clayton, at ten, a.m., on the subject of the following letter from Joseph L. Heywood:—

Letter: Joseph L. Heywood to Joseph Smith.

Quincy, October 23, 1843.

Gen. Joseph Smith.

DEAR SIR,—In a conversation with Colonel Frierson, of this place, a short time since, he expressed, in very warm terms, feelings of sympathy for the wrongs yourself and brethren suffered in Missouri, as well as his sense of the vindictive feelings the authorities of that State still manifest towards you personally.

Mr. F. has not yet had the pleasure of a personal acquaintance with yourself, although he says he had the pleasure of meeting your lady at her sister's residence on Rock River. Mr. F. has been written by the Hon. B. Rhett, of S. Carolina, upon the subject of the Persecution: and {63} Mr. F. thinks, of all men, he would be the best qualified to present a petition in our behalf; and says, should such an arrangement meet your approbation, he will use his influence in favor of a petition; and says he knows of some honorable men in Missouri who, he has no doubt, are anxious to wipe off the stain that rests upon them, by [making] some just reparation.

I submit, by permission of Mr. F., a copy of a letter he has written to a distinguished citizen of South Carolina, together with a circular put out confidentially by the friends of Mr. Calhoun, of S. C., whom with my present feelings I should cheerfully support for our next President, and who, I have no doubt would be preferred, by the brethren to Mr. Van Buren.

If the plan suggested of memorializing Congress should meet your approbation, please inform me. Colonel Frierson promises his aid in such an event, and says he would go to Nauvoo and assist in arranging papers relative to such a step. Please accept my assurances of love and esteem for yourself and family, and a prayer that wisdom from on high may direct you in your deliberations.

I remain your brother in Christ,


Letters to Candidates for Presidency of the U.S. Decided upon

We agreed to write a letter to the five candidates for the Presidency of the United States, to inquire what their feelings were towards us as a people, and what their course of action would be in relation to the cruelty and oppression that we have suffered from the State of Missouri, if they were elected.

The Twelve Apostles published the following in the Times and Seasons:—

An Epistle of the Twelve, to the Elders and Churches Abroad.

On our late mission to the Eastern States, we discovered that the publications at Nauvoo were very little patronised by the Saints and branches in the various sections of the country where we passed, while the common newspapers of the day received a liberal support by those who pretend to "hunger and thirst after righteousness." We feel justified, therefore, in reprobating such a course as detrimental to the general good of the whole Church, that shows a lack of charity in the Elders.

"Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?"

Nauvoo at present is the seat of the First Presidency, the place of the {64} gathering for all Saints, and the great center of the world for pure religion, revelation, truth, virtue, knowledge, and everything else preparatory to the coming of the Son of Man. The best news, the best people, and the best plan of salvation must be there. Wherefore,

Resolved unanimously that the traveling Elders are hereby instructed to use due diligence in obtaining subscribers for the Times and Seasons and Nauvoo Neighbor, and forward the pay by safe hands to the publishers at Nauvoo, that the Saints and the world may receive "line upon line and precept upon precept, here a little and there a little," together with such extracts of translations and revelations as the Presidency of the Church may direct, for the edification of the whole body of the Church in righteousness.

Done in council at Nauvoo, Nov. 2nd, 1843.


President of the Twelve.


Friday, 3rd.—I continued in council all day.

Died at sea, Elder Knowlton F. Hanks. The following extract is from a letter of Addison Pratt, one of the Pacific Islands missionaries:—

[Under this date there is inserted in the Prophet's History a long letter from Elder Addison Pratt of the Pacific Island mission, describing in great detail the last illness, death and burial at sea of Elder Knowlton F. Hanks. Elder Hanks died of consumption; and of the death the Prophet remarks: "Elder Hanks is the first Elder who has died at sea while on a foreign mission. He was a faithful Elder, cut off by consumption in the flower of his days."]

Saturday, 4.—Elders Richards and Taylor were with me at the Mansion, assisting writing letters.

Wrote to John C. Calhoun as follows:—

President Smith's Letter to John C. Calhoun, and other Presidential Candidates.

Hon. John C. Calhoun.

DEAR SIR,—As we understand you are a candidate for the Presidency at the next election; and as the Latter-day Saints (sometimes called "Mormons," who now constitute a numerous class in the school politic of this vast republic,) have been robbed of an immense amount of property, and endured nameless sufferings by the State of Missouri, and from her borders have been driven by force of arms, contrary to our national covenants; and as in vain we have sought redress by all constitutional, legal, and honorable means, in her courts, her executive {65} councils, and her legislative halls; and as we have petitioned Congress to take cognizance of our sufferings without effect, we have judged it wisdom to address you this communication, and solicit an immediate, specific, and candid reply to "What will be your rule of action relative to us as a people," should fortune favor your ascension to the chief magistracy?

Most respectfully, sir, your friend,

and the friend of peace, good order,

and constitutional rights,


In behalf of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Similar letters were written to Gen. Lewis Cass, Hon. Richard M. Johnson, Hon. Henry Clay, and President Martin Van Buren. To Mr. Van Buren's letter I added the following:—

Post Script to Van Buren.

Also whether your views or feelings have changed since the subject matter of this communication was presented you in your then official capacity at Washington, in the year 1841, and by you treated with a coldness, indifference, and neglect, bordering on contempt.

Elder Wilford Woodruff arrived at Nauvoo with paper for the use of the printing office.

Sunday, 5.—Rode out with mother and others for her health.

The Prophet poisoned.

At dinner I was taken suddenly sick; went to the door and vomited all my dinner, dislocated my jaw, and raised fresh blood, and had many symptoms of being poisoned.

In the evening a prayer-meeting in the hall over the store.

Mr. Cole having kept a school in the hall for some time, the noise proved a nuisance for the clerks in the history office, and I gave Dr. W. Richards orders to tell Mr. Cole he must find some other room in which to teach school, as the room is needed for councils.

Meeting at the stand. Elder Rigdon preached.

Work in the British Mission.

Received a letter from Reuben Hedlock, dated Liverpool, October 16. He informs me there is a great call for {66} preaching, and many Elders are wanted throughout the British Isles. Much opposition. The Saints are anxious to have the Star continue its publication, as 1,600 copies are circulated.

Also received a letter from Hyrum Clark, giving a partial account of the business affairs of the emigration and publishing offices.

Monday, 6.—Domestic affairs kept me busy in the morning, and in the afternoon listened to William W. Phelps giving a relation of his visit to the governor, which amused me.

It has been very cool for some days past.

Elder Erastus Snow arrived with a company from Massachusetts.

The Prophet's Anxiety concerning the History of the Church.

Tuesday, 7.—Mr. Cole moved the tables back into the hall, when Richards and Phelps called to report that the noise in the school disturbed them in the progress of writing the History. I gave orders that Cole must look out for another place, as the history must continue and not be disturbed, as there are but few subjects that I have felt a greater anxiety about than my history, which has been a very difficult task, on account of the death of my best clerks and the apostasy of others, and the stealing of records by John Whitmer, Cyrus Smalling and others.

Preliminary Steps to Publish in Nauvoo Edition of Doctrine and Covenants.

The quorum of the Twelve—viz., President Brigham Young, Parley P. Pratt, Orson Pratt, Wilford Woodruff, John Taylor, George A. Smith, and Willard Richards, assembled in the mayor's office, and voted to raise $500 to get paper, &c., to print the Doctrine and Covenants. Also voted that Parley P. Pratt, Wilford Woodruff, and John Taylor be a committee to borrow or get the money, and that President Young go along with them.

Wednesday, 8.—From nine to eleven, a.m., had an interview with Richards and Phelps, read and heard read part of my history, then attended to settling some accounts {67} with several individuals. In the afternoon, I examined a sample of fringe designed for the pulpits of the Temple; and from two to three, conversed with Phelps, Lewis, John Butler and others.

The Neighbor has the following:—

Misrepresentations Corrected.

We know that statements made by the Carthage mob in their resolutions, as published in the late Warsaw Message, were false. We also felt convinced that the parties themselves were apprized of that fact, and that it was a thing generally understood by the public; and therefore we did not trouble ourselves about it. But having the following testimonies and affidavits sent us for publication, we insert them for the information of those who may not have had opportunities of informing themselves relative to this subject.



We the undersigned citizens of the town of Dixon, county of Lee, State of Illinois, being duly sworn according to law, depose and say that we have seen the article entitled "Statement of facts connected with the arrest of Joseph Smith and his discharge therefrom," published in the Warsaw Message of the date of 15th of July, A.D. 1843; and have also seen an editorial article in the same number of said paper, in which it is stated that said statement of facts was furnished by E. Southwick, one of Mr. Smith's attorneys in said case; and that we know the fact stated in that statement—to wit, that Reynolds, for a considerable length of time immediately after his arrival at Dixon, did peremptorily refuse to allow Smith a private interview with his counsel; and that said Reynolds did expressly state that no conversation could be had with Smith by his attorneys, unless he, Reynolds, was present at such conversation.

The length of time which such refusal to allow said private conversation continued, was, in the belief of these deponents, at least one hour; and that such private conversation was not permitted by Reynolds, until after being informed by at least two of these deponents (Messrs. Dixon and Sanger) that such private interview must be allowed Mr. Smith, as that was a right he had guaranteed to him by law.





{68} Sworn and subscribed to before me at Dixon, this 29th day of July, 1843.


Justice of the Peace for Lee County, Ill.

We, the undersigned, state under oath that we traveled in company with Joseph H. Reynolds, the agent of the State of Missouri, from Dixon to Nauvoo, at the time he had Joseph Smith in custody with the intention of taking him to Missouri, between the 26th of June last and the 1st instant; and that the Mormons, friends of Mr. Smith, who met us on said journey, before we arrived at Nauvoo, conducted themselves, so far as we could perceive and were able to judge, with the strictest propriety; and to our knowledge made use of no means of intimidation towards either H. T. Wilson or said Reynolds; but, on the contrary, several of them, and said Smith among that number, pledged themselves that said Wilson and Reynolds should be personally safe; and that said Mormons, none of them as we could perceive, were armed, so far as was discernible; and further, that the statement made in the Old School Democrat of the 12th instant, over the signature of T. H. Reynolds, that he and said Wilson were disarmed soon after they were arrested on the trespass suit commenced against them by said Smith, and that their arms were not returned to them until after the said Smith's discharge at Nauvoo, was incorrect. And in relation to this, these deponents say that said Wilson and Reynolds were arrested on said action of trespass at Dixon, on Saturday morning, the 24th of June last. That they were not disarmed by the sheriff of Lee county, who had them in custody, nor by any other person, until the following day, at Paw-paw Grove, thirty-two miles distant from Dixon; and that the arms of said Wilson and Reynolds were restored to them by the said sheriff of Lee county, who had them in custody for default of bail, at their (Wilson and Reynolds') own request, while on the journey from Dixon to Nauvoo, before the company had arrived within at least eighty miles of Nauvoo.





Sworn and subscribed to before me, at Dixon, this 29th day of July, A.D. 1843.


Justice of the Peace.

To the Editor of the Warsaw Message:

GENTLEMEN:—It appears from an article in your paper of the 15th of July under the editorial head, that there is a question of veracity therein {69} raised, between Mr. H. T Wilson and myself, relative to the proceedings had after the late arrest by him of Joseph Smith. Now, in order that the public may no longer be deceived in the premises, be pleased to publish, together with this note, the above affidavits, that the charge of falsehood may attach where it properly belongs.

Very respectfully yours,


Dixon July 29, 1843.

I wrote to the Times and Seasons:—

Communication of President Joseph Smith to the Saints.

Messrs. Taylor and Woodruff:

It has been so long since I addressed the Saints through the medium of the Times and Seasons, that I feel confident that a few words from my pen, by way of advice, will be well received, as well as a "waymark" to guide the "faithful" in future. I was sorry to learn, by your remarks upon the resolutions of the "Twelve" concerning your papers, which appeared not long since, that many of the Saints abroad were more apt to patronize the common newspapers of the day than yours, for the important reason that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has the words of eternal life, and your paper, as it has hitherto done, must continue to publish such portions of them for the benefit of the Saints and the salvation of mankind as wisdom shall from time to time direct.

Freedom is a sweet blessing. Men have a right to take and read what papers they please; "but do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?" It certainly is no more than just to suppose that charity begins at home; and if so, what must such as profess to be Saints think, when they patronize the splendor of Babylon and leave the virtue of Zion to linger for want of bread?

Beside which, if virtue is justified rather than vanity, the best of everything calculated to happify man and dignify society will—yea, must be in Nauvoo. And as the new commandment given anciently was to love one another, even so the works of the Saints at home and abroad will bear its own testimony whether they love the brethren.

In all the world the Times and Seasons is the only paper that virtually sustains, according to the forms of Scripture and prophecy, "Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists," and revelations. And what shall be said of him that, like the "Levite," passes on the other side of the way, when we behold men who "have borne the heat and the burden of the day" struggling against the popular opinions of a vain world, the burlesque of a giddy throng, the vulgarity of a self-wise multitude, and the falsehoods of what may justly be termed the "civilized meanness of the {70} age," and not lending a helping hand? The 25th chapter of Matthew contains the simple answer.

Now, let me say once for all, like the Psalmist of old, "How good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity." "As the precious ointment upon the head that ran down upon Aaron's beard, that went down to the skirts of his garments, as the dew of Hermon that descended upon the mountains of Zion," is such unity; for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore!" Unity is power; and when the brethren as one man sustain the Times and Seasons, they sustain me, by giving a spread to the revelations, faith, works, history and progress of the Church. The brethren who conduct the paper have been appointed to that important station, because they are worthy and well qualified; and what a blessed sign of a faithful friend to God and man is it to see the charity of a brother support his brethren, as an evidence that he means to pass from death into life?

Many of the articles which appear in the Times and Seasons are extracts of revelations, translations, or are the united voice of conferences, which, like "apples of gold in pictures of silver," are treasures more than meat for the called, chosen and faithful among the Saints, and should be more than drink to those that hunger and thirst after righteousness. As Nauvoo is rising in glory and greatness, so shall I expect to see the Times and Seasons increase in circulation by the vigilance of the Elders and Saints, so as to be a herald of truth and a standard of pure and undefiled religion. Finally, men and brethren, when you support my friends, you support me. In the bonds of the new and everlasting covenant,

I am your humble servant,



1. This was the case of Chas. Drown on habeas corpus referred to under date of 13th of October.




Thursday, November, 9, 1843.—At the office, dictating letters and signing deeds.

The missionaries to the Pacific Islands touched at Cape de Verde Islands, and laid in a supply of fruits of various kinds.

Properity of the Work in England.

Saturday, 11.—A company of Saints arrived from England. The work is still prospering in that country, poverty and distress are making rapid strides, and the situation of the laboring classes is getting every day more deplorable.

City Council met. Hyrum Smith, president pro tem. Albert P. Rockwood assessor and collector for 1st ward; Daniel Hendricks for 2nd ward; Jonathan H. Hale, 3rd ward; and Henry G. Sherwood for 4th ward.

Sunday, 12.—Prayer-meeting in the evening, in the south-east room of my old house.

Clear, cold.

Monday 13.—Having received a letter from James Arlington Bennett, Esq., I copy it:—

Letter: James Arlington Bennett to President Joseph Smith.

ARLINGTON HOUSE, Oct. 43, 1843.

DEAR GENERAL:—I am happy to know that you have taken possession of your new establishment, and presume you will be eminently successful and happy in it, together with your good lady and family.

You are no doubt already aware that I have had a most interesting visit from your most excellent and worthy friend, President B. Young with whom I have had a glorious frolic in the clear blue ocean; for {72} most assuredly a frolic it was, without a moment's reflection or consideration.

Nothing of this kind would in the least attach me to your person or cause. I am capable of being a most undeviating friend, without being governed by the smallest religious influence.

As you have proved yourself to be a philosophical divine, you will excuse me when I say that we must leave their influence to the mass. The boldness of your plans and measures, together with their unparalleled success so far, are calculated to throw a charm over your whole being, and to point you out as the most extraordinary man of the present age.

But my mind is of so mathematical and philosophical a cast, that the divinity of Moses makes no impression on me, and you will not be offended when I say that I rate you higher as a legislator than I do Moses, because we have you present with us for examination, whereas Moses derives his chief authority from prescription and the lapse of time.

I cannot, however, say but you are both right, it being out of the power of man to prove you wrong. It is no mathematical problem, and can therefore get no mathematical solution. I say, therefore, Go a-head: you have my good wishes. You know Mahomet had his "right hand man."

The celebrated Thomas Brown, at New York, is now engaged in cutting your head on a beautiful cornelian stone, as your private seal, which will be set in gold to your order, and sent to you. It will be a gem, and just what you want. His sister is a member of your Church. The expense of this seal, set in gold, will be about $40; and Mr. Brown assures me that if he were not so poor a man, he would present it to you free.

You can, however, accept it or not, as he can apply to it another use. I am myself short for cash; for although I had sometime since $2,000 paid me by the Harpers, publishers, as the first instalment on the purchase of my copyright, yet I had got so much behind during the hard times, that it all went to clear up old scores. I expect $38,000 more however, in semi-annual payments, from those gentlemen, within the limits of ten years; a large portion of which I intend to use in the State of Illinois, in the purchase and conduct of a large tract of land; and therefore should I be compelled to announce in this quarter that I have no connection with the Nauvoo Legion, you will of course remain silent, as I shall do it in such a way as will make all things right.

I may yet run for a high office in your state, when you would be sure of my best services in your behalf; therefore, a known connection with you would be against our mutual interest. It can be shown that a commission in the Legion was a Herald hoax, coined for the fun of it {73} by me, as it is not believed even now by the public. In short, I expect to be yet, through your influence, governor of the State of Illinois.

My respects to Brothers Young, Richards, Mrs. Emma, and all friends.

Yours most respectfully,


P.S.—As the office of inspector-general confers no command on me, being a mere honorary title,—if, therefore, there is any gentleman in Nauvoo who would like to fill it in a practical way, I shall with great pleasure and good-will resign it to him, by receiving advice from you to that effect. It is an office that should be filled by some scientific officer.

J. A. B.

I insert my reply:—

Letter: President Joseph Smith to James Arlington Bennett.

NAUVOO, ILLINOIS, Nov. 13, 1843.

DEAR SIR:—Your letter of the 24th ult. has been regularly received, its contents duly appreciated, and its whole tenor candidly considered; and, according to my manner of judging all things in righteousness, I proceed to answer you, and shall leave you to meditate whether "mathematical problems," founded upon the truth of revelation, or religion as promulgated by me, or by Moses, can be solved by rules and principles existing in the systems of common knowledge.

How far you are capable of being "a most undeviating friend, without being governed by the smallest religious influence," will best be decided by your survivors, as all past experience most assuredly proves. Without controversy, that friendship which intelligent beings would accept as sincere must arise from love, and that love grow out of virtue, which is as much a part of religion as light is a part of Jehovah. Hence the saying of Jesus, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."

You observed, "as I have proven myself to be a philosophical divine" I must excuse you when you say that we must leave these influences to the mass. The meaning of "philosophical divine" may be taken in various ways. If, as the learned world apply the term, you infer that I have achieved a victory, and been strengthened by a scientific religion, as practiced by the popular sects of the age, through the aid of colleges, seminaries, Bible societies, missionary boards, financial organizations, and gospel money schemes, then you are wrong. Such a combination of men and means shows a form of godliness without the power; for is it not written, "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise." "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the rudiments of the world, and not after the doctrines of Christ." But if the inference is that by more love, more light, more virtue, and more truth {74} from the Lord, I have succeeded as a man of God, then you reason truly, though the weight of the sentiment is lost, when the "influence is left to the mass." "Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?"

Of course you follow out the figure, and say, the boldness of my plans and measures, together with their unparalleled success, so far, are calculated to throw a charm over my whole being, and to point me out as the most extraordinary man of the present age! The boldness of my plans and measures can readily be tested by the touchstone of all schemes, systems, projects, and adventures—truth; for truth is a matter of fact; and the fact is, that by the power of God I translated the Book of Mormon from hieroglyphics, the knowledge of which was lost to the world, in which wonderful event I stood alone, an unlearned youth, to combat the worldly wisdom and multiplied ignorance of eighteen centuries, with a new revelation, which (if they would receive the everlasting Gospel,) would open the eyes of more than eight hundred millions of people, and make "plain the old paths," wherein if a man walk in all the ordinances of God blameless, he shall inherit eternal life; and Jesus Christ, who was, and is, and is to come, has borne me safely over every snare and plan laid in secret or openly, through priestly hypocrisy, sectarian prejudice, popular philosophy, executive power, or law-defying mobocracy, to destroy me.

If, then, the hand of God in all these things that I have accomplished towards the salvation of a priest-ridden generation, in the short space of twelve years, through the boldness of the plan of preaching the Gospel, and the boldness of the means of declaring repentance and baptism for the remission of sins, and a reception of the Holy Ghost by laying on of the hands, agreeably to the authority of the Priesthood, and the still more bold measures of receiving direct revelation from God, through the Comforter, as promised, and by which means all holy men from ancient times till now have spoken and revealed the will of God to men, with the consequent "success" of the gathering of the Saints, throws any "charm" around my being, and "points me out as the most extraordinary man of the age," it demonstrates the fact that truth is mighty and must prevail, and that one man empowered from Jehovah has more influence with the children of the kingdom than eight hundred millions led by the precepts of men. God exalts the humble, and debases the haughty.

But let me assure you in the name of Jesus, "who spake as never man spake," that the "boldness of the plans and measures," as you term them, but which should be denominated the righteousness of the cause, the truth of the system, and power of God, which "so far" has borne me and the Church, (in which I glory in having the privilege of being a member,) successfully through the storm of reproach, folly, ignorance, {75} malice, persecution, falsehood, sacerdotal wrath, newspaper satire, pamphlet libels, and the combined influence of the powers of earth and hell,—I say these powers of righteousness and truth are not the decrees or rules of an ambitious and aspiring Nimrod, Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezzar, Alexander, Mahomet, Bonaparte, or other great sounding heroes that dazzled forth with a trail of pomp and circumstances for a little season, like a comet, and then disappeared, leaving a wide waste where such an existence once was, with only a name; nor where the glorious results of what you term "boldness of plans and measures," with the attendant "success," matured by the self-aggrandizing wisdom of the priests of Baal, the scribes and Pharisees of the Jews, popes and bishops of Christendom, or pagans of Juggernaut: nor were they extended by the divisions and subdivisions of a Luther or Calvin, a Wesley, or even a Campbell, supported by a galaxy of clergymen and churchmen, of whatever name or nature, bound apart by cast-iron creeds, and fastened to set stakes by chain-cable opinions, without revelation. Nor are they the lions of the land, or the leviathans of the sea, moving among the elements, as distant chimeras to fatten the fancy of the infidel; but they are as the stone cut out of the mountain without hands, and will become a great mountain, and fill the whole earth.[1] * * * * *

It seems that your mind is of such "a mathematical and philosophical cast," that the divinity of Moses makes no impression upon you, and that I will not be offended when you say that you rate me higher as a legislator than you do Moses, because you have me present with you for examination; that "Moses derives his chief authority from prescription and the lapse of time." You cannot, however, say but we are both right, it being out of the power of man to prove us wrong. "It is no mathematical problem, and can therefore get no mathematical solution."

{76} Now, sir, to cut the matter short, and not dally with your learned ideas, for fashion's sake you have here given your opinion, without reserve, that revelation, the knowledge of God, prophetic vision, the truth of eternity, cannot be solved as a mathematical problem. The first question then is, What is a mathematical problem? and the natural answer is, A statement, proposition or question that can be solved, ascertained, unfolded or demonstrated by knowledge, facts or figures; for "mathematical" is an adjective derived from mathesis (Gr.), meaning, in English, learning or knowledge. "Problem" is derived from probleme (French), or problema (Italian, or Spanish), and in each language means a question or proposition, whether true or false. "Solve" is derived from the Latin verb "solvo," to explain or answer.

One thing more in order to prove the work as we proceed. It is necessary to have witnesses, two or three of whose testimonies, according to the laws or rules of God and man, are sufficient to establish any one point.

Now for the question. How much are one and one? Two. How much is one from two? One. Very well; one question or problem is solved by figures. Now, let me ask one for facts; Was there ever such a place on the earth as Egypt? Geography says yes; ancient history says yes; and the Bible says yes: so three witnesses have solved that question. Again: Lived there ever such a man as Moses in Egypt? The same witnesses reply, Certainly. And was he a Prophet? The same witnesses, or a part, have left on record that Moses predicted in Leviticus that if Israel broke the covenant they had made, the Lord would scatter them among the nations, till the land enjoyed her Sabbaths: and, subsequently, these witnesses have testified of their captivity in Babylon and other places, in fulfillment. But to make assurance doubly sure, Moses prays that the ground might open and swallow up Korah and his company for transgression, and it was so: and he endorses the prophecy of Balaam, which said, Out of Jacob shall come he that shall have dominion, and shall destroy him that remaineth of the city: and Jesus Christ, as Him that "had dominion," about fifteen hundred years after, in accordance with this and the prediction of Moses, David, Isaiah, and many others, came, saying, Moses wrote of me, declaring the dispersion of the Jews, and the utter destruction of the city; and the Apostles were his witnesses, unimpeached, especially Jude, who not only endorses the facts of Moses "divinity," but also the events of Balaam and Korah, with many others, as true.

Besides these tangible facts, so easily proven and demonstrated by simple rules and testimony unimpeached, the art (now lost,) of embalming human bodies, and preserving them in the catacombs of Egypt, whereby men, women and children, as mummies, after a lapse of near {77} three thousand five hundred years, come forth among the living; and although dead, the papyrus which has lived in their bosoms, unharmed, speaks for them in language like the sound of an earthquake. Ecce veritas! Ecce cadaveros! Behold the truth! Behold the mummies!

Oh, my dear sir, the sunken Tyre and Sidon, the melancholy dust where the city of Jerusalem once was, and the mourning of the Jews among the nations, together with such a cloud of witnesses, if you had been as well acquainted with your God and Bible as with your purse and pence table, the divinity of Moses would have dispelled the fog of five thousand years and filled you with light; for facts, like diamonds, not only cut glass, but they are the most precious jewels on earth. The spirit of prophecy is the testimony of Jesus.

The world at large is ever ready to credit the writings of Homer, Hesiod, Plutarch, Socrates, Pythagoras, Virgil, Josephus, Mahomet, and an hundred others; but where, tell me, where, have they left a line—a simple method of solving the truth of the plan of eternal life? Says the Savior, "If any man will do his [the Father's] will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself." Here, then, is a method of solving the divinity of men by the divinity within yourself, that as far exceeds the calculations of numbers as the sun exceeds a candle. Would to God that all men understood it and were willing to be governed by it, that when one had filled the measure of his days, he could exclaim like Jesus, Veni mori, et reviviscere!'

Your good wishes to go ahead, coupled with Mahomet and a right hand man, are rather more vain than virtuous. Why, sir, Caesar had his right hand Brutus, who was his left hand assassin,—not, however, applying the allusion to you.

As to the private seal you mention, if sent to me, I shall receive it with the gratitude of a servant of God, and pray that the donor may receive a reward in the resurrection of the just.

The summit of your future fame seems to be hid in the political policy of a "mathematical problem" for the chief magistracy of this state, which I suppose might be solved by "double position," where the errors of the supposition are used to produce a true answer.

But, sir, when I leave the dignity and honor I received from heaven, to boost a man into power, through the aid of my friends, where the evil and designing, after the object has been accomplished, can lock up the clemency intended as a reciprocation for such favors, and where the wicked and unprincipled, as a matter of course, would seize the opportunity to flintify the hearts of the nation against me for dabbling at a sly game in politics,—verily I say, when I leave the dignity and honor of heaven, to gratify the ambition and vanity of man or men, {78} may my power cease, like the strength of Samson, when he was shorn of his locks, while asleep in the lap of Delilah. Truly said the Savior, "Cast not your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you."

Shall I, who have witnessed the visions of eternity, and beheld the glorious mansions of bliss, and the regions and the misery of the damned,—shall I turn to be a Judas? Shall I, who have heard the voice of God, and communed with angels, and spake as moved by the Holy Ghost for the renewal of the everlasting covenant, and for the gathering of Israel in the last days,—shall I worm myself into a political hypocrite? Shall I, who hold the keys of the last kingdom, in which is the dispensation of the fullness of all things spoken by the mouths of all the holy Prophets since the world began, under the sealing power of the Melchizedec Priesthood,—shall I stoop from the sublime authority of Almighty God, to be handled as a monkey's cat-paw, and pettify myself into a clown to act the farce of political demagoguery? No—verily no! The whole earth shall bear me witness that I, like the towering rock in the midst of the ocean, which has withstood the mighty surges of the warring waves for centuries, am impregnable, and am a faithful friend to virtue, and a fearless foe to vice,—no odds whether the former was sold as a pearl in Asia or hid as a gem in America, and the latter dazzles in palaces or glimmers among the tombs.

I combat the errors of ages; I meet the violence of mobs; I cope with illegal proceedings from executive authority; I cut the guardian knot of powers, and I solve mathematical problems of universities, with truth—diamond truth; and God is my "right hand man."[2]

And to close, let me say in the name of Jesus Christ to you, and to presidents, emperors, kings, queens, governors, rulers, nobles, and men in authority everywhere, Do the works of righteousness, execute justice and judgment in the earth, that God may bless you and her inhabitants; and

  The laurel that grows on the top of the mountain
  Shall green for your fame while the sun sheds a ray;
  And the lily that blows by the side of the fountain
  Will bloom for your virtue till earth melt away.

With due consideration and respect, I have the honor to be

Your most obedient servant,


P.S. The court-martial will attend to your case in the Nauvoo Legion.

J. S.

{79}Tuesday, 14.—In the evening called at the office with Mr. Southwick, of Dixon, and had my letter to James Arlington Bennett read.

Wednesday, 15.—Mayor's court in the office. "Erskine versus Pullen." Nonsuit.

P.M. At the office. Suggested the idea of preparing a grammar of the Egyptian language.

Grammar for the Egyptian Language Suggested.

Prayer-meeting at the old house. I spoke of a petition to Congress, my letter to Bennett, and intention to write a proclamation to the kings of the earth.

Thursday, 16.—Held a court—"Averett versus Bostwick."

At home the remainder of the day. Chilly east wind and foggy.

Friday, 17.—Deeded lot 4, block 135, to Sally Phelps, wife of W. W. Phelps.

About ten, a.m., called in the office with Esquire Southwick, of Dixon.

Thunder, lightning and rain last night. Warm and foggy morning.

Saturday, 18.—Rode out on horseback to the prairie, accompanied by Mr. Southwick.

Conference of the church held at Halifax, Nova Scotia. Robert Dixon, president; Edward Cook, secretary. Two branches were represented, containing 2 Elders, 1 Teacher, 2 Deacons, and 34 members.

Sunday, 19.—Eleven a.m. to two p.m., prayer-meeting at the old house, and fasting.

In the evening, prayer-meeting and breaking of bread, &c.

Meeting at the Prophet's Home.

Monday, 20.—Two gentlemen from Vermont put up at the Mansion. I rode round with them in the afternoon to show them the improvements in the city. In the evening, several of the Twelve and others called to visit me. My family sang hymns, {80} and Elder John Taylor prayed and gave an address, to which they paid great attention, and seemed very much interested.

Tuesday, 21.—Council of the Twelve and others at my old house all day. Dictated to my clerk an appeal to the Green Mountain boys of Vermont, my native State.

Also instructed Elders Richards, Hyde, Taylor and Phelps to write a "Proclamation to the Kings of the Earth."

Wednesday, 22.—Rode out to the prairie with W. Clayton and Lorenzo D. Wasson, and found Arthur Smith cutting timber on my land without my consent, which I objected to.

Prayer-meeting in the evening at the old house.

Five deaths in the city during the past week.

Canal Around the Rapids.

Thursday, 23.—Met in council in the old house; then walked down to the river to look at the stream, rocks, &c., about half-past eleven, a.m. Suggested the idea of petitioning Congress for a grant to make a canal over the falls, or a dam to turn the water to the city, so that we might erect mills and other machinery.[3]

Issued a writ of habeas corpus, on application of John M. Finch.

Friday, 24.—Attended Municipal Court "on habeas corpus, John M. Finch at suit of Amos Davis." Finch discharged, Davis to pay costs, it being a vexatious and malicious suit.

The young men have established a debating society in Nauvoo, to discuss topics of various descriptions.

{81} [Sidenote: The Prophet's Stand on Chastity and General Morality.]

Saturday, 25.—Colonel Frierson, United States Surveyor from Quincy, arrived in Nauvoo. In the evening the High Council sat on the case of Harrison Sagers, charged with seduction, and having stated that I had taught it was right. Charge not sustained. I was present with several of the Twelve, and gave an address tending to do away with every evil, and exhorting them to practice virtue and holiness before the Lord; told them that the Church had not received any permission from me to commit fornication, adultery, or any corrupt action; but my every word and action has been to the contrary. If a man commit adultery, he cannot receive the celestial kingdom of God. Even if he is saved in any kingdom, it cannot be the celestial kingdom. I did think that the many examples that have been made manifest, such as John C. Bennett's and others, were sufficient to show the fallacy of such a course of conduct.

I condemned such actions in toto, and warned the people present against committing such evils; for it will surely bring a curse upon any person who commits such deeds.

After adjournment, held a council, and agreed to meet Mr. Frierson[4] at the Mansion to morrow morning.

I received a letter signed by George B. Wallace and six other Elders, requesting permission for Elder John E. Page to remain in Boston the ensuing winter. Also a letter from John E. Page, giving his assent to the petition, to which the Twelve Apostles wrote the following reply:—

Letter: Brigham Young in Behalf of the Twelve to Elder John E. Page, Appointing him to go to Washington.

Elder John E. Page:

BELOVED BROTHER:—Your letter dated at Boston, in connection with {82} some one hundred and fifty of the brethren, is received, and we proceed to reply. Your letter is not before us this moment; consequently you must excuse a reference to dates and names which have escaped our recollection. But the subject is fresh, and the letter was read in a council of Presidents Joseph, Hyrum, and the Twelve, when the word of the Lord came through Joseph the Seer thus:—"Let my servant John E. Page take his departure speedily from the city of Boston, and go directly to the city of Washington, and there labor diligently in proclaiming my Gospel to the inhabitants thereof: and if he is humble and faithful, lo! I will be with him, and will give him the hearts of the people, that he may do them good and build up a church unto my name in that city."

Now, Brother Page, if you wish to follow counsel and do the will of the Lord, as we believe you desire to do, call the church at Boston together, without delay, and read this letter to them, calling upon them to assist you on your mission, and go thy way speedily unto the place which is appointed unto you by the voice of the Lord, and build up a church in the city of Washington; for it is expedient and absolutely necessary that we have a foothold in that popular city. Let your words be soft unto the people, but full of the spirit and power of the Holy Ghost. Do not challenge the sects for debate, but treat them as brethren and friends; and the God of heaven will bless you, and we will bless you in the name of the Lord Jesus, and the people will rise up and bless you, and call you a sweet messenger of peace. You will pardon us for giving you such counsel, for we feel to do it in the name of the Lord.

When you have built a church at Washington so as to warrant the expense. It will be wisdom for you to send or take your wife to Washington; so says President Joseph.

All things go on smoothly here. As to the reports circulated while we were in Boston, there is nothing of them. Brother Joseph has commenced living in his new house, and enjoys himself well. He has raised a sign, entitled "Nauvoo Mansion," and has all the best company in the city. Many strangers from abroad call on him, feeling perfect liberty so to do, since he has made his house public; and it is exerting a blessed influence on the public mind.

The Temple has been progressing rapidly until the recent frosts. The walls are now above the windows of the first story, and some of the circular windows are partly laid. The brethren of the Twelve have all arrived home, are tolerably well, and their families, except Sister Hyde, who has been very sick, and is yet, though at last report rather better. No prospect of any of the Twelve leaving home this winter {83} that we know of. Elder Snow has arrived with his company from Boston, generally in good spirits.

The devil howls some: may be you will hear him as far as Boston, for there cannot a blackleg be guilty of any crime in Nauvoo, but somebody will lay it to the servants of God. We shall give the substance of this communication to your wife same mail.

We remain your brother in the new and everlasting covenant, in behalf of the quorum,



Renewal of Petitions to Congress.

Sunday, 26.—I met with Hyrum, the Twelve and others, in council with Colonel Frierson, at the Mansion, concerning petitioning Congress for redress of grievances. Read to him the affidavits of Hyrum Smith, Brigham Young, Parley P. Pratt, Lyman Wight, George W. Pitkin and Sidney Rigdon, taken before the municipal court on habeas corpus, and conversed with him thereon.

At eleven, a.m., Elder Orson Pratt preached in the Assembly Room.

In the evening, Elder Parley P. Pratt lectured in the Mansion. Rainy, muddy day.

Monday, 27.—Wet day. Being quite unwell, I stayed at home.

Tuesday, 28.—At home. Colonel Frierson wrote a Memorial to Congress.[5]

Wednesday, 29.—At home. Clear and cold. Colonel Frierson left for home, taking with him a copy of the Memorial, to get signers in Quincy. I here insert a copy of the—


To the Honorable the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States, in Congress Assembled.

The memorial of the undersigned inhabitants of Hancock county, in the State of Illinois, respectfully showeth—

That they belong to the society of Latter-day Saints, commonly called "Mormons;" that a portion of our people commenced settling in Jackson county, Missouri, in the summer of 1831, where they purchased lands and settled upon them with the intention and expectation of becoming permanent citizens in common with others.

From a very early period after the settlement began, a very unfriendly feeling was manifested by the neighboring people; and as the society increased, this unfriendly spirit also increased, until it degenerated into a cruel and unrelenting persecution, and the society was at last compelled to leave the county. An account of these unprovoked persecutions has been published to the world; yet we deem it not improper to embody a few of the most prominent items in the memorial, and lay them before your honorable body.

On the 20th July, 1833, a mob collected at Independence, a deputation or committee from which called upon a few members of our Church there, and stated to them that the store, printing office, and all mechanic shops belonging to our people must be closed forthwith, and the society leave the county immediately.

These conditions were so unexpected and so hard, that a short time was asked for to consider on the subject before an answer could be given, which was refused; and when some of our men answered that they could not consent to comply with such propositions, the work of destruction commenced.

The printing office—a valuable two-story brick building, was destroyed by the mob, and with it much valuable property. They next went to the store for the same purpose; but one of the owners thereof agreeing to close it, they abandoned their design.

A series of outrages was then commenced by the mob upon individual members of our society. Bishop Partridge was dragged from his house and family, where he was first partially stripped of his clothes, and then tarred and feathered from head to foot. Mr. Charles Allen was also tarred at the same time.

Three days afterwards the mob assembled in great numbers, bearing a red flag, and proclaiming that unless the society would leave en masse, every man of them should be killed. Being in a defenseless situation, to avoid a general massacre, a treaty was entered into and ratified, by which it was agreed that one-half of the society should leave the county by the 1st of January, and the remainder by the 1st of April following.

{85} In October, while our people were gathering their crops and otherwise preparing to fulfill their part of the treaty, the mob again collected without any provocation, shot at some of our people, whipped others, threw down their houses, and committed many other depredations. The members of the society were for some time harassed both day and night, their houses assailed and broken open, and their women and children insulted and abused.

The store-house of A. S. Gilbert and Company was broken open, ransacked, and some of the goods strewed in the streets. These repeated assaults so aroused the indignant feelings of our people, that a small party thereof, on one occasion, when wantonly abused, resisted the mob. A conflict ensued, in which one of our people and some two or three of their assailants were killed.

This unfortunate event raised the whole county in arms, and we were required forthwith to surrender our arms and leave the county. Fifty-one guns were given up, which have never been returned or paid for to this day.

Parties of the mob, from thirty to seventy in number, then scoured the county in every direction, threatening and abusing women and children, until they were forced first to take shelter in the woods and prairies at a very inclement season of the year, and finally to make their escape to Clay county, where the people permitted them to take refuge for a time.

After the society had left Jackson county, their buildings, amounting to about two hundred, were either burned or otherwise destroyed, with a great portion of their crops, as well as furniture, stock, &c.; for which they have not as yet received any remuneration.

The society remained in Clay county nearly three years, when, in compliance with the demands of the citizens there, it was determined to remove to that section of country known afterwards as Caldwell county.

In order to secure our people from molestation, the members of the society bought out most of the former inhabitants of what is now Caldwell county, and also entered much of the wild land then belonging to the United States in that section of country, fondly hoping that as we were American citizens, obeying the laws and assisting to support the government, we would be protected in the use of homes which we had honestly purchased from the General Government and fully paid for.

Here we were permitted to enjoy peace for a season; but as our society increased in numbers and settlements were made in Daviess and Carrol counties, unfounded jealousies sprang up among our neighbors, and the spirit of the mob was soon manifested again. The people of our Church who had located themselves at De Witt were compelled by {86} the mob to leave the place, notwithstanding the militia were called out for their protection.

From De Witt the mob went to Daviess county, and, while on their way, took some of our people prisoners, and greatly abused and mistreated them. Our people had been driven by force from Jackson county; they had been compelled to leave Clay county, and sell their lands there, for which they have never been paid: they had finally settled in Caldwell county, where they had purchased and paid for nearly all the Government land within its limits, in order to secure homes where they could live and worship in peace; but even here they were soon followed by the mob.

The society remained in Caldwell from 1836 until the fall of 1838, and during that time had acquired by purchase from the Government, the settlers, and preemptioners, almost all the lands in the county of Caldwell, and a portion of those in Daviess and Carrol counties.

Those counties, when our people first commenced their settlements, were for the most part wild and uncultivated, and they had converted them into large and well improved farms, well stocked. Lands had risen in value, from 10 to 25 dollars per acre, and those counties were rapidly advancing in cultivation and wealth.

In August, 1838, a riot commenced, growing out of the attempt of a member of the society to vote, which resulted in creating great excitement and many scenes of lawless outrage. A large mob, under the conduct of Cornelius Gilliam, came into the vicinity of Far West, drove off our stock, and abused our people. Another party came into Caldwell county, took away our horses and cattle, burnt our houses, and ordered the inhabitants to leave their homes immediately.

By order of Brigadier-General Doniphan and Colonel Hinkle, a company of about sixty men, under the command of David W. Patten went to disperse this mob. A conflict ensued, in which Captain Patten and two of his men were killed, and others wounded.[6] A mob party, from two to three hundred in number, many of whom are supposed to have come from Chariton county, fell on our people, and, notwithstanding they begged for quarters, shot down and killed eighteen, as they would so many wild beasts.

They were finally compelled to flee from those counties; and on the 11th October, 1838, they sought safety by that means, with their families, {87} leaving many of their effects behind. That they had previously applied to the constituted authorities of Missouri for protection, but in vain.

The society were pursued by the mob, conflicts ensued, deaths occurred on each side, and finally a force was organized under the authority of the Governor of the state of Missouri, with orders to drive us from the State, or exterminate us.

Abandoned and attacked by those to whom we had looked for protection, we determined to make no further resistance, but submit to the authorities of the State and yield to our fate, however hard it might be. Several members of the society were arrested and imprisoned on a charge of treason against the State: and the rest, amounting to above 14,000 souls, fled into the other States, principally into Illinois, where they now reside.

Your memorialists would further state that they have heretofore petitioned your honorable body, praying redress for the injuries set forth in this memorial; but the committee to whom our petition was referred reported, in substance, that the General Government had no power in the case, and that we must look for relief to the courts and the legislature of Missouri.

In reply, your memorialists would beg leave to state that they have repeatedly appealed to the authorities of Missouri in vain; that though they are American citizens, at all times ready to obey the laws and support the institutions of the country, none of us would dare enter Missouri for any such purpose, or for any purposes whatever.

Our property was seized by the mob or lawlessly confiscated by the State; and we were forced, at the point of the bayonet, to sign deeds of trust relinquishing our property. But the exterminating order of the Governor of Missouri is still in force, and we dare not return to claim out just rights. The widows and orphans of those slain, who could legally sign no deeds of trust, dare not return to claim the inheritance left them by their murdered parents.

It is true the Constitution of the United States gives to us, in common with all other native or adopted citizens, the right to enter and settle in Missouri; but an executive order has been issued to exterminate us if we enter the State, and a part of the Constitution becomes a nullity, so far as we are concerned.

Had any foreign state or power committed a similar outrage upon us we cannot for a moment doubt that the strong arm of the General Government would have been stretched out to redress our wrongs; and we flatter ourselves that the same power will either redress our grievances or shield us from harm in our efforts to regain our lost property, which we fairly purchased from the General Government.

Finally, your memorialists pray your honorable body to take their {88} wrongs into consideration, receive testimony in the case, and grant such relief as by the Constitution and laws you may have power to give.

And your memorialists will ever pray.

Activities in Renewal of Appeals to Congress.

Eleven copies were also made for circulation and signatures by Thomas Bullock, one of my clerks.

Four, p.m. A meeting of the citizens in the assembly room, [over President Smith's store] when Brigham Young was chosen chairman of the meeting, and Willard Richards, clerk.

The object of the meeting was briefly explained by the clerk, followed by Judge Phelps, which was to petition Congress for redress of grievances in relation to the Missouri persecutions.

Voted that the chairman appoint a committee to get the names of memorialists in this city.

The chairman appointed the assessors and collectors in their several wards.

Voted that the same committee collect means to purchase paper. President Sidney Rigdon to go to La Harpe, and Elder Heber C. Kimball to Ramus, to procure signers.

The chairman appointed committees to visit other places.

Joseph Smith, the Mayor, made some remarks, and his Appeal to the Green Mountain Boys was read by William W. Phelps, as follows:—

President Smith's Appeal to his Native State—Vermont.

I was born in Sharon, Vermont, in 1805, where the first quarter of my life grew with the growth and strengthened with the strength of that "first-born" State of the "United Thirteen." From the old "French War" to the final consummation of American Independence, my fathers, heart to heart, and shoulder to shoulder, with the noble fathers of our liberty, fought and bled; and with the most of that venerable band of patriots, they have gone to rest, bequeathing a glorious country, with all her inherent rights, to millions of posterity. Like other honest citizens, I not only (when manhood came,) sought my own peace, prosperity, and happiness, but also the peace, prosperity, and happiness of my friends; and, with all the rights and realm before me, {89} and the revelations of Jesus Christ to guide me into all truth, I had good reasons to enter into the blessings and privileges of an American citizen, the rights of a Green Mountain Boy, unmolested, and enjoy life and religion according to the most virtuous and enlightened customs, rules, and etiquette of the nineteenth century. But, to the disgrace of the United States, it is not so. These rights and privileges, together with a large amount of property, have been wrested from me, and thousands of my friends, by lawless mobs in Missouri, supported by executive authority; and the crime of plundering our property, and the unconstitutional and barbarous act of our expulsion, and even the inhumanity of murdering men, women, and children, have received the pass-word of "justifiable" by legislative enactments; and the horrid deeds, doleful and disgraceful as they are, have been paid for by Government.

In vain have we sought for redress of grievances and a restoration to our rights in the courts and legislature of Missouri. In vain have we sought for our rights and the remuneration for our property in the halls of Congress and at the hands of the President. The only consolation yet experienced from these highest tribunals and mercy-seats of our bleeding country is that our cause is just, but the Government has no power to redress us.

Our arms were forcibly taken from us by those Missouri marauders; and, in spite of every effort to have them returned, the State of Missouri still retains them: and the United States militia law, with this fact before the Government, still compels us to military duty; and, for a lack of said arms, the law forces us to pay fines. As Shakespeare would say "thereby hangs a tale."

Several hundred thousand dollars' worth of land in Missouri was purchased at the United States Land Offices in that district of country and the money, without doubt, has been appropriated to strengthen the army and navy, or increase the power and glory of the nation in some other way. And notwithstanding Missouri has robbed and mobbed me and twelve or fifteen thousand innocent inhabitants, murdered hundreds, and expelled the residue, at the point of the bayonet, without law, contrary to the express language of the Constitution of the United States and every State in the Union, and contrary to the custom and usage of civilized nations, and especially one holding up the motto, "The asylum of the oppressed." yet the comfort we receive to raise our wounded bodies and invigorate our troubled spirits, on account of such immense sacrifices of life, property, patience, and right, and as an equivalent for the enormous taxes we are compelled to pay to support these functionaries in a dignified manner, after we have petitioned and pleaded with tears, and been showed like a caravan of foreign animals, for the peculiar gratification of connoiseurs in humanity, that flare {90} along in public life like lamps upon lamp-posts, because they are better calculated for the schemes of the night than for the scenes of the day, is, as President Van Buren said, Your cause is just, but Government has no power to redress you!

No wonder, after the Pharisee's prayer, the publican smote his breast and said, "Lord be merciful to me a sinner!" What must the manacled nations think of freemen's rights in the land of liberty? [7] * * *

Now, therefore, having failed in every attempt to obtain satisfaction at the tribunals, where all men seek for it, according to the rules of right, I am compelled to appeal to the honor and patriotism of my native State—to the clemency and valor of "Green Mountain Boys;" for throughout the various periods of the world, whenever a nation, kingdom, state, family, or individual has received an insult or an injury from a superior force, (unless satisfaction was made,) it has been the custom to call in the aid of friends to assist in obtaining redress. For proof we have only to refer to the recovery of Lot and his effects by Abraham in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah, or to turn to the relief afforded by France and Holland for the achievement of the Independence of these United States, without bringing up the great bulk of historical facts, rules, laws, decrees, and treaties, and Bible records, by which nations have been governed, to show that mutual alliance for the general benefit of mankind to retaliate and repel foreign aggressions. To punish and prevent home wrongs, when the conservators of justice and the laws have failed to afford a remedy, are not only common and in the highest sense justifiable and wise, but they are also poorer expedients to promote the enjoyment of equal rights, the pursuit of happiness, the preservation of life, and the benefit of posterity.

With all these facts before me, and a pure desire to ameliorate the condition of the poor and unfortunate among men, and, if possible, to entice all men from evil to good, and with firm reliance that God will reward the just, I have been stimulated to call upon my native State for a "union of all honest men," and to appeal to the valor of the "Green Mountain Boys" by all honorable methods and means to assist me in obtaining justice from Missouri, not only for the property she has stolen and confiscated, the murders she has committed among my friends, and for our expulsion from the State, but also to humble and chastise or abase her for the disgrace she has brought upon constitutional liberty until she atones for her sins.

I appeal also to the fraternity of brethren who are bound by kindred ties to assist a brother in distress in all cases where it can be done according {91} to the rules of order, to extend the boon of benevolence and protection in avenging the Lord of His enemies, as if a Solomon, a Hiram, a St. John, or a Washington raised his hands before a wondering world, and exclaimed, "My life for his!" Light, liberty, and virtue forever!

I bring this appeal before my native State, for the solemn reason that an injury has been done, and crimes have been committed, which a sovereign State, of the Federal compact, one of the great family of "E pluribus unum," refuses to compensate, by consent of parties, rules of law, customs of nations, or in any other way. I bring it also because the National Government has fallen short of affording the necessary relief, as before stated, for want of power, leaving a large body of her own free citizens, whose wealth went freely into her treasury for lands, and whose gold and silver for taxes still fills the pockets of her dignitaries "in ermine and lace," defrauded, robbed, plundered, ravished, driven, exiled, and banished from the "Independent Republic of Missouri!"

And in the appeal let me say, Raise your towers, pile your monuments to the skies, build your steam frigates, spread yourselves far and wide, and open the iron eyes of your bulwarks by sea and land; and let the towering church steeples marshal the country like the dreadful splendor of an army with bayonets. But remember the flood of Noah; remember the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah; remember the dispersion and confusion at the tower of Babel; remember the destruction of Pharaoh and his hosts; remember the handwriting upon the wall, "Mene, mene, tekel upharsin;" remember the angel's visit to Sennacherib, and the one hundred and eighty-five thousand Assyrians; remember the end of the Jews and Jerusalem, and remember the Lord Almighty will avenge the blood of His Saints that now crimsons the skirts of Missouri! Shall wisdom cry aloud, and her speech not be heard?

Has the majesty of American liberty sunk into such vile servitude and oppression, that justice has fled? Have the glory and influence of a Washington, an Adams, a Jefferson, a Lafayette, and a host of others, forever departed; and the wrath of a Cain, a Judas, and a Nero whirled forth in the heraldry of hell, to sprinkle our garments with blood, and lighten the darkness of midnight with the blaze of our dwellings? Where is the patriotism of '76? Where is the virtue of our forefathers? and where is the sacred honor of freemen!

Must we, because we believe in the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the administration of angels, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, like the Prophets and Apostles of old,—must we be mobbed with impunity, be exiled from our habitations and property without {92} remedy, murdered without mercy, and Government find the weapons and pay the vagabonds for doing the jobs, and give them the plunder into the bargain? Must we, because we believe in enjoying the constitutional privilege and right of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own consciences, and because we believe in repentance, and baptism for the remission of sins, the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, the millennium, the day of judgment, and the Book of Mormon as the history of the aborigines of this continent,—must we be expelled from the institutions of our country, the rights of citizenship and the graves of our friends and brethren, and the Government lock the gate of humanity and shut the door of redress against us? If so, farewell freedom! adieu to personal safety! and let the red hot wrath of an offended God purify the nation of such sinks of corruption; for that realm is hurrying to ruin where vice has the power to expel virtue.

My father, who stood several times in the battles of the American Revolution, till his companions in arms had been shot dead at his feet, was forced from his home in Far West, Missouri, by those civilized—or satanized—savages, in the dreary season of winter, to seek a shelter in another State; and the vicissitudes and sufferings consequent to his flight brought his honored grey head to the grave a few months after. And my youngest brother also, in the vigor and bloom of youth, from his great exposure and fatigue in endeavoring to assist his parents on their journey, (I and my brother Hyrum being in chains, in dungeons, in Missouri, where they tried to feed us with—human flesh) was likewise so debilitated that he found a premature grave shortly after my father; and my mother, too, though she yet lingers among us, from her extreme exposure in that dreadful tragedy, was filled with rheumatic affections and other diseases, which leave her no enjoyment of health. She is sinking in grief and pain, broken-hearted, from Missouri persecution.

O death! wilt thou not give to every honest man a heated dart to sting those wretches while they pollute the land? And O Grave! wilt thou not open the trap door to the pit of ungodly men, that they may stumble in?

I appeal to the "Green Mountain Boys" of my native State to rise in the majesty of virtuous freemen, and by all honorable means help to bring Missouri to the bar of justice. If there is one whisper from the spirit of Ethan Allen, or a gleam from the shade of a General Stark, let it mingle with our sense of honor and fire our bosoms for the cause of suffering innocence, for the reputation of our disgraced country, and for the glory of God; and may all the earth bear me witness, if Missouri—blood-stained Missouri, escapes the due merit of her {93} crimes—the vengeance she so justly deserves—that Vermont is a hypocrite, a coward and this nation the hotbed of political demagogues!

I make this appeal to the sons of liberty of my native State for help to frustrate the wicked designs of sinful men. I make it to hush the violence of mobs. I make it to cope with the unhallowed influence of wicked men in high places. I make it to resent the insult and injury made to an innocent, unoffending people, by a lawless ruffian State. I make it to obtain justice where law is put at defiance. I make it to wipe off the stain of blood from our nation's escutcheon. I make it to show presidents, governors, and rulers prudence. I make it to fill honorable men with discretion. I make it to teach senators wisdom. I make it to teach judges justice. I make it to point clergymen to the path of virtue. And I make it to turn the hearts of this nation to the truth and realities of pure and undefiled religion, that they may escape the perdition of ungodly men; and Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is my Great Counselor.

Wherefore let the rich and the learned, the wise and the noble, the poor and the needy, the bond and the free, both black and white, take heed to their ways, and a leave to the knowledge of God, and execute justice and judgment upon the earth in righteousness, and prepare to meet the judge of the quick and the dead, for the hour of His coming is nigh.

  And I must go on as the herald of grace,
     Till the wide-spreading conflict is over.
  And burst through the curtains of tyrannic night;
     Yes, I must go on to gather our race,
  Till the high blazing flame of Jehovah
     Illumines the globe as a triumph of right.

As a friend of equal rights to all men, and a messenger of the everlasting Gospel of Jesus Christ, I have the honor to be,

Your devoted servant,


Sidney Rigdon spoke.

Parley P. Pratt confessed he was wrong in one thing in Missouri; that is, he left alive, and left them alive; and asked forgiveness, and promised never to do so again.

Parley P. Pratt offered to deliver the President's "Appeal to the Green Mountain Boys" to all the large towns in New York, if he could have a copy.

The President offered a copy and it was voted that {94} Elder Pratt shall have this mission granted him, and voted in addition that he go to all the towns in Vermont.

The Chairman [Brigham Young] spoke.

The Mayor [President Smith] spoke. Said he rose to make a confession, that he used all his influence to prevent the brethren from fighting when mobbed in Missouri. If I did wrong, I will not do so any more. It was a suggestion of the head. He would never do so again; but when the mobs come upon you, kill them. I never will restrain you again, but will go and help you.

The Chairman [Brigham Young] spoke again; acknowledged his wrong; said he would never put his hand on Brother Hosea Stout's shoulder again to hold him back when he was abused.

John Taylor spoke of Missouri; said he would never submit to such treatment again.

Mayor [President Smith] spoke again. If I do not stand with those who will stand by me in the hour of trouble and danger, without faltering, I give you leave to shoot me.[8]

Mayor read a letter in reply to one he wrote to Henry Clay.

Parley P. Pratt stated that the history of the persecution was put into the hand of Henry Clay.

{95} Moved by Joseph Smith, That every man in the meeting who could wield a pen write an address to his mother country. Carried.

Mayor read the Memorial to Congress. The State rights doctrines are what feed mobs. They are a dead carcass—a stink, and they shall ascend up as a stink offering in the nose of the Almighty.

They shall be oppressed as they have oppressed us, not by "Mormons," but by others in power. They shall drink a drink offering, the bitterest dregs, not from the "Mormons," but from a meaner source than themselves. God shall curse them.

Adjourned till next Monday evening, early candle-light.

At ten, a.m., rode out with Mr. Jackson. At home most all day.

The "Appeal to the Green Mountain Boys" sent to press.

Severe frost, so that the ice is on the water in the house.

W. L. D. Ewing writes to Major John Bills—

Letter: W. L. D. Ewing, State Auditor, Illinois, to Major John Bills—Legion Affairs.

The foregoing opinions constitute my reason for refusing to issue the warrants in your favor. I am not satisfied myself entirely of the correctness of the opinions of the Attorney-General. If you should be dissatisfied with the decision, I would advise you to raise the question before the Supreme Court, which will be in session on the 2nd Monday of December. I am the more anxious that this should be done because I wish to be satisfied whether I was correct or not in issuing warrants to you in the spring. Be pleased to advise me on the subject.


W. L. D. EWING, Auditor.

Enclosing the opinion of the Attorney-General, Josiah Lamborn, as follows:—

Letter: J. Lamborn, Attorney General of Illinois—Legal Opinion of Above.


I have examined the claim of J. C. Bennett as brigade-inspector of the Nauvoo Legion, and it is my opinion that the claim should be disallowed.

{96} The Legislature, in giving authority for the organization of a body of "independent military men" at Nauvoo, intended, no doubt, that all expenses, &c., except "their proportion of public arms," should be defrayed by the city and its privileged Legion.

They occupy a novel position, disconnected from the military communities of the whole State, and in no way subject to the regular military officers, possessing an exemption even from subjection to the general military laws, with a law-making power invested in their own Legion. It is not reasonable to suppose that the Legislature would confer so many exclusive favors, and yet pay those who profit by this condition of things as much as is paid to regular militia officers.

In the absence of any express provision by law to authorize the payment of the claim, I can see nothing from which an authority of the kind could be derived, and therefore advise accordingly.

J. LAMBORN, Attorney-General.

And copy of letter from J. N. McDougall to General W. L. D. Ewing:—

Letter: J. N. McDougall to State Auditor.


General W. L. D. Ewing, Auditor, &.c.

I have examined the claim of John Bills, brigade-major of the Nauvoo Legion, for services under the 53rd section of the militia law, and have arrived at the conclusion that the Nauvoo Legion are not to be considered as a part of the regular militia of this State, and that the general law has no further application to them than is expressly provided for in the law authorizing their organization. The law providing for the organization of the Legion making no provision for the payment of its officers by the State, it is my opinion that the above claim ought not to be audited.

The Legion was organized by the City Council, is subject to their control for the purpose of enforcing their ordinances. It is entirely independent of the general military law, may have a different organization, make laws for its own government, and seems evidently designed to sustain the municipal authorities of Nauvoo. If there are expenses to be paid, the municipality of which they form a very important element, must meet them. I am, with great respect,

Your obedient servant,


Mr. Ewing reported to Major Bills that the returns made {97} out [for Mr. Bills], and sent to the State Department, were the best reports by any brigade-major in the State, and did him great credit: the refusal to pay him for his services is a mere pretext, as the Nauvoo Charter requires that the Nauvoo Legion shall perform the same amount of duty as is now or may hereafter be required of the regular militia of the State, and shall be at the disposal of the Governor for the public defense and the execution of the laws of the State, and be entitled to their proportion of the State arms; and were it not for the prejudice against us on account of our religion, his claim would have been paid without a word of complaint.


1. The omitted part of the letter is a paragraph in which are quoted a number of foreign phrases from Egyptian, Hebrew, Greek, German, Portuguese and other tongues; which are in no way germane to the subject discussed, but are a mere pedantic display, doubtless admitted, in this instance, in a spirit of humor by President Smith, as an offset to Bennett's assumption of so lofty an intellect—a mind of "so mathematical and philosophical a cast—that the divinity of Moses," etc., made no "impression" on him. The display of foreign phrases was doubtless the work of W. W. Phelps, who had some smattering knowledge of languages, which he was ever fond of displaying. Unfortunately similar displays were injected into President Smith's appeal to his native state—Vermont; and his paper, "Views of the Powers and Policy of the Government of the United States." These injections were also doubtless the work of Elder Phelps, who was one of the Prophet's clerks and amanuenses when the documents named above were prepared. Because these displays of pedantry mar these documents, and are in no way germane to the subjects of which they treat, and are not really the work of President Smith, they are omitted from the papers referred to as published in this HISTORY, the omission being indicated by ellipses signs.

2. Not in the blasphemous sense attributed to him by some anti-Mormon writers; namely, that God was subordinate to him—his right hand man (See Riley's "Founder of Mormonism" Ch. X); but in the sense of the passage near the close of his address to "The Green Mountain Boys" (this chapter)—"And Jesus Christ, the son of God, is my Great Counselor"—reverently said.

3. The General Government finally constructed a canal around the rapids at a cost of $4,582,000, completing the work in 1877. The canal is seven and a half miles in length and has in it three locks, overcoming the obstruction in river navigation which the Des Moines rapids in early days presented. It is called the Des Moines Rapids Canal.

4. This Col. Frierson resided at Quincy, was a political representative of John C. Calhoun, then an active aspirant for the presidency of the United States. See letter of Joseph L. Heywood, pp. 62, 63.

5. The reason Col. John Frierson interested himself in this matter was that Hon. R. B. Rhett a representative in the National Congress from South Carolina, and a political friend of John C. Calhoun, had expressed a willingness to present to Congress a memorial for a redress of grievances suffered by the Saints in Missouri; and of course all this in the interest of Calhoun as candidate for President. See pp. 62-63; also Nauvoo Neighbor for the 5th June, 1844.

6. This is an error. Col. Frierson has confounded two incidents—the "Battle" at Crooked River, and a movement in Daviess county. General Doniphan gave no orders in respect of the skirmish in which David Patten lost his life, usually called the "Battle of Crooked River;" but he and also General Park gave some orders to Col. Wight d Col. Hinkle in relation to movements of militia in Daviess County against Millport and Gallatin. (See Vol. III, Ch. XII.)

7. The omission here indicated is the paragraph of foreign phrases not germane to the matter as explained in the footnote at page 75.

8. Relative to the spirit of this meeting in Nauvoo on the 29th of November, 1843; and also of many of the articles published as Editorials, and letters that were written about this time to public men, the reader should be reminded that these leading brethren of the Church were speaking and writing under a great stress of feeling—under a sense of outraged justice. Their minds had been refreshed and their feelings again wrought up by the detailed recital of the acts of injustice endured in Missouri by the Memorial to congress drawn up by Colonel Frierson; and under such circumstances it is scarcely to be expected that strong men will not give expression to the vehemence they feel. Edmund Burke once said in defense of the rashness expressed in both speech and action of some of the patriots of the American Revolution, that "It is not fair to judge the temper or the disposition of any man or set of men when they are composed and at rest from their conduct or there expressions in a state of disturbance and irritation." The justice of Burke's assertion has never been questioned, and without any wresting whatsoever it may be applied to the prominent Church leaders on the occasion of this meeting at Nauvoo; and, moreover, they saw again forming those mobocratic tendencies in Illinois from which they had suffered in Missouri.




Friday, December 1, 1843.—At home. In the evening, walking out and administering to the sick.

At noon, Dr. Willard Richards called on me to get a petition to Congress for an appropriation to improve the Rapids.

Progress of the Work.

I continue to receive letters from Elders in the different States, giving news of the progress of the work.

Clear and cold day. Some ice floating in the river.

Saturday 2.—Prayer-meeting from one to six p.m., in the assembly room over the store. Orson Hyde, Parley P. Pratt, Wilford Woodruff, George A. Smith, and Orson Spencer received their endowments and further instructions in the Priesthood. About thirty-five persons present.

A conference was held at Alexander in Genesee county, New York. Ten branches, containing 44 Elders and 206 members, were represented. Two High Priests, one Seventy, 21 Elders and one Deacon present.

Hyrum Smith Meets with an Accident.

Sunday, 3.—I arrived at the assembly room[1] about noon: found all present, except Hyrum and his wife. He had slipped and turned his knee-joint backward, and sprained the large muscle of his leg, and I had been ministering unto him. Emma had been unwell during the night. After the meeting was organized, William W. Phelps {99} read my "Appeal to the Green Mountain Boys," which was dedicated by prayer after all had spoken upon it. We also prayed for Nathan Pratt, who was very sick, Hyrum, and others. I afterwards instructed them in the things of the Priesthood.

Monday, 4.—At six in the evening, I attended the adjourned meeting of citizens in the assembly room, which was crowded with a select congregation. Many could not get admission. There were two Missourians present. I made some observations at the opening of the meeting, requested them to be calm and cool, but let the spirit of '76 burn in their bosoms, and when occasion requires, say little, but act; and when the mob comes, mow a hole through them.

My "Appeal to the Green Mountain Boys" was read by W. W. Phelps.

Elder Parley P. Pratt read his "Appeal to the State of New York."

Number of the Prophet's Vexatious Lawsuits

My clerk, Willard Richards, read the memorial to Congress, when the assembly unanimously voted their approbation of the memorial, when I spoke two-and-a-half hours, relating many circumstances which transpired in Missouri, not mentioned in the memorial. I have already had thirty-eight vexatious lawsuits, and have paid Missouri $150,000 for land. I borrowed $500 of Judge Young in Washington, to pay the expenses of the party that accompanied me, and had to borrow of others.

Daniel Avery and his son were kidnapped from the neighborhood of Warsaw by a company of Missourians, assisted by some anti-Mormons of this county, and carried into Missouri.[2]

Tuesday, 5.—Six p.m., met the Twelve, also Phelps, Clayton, and Turley, in council, in the office, on important business.

{100} Advised the Twelve to raise money to send to Elder Hyde, who is east, for him to get paper to print the Doctrine and Covenants, and get new type and metal for stereotyping the same.

Wednesday, 6.—At home and took the following affidavit:—

Chapman's Affidavit in the Avery Case.



On the sixth day of December, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty-three, came Delmore Chapman before me, Joseph Smith, mayor of said city; and after being duly sworn, deposeth and saith that on the nineteenth day of November, 1843, a man named Richardson came to one of his neighbors living in Bear Creek precinct, in the county of Hancock, named Philander Avery, and enticed him to the Mississippi at Warsaw, by false pretenses; and from thence by a company he was forced over the river and taken to Monticello jail; and that on the second day of December, some of the same party and others came to the aforesaid Bear Creek and kidnapped Daniel Avery, the father of the aforesaid Philander Avery, and by force of arms hurried him across the said Mississippi river into the State of Missouri, to aforesaid jail at Monticello, Lewis county, where your said affiant verily believes they are both now incarcerated illegally and inhumanly in prison; and further report says that some of them are to come to Nauvoo next, to kidnap Nelson Turner; and further your affiant saith not.


Subscribed and sworn to before me, this sixth day of December, 1843.


Upon which I wrote to his Excellency Thomas Ford:—


NAUVOO, December 6, 1843.

SIR:—The enclosed affidavit is forwarded to your Excellency for instructions to know what shall be done in the premises. I shall act according to the best of my judgment, constitutionally, till I receive your instructions, and in the meantime shall forward, as soon as they can be had, all the facts relative to the case as a suitable person will go {101} immediately to the place and get the necessary affidavits. Send your instructions by the bearer.

Respectfully, I have the honor to be,

Your obedient servant,


Lieutenant-General of N. L.

P. S. Shall any portion of the Legion be called out?

N. B. An express has just reached me that Governor Reynolds will make another demand for me. I rely on the honor of Illinois, for no writ can legally issue against me. I have suffered from their insatiable thirst for my blood long enough, and want the peace of my family to remain undisturbed.

Wednesday, 6.—Esquire Goodwin and others, not members of the Church, petitioned the Governor not to help Missouri to persecute the Saints.

Thursday, 7.—At eleven a.m. a meeting of the citizens of Nauvoo was held. The minutes of which I extract from the Neighbor as follows:—


At a meeting of the citizens of Nauvoo, held near the Temple, on the 7th day of December, 1843, Alpheus Cutler was called to the chair, and Willard Richards appointed secretary; whereupon, after the object of the meeting was stated, a committee of three—namely, W. W. Phelps, Reynolds Cahoon, and Hosea Stout, were appointed to draft a preamble and resolutions expressive of the sentiments of the people of the city of Nauvoo relative to the repeated unlawful demands by the State of Missouri for the body of General Joseph Smith, as well as the common, cruel practice of kidnapping citizens of Illinois, and forcing them across the Mississippi river, and then incarcerating them in the dungeons or prisons of Missouri. And after a few minutes' absence they returned with the following:—


Whereas, the State of Missouri, with the Governor at the head, continues to make demands upon the executive of Illinois for the body of General Joseph Smith, as we verily believe, to keep up a system of persecution against the Church of Latter-day Saints, for the purpose of justifying the said State of Missouri in her diabolical, unheard of, cruel and unconstitutional warfare against said Church of Latter-day Saints, and which she has practiced during the last twelve years, whereby {102} many have been murdered, mobbed and ravished, and the whole community expelled from the State:

And also to heave dust in the eyes of the nation and the world, while she, as a State, with the Government to back her, continues to slip over the river to steal the property of the Latter-day Saints, and kidnap the members of said Church to glut her vengeance, malice, revenge, and avarice, and to make slaves of the said captives or murder them: Therefore,

Resolved unanimously: As we do know that Joseph Smith is not guilty of any charge made against him by the said State of Missouri, but is a good, industrious, well-meaning, and worthy citizen of Illinois, and an officer that does faithfully and impartially administer the laws of the State, that we as citizens of Illinois, crave the protection of the Constitution and laws of the country as an aegis to shield him, the said General Joseph Smith, from such cruel persecutions, beseeching the Governor of Illinois not to issue any more writs against the said General Joseph Smith, or other Latter-day Saints (unless they are guilty), but to let the Latter-day Saints "breathe awhile like other men," and enjoy the liberty guaranteed to every honest citizen by the Magna Charta of our common country.

Resolved, That as citizens of the State of Illinois, we solicit the attention of the Governor and officers generally of the State to take some lawful means and measures to regain the citizens that have been kidnapped by the Missourians, and to prevent the said Missourians and government from committing further violence upon the citizens of Illinois.

Resolved, as the sense of this meeting, That, according to the true meaning of the law, those citizens of any section of country who do not rise up as virtuous freemen (when any portion of inhabitants congregate or combine to injure, slander, or deprive another portion of their rights,) and magnify the law, to clear themselves from such unhallowed attempts to subvert order and law, that they by their silence make themselves accessories of the crime of such unlawful assemblage or outrageous individuals.

Resolved, unanimously, That we solicit the Governor by all honorable means to grant us peace, for we will have it.



In the afternoon, Lucien Woodworth started with the papers to the Governor, and the petition from Goodwin and others, and Delmore Chapman's affidavit.

Provision for German Meetings.

{103} The German brethren met at the assembly room at six p.m., and choose Bishop Daniel Garn as their Presiding Elder, and organized to have preaching in their native language.

Directed copies of my Appeal to the various authorities of Vermont and the United States.

Precautionary Steps against Missouri Invasion

Friday, 8.—At eleven a.m. I went to my office and gave instructions to my clerk for the drawing of a draft of a dam on the Mississippi river, an directed that the city council be called at four this afternoon to make preparations for any invasion from Missouri.

Willard Richards and Philip B. Lewis made an affidavit, which I insert:—

Richards' and Lewis' Affidavit.



On the 8th day of December, 1843, came Willard Richards and Philip B. Lewis before me, Joseph Smith, Mayor of said city, and after being duly sworn, depose and say that they have been informed that two men have been kidnapped recently by the Missourians, in connection with some of the lawless inhabitants of the county of Hancock, and that rumors are now afloat that it is the intention of said lawless persons, in connection with the aforesaid Missourians, to kidnap some of the citizens of this city; and further your affiants would state that they are of opinion, to prevent difficulties of such a vexatious nature, that something should be done to secure the peace of this city from being disturbed. And further your affiants say not.



Subscribed and sworn to before me, this 8th day of December, 1843.

W. W. PHELPS, Clerk.

Whereupon I issued the following notification;—

An Order to the City Marshal.



To the Marshal of said City, Greeting:—

Whereas complaint has been made to me upon oath, that some persons have been kidnapped by the Missourians, in connection with {104} some of the lawless inhabitants of Hancock county, and that threats have been made that some of the citizens of Nauvoo will be kidnapped or arrested, and forcibly carried away from said city without being allowed the benefit of the writ of habeas corpus, according to the ordinance in such case made and provided, you will therefore take the necessary measures to have the rights of the citizens of this city held sacred, and the ordinances of said city duly carried into full force and effect. To which end, should you judge that the peace and safety of the city require it, you are further notified to call for a suitable portion of the Nauvoo Legion to be in complete readiness to compel obedience to the ordinances of the said city.

Given under my hand and seal this 8th day of December, 1843.


W. W. PHELPS, Clerk, M. C.

In consequence thereof, I received from the City Marshal;—

The City Marshal's Reply.

CITY OF NAUVOO, December 8, 1843.

SIR:—Your order to have the ordinances of this city fully carried into effect will be duly attended to; but in order to so do, it will be necessary for you as Mayor of the city, to issue orders to Major General Wilson Law for a suitable portion of the Nauvoo Legion to be in readiness to compel obedience to said ordinances, if necessary.

Respectfully, &c.,

HENRY G. SHERWOOD, City Marshal.

To Joseph Smith, Mayor.

And I issued:—

Mayor's Order to the Commander of the Nauvoo Legion.


CITY OF NAUVOO, Dec. 8, 1843.

The Marshal of this city having made a demand of me for a suitable portion of the Nauvoo Legion to protect the rights of the citizens and carry the ordinances of said city into full effect, you are hereby directed and required to hold in readiness such portions of the said Nauvoo Legion, which you have the honor to command, as may be necessary to compel obedience to the ordinances of said city and secure the peace of the citizens, and call them out, if occasion require, without further notice.

With due regard, I have the honor to be

Your obedient servant,


Lieutenant-General. N. L.

Major-General Wilson Law,

Commanding Nauvoo Legion.

{105} Four p.m., attended City Council, which passed "An extra ordinance for the extra case of Joseph Smith and others."

Special Ordinance in the Prophet's Case, vs. Missouri.

Whereas, Joseph Smith has been three times arrested and three times acquitted upon writs founded upon supposed crimes or charges preferred by the State of Missouri, which acquittals were made from investigations upon writs of habeas corpus—namely one in the United States Court for the district of Illinois, one in the Circuit Court of the State of Illinois, and one in the Municipal Court of Nauvoo:

And whereas, a nolle prosequi has once been entered in the courts of Missouri upon all the cases of Missouri against Joseph Smith and others:

And whereas, there appears to be a determined resolution by the State of Missouri to continue these unjust, illegal, and murderous demands for the body of General Joseph Smith:

And whereas, it has become intolerable to be thus continually harassed and robbed of our money to defray the expenses of these prosecutions:

And whereas, according to the Constitution of Illinois, "all men are born equally free and independent, and have certain inherent and indefeasible rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, and of acquiring, possessing, and protecting property and reputation, and pursuing their own happiness:"

And whereas, it is our bounden duty, by all common means, if possible, to put a stop to such vexatious lawsuits and save expense: Therefore—

Section 1. Be it ordained by the City Council of the City of Nauvoo, according to the intent and meaning of the Charter for the "benefit and convenience" of Nauvoo, that hereafter, if any person or persons shall come with process, demand, or requisition, founded upon the aforesaid Missouri difficulties, to arrest said Joseph Smith, he or they so offending shall be subject to be arrested by any officer of the city, with or without process, and tried by the Municipal Court, upon testimony, and, if found guilty, sentenced to imprisonment in the city prison for life; which convict or convicts can only be pardoned by the Governor, with the consent of the Mayor of said city.

Section 2. And be it further ordained that the preceding section shall apply to the case of every and all persons that may be arrested, demanded, or required upon any charge founded in the aforesaid Missouri difficulties.

Section 3. And be it further ordained that the jury that makes the presentment, in any case above specified, shall not, nor either of them, {106} act as jurors on the final trial; but the trial shall be conducted according to the fifth and sixth articles of the amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

Passed December 8, 1843.



The City Council also passed "An ordinance to erect a dam in the Mississippi river, and for other purposes."

Ordinance Providing for the Erection of a Dam in the Mississippi.

Section 1. Be it ordained by the City Council of the City of Nauvoo, that Joseph Smith and his successors for the term of perpetual succession are hereby authorized and empowered to erect a dam, of suitable height to propel mills and machinery, from any point within the limits of said city and below the Nauvoo House, and in a proper direction to reach the island this side of Montrose; but not to interfere with the main channel of the Mississippi river.

Section 2. And be it further ordained that the said Joseph Smith and his successors are further authorized to erect north of the aforesaid island, a dam, pier, or breakwater to intersect the sandbar above.

Section 3. Be it further ordained that said Joseph Smith and his successors are also authorized and have full liberty to use the said dam and water for the purpose of propelling mills and machinery, and shall be governed in their rates of toll and rules of manufactory by ordinance of said city.

Section 4. And be it further ordained that the said Joseph Smith and his successors are further authorized and empowered to use the space within the limits of the said dam as a harbor or basin for steamboats and other water craft; and for which purpose they may construct docks, wharfs, and landings, and receive such fees for wharfage as may be regulated by ordinance of said city.

Section 5. And be it further ordained that said Joseph Smith and his successors are further authorized to build an embankment on the east side of the aforesaid island, to connect the said dam with the pier on the north, and to use the top of said dam for a public road or highway, receiving for compensation from those who cross upon it such rates as may be allowed by ordinance of said city.

Passed December 8, 1843.



Petition for Nauvoo to Be Placed under the General Government

{107} I suggested to the Council the idea of petitioning Congress to receive the City of Nauvoo under the protection of the United States Government, to acknowledge the Nauvoo Legion as U. S. troops, and to assist in fortifications and other purposes, and that a messenger be sent to Congress for this purpose at the expense of the city.

Messrs. John Taylor, Orson Spencer, and Orson Pratt were appointed a committee to draft a memorial according to my suggestions.

Saturday, 9.—At home.

Prayer-meeting in the assembly room.

I copy from the Neighbor.


At a very large meeting of the citizens of Nauvoo, held at the corner of Main and Water streets, Mr. Heber C. Kimball was elected chairman, and John M. Bernhisel appointed secretary. Mr. George A. Smith having made a few observations, Mr. John Taylor read the preamble and resolutions of a meeting held at the temple, on the 7th instant; also an ordinance entitled "An extra ordinance for the extra case of Joseph Smith and others," recently passed by the City Council of the City of Nauvoo; likewise the fifth and sixth articles of the amendments of the Constitution of the United States, and the opinion of the Attorney-General of the State of Illinois on the subject of the organization of the Nauvoo Legion, he being of the opinion that said Legion was disconnected from the military communities of the whole State, and in no way subject to the regular military officers, possessing an exemption even from subjection to the general military laws, with a law-making power vested in their own Legion.

After some pertinent remarks by Mr. Taylor, General Joseph Smith briefly addressed the meeting. He dissented entirely from the opinion of the Attorney-General, and observed that it was stated in the Charter that the Legion was a part of the Militia of Illinois, and that his commission declared that he (General Smith) was the Lieutenant-General of the Nauvoo Legion and of the Militia of the State of Illinois; and as such, it was not only his duty to enforce the city ordinance, but the laws of the State, when called on by the Governor. He also stated that he had been informed that the Chief Magistrate of Missouri had it in {108} contemplation to make another requisition on the Governor of Illinois for him (Joseph Smith).

The meeting then adjourned sine die.

H. C. KIMBALL, Chairman.

J. M. BERNHISEL, Secretary.

Received the following;—

Letter of Wilson Law to Joseph Smith Anent the Legion.


December 9, 1843.

Lieutenant-General Joseph Smith.

In consequence of the orders I received from you "to hold in readiness a sufficient portion of the legion, &c.,—to make said forces efficient," it will be necessary to supply them with munitions of war, which of course must be done at the expense of the city. You will therefore please to give orders to the commandants of cohorts on their application to you on the city treasury for whatever amount you may think proper on the present occasion.

Most respectfully your obedient servant,


Major-General, N. L.

Sunday, 10.—Rainy day. I stayed at home.

A prayer-meeting held this evening in the assembly room. I was not present. Brigham Young presided. Several sick persons were prayed for.

Avery Case—a Reminiscence of Missouri Days.

By letter from J. White, deputy sheriff of Clark county, Missouri, I learn that Mr. Daniel Avery is in Marion county prison, without trial. The sheriff requests several men to go there as witnesses. It is evidently a trap to get some more of our people into their power. When I was in prison in Missouri, my witnesses were arrested before they got into court to testify, except one, who was kicked out of the court by an officer, Lieutenant Cook, who damned him, and ordered some of his company to shoot him. After which, the State's attorney, Birch, turned to me tauntingly, saying, "Why the hell don't you bring on your witnesses?" and Judge King laughed at my discomfiture. The Saints have had enough of Missouri mob justice.

{109} Monday, 11. The following affidavit will show that some of the citizens of Illinois are so far fallen and so much governed by mobocratic influence as to assist the Missouri wretches in their hellish designs:—

Affidavit of Sission Chase—The Avery Case.



On the 11th day of December, 1843, came Sission A. Chase before me Aaron Johnson, a Justice of the Peace of said county; and, after being duly sworn, deposeth and saith that the crime of kidnapping has been committed in Hancock County; and on the 2nd day of this present December, 1843, at the house of Schrench Freeman, about four miles and a half south of Warsaw, in said county, your said affiant heard a man by the name of John Elliot say that he was going a shooting turkeys. When asked what he was going to shoot them with, he showed a brace of pistols and a large hickory cane. Your affiant observed that he thought he could not kill turkeys with such weapons; and the said Elliot said that there was a certain cock he meant to take before night, and they would do for that. He, the said Elliot, went off, and your affiant did not see him till Sunday evening the 3rd, when your affiant asked the said Elliot if he had caught his turkey; and he replied, yes, the one he was after—a Mormon Elder. Your affiant then asked him who he was; and he said, Daniel Avery. Your affiant then asked the said Elliot what had been done with said Avery; and he said we put him on to a horse, tied his legs, and guarded him to the river, from whence, about ten o'clock at night, we took him into Clark county, Missouri, for stealing a horse four years ago, where they would try him; and if found guilty, they would then take him into another county, where there was a jail, as there was none in Clark county. On the 4th day of December, I asked him if they had writs or authority to take Mr. Avery. He replied, we all had writs. On the 5th, said Elliot said he expected to get into difficulty on account of this scrape; but if any Mormon makes any business with me, I will shoot him. And further your affiant says not.


Subscribed and sworn to this 11th day of December, 1843, before me


Which I sent to the Governor, with this letter:—

Letter—Joseph Smith to Governor Ford.

NAUVOO, December 11, 1843.

SIR:—I herewith forward your Excellency another affidavit on the subject of the late kidnapping, and shall continue [to do] the same as they {110} come to hand, expecting your cordial co-operation in the premises that the laws may be magnified and made honorable, and our lives held precious, our friends saved from jeopardy, and the captives freed.

Respectfully, I have the honor to be

Your obedient servant,


Nauvoo's Police Force Enlarged.

Meetings were held and resolutions passed in all the wards of the city, requesting the city council to raise a company of forty men to act as police.

Last night, two ruffians, whose names are unknown, went to the house of Brother Richard Badham—a farmer living on the prairie, robbed the house of $4.50, threatened his life, stabbed him in the abdomen, when part of his caul gushed out. Dr. John M. Bernhisel dressed his wounds today, and he thinks there is a prospect of his recovering.

Tuesday, 12.—In office at nine a.m., and wrote a letter to my uncle:—

Letter—Joseph Smith to John Smith—The Latter Appointed a Patriarch.

President John Smith:—The petition of a special conference at Macedonia of last November for your appointment as Patriarch in the Church has been received, duly considered, and is granted. You have my best wishes in your behalf, as well as my prayers, that you may fill so honorable and exalted a station with the dignity, sobriety, and grace which has hitherto characterized your conduct and communion with men, as a man of God.

Respectfully yours,


At ten, a.m., attended City Council, which passed an ordinance exempting all church property from city tax.

In accordance with the petitions from the several wards, the council passed the following:—"An ordinance for selecting forty policemen and for other purposes.

Ordinance Enlarging Police Force.

"Section 1. Be it ordained by the City Council of the City of Nauvoo that the Mayor of said city be, and is hereby authorized to select and have in readiness for every emergency forty policemen, to be at his {111} disposal in maintaining the peace and dignity of the citizens, and enforcing the ordinances of the said city, for ferreting out thieves and bringing them to justice, and to act as daily and nightly watchmen, and be under the pay of said city."

Passed December 12, 1843.


W. RICHARDS, Recorder.

The Council also passed "An ordinance for the health and convenience of travelers and other persons."

Ordinance on the Personal Sale of Liquors.

Section 1. Be it ordained by the City Council of Nauvoo, that the Mayor of the city be and is hereby authorized to sell or give spirits of any quantity as he in his wisdom shall judge to be for the health and comfort, or convenience of such travelers or other persons as shall visit his house from time to time.

Passed December 12, 1843.



Wednesday, 13.—At home.

I insert an editorial from the Neighbor:—


It will be seen in another column that a public meeting was held in this place for the purpose of providing some remedy for the repeated aggressions of the State of Missouri; since which time an ordinance has been passed by the City Council to carry into effect that object, and to prevent the citizens of this place from being any longer imposed upon by the continued illegal proceedings of the state and citizens of Missouri.

We think that it is high time that something should be done to screen ourselves from the continued aggressions of the meddling, troublesome, bloodthirsty herd; and we know of no means that will be more efficient and lawful than the one adopted.

We have done good for evil long enough, in all conscience. We think that we have fulfilled the Scriptures every whit. They have smitten us on the one cheek, and we have turned the other, and they have smitten that also.

We have also fulfilled the law, and more than fulfilled it. And for sake of peace, when we knew that we had violated no law, nor in anywise subjected ourselves to persecutions, we have endured the wrong patiently, without offering violence or in anywise injuring the heartless wretches who could be trusted with such a dishonorable document. {112} Those vagabonds have been suffered to prowl at large, and boast of their inglorious deeds in our midst; and no man has injured them, or said, Why do you so?

The time, however, is now gone by for this mode of proceeding, and those vagabonds must keep within their own borders and let peaceable citizens alone, or receive the due merit of their crimes. We think that this ordinance passed by the City Council is wise, judicious, and well-timed, and is well calculated to protect peaceable citizens in their rights, and to prevent those lawless vagabonds from interfering with the rights of peaceable citizens.

To those unacquainted with our relationship to Missouri, and the accumulated wrongs and repeated aggressions that we have received from the hands of that State, our language may appear harsh and ill timed; but those who are in possession of those facts know better. Their merciless, unrelenting, inhuman prosecutions and persecutions, from the time of our first settlement in that state until the present, have been wholly and entirely unprovoked and without the shadow of law.

Joseph Smith has been suffered to be taken time and again by them; we say suffered, because he could not be legally and constitutionally taken, Joseph Smith never committed the crimes of which he is charged. He is an innocent man.

But allowing their false, diabolical accusations to be true, what then? Does it follow that he is continually to be followed for the same offense? Verily no. The Constitution of the United States expressly says—"Nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb." And yet we find that the State of Missouri has put Joseph Smith in jeopardy no less than four or five times. He was tried once by a military tribunal in Missouri, and sentenced to be shot. He was afterwards tried by a pretended civil (mobocratic) court; and since then he has been several times apprehended, tried, and acquitted for the same offense, in this State, by Missouri requisitions.

Is he still illegally and unconstitutionally to be held in abeyance by these miscreants? or shall we as freeborn American citizens, assert our rights, put the law in force upon those lawless, prowling vagabonds and say that he shall be free?

Shall we suffer our pockets to be picked through the influence of these scoundrels eternally, by defending ourselves against vexatious lawsuits? or shall we take a more summary way, and by a legal course punish the aggressors, proclaim our freedom, and shield ourselves under the broad folds of the Constitution? The latter is the course for us to pursue.

The ordinance passed by the City Council will secure this object; {113} and we are glad to find that the opinion of J. Lamborn, attorney general, and J. N. McDougall, correspond so much with our own—"That the Nauvoo Legion is an independent military organization, and is by law expressly required to sustain the municipal laws of Nauvoo.

What are we to say about these kidnappers who infest our borders and carry away our citizens—those infernals in human shape?

The whole European world has been engaged in a warfare against those who traffic in human blood. Negotiations have been made, treaties entered into, and fleets have been sent out, through the combined efforts of the nations, to put a stop to this inhuman traffic. But what would those nations think, if they were told the fact that in America—Republican America, the boasted cradle of liberty and land of freedom,—that those dealers in human flesh and blood, negro dealers and drivers, are allowed with impunity to steal white men, and those sons of liberty can obtain no redress.

Great God! has it come to this, that freeborn American citizens must be kidnapped by negro drivers? What are our authorities doing! Why are not these wretches brought to justice? We have heard that one or two of the citizens of Illinois have been engaged in assisting these wretches. We shall try to find out who they are and their whereabouts and make them known; and then, if they are not brought to condign punishment, we shall say that justice has fled from Illinois."

Thursday, 14.—At home.

Philander Avery arrived in Nauvoo, having made his escape from his kidnappers in Missouri.

I received the following milk-and-water letter from Governor Ford:—

Letter—Governor Ford to President Smith.

SPRINGFIELD, December 12, 1843.

General Joseph Smith.

SIR:—I have received your favor of the 6th instant, together with the proceedings of a public meeting of the citizens of Nauvoo, on the subject of the late kidnapping, by the people of Missouri and others, of two citizens of this State.

You request to know if any portion of the Legion shall be called out. My answer is, No. The Militia cannot be called out, except in the cases specified by me in my letter to Governor Reynolds, dated in the month of August last, in which I took the ground that the Militia can only be called out to repel an invasion, suppress an insurrection, or on some extreme emergency; and not to suppress, prevent, or punish individual crimes. I still am of the opinion that the ground assumed by {114} me on that occasion is the true one. The prevention and punishment of individual offenses has been confided by the constitution and laws of this State to the judicial power, and not to the executive.

If a citizen of the State has been kidnapped, or if property has been stolen from this State, and carried to the State of Missouri, those who have done either are guilty of an indictable offense. But the constitution and the laws have provided no means whereby either the person or property taken away can be returned, except by an appeal to the laws of Missouri. The Governor has no legal right to demand the return of either. The only power I would have would be simply this: If any of the guilty persons should be charged with larceny or kidnapping, by indictment or affidavit, duly certified, and with having fled to Missouri, then I would have the power, and it would become my duty to make a demand upon the Governor of Missouri for the surrender of the fugitives, to be tried by the courts of this State. I am fully satisfied that in ordinary cases this is all the power I would possess. It would be simply a power to be exercised in aid of the judicial power. Any other powers to be exercised by the Governor would be to make him a dictator and a despot. It is true that an extraordinary case might arise, in which the inhabitants of one State might arise in warlike and hostile array against those of another; in which case a state of war would exist, and then only could I interfere.

I would advise your citizens to be strictly peaceable towards the people of Missouri. You ought to be aware that in every country individuals are liable to be visited with wrong, which the law is slow to redress, and some of which are never redressed in this world. This fact, however, has never been held to be a justification for violence, not warranted by law.

If any of the people of Nauvoo should invade Missouri for the purpose of rescuing persons there in jail, the consequence would be that indictments would be presented against them, and demands made upon me for their arrest and surrender; which demands I would be compelled to obey, and thus they would be harassed by interminable demands and prosecutions; and very likely it would lead to a species of border warfare, which would be exceedingly annoying to a peaceable city, and, if you could be placed in the wrong, might lead to exceedingly unpleasant consequences with reference both to law and public opinion.

You inform me that you are informed that Governor Reynolds is about to make a new demand for you; and you implore my protection from what you term this renewed persecution. In the month of August last, I was furnished by your friends with a very large amount of affidavits and evidence, said to be intended to show cause why no further writs should be issued against you. As they are very voluminous, {115} I have not yet read them, and probably never will, unless a new demand should be made; in which case they will receive a careful perusal; and you may rest assured that no steps will be taken by me but such as the constitution and laws may require.

I am, very respectfully, &c.,


Comment of the Prophet on Governor Ford's attitude.

It appears from this letter, that Governor Ford has never taken pains to examine the evidences placed in his hands, "and probably never will," in relation to the Missouri writs; and evidently as little pains to examine the Constitution of the United States or even reflect upon the ordinary principles of human rights, to suppose that a State, after having, by a union of executive, judicial and military powers, exterminated 15,000 of its innocent inhabitants, who were not even charged with any crime, robbing them of all they possessed on earth, murdering scores of men, women and children, and expelling all the others from the State, among strangers, in mid-winter, destitute of everything upon the face of the earth that could possibly have a tendency to make life desirable, should be constitutionally entitled to demand back from banishment persons who have thus suffered its absolute decrees of exile, to satiate a yet unsatiated thirst for human blood and torture. O reason, where art thou fled! O humanity, where hast thou hidden thyself? Patriots of '76, has your blood been spilt in vain, that in 1843 the Executive of a great Republican State can coolly say, "I have not yet read them, and probably never will?" Is liberty only a name? Is protection of person and property fled from free America? Let those answer who can.

A Sudden Illness of the Prophet.

Friday, 15.—I awoke this morning in good health, but was soon suddenly seized with a great dryness of the mouth and throat, sickness of the stomach, and vomited freely. My wife waited on me, assisted by my scribe, Dr. Willard Richards, and his brother Levi, who administered to me herbs and mild {116} drinks. I was never prostrated so low, in so short a time, before; but by evening was considerably revived.

Very warm for the season.

Saturday, 16.—This morning I felt considerably better; arose at 10, and sat all day in the City Council, which was held in my house for my accommodation.

Comment on Appeal to the General Government for Protection.

The Mayor, Aldermen, and Councilors signed officially the Memorial to Congress for redress of losses and grievances in Missouri. While discussing the petition to Congress, I prophesied, by virtue of the holy Priesthood vested in me, and in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, that, if Congress will not hear our petition and grant us protection, they shall be broken up as a government.[4] * * *

I informed the Council that it was my wish they should ask the privilege of calling on Government for the United States troops to protect us in our privileges, which is not unconstitutional, but lies in the breast of Congress.

Heber C. Kimball was duly elected city auctioneer, in place of Charles Warner, removed.

The Council passed "An ordinance regulating merchants and grocers;" also "An ordinance concerning the landing of steamers;" and Jonathan Dunham was appointed wharf-master for one year.

{117} Heber C. Kimball and George A. Smith were appointed a committee to wait on Mr. Davidson Hibbard, and solicit from him a block of land, whereon to erect a city prison.

After Council, conversed with some of the Twelve, brother Turley and others, till 8 p.m. Prayer meeting in the evening.

Warm, foggy, and muddy day.

Sunday, 17.—At home till 4 p.m.; attended prayer meeting at the assembly room. Samuel Harrison Smith admitted. Returned home at 7.

River clear of ice as far up as the Stone Tavern.

Mr. King Follet, one of the constables of Hancock County, started with ten men this afternoon to arrest John Elliott for kidnapping Daniel Avery, upon a warrant granted by Aaron Johnson, Esq., J. P.

Monday, 18.—After dinner, Constable Follet returned with John Elliott, a schoolmaster, when an examination was had before Esq. Johnson, in the assembly room. Elliott was found guilty of kidnapping Avery, and bound over in the sum of $3,000 to the Circuit court of Carthage for trial. I endeavored to have the court reduce those bonds, as Mr. Elliott was comparatively a stranger in Nauvoo; but did not succeed.

During the investigation, testimony appeared to show that Elliott had threatened my life; and for this I made affidavit and brought him to trial before Robert D. Foster, J. P., immediately after he had been bound over by Esq. Johnson. I extract from the proceedings, in part, from the Neighbor:—


The prisoner was brought forward, and the court said it was his privilege to plead for a change of venue, by paying the costs; but as the costs were not forthcoming, the court proceeded.

Mr. Styles then read the "Act to regulate the apprehension of offenders and for other purposes," p 219, r. s. The act sets forth that the use of threatening language is sufficient to criminate individuals. This we are prepared to prove.

{118} Sisson Chase sworn.

The testimony was similar to that before delivered, [in Chase affidavit see p. 109] with the following additional items:—

I did ask him if he had authority. In the morning he said that he would not care about shooting some of the Mormons. In conversation with him, he carried the idea that a conspiracy was formed against Joseph Smith and others, and that some of them would be shot. These conversations were had at different times. He thought Mr. Smith was a bad character. He thought they ought to be taken. Question: Who? Joseph Smith and some others.

I told him he had been taken, but had been acquitted. He did not thank the Governor for that. He carried the idea that there was a conspiracy against his life, and said we have a plan in operation that will pop him over.

Mr. Elliott sworn.

By the Court: Is your residence, Mr. Elliott, in this county? Yes.

Messrs. Marr and Styles, attorneys, resident in Nauvoo, made some thrilling remarks pertaining to the outrageous proceedings of Missouri. The diabolical conduct of those wretches who could be engaged in destroying and kidnapping their fellowmen was portrayed in glowing colors.

Judge Phelps and General Smith then followed on the same subject: their language was thrillingly eloquent and powerful. If ever inhumanity and deeds of blood were depicted in their true colors, it was on that occasion: their thoughts flashed as fire, and they spake in "words that burned." We never saw the character of General Smith so clearly developed; for while he abhorred and depicted the fiendish crime that the culprit stood charged with in its true colors, he pitied the poor wretch that then stood before him, and with feelings of commiseration, benevolence, and philanthropy, withdrew his charge—wished, if it was within the power of the court, that the culprit might be forgiven,—promised to pay all the charges, and invited him and those of his friends who came along with him, to come to his house, and they should be taken care of. It would be superfluous for us to attempt to give even a faint outline of the remarks made by the above-named gentlemen. We hope to have at least a synopsis of their speeches for publication, which we are sure would be highly interesting to our readers. Upon the whole, although a painful, yet it was an interesting occasion and will long be remembered; and unless Mr. Elliott's heart and those of his friends were made of adamant, it must have made an indelible impression on their minds, and almost made them hate themselves.

I received from Aaron Johnson, Esq., the following demand:—

{119} Legion Aid Applied For.

CITY OF NAUVOO, December 18, 1843.

SIR:—I have been informed that a writ issued by me for the body of Levi Williams, for kidnapping Daniel Avery, will be resisted by an armed force: Therefore, according to the provision of the Charter, I wish you to order me a detachment of the Nauvoo Legion—say 100 men, to enforce the law of the State, and bring the said Williams to justice.


Which demand I complied with by writing to Major-General Wilson Law.

Detachment of the Legion Ordered into Service.

CITY OF NAUVOO, Dec. 18, 1843.

SIR:—You will detach 100 men, under the direction of Aaron Johnson, a Justice of the Peace, for the purpose of assisting the constable in executing the law of the State in taking Levi Williams, who is charged with kidnapping Daniel Avery.


JOSEPH SMITH, Lieut-Gen., N. L.


Commanding Nauvoo Legion.

Gen. Wilson detached Colonel Stephen Markham with 100 men for that purpose.

Rumors of Mob Risings.

About 10 p.m., two young men arrived as express, stating that a mob was collecting at Warsaw, also at Colonel Levi Williams' house; and messengers had gone to the mob in Missouri to reinforce their number there.

Dr. Richards made the following affidavit:—

Affidavit of Willard Richards that Nauvoo was in Danger.


December 18, 1843.

Personally appeared Willard Richards before me, Joseph Smith, Mayor of said city, and upon his oath deposeth and saith that from information he has received, he verily believes that the peace of said city is in danger from a mobocratic assemblage at Warsaw, and a force collected under the command of Colonel Levi Williams in the lower part of the county, and runners having been sent to Missouri to excite the Missourians to join the mobbers in this county, for the purpose of making {120} a descent on said city, or disturbing its peaceable inhabitants; and further your deponent saith not.


Subscribed and sworn to before me this 18th December, 1843.


Clerk of the Mayor's Court.

Whereupon I wrote to Major-General Wilson Law:—

Legion Ordered into Service.

CITY OF NAUVOO, Dec. 18, 1843.

SIR:—I am credibly informed that a warlike force is collecting at or near Warsaw, for the purpose of some violent move towards this city or some of the inhabitants thereof. You will therefore order out such a portion of the Nauvoo Legion as may be necessary to repel any such mobocratic or hostile design of the same unlawful force, and also as may be sufficient to secure the peace of the citizens, according to law.


JOSEPH SMITH, Lieut-Gen. N. L.


Commanding Nauvoo Legion.

I returned home to rest about one o'clock in the morning of the 19th.

Moves and Counter Moves of Forces.

Tuesday, 19.—At home. About 9 a.m., a part of the company who went with Hosea Stout returned, and stated that they went within two miles of Colonel Williams', when they were informed that a body of men, armed with rifles, &c., were collected at his house, and he judged it prudent to return for weapons and help; also that Brother Chester Loveland told them that he had seen thirty armed men following Constable King Follett some miles on his way, when he had Elliott in custody.

Esq. Johnson immediately wrote to Loveland to have him come to Nauvoo and make affidavit of the warlike movements of the mob, that he might send to the Governor.

I directed my clerks to make copies of the affidavits respecting the kidnapping of the Averys to send to Governor Ford, that he might be left without excuse, although he may probably not read them.

{121} Elder William Martindale writes from Washington, Wayne county, Iowa:—


A singular phenomenon was seen in this neighborhood. Jesse Fox, William and Lorenzo Fox, David Bale, James Wilson, and William Cole, with some others, retired to the house of Solomon Mendenhall, at which place they stayed a short time. While there they discovered a ball rising from the east in an oblique line; and as it ascended it moved towards the west with great rapidity until it was high in the heavens, leaving a streak of light behind it, which to the natural eye, had the appearance of being thirty or forty feet in length. This light remained stationary for about one minute. Both ends then coming round, formed a figure 8, which figure also retained its position for the same space of time. It then was transformed into a figure 6, which also remained for about a minute. It then was formed into a cipher or 0, which remained for about three minutes. The figures put together made 1860 in large figures in the heavens. The phenomenon was indeed singular, and has been a matter of great speculation with us.

Legion Parade

At one p.m. I was present when the Legion paraded near the Temple, were inspected by the officers, and instructed to prepare themselves with arms and ammunition and to hold themselves in readiness, for a moment's notice. Brother Henry Boley was shot severely under the arm by the accidental discharge of his gun.

Amos S. Chase made the following affidavit:—

Affidavit of Amos Chase.



On the 19th day of December, 1843, came Amos S. Chase before me Joseph Smith, Mayor of said city; and after being duly sworn, deposeth and saith that on the 18th day of December, 1843, he was about four miles below Warsaw, in Hancock County, shortly after the constable arrested John Elliott for being concerned in kidnapping Daniel Avery, not long since, and saw the men of the neighborhood gathering with arms to retake the said John Elliott; and when asked what they would do, if the Governor did not sanction such an unlawful course, several of them replied, "Damn the Governor! If he opens his head, we will punch a hole through him! He dare not open his head! We will serve him the same sauce we will the Mormons." The said {122} mob then went to Warsaw, where your affiant saw them with their arms; and further your affiant saith not.


Subscribed and sworn to before me this 19th day of December, 1843.

W. W. PHELPS, Clerk, M. C.

Wednesday, 20.—At home, in good health and spirits, counseling and attending to business in general.

The Clerk of the Municipal Court took the following affidavits:—




On the 20th day of December, 1843, personally appeared before me, Willard Richards, clerk of the Municipal Court of said city Philander Avery, of Bear Creek precinct, in said county, and after being duly sworn, deposeth and saith that on the 19th day of November, 1843, at his house, in the precinct aforesaid, Ebenezer Richardson, of Lee county, Territory of Iowa, by false pretenses, persuaded your affiant to accompany said Richardson to the Mississippi river at Warsaw, where your affiant was seized by one Joseph C. McCoy, of Clark county, Missouri, in connection with the said Richardson, and about one dozen of other individuals, whose names are unknown to your affiant, and by them forced across said Mississippi River, where they bound your affiant; and Mark Childs swore that your affiant had stolen said McCoy's horse and colt, and that his father Daniel Avery had secreted said horse and colt, and said Richardson threatened your affiant with death or seven years' imprisonment, in order to persuade him to make false statements, and testify that his father, Daniel Avery, had stolen said McCoy's horse and colt, which statements your affiant made, and swore to the same, while in duress, with a bowie-knife presented to intimidate. And your affiant further saith that the testimony he gave concerning his father's guilt, was extorted from him through fear, while in duress, and said testimony was absolutely false, and your affiant fully believed that his father is innocent of the crime of stealing said McCoy's horse and colt; and further your deponent saith not.


[Sidenote: [L. S.]]

Subscribed and sworn to before me; in testimony whereof I have set my hand and affixed the seal of said court at Nauvoo aforesaid, this 20th day of December, A. D. 1843.


Clerk of the Municipal Court of the City of Nauvoo,

{123} Affidavit of the Hamiltons.



On the 20th day of December, 1843, personally appeared before me Aaron Johnson, a Justice of the Peace in and for said county, Andrew H. Hamilton, and James B. Hamilton, of Bear Creek precinct, in said county, and, after being duly sworn, depose and say that on the evening of the 2nd day of December, 1843, at Vernon Doty's mill, in said precinct, Colonel Levi Williams, of said Hancock county, as principal, and his son, John Williams, with William Middleton, of the county of Clark and State of Missouri, Captain McCoy, of the said county of Clark and State of Missouri, John Fox of Green Plains precinct, and about a dozen other men, armed with pistols, dirks and bowie knives came forcibly upon Daniel Avery at said Doty's mill, and seized and bound him. The said Avery told them to stand off. They said they had a writ. He observed, he would not resist legal authority. They said they would take said Avery to Warsaw, and there to try him. The said Avery replied, "I understand you: you will take me to Warsaw, and there pass me over the river to Missouri." Some of said gang then shouted, "Lay hold of him; G—d d—n him, lay hold of him: there's no use of parleying;" at which Colonel Levi Williams, with a large bowie-knife in his hand, and others, then forced the said Daniel Avery to submit, telling him (without a writ,) that his life would be taken if he did not submit. They then tied him with silk handkerchiefs. Colonel Levi Williams and another person then led the said Daniel Avery away; and as they passed your affiants within the distance of about four rods, the said Daniel Avery cried out to one of your said affiants, "tell my friends where I am gone." Colonel Williams told said Avery to hold his peace, for it was of no use. William Middleton then got a horse; and after tying him upon said horse, as sworn to before by another witness, they then conveyed him to Missouri without an by another witness, they then conveyed him to Missouri without a writ or trial, as your affiants verily believe; and further they say not.



Subscribed and sworn to this 20th day of December, 1843, before me.



1. This was the upper room of President Smith's brick store.

2. This occurred on the 2nd of December. See Avery's Affidavit, Chapter VI, this volume.

3. The Ordinance was about a month later repealed at the suggestion of President Smith.

4. This prediction doubtless has reference to the party in power; to the "government" considered as the administration; not to the "government" considered as the country; but the administration party, the Democratic Party, which had controlled the destiny of the country for forty years. It is matter of history that few years later the party then in power lost control of the national government, followed by the terrible conflict of the Civil War. The Party against which the above prediction was made so far lost its influence that it did not again return to power for a quarter of a century; and when it did return to power it was with such modified views as to many great questions of government, that it could scarcely be regarded as the same party except in name.

Lest it should be urged that the Whig party was in control of the government in 1843, I call attention to the fact that while General Harrison, a Whig, was elected in 1840, he was President only one month, as he died on the 4th of April, 1841. His whole cabinet, excepting Mr. Webster, Secretary of State, resigned, and the Vice President became President. Though elected by the Whigs Mr. Tyler was a Democrat "and the Whig administration had but a month's actual existence." (See History of the United States, Morris, pp. 311, 312).




Thursday, December 21, 1843.—About one o'clock in the morning I was alarmed by the firing of a gun, got up, and went down to the river bank to see the guard, and inquire the cause of it. To my surprise, they had not heard it, although I felt sure it was fired in Montrose. The morning proved it to be correct, some rowdies in Montrose had been firing in the night.

At noon met with the City Council which voted that Councilor Orson Pratt present the Memorial and Ordinance to Congress.

Passed "An ordinance to prevent unlawful search or seizure of person or property by foreign [i.e. outside] process in the city of Nauvoo."

Heber C. Kimball resigned his office as city auctioneer and Charles Warner was re-elected.

John P. Greene was duly elected city marshal, in the room of Henry G. Sherwood, who expects to leave soon.

The Prophet for a Clean, Orderly City.

I gave instructions to the marshal and policemen to see that all carrion is removed out of the city, and all houses kept in order,—to stop the boys when fighting in the streets, and prevent children from floating off on the ice, and correct anything out of order, like fathers; and I offered to build the city jail, if it was left to my dictation, which the Council authorized me to do.

{125} I insert the Memorial from the City Council to the Congress of the United States for redress of grievances and protection from further persecution, which was signed by them:—


"To the Honorable Senators and Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

We, the undersigned members of the City Council of the City of Nauvoo, citizens of Hancock County, Illinois, and exiles from the State of Missouri, being in council assembled, unanimously and respectfully, for ourselves, and in behalf of many thousands of other exiles, memorialize the honorable Senators and Representatives of our nation upon the subject of the unparalleled persecutions and cruelties inflicted upon us and upon our constituents by the constituted authorities of the State of Missouri, and likewise upon the subject of the present unfortunate circumstances in which we are placed in the land of our exile. As a history of the Missouri outrages has been extensively published, both in this country and in Europe, it is deemed unnecessary to particularize all of the wrongs and grievances inflicted upon us in this memorial. As there is an abundance of well-attested documents to which your honorable body can at any time refer, hence we only embody the following important items for your consideration.

First:—Your memorialists, as freeborn citizens of this great republic, relying with the utmost confidence upon the sacred "articles of the Constitution," by which the several States are bound together, and considering ourselves entitled to all the privileges and immunities of free citizens in what State soever we desired to locate ourselves, commenced a settlement in the county of Jackson, on the western frontiers of the State of Missouri, in the summer of 1831.

There we purchased lands from the Government, erected several hundred houses, made extensive improvements, and shortly the wild and lonely prairies and stately forests were converted into well cultivated and fruitful fields. There we expected to spend our days in the enjoyment of all the rights and liberties bequeathed to us by the sufferings and blood of our noble ancestors. But alas! our expectations were vain.

Two years had scarcely elapsed before we were unlawfully and unconstitutionally assaulted by an organized mob, consisting of the highest officers in the county, both civil and military, who openly and boldly avowed their determination in a written circular to drive us from said county.

As a specimen of their treasonable and cruel designs, your honorable {126} body are referred to said circular, of which the following is but a short extract,—namely: "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 sect 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 upon us, and seem to be increasing by the said religious sect, deem it expedient and of the highest importance to form ourselves into a company for the better and easier accomplishment of our purpose."

This document was closed in the following words—"We therefore agree that, after timely warning, and receiving an adequate compensation for what little property they cannot take with them, they refuse to leave us in peace, as they found us, we agree to use such means as may be sufficient to remove them; and to that end we each pledge to each other our bodily powers, our lives, fortunes, and sacred honors."

To this unconstitutional document were attached the names of nearly every officer in the county, together with the names of hundreds of others.

It was by this band of murderers that your memorialists, in the year 1833, were plundered of their property and robbed of their peaceable homes. It was by them that their fields were laid waste, their houses burned, and their men, women, and children, to the number of about twelve hundred persons, banished as exiles from the county, while others were cruelly murdered by their hands.

Second: After our expulsion from Jackson county, we settled in Clay county, on the opposite side of the Missouri river, where we purchased lands both from the old settlers and from the [U. S.] Land Office: but soon we were again violently threatened by mobs, and obliged to leave our homes, and seek out a new location.

Third: Our next settlement was in Caldwell county, where we purchased the most of the land in said county, beside a part of the lands in Daviess and Carroll counties. These counties were almost entirely in a wild and uncultivated state; but, by the persevering industry of our citizens, large and extensive farms were opened in every direction, well stocked with numerous flocks and herds. We also commenced settlements in several other counties of the state, and once more confidently hoped to enjoy the hard-earned fruits of our labor unmolested.

But our hopes were soon blasted. The cruel and murderous spirit which first began to manifest itself in the constituted authorities and inhabitants of Jackson county, and afterwards in Clay and the surrounding {127} counties, receiving no check either from the civil or military power of the state, had in the meantime taken courage, and boldly and fearlessly spread its contaminating and treasonable influence into every department of the government of said state. Lieutenant-Governor Boggs, a resident of Jackson county, who acted a conspicuous part in our expulsion from said county, instead of being tried for treason and rebellion against the Constitution, and suffering the just penalty of his crimes, was actually elected governor; and placed in the executive chair.

Thus the inhabitants of the State were greatly encouraged to renew with redoubled fury, their unlawful attacks upon our defenseless settlements. Men, women, and children were driven away in every direction before their merciless persecutors, robbed of their possessions, their property, their provisions, and their all, cast forth upon the bleak, snowy prairies, houseless and unprotected. Many sank down and expired under their accumulated sufferings, while others, after enduring hunger and the severities of the season, suffering all but death, arrived in Caldwell county, to which place they were driven from all the surrounding counties, only to witness a still more heart-rending scene.

In vain had we appealed to the constituted authorities of Missouri for protection and redress of our former grievances. In vain we now stretched out our hands and appealed as the citizens of this great republic to the sympathies, to the justice, and magnanimity of those in power. In vain we implored again and again at the feet of Governor Boggs, our former persecutor, for aid and protection against the ravages and murders now inflicted upon our defenseless and unoffending citizens. The cry of American citizens, already twice driven and deprived of liberty, could not penetrate their adamantine hearts.

The Governor, instead of sending us aid, issued a proclamation for our extermination and banishment, ordered out the forces of the State, placed them under the command of General Clark, who, to execute these exterminating orders, marched several thousand troops into our settlements in Caldwell county, where, unrestrained by fear of law or justice, and urged on by the highest authority of the state, they laid waste our fields of corn, shot down our cattle and hogs for sport, burned our dwellings, inhumanly butchered some eighteen or twenty defenseless citizens, dragged from their hiding-places little children, and placing the muzzles of their guns to their heads, shot them [such acts being accompanied] with the most horrid oaths and imprecations.

An aged hero and patriot of the Revolution, who served under General Washington, while in the act of pleading for quarter, was cruelly murdered and hewed in pieces with an old corn cutter; and in addition to all these savage acts of barbarity, they forcibly dragged virtuous and {128} inoffensive females from their dwellings, bound them upon benches used for public worship, where they in great numbers ravished them in the most brutal manner.

Some fifty or sixty of the citizens were thrust into prisons and dungeons, where, bound in chains, they were fed on human flesh, while their families and some fifteen thousand others were at the point of the bayonet, forcibly expelled from the State.

In the meantime, to pay the expenses of these horrid outrages, they confiscated our property, and robbed us of all our possessions.

Before our final expulsion, with a faint and lingering hope we petitioned the State legislature then in session, unwilling to believe that the virtue and patriotism of the venerable fathers of the Revolution had fled from the bosoms of their illustrious descendants—unwilling to believe that American citizens could appeal in vain for a restoration of liberty cruelly wrested from them by cruel tyrants. But in the language of our noble ancestors, "our repeated petitions were only answered by repeated injuries."

The legislature, instead of hearing the cries of 15,000 suffering, bleeding, unoffending citizens, sanctioned and sealed the unconstitutional acts of the governor and his troops, by appropriating 200,000 dollars to defray the expenses of exterminating us from the State. No friendly arm was stretched out to protect us. The last ray of hope for redress in that State was now entirely extinguished. We saw no other alternative but to bow down our necks and wear the cruel yoke of oppression, and quietly and submissively suffer ourselves to be banished as exiles from our possessions, our property, and our sacred homes, or otherwise see our wives and children coldly butchered and murdered by tyrants in power.

Fourth. Our next permanent settlement was in the land of our exile, the State of Illinois, in the spring of 1839; but even here we are not secure from our relentless persecutor, the State of Missouri. Not satisfied in having drenched her soil in the blood of innocence, and expelling us from her borders, she pursues her unfortunate victims into banishment, seizing upon and kidnapping them in their defenseless moments, dragging them across the Mississippi river, upon their inhospitable shores, there they are tortured, whipped, immured in dungeons, and finally hung [as a means of torture, but not unto death] by the neck without any legal process what ever.

We have memorialized the former Executive of this State, Governor Carlin, upon these lawless outrages committed upon our citizens; but he rendered us no protection. Missouri, receiving no check in her murderous career, continues her depredations, again and again kidnapping {129} our citizens and robbing us of our property; while others, who fortunately survived the execution of her bloody edicts, are again and again demanded by the Executive of that State, on pretense of some crime said to have been committed by them during the exterminating expedition against our people.

As an instance, General Joseph Smith, one of your memorialists, has been three times demanded, tried, and acquitted by the courts of this State, upon investigation under writs of habeas corpus, once by the United States Court for the District of Illinois, again by the Circuit Court of the State of Illinois, and lastly by the Municipal Court of the City of Nauvoo, when at the same time a nolle prosequi had been entered by the courts of Missouri upon all the cases of that State against Joseph Smith and others.

Thus the said Joseph Smith has been several times tried for the same alleged offense, put in jeopardy of life and limb, contrary to the fifth article of the amendments to the Constitution of the United States; and thus we have been continually harassed and robbed of our money to defray the expenses of these vexatious prosecutions. And what at the present time seems to be still more alarming, is the hostility manifested by some of the authorities and citizens of this State [Illinois.] Conventions have been called, inflammatory speeches made, and many unlawful and unconstitutional resolutions adopted to deprive us of our rights, our liberties, and the peaceable enjoyment of our possessions.

From the present hostile aspect, and from bitter experience in the State of Missouri, it is greatly feared lest the barbarous scenes acted in that State will be re-acted in this. If Missouri goes unpunished, others will be greatly encouraged to follow her murderous examples.

The afflictions of your memorialists have already been overwhelming—too much for humanity, too much for American citizens to endure without complaint. We have groaned under the iron hand of tyranny and oppression these many years. We have been robbed of our property to the amount of two millions of dollars. We have been hunted as wild beasts of the forest. We have seen our aged fathers who fought in the Revolution and our innocent children alike slaughtered by our persecutors; we have seen the fair daughters of American citizens insulted and abused in the most inhuman manner; and finally we have seen fifteen thousand souls—men, women and children, driven by force of arms during the severities of the winter from their sacred homes and firesides, penniless and unprotected, to a land of strangers.

Under all these afflicting circumstances, we imploringly stretch forth {130} our hands towards the highest councils of our nation, and humbly appeal to the illustrious Senators and Representatives of a great and free people for redress and protection.

Hear, O hear the petitioning voice of many thousands of American citizens, who now groan in exile on Columbia's free soil! Hear, O hear the weeping and bitter lamentations of widows and orphans, whose husbands and fathers have been cruelly martyred in the land where the proud eagle exulting soars! Let it not be recorded in the archives of the nations that Columbia's exiles sought protection and redress at your hands, but sought it in vain. It is in your power to save us, our wives, and our children from a repetition of the bloodthirsty scenes of Missouri, and greatly relieve the fears of a persecuted and injured people, by ordaining for their protection the following ordinance, namely—


For the protection of the people styled the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, residing on the western borders of the State of Illinois.


Whereas the State of Missouri at sundry times has unconstitutionally deprived a certain portion of her citizens (called "Mormons,") of their rights, property, lands, and even of their lives:

And whereas, in the years 1838 and 1839 the said State of Missouri with impunity did illegally and inhumanly exile and banish for ever from her limits and jurisdiction all the said citizens (called "Mormons,") that remained alive.

And whereas, after being hospitably received by the citizens of Illinois, the said State of Illinois did grant, enact, and charter for the benefit and convenience of the said exiled "Mormons" as follows:—

[Here in the original document is inserted the city charter of Nauvoo already published, Vol. IV, pp 239-249.]

And whereas, by the 10th article of the Constitution of the United States as amended—"Art. 10. The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people;" and whereas, according to the fourth article and section second, "The citizens of each state shall be entitled to all privileges and immunities of citizens in the several States:" and whereas, according to the second paragraph of the {131} third section of said Constitution, "The Congress shall have power to dispose of and make the needful rules and regulations respecting territory;" and whereas the said Congress has the power to protect each state against invasion and insurrection: and whereas most of the inhabitants of the city of Nauvoo are exiles from the State of Missouri: and whereas most of the lands owned in the State of Missouri were purchased from the United States, and patented by the United States to the amount of more than $200,000 worth: and whereas the United States are bound to clear the title and protect it: and whereas the said exiles or expelled "Mormons" have lost in property and damages about two millions of dollars: and whereas the said State of Missouri continues her ravages, persecutions, and plunderings, by kidnapping said exiles from Illinois, and by other depredations:

Now, therefore, to show the fatherly care of the United States, to ratify the said charter, to protect the said exiles from mob violence, and shield them in their rights:—

Section 1. Be it ordained by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, that all the rights, powers, privileges, and immunities belonging to Territories, and not repugnant to the Constitution of the United States, are hereby granted and secured to the inhabitants of the city of Nauvoo, in addition to the spirit, letter, meaning, and provisions of the afore-mentioned charter, or act of incorporation from the State of Illinois, until the State of Missouri restores to those exiled citizens the lands, rights, privileges, property, and damage for all losses.

Section 2. And be it further ordained, in order to effect the object and further intention of this ordinance, and for the peace, security, happiness, convenience, benefit, and prosperity of the said city of Nauvoo, and for the common weal and honor of our country, that the mayor of Nauvoo be, and he is hereby empowered by this consent of the President of the United States; whenever the actual necessity of the case and the public safety shall require it, to call to his aid a sufficient number of United States forces, in connection with the Nauvoo Legion, to repel the invasion of mobs, keep the public peace, and protect the innocent from the unhallowed ravages of lawless banditti that escape justice on the western frontier; and also to preserve the power and dignity of the Union.

Section 3. And be it further ordained that the officers of the United States army are hereby required to obey the requisitions of this ordinance.

Section 4. And be it further ordained that, for all services rendered in quelling mobs and preserving the public peace the said Nauvoo {132} Legion shall be under the same regulations, rules, and laws of pay as the troops of the United States.

City of Nauvoo, Illinois, December 21st, 1843.

Hyrum Smith, Benjamin Warrington,

John Taylor, Daniel Spencer,

Orson Pratt, Brigham Young,

W. W. Phelps, Orson Hyde,

Heber C. Kimball,


Orson Spencer,

Daniel H. Wells,

Samuel Bennett,

Geo. A. Smith,

Geo. W. Harris,


Joseph Smith, Mayor;

Willard Richards, Recorder;

John P. Greene, Marshal.[1]

Two letters came into the post-office from the sheriff of Clark County, Missouri. From them it appears that that State wishes to continue the old game of seizing witnesses and making prisoners of them, to cover up her mobocracy and kidnapping under a legal form. The following answer was written:—

Letter: W. W. Phelps to J. White, Esq., Anent Avery Affair.

CITY OF NAUVOO, ILL., Dec. 21, 1843.

SIR,—Two letters were put into my hands this morning relative to the witnesses of Mr. Avery's innocence as to being accessory to horse stealing some four years since. In the first place, Mr. Avery was abducted from this State without process, contrary to law. In the second place, the principal for felony by the law of Missouri should be indicted within three years, &c. Again, the revised statutes of Missouri have a wise provision in such cases as Mr. Avery's. If Mr. Avery, therefore, will sue out a commission according to the law concerning {133} depositions, (R. S., page 219 to 222,) directed to Alderman Geo. W. Harris, an acting justice of the peace for the city of Nauvoo, and county of Hancock, the necessary testimony to establish Mr. Avery's innocence will be taken according to law, and forwarded to the proper officer in due time.

Respectfully, &c..


J. WHITE, ESQ., Dep. Sheriff,

Clark Co., Waterloo, Mo.

P.S. You will have the politeness to show this to Mr. Avery.

In the evening I was visited by several strangers, and had considerable conversation with them.

Friday, 22.—At home at nine o'clock, a.m., reading a magazine to my children.

Attitude of Prophet on Mobocracy and Politics.

A little after twelve went into the store-room occupied by Butler and Lewis, and commenced a conversation with Dr. John F. Charles, to convince him that mobocracy is not justifiable, and that I did not deal in politics.

David Holman, living about two miles from Ramus, went out in the evening with his family visiting. About ten o'clock he discovered his house on fire. The neighbors had inquired how long he would be gone. A man rode to Carthage. A company went up, secured the provisions to themselves, and fired the house.

Warm and pleasant weather.

Saturday, 23.—At home, counseling the brethren who called on me, and attending to my domestic duties, making preparations for a Christmas dinner party.

Prayer meeting in the Assembly Room.

Sunday, 24.—At home. Received a visit from Mr. Richardson, one of the men who assisted in kidnapping Avery. He manifested some repentance and sorrow for his part in that transaction, and promised to use what influence he had with the Missourians to have Avery set at liberty.

A Christmas Serenade.

{134} Monday, 25.—This morning, about one o'clock, I was aroused by an English sister, Lettice Rushton, widow of Richard Rushton, Senior, (who, ten years ago, lost her sight,) accompanied by three of her sons, with their wives, and her two daughters, with their husbands, and several of her neighbors, singing, "Mortals, awake! with angels join," &c., which caused a thrill of pleasure to run through my soul. All of my family and boarders arose to hear the serenade, and I felt to thank my Heavenly Father for their visit, and blessed them in the name of the Lord. They also visited my brother Hyrum, who was awakened from his sleep. He arose and went out of doors. He shook hands with and blessed each one of them in the name of the Lord, and said that he thought at first that a cohort of angels had come to visit him, it was such heavenly music to him.

At home all day. About noon, gave counsel to some brethren who called on me from Morley Settlement, and told them to keep law on their side, and they would come out well enough.

At two o'clock, about fifty couples sat down at my table to dine. While I was eating, my scribe called, requesting me to solemnize the marriage of his brother, Dr. Levi Richards, and Sara Griffiths; but as I could not leave, I referred him to President Brigham Young, who married them.

Rockwell's Return to Nauvoo.

A large party supped at my house, and spent the evening in music, dancing, &c., in a most cheerful and friendly manner. During the festivities, a man with his hair long and falling over his shoulders, and apparently drunk, came in and acted like a Missourian. I requested the captain of the police to put him out of doors. A scuffle ensued, and I had an opportunity to look him full in the face, when, to my great surprise and joy untold, I discovered it was my long-tried, warm, but cruelly persecuted friend, Orrin {135} Porter Rockwell, just arrived from nearly a year's imprisonment, without conviction, in Missouri.

The following is his statement of his experience and sufferings by that people:—

Rockwell's Experience in Missouri.

I, Orrin Porter Rockwell, was on my way from New Jersey to Nauvoo; and while at St. Louis, on the 4th March, 1843, was arrested by a Mr. Fox, on oath of Elias Parker, who swore I was the O. P. Rockwell advertised in the papers as having attempted to assassinate Lilburn W. Boggs, and was taken before a magistrate in St. Louis.

I was then put into the St. Louis county jail, and kept two days with a pair of iron hobbles on my ankles. About midnight, was taken into the stage coach in charge of Fox, and started for Jefferson City. There were nine passengers, two of them women. I sat on the middle seat. One of the men behind me commenced gouging me in the back. I spoke to him, and told him that it was dark, and I could not see him, but that he was no gentleman. One of the ladies whispered to him, and he ceased the operation.

The next night, the driver, being drunk, ran against a tree, and broke the king bolt; and not knowing what to do, ironed as I was, I crawled into the boot, and found an extra bolt, and in the dark fixed the coach, got it off the tree, and we started on. Soon after, ran against a bank, and could not move. I was asleep at the time, but the bustle awake me, when I told them, if they would take off my irons, I would get off and drive, as the driver was too drunk to manage the horses. They refused. I, however, got hold of the lines, and, by the help of other passengers lifting at the wheels, got it righted, and I drove to the next stand, near the Osage river. The roads were very bad, and the load heavy; so we got along slowly.

There was an officer of the U. S. army in the coach. We were two days and two nights from St. Louis in reaching Jefferson City, where I was lodged in the jail two days and two nights. The U. S. officer went on.

Started on for Independence, still in charge of Fox. At Boonville, overtook the U.S. officer. We three were all that were in the coach all the way from Boonville to Independence. Sheriff Reynolds told me afterwards that when he looked into the stage he took me for the guard, and the officer for the prisoner, for he looked like the guilty one.

Was about four days going to Independence: arrived there just at night. A large crowd gathered around, making many remarks. Some {136} were for hanging me at once. I was then placed in the jail. In two or three days, underwent a sham trial before a justice of the peace. The courthouse was crowded, and the men were armed with hickory clubs. They set on boys from ten to twelve years of age to kick and punch me, which they did repeatedly. While in court, Fox was the main witness introduced, and he swore falsely.

Fox swore that I had stated to him that I had not been in the county for five years. I informed the court that Fox swore falsely, in proof thereof that the people of Independence knew that I had traveled through Independence several times during that time, for the people were all well aware of my having visited this place, which fact alone should satisfy them that Fox was swearing for money, which I afterwards learned that he obtained and divided with Parker.

The magistrate committed me to prison for my safe preservation, as he was afraid the people would kill me; but he could find no crime against me. This I was told by the officer who conveyed me to prison.

I was re-committed to jail, still wearing the iron hobbles, and was kept in the upper part in the day-time, and in the dungeon at night, with a little dirty straw for a bed, without any bedding, no fire, and very cold weather. For eighteen days I was not free from shaking with cold. I then got permission to buy 1 1/2 bushels of charcoal, which I put into an old kettle, and kept a little fire. When that was gone, I could not obtain any more.

After I was arrested at St. Louis, I was visited by Joseph Wood, an apostate "Mormon," who professed to be a lawyer. He was accompanied by Mr. Blanerhasset, who told me that everything I had would be taken from me, and proposed to take charge, keep, and return to me any property I might have with me. I let him have a pair of pistols, a bowie knife, and watch, which he never returned to me.

After the weather got a little warmer, they furnished me with a few old newspapers to read. A family lived at the corner of the jail. The women once in a while used to send out a little negro girl with a small basket of victuals. She handed up to the grate a big Missouri whip-stock, with a piece of twine, which I tied to the pole and drew up the basket, and let it down again.

I made a pin-hook and tied to the twine, and baited with a chunk of corn-dodger hard enough to knock a negro down with, and stuck it out of the grated window and fished for pukes. When passers-by came along, they would stop and gawk at me awhile, and pass on.

A preacher who had a family of girls lived on the opposite side of the street. The girls would watch and laugh at them, and call out and ask me if I got any bites. I replied, No, but some glorious nibbles.

{137} Numbers were put into the jail with me at different times, and taken out again. One of them, who was charged with a fraudulent issue of U. S. Treasury notes, was allowed to have his saddle-bags with him They contained some fire-steels, gun-flints, and articles of Indian trade. I sawed the irons nearly off with one of the fire-steels. He got the negro girl to get him a knife, and I finished cutting the fetters with it. He would frequently call for a good supper and pay for it, which was allowed him, but not allowed me. He was very anxious to escape, and urged me to undertake it with him. He ordered a good supper, and he ate very heartily. I would not eat, telling him that he could not run if he ate so much. Nearly dusk, as the jailer came in to get the dishes, we sprang to the door, and I locked him in, and threw the key into the garden. In coming down stairs, we met the jailer's wife. I told her that her husband was unharmed; I had only locked him up. We had a board fence to climb over, which was about twelve feet high. I climbed it and ran about twenty rods, when he called me to come and help him over, which I did. If I had not, I should have escaped. The pure air had so great an effect upon me, that I gave out and slacked my pace, The populace of the place came up, and I told them to run; they would soon catch him; and that I had given out and could not run. They soon returned with him. I fell into the crowd and walked back to the jail yard.

Sheriff J. H. Reynolds laid his hand upon my shoulder, he being the first to approach me. Asked where the key was. I told him, In the garden.

Smallwood Nowlin was the first who proposed to hang me on the spot, when Reynolds gave me a push towards the crowd, and said, "There he is, G—d—n him! Do what you damn please with him." Nowlin's son in-law (by marrying one of his mulatto wenches), a Mexican, stepped up to me to lay hold of me, when I told him to stand off, or I would mash his face. He stepped back.

I then walked up stairs into the jail. Was followed by Reynolds and others, until the room and stairs were full. Reynolds asked me what I had cut my irons off with. I went to the saddle-bags and handed him the knife and fire-steel. While feeling for them, I got hold of a piece of buckskin that had some three or four pounds of bullets tied up in it which I intended to use in mashing in the head of any one that should attempt to put a rope on my neck. A rope was passed along over the heads of the people into the room to a bald-headed man. About this time pistols could be heard cocking in every part of the room, and bowie-knives were produced as if for fight. In a few minutes the room was clear of all but three or four persons.

{138} I was then put into the dungeon, my feet ironed together, my right hand to my left foot, so close that I could not half straighten myself. The irons, when put on my wrists, were so small that they would hardly go on, and swelled them; but in eighteen days I could slip them up and turn them around my arm at the elbow. I was fed on cold corndodger and meat of the poorest description; and if I did not eat it all up, it was returned the next time.

About a month after the court sat, my irons were taken off, and I was so weak that I had to be led to the court-room by the officer. I was notified that a bill was found against me for breaking jail, and that the grand jury had failed to find a bill against me on the charge of shooting Boggs, as charged in the advertisement offering a reward for my apprehension.

I was taken into court, and was asked by the judge if I had any counsel. I told him I had not. He asked if I had any means to employ a counsel. I answered that I had none with me that I could control. He then said, Here are a number of counselors: if I was acquainted with any of them, I could take my choice. I told him I would make choice of Mr. Doniphan, who arose and made a speech, saying he was crowded with business, but that here are plenty of young lawyers who could plead for me as well as he could. The judge heard his plea, and then told me he did not consider that a sufficient excuse, and I could consider Mr. Doniphan my counsel.

I was then ordered back to jail, and ironed again in the same way. Mr. Doniphan asked for and obtained a change of venue to Clay County, which is in another district.

When the officers came to Independence jail for me, they requested me to get ready in a hurry, as they feared the mob would kill me. I told them I wanted to put on a clean shirt, if it cost me my life, as I had not been permitted to enjoy the luxury of a change of linen since I had boarded at the expense of Jackson County. While I was changing my shirt, the officers several times told me to hurry, or the mob would be on me and kill me.

When I got ready to start, the officers furnished me a very hard-trotting horse, with a miserable poor saddle, tied my feet under the horse with ropes, and my hands behind my back, and started off at a good round trot, in charge of two officers. In a short time a strange gentleman fell into our company, who was also on horseback. It was six miles to the ferry, where we could cross the Missouri river. When we got there, we saw the boat land on the opposite side, when several men got off the boat, and took a course to the woods, through which the road ran. The boat returned. This stranger asked—"Where are {139} those men going?" and was answered—"They are going to the woods to hew timber."

We then crossed, and took our way for Liberty. When we left the boat, we saw no signs of people, nor heard any sound of axes. After traveling some two or three miles, the woods became dense and brushy: we heard the crackling of brush, and the noise of men traveling through it. The officers and stranger appeared frightened, and urged speed, keeping close watch. We came to an opening in the woods, when the noise of crackling of brush ceased. We traveled safely to Liberty, where this stranger told his friends that he overheard several men in Independence planning to waylay me in the thick timber on the Missouri bottom, at the place where we heard the noises; but his being in company counteracted their plot. I was then lodged in Liberty jail. In a few days afterwards I learned that the men who went into the brush told it, that they went into the woods according to agreement to waylay me; but when they saw this stranger, it frustrated their plans.

In about ten days, on pretext of informality in the papers, I was remanded back to Independence jail. It was rumored that I was again going to be waylaid, when the two officers from Clay county took me by a different road, and so I escaped the second time.

When I was put in Independence jail, I was again ironed hand and foot, and put in the dungeon, in which condition I remained about two months. During this time, Joseph H. Reynolds, the sheriff, told me he was going to arrest Joseph Smith, and they had received letters from Nauvoo which satisfied them that Joseph Smith had unlimited confidence in me, that I was capable of toting him in a carriage or on horseback anywhere that I pleased; and if I would only tote him out by riding or any other way, so that they could apprehend him, I might please myself whether I stayed in Illinois or came back to Missouri; they would protect me, and any pile that I would name the citizens of Jackson county would donate, club together, and raise, and that I should never suffer for want afterwards: "you only deliver Joe Smith into our hands, and name your pile." I replied—"I will see you all damned first, and then I won't."

About the time that Joseph was arrested by Reynolds at Dixon, I knew that they were after him, and [yet had] no means under heaven of giving him any information. My anxiety became so intense upon the subject, knowing their determination to kill him, that my flesh twitched on my bones. I could not help it; twitch it would. While undergoing this sensation, I heard a dove alight on the window in the upper room of the jail, and commence cooing, and then went off. In a short time, he came back to the window, where a pane was broken: he crept through between the bars of iron, which were about two and-a-half inches apart. {140} I saw it fly round the trap-door several times: it did not alight, but continued cooing until it crept through the bars again, and flew out through the broken window.

I relate this, as it was the only occurrence of the kind that happened during my long and weary imprisonment; but it proved a comfort to me: the twitching of my flesh ceased, and I was fully satisfied from that moment that they would not get Joseph into Missouri, and that I should regain my freedom. From the best estimates that can be made, this incident occurred about the time when Joseph was in the custody of Reynolds.

In a few days afterwards, Sheriff Reynolds came into the jail and told me that he had made a failure in the arrest of Joseph.

After the lawyers had been about two months making out fresh papers, I was again conveyed to Liberty jail on a miserable horse, with feet and hands tied as before, but [by] a different road.

In a few days afterwards, my mother found where I was, and she came to see me and brought me $100, whereby I was enabled to fee Mr. Doniphan for his services as counsel.

The time of trial being continually delayed, I began to be uneasy. I was handcuffed in the dungeon, which is the basement story of the prison, and is about nine feet high. I took down the stove-pipe, pushed my clothes up through the stove-pipe hole, and then crawled through the hole in the floor, which was made of logs about fourteen inches thick, into the upper room. The hole was so small that it scratched my flesh, and made me bleed from many wounds. I then examined the inside door, and with the bail of the water pail I unbolted it; but finding I could not get through the outside door, I returned to my dungeon through the same narrow pass.

The following night I made another attempt through the same way; but, failing to get through the outside door, I lay down on the upper floor, where the boys who were bringing my food next morning found me. They made an alarm, when five or six men came and again conveyed me down into the dungeon. It caused quite an excitement.

My mother, learning that Mr. Doniphan had returned home, went to him, and prevailed on him to come and speak to me at the dungeon grate. While he was talking to me, a little boy, the son of a poor widow, about five or six years old, who had previously been to see me, finding I had no fire, had run home and brought some fire and chips to the grate. Mr. Doniphan said—"You little devil you, what are you doing here with this fire?" He replied, "I am going to give it to Mr. Rockwell, so that he can warm him." Doniphan then said—"You little devil you, take this fire and leave;" when the little urchin replied {141} (looking him in the face)—"Mr. Doniphan, you go to hell: I am going to give Mr. Rockwell this fire, so that he can warm him;" and he pushed it through the grate, gave me the chips, and continued to supply my daily wants of chips and fire while I continued in the dungeon.

From Mr. Doniphan I learned that a special term of court was called, and my trial would come on in about fifteen days. The night following this visit, some men came to the grates of my dungeon, and asked if I wanted to get out. I told them, No, as I had been informed that day that I should have a trial in a fortnight. They replied—"Honor bright: if you wish to get out, we'll let you out in a few minutes." I replied that I would rather remain, as my trial would come on so soon. Next morning one of the men came, put some money in the cleft of a stick, and put it through the hole to me. He refused to tell his name; but I knew by his voice that he was one of the men who came to me in the night.

The trial came on according to my last notification. I was tried for breaking Independence jail; and although the law of Missouri reads that, in order to break jail, a man must break a lock, a door, or a wall, still Judge King ruled that it was breaking jail to walk out when the door is open; and under this ruling the jury brought in a verdict of "five minutes' imprisonment in the county jail;" but I was kept there four or five hours, during which time several attempts were made to get up some other charge against me.

About 8 p.m. on December 13th, General Doniphan took me out and told me I must take across the country on foot, and not walk on any traveled road, unless it was during the night, as they would be apt to follow and again take me, as they did not care on what grounds, so they could make me trouble.

I accordingly started, accompanied by my mother, and went to the house of a widow, where I obtained my first supper in freedom for more than nine months. We then traveled two miles and obtained $4.

I then took through the woods to the road, where I heard two men riding on horseback. I hid behind a shady tree, and overheard one of them say, "He has not been gone many minutes: we shall soon overtake him."

I went round the houses and traveled in the fields by the side of the road. The moon was in its first quarter, and I traveled during the night about twenty-five miles. I carried a little food with me, and next day traveled on the road, and walked past Crooked River to a Mr. Taylor's, with all the skin off my feet.

A neighbor offered to take me in for the night, if I would go back {142} two miles. I did so, found his wife very cross with her husband, who said, "Stranger, you see my wife is very cross. I have got some whisky; let's drink: my wife will soon have something to eat." When supper was eaten, she became good tempered. I stayed in peace through the night. Next morning I ate breakfast with them, and gave them fifty cents, when the man brought out a horse, and sent a little boy with me fourteen miles, which was a very great relief to my weary feet.

The next night I stopped near where the Haun's Mill massacre took place.

The third day I walked till noon, and then hired a man to carry me the remainder of the day for seventy-five cents. Stayed at a house where I was well acquainted; but the people did not recognize me, and I did not make myself known. Paid fifty cents for supper, lodging, breakfast, and being sent twelve miles on horseback the next morning.

I then continued my journey about thirty miles, where I rested three days to recruit my feet. I was then carried twenty-five miles on horseback, and walked the same day twenty-five miles. The day following I walked forty miles, and then waited another day and engaged a man to carry me to Montrose, to which place I was three days in going. I immediately crossed the river to Nauvoo in a small boat, and came straight to the Mansion.

Release of Daniel Avery.

Daniel Avery was liberated from his imprisonment in Missouri by habeas corpus. This was, no doubt, on account of our vigilance in communicating with the Governor, and endeavoring to prosecute the kidnappers, and continually making public the conduct of Missouri.

Warm day; rain in the evening.


(From the Millennial Star.)

We have much pleasure in publishing and recommending the following plan to be adopted amongst the sisters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in England. We believe that the completion of the Temple is as near the hearts of the sisters as to the hearts of the brethren, and that the following proposed [plan] will be responded to on the part of the English sisters in a manner that shall reflect honor upon themselves, and be materially instrumental in forwarding the great work.

{143} NAUVOO, Dec. 25, 1843.

To the Sisters of the Church of Jesus Christ in England, Greeting:—

DEAR SISTERS:—This is to inform you that we have here entered into a small weekly subscription for the benefit of the Temple funds. One thousand have already joined it, while many more are expected, by which we trust to help forward the great work very much. The amount is only one cent or a halfpenny per week.

As Brother Amos Fielding is waiting for this, I cannot enlarge more than to say that myself and Sister Thompson are engaged in collecting the same.

We remain,

Your affectionate sisters in Christ,



NAUVOO, Dec. 25, 1843.

The ladies' subscription for the Temple, of one cent per week, is fully sanctioned by the First Presidency.


We feel much to encourage this plan, and trust that the sisters in England will manifest that they will not be behind the sisters in Nauvoo in this laudable work. One thing in connection with this work we would mention, and request that it be attended to with the strictest accuracy; that is, that the name of each individual be recorded, and the amount which they subscribe, in order that such names may be transmitted to Nauvoo, where they will have to be entered in the books of the Lord's House. The sisters or others who may collect the subscriptions will please to be very particular on this point.

Prophet's Joy at the Return of Rockwell and Avery.

Tuesday, 26.—At home. I rejoiced that Rockwell had returned from the clutches of Missouri, and that God had delivered him out of their hands. Brother Daniel Avery also arrived about dusk this evening; and the Missourians have no longer the pleasure of exulting over any Mormon victims for the present; but their blood-thirstiness will not long be satisfied unless they seek out another victim on whom to glut their malice and vengeance.

Wednesday, 27:—Cold: a little ice in the river, which has been clear for some time past.

{144} I received letters from General Lewis Cass, of Michigan, and Hon. John C. Calhoun, of South Carolina, in answer to mine of Nov. 4.

Mr. Keith gave a lecture and concert of music in the assembly room this evening.


(Editorial from the Neighbor.)

The name of this individual is, no doubt, familiar to most of our readers. He has obtained some celebrity in the world also, not for his reputed virtue, but for his supposed crimes.

It will be recollected that he is the person who was basely and falsely implicated, along with Joseph Smith, as the reputed [would be] murderer of ex-Governor Boggs, while Mr. Smith was charged with being accessory before the fact. A vexatious lawsuit was instituted against Joseph Smith, wherein he was charged with the above-named crime; and finally, after many attempts of the governor of Missouri to get him into his power, was acquitted by the United States Court for the district of Illinois,

Stories of murder and blood were circulated from Maine to Missouri; they were iterated and reiterated by the newspapers of the whole Union, and painted in the most glowing colors that human ingenuity could invent. Mr. Rockwell was branded as a murderer, and Joseph Smith as accessory before the fact, without any other evidence than a story fabricated by some of our generous politicians, engendered in falsehood by hearts as dark as Erebus for religious and political effect.

This demagoguery and political corruption has caused an innocent man to be immolated in a Missouri dungeon for upwards of eight months, without the slightest evidence of his guilt, or even the most remote evidence of crime leading to his committal. He was taken without process, and committed to jail upon mere supposition, and finally acquitted without any shadow of proof having been adduced from beginning to end. This is the way that Missouri treats free-born American citizens, and they can obtain no redress.

Mr. Rockwell arrived here on Monday night, and has given us some of the details of his history since he was first taken in Missouri to the present time; and we can assure our readers that it will "a tale unfold" relative to that state, which even many of those who have been driven therefrom will find it difficult to believe that there did exist such monsters in human shape.

Thursday, 28.—At home. Elder Orson Hyde returned {145} from Adams county, having obtained quite a number of signatures to the Memorial to Congress, and made an affidavit of what he learned in Warsaw concerning the mob.

Affidavit of Orson Hyde—Disclosing Plan to Drive the Saints.



On the 28th day of December, 1843, came Orson Hyde before me, Joseph Smith, mayor of said city; and after being duly sworn, deposeth and saith that on the 26th instant, as he was passing from Lima to Nauvoo, through that part of Hancock county where Colonel Levi Williams resides, he was credibly informed that on Saturday previous the anti-Mormons held a meeting, drew up an article, and passed several resolutions, among which were these:—"We will revere and hold sacred and inviolate the Constitution of the United States, and also the Constitution of this State. We will visit the Mormons residing in our vicinity and require them to give up their guns; and such as do it shall dwell here in peace; but those who will not do it may have thirteen days to leave in; and if they are not off in that time, we will drive them." The above is the substance, but perhaps not the very words. They also swear that the Mormons shall never raise another crop in that region, &c.; &c., and further this deponent saith not.


Subscribed and sworn to before me this 28th of December, 1843.

W. W. PHELPS, Clerk, M. C.

Daniel Avery having made affidavit of the cruel treatment he had recently received at the hands of Missourians, I here insert it:—

Affidavit of Daniel Avery—His Treatment in Missouri.



On the 28th day of December, 1843, came Daniel Avery before me, Joseph Smith, mayor of the city aforesaid, and after being duly sworn, deposeth and saith that on the second day of December, 1843, he was unlawfully arrested by force and arms, and kidnapped at Doty's Mill in Bear Creek precinct, Hancock county, and State aforesaid, by Colonel Levi Williams, his son John Williams, of Hancock county; John Elliott, a schoolmaster, from four-and-a-half miles below Warsaw; William Middleton and Joseph McCoy, of Clark county, Missouri, and four {146} others. Colonel Williams held his bowie-knife to his breast. Six of the others stood with their pistols cocked and their fingers upon the triggers, muzzles presented at his body, ready to fire; and two stood with clubs, and amidst the most horrid oaths and imprecations, took and bound with silk handkerchiefs your said affiant, and led him away between two men, one holding a savage bowie-knife on one side, and the other a cocked pistol on the other side, (having taken away your said affiant's weapons while binding him in the mill,) and led your affiant about a mile. Your affiant refused to walk any further, and they put him upon a horse, and tied his legs under the horse; and John Elliott, the aforesaid schoolmaster, led the horse as fast as he could make his way, through a thicket and by-way to the house of the aforesaid Colonel Williams. Here the kidnappers ate and drank; and after they had unbound me, (for they had bound me so tight that I was in great pain,) I was also suffered to partake.

They then put me upon the horse again, and bound me, and started for the river, the said schoolmaster Elliott leading the horse. When we came near a schoolhouse where there was a meeting, they came to a halt, sent messengers to the meeting, and in the course of half an hour they returned with an armed mob, with rifles and other weapons, sufficient to make the whole company number about twenty. Being all on horseback, they formed a circle, with your affiant in the center, who up to that time had acquainted every man he saw that they were kidnapping him, and marched in that order to a house on a point below Warsaw; and as I was very cold from being bound, they took me into the house to warm. I now called for a trial, as I had told them all the way that I never resisted legal authority. They said they were hunting a magistrate. Said I, "I understand you; you mean to force me into Missouri." McCoy returned, and said, "We are ready." It was about midnight. We went about three hundred yards up the river to a skiff. I refused to cross as they had promised me a trial. They forced me into a skiff and bound me, and five men put me across. Their names, so far as I could ascertain, are William Middleton, William Clark, Joseph McCoy, John Elliott, and Charles Coolidge. They landed at the tavern on the south side of the Des Moines, and took me into a back room, threw down a buffalo robe for my bed; but as my arms were bound so tight that I could not rest, I complained; told Middleton that was not the way he was used at my house. They felt at my arms and exclaimed, "By God, they are not too tight!" I begged to have one arm liberated, and finally they untied both, and I slept (under guard) on the buffalo robe before the fire.

About noon they got ready and started with me, guarded upon a horse, for McCoy's in Clark county, Missouri, about twelve miles distant. {147} It being night when we arrived, and I unwell through fatigue and confinement and the abuses before received, I went to bed. They had sent runners ahead; and after I had been in bed awhile, the sheriff came up from Waterloo, the county seat, a distance of about two miles, to arrest me and take me before a magistrate that night; but Middleton and McCoy objected, as I was sick. The sheriff, however, executed his writ, and left me in their care till morning. It being late before we breakfasted, he came in the morning and made the second scope of his authority and took me. He quizzed me the night before, to draw something out for testimony; but as innocence cannot be affected by truth, he was as wise at one end of the story as the other.

At Waterloo I was examined by a magistrate, who committed me upon the substance of an affidavit made by my son in duress with a bowie-knife at his breast, and upon a promise that he should be liberated from Monticello jail, where he was confined after being kidnapped some three or four weeks previous. My bonds were fixed at $1000; and as I had no bail in such a strange place, I was started for Palmyra jail, in Marion county. The deputy sheriff took me to Musgrove, the sheriff, a distance of ten miles. Here I sued out a writ of habeas corpus, but the judge remanded me to prison.

At Monticello my chains were taken off, and I was at liberty in the midst of a strong guard to view the town. Here a lawyer agreed to take me and my son through court (as the Missourians say,) for a horse. Saw my son in the prison; said he was forced at the point of a bowie-knife to make an affidavit against me; but he knew I was innocent.

I tried to be left with him in jail; but no, I was compelled to go to Palmyra, where I arrived the next evening. The sheriff thrust me into the dungeon without waiting to eat, warm, or anything else. The next morning the blacksmith came into the jail and ironed me to the middle of a great chain that was fast to the floor, where I remained in the horrid gloom of a Missouri prison two weeks.

From thence the deputy sheriff started, with me chained upon the horse in this wise. He then chained my right leg, and then passed the chain up to my left hand. In this way I traveled nine miles, when we stopped, and he changed the chain from my hand to the horse's neck. We arrived at Monticello, and I was chained all night.

The next day I was conveyed to Waterloo, and delivered into the custody of the sheriff of Clark county. I was kept under a strong guard by day, and at night chained to one of the guards or to the bedpost.

{148} I was informed that Middleton and McCoy procured an indictment against me, by giving bonds to the amount of some two or three hundred dollars, that they would hunt up testimony to the point for next court, there being nothing against me but the affidavit of my son before alluded to; and so the grand jury found a bill.

Ellison, my lawyer, deceived me, and put over my case for six months, because, as I suppose, I, being kidnapped, had no fees for him. I objected to having my trial put off for six months. I did not fancy the dungeon of Palmyra prison. The court concluded to let me to bail under bonds of $1000, but this I could not obtain. Subsequently it was reduced to $500, but all in vain, for I was unacquainted with the people.

This was on Saturday, and I was thus left to meditate on the mischief that may be made out of a little matter by meddlesome men.

On Monday I sued out a writ of habeas corpus; and after a fair hearing of the matter, I received the following order:—



December, 25, 1843.

Ordered by the Clark County Court that Samuel Musgrove, sheriff of Clark county, discharge Daniel Avery from imprisonment, on an indictment found against him for the alleged crime of stealing a mare of Joseph McCoy.

By order of Court.

[Sidenote: [L. S.]]

Witness—Willis Curd, Clerk of said court, and seal of office this 25th of December, 1843.

Done at office in Waterloo, date above.




Very early on Tuesday morning your affiant started for Nauvoo and arrived the same evening about sundown, a distance of nearly twenty miles so crippled from the iron bondage and hard usage of Missouri, that he is hardly able to walk. To those who assisted your said affiant to obtain his release from bondage, he tenders his grateful acknowledgements; and further your affiant saith not.

Subscribed and sworn to before me, this 28th day of December, 1843.


W. W. PHELPS, Clerk, M. C.

Joseph H. Jackson—Prophet's Interview with.

{149} Friday, 29.—At home. In the forenoon, W. W. Phelps called and gave us a lesson on eloquence, and read my Appeal to the Green Mountain Boys, and also a New Year's hymn without rhyme. Three p.m., I related to Dr. Bernhisel and Joseph H. Jackson[2] my commencement in receiving revelations. Mr. Jackson said he was almost persuaded to be one with me. I replied, I would that he were not only almost, but altogether.

At four p.m., I met with the City Council.

Police Force of Nauvoo Increased.

Having selected forty men to act as city policemen, they met with the Council, and were sworn into office to support the Constitution of the United States and the State of Illinois, and obey the ordinances of this city and the instructions of the Mayor, according to the best of their ability.

Names of police called by Captain Jonathan Dunham:

Jonathan Dunham, High Policeman, Charles C. Rich, 1st Lieutenant, Hosea Stout, 2nd Lieutenant, Shadrack Roundy, 3rd Lieut., John Pack, Ensign, Jesse P. Harmon, Orderly Sergt., John D. Lee, 2nd Sergeant, Daniel Carn, 3rd Sergeant, Josiah Arnold, 4th Sergeant, James Emmett, 1st Corporal, Alexander Mills, 2nd Corporal, Steven H. Goddard, 3rd Corporal, William Pace, 4th Corporal, Abraham C. Hodge, Pioneer, Levi W. Hancock, Fifer, Daniel M. Repsher, Fifer, Richard D. Sprague, Drummer, Samuel Billings, Drummer, {150} Abraham O. Smoot, Dwight Harding, John Lytle, Simeon A. Dunn, Andrew Lytle, Appleton M. Harmon, Howard Egan, James Pace, Benjamin Boyce, Francis M. Edwards, Lorenzo Clark, William H. Edwards, Davies McOlney, Moses M. Sanders, Abram Palmer, Warren A. Smith, Isaac C. Haight, George W. Clyde, John L. Butler, Vernon H. Bruce, Elbridge Tufts, Armsted Moffet, Truman R. Barlow, Azra Adams.

The Mayor said—

Address of the Mayor to the Nauvoo Police.

It is expected that a part will be on duty while others rest. It might be expected that thieves had crept into the Church for the purpose of concealing their wickedness under the garb of sanctity.

It is an abominable thing to set a thief to catch a thief; and I would look with the utmost contempt upon men who do this as guilty of a mean or cowardly act.

Some city councils have taken thieves out of their prisons, and employed them as policemen, under the old and foolish adage—"Set a rogue to catch a rogue," which is decidedly wrong, and is corrupt in policy.

You will act under the direction of Jonathan Dunham—we will call him High Policeman. In reality he is the captain of the police: but as men are apt to be frightened at a military title, we will use s civil title, as these policemen are all civil officers of the city.

Captain Dunham is the man to send after a thief. He will not come back, after following him a mile, to ask if he may shoot him, if he resists. Some men have strange ears and changeable hearts: they become transformed from their original purity and integrity, and become altogether different from what they were.

If the bloodthirsty hell-hounds of Missouri continue their persecution, we will be forbearing, until we are compelled to strike; then do it decently and in good order, and break the yoke effectually, so that it cannot be mended. The mob have been so repulsed in their last attempt at kidnapping, they may stand in fear, at least for a short time.

We will be in peace with all men, so long as they will mind their own business and let us alone. Even "Peace with Missouri" shall be the motto of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, from this {151} time forth, if they will stop their persecution and oppressive warfare against us. Let them alone, for they stink in the nostrils of the Almighty: let them alone. Porter Rockwell has come home clear. A Missouri grand jury could not find a bill against him even in Jackson county; and that proves me clear of the charge of being accessory of shooting Lilburn W. Boggs. Many of our difficulties from the State of Missouri are hurled upon us through the influence of some of our near neighbors.

Governor Ford has boasted of being a law-abiding man. A governor certainly should be law-abiding. It is therefore our best policy to acquaint the Executive, by affidavits, of every violation of our rights, so that when the onset comes, he will be obliged by law to send the militia to our support. Let us keep cool as a cucumber on a frosty morning. Do not be excited. Say nothing about Missouri's oppression. "A soft answer turns away wrath but grievous words stir up anger," therefore we "poor pussy" this generation.

Keep a strict account of the time you serve as policemen. Have the ordinances of the city always in your possession, and study them, sad ferret out all grogshops, gambling-houses, brothels, and disorderly conduct; and if a transgressor resists, cuff his ears. If anyone lifts a weapon or presents a pistol at you, take his life, if need be, to preserve your own; but enforce the ordinances, and preserve the peace of the city, and take care of your own lives. Let no horses be taken away out of the city, or anything else stolen, if you can help it.

Let Missouri alone. Keep out of her territory. Don't go over there on any business whatever. Any of this people would be subject to cruel abuse, if found in that State, in the same manner that Porter Rockwell has been. He was seized in St. Louis while attending to his lawful business, picked up and ironed, and thrown in jail without any form of law, conveyed to Independence in the custody of a ruffian who swore falsely in the hope of getting a reward, kept in irons all the way, lodged in Independence jail without even the form of an inquiry, chained double in a filthy, damp, unventilated dungeon,—chained hand and foot, so that he could not straighten for months, till his body was reduced to a mere skeleton, and he unable to walk when the irons were taken off, and he had to be led,—half fed on the refuse of what dogs would not eat: his case presented to a Jackson county grand jury, and not evidence enough to warrant them in even finding an indictment. After which, the Missouri court, in the plenitude of their justice, transmitted the innocent and unindicted man back to the dungeon, without fire, provisions, or any other comfort,—hoping by this torture, no doubt, to produce death, or force him to accede to an infamous proposition, "that whether Jo Smith was guilty or innocent, only come out against {152} him, you shall have your liberty, and receive a liberal reward." After months have passed away, without any shadow of law, the door is opened, and he is told to "slip off privately, or the people will hang you." Keep out of Missouri, if you don't want such treatment as this; for the Averys, Rockwell, and many others have been thankful to get away with their lives.

If any man attempts to bribe you in any way whatever, or persuade you to neglect your duty, tell the same to me. Let us have a reformation.

There are speculators in this State who are wanting to sell revolving pistols to us, in order to fight the Missourians, and at the same time inciting the Missourians to fight us. Don't buy: it would be better to buy ploughshares and raise corn with them.

My life is more in danger from some little dough-head of a fool in this city than from all my numerous and inveterate enemies abroad. I am exposed to far greater danger from traitors among ourselves than from enemies without, although my life has been sought for many years by the civil and military authorities, priests, and people of Missouri; and if I can escape from the ungrateful treachery of assassins, I can live as Caesar might have lived, were it not for a right-hand Brutus. I have had pretended friends betray me. All the enemies upon the face of the earth may roar and exert all their power to bring about my death, but they can accomplish nothing, unless some who are among us and enjoy our society, have been with us in our councils, participated in our confidence, taken us by the hand, called us brother, saluted us with a kiss, join with our enemies, turn our virtues into faults, and, by falsehood and deceit, stir up their wrath and indignation against us, and bring their united vengeance upon our heads. All the hue-and-cry of the chief priests and elders against the Savior, could not bring down the wrath of the Jewish nation upon His head, and thereby cause the crucifixion of the Son of God, until Judas said unto them, "Whomsoever I shall kiss, he is the man; hold him fast." Judas was one of the Twelve Apostles, even their treasurer, and dipt with their Master in the dish, and through his treachery, the crucifixion was brought about; and we have a Judas in our midst.

The Mayor blesses the Police.

It shall be said in time to come, Where are our old policemen? Let us have one of the old policemen, to stand at our window, guard our interest, and protect our families, and we shall be safe.

If you will magnify your office, the full confidence of Israel shall be the blessing that shall be conferred on you in time to come.

{153} Counselor Hyrum Smith spoke of the importance of the police office.

The Mayor said that if any one offered a bribe to a policeman, the city will pay that policeman twice the amount offered for the information, when reported to the Mayor.

Friday, 29.—My clerk made copies of five affidavits made yesterday by Elder Orson Hyde, Mr. Daniel Avery, and others, and sent the same to the Governor, with the following letter:—

Letter to Governor Ford—Accompanying Affidavits.

NAUVOO, December 30, 1843.

SIR:—I forward to your Excellency a number of affidavits relative to the late kidnapping of the Averys, and upon other matters. When the mob made efforts to resist the laws, Joseph Smith, as Mayor, gave notice to Major-General Law to hold a portion of the Nauvoo Legion in readiness; and Aaron Johnson, Esq., called for some troops to maintain the laws: but I am happy to say, none were ordered to march, as it was deemed most advisable to let Colonel Levi Williams and his mob flourish until indictments could be made at the Circuit Court of Hancock county.

We shall continue to keep your Excellency informed upon all matters of moment touching the premises.

Saturday, 30.—At nine, a.m., held Mayor's court. Two boys, Roswell and Evander White, were brought up for stealing six hens and a rooster. They were sentenced to pay for the fowls, and to ten days' hard labor each on the streets.

In the afternoon, met in the assembly room with the quorum. William Law and wife were not present. Warm and rainy.

Sunday, 31st.—At home.

In the afternoon, called with Elder Parley P. Pratt to see his wife.

At early candle-light, went to prayer-meeting; administered the sacrament; after which I retired. At midnight, about fifty musicians and singers sang Phelps' New Year's Hymn under my window.

{154} Warm and rainy. No ice to be seen.

The subjoined list shows a few of the publications for and against the Saints during the year.

Pro et con Mormonism, publications for the year 1843.

The Alton Telegraph published several very severe articles against the Church.

Edward Brotherton published a scurrilous pamphlet at Manchester, England, entitled "Mormonism—its Rise and Progress, and the Prophet Joseph Smith."

The Richmond Palladium published an amusing and favorable article on "Mormonism."

The Boston Bee published a series of articles favorable to the Saints, which had a beneficial effect in putting down prejudice and misrepresentation.

A favorable account of a visit to Nauvoo was published by Samuel A. Prior, Methodist minister.

The Morning Star, a Freewill Baptist paper, published a long and bitter article against the Latter-day Saints, entitled "Mormon Perversion."

A favorable article, entitled "Nauvoo and Mormonism," was published by a Traveler.

The Quincy Whig published several bitter articles against me.

The Warsaw Message, and subsequently the Warsaw Signal, published a continual tirade of abuse, misrepresentation, and lies against the Saints.

The New Haven (Con.) Herald published a favorable account of the "Mormons" in Nauvoo.


1. There was also a Memorial prepared by the Prophet from the inhabitants of Hancock county generally to the same effect as the above, but it was never extensively signed or presented to Congress.

2. This man afterwards was discovered to be an adventurer and a most desperate character. Gregg in his Prophet of Palmyra, Chapter XXX, speaks of him as "an adventurer of fine appearance and gentlemanly manners, who appeared in the county (Hancock) during the troubles; went to Nauvoo, and became intimate with Smith and the leaders; afterwards turned against them—went to Warsaw and issued a pamphlet—claiming to be an expose of Mormonism and the evil purposes and practices of the Prophet * * * He was an entire stranger to the county and its people; no one knew whence he came or what became of him afterwards, when the excitement was all over. Hence it is just to say, that the equivocal position in which he stood very justly tended to lessen confidence of the public in his statements, and his little book made slight impression. The Mormons charged that he was an adventurer of the worst class—himself a counterfeiter, etc., and that he quarreled with the Prophet and the authorities because he was detected and exposed." Gregg also says that this "Expose was much of the same character as that of General Bennett's." (Ibid).




Monday, January 1, 1844.—A cold, blustering rainstorm ushered in the new year.

At sunrise, Thomas Miller, James Leach, James Bridges, and John Frodsham were brought before me by the police, charged with disorderly conduct. Fined Miller $5: the others were discharged.

New Year's at the Mansion.

A large party took a new year's supper at my house, and had music and dancing till morning. I was in my private room with my family, Elder John Taylor and other friends.

Tuesday 2.—Two p.m., Hyrum Dayton was brought before Mayor's court for disorderly conduct in resisting and abusing the police: fined $25 and costs. His son, Lysander Dayton, for the same offense, was sentenced to ten days' hard labor, on the public streets; and subsequently, for contempt of court, ten days more.

Snow one inch deep.

I here insert Mr. Calhoun's answer to my letter of inquiry, dated November 4, 1843:—

Letter: John C. Calhoun to Joseph Smith—Defining What Former's Policy would be Towards the Saints if Elected President.

FORT HILL, December 2, 1843.

SIR:—You ask me what would be my rule of action relative the Mormons {156} or Latter-day Saints, should I be elected President; to which I answer, that if I should be elected, I would strive to administer the government according to the Constitution and the laws of the union; and that as they make no distinction between citizens of different religious creeds I should make none. As far as it depends on the Executive department, all should have the full benefit of both, and none should be exempt from their operation.

But as you refer to the case of Missouri, candor compels me to repeat what I said to you at Washington, that, according to my views, the case does not come within the jurisdiction of the Federal Government, which is one of limited and specific powers.

With respect, I am, &c., &c.,



To which I wrote the following reply:—

Letter: Joseph Smith to John C. Calhoun—The Latter's Policy Towards the Latter-day Saints, if Elected President of the U. S. Considered.

NAUVOO, ILLINOIS, January 2, 1844.

Sir:—Your reply to my letter of last November, concerning your rule of action towards the Latter-day Saints, if elected President, is at hand; and that you and your friends of the same opinion relative to the matter in question may not be disappointed as to me or my mind upon so grave a subject, permit me, as a law-abiding man, as a well-wisher to the perpetuity of constitutional rights and liberty, and as a friend to the free worship of Almighty God by all, according to the dictates of every person's own conscience, to say that I am surprised that a man or men in the highest stations of public life should have made up such a fragile "view" of a case, than which there is not one on the face of the globe fraught with so much consequence to the happiness of men in this world or the world to come.

To be sure, the first paragraph of your letter appears very complacent and fair on a white sheet of paper. And who, that is ambitious for greatness and power, would not have said the same thing? Your oath binds you to support the Constitution and laws; and as all creeds and religions are alike tolerated, they must of course, all be justified or condemned according to merit or demerit. But why—tell me why are all the principal men held up for public stations so cautiously careful, not to publish to the world that they will judge a righteous judgment, law or no law? for laws and opinions, like the vanes of steeples, change with the wind.

One Congress passes a law, another repeals it; and one statesman says that the Constitution means this, and another that; and who does {157} not know that all may be wrong? the opinion and pledge, therefore, in the first paragraph of your reply to my question, like the forced steam from the engine of a steam-boat, makes the show of a bright cloud at first; but when it comes in contact with a purer atmosphere, dissolves to common air again.

Your second paragraph leaves you naked before yourself, like a likeness in a mirror, when you say, that according to your view, the Federal Government is "one of limited and specific powers," and has no jurisdiction in the case of the "Mormons." So then a State can at any time expel any portion of her citizens with impunity: and, in the language of Mr. Van Buren, frosted over with your gracious "views of the case," though the cause is ever so just, Government can do nothing for them, because it has no power.

Go on, then, Missouri, after another set of inhabitants (as the Latter-day Saints did,) have entered some two or three hundred thousand dollars' worth of land, and made extensive improvements thereon; go on, then, I say; banish the occupants or owners, or kill them, as the mobbers did many of the Latter-day Saints, and take their land and property as spoil; and let the Legislature, as in the case of the "Mormons," appropriate a couple of hundred thousand dollars to pay the mob for doing that job; for the renowned Senator from South Carolina, Mr. J. C. Calhoun, says the powers of the Federal Government are so specific and limited that it has no jurisdiction of the case! O ye people who groan under the oppression of tyrants!—ye exiled Poles, who have felt the iron hand of Russian grasp!—ye poor and unfortunate among all nations! come to the asylum of the oppressed; buy ye lands of the General Government; pay in your money to the treasury to strengthen the army and the navy; worship God according to the dictates of your own consciences; pay in your taxes to support the great heads of a glorious nation: but remember a "sovereign State" is so much more powerful than the United States, the parent Government, that it can exile you at pleasure, mob you with impunity, confiscate your lands and property, have the Legislature sanction it,—yea, even murder you as an edict of an emperor, and it does no wrong; for the noble Senator of South Carolina says the power of the federal Government is so limited and specific, that it has no jurisdiction of the case! What think ye of imperium in imperio?

Ye spirits of the blessed of all ages, hark! Ye shades of departed statesmen, listen! Abraham, Moses, Homer, Socrates, Solon, Solomon, and all that ever thought of right and wrong, look down from your exaltations if you have any; for it is said, "In the midst of counselors there is safety;" and when you have learned that fifteen thousand innocent citizens, after having purchased their lands of the United States {158} and paid for them, were expelled from a "sovereign State," by order of the Governor, at the point of the bayonet, their arms taken from them by the same authority, and their right of migration into said State denied, under pain of imprisonment, whipping, robbing, mobbing, and even death, and no justice or recompense allowed; and, from the Legislature with the Governor at the head, down to the Justice of the Peace, with a bottle of whisky in one hand and a bowie-knife in the other, hear them all declare that there is no justice for a "Mormon" in that State; and judge ye a righteous judgment, and tell me when the virtue of the States was stolen, where the honor of the General Government lies hid, and what clothes a senator with wisdom. O nullifying Carolina! O little tempestuous Rhode Island! Would it not be well for the great men of the nation to read the fable of the partial judge; and when part of the free citizens of a State had been expelled contrary to the Constitution, mobbed, robbed, plundered, and many murdered, instead of searching into the course taken with Joanna Southcott, Ann Lee, the French Prophets, the Quakers of New England, and rebellious negroes in the slave Slates, to hear both sides and then judge, rather than have the mortification to say, "Oh, it is my bull that has killed your ox! That alters the case! I must inquire into it; and if, and if—!"

If the General Government has no power to reinstate expelled citizens to their rights, there is a monstrous hypocrite fed and fostered from the hard earnings of the people! A real "bull beggar" upheld by sycophants. And although you may wink to the priests to stigmatize, wheedle the drunkards to swear, and raise the hue-and-cry of—"Impostor! false prophet! G—d—n old Joe Smith!" yet remember, if the Latter-day Saints are not restored to all their rights and paid for all their losses, according to the known rules of justice and judgment, reciprocation and common honesty among men, that God will come out of His hiding place, and vex this nation with a sore vexation: yea, the consuming wrath of an offended God shall smoke through the nation with as much distress and woe as independence has blazed through with pleasure and delight. Where is the strength of Government? Where is the patriotism of a Washington, a Warren, and Adams? And where is a spark from the watch-fire of '76, by which one candle might be lit that would glimmer upon the confines of Democracy? Well may it be said that one man is not a state, nor one state the nation.

In the days of General Jackson, when France refused the first instalment for spoliations, there was power, force, and honor enough to resent injustice and insult, and the money came: and shall Missouri, filled with negro-drivers and white men stealers, go "unwhipped of justice" for tenfold greater sins than France? No! verily, no! While {159} I have powers of body and mind—while water runs and grass grows—while virtue is lovely and vice hateful; and while a stone points out a sacred spot where a fragment of American liberty once was, I or my posterity will plead the cause of injured innocence, until Missouri makes atonement for all her sins, or sinks disgraced, degraded, and damned to hell, "where the worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched."

Why, sir, the powers not delegated to the United States and the States belong to the people, and Congress sent to do the people's business have all power; and shall fifteen thousand citizens groan in exile? O vain men! will ye not, if ye do not restore them to their rights and $2,000,000 worth of property, relinquish to them, (the Latter-day Saints,) as a body, their portion of power that belongs to them according to the Constitution? Power has its convenience as well as inconvenience. "The world was not made for Caesar alone, but for Cassius too."

I will give you a parable. A certain lord had a vineyard in a goodly land, which men labored in at their pleasure. A few meek men also went and purchased with money from some of these chief men that labored at pleasure a portion of land in the vineyard, at a very remote part of it, and began to improve it, and to eat and drink the fruit thereof,—when some vile persons, who regarded not man, neither feared the lord of the vineyard, rose up suddenly and robbed these meek men, and drove them from their possessions, killing many.

This barbarous act made no small stir among the men in the vineyard; and all that portion who were attached to that part of the vineyard where the men were robbed rose up in grand council, with their chief man, who had firstly ordered the deed to be done, and made a covenant not to pay for the cruel deed, but to keep the spoil, and never let those meek men set their feet on that soil again, neither recompense them for it.

Now, these meek men, in their distress, wisely sought redress of those wicked men in every possible manner, and got none. They then supplicated the chief men, who held the vineyard at pleasure, and who had the power to sell and defend it, for redress and redemption; and those men, loving the fame and favor of the multitude more than the glory of the lord of the vineyard, answered—"Your cause is just, but we can do nothing for you, because we have no power."

Now, when the lord of the vineyard saw that virtue and innocence were not regarded, and his vineyard occupied by wicked men, he sent men and took the possession of it to himself, and destroyed those unfaithful servants, and appointed them their portion among hypocrites.

And let me say that all men who say that Congress has no power to restore and defend the rights of her citizens have not the love of the truth abiding in them. Congress has power to protect the nation against {160} foreign invasion and internal broil; and whenever that body passes an act to maintain right with any power, or to restore right to any portion of her citizens, it is the supreme law of the land; and should a State refuse submission, that State is guilty of insurrection or rebellion, and the President has as much power to repel it as Washington had to march against the "whisky boys at Pittsburgh," or General Jackson had to send an armed force to suppress the rebellion of South Carolina.

To close, I would admonish you, before you let your "candor compel" you again to write upon a subject great as the salvation of man, consequential as the life of the Savior, broad as the principles of eternal truth, and valuable as the jewels of eternity, to read in the 8th section and 1st article of the Constitution of the United States, the first, fourteenth and seventeenth "specific" and not very "limited powers" of the Federal Government, what can be done to protect the lives, property and rights of a virtuous people, when the administrators of the law and law-makers are unbought by bribes, uncorrupted by patronage, untempted by gold, unawed by fear, and uncontaminated tangling alliances—even like Caesar's wife, not only unspotted, but unsuspected! And God, who cooled the heat of a Nebuchadnezzar's furnace or shut the mouths of lions for the honor of a Daniel, will raise your mind above the narrow notion that the General Government has no power, to the sublime idea that Congress, with the President as Executor, is as almighty in its sphere as Jehovah is in his.

With great respect, I have the honor to be

Your obedient servant,



Fort Hill, S. C.

Release of Pugmire and Cartwright from Prison, England.

Jonathan Pugmire, Senior, and Thomas Cartwright discharged by Judge Whitehead, at Chester, England. The judge would not allow the costs of prosecution or witnesses to be paid by the Crown. It was very evident that the Church of England ministers were at the bottom of the machinations, and were sorely discomfited at the result. I insert the statement of the unfortunate occurrence given by Jonathan Pugmire, Junior:—

Cartwright Drowning—Accident at a Baptism in England.

Thomas Cartwright was baptized November 6, 1843, unknown to his wife, by Elder Jonathan Pugmire, Senior; but she had mistrusted he {161} had gone to the water, and went to Pugmire's house the same evening, and inquired where Tom was, (meaning her husband). Mrs. Pugmire answered she did not know.

After this, Mrs. Cartwright went out and met them returning from the waters of baptism, and shouted—"Damn you, I'll dip ye!" and expressing her determination to have revenge on Pugmire's family, she used a great deal of very bad language.

Some of the neighbors (not belonging to the Church) advised her not to speak too much against the Latter-day Saints, as she might yet become convinced of the truth of their doctrines and be baptized herself. She replied, "I hope to God, if ever I am such a fool, that I'll be drowned in the attempt!"

A short time afterwards, in consequence of her husband talking to her about the truths of the Gospel, she consented to go to Pugmire's house and hear for herself.

After attending a few times she told her husband she had a dream, in which she saw it was a fearful thing to fall in the hands of the living God, and requested to be baptized.

Mrs. Pugmire talked with her, reminding her of her harsh expression. She confessed all, and said, "I am very sorry; and as my conduct is known to all this neighborhood, I do not wish to have my baptism public, but to have it done privately; and I wish no female to accompany me to the water but you."

On the night of her baptism (November 23, 1843), she was conducted to the water by her husband and Elder Pugmire, witnessed by Mrs. Pugmire and James Moore. Previous to this time, Elder Pugmire had baptized eight or ten persons in the same place.

On arriving at the water, they found the creek had overflowed its banks, in consequence of a heavy rain which had fallen that day. Elder Pugmire examined its banks, and concluded he could attend to the ordinance without going into the regular bed of the creek.

This was done; but on raising Mrs. Cartwright, and as they were walking out, they both went under the water.

It was afterwards discovered that the water had undermined the bank, and it gave way under their feet. Meantime, Thomas Cartwright leaped into the creek and seized hold of his wife's petticoat; but the water carried her off, and left the garment in his hand.

James Moore got hold of Elder Pugmire by the hair of his head, Mrs. Pugmire holding Moore's hand, and thus they dragged him out.

Moore then ran to the village to give the alarm. On his return, he found Cartwright about one hundred yards from where he leaped in, {162} with his head above water, holding on to the stump of a tree. He said he could not have remained in that situation one minute longer.

George Knowlen swam the stream and got him out; but his wife was not found until the day following, when she was found about two hundred yards from where the accident occurred, standing upon her feet, with her head above water, the stream having fallen about two feet.

On Pugmire reaching home, a Church of England minister had him arrested and dragged from his family the same evening, and kept in custody of a constable until a coroner's inquest was held on the body of the deceased.

After she was buried, Cartwright was arrested, and both were sent to Chester jail, to wait their trial before the judge of assize. They were in confinement six weeks and three days before their trial came on.

The judge (Whitehead) remarked to the jury that baptism was an ordinance of our religion, and that it was a mere accident which had occurred. He advised the jurymen to be very careful how they examined the case before them—that it was an ordinance instituted by God (at that moment the Lord spoke by the voice of thunder, which shook the court house,) and advised the prisoners to be very careful in the future to select a proper place for the performance of that rite. They were then set free.

During their imprisonment, Pugmire had a vision, in which he was informed that they would be liberated; and he told Cartwright to be of good cheer, for they certainly would be acquitted.

Wednesday 3.—At home.

At noon, met with the City Council. The following is a copy of the minutes:—

Difficulty of Wm. Law et al. With the Police.

SPECIAL CITY COUNCIL, Jan. 3, 1834, 2 o'clock.

Names of members called. All present.

The mayor directed the marshal to notify William Law and John Snyder that the council was in session, and informed the council that William Law had said to his brother Hyrum that the police had been sworn by him (the Prophet) secretly to put Law out of the way. [The Prophet said] "I have had no private conversation with any of the police but the high policeman, Jonathan Dunham, and that was to request him to have especial care of my personal safety, as I apprehended attempts to kidnap me by the Missourians." He called on the policemen to say if they had received any private oath from him, when they all said, "No."

Councilor Hyrum Smith said that William Law told him the police {163} had sworn him (Law) to keep the secret, which was that he was to be put out of the way in three months.

The mayor said he wished policemen to understand forever that all he wanted was that they should execute the ordinances of the city and his orders according to law.

Several of the police called for the individual to be named who made the statement to William Law.

The mayor said he thought proper that William Law should come and make his statement to the council on oath.

The mayor then said to the police, "If you see a man stealing, and you have told him three times to stand, and warned him that he is a dead man if he does not stand, and he runs shoot off his legs. The design of the office of the police is to stop thieving; but an enemy should not be harmed until he draws weapons upon you."

William Law came in, and was sworn to tell the whole truth touching the case before the council.

William Law said he had been informed that some of the policemen had had another oath administered besides the one administered to them publicly: that one of them said there was a Judas in General Smith's cabinet,—one who stood next to him; and he must be taken care of, and that he must not be allowed to go into the world, but must be taken care of; and he was not only a dough-head and a traitor like Judas, but an assassin like Brutus: that the idea had been advanced that the scriptures support such a doctrine.

Alderman Harris. Who is the person? and who told you?

Law. I am under obligations not to tell.

Alderman Harris. That is immaterial. You are bound to disclose the whole truth here by virtue of your oath.

Law. I am afraid to tell. One oath is as good as another.

The Mayor said he would protect him. He was bound to tell.

Law. Eli Norton told me.

Alderman Harris. Was Eli Norton of the police?

Law. No; but he got his information from Daniel Carn, who is a policeman.

The marshal was sent to bring Eli Norton.

The mayor said to the police—"On conditions I have had no private conversation with any of you, rise up and change the breech of your gun upwards," when all arose and changed the positions of their guns as indicated.

Counselor Hyrum Smith considered the matter very alarming when he heard it. He referred to Dr. Sampson Avard's and John Carl's treachery and false swearing in Missouri, and rehearsed what was said by the mayor to the police in the former council.

{164} The mayor said, "The reason why I made the remarks I did was on account of the reports brought from Missouri jail by O. P. Rockwell, that my enemies were determined to get me into their power and take my life, and thereby thought they would accomplish the overthrow of 'Mormonism.' And to enable them to effect this, they had secured the services of some of my most confidential friends, whom I did not suspect, and who were living in Nauvoo, to deliver me into their hands so that their religious organizations upon their own principles might stand; for they feared that 'Mormonism' would destroy their present religious creeds, organizations, and orthodox systems. They did not design to try me, but hang me, or take my life anyhow: that they had a man in our midst who would fix me out, if they could not get me into their power without." He then referred to his remarks at the previous council.

Minutes of last council being called for, were then read.

Eli Norton sworn.

Question by the Mayor Did Carn say I had administered a private oath?

Norton. No. Did not say much about Law. Did not say you had ever administered any private oath. Carn never intimated to me that Law must be put out of the way. Did not call William Law's name, nor any other name. Did not say the policemen had received a private oath. Understood Carn to say they had received private instructions; and if a man could not keep a secret, he was not worthy of a place in the Church. Did not say the mayor had given him a private charge. Did not tell where the danger was expected to come from. Told me there were dough-heads about. Did not say the dough-heads were in danger, but the mayor was in danger from the dough-heads.

Question by William Law: Did you not understand from Brother Carn that he was suspicious of some person near Joseph being a dough-head, and that that person was myself?

Answer: He mentioned a dough-head as being very near Joseph, and he guessed you was the man; and I thought it might be that Daniteism was not done with.

Mayor: Tell what you know that made you so alarmed about Brother Law.

Answer: There was no chain to the conversation; but I drew the inference that Brother Law was the dough-head from Carn's conversation; but Carn did not name Law.

Daniel Carn was sworn: Said, "I told Brother Norton that certain men had been counseled by the Prophet to invest their means in publishing the new translation of the Bible; and they instead of obeying that counsel, had used their property for the purpose of building a {165} steam-mill and raising a hundred acres of hemp; and the Lord had not blessed them in the business, but sunk their hemp in the Mississippi river. I told him it was my opinion that Brother Law was the dough-head referred to.

I have had no secret conversation whatever with the mayor, and never received any charge except the one, with the rest of the police, before the city council.

The mayor suggested the propriety, since Rockwell and others are clear, and we have the promise of protection from the governor; and as the police are now well organized, that they put up their guns and that the council pass such an order. The Danite system alluded to by Norton never had any existence. It was a term made use of by some of the brethren in Far West, and grew out of an expression I made use of when the brethren were preparing to defend themselves from the Missouri mob, in reference to the stealing of Macaiah's images (Judges chapter 18)—If the enemy comes, the Danites will be after them, meaning the brethren in self-defense.

The mayor instructed the police to lay up their arms till further orders.

At half past four p.m. council adjourned.

Reconciliation of the Prophet and Wm. Law.

The council spent nearly the whole day in investigating the subject and examining these two witnesses. The police were all sworn and cross-examined by William Law and the aldermen, and the result showed nothing but imagination, having grown out of the surmises of Daniel Carn; upon which Law became satisfied, shook hands with me, declaring he did not believe a word of the story, and said he would stand by me to the death, and called the whole council and the police to witness his declaration.

Thursday 4.—At home.

Repartee of Joseph and Emma Smith

I took dinner in the north room, and was remarking to Brother Phelps what a kind, provident wife I had,—that when I wanted a little bread and milk, she would load the table with so many good things, it would destroy my appetite. At this moment Emma came in, while Phelps, in continuation of the conversation said, "You must do as Bonaparte did—have a little table, just large enough for the victuals you want yourself." {166} Mrs. Smith replied, "Mr. Smith is a bigger man than Bonaparte: he can never eat without his friends." I remarked, "That is the wisest thing I ever heard you say."

Friday 5.—At home.

Last night I dreamed I saw two serpents swallowing each other tail foremost.

Alarm of William Marks.

Another tempest in a tea-pot, or big fuss about nothing at all. In consequence of the night being severely cold, some persons built a fire on the bank of the river, nearly opposite William Marks' house. He then became afraid, and concluded he must either be the Brutus or the dough-head, and lay awake all night, thinking the police had built the fire to kill him by! In the morning he called on me, reported the circumstances and expressed his fears, when another session of inquiry was held by the city council at his request, and the police sworn and questioned. The following is a synopsis of the minutes:—

Special Session of the City Council—Fears of Wm. Law and Marks.

[Sidenote: Friday, January 5, 1834, 11 a.m.]

Names of members called.

Prayer by O. Spencer.

Minutes of the last two councils read and approved.

Object of the council stated by the mayor, similar to the last council as William Law and William Marks had considered themselves in danger. When he heard the report he was unwilling to believe anything about it, from the course the thing took in the last council; but, for the sake of others, he had called this council.

As Leonard Soby was going home night before last, he was hailed by a supposed policeman with a gun, which frightened him. Soby says that a policeman had told him that Marks and Law must not cross his tracks; that Warren Smith said at another time that William Marks and William Law were enemies to Joseph.

I have never thought even to dream of doing anything against the peace of the inhabitants of this city. Did not know I had any enemies in this city: have stayed at home and heard but little: did not know that there was so much evil surmising among the people. My long forbearance to my enemies ought to be {167} sufficient testimony of my peaceful disposition toward all men. It occurred to my mind that it was not fear, but got up for effect; but I do not know it. I want the council to investigate this matter.

William Marks sworn. Testified that on Monday evening Brother Soby came up and said, "Are you aware of the danger you are in?" Marks replied, "No."

Soby: "Your life is threatened; a policeman stopped me in the dark last night as I was going home; I was alarmed. I supposed the threats were from that policeman, but I was mistaken. Another policeman, Warren Smith, said last Sunday that Joseph had enemies—that Law and myself were Joseph's enemies, and if they came in his way they might be popped over. A fire was kindled in the street near my house, and I thought I was watched. Francis Higbee told me, and a man in the east part of the town told me; and a man came from the other side of the river and told the story to that man, as he said. Yesterday morning, Hyrum Smith, Wilson Law, and William Law met in the street, and I told the story as before related.

Mayor. Did ever anybody tell you I directed you to be watched?

William Marks. No.

Marshal went for Francis M. Higbee and George W. Crouse.

Leonard Soby sworn. On Sunday, 31st December last, I met Warren Smith in Crouse's store; asked him if he knew who the Brutus was. Warren Smith said he believed William Law was one, and Marks another; they had better not come in his way. Did not say he would shoot them, or endanger their life in any way. Did not know whether there were any private instructions, or not. Believed Brother Marks was in danger. Did not think Marks in any danger from Joseph. Thought Warren Smith was under a wrong impression with regard to Marks. Warren Smith said, "He, Marks, had better not cross my path when I am on duty." I gathered the idea there was something wrong with Brother Warren Smith. Do not recollect any person present.

Mayor. Did Warren Smith or any other policeman give you to understand that I had authorized him to believe there was any difficulty between me and Brother Law or Marks?

Soby. No. He did not think Warren Smith would transcend his official duties towards Law or Marks. Felt at the time Marks and Law were in danger. Did not think they were in danger, if they did out rise up against the authorities.

Did not say he had any instruction. Said to Mr. Marks, "You have enemies." My impression was that somebody had been to Joseph to make a bad impression on his mind. Warren Smith did mention brother Marks' name, I think.

{168} Thirty policemen, all who were present, sworn. Testified that General Smith had never given them any private instruction concerning the case before the council.

Warren Smith said Soby asked his opinion who was the Judas. I said, from rumor, I would suspect William Law. Does not believe he mentioned Marks' name. My opinion was founded on rumor. Brother Isaac Hill said Brother Law was in a bad situation—was kicking, and if he did not mind, he would go over the board. If he had his property in available means and was away, he would feel better. Have heard it talked of that Brother Law was not going to stand. He did not tell what he was kicking at. I understand a Brutus to mean a treacherous man.

George W. Crouse sworn. Does not recollect any conversation between Warren Smith and Leonard Soby, at his store, relative to the case in question. Had a discussion about the duties of policemen.

Councilor John Taylor said it was customary in all cities for policemen to go armed in time of danger.

Councilor Orson Hyde confirmed Councilor Taylor's observation.

Councilor Hyrum Smith spoke. Told a story of the old Dutchman and the ox. Soby makes me think of an old Dutchman that had an ox—the first animal he ever owned in his life, and he broke him to ride; then he filled a sack with rocks and laid it on the ox's back, and got on himself, and told his son to hide by the roadside, and when he came along, to jump out and hollo boo, as he wanted to know how well his ox was broke. The son did accordingly. The ox was frightened, and threw the old man off. "Father," said the son, "I did as you told me." "Yes," said the old man; "but you made too big a boo."

Francis M. Higbee sworn. Have received the impression from rumor that Mr. Law, Mr. Marks and probably one or two others, could not subscribe to all things in the Church, and there were some private matters that might make trouble. Don't know of anyone being in danger. No one told me the police had received any private instruction. Could not tell who he had received these rumors from.

William Law spoke. Said he had no personal feeling against Warren Smith. Some two or three years since, he sued Brother Warren, and stayed the suit, &c. Was suspicious Warren Smith's feelings might have risen from that source.

Councilor Hyrum Smith, Daniel Carn, Warren Smith, Leonard Soby, and William Marks addressed the council.

The mayor spoke. Said no one had come to him with tales about William Marks, to prejudice his mind against him. Was totally ignorant of it. I said to Brother Dunham,—If any man approach {169} my house with arms, or attempted to disturb my house, I wanted the police to take care of that individual, whoever he might be. I repeat the instruction, and am perfectly astonished that Brother Law, Marks, or any other man should entertain such an idea [that they were in danger.] I live above suspicion on this subject from any source whatever. I never could bring my feelings to take revenge on my enemies. The City Council did not concoct the idea of having a police. The several wards petitioned for a police to protect them against invasion—wanted citizens to pass the streets at any time of night without molestation; but if the police see a man breaking in to my house or barn, or anybody's house or barn, tell him to stand, and inquire his business. I think it possible that some person has been practicing fraud on Brother Soby and the police and upon individuals, as the police, according to their instructions, had laid away their guns.

Don't guard Brother Marks' house any more. Men must not pervert the power entrusted to them like ex-Governor Boggs, whose executive oath required him to protect the Saints in Missouri, but perverted his power to enforce their extermination from the State.

Brother Soby does not know that it was a policeman who stopped him. Brother Marks does not know that the police kindled the fire before his house. Let the police have canes. Let the citizens pass and repass at all times of night.

Councilor Taylor spoke. Thought the conclusion drawn up by Brother Soby, that Joseph or somebody was going to get revenged by setting the guard to kill Marks, was the most contemptible that could be imagined; and if Brother Soby had had the respect for Brother Joseph he ought to have had, he could not have formed such a conclusion.

Mayor referred to Francis Higbee's testimony. Thought Francis Higbee had better stay at home and hold his tongue, lest rumor turn upon him and disclose some private matters which he would prefer kept hid. Did not believe there was any rumor of the kind afloat, or he could have told some of the names of his informants. Thought the young men of the city had better withdraw from his society, and let him stand on his own merits. I by no means consider him the standard of the city.

There has been a system of corruption and debauchery, which these rumors have grown out of; and the individuals who are the authors of them are those who do not want a police: they want to prowl in the streets at pleasure without interruption.

Alderman Orson Spencer spoke, approving the conduct of the police.

General Wilson Law said. "I am Joseph's friend: he has no better {170} friend in the world: I am ready to lay down my life for him;" and upon that the mayor and General Wilson Law shook hands.

The ordinance concerning the forty policemen read twice.

The mayor objected to assuming the entire disposal of the police beyond the definition of the ordinance.

Alderman George A. Smith said he could sleep with a fire near his house, if there were some of the police warming themselves by it; and he believed any honest man could do the same.

The police received the thanks of the council.

The cross-examination and speeches are generally omitted.

Council adjourned at dusk for the want of candles.

Reflections of the Prophet as to Traitors in High Places

What can be the matter with these men? Is it that the wicked flee when no man pursueth, that hit pigeons always flutter, that drowning men catch at straws, or that Presidents Law and Marks are absolutely traitors to the Church, that my remarks should produce such an excitement in their minds. Can it be possible that the traitor whom Porter Rockwell reports to me as being in correspondence with my Missouri enemies, is one of my quorum? The people in the town were astonished, almost every man saying to his neighbor, "Is it possible that Brother Law or Brother Marks is a traitor, and would deliver Brother Joseph into the hands of his enemies in Missouri?" If not, what can be the meaning of all this? "The righteous are as bold as a lion."

A number of gentlemen boarding at my house conversed with me on national affairs. I sent for Brother Phelps, who came and read my letter to John C. Calhoun, with which they were highly edified.

Elder Brigham Young went to La Harpe for the purpose of instructing the Saints.

Commenced snowing a little before sunset, and continued all night.

Saturday, 6.—Snow about four inches deep. I rode out with Emma in a sleigh.

The Bishops and lesser Priesthood met at Henry W. Miller's hall.

{171} Sunday, 7.—At home in the morning. In the afternoon, rode out to my farm, and preached in Brother Cornelius P. Lott's house.

The Twelve Apostles attended meetings and preached in different parts of the city.

At six p.m. attended prayer-meeting with the quorum in the assembly room. Law and Marks absent.

Monday, 8.—At home in the morning.

At eleven went to my office to investigate a difficulty between John D. Parker and his wife. After laboring with them about two hours, brought about a reconciliation.

I also had an interview with William Law in the streets.

My uncle, John Smith, from Macedonia, visited me.

Amos Fielding arrived from Liverpool.

Tuesday, 9.—At home.

I insert the following from the Neighbor, as a specimen of the respect which the Carthage mob has for law or justice:


On Tuesday last Horace S. Eldredge, one of our county officers, went to Carthage for the purpose of arresting Milton Cook, on the charge of bastardy, and bringing him before R. D. Foster, justice of the peace of this county, before whom affidavit had been made to that effect. He found the accused in Bartlett's grocery, (Carthage,) and arrested him.

Cook had a gun that he said he had loaded for the purpose, and would make a hole through the constable if he molested him, and swore he would not be taken.

Harmon T. Wilson and others then stepped forward to his assistance, and said that they had sworn to stand by him, and that he should not go. He [Eldredge] then returned with his process to the justice of the peace, and told him what had occurred.

Mr. R. D. Foster then summoned eleven men to go along with the constable and assist him in bringing the delinquent. They went out and drove to the grocery, where they expected to find him; but he was not there. They then went out for a short time, without making known their business, when they saw an armed force gathering.

{172} They shortly afterwards returned to the grocery, and saw him there where he swore he would not be taken. There was also an armed force standing in the door, who also swore he should not be taken.

The officer having the process, Mr. Markham and Mr. Eagle stepped forward and wished to reason the case with them, the officer at the same time demanding their assistance. They were met with an armed force of about twenty, four of whom stood in the doorway, two with guns and bayonets, and two with pistols.

The two having the bayonets charged directly at Mr. Markham, and swore they would run him through, and rushed upon him with their bayonets. He, however, warded off their blows with his arm, and the bayonet glanced and struck Mr. John Eagle in the abdomen. The bayonet went through his clothes, scratched his body, and glanced off without doing any further injury, other than giving him a slight cut in the hand.

Those having the pistols then attempted to shoot, when Mr. Markham seized the hand of one of them that held the pistol, and prevented him from firing. The other put his pistol to Mr. Eagle's breast, and swore he would shoot him.

The company at that time used all their force, and crowded the officers and their assistants some distance back, and carried off and secreted the prisoner. The officer and his company then went to the tavern to stay all night.

The next morning, about eight o'clock, the constable and Mr. Markham went to the grocery and searched, and Bartlett said that he was gone—that he had taken his horse and gone out of town.

They then saw a company of men gathered at Harmon T. Wilson's store, armed with guns, bayonets, pistols, clubs, and other missiles. Mr. Markham went to the store, where he found the constable and the prisoner. There were fifty in and about the store, all armed.

Mr. Eldredge then told the company present who he was, and demanded all in the house to assist in taking the prisoner, and then seized him. As soon as he laid hold of the prisoner, about six or eight men laid hold of the constable. Mr. Markham assisted the constable. When Mr. Markham had nearly succeeded in liberating the constable, a man who was called Dr. Morrison, drew his pistol and shot at Markham. The ball missed Markham, but came so near Mr. Coltrin's head, who was one of the assistants, as to graze his forehead.

As there were only four of the assistants in the store, they were overpowered by superior numbers, and the prisoner was taken away from them.

They saw that it would be impossible to take him without bloodshed, and consequently returned home. The parties engaged in this affray {173} swore that, regardless of all law, they would defend the prisoner, and he should not be taken.

We have received the above particulars from Mr. Markham, and can consequently rely upon the correctness of the statement, as he is one of the parties mentioned. The woman who was enciente, who made the affidavit, is not in the Church, neither is Mr. Eagle—the person who was struck with the bayonet. Mr. Eagle has gone to the governor to make complaint.

We think that it is high time that prompt measures be taken to put a stop to such abominable outrages. If officers can be insulted in this manner and the law violated with impunity, we think that we shall speedily slide back into the barbarous ages.

Some of our mobocratic friends who assembled at a mobocratic meeting some time ago in Carthage, were considerably chagrined at our terming them mobocrats. We wonder whether they now believe that they are, or not? If such proceedings as those are cherished, farewell to our Republican institutions! farewell to law, equity, and justice! and farewell to all those sacred ties that bind men to their fellowmen!

We would here ask where the sheriff was. Why was he not applied to? We merely ask for information. We don't know that he was present or applied to. If he was, it certainly was his duty to see the law magnified.

Wednesday 10.—At home.

John Smith, Uncle of the Prophet, Ordained a Patriarch.

Ordained Uncle John Smith a patriarch. Enjoyed myself well in an interview with the brethren and concluded to take a ride part way with my uncle on his return to Macedonia.

In consequence of a visit from some gentlemen from Carthage, I called the City Council together at seven p.m. I copy the minutes:—

Special Session of City Council; Complaints of Carthage Citizens Considered.

January 10, 1844, 7 p.m.

Names of members called.

The mayor said:—"Messrs. Backman, Hamilton, and Sherman, lawyers from Carthage, have called on me and told me that the occasion of the excitement at Carthage and the resistance to the law, in the case of the arrest of Cook, was the late ordinance of this council to prevent unlawful search or seizure of person or property by foreign {174} process in the city of Nauvoo; that they considered said ordinance was designed to hinder the execution of the statutes of Illinois within this city; consequently, they, the old citizens, felt disposed to stop the execution of processes issuing from the city precincts. They also raised objections against the process by Justice Foster for the apprehension of Cook, because it was made returnable to him alone, whereas they said the statute required it to be made returnable before himself or some other justice.

I explained to them the nature and reason of the ordinance—that was to prevent kidnapping under the pretense of law or process, and to facilitate the apprehension of thieves, &c., in this city, by throwing all foreign processes into the hands of the marshal, who would be most likely to know the hiding-places of fugitives from justice, who might secrete themselves in our city; and said that if any wrong impression had gone abroad with regard to the motives of the council in passing said ordinance, I would call the council immediately, that they might have the opportunity of giving any explanation necessary, so that the public might understand the ordinance in its true light. I have therefore called the council accordingly. I also referred the lawyers from Carthage to the statute which requires all processes issued in cases of bastardy to be returnable alone to the justice issuing the same, which they doubted until showed them the law, when they looked a little crest-fallen and foolish."

After deliberation, an additional section relative to the foregoing ordinance was read three times, and passed, by way of amendment:—

"Section 3. Be it ordained by the city council of the city of Nauvoo, that nothing in the foregoing ordinance shall be so construed as to prevent, hinder, or thwart the designs of justice, or to retard the civil officers of the state or county in the discharge of their official duties, but to aid and assist them within the limits of this city.

"Passed January 10, 1844.



Council adjourned.

Wrote a letter to Esquire Backman to inform him what the City Council had done.

Complaints of F.M. Higbee against the Prophet.

I received a long equivocating letter from Francis M. Higbee, charging me with having slandered his character and demanding a public trial before the Church. It contains no denial of the charges which he accuses me of having spoken against him, but is full of bombast.


Thursday 11.—At home.

Rode out, ten a.m., and returned at half-past one p.m.

This morning William Jones, who had stayed all night at Wilson's Tavern in Carthage, was arrested without process by Colonel Levi Williams and his company, who kept him in custody until noon without rations.

The Twelve Apostles gave an invitation to the Saints in Nauvoo to cut and draw for me seventy-five or one hundred cords of wood on the 15th and 16th instant.

Friday 12.—Thaw: snow nearly gone.

Conference in Michigan

A conference was held in Brownstown, Main county, Michigan. Elder Mephibosheth Sirrine, president; and Gehiel Savage, clerk. Nine branches were represented, containing 6 elders, 9 priests, 7 teachers, 1 deacon, 136 members, and 45 scattered members; one hundred members having removed from that state to Nauvoo since the conference in July last.

Saturday 13.—At home in the morning.

At ten o'clock, attended City Council, where a bill for an ordinance concerning the recording of deeds in this city was taken under consideration, and read twice. It elicited much discussion.

The ten policemen who were not present at the meeting of the City Council on the 5th instant were sworn in the matter of William Law and William Marks, and testified they had received no private instructions whatever from me.

A discussion took place on the subject of granting licenses for the sale of spirits.

I signed resolutions passed at a court martial held this morning.

Stephen M. Farnsworth was chosen president of the priests' quorum, and William Carmichael and William Box his counselors.

Sunday 14.—At home all day.

{176} A prayer-meeting was held at the assembly room. I did not attend.

Warm and rainy towards evening.

The Twelve Apostles preached at private houses in various parts of the city.

A branch of the Church was organized in New Orleans, with 34 members. T. B. Jackaway, president, and E. L. Brown, clerk.

Monday 15.—At home. Wrote to Sister Maria L. Campbell, Elmira, N. Y.

A Wood Bee

At nine, a.m., teams began to arrive with wood, according to the appointment of the Twelve Apostles, there being about 200 of the brethren chopping in the woods, and from thirty to forty teams engaged in drawing the wood to my house. About 100 loads were drawn, and as many more chopped, and left to be drawn another day.

Threats of Francis M. Higbee.

At ten, a.m., Dr. Richards called, and told me it was reported that Francis M. Higbee was going to put me under $10,000 bonds for speaking against him.

At the same time, Constable Eldredge summoned me to attend a court as witness before Esquire Johnson; and I went accordingly, to give my testimony.

The Twelve Apostles wrote the following letter:—

Letter: The Twelve Apostles to the Saints at Morley Settlement—Material Help Asked for.

NAUVOO, January 15, 1844.

To President Isaac Morley and the Saints at Morley Settlement, the Twelve send greeting:—

BELOVED BRETHREN—While the work of the Lord is great and sought out by all them that have pleasure therein, the Lord of the vineyard has laid special charges upon some of His servants to execute; and while we are striving by all means to raise funds to hasten the Temple the approaching spring, we are not unmindful of the "History of the Church," the "Great Proclamation to the Kings of the Earth," and the "Memorials to Congress," &c., all of which are now before the Church, though their {177} progress is retarded for the want of the necessities of life, in the families of those who are employed in this business.

Two or three clerks are necessarily employed, and that continually, by our Prophet, who cheerfully devote their time—not a tenth, but the whole, to roll on these desirable objects; but their hands are palsied and their pens stayed, more or less. Therefore, with the approbation of our President, we again call on you, as those who have ever been ready to listen to the wants of the Church, that you would raise such collections of provisions as you may have at your disposal, and forward the same without delay to us, for the special benefit of the clerks of President Smith or the Church. Asking no more, it is right they should not go hungry or naked.

Do you ask what is wanting? We answer, Look to your own households, and say what it requires to make them comfortable, and you will know just what is wanting by these men. Eatables of every kind, and even soap to keep their hands clean, is scarce at Nauvoo, and it takes many lights to keep the pen in motion these long evenings.

The President has plenty to do without supporting a number of clerks, whose business as deeply concerns every other individual in the Church as himself, although he has done it to a great extent and with great inconvenience; and we are confident that when you are made acquainted with the facts, you will be unwilling that Joseph should do all, and get all the blessing. And as you shall continue your liberality in temporal things, God shall pour out upon your heads blessings spiritual and temporal; and now is the time for action.

All is peace at Nauvoo, and the last report from the Carthaginians was, they were beginning to think it was time to throw down their arms and attempt a compromise. But the "Mormons" can truly say they have had no quarrel with them. It has all been between the citizens and the law, their own officers being the executors thereof; and we feel disposed to let them fight it out among themselves, while we live in peace and laugh at their folly.

With our prayers and blessings, we subscribe ourselves

Your brethren in Christ Jesus.

In behalf of the quorum,

B. YOUNG, President.


The Municipal Court issued a warrant for the arrest of Francis M. Higbee, on affidavit of Orson Pratt.

East wind in forenoon, and some rain. Brisk wind from N.W. in afternoon.

Andrews' Appeal to the State of Maine.

{178} Benjamin Andrews published in the Times and Seasons "An Appeal to the people of the State of Maine" setting forth the persecutions, murders, and robberies committed upon the Saints by the people of the State of Missouri, and soliciting the assistance of his native State in procuring redress.

Tuesday, 16.—Cold and windy.

Francis M. Higbee on Trial—Reconciliation with Prophet.

At ten, a.m., Francis M. Higbee was brought up before the Municipal Court, on complaint of Orson Pratt, for absenting himself from City Council without leave, when summoned as a witness, and for slanderous and abusive language towards one of the members of the Council.

The court adjourned, and the City Council commenced their session, continuing till two o'clock, during which time a reconciliation took place with Francis M. Higbee, who had written a slanderous letter concerning me, and said many hard things, which he acknowledged; and I forgave him. I went before the Council and stated that all difficulties between me and F. M. Higbee were eternally buried, and I was to be his friend for ever. To which F. M. Higbee replied, "I will be his friend for ever, and his right-hand man."

A number of the brethren assembled and chopped up the firewood which had been hauled to my house yesterday, and piled it up ready for use.

The following "Ordinance concerning the sale of Spirituous Liquors" was passed by the City Council:

An Ordinance concerning the Sale of Spirituous Liquors.

Whereas, the use and sale of distilled and fermented liquors for all purposes of beverage and drink by persons in health are viewed by this City Council with unqualified disapprobation:

Whereas, nevertheless the aforesaid liquors are considered highly beneficial for medical and mechanical purposes, and may be safely employed for such uses, under the counsel of discreet persons: Therefore,

{179} Sect. 1. Be it ordained by the City Council of the city of Nauvoo, that the Mayor of this city is hereby authorized to sell said liquors in such quantities as he may deem expedient.

Sect. 2. Be it further ordained, that other persons not exceeding one to each ward of the city, may also sell said liquors in like quantities for medical and mechanical purposes by obtaining a license of the Mayor of the city. The above ordinance to be in full force and effect immediately after its passage,—all ordinances to the contrary notwithstanding.

Passed January 16, 1844.


W. RICHARDS, Recorder.

An ordinance was also passed, authorizing Henry G. Sherwood to make out a city directory, and to establish an intelligence office in the city. Also the following ordinance:—

An Ordinance concerning Witnesses and Jurors' Fees.

Be it ordained by the City Council of the city of Nauvoo, that hereafter all persons subpoenaed and attending upon courts of trial as witnesses, or as jurors in civil cases, shall not be compelled to testify or be held in attendance either as witness or juror, unless they shall first be tendered the sum of fifty cents per day for each witness and each juror subpoenaed.

Passed January 16, 1844.


W. RICHARDS, Recorder.

Wednesday, 17.—At home settling accounts with various individuals. Gave deed of a lot to John Lytle.

The steamer Shepherdess sank near St. Louis, drowning forty passengers.

Thursday, 18.—At home, and wrote letters to Reuben McBride and Joseph Coe, Kirtland; Clark Leal, of Fountain Green; and to Justin J. Butterfield, Esq., Chicago.

Assault Upon Nelson Judd.

This afternoon a man called on Brother Nelson Judd, and said he wanted to sell him some wood below Davidson Hibbard's. He went to see the wood, the man saying he would meet him at the place. When below, Hibbard's two {180} men came up on horseback, and told him they had a warrant for him, for taking away Avery's things for Bear Creek. One shot at him twice and the other snapped at him twice with their pistols. Judd then coolly said, "Now, 'tis my turn," putting his hand into his pocket, although he knew he had no pistols: yet the men fled.

There was a cotillion party at the Mansion this evening.

Friday, 19.—Rode out in the course of the day. In the evening, gave a lecture on the Constitution of the United States, and on the candidates for the Presidency.

Mild weather. Cloudy in the afternoon.

A meeting was held in the assembly room to devise means for the founding of another library institution in Nauvoo.




Saturday, January 20th, 1844.—Held Mayor's Court on the case—"City of Nauvoo versus Stephen Wilkinson," for breach of ordinance. I discharged the defendant, he paying costs.

At six, p.m., prayer-meeting in the assembly room. I was at home.

The High Council met, but, having no business, adjourned.


On the Presentation of the Book of Mormon to Queen Victoria.


Before leaving London, Elder Lorenzo Snow presented to her Majesty Queen Victoria, and his Royal Highness Prince Albert, through the politeness of Sir Henry Wheatly, two neatly bound copies of the Book of Mormon, which had been donated by President Brigham Young, and left in the care of Elder Snow for that purpose; which circumstance suggested the following lines:—

  Of all the monarchs of the earth
     That wear the robes of royalty,
  She has inherited by birth
     The broadest wreath of majesty.
  {182} From her wide territorial wing
     The sun does not withdraw its light,
  While earth's diurnal motions bring
     To other nations day and night.

  All earthly thrones are tottering things,
     Where lights and shadows intervene;
  And regal honor often brings
     The scaffold or the guillotine.

  But still her sceptre is approved;
     All nations deck the wreath she wears:
  Yet, like the youth whom Jesus loved,
     One thing is lacking even there.

  But lo! a prize possessing more
     Of worth than gems with honor rife—
  A herald of salvation bore
     To her the words of endless life.

  That GIFT, however fools deride,
     Is worthy of her royal care:
  She'd better lay her crown aside
     Than spurn the light reflected there.

  Oh would she now her influence bend—,
     The influence of royalty,
  Messiah's kingdom to extend,
     And Zion's "nursing mother" be.

  Thus with the glory of her name
     Inscribed on Zion's lofty spire,
  She'd win a wreath of endless fame,
     To last when other wreaths expire.

  Though over millions called to reign—
     Herself a powerful nation's boast,
  'Twould be her everlasting gain
     To serve the King, the Lord of Hosts.

  For there are crowns and thrones on high,
     And kingdoms there to be conferred;
  There honors wait that never die;
     There fame's immortal trump is heard.

  {183} Truth echoes—'tis Jehovah's word;
     Let kings and queens and princes hear;
  In distant isles the sound is heard;
     Ye heavens rejoice! O earth, give ear!

  The time, the time is now at hand
     To give a glorious period birth:
  The son of God will take command
     And rule the nations of the earth.

Nauvoo, Jan. 20, 1844.

Sunday 21.—Preached at the southeast corner of the temple to several thousand people, although the weather was somewhat unpleasant. My subject was the sealing of the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to the fathers.

[The following synopsis was reported by Elder Wilford Woodruff:]—

Discourse: The Sealing Power in the Priesthood.

When I consider the surrounding circumstances in which I am placed this day, standing in the open air with weak lungs, and somewhat out of health, I feel that I must have the prayers and faith of my brethren that God may strengthen me and pour out His special blessing upon me, if you get very much from me this day.

There are many people assembled here to-day, and throughout the city, and from various parts of the world, who say that they have received to a certainty a portion of the knowledge from God, by revelation, in the way that He has ordained and pointed out.

I shall take the broad ground, then, that we have received a portion of knowledge from God by immediate revelation, and from the same source we can receive all knowledge.

What shall I talk about to-day? I know what Brother Cahoon wants me to speak about. He wants me to speak about the coming of Elijah in the last days. I can see it in his eye. I will speak upon that subject then.

The Bible says, "I will send you Elijah the Prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord; and he shall turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to the fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse."

{184} Now, the word turn here should be translated bind, or seal. But what is the object of this important mission? or how is it to be fulfilled? The keys are to be delivered, the spirit of Elijah is to come, the Gospel to be established, the Saints of God gathered, Zion built up, and the Saints to come up as saviors on Mount Zion.

But how are they to become saviors on Mount Zion? By building their temples, erecting their baptismal fonts, and going forth and receiving all the ordinances, baptisms, confirmations, washings, anointings, ordinations and sealing powers upon their heads, in behalf of all their progenitors who are dead, and redeem them that they may come forth in the first resurrection and be exalted to thrones of glory with them; and herein is the chain that binds the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the children to the fathers, which fulfills the mission of Elijah. And I would to God that this temple was now done, that we might go into it, and go to work and improve our time, and make use of the seals while they are on earth.

The Saints have not too much time to save and redeem their dead, and gather together their living relatives, that they may be saved also, before the earth will be smitten, and the consumption decreed falls upon the world.

I would advise all the Saints to go to with their might and gather together all their living relatives to this place, that they may be sealed and saved, that they may be prepared against the day that the destroying angel goes forth; and if the whole Church should go to with all their might to save their dead, seal their posterity, and gather their living friends, and spend none of their time in behalf of the world, they would hardly get through before night would come, when no man can work; and my only trouble at the present time is concerning ourselves, that the Saints will be divided, broken up, and scattered, before we get our salvation secure; for there are so many fools in the world for the devil to operate upon, it gives him the advantage oftentimes.

The question is frequently asked "Can we not be saved without going through with all these ordinances, &c.?" I would answer, No, not the fullness of salvation. Jesus said, "There are many mansions in my Father's house, and I will go and prepare a place for you." House here named should have been translated kingdom; and any person who is exalted to the highest mansion has to abide a celestial law, and the whole law too.

But there has been a great difficulty in getting anything into the heads of this generation. It has been like splitting hemlock knots with a corn-dodger for a wedge, and a pumpkin for a beetle. Even the Saints are slow to understand.

{185} I have tried for a number of years to get the minds of the Saints prepared to receive the things of God; but we frequently see some of them, after suffering all they have for the work of God, will fly to pieces like glass as soon as anything comes that is contrary to their traditions: they cannot stand the fire at all. How many will be able to abide a celestial law, and go through and receive their exaltation, I am unable to say, as many are called, but few are chosen.

Prayer-meeting in the Assembly Room.

Monday, 22.—Rainy; wind easterly; mud very deep.

Nauvoo Mansion Leased.

Rented the Nauvoo Mansion and stables to Ebenezer Robinson for one thousand dollars per annum and board for myself and family and horses, reserving to myself three rooms in the house.

Prayer-meeting at President Young's; ten present.

Sale of the Printing Establishment to John Taylor

Tuesday. 23.—Ebenezer Robinson took possession of the Nauvoo Mansion, to continue it as a public-house. W. W. Phelps, Newel K. Whitney and Willard Richards valued the printing office and lot at $1,500; printing apparatus, $950; bindery, $112; foundry, $270; total, $2,832. I having sold the concern to John Taylor, who in consideration was to assume the responsibility of the Lawrence estate.

There was a cotillion party in the evening at the Nauvoo Mansion. The night was clear and cold.

The ship Fanny, Captain Patterson, sailed from Liverpool with 210 Saints on board.

Wednesday, 24.—Called at my office about one o'clock. I think the appraised valuation of the printing office rather too low.

Weather very cold.

The mob party at Carthage, Warsaw, and Green Plains continued their agitation.

Thursday, 25.—At home.

Prayer-meeting at Brother Brigham's: eight of the Twelve Apostles present. Weather extremely cold.

I approved of the doings of a general court-martial held January 13th.

{186} Friday, 26.—I dictated to my clerk an article on the situation of the nation, referring to the President's Message, &c.

Prayer-meeting at Brother Young's: eight of the Twelve Apostles present. Elder Orson Hyde went to Carthage to preach. Weather clear and cool.

Saturday, 27.—Weather extremely cold and clear.

Prayer-meeting in the assembly room. High Council met, but, having no business, adjourned.

Sunday, 28.—I had some company in the evening from Warsaw. I conversed with them on politics, religion, &c. Prayer-meeting in the assembly room. Weather very cold.

I insert the following from the Millennial Star:—

Importance of Elders Keeping Journals, Case of Healing Recorded.

MR. EDITOR:—The idea has frequently crossed my mind, that were the Elders of the Church of Jesus Christ in this age to keep a journal of their travels and ministry, and record all the healings and miracles they had witnessed from time to time,—that should their separate journals be afterwards collected together and published in a volume, I am inclined to believe that a far greater number of manifest displays of the power of God would be therein recorded than is found in the journals of the Elders of the Church of Jesus Christ in the early ages, at least so far as they are faithfully handed down to us in the New Testament Scriptures.

And although, as in days of old, we are frequently branded with the epithets of "fools, fanatics, religious enthusiasts, dupes, and vile impostors," yet "what we have felt and seen, with confidence we tell."

We have frequently heard from individuals on whose testimony we can rely with the greatest confidence, of extraordinary displays of the power of God in the gift of healing; such, for instance, as the blind receiving their sight, the deaf having their hearing restored, the lame man being made to "leap as an hart," the dumb spirit being cast out, and one instance of the dead being restored to life.

Another instance of the kind last mentioned, with a heart overflowing with gratitude, I desire to record. On the afternoon of yesterday, a child of mine, a girl aged eight years, was sliding on the rails of the staircase, when on a sudden she turned over, and fell from top to bottom with a most tremendous crash, falling on her head, and being completely double when picked up by her mother,—so much so indeed, that {187} her brother, who heard the noise, looked out of the kitchen, and seeing something lying in the passage motionless, concluded that his sister had thrown some dirty linen over the rails, and took no further notice. Her mother, on hearing the noise occasioned by her fall, hastened out of the parlor to the fatal spot, and immediately discovered it was poor Mary Jane, who lay motionless, speechless, senseless, yea, lifeless. She instantly took her up in her arms, and when she beheld her appearance, in an agony she cried out, "My child is dead! she has fallen and killed herself."

By this time I had hastened to the horrid scene, where I beheld my lovely girl stretched on the lap of her disconsolate mother, without the slightest appearance of life. I immediately examined her, and found that she breathed not, and that her pulsation had ceased. Her eyes also were wide open, and quite fixed as in death, and there appeared to be gathering over them the film of dissolution. In fact, if it be true that Eutychus (the young man mentioned in the 20th chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, who fell from an upper story,) was taken up dead, it is equally true that my daughter was taken up dead, for there was not the slightest vestige of life apparent.

At this moment, with heart uplifted to my Heavenly Father, I, in mighty faith, placed my hands upon her and ejaculated, "Lord, heal my child!" when in one moment she shewed signs of life, and attempted to speak.

I immediately gave her to drink a little cold water, and bathed her head with the same. She then sat up and vomited considerably, and she is now so far recovered as this morning to sing a verse of a hymn and walk about as usual.

During my presidency over the Liverpool Conference, which is nearly eighteen months, I have witnessed many cases of healing, but never any so very striking as the one I have just related.

If you deem the narrative worthy of a place in your pages of the Millennial Star, you are quite at liberty to insert it.

I remain, dear brother,

Yours sincerely in the Gospel of Jesus,


The Presidential Election Considered.

Monday, 29.—At ten, a.m., the Twelve Apostles, together with Brother Hyrum and John P. Greene, met at the mayor's office, to take into consideration the proper course for this people to pursue in relation to the coming Presidential election.

The candidates for the office of President of the United States at present before the people are Martin Van Buren {188} and Henry Clay. It is morally impossible for this people, in justice to themselves, to vote for the re-election of President Van Buren—a man who criminally neglected his duties as chief magistrate in the cold and unblushing manner which he did, when appealed to for aid in the Missouri difficulties. His heartless reply burns like a firebrand in the breast of every true friend of liberty—"Your cause is just, but I can do nothing for you."

As to Mr. Clay, his sentiments and cool contempt of the people's rights are manifested in his reply—"You had better go to Oregon for redress," which would prohibit any true lover of our constitutional privileges from supporting him at the ballot-box.

It was therefore moved by Willard Richards, and voted unanimously—

That we will have an independent electoral ticket, and that Joseph Smith be a candidate for the next Presidency; and that we use all honorable means in our power to secure his election.

I said—

The Prophet on the Campaign.

If you attempt to accomplish this, you must send every man in the city who is able to speak in public throughout the land to electioneer and make stump speeches, advocate the "Mormon" religion, purity of elections, and call upon the people to stand by the law and put down mobocracy. David Yearsly must go,—Parley P. Pratt to New York, Erastus Snow to Vermont, and Sidney Rigdon to Pennsylvania.

After the April Conference we will have General Conferences all over the nation, and I will attend as many as convenient. Tell the people we have had Whig and Democratic Presidents long enough: we want a President of the United States. If I ever get into the presidential chair, I will protect the people in their rights and liberties. I will not electioneer for myself. Hyrum, Brigham, Parley and Taylor must go. Clayton must go, or he will apostatize. The Whigs are striving for a king under the garb of Democracy. There is oratory enough in the Church to carry me into the presidential chair the first slide.

Captain White, of Quincy, was at the Mansion last night, {189} and this morning drank a toast. * * * "May Nauvoo become the empire seat of government!"

Commencement of the Prophet's Views on Powers and Policy of U.S.

I dictated to Brother Phelps the head of my pamphlet, entitled, "Views on the Powers and Policy of the Government of the United States."

A Millerite lecturer came into the office with Brother Clayton, about five, p.m. I had some conversation with him about the definition of the Greek word Hades, and the Hebrew word Sheol, &c. He lectured in the evening in the hall.

Prayer-meeting at Elder Brigham Young's.

Governor Ford wrote the following expostulatory epistle to the citizens of Hancock County, through the Warsaw Signal:—

Governor Ford's Warning to the People of Hancock County.

SPRINGFIELD January 29, 1844.

DEAR SIR:—I have received the copy of the proceeding and resolutions of a meeting of the citizens of Hancock County, which you did me the honor to send me.

I have observed with regret that occasions have been presented for disturbing the peace of your county; and if I knew what I could legally do to apply a corrective, I would be very ready to do it. But if you are a lawyer, or at all conversant with the law, you will know that I, as a governor, have no right to interfere in your difficulties.

As yet, I believe that there has been nothing like war among you: and I hope that all of you will have the good sense to see the necessity of preserving peace. If there is anything wrong in the Nauvoo charters, or in the mode of administering them, you will see that nothing short of legislative or judicial power is capable of enforcing a remedy.

I myself had the honor of calling the attention of the Legislature to this subject at the last session; but a large majority of both political parties in that body either did not see the evil which you complain of, or, if they did, they repeatedly refused to correct it. And yet a call is made upon me to do that which all parties refused to do at the last session.

I have also been called upon to take away the arms from the Mormons, to raise the militia to arrest a supposed fugitive, and in fact to repeal some of the ordinances of the City of Nauvoo.

Hancock County is justly famed for its intelligence; and I cannot {190} believe that any of its citizens are so ignorant as not to know that I have no power to do these things.

The absurd and preposterous nature of these requests give some color to the charge that they are made for political effect only. I hope that this charge is untrue; for, in all candor, it would be more creditable to those concerned to have their errors attributed to ignorance than to a disposition to embroil the country in the horrors of war for the advancement of party ends.

But if there should be any truth in the charge, (which God forbid.) I affectionately entreat all the good citizens engaged in it to lay aside their designs and yield up their ears to the voice of justice, reason, and humanity. All that I can do at present is to admonish both parties to beware of carrying matters to extremity.

Let it come to this—let a state of war ensue, and I will be compelled to interfere with executive power. In that case also, I wish, in a friendly, affectionate, and candid manner, to tell the citizens of Hancock County, Mormons and all, that my interference will be against those who shall be the first transgressors.

I am bound by the laws and Constitution to regard you all as citizens of the State, possessed of equal rights and privileges, and to cherish the rights of one as dearly as the rights of another. I can know no distinction among you except that of assailant and assailed.

I hope, dear sir, you will do me the favor to publish this letter in the papers of your county, for the satisfaction of all persons concerned.

I am, with the highest respect,

Your obedient servant,


Tuesday 30.—At eleven, a.m., I went into the office with Colonel Jackson.

One, p.m., held mayor's court at my office, on the case "City versus Thomas Coates." Fined the defendant $25 and costs for beating John Ellison.

A Millerite preached again in the assembly room, and Elder Rigdon replied to him. There was a full house.

Prayer-meeting at Elder Brigham Young's.

Winchester's Mission to Warsaw.

Wednesday, 31.—Eleven, a.m., I called at the office, and told Benjamin Winchester to go to Warsaw and preach the first principles of the Gospel, get some lexicons, and return home.

{191} Prayer-meeting at Elder Brigham Young's in the evening. There seems to be quite a revival throughout Nauvoo, and an inquiry after the things of God, by all the quorums and the Church in general.

Rigdon's Appeal to Pennsylvania.

Sidney Rigdon published a lengthy appeal to the Legislature of the State of Pennsylvania, setting forth in pathetic style the grievances he had suffered through the persecution against the Church by the State of Missouri, which concludes as follows:—

Peroration of Rigdon's Appeal to Pennsylvania.

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 lying 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 who go up thither 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 {192} 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 councils to have redress granted.

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


Miss E. R. Snow published the following apostrophe to—


What aileth thee, O Missouri! that thy face should gather blackness? and why are thy features so terribly distorted?

Rottennesss has seized upon thy vitals, corruption is preying upon thy inward parts, and the breath of thy lips is full of destructive contagion.

What meaneth thy shaking? and why art thou terrified? Thou hast become like Belshazzar. "Mene, mene, tekel, upharsin!" is indeed written against thee; but it is the work of thine own hand; the characters upon thy wall are of thine own inscription; and wherefore dost thou tremble?

Wouldst thou know the interpretation thereof? Hast thou sought for a Daniel to declare it unto thee? Verily one greater than a Daniel was in thy midst; but thou hast butchered the Saints, and hast hunted the Prophets like Ahab of old.

Thou has extinguished the light of thy own glory; thou hast plucked from thy head the crown of honor; thou hast divested thyself of the robe of respectability; thou hast thrust from thine own bosom the veins that flowed with virtue and integrity.

Thou hast violated the laws of our sacred constitution; thou hast unsheathed the sword against thy dearest national rights, by rising up against thine own citizens, and moistening thy soil with the blood of those that legally inherited it.

When thou hadst torn from helpless innocence its rightful protectors thou didst pollute the holy sanctuary of female virtue, and barbarously trampled upon the most sacred gems of domestic felicity.

Therefore the daughters of Columbia count thee a reproach, and blush with indignation at the mention of thy name.

Thou hast become an ignominious stain on the escutcheon of a noble, free and independent republic; thou hast become a stink in the nostrils of the Goddess of Liberty.

{193} Thou art fallen—thou art fallen beneath the weight of thine own unhallowed deeds, and thine iniquities are pressing as a heavy load upon thee.

But although thy glory has departed—though thou hast gone down like a star that is set forever, thy memory will not be erased; thou wilt be had in remembrance even until the Saints of God shall forget that the way to the celestial kingdom is "through great tribulation."

Though thou shouldst be severed from the body of the Union, like a mortified member—though the lion from the thicket should devour thee, thy doings will be perpetuated; mention will be made of them by the generations to come.

Thou art already associated with Herod, Nero, and the bloody Inquisition; thy name has become synonymous with oppression, cruelty, treachery, and murder.

Thou wilt rank high with the haters of righteousness and the shedders of innocent blood: the hosts of tyrants are waiting beneath to meet thee at thy coming.

O ye wise legislators! ye executives of the nation! ye distributors of justice! ye advocates of equal rights! arise and redress the wrongs of an innocent people, and redeem the cause of insulted liberty.

Let not the contagious spirit of corruption wither the sacred wreath that encircles you, and spread a cloud of darkness over the glory of your star-spangled banner;

Lest the monarchs of the earth should have you in derision; lest you should be weighed in the balance with the heathen nations, and should be found wanting; lest the arm of the Lord should be revealed in judgment against you; lest an arrow of vengeance from the almighty should pierce the rotten fabric of a once sheltering constitution, and your boasted confidence become like an oak dismembered of its branches, whose shattered trunk is torn piecemeal by the uprising of the tempest!

For the cries of the widow and fatherless, the groans of the oppressed and the prayers of the suffering exile have come up before the God of Hosts, who brought our pilgrim fathers across the boisterous ocean, and raised up a Washington to break the yoke of foreign oppression.

Morley Settlement, January, 1844.

Thursday, February 1.—At home: weather cold.

An Appeal to Massachusetts—Phineas Richards.

Phinehas Richards published a thrilling appeal to the inhabitants of his native state of Massachusetts, to consider the wrongs sustained in the loss of lives and property, and other damages {194} done to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, of which he is a member.

Elder Reuben Hedlock wrote to President Brigham Young, giving the names of those who had emigrated at the expense of the office, amounting to $2,378; which is due from the emigrants.

Friday, 2.—Dr. Willard Richards called and read Phinehas Richards' appeal to the inhabitants of Massachusetts, for redress of Missouri grievances.

Prayer-meeting at Elder Brigham Young's. Weather cold.

I went into the assembly room, where I found Elders Wilford Woodruff, Willard Richards, and W. W. Phelps, to whom I related the following dream, which Elder Willford Woodruff reported:

The Prophet's Dream—Troubled Waters Overcome.

I was standing on a peninsula, in the midst of a vast body of water where there appeared to be a large harbor or pier built out for boats to come to. I was surrounded by my friends, and while looking at this harbor I saw a steamboat approaching the harbor. There were bridges on the pier for persons to cross, and there came up a wind and drove the steamboat under one of the bridges and upset it.

I ran up to the boat, expecting the persons would all drown; and wishing to do something to assist them, I put my hand against the side of the boat, and with one surge I shoved it under the bridge and righted it up, and then told them to take care of themselves. But it was not long before I saw them starting out into the channel or main body of the water again.

The storms were raging and the waters rough. I said to my friends that if they did not understand the signs of the times and the spirit of prophecy, they would be apt to be lost.

It was but a few moments after when we saw the waves break over the boat, and she soon foundered and went down with all on board.

The storm and waters were still very rough; yet I told my friends around me that I believed I could stem those waves and that storm, and swim in the waters better than the steamboat did; at any rate I was determined to try it. But my friends laughed at me, and told me I could not stand at all, but would be drowned.

{195} The waters looked clear and beautiful, though exceedingly rough; and I said I believed I could swim, and I would try it anyhow. They said I would drown. I said I would have a frolic in the water first, if I did; and I drove off in the raging waves.

I had swam but a short distance when a towering wave overwhelmed me for a time; but I soon found myself on the top of it, and soon I met the second wave in the same way; and for a while I struggled hard to live in the midst of the storm and waves, and soon found I gained upon every wave, and skimmed the torrent better; and I soon had power to swim with my head out of water: so the waves did not break over me at all, and I found that I had swam a great distance; and in looking about, I saw my brother Samuel by my side.

I asked him how he liked it. He said, "First rate," and I thought so too. I was soon enabled to swim with my head and shoulders out of water, and I could swim as fast as any steamboat.

In a little time it became calm, and I could rush through the water, and only go in to my loins, and soon I only went in to my knees, and finally could tread on the top of the water, and went almost with the speed of an arrow.

I said to Samuel, See how swift I can go! I thought it was great sport and pleasure to travel with such speed, and I awoke.

Saturday 13.—Prayer-meeting in the assembly room.

The High Council met. Did but little business.

A rather favorable article appears in Niles' National Register of this date, noticing the correspondence between myself and John C. Calhoun, a copy of which is contained in the political department of the same number.

It also notices the correspondence between myself and James Arlington Bennett, publishing the same, with some of our city ordinances. The editor also quotes the following from the Hawk Eye:—

Mormon Improvements.

Although much complained has been made about the Mormons, we saw on our late trip evidences of improvement on our prairies which we consider highly creditable to the Mormons who made them, without whom we doubt whether they would have been made for many years to come. All those who have traveled over the large prairie between Fort Madison, Warsaw and Carthage, remember how dreary it was a few {196} years since. Now it is studded with houses and good farms. The English, who understand hedging and ditching far better than our people, have gone upon that prairie and have enclosed extensive fields in this manner. Along the old Rock Island tract, which we traveled seven years ago, and which was then a dreary waste, we saw a field enclosed with a good sod fence, six miles long and one wide. We think such enterprise is worthy to be mentioned. As long as the Mormons are harmless, and do not interfere with the rights of our people we think they should be treated well. We shall never convince them that they are a deluded people, as far as their religious notions are concerned, in any other way.

The 144,000 Selection Begun.

Sunday 4.—I attended prayer-meeting with the quorum in the assembly room, and made some remarks respecting the hundred and forty-four thousand mentioned by John the Revelator, showing that the selection of persons to form that number had already commenced.

President Brigham Young held a meeting at Brother Chamberlain's, in the neighborhood north of the city; and Elder Wilford Woodruff, at Thomas Kingston's, six miles east of the city.

City Council

Monday 5.—The regular session of the Municipal Court was opened in the Mayor's office. Present, George W. Harris, George A. Smith, and N. K. Whitney. Adjourned to the Nauvoo Mansion, on account of the severity of the weather. I presided as Chief Justice. The assessors of the different wards in the city presented their tax-lists, which occupied nearly all day. The court remitted the taxes of the widows and of the poor who were unable to pay.

Architecture of the Nauvoo Temple.

In the afternoon, Elder William Weeks (whom I had employed as architect of the Temple,) came in for instruction. I instructed him in relation to the circular windows designed to light the offices in the dead work of the arch between stories. He said that round windows in the broad side of a building were a violation of all the known rules of architecture, and contended that they should be semicircular—that the {197} building was too low for round windows. I told him I would have the circles, if he had to make the Temple ten feet higher than it was originally calculated; that one light at the centre of each circular window would be sufficient to light the whole room; that when the whole building was thus illuminated, the effect would be remarkably grand. "I wish you to carry out my designs. I have seen in vision the splendid appearance of that building illuminated, and will have it built according to the pattern shown me."

Originality of Bank Views.

Called at my office in the evening, and revised my "Views of the Powers and Policy of the Government of the United States." I was the first one who publicly proposed a national bank on the principles set forth in that pamphlet.

Tuesday, 6.—Very cold day.

I spent the evening with my brother Hyrum, Sidney Rigdon, and the Twelve Apostles and their wives, at Elder John Taylor's; took supper, and had a very pleasant time.

Wednesday, 7.—An exceedingly cold day. In the evening I met with my brother Hyrum and the Twelve Apostles in my office, at their request, to devise means to promote the interests of the General Government. I completed and signed my "Views of the Powers and Policy of the Government of the United States," which I here insert:

Views of the Powers and Policy of the Government of the United States.—Joseph Smith.

Born in a land of liberty, and breathing an air uncorrupted with the sirocco of barbarous climes, I ever feel a double anxiety for the happiness of all men, both in time and in eternity.

My cogitations, like Daniel's have for a long time troubled me, when I viewed the condition of men throughout the world, and more especially in this boasted realm, where the Declaration of Independence "holds these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness;" but at the same time some two or three millions of people are held as slaves for life, because the spirit in them is covered with a darker skin than ours; and hundreds of our own kindred for an infraction, or supposed infraction, {198} of some over-wise statute, have to be incarcerated in dungeon gloom, or penitentiaries, while the duellist, the debauchee, and the defaulter for millions, and other criminals, take the uppermost rooms at feasts, or, like the bird of passage, find a more congenial clime by flight.

The wisdom which ought to characterize the freest, wisest, and most noble nation of the nineteenth century, should, like the sun in his meridian splendor, warm every object beneath its rays; and the main efforts of her officers, who are nothing more nor less than the servants of the people, ought to be directed to ameliorate the condition of all, black or white, bond or free; for the best of books says, "God hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth."

Our common country presents to all men the same advantages, the facilities, the same prospects, the same honors, and the same rewards; and without hypocrisy, the Constitution, when it says, "We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America," meant just what it said without reference to color or condition, ad infinitum.

The aspirations and expectations of a virtuous people, environed with so wise, so liberal, so deep, so broad, and so high a charter of equal rights as appears in said Constitution, ought to be treated by those to whom the administration of the laws is entrusted with as much sanctity as the prayers of the Saints are treated in heaven, that love, confidence, and union, like the sun, moon, and stars, should bear witness,

  "For ever singing as they shine,
  The hand that made us is divine!"

Unity is power; and when I reflect on the importance of it to the stability of all governments, I am astounded at the silly moves of persons and parties to foment discord in order to ride into power on the current of popular excitement; nor am I less surprised at the stretches of power or restrictions of right which too often appear as acts of legislators to pave the way to some favorite political scheme as destitute of intrinsic merit as a wolf's heart is of the milk of human kindness. A Frenchman would say, "Presque tout aimer richesses et pouvoir." (Almost all men like wealth and power.)

I must dwell on this subject longer than others; for nearly one hundred years ago that golden patriot, Benjamin Franklin, drew up a plan of union for the then colonies of Great Britain, that now are such {199} an independent nation, which, among many wise provisions for obedient children under their father's more rugged hand, had this:—"They have power to make laws, and lay and levy such general duties, imports, or taxes as to them shall appear most equal and just, (considering the ability and other circumstances of the inhabitants in the several colonies,) and such as may be collected with the least inconvenience to the people, rather discouraging luxury than loading industry with unnecessary burthens." Great Britain surely lacked the laudable humanity and fostering clemency to grant such a just plan of union; but the sentiment remains, like the land that honored its birth, as a pattern for wise men to study the convenience of the people more than the comfort of the cabinet.

And one of the most noble fathers of our freedom and country's glory, great in war, great in peace, great in the estimation of the world, and great in the hearts of his countrymen, (the illustrious Washington,) said in his first inaugural address to Congress—"I behold the surest pledges that as, on one side, no local prejudices or attachments, no separate views or party animosities will misdirect the comprehensive and equal eye which ought to watch over this great assemblage of communities and interests, so, on another, that the foundations of our national policy will be laid in the pure and immutable principles of private morality, and the pre-eminence of free government be exemplified by all the attributes which can win the affections of its citizens and command the respect of the world."

Verily, here shine the virtue and wisdom of a statesman in such lucid rays, that had every succeeding Congress followed the rich instruction in all their deliberations and enactments, for the benefit and convenience of the whole community and the communities of which it is composed, no sound of a rebellion in South Carolina, no rupture in Rhode Island, no mob in Missouri expelling her citizens by Executive authority, corruption in the ballot-boxes, a border warfare between Ohio and Michigan, hard times and distress, outbreak upon outbreak in the principal cities, murder, robbery, and defalcation, scarcity of money, and a thousand other difficulties, would have torn asunder the bonds of the Union, destroyed the confidence of man with man, and left the great body of the people to mourn over misfortunes in poverty brought on by corrupt legislation in an hour of proud vanity for self-aggrandizement.

The great Washington, soon after the foregoing faithful admonition for the common welfare of his nation, further advised Congress that "among the many interesting objects which will engage your attention, that of providing for the common defense will merit particular regard. To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace." As the Italian would say—"Buono aviso."

{200} The elder Adams, in his inaugural address, give national pride such a grand turn of justification, that every honest citizen must look back upon the infancy of the United States with an approving smile, and rejoice that patriotism in their rulers, virtue in the people, and prosperity in the Union once crowded the expectations of hope, unveiled the sophistry of the hypocrite, and silenced the folly of foes. Mr. Adams said, "If national pride is ever justifiable or excusable, it is when it springs not from power or riches, grandeur or glory, but from conviction of national innocence, information, and benevolence."

There is no doubt such was actually the case with our young realm at the close of the last century. Peace, prosperity, and union filled the country with religious toleration, temporal enjoyment, and virtuous enterprise; and grandly, too, when the deadly winter of the "Stamp Act," the "Tea Act," and other close communion acts of Royalty had choked the growth of freedom of speech, liberty of the press, and liberty of conscience—did light, liberty, and loyalty flourish like the cedars of God.

The respected and venerable Thomas Jefferson, in his inaugural address, made more than forty years ago, shows what a beautiful prospect an innocent, virtuous nation presents to the sage's eye, where there is space for enterprise, hands for industry, heads for heroes, and hearts for moral greatness. He said, "A rising nation spread over a wide and fruitful land, traversing all the seas with the rich productions of their industry, engaged in commerce with nations who feel power and forget right, advancing rapidly to destinies beyond the reach of mortal eye,—when I contemplate these transcendent objects, and see the honor, the happiness, and the hopes of this beloved country committed to the issue and the auspices of this day. I shrink from the contemplation, and humble myself before the magnitude of the undertaking."

Such a prospect was truly soul-stirring to a good man. But "since the fathers have fallen asleep," wicked and designing men have unrobed the Government of its glory; and the people, if not in dust and ashes, or in sackcloth, have to lament in poverty her departed greatness, while demagogues build fires in the north and south, east and west, to keep up their spirits till it is better times. But year after year has left the people to hope, till the very name of Congress or State Legislature is as horrible to the sensitive friend of his country as the house of "Bluebard" is to children, or "Crockford's" Hell of London to meek men.[1]

When the people are secure and their rights properly respected, then the four main pillars of prosperity—viz., agriculture, manufactures, {201} navigation, and commerce, need the fostering care of Government; and in so goodly a country as ours, where the soil, the climate, the rivers, the lakes, and the sea coast, the productions, the timber, the minerals, and the inhabitants are so diversified, that a pleasing variety accommodates all tastes, trades, and calculations, it certainly is the highest point of supervision to protect the whole northern and southern, eastern and western, centre and circumference of the realm, by a judicious tariff. It is an old saying and a true one, "If you wish to be respected, respect yourselves."

I will adopt in part the language of Mr. Madison's inaugural address,—"To cherish peace and friendly intercourse with all nations, having correspondent dispositions; to maintain sincere neutrality towards belligerent nations; to prefer in all cases amicable discussion and reasonable accommodation of differences to a decision of them by an appeal to arms; to exclude foreign intrigues and foreign partialities, so degrading to all countries, and so baneful to free ones; to foster a spirit of independence too just to invade the rights of others, too proud to surrender our own, too liberal to indulge unworthy prejudices ourselves, and too elevated not to look down upon them in others; to hold the union of the States as the basis of their peace and happiness; to support the Constitution, which is the cement of the Union, as well in its limitations as in its authorities; to respect the rights and authorities reserved to the States and to the people as equally incorporated with and essential to the success of the general system; to avoid the slightest interference with the rights of conscience or the functions of religion, so wisely exempted from civil jurisdiction; to preserve in their full energy the other salutary provisions in behalf of private and personal rights, and of the freedom of the press,—so far as intention aids in the fulfillment of duty, are consummations too big with benefits not to captivate the energies of all honest men to achieve them, when they can be brought to pass by reciprocation, friendly alliances, wise legislation, and honorable treaties."

The Government has once flourished under the guidance of trusty servants; and the Hon. Mr. Monroe, in his day, while speaking of the Constitution, says, "Our commerce has been wisely regulated with foreign nations and between the States. New States have been admitted into our Union. Our Territory has been enlarged by fair and honorable treaty, and with great advantage to the original States; the States respectively protected by the national Government, under a mild paternal system against foreign dangers, and enjoying within their separate spheres, by a wise partition of power, a just proportion of the sovereignty, have improved their police, extended their settlements, and attained a strength and maturity which are the best proofs of {202} wholesome laws well administered. And if we look to the condition of individuals, what a proud spectacle does it exhibit! On whom has oppression fallen in any quarter of our Union? Who has been deprived of any right of person or property?—who restrained from offering his vows in the mode which he prefers to the Divine Author of his being? It is well know that all these blessings have been enjoyed in their fullest extent; and I add, with peculiar satisfaction, that there has been no example of a capital punishment being inflicted on any one for the crime of high treason." What a delightful picture of power, policy, and prosperity! Truly the wise man's proverb is just—Righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.

But this is not all. The same honorable statesman, after having had about forty years' experience in the Government, under the full tide of successful experiment, gives the following commendatory assurance of the efficiency of the Magna Charta to answer its great end and aim—to protect the people in their rights. "Such, then, is the happy Government under which we live; a Government adequate to every purpose for which the social compact is formed; a Government elective in all its branches, under which every citizen may by his merit obtain the highest trust recognized by the Constitution, which contains within it no cause of discord, none to put at variance one portion of the community with another, a Government which protects every citizen in the full enjoyment of his rights, and is able to protect the nation against injustice from foreign powers."

Again, the younger Adams, in the silver age of our country's advancement to fame, in his inaugural address (1825), thus candidly declares the majesty of the youthful republic in its increasing greatness;—"The year of jubilee, since the first formation of our union, has just elapsed: that of the Declaration of Independence is at hand. The consummation of both was effected by this Constitution. Since that period, a population of four millions has multiplied to twelve. A Territory, bounded by the Mississippi, has been extended from sea to sea. New States have been admitted to the Union, in numbers nearly equal to those of the first confederation. Treaties of peace, amity, and commerce have been concluded with the principal dominions of the earth. The people of other nations, the inhabitants of regions acquired, not by conquest, but by compact, have been united with us in the participation of our rights and duties, of our burdens and blessings. The forest has fallen by the ax of our woodsman. The soil has been made to teem by the tillage of our farmers. Our commerce has whitened every ocean. The dominion of man over physical nature has been extended by the invention of our artists. Liberty and law have marched hand in hand. All the purposes of human association have been accomplished as effectively {203} as under any other Government on the globe, and at a cost little exceeding, in a whole generation, the expenditures of other nations in a single year."

In continuation of such noble sentiments, General Jackson, upon his ascension to the great chair of the chief magistracy, said, "As long as our Government is administered for the good of the people, and is regulated by their will, as long as it secures to us the rights of person and property, liberty of conscience, and of the press, it will be worth defending; and so long as it is worth defending, a patriotic militia will cover it with an impenetrable aegis."

General Jackson's administration may be denominated the acme of American glory, liberty, and prosperity; for the national debt, which in 1815, on account of the late war, was $125,000,000, and being lessened gradually, was paid up in his golden day, and preparations were made to distribute the surplus revenue among the several States; and that august patriot, to use his own words in his farewell address, retired, leaving "a great people prosperous and happy, in the full enjoyment of liberty and peace, honored and respected by every nation of the world."

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, stuck 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, the world heaving the sea beyond its bounds and shaking the everlasting hills; so, in hopes of better times, while jealousy, hypocritical pretensions, 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 General Harrison appeared as a star among the storm-clouds for better weather.

The calm came, and the language of that venerable patriot, in his inaugural address, while descanting upon the merits of the Constitution and its framers, thus expressed himself:—"There were in it features which appeared not to be in harmony with their ideas of a simple representative Democracy or Republic. And knowing the tendency of power to increase itself, particularly when executed by a single individual, predictions were made that, at no very remote period, the Government would terminate in virtual monarchy.

"It would not become me to say that the fears of these patriots have {204} been already realized. But as I sincerely believe that the tendency of measures and of men's opinions for some years past has been in that direction, it is, I conceive, strictly proper that I should take this occasion to repeat the assurances I have heretofore given of my determination to arrest the progress of that tendency, if it really exists, and restore the Government to its pristine health and vigor."

This good man died before he had the opportunity of applying one balm to ease the pain of our groaning country, and I am willing the nation should be the judge, whether General Harrison, in his exalted station, upon the eve of his entrance into the world of spirits, told the truth, or not, with acting President Tyler's three years of perplexity, and pseudo-Whig-Democrat reign to heal the breaches or show the wounds, secundum artem.

Subsequent events, all things considered, Van Buren's downfall, Harrison's exit, and Tyler's self-sufficient turn to the whole, go to show—[2] * * * certainly there is a God in heaven to reveal secrets.

No honest man can doubt for a moment but the glory of American liberty is on the wane, and that calamity and confusion will sooner or later destroy the peace of the people. Speculators will urge a national bank as a savior of credit and comfort. A hireling pseudo-priesthood will plausibly push abolition doctrines and doings and "human rights" into Congress, and into every other place where conquest smells of fame, or opposition swells to popularity. Democracy, Whiggery, and cliquery will attract their elements and foment divisions among the people, to accomplish fancied schemes and accumulate power, while poverty, driven to despair, like hunger forcing its way through a wall, will break through the statues of men to save life, and mend the breach in prison glooms.

A still higher grade of what the "nobility of nations" call "great men" will dally with all rights in order to smuggle a fortune at "one fell swoop," mortgage Texas, possess Oregon, and claim all the unsettled regions of the world for hunting and trapping; and should an humble, honest man, red, black, or white, exhibit a better title, these gentry have only to clothe the judge with richer ermine, and spangle the lawyer's finger with finer rings, to have the judgment of his peers and the honor of his lords as a pattern of honesty, virtue, and humanity, while the motto hangs on his nation's escutcheon—"Every man has his price!"

Now, O people! people! turn unto the Lord and live, and reform this nation. Frustrate the designs of wicked men. Reduce Congress at {205} least two-thirds. Two Senators from a State and two members to a million of population will do more business than the army that now occupy the halls of the national Legislature. Pay them two dollars and their board per diem (except Sundays.) That is more than the farmer gets, and he lives honestly. Curtail the officers of Government in pay, number, and power; for the Philistine lords have shorn our nation of its goodly locks in the lap of Delilah.

Petition your State Legislatures to pardon every convict in their several penitentiaries, blessing them as they go, and saying to them, in the name of the Lord, Go thy way, and sin no more.

Advise your legislators, when they make laws for larceny, burglary, or any felony, to make the penalty applicable to work upon roads, public works, or any place where the culprit can be taught more wisdom and more virtue, and become more enlightened. Rigor and seclusion will never do as much to reform the propensities of men as reason and friendship. Murder only can claim confinement or death. Let the penitentiaries be turned into seminaries of learning, where intelligence, like the angels of heaven, would banish such fragments of barbarism. Imprisonment for debt is a meaner practice than the savage tolerates, with all his ferocity. "Amor vincit omnia."

Petition, also, ye goodly inhabitants of the slave States, your legislators to abolish slavery by the year 1850, or now, and save the abolitionist from reproach and ruin, infamy and shame.

Pray Congress to pay every man a reasonable price for his slaves out of the surplus revenue arising from the sale of public lands, and from the deduction of pay from the members of Congress.

Break off the shackles from the poor black man, and hire him to labor like other human beings; for "an hour of virtuous liberty on earth is worth a whole eternity of bondage." Abolish the practice in the army and navy of trying men by court-martial for desertion. If a soldier or marine runs away, send him his wages, with this instruction, that his country will never trust him again; he has forfeited his honor.

Make honor the standard with all men. Be sure that good is rendered for evil in all cases; and the whole nation, like a kingdom of kings and priests, will rise up in righteousness, and be respected as wise and worthy on earth, and as just and holy for heaven, by Jehovah, the Author of perfection.

More economy in the national and state governments would make less taxes among the people; more equality through the cities, towns and country, would make less distinction among the people; and more honesty and familiarity in societies would make less hypocrisy and flattery in all branches of the community; and open, frank, candid decorum to all men, in this boasted land of liberty, would beget esteem, {206} confidence, union, and love; and the neighbor from any state or from any country, of whatever color, clime or tongue, could rejoice when he put his foot on the sacred soil of freedom, and exclaim, The very name of "American" is fraught with "friendship!" Oh, then, create confidence, restore freedom, break down slavery, banish imprisonment for debt, and be in love, fellowship and peace with all the world! Remember that honesty is not subject to law. The law was made for transgressors. Wherefore a * * * * good name is better than riches.

For the accommodation of the people in every state and territory, let Congress show their wisdom by granting a national bank, with branches in each State and Territory, where the capital stock shall be held by the nation for the Central bank, and by the states and territories for the branches; and whose officers and directors shall be elected yearly by the people, with wages at the rate of two dollars per day for services; which several banks shall never issue any more bills than the amount of capital stock in her vaults and the interest.

The net gain of the Central bank shall be applied to the national revenue, and that of the branches to the states and territories' revenues. And the bills shall be par throughout the nation, which will mercifully cure that fatal disorder known in cities as brokerage, and leave the people's money in their own pockets.

Give every man his constitutional freedom and the president full power to send an army to suppress mobs, and the States authority to repeal and impugn that relic of folly which makes it necessary for the governor of a state to make the demand of the President for troops, in case of invasion or rebellion.

The governor himself may be a mobber; and instead of being punished, as he should be, for murder or treason, he may destroy the very lives, rights, and property he should protect. Like the good Samaritan, send every lawyer as soon as he repents and obeys the ordinances of heaven, to preach the Gospel to the destitute, without purse or scrip, pouring in the oil and the wine. A learned Priesthood is certainly more honorable than "an hireling clergy."

As to the contiguous territories to the United States, wisdom would direct no tangling alliance. Oregon belongs to this government honorably; and when we have the red man's consent, let the Union spread from the east to the west sea; and if Texas petitions Congress to be adopted among the sons of liberty, give her the right hand of fellowship, and refuse not the same friendly grip to Canada and Mexico. And when the right arm of freemen is stretched out in the character of a navy for the protection of rights, commerce, and honor, let the iron eyes of power watch from Maine to Mexico, and from California to Columbia. Thus may union be strengthened, and foreign speculation prevented from opposing broadside to broadside.

{207} Seventy years have done much for this goodly land. They have burst the chains of oppression and monarchy, and multiplied its inhabitants from two to twenty millions, with a proportionate share of knowledge keen enough to circumnavigate the globe, draw the lightning from the clouds, and cope with all the crowned heads of the world.

Then why—oh, why will a once flourishing people not arise, phoenix-like over the cinders of Martin Van Buren's power, and over the sinking fragments of smoking ruins of other catamount politicians, and over the windfalls of Benton, Calhoun, Clay, Wright, and a caravan of other equally unfortunate law doctors, and cheerfully help to spread a plaster and bind up the burnt, bleeding wounds, of a sore but blessed country?

The Southern people are hospitable and noble. They will help to rid so free a country of every vestige of slavery, whenever they are assured of an equivalent for their property. The country will be full of money and confidence when a National Bank of twenty millions, and a State Bank in every state, with a million or more, gives a tone to monetary matters, and make a circulating medium as valuable in the purses of a whole community as in the coffers of a speculating banker or broker.

The people may have faults, but they should never be trifled with. I think Mr. Pitt's quotation in the British Parliament of Mr. Prior's couplet for the husband and wife, to apply to the course which the King and ministry of England should pursue to the then colonies of the now United States, might be a genuine rule of action for some of the breath-made men in high places to use towards the posterity of this noble, daring people:—

  "Be to her faults a little blind;
  Be to her virtues very kind."

We have had Democratic Presidents, Whig Presidents, a pseudo-Democratic-Whig President, and now it is time to have a President of the United States; and let the people of the whole Union, like the inflexible Romans, whenever they find a promise made by a candidate that is not practiced as an officer, hurl the miserable sycophant from his exaltation, as God did Nebuchadnezzar, to crop the grass of the field with a beast's heart among the cattle.

Mr. Van Buren said, in his inaugural address, that he went in the Presidential chair the inflexible and uncompromising opponent of every attempt, on the part of Congress, to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia, against the wishes of the slave-holding States, and also with a determination equally decided to resist the slightest interference with it in the States where it exists.

Poor little Matty made this rhapsodical sweep with the fact before his eyes, that the State of New York, his native State, had abolished {208} slavery without a struggle or a groan. Great God, how independent! From henceforth slavery is tolerated where it exists, constitution or no constitution, people or no people, right or wrong: Vox Matti! Vox Diaboli! And peradventure, his great "sub-treasury" scheme was a piece of the same mind. But the man and his measures have such a striking resemblance to the anecdote of the Welshman and his cart-tongue, that when the Constitution was so long that it allowed slavery at the capitol of a free people, it could not be cut off; but when it was so short that it needed a sub-treasury to save the funds of the nation, it could be spliced! Oh, granny, granny, what a long tail our puss has got. [3] * * * But his mighty whisk through the great national fire, for the presidential chestnuts, burnt the locks of his glory with the blaze of his folly!

In the United States the people are the government, and their united voice is the only sovereign that should rule, the only power that should be obeyed, and the only gentlemen that should be honored at home and abroad, on the land and on the sea. Wherefore, were I the president of the United States, by the voice of a virtuous people, I would honor the old paths of the venerated fathers of freedom; I would walk in the tracks of the illustrious patriots who carried the ark of the Government upon their shoulders with an eye single to the glory of the people, and when that people petitioned to abolish slavery in the slave states, I would use all honorable means to have their prayers granted, and, give liberty to the captive by paying the Southern gentlemen a reasonable equivalent for his property, that the whole nation might be free indeed!

When the people petitioned for a National Bank, I would use my best endeavors to have their prayers answered, and establish one on national principles to save taxes, and make them the controllers of its ways and means. And when the people petitioned to possess the territory of Oregon, or any other contiguous territory, I would lend the influence of a Chief Magistrate to grant so reasonable a request, that they might extend the mighty efforts and enterprise of a free people from the east to the west sea, and make the wilderness blossom as the rose. And when a neighboring realm petitioned to join the union of liberty's sons, my voice would be, Come—yea, come, Texas; come Mexico, come Canada; and come, all the world: let us be brethren, let us be one great family, and let there be a universal peace. Abolish the cruel custom of prisons (except certain cases), penitentiaries, court-martials for desertion; and let reason and friendship reign over the ruins of ignorance and barbarity; yea, I would, as the universal friend of man, open the prisons, open the eyes, open the ears, and open the hearts of all {209} people, to behold and enjoy freedom—unadulterated freedom; and God who once cleansed the violence of the earth with a flood, whose Son laid down His life for the salvation of all His Father gave him out of the world, and who has promised that He will come and purify the world again with fire in the last days, should be supplicated by me for the good of all people. With the highest esteem, I am a friend of virtue and of the people,


NAUVOO, ILLINOIS, February 7, 1844.


1. Reference is had to Crockford's famous gaming club house at No. 50 on the west side of St. James St., London.

2. For Explanation of Ellipses See footnote p. 75 this volume.

3. For explanation of Ellipses See footnote p. 75 this volume.




Wednesday, February 7, 1844.—A piece of doggerel appears in the Warsaw Message of this date, entitled "Buckeye's Lamentations for the Want of More Wives," evidently the production of Wilson Law, and breathing a very foul and malicious spirit.

Thursday, 8.—Held Mayor's court, and tried two negroes for attempting to marry white women: fined one $25, and the other $5. In the evening there was a political meeting in the assembly room, when Brother Phelps publicly read for the first time my "Views of the Powers and Policy of the General Government." I addressed the meeting as follows:—

Views of the Prophet on His Candidacy for President of United States.

I would not have suffered my name to have been used by my friends on anywise as President of the United States, or candidate for that office, if I and my friends could have had the privilege of enjoying our religious and civil rights as American citizens, even those rights which the Constitution guarantees unto all her citizens alike. But this as a people we have been denied from the beginning. Persecution has rolled upon our heads from time to time, from portions of the United States, like peals of thunder, because of our religion; and no portion of the Government as yet has stepped forward for our relief. And in view of these things, I feel it to be my right and privilege to obtain what influence and power I can, lawfully, in the United States, for the {211} protection of injured innocence; and if I lose my life in a good cause I am willing to be sacrificed on the altar of virtue, righteousness and truth, in maintaining the laws and Constitution of the United States, if need be, for the general good of mankind.

I was followed by Elders Hyde an Taylor, and a unanimous vote was taken to maintain my political views.

Friday, 9—Held Mayor's court in my dining-room on the case, "Nauvoo versus William Withers," for assault. Case withdrawn on my recommendation.

This evening a public meeting was held. I extract from the Neighbor:—


On Friday, the 9th instant, a public meeting was held in the assembly room, at which a public address of General Joseph Smith's to the citizens of the United States was read by Judge Phelps. The address is certainly an able document, big with meaning and interest, clearly pointing out the way for the temporal salvation of this Union, showing what would be our best policy, pointing out the rocks and quick-sand where the political bark is in danger of being wrecked, an the way to escape it, and evincing a knowledge and foresight of our political economy worthy of the writer.

Appropriate remarks were made by several gentlemen after the reading of the address.

Saturday, 10.—I instructed the marshal to inform Mr. Cole, who kept a select school in the assembly room, that I must for the future have that room for my own use.

Prayer-meeting in the assembly room. Prayed for Sister Richards and others, who were sick.

A conference was held at Tuscaloosa County, Alabama: Elder John Brown, president; and George W. Stewart, clerk. Three branches were represented, containing nine elders, two priests, three teachers, three deacons, and 123 members.

Sunday, 11.—Snow on the ground. Thaw commenced in the afternoon. I was at home.

{212} Monday, 12.—I sat in the city council, and recommended the repeal of the ordinances entitled "An extra ordinance for the extra case of Joseph Smith," "An ordinance to prevent unlawful search or seizure of persons or property, by foreign[1] process, in the city of Nauvoo," and "An ordinance regulating the currency;" and they were repealed accordingly. The Memorial to Congress, passed December 21, 1843, was again read, and signed by the councilors, aldermen, mayor, recorder, and marshal.

I instructed Councilor Orson Pratt to call all the Illinois representatives together, and tell them our sufferings have been such that we must have that document passed, and we will have it.

"You must go in for it. Go to John Quincy Adams and ask him to call the delegates from Massachusetts separate from the Illinois delegation, and demand the same. Go to Henry Clay and other prominent men. Call public meetings in the city of Washington. Take the saloon, publish the admittance so much per ticket, invite the members of both houses to come and hear you, and roar upon them. You may take all my writings you think anything of and read to them, &c., and you shall prosper in the name of God. Amen."

The recorder presented the report of the attendance of the city council, from which it appears that I have sat with them eleven sessions, from the 14th of October, 1843, to the 16th of January, 1844, inclusive.

Councilor Orson Pratt nominated George P. Stiles as councilor during his absence, which was confirmed by the council.

I burned $81 of city scrip according to ordinance.

Thawing. Streets very dirty.

Tuesday, 13.—I was at home. Settled with Theodore Turley, and gave him the deed of a lot.

Having received an invitation from Brother Joseph L. Heywood to visit Quincy, I wrote him in reply:—

{213} Letter:—Joseph Smith to Joseph L. Heywood—Anent a visit to Quincy.

NAUVOO, February 13, 1844.

DEAR BROTHER HEYWOOD,—I sit down at this time to acknowledge the receipt of, and reciprocate the friendly feelings manifest in yours of the 7th instant; and, although surrounded by a press of business, shall take pleasure in spending a few moments to reply.

I would take the greatest pleasure imaginable in coming down to Quincy on a visit to see you and all my friends in your city, would business and circumstances permit; but it would be a matter of impossibility almost for me to leave home at the present time, in consequence of a multitude of business which I have daily to attend to. Moreover, wisdom and prudence seem to forbid my coming, on account of the bitter feeling which manifests itself in various places between this and Quincy,—not that I have any apprehensions for my personal safety; for the same kind hand which hath hitherto been my shield and support would save me from the power of my wicked persecutors; but something might grow out of it which would prompt my adversaries to get out another illegal writ, and would eventually, probably, cost me some three or four thousand dollars, as in other cases, and under which I have still to labor to disadvantage. Under these considerations, therefore, I am compelled to decline paying you a visit for the present. At the same time, in connection with Mrs. Smith, I tender my warmest acknowledgement for the invitation.

I am pleased to hear of the prosperity of your branch, and hope it will continue; for, although I never feel to force my doctrine upon any person; I rejoice to see prejudice give way to truth, and the traditions of men dispersed by the pure principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I should be please to have the privilege of forming an acquaintance with your partner, Mr. Kimball, and his lady; and should they ever come up this way, I hope they will call and see me.

As respects things in Nauvoo, I have nothing to say but good. Although the mobocrats of this county breathe out their shame with a continual foam, and threaten extermination, &c., the citizens of Nauvoo are at peace; they fear no danger, for the report of mobs has become so common, that the "Mormons" pay no attention to it whatever. Each man minds his own business, and all are making improvements as fast as they can. In fact, things in general seem prosperous and pleasing; and I never saw a better feeling amongst the Saints than at the present time.

My family have been somewhat sick of late, and continue so, especially my youngest boy.

{214} Accept, dear sir, the warmest respects of myself and Mrs. Smith, and please present the same to your lady. In the meantime I remain your friend and brother,


President Brigham Young returned from Bear creek settlements, where he had been preaching for the last few days.

Wednesday, 14.—At home through the day. In the evening the assembly room was filled by the brethren, when my "Views of the Powers and Policy of the Government of the United States" was again read. I afterwards spoke on the same subject at a considerable length.

Thursday, 15.—At home. A beautiful day.

I insert the following article from the Times and Seasons:—


This is an inquiry which to us as a people is a matter of the most paramount importance, and requires our most serious, calm, and dispassionate reflection. Executive power, when correctly wielded, is a great blessing to the people of this great commonwealth, and forms one of the firmest pillars of our confederation. It watches the interests of the whole community with a fatherly care; it wisely balances the other legislative powers when over-heated by party spirit or sectional feeling; it watches with jealous care our interests and commerce with foreign nations, and gives tone and efficacy to legislative enactments.

The President stands at the head of these United States, and is the mouth-piece of this vast republic. If he be a man of an enlightened mind and a capacious soul,—if he be a virtuous man, a statesman, a patriot, and a man of unflinching integrity,—if he possess the same spirit that fired the souls of our venerable sires, who founded this great commonwealth, and wishes to promote the good of the whole republic, he may indeed be made a blessing to the community.

But if he prostrates his high and honorable calling to base and unworthy purposes,—if he make use of the power which the people have placed in his hands for their interests to gratify his ambition, for the purpose of self-aggrandizement or pecuniary interest,—if he meanly pander with demagogues, loses sight of the interest of the nation, and {215} sacrifice the Union on the altar of sectional interests or party views, he renders himself unworthy of the dignified trust reposed in him, debases the nation in the eyes of the civilized world, and produces misery and confusion at home. "When the wicked rule, the people mourn."

There is perhaps no body of people in the United States who are at the present time more interested about the issue of the presidential contest than are the Latter-day Saints. And our situation in regard to the two great political parties is a most novel one. It is a fact well understood that we have suffered great injustice from the State of Missouri, that we have petitioned to the authorities of that state for redress in vain, that we have also memorialized Congress under the late administration, and have obtained the heartless reply that "Congress has no power to redress your grievances."

After having taken all the legal and constitutional steps that we can, we are still groaning under accumulated wrongs. Is there no power anywhere to redress our grievances? Missouri lacks the disposition and Congress lacks both the disposition and power (?); and thus fifteen thousand inhabitants of these United States can with impunity be dispossessed of their property; have their houses burned, their property confiscated, many of their numbers murdered, and the remainder driven from their homes and left to wander as exiles in this boasted land of freedom and equal rights; and after appealing again and again to the legally-constituted authorities of our land for redress, we are coolly told by our highest tribunals, "We can do nothing for you."

We have paid hundreds of thousands of dollars into the coffers of Congress for their lands, and they stand virtually pledged to defend us in our rights, but they have not done it. If a man steals a dollar from his neighbor, or steals a horse or a hog, he [the neighbor] can obtain redress; but we have been robbed by wholesale, the most daring murders have been committed, and we are coolly told that we can obtain no redress. If a steamboat is set on fire on our coast by foreigners, even when she is engaged in aiding and abetting the enemies of that power, it becomes a matter of national interference and legislation; or if a foreigner, as in the case of McLeod, is taken on our land and tried for supposed crimes committed by him against our citizens, his nation interferes, and it becomes a matter of negotiation and legislation. But our authorities can calmly look on and see the citizens of a county butchered with impunity: they can see two counties dispossessed of their inhabitants, their houses burned, and their property confiscated; and when the cries of fifteen thousand men women and children salute their ears, they deliberately tell us that we can obtain no redress.

Hear it, therefore, ye mobbers! Proclaim it to all the scoundrels in {216} the Union! Let a standard be erected around which shall rally all the renegades of the land: assemble yourselves and rob at pleasure; murder till you are satiated with blood; drive men, women and children from their homes: there is no law to protect them, and Congress has no power to redress their grievances; and the great father of the Union (the President) has not got an ear to listen to their complaints.

What shall we do under this state of things? In the event of either of the prominent candidates, Van Buren or Clay, obtaining the presidential chair, we should not be placed in any better situation.

In speaking of Mr. Clay, his politics are diametrically opposed to ours. He inclines strongly to the old school of Federalists, and as a matter of course would not favor our cause, neither could we conscientiously vote for him. And we have yet stronger objections to Mr. Van Buren on other grounds. He has sung the old song of Congress—"Congress has no power to redress your grievances."

But did the matter rest here, it would not be so bad. He was in the presidential chair at the time of our former difficulties. We appealed to him on that occasion, but we appealed in vain, and his sentiments are yet unchanged.

But all these things are tolerable in comparison to what we have yet to state. We have been informed from a respectable source that there is an understanding between Mr. Benton, of Missouri, and Mr. Van Buren, and a conditional compact entered into, that if Mr. Benton will use his influence to get Mr. Van Buren elected, Van Buren when elected, shall use his executive influence to wipe away the stain from Missouri by a further persecution of the "Mormons," and wreaking out vengeance on their heads, either by extermination or by some other summary process. We could scarcely credit the statement; and we hope yet, for the sake of humanity, that the suggestion is false: but we have too good reason to believe that we are correctly informed.

If, then, this is the case, can we conscientiously vote for a man of this description, and put the weapons into his hands to cut our throat with? We cannot. And however much we might wish to sustain the Democratic nomination, we cannot—we will not vote for Van Buren. Our interests, our property, our lives, and the lives of our families are too dear to us to be sacrificed at the shrine of party spirit and to gratify party feelings. We have been sold once in the State of Missouri, and our liberties bartered away by political demagogues, through executive intrigue, and we wish not to be betrayed again by Benton and Van Buren.

Under these circumstances, the question again arises, Whom shall we support? GENERAL JOSEPH SMITH—a man of sterling worth and integrity and of enlarged views—a man who has raised himself from {217} the humblest walks in life to stand at the head of a large, intelligent, respectable, and increasing society, that has spread not only in this land, but in distant nations,—a man whose talents and genius are of an exalted nature, and whose experience has rendered him in every way adequate to the onerous duty. Honorable, fearless, and energetic, he would administer justice with an impartial hand, and magnify and dignify the office of Chief Magistrate of this land; and we feel assured that there is not a man in the United States more competent for the task.

One great reason that we have for pursuing our present course is, that at every election we have been made a political target for the filthy demagogues in the country to shoot their loathsome arrows at. And every story has been put into requisition to blast our fame from the old fabrication of "walk on the water" down to "the murder of ex-Governor Boggs." The journals have teemed with this filthy trash, and even men who ought to have more respect for themselves—men contending for the gubernatorial chair have made use of terms so degrading, so mean, so humiliating, that a Billingsgate fisherwoman would have considered herself disgraced with. We refuse any longer to be thus bedaubed for either party. We tell all such to let their filth flow in its own legitimate channel, for we are sick of the loathsome smell.

Gentlemen, we are not going either to "murder ex-Governor Boggs, nor a Mormon in this state for not giving us his money," nor are we going to "walk on the water," "nor drown a woman," nor "defraud the poor of their property," nor send "destroying angels after General Bennett to kill him," nor "marry spiritual wives," nor commit any other outrageous act this election to help any party with. You must get some other persons to perform these kind offices for you for the future. We withdraw.

Under existing circumstances, we have no other alternative; and if we can accomplish our object, well: if not, we shall have the satisfaction of knowing that we have acted conscientiously, and have used our best judgment. And if we have to throw away our votes, we had better do so upon a worthy rather than upon an unworthy individual, who might make use of the weapon we put in his hand to destroy us with.

Whatever may be the opinions of men in general in regard to Mr. Smith, we know that he needs only to be known to be admired; and that it is the principles of honor, integrity, patriotism, and philanthropy that have elevated him in the minds of his friends; and the same principles, if seen and known, would beget the esteem and confidence of all the patriotic and virtuous throughout the Union.

Whatever, therefore, be the opinions of other men, our course is marked out, and our motto henceforth will be—General Joseph Smith.

{218} Friday, 16.—At home. This evening I spent two hours in the office. Settled with Brother Whitney; gave him deed of several town lots, and took his receipt in full.

Saturday, 17.—I wrote the following article:—


The very candid, pacific, and highly creditable advice which Governor Ford has done himself the honor to address to "the citizens of Hancock county, Mormons and all," and which appears in the Warsaw Signal of the 14th instant, is like the balm of Gilead, well calculated to ease the pain which has troubled the heads and hearts of the Carthaginians, Warsawvians, and other over-jealous bodies for weal and woe.

It certainly must be admitted, on all hands, that Governor Ford has exalted himself as a mediator, patriot, lawyer, governor, peacemaker, and friend of all, not only to magnify the law and make it honorable, but also in pointing out the part of peace.

Such is what the Latter-day Saints have ever sought at the hands of those in authority; and with an approving conscience clear as the crystal spring, and with a laudable intention warm as the summer zephyr, and with a charitable prayer mellow as the morning dew, it is now our highest consolation to hope that all difficulties will cease, and give way to reason, sense, peace, and goodwill.

The Saints, if they will be humble and wise, can now practice what they preach, and soften by good examples, rather than harden by a distant course of conduct, the hearts of the people.

For general information, it may be well to say that there has never been any cause for alarm as to the Latter-day Saints. The legislature of Illinois granted a liberal charter for the City of Nauvoo; and let every honest man in the Union who has any knowledge of her say whether she has not flourished beyond the most sanguine anticipations of all. And while they witness her growing glory, let them solemnly testify whether Nauvoo has willfully injured the country, county, or a single individual one cent.

With the strictest scrutiny publish the facts, whether a particle of law has been evaded or broken: virtue and innocence need no artificial covering. Political views and party distinctions never should disturb the harmony of society; and when the whole truth comes before a virtuous people, we are willing to abide the issue.

We will here refer to the three last dismissals upon writs of habeas corpus, of Joseph Smith, when arrested under the requisitions of Missouri.

The first, in June, 1841, was tried at Monmouth, before Judge Douglas, of the fifth judicial circuit: and as no exceptions have been {219} taken to that decision by the state of Missouri—but Missouri previously entered a nolle prosequi on all the old indictments against the Mormons in the difficulties of 1838—it is taken and granted that decision was just!

The second, in December, 1842, was tried at Springfield before Judge Pope in the U. S. District Court; and from that honorable discharge, as no exceptions from any source have been made to those proceedings, it follows as a matter of course that that decision was just!

And the third, in July, 1843, was tried at the city of Nauvoo, before the Municipal Court of said city; and as no exceptions to that discharge have been taken, and as the governor says there is "evidence on the other side to show that the sheriff of Lee county voluntarily carried Mr. Reynolds (who had Mr. Smith in custody,) to the city of Nauvoo without any coercion on the part of any one," it must be admitted that that decision was just!

But is any man unconvinced of the justness of these strictures relative to the two last cases, let the astounding fact go forth, that Orrin Porter Rockwell, whom Boggs swore was the principal in his [attempted] assassination, and as accessory to which Mr. Smith was arrested, has returned home, "clear of sin." In fact, there was not a witness to get up an indictment against him.

The Messrs. Averys, who were unlawfully transported out of this state, have returned to their families in peace; and there seems to be no ground for contention, no cause for jealousy, and no excuse for a surmise that any man, woman, or child will suffer the least inconvenience from General Smith, the charter of Nauvoo, the city of Nauvoo, or even any of her citizens.

There is nothing for a bone of contention! Even those ordinances which appeared to excite the feeling of some people have recently been repealed; so that if the "intelligent" inhabitants of Hancock county want peace, want to abide by the Governor's advice, want to have a character at home, and really mean to follow the Savior's golden rule, "To do unto others as they would wish others to do unto them," they will be still now, and let their own works praise them in the gates of justice and in the eyes of the surrounding world. Wise men ought to have understanding enough to conquer men with kindness.

"A soft answer turneth away wrath," says the wise man; and it will be greatly to the credit of the Latter-day Saints to show the love of God, by now kindly treating those who may have, in an unconscious moment, done wrong; for truly said Jesus, Pray for thine enemies.

Humanity towards all, reason and refinement to enforce virtue, and good for evil are so eminently designed to cure more disorders of society than an appeal to arms, or even argument untempered with friendship, {220} and the one thing needful that no vision for the future, guide-board for the distant, or expositor for the present, need trouble any one with what he ought to do.

His own good, his family's good, his neighbor's good, his country's good, and all good seem to whisper to every person—The governor has told you what to do. Now do it.

The constitution expects every man to do his duty; and when he fails the law urges him; or should he do too much, the same master rebukes him.

Should reason, liberty, law, light, and philanthropy now guide the destinies of Hancock county with as much sincerity as has been manifested for her notoriety or welfare, there can be no doubt that peace, prosperity, and happiness will prevail, and that future generations as well as the present one will call Governor Ford a peacemaker. The Latter-day Saints will, at all events, and profit by the instruction, and call upon honest men to help them cherish all the love, all the friendship, all the courtesy, all the kindly feelings, and all the generosity that ought to characterize clever people in a clever neighborhood, and leave candid men to judge which tree exhibits the best fruit—the one with the most clubs and sticks thrown into its boughs and the grass trodden down under it, or the one with no sticks in it, some dead limbs, and rank grass growing under it; for by their signs ye can know their fruit, and by the fruit ye know the trees.

Our motto, then, is Peace with all! If we have joy in the love of God, let us try to give a reason of that joy, which all the world cannot gainsay or resist. And may be, like as when Paul started with recommendations to Damascus to persecute the Saints, some one who has raised his hand against us with letters to men in high places may see a light at noonday, above the brightness of the sun, and hear the voice of Jesus saying, "It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks."

Intelligence is sometimes the messenger of safety. And, willing to aid the governor in his laudable endeavors to cultivate peace and honor the laws, believing that very few of the citizens of Hancock county will be found in the negative of such a goodly course, and considering his views a kind of manifesto, or olive leaf, which shows that there is rest for the soles of the Saints' feet we give it a place in the Neighbor, wishing it God speed, and saying, God bless good men and good measures! And as Nauvoo has been, so it will continue to be, a good city, affording a good market to a good country; and let those who do not mean to try the way of transgressors, say "Amen."

The High Council met and settled several cases of difficulty betwixt brethren.

Anti-Mormon Convention at Carthage.

{221} The Anti-Mormons held a convention at Carthage, the object being to devise ways and means of expelling the Saints from the State. Among other resolutions was one appointing the 9th of March next as the day of fasting and prayer, wherein the pious of all orders are requested to pray to Almighty God that He would speedily bring the false Prophet Joseph Smith to deep repentance, or that He will make a public example of him and his leading accomplices.

The ice broke up in the river.

Sunday, 18.—Beautiful day. Southwest wind.

A very large assembly of the Saints met at the stand, near the Temple, when I preached a lengthy discourse.

Four p.m., went to my office with Hyrum and two gentlemen from St. Louis. Heard Dr. Richards read my correspondence with Senator Calhoun, and Phelps read my "Views of the Power and Policy of the General Government."

At seven, attended prayer-meeting in the assembly room.

Monday, 19.—At nine a.m. went to my office with Dr. Bernhisel, who proposed some alterations in my views of the government. Phelps read the same, and the doctor seemed better pleased with it than before.

To the Editor of the Neighbor:—

SIR,—I wish to say to you, as there seems to be a prospect of peace, that it will be more love-like, more God-like, and man-like, to say nothing about the Warsaw Signal.

If the editor breathes out that old sulphurous blast, let him go and besmear his reputation and the reputation of those that uphold him with soot and dirt, but as for us and all honest men, we will act well our part, for there the honor lies.

We will honor the advice of Governor Ford, cultivate peace and friendship with all, mind our own business, and come off with flying colors, respected, because, in respecting others, we respect ourselves.

Respectfully, I am


A conference was held in Halifax, Halifax county, {222} Nova Scotia, Elder Robert Dickson, president. Two branches were represented, consisting of thirty members, three elders, one priest, one teacher, and two deacons.

The wild geese commenced flying north.

Delegation from Lyman Wight on Indian Affairs.

Tuesday, 20.—At ten a.m. went to my office, where the Twelve Apostles and some others met in council with Brothers Mitchell Curtis and Stephen Curtis who left the pinery on Black River, 1st January. They were sent by Lyman Wight and Bishop Miller to know whether Lyman should preach to the Indians, the Menominees and Chippeways having requested it.

The Chippeways had given Brother Wight some wampum as a token of peace, and the brethren had given them half a barrel of flour and an ox to keep the Indians from starving, and Wight had gone through to Green Bay with them to make a road.

I told them to tell Brother Wight I had no counsel to give him on the subject. He is there on his own ground and must act on his own responsibility, and do what he thinks best in relation to the Indians, understanding the laws and nature of the subject as well as I can here, and he shall never be brought into difficulty about it by us.

Western Movement for the Church Contemplated

I instructed the Twelve Apostles to send out a delegation and investigate the locations of California and Oregon, and hunt out a good location, where we can remove to after the temple is completed, and where we can build a city in a day, and have a government of our own, get up into the mountains, where the devil cannot dig us out, and live in a healthful climate, where we can live as old as we have a mind to.

Warm. The ice floating down the river.

A Wolf Hunt Called for Hancock Co.

A meeting of the citizens of Hancock county was held at the court-house in Carthage. Passed a resolution that the second Saturday of March be appointed for a general wolf-hunt, being the same day {223} selected by the convention of the 17th instant for a day of fasting and prayer for my destruction.

The Prophet on the Necessity of Complete Obedience to God.

Wednesday 21.—The Rev. Mr. De Wolfe, Episcopalian, lectured in the assembly room in the evening. I attended and, after the sermon, at his request, spoke to the people, showing them that to get salvation we must not only do some things, but everything which God has commanded. Men may preach and practice everything except those things which God commands us to do, and will be damned at last. We may tithe mint and rue, and all manner of herbs, and still not obey the commandments of God. The object with me is to obey and teach others to obey God in just what He tells us to do. It mattereth not whether the principle is popular or unpopular, I will always maintain a true principle, even if I stand alone in it.

My Pacific Inuendo, written on the 17th instant, appeared in the Neighbor of to-day, in connection with Governor Ford's letter of the 29th of January.

Ice left the west bank of the river, opposite the lower brick house.

Very warm and pleasant.

Council of the Twelve met in my office. I insert the minutes:—

Minutes of a Council Meeting of the Twelve.

At a meeting of the Twelve, at the mayor's office, Nauvoo, February 21, 1844, seven o'clock, p.m., Brigham Young, Parley P. Pratt, Orson Pratt, Wilford Woodruff, John Taylor, George A. Smith, Willard Richards and four others being present, called by previous notice, by instruction of President Joseph Smith on the 20th instant, for the purpose of selecting a company to explore Oregon and California, and select a site for a new city for the Saints.

Jonathan Dunham, Phineas H. Young, David D. Yearsley, and David Fullmer, volunteered to go; and Alphonzo Young, James Emmett, George D. Watt, and Daniel Spencer were requested to go.

Voted the above persons to be notified to meet with the council on Friday evening next, at the assembly room,


{224} Thursday, 22.—At home.

Ice continues to run in the river. Very pleasant, cool nights.

Friday, 23.—W. W. Phelps received a letter from John Whitmer in relation to certain records, and a book containing some of the early history of the Church which had been written by my clerks, and was Church property, and which had been fraudulently detained from my possession by John Whitmer; to which Dr. Richards replied.

The Western Exploring Equipment.

Met with the Twelve in the assembly room concerning the Oregon and California Exploring Expedition; Hyrum and Sidney present. I told them I wanted an exploration of all that mountain country. Perhaps it would be best to go direct to Santa Fe. "Send twenty-five men: let them preach the Gospel wherever they go. Let that man go that can raise $500, a good horse and mule, a double barrel gun, one-barrel rifle, and the other smooth bore, a saddle and bridle, a pair of revolving pistols, bowie-knife, and a good sabre. Appoint a leader, and let them beat up for volunteers. I want every man that goes to be a king and a priest. When he gets on the mountains he may want to talk with his God; when with the savage nations have power to govern, &c. If we don't get volunteers, wait till after the election."

George D. Watt said, "Gentlemen, I shall go." Samuel Bent, Joseph A. Kelting, David Fullmer, James Emmett, Daniel Spencer, Samuel Rolfe, Daniel Avery, and Samuel W. Richards, volunteered to go.

Saturday, 24.—At home. Had an interview with Brother Phelps at nine o'clock.

Seth Palmer, Amos Fielding, Charles Shumway, and John S. Fullmer volunteered to go to Oregon and California.

Fifteen hundred copies of my "Views" out of press.

Very pleasant the past two weeks; the pleasantest February I ever saw.

{225} President Brigham Young went to Knowlton's settlement on Bear creek, and preached.

Sunday, 25.—I preached at the temple block. Hyrum also preached.

A Prophecy of Deliverance of the Saints

Evening, I attended prayer-meeting in the assembly room, We prayed that "General Joseph Smith's Views of the Powers and Policy of the United States," might be spread far and wide, and be the means of opening the hearts of the people. I gave some important instructions, and prophesied that within five years we should be out of the power of our old enemies, whether they were apostates or of the world; and told the brethren to record it, that when it comes to pass they need not say they had forgotten the saying.

Some rain in the evening; cloudy and foggy.

Monday, 26.—At home. A cold wind from the north. Rainy, dull day.

The Case of Botswick Slander of Hyrum Smith.

In the afternoon, held court at the Mansion. City of Nauvoo versus Orsimus F. Botswick, on complaint of Hyrum Smith for slanderous language concerning him and certain females of Nauvoo. Botswick was fined $50 and costs. Francis M. Higbee, his attorney, gave notice he should appeal to the municipal court, and then to the circuit court. I told Higbee what I thought of him for trying to carry such a suit to Carthage—it was to stir up the mob and bring them upon us.

Prayer-meeting in the assembly room in the afternoon. My uncle John Smith and lady were present, were anointed, and received blessings; and in the evening Father Morley was also blessed.

Ira S. Miles volunteered to join the mountain exploring expedition.

Tuesday, 27,—At home, Cool and clear. River clear of ice.

In the afternoon, visited the printing office.

Mailed my "Views of Powers and Policy," &c., to the {226} President and cabinet, supreme judges, senators, representatives, principal newspapers in the United States, (all the German), and many postmasters and individuals.

Almon L. Fullmer and Hosea Stout volunteered to go on the Western Exploring Expedition.

Wednesday, 28.—At home. Rainy day.

At four, p.m., steamboat General Brooke passed up the river: first boat this season. No ice in sight.

In the evening I sent Brother Coolidge to Brother Phelps, to call the brethren and pray for Brother Coolidge's sick child, as he thought it could not live till morning. Elder John Taylor and others prayed for him.

Dr. Alphonzo Young published an appeal to his native state of Tennessee, giving a history of our Missouri troubles, and asking the influence of that state to obtain redress.

The Neighbor of to-day publishes the following:—


Having now raised the name of our General and Prophet to the head of our columns, it becomes us, as Latter day Saints, to be prudent and energetic in the cause that we pursue, and not let any secondary influences control our minds or govern our proceedings.

The step that we have taken is a bold one, and requires our united efforts, perseverance, and diligence; but important as it may be, it is no greater than others have taken, and they have conceived that they had a right, without molestation, to pursue that course, and to vote for that man whose election they in their wisdom thought would be most conducive to the public weal.

As American citizens, then we presume that all will concede to us this right; and whatever may be their views respecting the policy of such a step, they will acknowledge that we act legally, justly, and constitutionally in pursuing our present course.

Some have nominated Henry Clay, some Colonel Johnson, others John C. Calhoun, others Daniel Webster, and others Martin Van Buren.

Those several committees, unquestionably thought that they had each of them made the wisest selection in naming the man of their choice. They selected their several candidates because they thought they were the wisest, the greatest statesmen, and the most competent to {227} fill the presidential chair, whilst they severally thought that the other candidates were incompetent.

We have governed by the same principles; and if others think they have made the wisest selection, so do we. If others think they have nominated the greatest statesman, so do we; and while those several committees think that none of the nominations made are so good as their own, we think that the man of our choice is the most able, the most competent, the best qualified, and would fill the Presidential chair with greater dignity to the nation; and that his election would be conducive of more happiness and prosperity at home and abroad than that of any other man in these United States.

This is a thing that we, as Latter-day Saints, know; and it now devolves upon us as an imperative duty to make others acquainted with the same things, and to use all our influence at home and abroad for the accomplishment of this object.

Mr. Smith is not so generally known personally as are several of the above-named candidates; and although he has been much spoken of as a man, he has been a great deal calumniated and misrepresented, and his true character is very little known.

It is for us to take away this false coloring; and by lecturing, by publishing, and circulating his works, his political views, his honor, integrity and virtue, to stop the foul mouth of slander, and present him before the public in his own colors, that he may be known, respected, and supported.

Thomas S. Edwards volunteered to join the exploring expedition to the Rocky Mountains.

A Reply Sketched to Cassius M. Clay.

Thursday, 29.—Called at my office, and gave Brother Phelps the Zanesville Gazette of January 31, containing the speech of Cassius M. Clay, delivered in Scott county, Kentucky, December 30, 1843, on annexing Texas to the United States; and instructed him to reply to the same, and gave him the subject matter, and directed the manner I wished it done; and then rode out with Porter Rockwell.

The steamer Ohio went up the river.

Moses Smith and Rufus Beach volunteered to join the Oregon exploring expedition.

Friday, March 1.—Very frosty night; showery day, west wind.

Spent the day in counseling.

{228} Letters from the elders show a rapid progress of the work of the Lord in different parts of the Union. Elder John E. Page has gone to Washington for the purpose of proclaiming to the rulers of our nation the principles of eternal truth. By a letter received from him, we learn he has been preaching and baptizing in Boston and vicinity.

The High Council to the Saints in Nauvoo.

The High Council of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at Nauvoo to the Saints of this [Nauvoo] Stake, greeting.

BELOVED BRETHREN,—Realizing as we do, the importance of the work in which we are engaged, we deem it expedient to lay before you such matters from time to time as in our opinion will be beneficial to the Saints, and the spirit in us may seem to require.

We would remind our brethren, the elders, who have at sundry times been sent forth as flaming heralds, messengers of the everlasting Gospel, who proclaim a message of salvation to their fellow-men, thereby gathering and bringing up to Zion the scattered elect of God, to be taught more perfectly he principles of salvation; that whilst their message is abroad we have had our mission to remain at Nauvoo and to participate with the Saints in the blessing of poverty, if such it may be called; amid sickness and distress, in the vexations and turmoils of the unruly and ungodly, for which no man has paid us, for days, weeks, months, and years; that our time has been spent in endeavoring to settle difficulties, set in order the things needful to salvation; in trying to reconcile and cement the feelings of our brethren to each other in the spirit of the Gospel; whilst at times, circumstances of a more painful nature have been presented.

Individuals have been brought before us charged with high crimes in violation of the laws of heaven, on whom much patient exertion in the labors of love have by us been bestowed, to reclaim them from the error and evil of their doings.

We regret to have it to say that in some instances our efforts have been fruitless; for after we have found in them an obstinate and unyielding spirit to the principles of right, we have (reluctantly) been compelled to sever them from the Church as withered branches.

Such persons not unfrequently manifest their wickedness by their trifling with and bidding defiance to all and every good rule, regulation and law, set forth for the guidance of all Saints.

One single trait of their depravity is frequently manifested by their going to some ignorant elder and getting re-baptized into the Church, {229} not having first made the least satisfaction (as was required) to such as they have injured.

We have to say that baptism in such cases is not valid and cannot profit. We here continue to say; let such expelled person first be reconciled to his injured brother, and bring forth fruit mete for repentance; or, in case of dissatisfaction with our decision, take an appeal and reverse it, if found wrong.

Expelled persons not complying with these rules (which are in accordance with the order of heaven), whom we have been once necessitated to withdraw fellowship from, cannot be restored in any illegal way; and we would say that all such clandestine entering into the Church is climbing up some other way, and that such persons can only be considered as thieves and robbers. We would also remind the elders that it is improper for them to re-baptize any such expelled persons while they remain thus obstinate; and that it will subject them to censure, and bring them to trial before a proper tribunal of the Church.

We therefore hope, for the future, that certain officious, forward-feeling elders will be more prudent in such cases hereafter.

We remain yours in the bonds of the new and everlasting covenant,




Samuel Bent, L. Dunbar Wilson,

David Fullmer, Thomas Grover,

Newell Knight, Leonard Soby,

James Allred, Alpheus Cutler,

George W. Harris, Aaron Johnson,

William Huntington, Sen., Henry G. Sherwood,


Hosea Stout, Clerk.

The Times and Seasons of March 1st presents my name to the public as candidate for president of the United States.

Jonathan Dunham filed his bonds with the recorder, and took the oath of office as wharf-master of the city of Nauvoo.

Elder Wilford Woodruff very sick; the 37th anniversary of his birthday.

Saturday, 2.—Ten a.m. held Mayor's court. Reproved Elder S. B. Stoddard for giving appearance of evil in attempting to be bail for Orsimus F. Boswick. Brother Stoddard afterwards explained to my satisfaction.

{230} President Brigham Young visited Macedonia, accompanied by his brother, L. D. Young, and preached there on the Sabbath.

Sunday, 3.—Ground covered with snow. Attended prayer-meeting in the evening.

Monday, 4.—I suggested the name of James Arlington Bennett, of Long Island, as a candidate for Vice-President.

At early candle-light, the First Presidency, Twelve Apostles, temple committee, and others, met in council.

I insert the minutes.

Minutes of a Council Meeting—Twelve and Temple Committee.

George Coray came in, and said he was sent by Lyman Wight to get sheep, &c, to carry to the Pine country, to receipt for them, or agree to pay lumber.

President Joseph suggested that it was best to let the Nauvoo House remain as it is until the temple is completed, as we need the temple more than anything else.

Elder Haws said there was some dissatisfaction about being sent from the Pinery without accounts, &c., and could not have credit on tithing, and one month at the Pinery is only called fifteen days here.

President Joseph told them that they should have their number of days in full. "We will let the Nauvoo house stand until the temple is done, and we will put all our forces on the Temple, turn our lumber towards the Temple, and cover it in this fall, and sell the remainder to get blasting powder, fuse, rope, steel, &c."

And when the temple is completed, no man shall pass the threshold till he has paid five dollars; and every stranger shall pay five dollars towards liquidating the cash debts on the Temple, and I will not have the house dirtied.

Let Woodworth go to the pinery, take the things wanted, and bring back the lumber, and his wages go on as usual.

Let a special conference be called on the 6th of April, and all the elders called home who can come. Let the people of this city come together on Thursday, at nine o'clock in the morning. After two or three lectures, we will call on the people to fill up the boxes with liberal contributions, to procure cash materials for the temple.

I instructed a letter to be written to James Arlington {231} Bennett to consult him on the subject of nominating him for Vice-President. I here insert the letter:—

Letter—Willard Richards to James Arlington Bennett—The Matter of Bennett Becoming Candidate for Vice-President of U. S.

NAUVOO, March 4, 1844.

DEAR GENERAL,—Yours of the 1st of February, was duly received, and produced the most pleasing sensations among your friends here, and especially with the Prophet, who said, "Tell General Bennett I am perfectly satisfied with his explanation; and as to temper, I had not even thought of it."

You suggest that Brother Joseph's correspondence with Mr. Calhoun would appear in some degree to contradict the noble sentiments expressed in that able document to yourself; but if you will notice that his communication to you was written as an individual, and that to Mr. Calhoun as the voice of the people he represents, I think you will discover no discrepancy; but if so, tell me particulars without delay, and you shall have an explanation.

I have recently mailed to you General Smith's "Views of the Powers and Policy of the Government of the United States," which were drawn forth in consequence of his friends selecting him as a candidate for the next Presidency, which he very reluctantly acquiesced in, and it seems would not, only to support a favorite maxim—"The people must govern;" but having once been prevailed upon to suffer his name to go abroad as a candidate, it is desirable to him of course, as to every patriot, that those who have brought him forward should use all honorable means to sustain him in the canvass; and if I had not felt disposed to uphold him before the people, I never would have been the first to urge his nomination; and during the short space since his name has been published, his friends have been astonished at the flood of influence that is rolling through the Western States in his favor, and in many instances where we might have least expected it.

I need not assert what the wisest of the wise admit without argument—that General Smith is the greatest statesman of the 19th century. Then why should not the nation secure to themselves his superior talents, that they may rise higher and higher in the estimation of the crowned heads of the nations and exalt themselves through his wisdom?

Your friends here consider your letter about the Governorship of Illinois just like every man in your quarter, mere sport, child's sport; for who would stoop to the play of a single State, when the whole nation was on the board?—a cheaper game!

General Smith says, if he must be President, Arlington Bennett must be Vice-President. To this his friends are agreed—agreed in everything; and in this consists our power: consequently, your name will {232} appear in our next paper as our candidate for Vice-President of the United States. You will receive our undivided support, and we expect the same in return for General Smith for the Presidency; and we will go it with the rush of a whirlwind, so peaceful, so gentle, that it will not be felt by the nation till the battle is won.

Dear General, if glory, honor, force, and power in righteous principles are desired by you, now is your time. You are safe in following the counsel of that man who holds communion with heaven; and I assure you, if you act well your part, victory's the prize.

Brother Arlington, look well to "General Smith's Views," and his letter to Calhoun, and comprehend him fully. Say to the New York Herald, now is the time for your exaltation; raise your standard high, sound your trumpet long and loud, support General Smith and myself at the next election; and when we are exalted, you shall not be forgotten.

Hold forth no false shadows to honest men; yet though there is but one best piece to the fatted calf, yet there are many good slices; therefore you will not forget the "Advertiser," "Niles Register," "Globe," &c., &c.

Get up an electoral ticket—New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and any other state within your reach. Open your mouth wide, and God shall fill it. Cut your quill, and the ink shall flow freely.

Commence at your own mansion and stay not, only for electioneering purposes, till by some popular route you reach Nauvoo; and if you preach Mormonism it will help you. At every stage, tavern, boat and company, expose the wickedness of Martinism in saying, if he is elected President, he will annihilate the Mormons, and proclaim the sycophancy of the candidates generally, and uphold Joseph against every aspersion and you shall triumph gloriously.

We have many things to say to you, which we must keep till we see you face to face.

All is right at Nauvoo. We are now fitting out a noble company to explore Oregon and California, and progressing rapidly with the great Temple, which we expect to roof this season, though there is yet a chance at the eleventh hour for you to bring in your thousand, and secure your "penny."

On the 6th of April is our special conference at Nauvoo. I wish you could be here on that occasion, but the time is too short. From that period our Elders will go forth by hundreds or thousands and search the land, preaching religion and politics; and if God goes with them, who can withstand their influence?

My words are the words of your friends here—Come and see us. {233} Brother Joseph's, Young's, and Bernhisel's respects to you. Mrs. Richards' kind respects with mine to yourself and love to all yours.

Most respectfully yours,


The temple committee proposed to establish a powder manufactory.


1. That is, process outside of the city government.




Tuesday, March 5, 1844.—I saw Hyrum Kimball at Bryant's store, and gave him a lecture on his resisting the ordinances of the city, by telling the captains of the steamboats they need not pay wharfage, &c.

Rode out with Emma.

At two, p.m., met with the City Council. I copy the minutes:—

Special Session of the City Council.

March 5, 1844, 2 p.m.

Names of members called. Quorum present.

Mayor stated that he had called the council, because that when the wharf-master called on the steamboats for wharfage, the officers of the boats declined paying, assigning as a reason that Hyrum Kimball and — Morrison had told them that they owned the land, and they need pay no wharfage to the city; and he called the council to know their views on the subject, as he had told Hyrum Kimball that he should see the ordinances executed; and if the boats did not pay, he should blow them up and all those who upheld them in resisting the ordinances. Every measure is taken to palsy the hands of the officers of the city; and I want to know how to remedy the evil, or whether I shall abandon the ordinances, &c.

Alderman Harris said that it was the mayor's duty to enforce the ordinances of the city, and that no man has a right to build a wharf without leave from the city council.

Councilor Phelps suggested the propriety of licensing those who owned wharves to collect a tax for the landing of the boat.

{235} Alderman Wells concurred.

Mayor said the land on the water's edge was a street.

Alderman Wells suggested the propriety of having the street worked as soon as may be.

Councilor Phelps said, if Water street extended round the city, then Kimball had been constructing a nuisance.

Mayor spoke in explanation, and said that Kimball said, if the city would make a wharf, he would give up what he had done.

Councilor Orson Spencer said he wished the mayor to execute the law of the city.

Councilor Brigham Young concurred.

Councilor W. W. Phelps proposed that Water street be worked the whole length.

Councilor Taylor said, "I go in for executing the laws of the city."

Marshal stated that Morrison said he had a bond for a deed to low-water mark, and the city could not take his personal rights, and he objected to the boats paying wharfage.

Councilor Orson Pratt said, if Kimball or Morrison or any one else has built wharves since that street was laid out, they could get no damages.

Councilor Daniel Spencer considered the ordinance passed good, and it ought to be enforced.

Councilor Hyrum Smith, believed it was our duty to stand up to the ordinances.

Moved by Brigham Young that the city council instruct the Mayor to order the supervisor to open Water street from Joseph Smith's store north to the north line of the city.

Councilor Phelps approved of the motion, that the road might be cleared from rafts, and the rafts might also pay license.

Councilor Warrington said the upper stone house was in the street.

Mayor said that was the greatest nuisance there was in the street.

Councilor Orson Spencer was in favor [i.e., of the motion to open Water street.] Motion carried unanimously.

The governor having refused to issue commissions to the aldermen-elect of the city, Councilor Whitney inquired who were aldermen.

The mayor explained that if the governor refuses to grant a commission, it does not disqualify the officer elect from acting in his office; consequently, there is no virtue in the commission, but the virtue of the office consists in the election.

Councilor Young thought they were aldermen all the time or none of the time.

Mayor said he wanted all the aldermen to be added to the city council.

{236} Alderman Wells said he considered the election made the aldermen, and not the commission.

Mayor said if he had been elected alderman and filed his bonds, he would act as councilor and magistrate.

Packard's Memorial to Legislature of Massachusetts

Noah Packard sent a memorial to the governor, senate, and house of representatives of Massachusetts, his native state, setting forth in detail the sufferings of the Saints in Missouri, and their expulsion from that state.

Wednesday, 6—Went to my office, and thence with Brother Phelps to Mr. Bryant's, to see him about his uniting with Hiram Kimball and others to resist the ordinances of the city.

The Neighbor publishes the name of James Arlington Bennett as candidate for Vice-President.

Thursday, 7.—A splendid day; wind from the southwest.

Minutes of a General Meeting in the Interest of the Temple.

[Reported by Elders Willard Richards and Wilford Woodruff.]

A vast assembly of Saints met at the Temple of the Lord at nine o'clock a.m., by a special appointment of President Joseph Smith, for the purpose of advancing the progress of the Temple, &c.

The Patriarch, Hyrum Smith, was present; also of the Twelve Apostles, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Parley P. Pratt, Orson Pratt, Willard Richards, Wilford Woodruff, John Taylor, and George A. Smith; also the temple committee and about eight thousand Saints.

A hymn was sung by the choir; prayer by Elder Parley P. Pratt, when another hymn was sung.

Patriarch Hyrum Smith took the stand and said, The object of the meeting is to stir up your minds by way of remembrance. It is necessary to have a starting-point, which is to build the Temple.

With the assistance of the sisters, we expect to get the nails and glass; and with the assistance of the brethren, we expect to do the rest. I will proclaim in public and in private that the sisters bought the glass and nails by penny subscription. Choose ye this day whom ye will serve.

We shall call upon this vast multitude for a donation to buy powder and fuse-ropes to blast the rocks in the quarry. We want the brethren to at least do as much as the sisters.

{237} We do not intend to finish the Nauvoo House this season, but to take all the hands and finish the Temple this summer, or the walls of it, and get the roof on by December, and do off the inside next winter; and about a year from this spring we will dedicate it.

We can do anything we undertake. We have power, and we can do great things. In five years to come the work will progress more than it has done for ten years past.

Isaiah said we should perform a marvelous work and a wonder. I don't wonder he said so, if he saw this vast multitude; and I think this people is abundantly able to build this temple, and much depends upon it for our endowments and sealing powers; and many blessings depend upon it.

President Joseph Smith then arrived, took the stand, arose, and, after requesting Orson Pratt to come to the stand and take his post, said:—

I do not know whether the object of the meeting has been told you or not. I apologize for not coming sooner.

I have had so much on my mind since I saw you, that I hardly know where to begin or what to say; but one of the grand objects I had in view in calling this meeting was to make a few remarks relative to the laws and ordinances of the city and the building of the temple.

The reason I want to speak of the city ordinances is that the officers have difficulty in administering them.

We are republicans, and wish to have the people rule; but they must rule in righteousness. Some would complain with what God Himself would do.

The laws or ordinances are enacted by the city council on petition of the people; and they can all be repealed, if they wish it, and petition accordingly.

At all events, the people ought not to complain of the officers; but if they are not satisfied, they should complain to the lawmakers by petition.

I am instructed by the city council to tell this people that if there is any law passed by us which you dislike, we will repeal it, for we are your servants. Those who complain of our rights and charters are wicked and corrupt, and the devil is in them.

The reason I called up this subject is, we have a gang of simple fellows here who do not know where their elbows or heads are. If you preach virtue to them, they will oppose that; or if you preach a Methodist God to them, they will oppose that; and the same if you preach anything else; and if there is any case tried by the authorities of Nauvoo, they want it appealed to Carthage to the circuit court. Mr. Orsimus F. Bostwick's case had to go to Carthage. Our lawyers will appeal anything to the circuit court.

{238} I want the people to speak out and say whether such men should be tolerated and supported in our midst; and I want to know if the citizens will sustain me when my hands are raised to heaven for and in behalf of the people.

From this time I design to bring such characters who act against the interests of the city before a committee of the whole; and I will have the voice of the people, which is republican, and is likely to be the voice of God; and as long as I have a tongue to speak, I will expose the iniquity of the lawyers and wicked men.

I fear not their boiling over nor the boiling over of hell, their thunders nor the lightning of their forked tongues.

If these things cannot be put a stop to, I will give such men into the hands of the Missouri mob. The hands of the officers of the city falter and are palsied by their conduct.

There is another person I will speak about. He is a Mormon—a certain man who lived here before we came here; the two first letters of his name are Hiram Kimball. When a man is baptized and becomes a member of the Church, I have a right to talk about him, and reprove him in public or private, whenever it is necessary, or he deserves it.

When the city passed an ordinance to collect wharfage from steamboats, he goes and tells the captains of the steamboats that he owned the landing, and that they need not pay wharfage.

I despise the man who will betray you with a kiss; and I am determined to use up these men, if they will not stop their operations. If this is not true, let him come forward and throw off the imputation.

When they appeal to Carthage, I will appeal to this people, which is the highest court. I despise the lawyers who haggle on lawsuits, and I would rather die a thousand deaths than appeal to Carthage,

Kimball and Morrison say they own the wharves; but the fact is, the city owns them, sixty-four feet from high water mark. From the printing office to the north limits of the city is public ground, as Water street runs along the beach, and the beach belongs to the city and not to individuals.

Another thing: I want to speak about the lawyers of this city. I have good feelings towards them; nevertheless I will reprove the lawyers and doctors anyhow. Jesus did, and every prophet has; and if I am a prophet, I shall do it: at any rate, I shall do it, for I profess to be a prophet.

The maritime laws of the United States have ceded up the right to regulate all tolls, wharfage, &c., to the respective corporations who have jurisdiction, and not to individuals.

Our lawyers have read so little that they are ignorant of this: they {239} have never stuck their noses into a book on maritime law in their lives, and, as Pope says:—

  Shallow draughts intoxicate the brain;
  Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian Spring.

Our city lawyers are fools to undertake to practice law when they know nothing about it.

I want from this time forth every fool to stay at home and let the steamboats and captains alone. No vessel could land anywhere, if subject to individual laws.

The corporation owns the streets of the city, and has as much right to tax the boats to make wharves as to tax citizens to make roads. Let every man in this city stay at home, and let the boat-captains, peace-officers and everybody alone.

How are we to keep peace in the city, defend ourselves against mobs, and keep innocent blood from being shed? By striking a blow at everything that rises up in disorder.

I will wage an eternal warfare with those that oppose me while I am laboring in behalf of the city. I will disgrace every man by publishing him on the house top, who will not be still and mind his own business. Let them entirely alone, and they will use themselves up.

I was visited by an old gentleman this morning, who told me that the spirit of mobocracy was about subsiding. A couple of merchants in this city (I will not tell their names,) have told the country people not to bring butter, eggs, &c., to Nauvoo for sale; at least, so the people abroad say.

Now, if they will not let the people bring their produce, the people will not buy their goods; and the result will be, the merchants will get a spirit of mobocracy.

Another man (I will not call his name,) has been writing to the New York Tribune, some of the most disgraceful things possible to name. He says, in that article, that there are a great many donations to the Temple which have been appropriated to other purposes.

His object evidently was to stigmatize the trustee and excite prejudice against us abroad. But I pledge myself that whoever has contributed any old shoes, harness, horses, wagons, or anything else, if he will come forward, will show that every farthing is on the book and has been appropriated for the building of the Temple.

I pledge myself that if he finds the first farthing that we cannot show where it has been appropriated, I will give him my head for a football.

He also states that the Temple cannot be built, it costs so much. Who does not know that we can put the roof on the building this season, if we have a mind to? By turning all the means from the Nauvoo House and doubling our diligence we can do it.

{240} There are men in our midst who are trying to build up themselves at our expense, and others who are watching for iniquity, and will make a man an offender for a word. The best way for such men is to be still. If I did not love men, I would not reprove them, but would work in the darkness as they do.

As to who is the author of the article in the Tribune, read it and you will see for yourselves. He is not a lawyer; he is nearer related to a doctor—a small man. (Mr. McNeil inquired if he was the man.) No; I do not know you: you are a stranger. But I will rest myself and give way for others.

President Hyrum Smith arose and made a few remarks. He compared the lawyers to polliwogs, wigglers, and toads. He said they would dry up next fall. "Those characters, I presume, were made in gizzard making time, when it was cheaper to get gizzards than souls; for if a soul cost $5, a gizzard would cost nothing: like tree toads, they change color to suit the object they are upon. They ought to be ferreted out like rats. You could describe them as you would a hedgehog: they are in every hedge, stinking like the skunk."[1]

Charles Foster asked if Joseph meant him.

Joseph said, "I will reply by asking you a question."

Foster: "That is no way."

Joseph. "Yes, that is the way the Quakers do. But Jesus said, 'Whose image and superscription is this?' Why did you apply the remarks to yourself? Why did you ask if we meant you?"

Foster. "Then I understand you meant me."

Joseph. "You said it."

Foster. "You shall hear from me."

Joseph. "As Mayor, I fine you $10 for that threat, and for disturbing the meeting."

Doctor Foster spoke in palliation of his brother Charles, and asked Joseph to await, &c. He said, "He has not threatened you." Joseph said, "He has." Doctor Foster said: "No one has heard him threaten you," when hundreds cried, "I have!" Doctor Foster continued to speak when the Mayor called him to order, or, said he, "I will fine you."

William W. Phelps then read General Smith's "Views of the Powers and Policy of the General Government of the United States;" after which, it was voted, unanimously, with one exception, to uphold General Smith for the Presidency of the United States.

{241} An article was also read by W. W. Phelps, entitled, "A Voice of Innocence from Nauvoo," and all the assembly said "Amen" twice.

At thirty minutes past twelve, the meeting adjourned till two p.m.

When the people assembled according to the adjournment, choir sang a hymn. Prayer by Elder Orson Pratt. Singing.

President Brigham Young addressed the congregation. He said: I wish to speak on the duty of lawyers, as they have been spoken of this morning. They were first among the children of Israel to explain the laws of Moses to the common people.

I class myself as a lawyer in Israel. My business is to make peace among the people; and when any man who calls himself a lawyer takes a course to break peace instead of making it, he is out of the line of his duty. A lawyer's duty is to read the law well himself, then tell the people what it is, and let them act upon it, and keep peace; and let them receive pay like any laboring man.

It is desirable for justices of the peace, when men call for writs, to inquire into the merits of the case, and tell the parties how to settle it, and thus put down lawsuits. To cure lawing, let us pay attention to our business.

When we hear a story, never tell it again, and it will be a perfect cure. If your brother mistreats you, let him alone; if your enemy cheats you, let it go; cease to deal with men who abuse you. If all men had taken the straightforward course that some have, we should not have such disorderly men in our midst.

I have no objection to any man coming here, but I will have nothing to do with men who will abuse me at midnight and at noonday. Our difficulties and persecutions have always arisen from men right in our midst.

It is the lust of individuals to rob us of everything, and to take advantage of divisions that may arise among us to build themselves up. I feel that I want every man should stay and lift up holy hands without dubiety, wrath or doubting.

To the men who own land here I would say: Do not think you can sell your lands here, and then go off and spend it somewhere else in abusing the Mormons. I tell you nay; for know it, ye people, that Israel is here; and they are the head, and not the tail; and the people must learn it. All those who have gone from us have gone from the head to the tail.

The grand object before us is to build the temple this season.

We have heard the effects of slander, and we want a cure and balm; and I carry one with me all the while, and I want all of you to do the same. I will tell you what it is: it is to mind your own business, and let others alone, and suffer wrong rather than do wrong. If any take {242} your property away, let them alone, and have nothing to do with them.

A spirit has been manifested to divide the Saints. It was manifest in the last election. It was said, if they did not look out, the Saints on the flat would beat the Saints on the hill.

Great God! how such a thing looks, that the Saints should be afraid of beating one another in the election, or being beat? I would ask, who built up this city? Would steamboats have landed here, if the Saints had not come? Or could you, even the speculators, have sold your lands for anything here, if the Saints had not come? They might have sold for a few bear and wolf skins, but not for money.

If any of you wish to know how to have your bread fall butter-side up, butter it on both sides, and then it will fall butter-side up. Oppose this work, and it will roll over you.

When did this work ever stop since it began? Never. The only thing the Saints now want to know is—what does the Lord want of us, and we are ready to do it.

Well, then, build the Temple of the Lord. Keep the law of God, ye Saints, and the hypocrite and scoundrel will flee out of your midst and tremble, for the fire of God will be too hot for them.

I expect the Saints are so anxious to work, and so ready to do right, that God has whispered to the Prophet, "Build the Temple, and let the Nauvoo House alone at present." I would not sue a man, if he owed me five hundred or a thousand dollars, should he come to me and say he would not pay me.

Elder John Taylor remarked that it was said by some discontented persons that the municipal officers of the city were acting in an arbitrary manner, which was false. He then went to explain the principles of Democracy, until it was announced that it would be desirable to set a contribution on foot immediately to get fuse rope and blasting powder, as a boat was coming down the river, and the messenger was waiting to go down to St. Louis.

Elder Taylor paused awhile for this purpose, and a collection amounting to about sixty dollars was made. He then continued his speech: "When society was first organized they found themselves without legislature, congress, house of lords, or anything of the kind, every man was lord over his own house.

Difficulties began to arise, and the people began to contend and combine together in governments. By-and-by, some two or three requested that they might return to their original customs, and the government said they might. This was the situation of this city in the main, when we asked for a charter.

Of General Joseph Smith some are afraid, and think it doubtful about his election; and, like the ostrich, stick their heads under a bush, {243} and leave their bodies out, so that we can all see them; and after this it will be a by-word—"That man is an ostrich who hides his head in this cause." He spoke also on going on with the temple.

President Brigham Young said—"Those who have not paid their property tithing we shall call upon, and take dinner; and we had rather be saved that trouble, and have them come up and pay. You will want a blessing in the temple when it is done."

President Joseph Smith remarked:—In relation to those who give in property for the temple. We want them to bring it to the proper source, and to be careful into whose hands it comes, that it may be entered into the Church books, so that those whose names are found in the Church books shall have the first claim to receive their endowments in the temple. I intend to keep the door at the dedication myself, and not a man shall pass who has not paid his bonus.

As to politics, I care but little about the presidential chair. I would not give half as much for the office of President of the United States as I would for the one I now hold as Lieutenant-General of the Nauvoo Legion.

We have as good a right to make a political party to gain power to defend ourselves, as for demagogues to make use of our religion to get power to destroy us. In other words, as the world has used the power of government to oppress and persecute us, it is right for us to use it for the protection of our rights. We will whip the mob by getting up a candidate for President.

When I get hold of the Eastern papers, and see how popular I am, I am afraid myself that I shall be elected; but if I should be, I would not say, "Your cause is just, but I can do nothing for you."

What I have said in my views in relation to the annexation of Texas is with some unpopular; the people are opposed to it. Some of the Anti-Mormons are good fellows. I say it, however, in anticipation that they will repent. They object to Texas on account of slavery. Why, it is the very reason she ought to be received, so that we may watch over them; for, of the two evils, we should reject the greatest.

Governor Houston of Texas, says—"if you refuse to receive us into the United States, we must go to the British Government for protection."

This would certainly be bad policy for this nation; the British are now throughout that whole country, trying to bribe all they can; and the first thing they would do, if they got possession, would be to set the negroes and the Indians to fight, and they would use us up. British officers are now running all over Texas to establish British influence in that country.

It will be more honorable for us to receive Texas and set the negroes {244} free, and use the negroes and Indians against our foes. Don't let Texas go, lest our mothers and the daughters of the land should laugh us in the teeth; and if these things are not so, God never spoke by any Prophet since the world began.

How much better it is for the nation to bear a little expense than to have the Indians and British upon us and destroy us all. We should grasp all the territory we can. I know much that I do not tell. I have had bribes offered me, but I have rejected them.

The government will not receive any advice or counsel from me: they are self-sufficient. But they must go to hell and work out their own salvation with fear and trembling.

The South holds the balance of power. By annexing Texas, I can do away with this evil. As soon as Texas was annexed, I would liberate the slaves in two or three States, indemnifying their owners, and send the negroes to Texas, and from Texas to Mexico, where all colors are alike. And if that was not sufficient, I would call upon Canada, and annex it.

Singing by the choir. Prayer by President B. Young.

Arrival of Wm. Kay and Company of English Saints.

The barque Fanny, Captain Patterson, arrived at New Orleans with 210 souls, led by Elder William Kay. They express, [the opinion] in a letter to the Millennial Star, that no people ever had a more prosperous voyage than the Lord has favored this company with; and such a captain and crew, for kindness, could scarcely be met with, the captain frequently administering from the cabin stores unto the necessities of all who required it.

Elder John E. Page published an address to the inhabitants of Washington.

Friday, 8.—Very heavy rain all night, accompanied by thunder.

Bishop Miller arrived from the Pinery.

Jas. A. Bennett Ineligible for Vice-President of U.S.

At ten a.m., my scribe, Willard Richards, called to tell me that James Arlington Bennett was a native of Ireland, and therefore was not constitutionally eligible to be the Vice-President. He wanted to know who should be nominated for Vice-President. I told him to counsel with others upon that {245} point, when he said he would call a council this evening.

At seven p.m., the First Presidency, the Twelve, Bishop Miller, Levi Richards, W. W. Phelps, and Lucian Woodworth assembled in the Mayor's office, when W. W. Phelps read the following pacific communication, which I had previously dictated him to write:—

A Friendly Hint to Missouri.

One of the most pleasing scenes that can occur on earth, when a sin has been committed by one person against another, is, to forgive that sin; and then according to the sublime and perfect pattern of the Savior, pray to our Father in heaven to forgive him also.

Verily, verily, such a friendly rebuke is like the mellow zephyr of summer's eve—it soothes, it cheers and gladdens the heart of the humane and the savage. Well might the wise man exclaim, "A soft answer turneth away wrath; "for men of sense, judgment, and observation, in all the various periods of time, have been witnesses, figuratively speaking, that water, not wood, checks the rage of fire.

Jesus said: "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God." Wherefore if the nation, a single State, community, or family ought to be grateful for anything, it is peace.

Peace, lovely child of heaven!—peace like light from the same great parent, gratifies, animates, and happifies the just and the unjust, and is the very essence of happiness below, and bliss above.

He that does not strive with all his powers of body and mind, with all his influence at home and abroad, and to cause others to do so too—to seek peace and maintain it for his own benefit and convenience, and for the honor of his State, nation, and country, has no claim on the clemency of man; nor should he be entitled to the friendship of woman or the protection of government.

He is the canker-worm to gnaw his own vitals; and the vulture to prey upon his own body; and he is, as to his own prospects and prosperity in life, a felo-de-se of his own pleasure.

A community of such beings are not far from hell on earth, and should be let alone as unfit for the smiles of the free or praise of the brave.

But the peacemaker, O give ear to him! for the words of his mouth and his doctrine drop like the rain, and distil as the dew. They are like the gentle mist upon the herbs, and as the moderate shower upon the grass.

Animation, virtue, love, contentment, philanthropy, benevolence, compassion, humanity and friendship push life into bliss: and men, a {246} little below the angels, exercising their powers, privileges, and knowledge according to the order, rules, and regulations of revelation, by Jesus Christ, dwell together in unity; and the sweet odor that is wafted by the breath of joy and satisfaction from their righteous communion is like the rich perfume from the consecrated oil that was poured upon the head of Aaron, or like the luscious fragrance that rises from the field of Arabian spices. Yea, more, the voice of the peacemaker—

  It is like the music of the spheres—
  It charms our souls and calms our fears;
  It turns the world to Paradise,
  And men to pearls of greater price.

So much to preface this friendly hint to the state of Missouri: for, notwithstanding some of her private citizens and public officers have committed violence, robbery, and even murder upon the rights and persons of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, yet compassion, dignity, and a sense of the principles of religion among all classes, and honor and benevolence, mingled with charity by high-minded patriots, lead me to suppose that there are many worthy people in that state who will use their influence and energies to bring about a settlement of all those old difficulties, and use all consistent means to urge the State, for her honor, prosperity, and good name, to restore every person she or her citizens have expelled from her limits, to their rights, and pay them all damage, that the great body of high-minded and well-disposed Southern and Western gentlemen and ladies—the real peace-makers or a western world, will go forth—good Samaritan-like, and pour in the oil and the wine, till all that can be healed are made whole; and after repentance, they shall be forgiven; for verily the Scriptures say, "Joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repents, more than over ninety-and-nine just persons that need no repentance."

Knowing the fallibility of man, considering the awful responsibility of rejecting the cries of the innocent, confident in the virtue and patriotism of the noble-minded Western men, tenacious of their character and standing, too high to stoop to disgraceful acts, and too proud to tolerate meanness in others; yea, may, I not say, without boasting that the best blood of the West, united with the honor of the illustrious fathers of freedom, will move, as the forest is moved by a mighty wind, to promote peace and friendship in every part of our wide-spread, lovely country.

Filled with a love almost unspeakable, and moved by a desire pleasant as the dew of heaven, I supplicate not only our Father above, but also the civil, the enlightened, the intelligent, the social, and the best inhabitants of Missouri—those that feel bound by principles of honor, justice, moral greatness, and national pride, to arise in the character of {247} virtuous freemen from the disgrace and reproach that might inadvertently blur their good names, for want of self-preservation.

Now is the time to brush off the monster that, incubus-like, seems hanging upon the reputation of the whole State. A little exertion, and the infamy of the evil will blacken the guilty only, for is it not written, "The tree is known by its fruit?"

The voice of reason, the voice of humanity, the voice of the nation, and the voice of Heaven seem to say to the honest and virtuous throughout the State of Missouri, wash yourselves, make you clean, lest your negligence should be taken by the world, from the mass of facts before it, that you are guilty!

Let there be one unison of hearts for justice; and when you reflect around your own firesides, remember that fifteen thousand once among you, now not, but who are just as much entitled to the privileges and blessings you enjoy as yourselves, like the widow before the unjust judge, are fervently praying for their rights.

When you meditate upon the massacre at Haun's mill, forget not that the Constitution of your State holds this broad truth to the world, that none shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property, but by the judgment of his peers or the law of the land.

And when you assemble together in towns, counties, or districts, whether to petition your legislature to pay the damage the Saints have sustained in your State, by reason of oppression and misguided zeal, or to restore them to their rights according to Republican principles and benevolent designs, reflect, and make honorable, or annihilate, such statute law as was in force in your state in 1838,—viz.: "If twelve or more persons shall combine to levy war against any part of the people of this state, or to remove [them] forcibly out of the state or from their habitations, evidenced by taking arms and assembling to accomplish such purpose, every person so offending shall be punished by imprisonment in the Penitentiary for a period not exceeding five years, or by a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars and imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six months."

Finally, if honor dignifies an honest people, if virtue exalts a community, if wisdom guides great men, if principle governs intelligent beings, if humanity spreads comfort among the needy, and if religion affords consolation by showing that charity is the first, best and sweetest token of perfect love, then, O ye good people of Missouri, like the woman in Scripture who had lost one of her ten pieces of silver, arise, search diligently till you find the lost piece, and then make a feast, and call in your friends for joy.

With due consideration, I am the friend of all good men,


NAUVOO, ILL., March 8, 1844.

St. Louis Comment on the Prophet's Candidacy.

{248} Brother George A. Smith brought the information that Brother Farnham had just returned from St. Louis, and said the people in that place were saying, "Things have come to a strange pass. If Joe Smith is elected President, he will raise the devil with Missouri; and if he is not elected, he will raise the devil anyhow."

Copeland of Tennessee Considered as Candidate for Vice-President.

It was agreed that Colonel Solomon Copeland, living at Paris, Henry county, Tennessee, should be written to on the subject of the Vice-Presidency; and that Elder Wilford Woodruff should write the letter, and invite him to visit us, and see if he would suffer his name to run for that office.

Saturday, 9.—Met in the City Council, and gave my reasons in favor of the repeal of the hog law. [The subject was discussed at some length.]

Council adjourned for one hour. In the afternoon City Council rejected the petition to repeal the hog law.

Matter of Wharfage.

I proposed to license Hiram Kimball and Mr. Morrison, who own the land opposite to the wharf, to make wharves and collect wharfage; then the city can dispense with a wharf-master; that Kimball and Morrison pay a tax for the landing of every boat; and they could tax the boat, or not, as they liked.

The Female Relief Society met twice in the assembly room, and sanctioned "The Voice of Innocence From Nauvoo," and then adjourned for one week to accommodate others who could not get into the room at either of the meetings.

Death of King Follett.

Our worthy brother, King Follett, died this morning occasioned by the accidental breaking of a rope, and the falling of a bucket of rock upon him while engaged in walling up a well, and the men above were in the act of lowering the rock to him.


Elder Follett was one of those who bore the burden, in common with others of his brethren, in the days when men's faith was put to the test. He was a native of Vermont and moved many years since into Cuyahoga county, Ohio.

There, for the first time, he heard the Gospel preached, united with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the spring of 1831, and has been a sharer in the afflictions through which the Saints have passed from that time until the time of his death.

He shared in the violence of Missouri persecution, was cast into prison, and endured many months' imprisonment; and, after long delay, obtained a trial on the charges preferred against him, and was honorably discharged, being acquitted of all the crimes with which a band of wicked persecutors could charge him.

All the persecutions he endured only tended to strengthen his faith and confirm his hope; and he died as he had lived, rejoicing in the hope of future felicity.

Having united with the Church in the forty-first year of his age, he filled up the prime of his life in the service of his God, and went to rest in his fifty-sixth year, being fifty-five years, seven months, and fourteen days old when he slept the sleep of death.

So the righteous pass, and so they sleep, until the mandate of Him for whom they suffer and in whom they trust shall call them forth to glory, honor, immortality and eternal life.

Sunday, 10.—Frost in the night; beautiful day. South wind.

Brother King Follett was buried this day with Masonic honors.

I attended meeting at the stand, and preached on the subject of Elias, Elijah, and Messiah. [A sketch of which was reported by Elder Wilford Woodruff, as follows]:—

Discourse of the Prophet.—Elias, Elijah, Messiah.

There is a difference between the spirit and office of Elias and Elijah. It is the spirit of Elias I wish first to speak of; and in order to come at the subject, I will bring some of the testimony from the Scripture and give my own.

In the first place, suffice it to say, I went into the woods to inquire of {250} the Lord, by prayer, His will concerning me, and I saw an angel, and he laid his hands upon my head, and ordained me to a Priest after the order of Aaron, and to hold the keys of this Priesthood, which office was to preach repentance and baptism for the remission of sins, and also to baptize. But I was informed that this office did not extend to the laying on of hands for the giving of the Holy Ghost; that that office was a greater work, and was to be given afterward; but that my ordination was a preparatory work, or a going before, which was the spirit of Elias; for the spirit of Elias was a going before to prepare the way for the greater, which was the case with John the Baptist. He came crying through the wilderness, "Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight." And they were informed, if they could receive it, it was the spirit of Elias; and John was very particular to tell the people, he was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.

He told the people that his mission was to preach repentance and baptize with water; but it was He that should come after him that should baptize with fire and the Holy Ghost.

If he had been an imposter, he might have gone to work beyond his bounds, and undertook to have performed ordinances which did not belong to that office and calling, under the spirit of Elias.

The spirit of Elias is to prepare the way for a greater revelation of God, which is the Priesthood of Elias, or the Priesthood that Aaron was ordained unto. And when God sends a man into the world to prepare for a greater work, holding the keys of the power of Elias, it was called the doctrine of Elias, even from the early ages of the world.

John's mission was limited to preaching and baptizing: but what he did was legal; and when Jesus Christ came to any of John's disciples, He baptized them with fire and the Holy Ghost.

We find the apostles endowed with greater power than John: their office was more under the spirit and power of Elijah than Elias.

In the case of Phillip when he went down to Samaria, when he was under the spirit of Elias, he baptized both men and women. When Peter and John heard of it, they went down and laid hands upon them, and they received the Holy Ghost. This shows the distinction between the two powers.

When Paul came to certain disciples, he asked if they had received the Holy Ghost? They said, No. Who baptized you, then? We were baptized unto John's baptism. No, you were not baptized unto John's baptism, or you would have been baptized by John. And so Paul went and baptized them, for he knew what the true doctrine was, and he knew that John had not baptized them. And these principles are {251} strange to me, that men who have read the Scriptures of the New Testament are so far from it.

What I want to impress upon your minds is the difference of power in the different parts of the Priesthood, so that when any man comes among you, saying, "I have the spirit of Elias," you can know whether he be true or false; for any man that comes, having the spirit and power of Elias, he will not transcend his bounds.

John did not transcend his bounds, but faithfully performed that part belonging to his office; and every portion of the great building should be prepared right and assigned to its proper place; and it is necessary to know who holds the keys of power, and who does not, or we may be likely to be deceived.

That person who holds the keys of Elias hath a preparatory work. But if I spend much more time in conversing about the spirit of Elias, I shall not have time to do justice to the spirit and power of Elijah.

This is the Elias spoken of in the last days, and here is the rock upon which many split, thinking the time was past in the days of John and Christ, and no more to be. But the spirit of Elias was revealed to me, and I know it is true; therefore I speak with boldness, for I know verily my doctrine is true.

Now for Elijah. The spirit, power, and calling of Elijah is, that ye have power to hold the key of the revelation, ordinances, oracles, powers and endowments of the fullness of the Melchizedek Priesthood and of the kingdom of God on the earth; and to receive, obtain, and perform all the ordinances belonging to the kingdom of God, even unto the turning of the hearts of the fathers unto the children, and the hearts of the children unto the fathers, even those who are in heaven.

Malachi says, "I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse."

Now, what I am after is the knowledge of God, and I take my own course to obtain it. What are we to understand by this in the last days?

In the days of Noah, God destroyed the world by a flood, and He has promised to destroy it by fire in the last days: but before it should take place, Elijah should first come and turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, &c.

Now comes the point. What is this office and work of Elijah? It is one of the greatest and most important subjects that God has revealed. He should send Elijah to seal the children to the fathers, and the fathers to the children.

Now was this merely confined to the living, to settle difficulties with {252} families on earth? By no means. It was a far greater work. Elijah! what would you do if you were here? Would you confine your work to the living alone? No; I would refer you to the Scriptures, where the subject is manifest: that is, without us, they could not be made perfect, nor we without them; the fathers without the children, nor the children without the fathers.

I wish you to understand this subject, for it is important; and if you will receive it, this is the spirit of Elijah, that we redeem our dead, and connect ourselves with our fathers which are in heaven, and seal up our dead to come forth in the first resurrection; and here we want the power of Elijah to seal those who dwell on earth to those who dwell in heaven. This is the power of Elijah and the keys of the kingdom of Jehovah.

Let us suppose a case. Suppose the great God who dwells in heaven should reveal Himself to Father Cutler here, by the opening heavens, and tell him, "I offer up a decree that whatsoever you seal on earth with your decree, I will seal it in heaven; you have the power then; can it be taken off? No. Then what you seal on earth, by the keys of Elijah, is sealed in heaven; and this is the power of Elijah, and this is the difference between the spirit and power of Elias and Elijah; for while the spirit of Elias is a forerunner, the power of Elijah is sufficient to make our calling and election sure; and the same doctrine, where we are exhorted to go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead, &c.

We cannot be perfect without the fathers, &c. We must have revelation from them, and we can see that the doctrine of revelation far transcends the doctrine of no revelation; for one truth revealed from heaven is worth all the sectarian notions in existence.

This spirit of Elijah was manifest in the days of the apostles, in delivering certain ones to the buffetings of Satan, that they might be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. They were sealed by the spirit of Elijah unto the damnation of hell until the day of the Lord, or revelation of Jesus Christ.

Here is the doctrine of election that the world has quarreled so much about; but they do not know anything about it.

The doctrine that the Presbyterians and Methodists have quarreled so much about—once in grace, always in grace, or falling away from grace, I will say a word about. They are both wrong. Truth takes a road between them both, for while the Presbyterian says "once in grace, you cannot fall;" the Methodist says: "You can have grace today, fall from it tomorrow, next day have grace again; and so follow on, changing continually." But the doctrine of the Scriptures and the {253} spirit of Elijah would show them both false, and take a road between them both; for, according to the Scripture, if men have received the good word of God, and tasted of the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, it is impossible to renew them again, seeing they have crucified the Son of God afresh, and put Him to an open shame; so there is a possibility of falling away; you could not be renewed again, and the power of Elijah cannot seal against this sin, for this is a reserve made in the seals and power of the Priesthood.

I will make every doctrine plain that I present, and it shall stand upon a firm basis, and I am at the defiance of the world, for I will take shelter under the broad cover of the wings of the work in which I am engaged. It matters not to me if all hell boils over; I regard it only as I would the crackling of the thorns under a pot.

A murderer, for instance, one that sheds innocent blood, cannot have forgiveness. David sought repentance at the hand of God carefully with tears, for the murder of Uriah; but he could only get it through hell: he got a promise that his soul should not be left in hell.

Although David was a king, he never did obtain the spirit and power of Elijah and the fullness of the Priesthood; and the Priesthood that he received, and the throne and kingdom of David is to be taken from him and given to another by the name of David in the last days, raised up out of his lineage.

Peter referred to the same subject on the day of Pentecost, but the multitude did not get the endowment that Peter had; but several days after, the people asked "What shall we do?" Peter says, "I would ye had done it ignorantly," speaking of crucifying the Lord, &c. He did not say to them, "Repent and be baptized, for the remission of your sins;" but he said, "Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord." (Acts iii. 19.)

This is the case with murderers. They could not be baptized for the remission of sins for they had shed innocent blood.

Again: The doctrine or sealing power of Elijah is as follows:—If you have power to seal on earth and in heaven, then we should be wise. The first thing you do, go and seal on earth your sons and daughters unto yourself, and yourself unto your fathers in eternal glory. * * * * * * * I will walk through the gate of heaven and claim what I seal, and those that follow me and my counsel.

The Lord once told me that what I asked for I should have. I have been afraid to ask God to kill my enemies, lest some of them should, peradventure, repent.

I asked a short time since for the Lord to deliver me out of the hands of the Governor of Missouri, and if it needs must be to accomplish it, to {254} take him away; and the next news that came pouring down from there was, that Governor Reynolds had shot himself. And I would now say, "Beware, O earth, how you fight against the Saints of God and shed innocent blood; for in the days of Elijah, his enemies came upon him, and fire was called down from heaven and destroyed them.

The spirit of Elias is first, Elijah second, and Messiah last. Elias is a forerunner to prepare the way, and the spirit and power of Elijah is to come after, holding the keys of power, building the Temple to the capstone, placing the seals of the Melchizedek Priesthood upon the house of Israel, and making all things ready; then Messiah comes to His Temple, which is last of all.

Messiah is above the spirit and power of Elijah, for He made the world, and was that spiritual rock unto Moses in the wilderness. Elijah was to come and prepare the way and build up the kingdom before the coming of the great day of the Lord, although the spirit of Elias might begin it.

I have asked of the Lord concerning His coming; and while asking the Lord, He gave a sign and said, "In the days of Noah I set a bow in the heavens as a sign and token that in any year that the bow should be seen the Lord would not come; but there should be seed time and harvest during that year: but whenever you see the bow withdrawn, it shall be a token that there shall be famine, pestilence, and great distress among the nations, and that the coming of the Messiah is not far distant.

But I will take the responsibility upon myself to prophesy in the name of the Lord, that Christ will not come this year, as Father Miller has prophesied, for we have seen the bow; and I also prophesy, in the name of the Lord, that Christ will not come in forty years; and if God ever spoke by my mouth, He will not come in that length of time. Brethren, when you go home, write this down, that it may be remembered.

Jesus Christ never did reveal to any man the precise time that He would come. Go and read the Scriptures, and you cannot find anything that specifies the exact hour He would come; and all that say so are false teachers.

There are some important things concerning the office of the Messiah in the organization of the world, which I will speak of hereafter, May God Almighty bless you and pour out His Spirit upon you, is the prayer of your unworthy servant. Amen.

At half-past three p.m., I met with the Twelve, Bishop Miller and the Temple Committee, in the Nauvoo Mansion.

{255} The following letter from Lyman Wight and others was read:—

Letter:—Lyman Wight to the First Presidency—Preaching the Gospel to the Indians and Proposing to Migrate to Texas.

BLACK RIVER FALLS, Feb. 15, 1844.

To the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve of the Church of Christ of Latter-day Saints.

DEAR BRETHREN,—Through the goodness and mercy of God, the Eternal Father, and grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we are permitted to write and send by a special messenger a concise account of our lumbering operations, together with the apparent prospects of the introduction and spread of the Gospel among the Chippewa and Menomanee Indians, and also the projects of our hearts in regard to future operations in spreading the Gospel south in all the extent of America, and the consequences growing out of the same, all of which we beg leave to submit to your consideration that we may have your concurrence, or such views as shall be in accordance with the mind and will of the Lord, and govern ourselves in accordance therewith.

Since we have been here lumbering, we have had many difficulties to encounter; but the main hindrance to our successful operations was the feeding, clothing, and transporting a great many lazy, idle men, who have not produced anything by their pretended labor, and thus eating up all that the diligent and honest could produce by their unceasing application to labor; and we have not yet got entirely clear of such persons.

But under all these mighty clogs and hindrances, we have been able to accomplish and have in progress, so that we can deliver in Nauvoo about one million feet of lumber by the last of July next, which will be a great deal more than what is necessary to build the Temple and the Nauvoo House. Besides all this, we have made valuable improvements here,—all the result of much labor done under trying circumstances.

We have recently ascertained that the lands from the falls of Black River to its sources are the property of the Menomanee Indians, and the general government having urged them to move off the lands in the vicinity of Green Bay to their own lands. The Indians say they will, provided the Government will remove all strange Indians and trespassing white men off their lands; consequently, the agent and superintendent of Indian Affairs are taking such steps as will stop all further trespassing on the Indian lands, on the Wisconsin, Black and Chippewa rivers, under the penalties of the laws relative to the cases.

{256} We sent Brothers Miller and Daniels, in company with the principal chief of the Menomanee Indians, overland to the Wisconsin river, to ascertain more about the matter. They saw the agent; found him a gruff, austere man, determined to stop all trespassing on Indian lands.

The Indians are willing to sell privileges to individuals for lumbering and cutting timber, as they have hitherto done; but the agent is opposed to it. Thus a difficulty arises between themselves.

Now, as regards the introduction of the Gospel of Christ among the Indians here, it will require more exertion, to all appearances, to check the enthusiastic ardor of these our red brethren, until the full principles of faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ shall be reasoned into their minds, than to urge them on to receive it. They have great confidence in us.

The country belonging to these northern Indians is a dreary, cold region, and to a great extent, cranberry marshes, pine barrens, and swamps, with a small amount of good lands, scarce of game, and only valuable in mill privileges and facilities for lumbering purposes.

As to mineral resources, they have not been fully developed. There is no doubt as to the abundance of iron ore, but uncertain as to quality.

Now, under all these circumstances, a few of us here have arrived at this conclusion in our minds (such as can undergo all things,)—that as the Gospel has not been fully opened in all the South and Southwestern States, as also Texas, Mexico, Brazil, &c., together with the West Indian Islands, having produced lumber enough to build the Temple and Nauvoo House,—also having an influence over the Indians, so as to induce them to sell their lands to the United States, and go to a climate southwest, (all according to the policy of the U. S. Government),—and having also become convinced that the Church at Nauvoo or in the Eastern States will not build the Nauvoo House according to the commandment, neither the Temple in a reasonable time, and that we have, so far as we have made trials, got means in the south,—we have in our minds to go to the table-lands of Texas, to a point we may find to be the most eligible, there locate, and let it be a place of gathering for all the South (they being incumbered with that unfortunate race of beings, the negroes); and for us to employ our time and talents in gathering together means to build according to the commandments of our God, and spread the Gospel to the nations according to the will of our Heavenly Father. We, therefore, our beloved brethren, send our worthy Brother Young, with a few of our thoughts, on paper, that you may take the subject-matter under consideration, and return us such instructions as may be according to the mind and will of the Lord our God.

We have thought it best to sell the mills here, if you think it expedient. We feel greatly encouraged to spend and be spent in the cause of Christ, according to the will of our Heavenly Father.

{257} You will, therefore, after due deliberation, send us, by the hands of Brother Young, such instructions as may be the result of your deliberations.

Holding ourselves ready under all circumstances in life to try to do all things whatsoever commanded or instructed to do by those ordained to direct the officers of the Church of Jesus Christ; subscribing ourselves yours truly, while life shall endure,

Lyman Wight,

George Miller,

Phineas R. Bird,

Pierce Hawley,

John Young.

Select Committee to write expressly the views of the branch of the Church at Black River Falls.

Joseph Smith, P. C.,

Brigham Young, P. T.,

Willard Richards, Clerk.

Also a letter to myself from Lyman Wight and others—

Letter:—Lyman Wight to President Joseph Smith—Suggesting a Southwest Movement for the Church.


February 15th, 1844.

To Joseph Smith, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and to the Twelve Apostles, greeting:—

Believing a concert of action in all things in this Church to be highly important, we deem it necessary, under existing circumstances, to make you acquainted with our views, feelings, and temporal and spiritual prospects, as they now exist.

We wrote you last fall a full and complete description of this country as high as the falls on Black River, without exaggeration, giving a slight description of the Pinery.

With the exception of several renegades and false brethren, things passed smoothly until some time in the month of January, when we were visited by three different tribes of Lamanites upon the most friendly terms, receiving us as their counselors, both temporal and spiritual.

The names of those tribes are Menomanees, Chippewa, and Winnebagoes. They informed us that all the land above the falls belongs to the Menomanee tribe, and that the agents and the governor, the general {258} agent in the northwest of all the Indian affairs, had agreed with them to remove all the lumbermen from Black River, Chippewa, and Lemanware rivers, by their request; but after a lengthy conversation with them, they felt to treat us as their friends, and not their enemies.

We dispatched two messengers—namely, George Miller and Cyrus Daniels, to go immediately to Wisconsin, where they met with the agent, who gave them to understand we could get the timber, which is already cut, at a reasonable rate, and for any future prospect we will be under the necessity of entering into a contract.

We calculate the present prospect for lumber betwixt this and the last of July next will be from eight to twelve hundred thousand feet, which we deem will be all sufficient to finish the two houses, which will accomplish the mission on which we started to this country.

We, therefore, as a branch and a member of the body of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints chose the following committee—namely, Lyman Wight, George Miller, Pierce Hawley, Phineas R. Bird and John Young, to correspond with your reverend council, giving you our views concerning matters and things, and requesting your counsel on the same.

This committee views it inexpedient to purchase standing timber on so rapid and unnavigable a stream for the purpose of making lumber to gain wealth.

The Lamanites owning this land, notwithstanding their great anxiety to receive the Gospel and the Book of Mormon, have a strong desire, if counseled by us so to do, to go south-west, where game is more plentiful as their only resource here for a living is the pitiful annuities and proceeds from their pine timber, which timber is the only inducement to the Government to purchase their lands.

This committee is therefore led to take a brief view of the south and western part of North America, together with the Floridas, Texas, West India Islands, and the adjacent islands to the Gulf of Mexico, together with the Lamanites bordering on the United Territories from Green Bay to the Mexican Gulf, all crying with one voice, through the medium of their chiefs, Give us an understanding of your doctrine and principles, for we perceive that your ways are equal, and your righteousness far exceeds the righteousness of all the missionaries that we have yet become acquainted with,—that your conduct with one another is like that of ours, and that all your feasts and attendant ceremonies are precisely like ours.

Your servants, the committee, have viewed the Colorado river, with all its beautiful hills and valleys and fertile soil, with deep regret, when viewing the countless thousands of inhabitants on either side thereof, without the knowledge of God or the doctrine of the Church of Jesus {259} Christ of Latter-day Saints, and say in their hearts, Would it be expedient to form a mission of those true and full-blooded Ephraimites, who, from principle, and the love of the truth, have borne the most extreme burdens, fatigue, and hunger, to prosecute the mission, to procure lumber sufficient to build the two houses, to open the door to all the regions which we have named, which regions have never yet had an opportunity to hear the Gospel and to be made acquainted with the plan of salvation? or shall they continue to suffer the fatigues of hunger, wet and cold, in a rigid, inclement climate, for the pitiful sum that it shall avail them, after undergoing those hazardous perils? or shall they, like Timothy and Titus, with Paul, hazard the perils of the sea and land through the Southern States and West India Islands, and all the Lamanite world, go forth and proclaim to them the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and teach them to build up Zion?

Are there not thousands of the rich planters who would embrace the Gospel, and, if they had a place to plant their slaves, give all the proceeds of their yearly labor, if rightly taught, for building up the kingdom, being directed by the President of the whole Church to make the right application? We answer, Yes, we believe they would.

Your servants, the committee, are of the opinion that a concerted and reciprocity of action between the North and the South would greatly advance the building up of the kingdom.

The committee is well informed of the Cherokee and the Chocktaw nations who live between the state of Arkansas and the Colorado river of the Texans, owning large plantations and thousands of slaves, and that they are also very desirous to have an interview with the Elders of this Church, upon the principles of the Book of Mormon.

This committee is of the opinion that they can choose soldiers for this expedition who are as undeviating in the principles of the doctrine of Christ and the Book of Mormon as the sun in his daily course, and as indefatigable in their exertions in this cause as the earth is in its daily revolution.

This committee views it as a matter of investigation, whether would the Southerner, with his slaves and abundance of wealth, do better to take them to some slave-holding point, keep them in lively exercise according to his former customs and habits turning over his yearly proceeds into the hands of the Trustee-in-Trust for the whole Church, or to abolish slavery and settle himself in a climate uncongenial to his nature and entirely derogatory to his former occupations in life?

After having procured the lumber for those two houses, the committee is of the opinion that the preaching of the Gospel and raising funds {260} in the south would be a far more speedy way of accomplishing the work than any other that could be introduced at the present time.

We, your servants, therefore, will wait patiently the result of your council, and submit ourselves to the same with all cheerfulness, our only object being to advance the cause and kingdom of God, stand ready to take hold wherever your wise council may consider it to be of the most advantage.

This committee view with deep regret the many different teachings this Church has received concerning the distribution of their property, such as raising funds for the printing of tracts, evidences of the Book of Mormon, and pamphlets of various descriptions, which we consider has not advanced the cause in the least degree, but has tended directly to sap the foundation of building the houses.

We therefore believe that no person embracing the doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints should give any part or parcel of the property without a direct counsel, written or oral, from the First Presidency of the Church.

Whereas the committee having appointed George Miller and Lyman Wight to write the views of the committee, each wrote separate and apart, having laid the same before the committee, the committee resolved that both productions be sent without alterations.

We, the committee, conclude by subscribing ourselves your friends and well-wishers in the Lord, praying a speedy answer from your worthy council, or the word of the Lord.






Select Committee to write expressing the views of the branch of the Church at Black River Falls.

Joseph Smith, Sen., P. C.

Brigham Young, P. T.

William Richards, Clerk.

The brethren went into council on the subject matter of the letters during the evening.

Monday 11.—At home till nine; then spent the day in council in the lodge room over Henry Miller's house.

Special Council Meeting on Wight and Miller Letters.

Present—Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Willard Richards, Parley P. Pratt, Orson Pratt, John Taylor, {261} George A. Smith, William W. Phelps, John M. Bernhisel, Lucien Woodworth, George Miller, Alexander Badlam, Peter Haws, Erastus Snow, Reynolds Cahoon, Amos Fielding, Alpheus Cutler, Levi Richards, Newel K. Whitney, Lorenzo D. Wasson, and William Clayton, whom I organized into a special council, to take into consideration the subject matter contained in the above letters, and also the best policy for this people to adopt to obtain their rights from the nation and insure protection for themselves and children; and to secure a resting place in the mountains, or some uninhabited region, where we can enjoy the liberty of conscience guaranteed to us by the Constitution of our country, rendered doubly sacred by the precious blood of our fathers, and denied to us by the present authorities, who have smuggled themselves into power in the States and Nation.


1. Nauvoo was unfortunate in being overrun with pettifogging lawyers at this time, and it was to these, doubtless, that the disparaging remarks of both the Prophet and Hyrum, respecting lawyers referred. It is unfortunate that they did not segregate the pettifoggers from the worthy men of the profession; than whom no class of citizens, and no other profession, render more valuable service to the state.




Tuesday, March 12, 1844.—At home in the morning. At eleven a.m., I told Brother Cole I wanted the room over the store for more important purposes, and wished him to remove the school to Henry Miller's house immediately; which he did.

The brethren who were in council with me yesterday assembled there in the afternoon and evening.

Gave the following recommend to Elder Orson Pratt.

Credentials of Orson Pratt as Agent for the City of Nauvoo.



We, the mayor and recorder of said city, do hereby certify that Orson Pratt, Esq., the bearer, a councilor in city council of said city, is sent as an agent by the authorities of said city or corporation to transact such business as he may deem expedient and beneficial for the community which he represents; and as such agent and gentleman of principle and character, he by us is recommended to the due consideration of all the executive officers of the government, both houses of Congress, and gentlemen generally of the United States.

In witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands and affixed the seal of said corporation at the time and place aforesaid.




{263} A dull cloudy day.

Co-operative Store Planned.

A meeting of the inhabitants of the Tenth ward was held this evening at the schoolhouse on the hill, in Parley street, to take into consideration the propriety of establishing a store on the principle of co-operation or reciprocity. The subject was fully investigated, and the benefits of such an institution clearly pointed out.

The plan proposed for carrying out the object of the meeting was by shares of five dollars each.

The leading feature of the institution was to give employment to our own mechanics, by supplying the raw material, and manufacturing all sorts of domestic goods, and furnishing the necessaries and comforts of life on the lowest possible terms.

A committee was appointed to draft a plan for the government of said institute, to be submitted for adoption or amendment at their next meeting; after which an adjournment took place till next Tuesday evening, at half-past: six o'clock, at the same place.

Wednesday, 13.—In special council from nine to twelve a.m. Orson Hyde, Wilford Woodruff and James Emmett were present, in addition to those of the preceding day. Willard Richards was appointed historian, and William Clayton clerk of the council.

It was decided that Amos Fielding should return to England, when I and my brother Hyrum gave him the following letter of attorney:—

Credentials of Elder Amos Fielding on Departing for England.

"This is to certify that the bearer thereof, our worthy brother Elder Amos Fielding, hath been appointed by the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, our agent, to transact such business as may be deemed necessary for the benefit of said Church, and such as he shall see proper throughout the island of Great Britain.

He is hereby authorized to receive moneys for the Temple in Nauvoo, {264} the poor, or for the Church; and the brethren will be safe should they deposit money in his hands for any purpose pertaining to the Church business in this place.

In witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands and placed the corporation seal of City of Nauvoo this 13th day of March, A. D. 1844.




Presiding Elders of the whole Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Thursday, 14.—In special council over the store from nine till one.

At two, went to see Brother John Wilkie. He had sent to me to come and see him. He wanted to know what he should do. I told him of the order of tithing, &c., and he wanted I should come again.

At four, went to assembly room again. Lucien Woodworth sent on a mission to Texas. At seven, adjourned to next Tuesday, at nine, a.m.

Friday 15.—Dull, cloudy day, north wind. Frosty night. Spent the day in council.

Being in a strait to raise money to assist the hands in the Pine country, I sent Elders Brigham and Willard Richards to borrow some money from Mr. Orme, who, it is believed, had a large sum of money lying idle, but they did not get any.

I copy from the Law of the Lord:—

John Wilkie. The Blessing of the Prophet upon Him.

"This day President Joseph Smith rode over to Brother John Wilkie's at his special request, to give him some instructions relative to his duty in regard to tithing and consecration.

Brother Wilkie has for a long time back been struggling with his feelings, designing to do right, but laboring under many fears and prejudices, in consequence of having in some degree given way to believe the base reports circulated by individuals for the purpose of injuring the authorities of the Church, and also from various other causes. His faithful companion has persevered diligently, and with fervent prayer has called upon God in his behalf, until she has realized her utmost wishes.

{265} Brother Wilkie now feels anxious to do right in all things, and especially to pay his tithing to the full. President Joseph showed him the principles of consecration and the means whereby he might realize the fullness of the blessings of the celestial kingdom; and as an evidence that he desired to do right, he paid over to the Trustee-in-Trust the sum of three hundred dollars in gold and silver for the benefit of the Temple, and which is now recorded on consecration.

He also signified his intention of paying more as soon as he could get matters properly arranged. The president then pronounced a blessing upon him and his companion, that they should have the blessing of God to attend them in their basket and in their store—that they should have the blessing of health and salvation and long life, inasmuch as they would continue to walk in obedience to the commandments of God.

May the Lord grant his Spirit and peace to abide upon Brother Wilkie and his companion through the remainder of their days; may their hearts expand and become enlarged to receive the fullness of the blessings of the kingdom of heaven; may they have the light of eternal truth continually springing up in them like a well of living water; may they be shielded from the powers of Satan and the influence of designing men, and their faith increase from day to day until they shall have power to lay hold on the blessings of God and the gifts of the Spirit until they are satisfied; and, finally, may they live to a good old age; and when they have lived while they desire life, may they die in peace and be received into the mansions of eternal life, and enjoy a celestial glory forever and ever! Even so, amen.

The editors of the Times and Seasons published a short account of "Our City and the Present Aspect of Affairs," which we insert.


Believing that our patrons and friends are pleased to hear of our prosperity, we feel happy in apprising them of the same, through the columns of our paper.

Owing to the scarcity of provision and the pressure in the money market during the past winter, commercial business has been somewhat dull; consequently, those who were not previously prepared have been obliged to employ the principal portion of their time in obtaining the necessary means for the sustenance of their families: therefore little improvement has been made. But old Boreas is now on his receding march, and spring has commenced its return with all its pleasantness.

{266} Navigation is open, and steamboats are almost continually plying up and down our majestic river. They have already brought several families of emigrants to this place, who have cordially joined with their friends and brethren in the great work of the upbuilding of Zion and the rolling forth of the kingdom of God.

The work of improvement is now actively begun, and in every direction may be heard the sound of the mason's trowel, the carpenter's hammer, the teamster's voice, or, in other words, the hum of industry and the voice of merriment. Indeed, to judge from the present appearance, a greater amount of improvement will be done the ensuing summer than in the preceding one.

Almost every stranger that enters our city is excited with astonishment that so much has been done in so short a time; but we flatter ourselves, from the known industry, perseverance, and diligence of the Saints, that by the return of another winter so much more will be accomplished, that his astonishment will be increased to wonder and admiration.

Quite extensive preparations are being made by the farmers in this vicinity for the cultivation of land; and should the season prove favorable, we doubt not that nearly, if not a sufficient amount of produce will be raised to supply the wants of the city and adjacent country.

We are also pleased that we can inform our friends abroad that the Saints here of late have taken hold of the work on the Temple with the zeal and energy that in no small degree excites our admiration. Their united efforts certainly speak to us that it is their determination that this spacious edifice shall be enclosed, if not finished, this season.

And a word we would say to the Saints abroad, which is, that the Temple is being built in compliance with a special commandment of God not to a few individuals, but to all. Therefore we sincerely hope you will contribute of your means as liberally as your circumstances will allow, that the burden of the work may not rest upon a few, but proportionately upon all.

Where is the true-hearted Saint that does not with joy and delight contemplate the endowment of the servants of God and the blessings He has promised to His people on condition that they speedily build the Temple? Certainly you cannot reasonably expect to enjoy these blessings if you refuse to contribute your share towards its erection.

It is a thing of importance, and much depends upon its accomplishment: therefore we wish to forcibly impress the matter upon your minds, hoping you will become aroused to a sense or your duty—that every company of Saints, every Elder that comes here, and every mail may bring money and other property for this important work,—which, {267} when completed, will stand, in one sense of the word, as a firm pillar in Zion, and which will greatly facilitate the prosperity of the great cause of truth which we all are actively engaged in.

Saturday, 16.—At home. At one p.m., I sat in council with Willard Richards, Orrin P. Rockwell, and Bishop George Miller.

The Female Relief Society had two meetings in the assembly room, as it would not hold all at once, and sanctioned the "Voice of Innocence from Nauvoo."

Wind Storm at Nauvoo.

Sunday, 17.—Last night, Nauvoo was visited by a very strong wind from the west. It blew down a portion of the west wall of the new hall (28 by 40 feet on the ground,) which the Seventies had commenced on Bain street, and they had raised for the roof.

The wind continued very strong all day. In the evening, had a smart snowstorm, which covered the ground, was succeeded by a frosty night.

Attended prayer meeting.

Monday, 18.—The frost of last night was so severe as to form ice inside the houses.

I stayed at home to recite German with Brother Neibaur.

Tuesday, 19.—Met in council in the assembly room. Elder Samuel Bent, Uriah Brown, Samuel James, John D. Parker, Orrin P. Rockwell, Sidney Rigdon, William Marks, and Orson Spencer met in council, in addition to the former names.

In the afternoon, heavy, driving rain. Northwest wind. Dull, cold day.

Wednesday, 20.—Severely cold northwest wind, with a snow and hail storm until ten a.m. Afternoon dull. West wind.

Spent the morning and afternoon in the assembly room, studying the languages.

Col. Copeland and the Vice-Presidency.

{268} Elder Woodruff read me a letter which he had written to Colonel Solomon Copeland concerning his nomination to be a candidate for the Vice-President of the United States.

The Illinois Springfield Register has the following:—


It appears by the Nauvoo papers that the Mormon Prophet is actually a candidate for the presidency. He has sent us his pamphlet, containing an extract of his principles, from which it appears that he is up to the hub for a United States bank and a protective tariff. On these points he is much more explicit than Mr. Clay, who will not say that he is for a bank, but talks all the time of restoring a national currency. Nor will Mr. Clay say what kind of a tariff he is for. He says to the south that he has not sufficiently examined the present tariff, but thinks very likely it could be amended.

General Smith possesses no such fastidious delicacy. He comes right out in favor of a bank and a tariff, taking the true Whig ground, and ought to be regarded as the real Whig candidate for President, until Mr. Clay can so far recover from his shuffling and dodging as to declare his sentiments like a man.

At present we can form no opinion of Clay's principles, except as they are professed by his friends in these parts.

Clay himself has adopted the notion which was once entertained by an eminent grammarian, who denied that language was intended as a means to express one's ideas, but insisted that it was invented on purpose to aid us in concealing them.

The Iowa Democrat publishes the following:—

A New Candidate in the Field.

We see from the Nauvoo Neighbor that General Joseph Smith, the great Mormon Prophet, has become a candidate for the next presidency. We do not know whether he intends to submit his claims to the National Convention, or not; but, judging from the language of his own organ, we conclude that he considers himself a full team for all of them.

All that we have to say on this point is, that if superior talent, genius, and intelligence, combined with virtue, integrity, and enlarged views, are any guarantee to General Smith's being elected, we think that he will be a "full team of himself."

{269} The Missouri Republican believes that it will be death to Van Buren, and all agree that it must be injurious to the Democratic ranks, inasmuch as it will throw the Mormon vote out of the field.

A traveler, having visited Nauvoo for a few days, wrote to the Times and Seasons

"Mr. Editor,—Before I take my departure, permit me to express my views relative to the leading men of your city, where I have been these few days.

I have been conversant with the great men of the age; and, last of all I feel that I have met with the greatest, in the presence of your esteemed Prophet, General Joseph Smith. From many reports, I had reason to believe him a bigoted religionist, as ignorant of politics as the savages; but, to my utter astonishment, on the short acquaintance, I have found him as familiar in the cabinet of nations as with his Bible and in the knowledge of that book I have not met with his equal in Europe or America. Although I should beg leave to differ with him in some items of faith, his nobleness of soul will not permit him to take offense at me. No, sir; I find him open, frank, and generous,—as willing others should enjoy their opinions as to enjoy his own.

The General appears perfectly at home on every subject, and his familiarity with many languages affords him ample means to become informed concerning all nations and principles, which with his familiar and dignified deportment towards all must secure to his interest the affections of every intelligent and virtuous man that may chance to fall in his way, and I am astonished that so little is known abroad concerning him.

Van Buren was my favorite, and I was astonished to see General Smith's name as a competitor; but, since my late acquaintance, Mr. Van Buren can never re-seat himself in the Presidential chair on my vote while General Smith is in the field. Forming my opinions alone of the talents of the two, and from what I have seen, I have no reason to doubt but General Smith's integrity is equal to any other individual; and I am satisfied he cannot easily be made the pliant tool of any political party. I take him to be a man who stands far aloof from little caucus quibblings and squabblings, while nations, governments, and realms are wielded in his hand as familiarly as the top and hoop in the hands of their little masters.

Free from all bigotry and superstition, he dives into every subject, and it seems as though the world was not large enough to satisfy his capacious soul, and from his conversation one might suppose him as well acquainted with other worlds as this.

So far as I can discover, General Smith is the nation's man, and the man who will exalt the nation, if the people will give him the opportunity; {270} and all parties will find a friend in him so far as right is concerned.

General Smith's movements are perfectly anomalous in the estimation of the public. All other great men have been considered wise in drawing around them wise men; but I have frequently heard the General called a fool because he has gathered the wisest of men to his cabinet, who direct his movements; but this subject is too ridiculous to dwell upon. Suffice it to say, so far as I have seen, he has wise men at his side—superlatively wise, and more capable of managing the affairs of a State than most men now engaged therein, which I consider much to his credit, though I would by no means speak diminutively of my old friend.

From my brief acquaintance, I consider General Smith (independent of his peculiar religious views, in which by-the-by, I have discovered neither vanity nor folly,) the sine qua non of the age to our nation's prosperity. He has learned the all-important lesson "to profit by the experience of those who have gone before;" so that, in short, General Smith begins where other men leave off. I am aware this will appear a bold assertion to some; but I would say to such, call, and form your acquaintance, as I have done; then judge.

Thus, sir, you have a few leading items of my views of General Smith, formed from personal acquaintance, which you are at liberty to dispose of as you think proper. I anticipate the pleasure of renewing my acquaintance with your citizens at a future day.

Yours respectfully,


A writer in the Quincy Herald reflects very strongly upon the conduct of the Quincy Whig, New York Tribune, and other newspapers, for publishing slanderous falsehoods against the Saints.

Ten, p.m., commenced snowing again.

Origin of Memorial to Congress.

Thursday, 21.—A cold snow-storm through the night.

In council in the assembly room, discussing the propriety of petitioning Congress for the privilege of raising troops to protect the making of settlements in the uncivilized portions of our continent.

Willard Richards was appointed a committee to draw up a memorial to Congress.

{271} Friday, 22.—Snow on the ground; cold, bleak north wind; cloudy.

At ten a.m., held Mayor's court, and afterwards read German in the reading room.

In the afternoon, met with the Twelve in prayer at President Brigham Young's house.

The Seventies' Hall, Instructions on Rebuilding.

I advised the Seventies to pull down the remainder of the walls and rebuild the Seventies' hall on a permanent basis from the foundation and not erect for themselves a trap, but build one two stories high, and strong enough to stand for a generation.

Saturday, 23.—Day warmer. Rode out with Clayton to endeavor to raise money to furnish the hands in the Pinery with supplies. Visited the Temple and public works.

Also called with William Clayton and Alexander Neibaur at Dr. Foster's. He was gone to Appanoose, and Mrs. Foster was at Mr. Gilman's.

I here extract from William Clayton's journal:—

President Smith's Interview With Mrs. Foster.

We went down there and saw her, [Mrs. Foster]. President Joseph asked Sister Foster if she ever in her life knew him guilty of an immoral or indecent act. She answered, "No." He then explained his reasons for asking; which were, he had been informed that Dr. Foster had stated that Joseph made propositions to his wife calculated to lead her astray from the path of virtue; and then asked if ever he had used any indecent or insulting language to her. She answered, "Never." He further asked if he ever preached anything like the "plurality of wife" doctrine to her other than what he had preached in public? She said, "No." He asked her if he ever proposed to have illicit intercourse with her, and especially when he took dinner during the doctor's absence. She said, "No." After some further conversation on the subject, we left. Mrs. Gillman was present all the time. President Joseph and Neibaur then went on foot to the farm.

Sunday, 24.—At ten, a.m., met at the stand near the {272} Temple. [The following very brief outline of the speeches is from the journal of Wilford Woodruff]:—

Discourse of President Smith—Conspiracies in Nauvoo.

"President Joseph Smith addressed the people. The following is the substance of what I heard him say:—

I have been informed by two gentlemen that a conspiracy is got up in this place for the purpose of taking the life of President Joseph Smith, his family, and all the Smith family, and the heads of the Church. One of the gentlemen will give his name to the public, and the other wishes it to be hid for the present: they will both testify to it on oath, and make an affidavit upon it. The names of the persons revealed at the head of the conspiracy are as follows:—Chancey L. Higbee, Dr. Robert D. Foster, Mr. Joseph H. Jackson, William and Wilson Law. And the lies that C. L. Higbee has hatched up as a foundation to work upon are—he says that I had men's heads cut off in Missouri, and that I had a sword run through the hearts of the people that I wanted to kill and put out of the way. I won't swear out a warrant against them, for I don't fear any of them: they would not scare off an old setting hen. I intend to publish all the iniquity that I know of them. If I am guilty, I am ready to bear it. There is sometimes honor among enemies. I am willing to do anything for the good of the people. I will give the name of one of the gentlemen who have divulged the plot: his name is M. G. Eaton. He will swear to it: he is a bold fellow. Joseph H. Jackson said a Smith should not be alive in two weeks,—not over two months anyhow. Concerning the character of these men, I will say nothing about it now; but if I hear anything more from them on this subject, I will tell what I know about them.

Elder Orson Spencer addressed the people as follows:—

While listening to President Smith's remarks, I thought of a figure, i.e., if a physician was going to dissect a body, he would not be likely to begin at the limbs but cut the head off first. So the adversary of the Saints has laid a plan to cut off the head of the Church with the intention of scattering and destroying the whole body. It was so in the days of Jesus Christ; the enemies of the truth sought to kill Him, that the body might be destroyed; which was also the case in the days of Elijah, Daniel, and many of the ancients.

I once heard a man say, who was opposed to this work, "That it might be true, but it gave Joseph Smith power." True, said I; but if his power be subordinate to the power of God, it is right. If a man set up a kingdom by the power of God, then let others seek power from the same source. God sets up kingdoms and pulls down kingdoms: {273} this makes men mad who will not submit to the kingdom of God. We all know the result of the power of Moses, who was the representative of God.

Judging from what is past, how will it be when God sets up His kingdom in the last days? Whether there is a conspiracy now, or not, I don't know; but no doubt there will be, if not now, for it has always been so. In the days of the Nephites, they had their Gadianton robbers. I have not any doubt but that the apostates will join with the other wicked powers to try to put down the power of God, and I am glad to have the power of the kingdom of God tested; I care not what sacrifice I am called to make for such a kingdom. If it is friends, wealth, or even life, at the purchase of such a kingdom, it is cheap. Did the ancient Apostles, Prophets, or Saints who died pay too much for that kingdom? They did not. It is necessary that men be put in possession of the knowledge and mysteries of the kingdom of God, in order to sin as far as they wish, that they may go to the highest pitch. How often men lay down their lives for their country and other purposes. How much better, then, to die for the cause of Zion! Good and righteous men will administer justice and rebuke evil. The Church should be cleansed from bad men, and the Lord will take His own way to cleanse the Church.

We should lift up our voice against wickedness of all kinds. But will the rulers of our land do it? No, they will not; they will be cowards until there is no man to fight, and then be brave. When Government will not do it, some man should take the helm of government that will do it. Will it be called treason, if the God of heaven should set up a kingdom? May the Lord give you more and more of His Spirit, light and intelligence, until you are cemented together in union and love. Amen.

Elder Sidney Rigdon addressed the meeting.

President Joseph Smith again arose and said—In relation to the power over the minds of mankind which I hold, I would say, It is in consequence of the power of truth in the doctrines which I have been an instrument in the hands of God of presenting unto them, and not because of any compulsion on my part. I wish to ask if ever I got any of it unfairly? If I have not reproved you in the gate? I ask, Did I ever exercise any compulsion over any man? Did I not give him the liberty of disbelieving any doctrine I have preached, if he saw fit? Why do not my enemies strike a blow at the doctrine? They cannot do it: it is truth, and I defy all men to upset it. I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, "Repent ye of your sins and prepare the way for the coming of the Son of Man; for the kingdom of God has come unto you, {274} and henceforth the ax is laid unto the root of the tree; and every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit, God Almighty (and not Joe Smith) shall hew it down and cast it into the fire."

After meeting, I rode out with Emma. The trees begin to bud forth.

In the evening, held a conversation with a large company of friends at my door.

Elder R. H. Kinnamon writes that during the last 22 months he has baptized over 100 persons while on a mission in Virginia and North Carolina, organized two branches in Virginia, and calls are continually made for preaching in every direction.

Progress on Memorial to Congress.

Monday, 25.—At home in the morning. After dinner rode up to the upper landing to see the St. Louis Oak steamer. Learned that a company of emigrants from England were expected soon. Called at my office on returning, and heard read the draft of a memorial to Congress which my clerk had been writing, as a committee appointed by the council on Thursday last, and was pleased with the instrument.

Millions of wild pigeons flying north, and millions of gnats dancing in the air. Dull day. At night thunder, lightning and rain.

Tuesday, 26.—Dull day. From nine to twelve, noon, in council; also from two to five p.m.

The memorial drawn up by Dr. Richards was read, discussed, and approved by the general council.

Started this morning to go to Ramus with Brother Amasa Lyman. Rode as far as the Temple, and found it so muddy that we turned back.

Issued a warrant on the complaint of Vernon H. Bruce, against Ianthus Rolfe, for stealing two stone-cutter's tools.

I wrote the following:—

{275} The Prophet's Memorial to Congress.

To the Honorable the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress Assembled:

Your memorialist, a tree-born citizen or these United States, respectfully showeth that from his infancy his soul has been filled with the most intense and philanthropic interest for the welfare of his native country; and being fired with an ardor which floods cannot quench, crowns cannot conquer, nor diplomatic intrigue corrupt, to see those principles which emanated from the bosoms of the fathers of seventy-six, and which cost the noblest talents and richest blood of the nation, maintained inviolate and perpetuated to future generations; and the proud eagle of American freedom soar triumphant over every party prejudice and local sinistry, and spread her golden pinions over every member of the human family, who shall stretch forth their hands for succor from the lion's paw or the oppressor's grasp; and firmly trusting in the God of liberty, that He has designed universal peace and goodwill, union, and brotherly love to all the great family of man, your memorialist asks your honorable body to pass the following:—


An Ordinance for the Protection of the Citizens of the United States Emigrating to the Territories, and for the Extension of the Principles of Universal Liberty.


Whereas, many of the citizens of these United States have migrated and are migrating to Texas, Oregon, and other lands contiguous to this nation; and whereas, Texas has declared herself free and independent, without the necessary power to protect her rights and liberties; and whereas Oregon is without any organized government, and those who emigrate thither are exposed to foreign invasion and domestic feuds; and whereas the Oregon, by geographical location and discovery more rightfully belongs to these United States than any other general government; and whereas it is necessary that the emigrants of that newly settling territory should receive protection; and whereas the Texan Government has petitioned the United States to be received into our Union, but yet retains her national existence; and whereas the United States remember with gratitude the seasonable support they received in alike situation from a LaFayette; and whereas the United States desire to see the principles of her free institutions extended to all men, especially {276} where it can be done without the loss of blood and treasure to the nation; and whereas there is an almost boundless extent of territory on the west and south of these United States, where exists little or no organization of protective Government; and whereas the lands thus unknown; unowned, or unoccupied, are among some of the richest and most fertile of the continent; and whereas many of the inhabitants of the Union would gladly embrace the opportunity of extending their researches and acquirements so soon as they can receive protection in their enterprise, thereby adding strength, durability, and wealth to the nation; and whereas the red man, the robber, and the desperado have frequently interrupted such research and acquisition without justifiable cause; and whereas Joseph Smith has offered and does hereby offer these United States, to show his loyalty to our Confederate Union and the Constitution of our Republic; to prevent quarrel and bloodshed our frontiers; to extend the arm of deliverance to Texas; to on protect the inhabitants of Oregon from foreign aggressions and domestic broils; to prevent the crowned nations from encircling us as a nation on our western and southern borders, and save the eagle's talon from the lion's paw; to still the tongue of slander, and show the world that a Republic can be, and not be ungrateful; to open the vast regions of the unpeopled west and south to our enlightened and enterprising yeomanry; to protect them in their researches; to secure them in their locations, and thus strengthen the Government and enlarge her borders; to extend her influence; to inspire the nations with the spirit of freedom and win them to her standard; to promote intelligence; to cultivate and establish peace among all with whom we may have intercourse as neighbors; to settle all existing difficulties among those not organized into an acknowledged government bordering upon the United States and Territories; to save the national revenue in the nation's coffers; to supercede the necessity of a standing army on our western and southern frontiers; to create and maintain the principles of peace and suppress mobs, insurrections, and oppression in Oregon and all the lands bordering upon the United States and not incorporated into any acknowledged national government; to explore the unexplored regions of our continent; to open new fields for enterprise to our citizens, and protect them therein; to search out the antiquities of the land, and thereby promote the arts and sciences, and general information; to amalgamate the feelings of all with whom he may have intercourse on the principles of equity, liberty, justice, humanity and benevolence; to break down tyranny and oppression and exalt the standard of universal peace, provided he shall be protected in those rights and privileges which constitutionally belong to every citizen of this Republic; therefore, that the said memorialist may {277} have the privilege, and that no citizen of the United States shall obstruct, or attempt to obstruct or hinder, so good, so great, so noble an enterprise to carry out those plans and principles as set forth in this preamble, and be shielded from every opposition by evil and designing men.

Section 1. Be it ordained by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress Assembled, that Joseph Smith, of the city of Nauvoo, in the State of Illinois, is hereby authorized and empowered to raise a company of one hundred thousand armed volunteers in the United States and Territories, at such times, and places and in such numbers, as he shall find necessary and convenient for the purposes specified in the foregoing preamble, and to execute the same.

Sec. 2. And be it further ordained that if any person or persons shall hinder or attempt to hinder or molest the said Joseph Smith from executing his designs in raising said volunteers, and marching and transporting the same to the borders of the United States and Territories, he, or they so hindering, molesting, or offending, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars each for every offense, or by hard labor on some public work not exceeding two years, or both, at the discretion of the nearest District Court of the United States, where the hindrance or offense shall be committed, having jurisdiction.

Sec. 3. And be it further ordained, the more fully to remove all obstructions and hindrances to the raising, enlisting, and marching the volunteers as aforesaid, the said Joseph Smith is hereby constituted a member of the army of these United States, and is authorized to act as such in the United States and Territories, and on all lands bordering upon the United States and Territories, for the purposes specified in the foregoing preamble, provided said land shall not be within the acknowledged jurisdiction of any acknowledged national government.

Sec. 4. And be it further ordained that nothing in this ordinance shall be so construed by any individual or nation to consider the volunteers aforesaid as constituting any part of the army of the United States; neither shall the said Joseph Smith, as a member of the United States army, disturb the peace of any nation or government acknowledged as such, break the faith of treaties between the United States and any other nation, or violate any known law of nations, thereby endangering the peace of the United States.

Sec. 5. And be it further ordained, that the said Joseph Smith shall confine his operations to those principles of action specified in the preamble to this ordinance, the perpetuity of which shall be commensurate with the circumstances and specifications which have originated it.

And your memorialist will ever pray, &c.



{278} Dr. Willard Richards wrote to the Saints at Augusta, Lee County, Iowa, requesting a brief history of the settling of that branch, and also asking a donation of lumber for his house.

In the afternoon, Abiathar B. Williams made the following affidavit before Daniel H. Wells, Esq:—

Affidavit of Abiathar B. Williams, Concerning a Conspiracy against the Prophet.



Personally appeared before me, Daniel H. Wells, Acting Justice of the Peace in and for the said county, Abiathar B. Williams, who being duly sworn according to law, deposeth and saith that on or about the 15th day of March, A. D., 1844, Joseph H. Jackson came to my house and requested me to walk with him; which I did. During the time we were walking, said Joseph H. Jackson said that he was then coming direct from Mr. Law's; that there was going to be a secret meeting in the city of Nauvoo, probably tomorrow evening: but, as it was not decided, he could not say positively as to the time; but he would inform me in season. The said Joseph H. Jackson said that Doctor Foster, Chauncey L. Higbee, and the Laws were red hot for a conspiracy, and he should not be surprised if in two weeks there should not be one of the Smith family left alive in Nauvoo. After we arrived at Mr. Loomis', near the Masonic hall, in the city of Nauvoo, he related some things which he stated that Dr. Foster had said relative to his family. This he did in the presence of Mr. Eaton and myself, and strongly solicited myself and Mr. Eaton to attend the secret meeting and join them in their intentions. The said Joseph H. Jackson further said that Chauncey Higbee had said that he, the said Chauncey Higbee, had seen men tied hand and foot, and run through the heart with a sword, and their heads taken off, and then buried; and he durst not say a word. This the said Jackson said in Mr. Loomis' room. And further this deponent saith not.


Sworn to and subscribed before me this 27th day of March, A. D. 1844.

[L. S.]


Also M. G. Eaton made affidavit as follows:—

{279} Affidavit of M. G. Eaton—A conspiracy Against Joseph Smith.



Personally appeared before me, Daniel H. Wells, an acting Justice of the Peace, in and for the said county, M. G. Eaton, who being duly sworn according to law, deposeth and saith that on or about the fifteenth day of March, A. D. 1844, Joseph H. Jackson came to me several times and requested me to go on the hill with him. I finally consented went with him to the Keystone Store, in the city of Nauvoo. Dr. Foster and one of the Higbees (I think Chauncey L. Higbee) were in the store. The said Joseph H. Jackson, together with the said R. D. Foster and said Higbee, went into the back room of the store. They appeared to enter into private council. Soon after they went into the said room, the said Joseph H. Jackson invited me into the room where they were sitting. I immediately complied.

Soon after I went in, the said Higbee commenced talking about the spiritual wife system. He said he had no doubt but some of the Elders had ten or twelve apiece. He said they married them, whether the females were living or not; and they did it by recording the marriage in a large book, which book was sealed up after the record was made, and was not to be opened for a long time,—probably not till many of the husbands of those who were thus married were dead. They would then open the book and break the seals in the presence of those females, and when they saw their names recorded in that book they would believe that the doctrine was true and they must submit. He said this book was kept at Mr. Hyrum Smith's. I asked the Chauncey L Higbee. * * * * *

[Here follows some expressions too indecent for insertion.]

The aforesaid R. D. Foster then asked me what I would think, if, during my absence from home, a carriage should drive up to my house, a person alight, and the carriage then drive off again; this person should then go into my house and begin to tell my wife a great many things against me to prejudice her mind against me, and use every possible means to do this, and finally would introduce and preach the spiritual wife doctrine to her, and make an attempt to seduce her; and further, this person should sit down to dine with my wife, bless the victuals, &c.; and while they were thus engaged, I should come home and find them thus associated, this person should rise up and say, "How do you do?" and bless me in a very polite manner, &c.; and also if, upon these appearances, I should feel jealous that something was wrong, and when the person was {280} gone I would ask my wife what had been the conversation between her and this person, but she would refuse to tell me; I then draw a pistol and present it to her head and threaten to shoot her if she did not tell me all, but she would still refuse: I then would give her a double-barrelled pistol, and say to her, "Defend yourself; for if you don't tell me, either you or I would shoot" she would then faint away through fear and excitement, and when she came to again, she would begin and tell how this person had been trying to poison your wife's mind against you, and, by preaching the spiritual wife system to her, had endeavored to seduce her. I replied, I should think he was a rascal: but who has had such a trial as that? The said R. D. Foster answered that he was the man who had had that trial, and who had been thus abused.

The said Dr. Foster, Higbee, and Joseph H. Jackson then remarked that they were about to hold a secret meeting to oppose and try to put a stop to such things. The said Joseph H. Jackson also said that if any person undertook to arrest him, he should begin to cut them.

The said R. D. Foster further said he was afraid of his life, and dared not be out at nights.

The said Higbee said he had not a doubt but there had been men killed in Missouri who had secrets that they were afraid they would divulge. He said he was afraid of his life.

The said Jackson further said he should not be surprised if there should be a real muss and an insurrection in the city in less than two months; and that if a disturbance should take place, the Carthaginians and others would come and help them.

He mentioned some names of persons who would come from Carthage, which names I do not remember. The same day, when in Mr. Loomis' room, I heard the said Jackson say that the Laws were ready to enter into a secret conspiracy, tooth and nails.

The said Higbee also said, while at the Keystone Store, that if ever he was brought before the Mayor's court again, and the Mayor told him to hold his tongue, he should get up and tell him he had a right to speak, and should do so; and then if any man attempted to put him out of court, he would shoot him through. And further this deponent saith not.


Sworn to and subscribed before me, this 27th day of March, A. D., 1844.

[L. S.]


{281} This evening, Dr. Reynolds, of Iowa City, lectured on astronomy in the assembly room.

Thursday, 28.—Dull day, drizzling rain, cold north-east wind.

Transferred the trial of Ianthus Rolfe to Aaron Johnson, J. P.

This afternoon, had the assembly room and office plastered where the same had been knocked off, &c.

Friday, 29.—Night boisterous: about eight, a.m., hailstorm, northeast wind, nipping frost; frost, hail, and strong wind all day.

Spent the day at home.

The Robbery at Rollasson's Store in Nauvoo.

Saturday, 30.—This morning I heard there was some disturbance on the hill; I rode up and found it reported that a robbery had been committed at the Keystone Store, kept by Mr. Rollasson, of some $400 or $500, and some goods, and they were suspicious of a certain black man. I issued a search-warrant and returned to my office, where I found the black man, — Chism, with his back lacerated from his shoulders to his hips, with twenty or more lashes. My clerk, Dr. Richards, kept him secreted, and called Aaron Johnson, a justice of the peace, who issued a warrant for — —, a Missourian, who had boarded at my house a few days, and on testimony fined him $5 and costs for whipping — Chism. One Easton, a witness, said he could not testify without implicating himself, and he was apprehended and held in custody. W. H. J. Marr, Esq., refused to testify, because he was counsel.

Memorial to the President of the United States.

I got prepared a memorial to his Excellency John Tyler, {282} the President of the United States, embodying in it the same sentiments as are in my Petition to the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States, dated 26th March, 1844, asking the privilege of raising 100,000 men to extend protection to persons wishing to settle Oregon and other portions of the territory of the United States, and extend protection to the people in Texas.

Sunday, 31.—Cold, fine day.

At home this morning until nine, when I went over to my reading-room, again heard read and signed my memorial to Congress for the privilege of raising 100,000 volunteers to protect Texas, Oregon, &c., dated 26th instant; and also a memorial to the President for the same purpose, if the other fail.

Also signed an introductory letter to Elder Orson Hyde, who is going to carry the memorials[2] to Washington as follows:—

{283} "Credentials of Orson Hyde, Agent to Present the Prophet's Memorial to Congress.


To whom it may concern: We, the Mayor and Recorder of said city, do certify that Orson Hyde, Esq. the bearer, a Councilor in the City Council of said city, is sent as our agent, by the authorities of said city, to transact such business as he may deem expedient and beneficial for the party whom he represents; and such agent and gentleman of principle and character, he by us is recommended to the due consideration of all the executive officers of the Government, both houses of Congress, and gentlemen generally of the United States.

In witness whereof, we have hereunto set our hands and affixed the seal of said corporation at the time and place aforesaid.




About this time, Brother Alexander Mills, one of the police, informed me that Chauncey L. Higbee drew a pistol on him the night before, and threatened to shoot him. I instructed him to make complaint to Esquire Wells, and have him apprehended.


1. In addition to these affidavits the Prophet was apprised by two young men Denison L. Harris and Robert Scott, the latter living in the family of William Law, of a secret movement then on foot to take his life, and the lives of several other leading men in the Church, among them the Prophet's brother, Hyrum. These young men were invited to the secret meetings by the conspirators, but before going conferred with the Prophet, who told them to go, but to take no part in the proceedings of these wicked men against himself. They carried out his instructions, and at the risk of their lives attended the secret meetings three times, and brought to President Smith a report of what they had witnessed. A full account of this conspiracy written by Horace Cummings—the narrative being detailed to him by Dennison L. Harris—was published in the Contributor, for April, 1884.

2. President Smith's memorial to Congress, of the 26th of March, asking to be appointed "a member of the army of these United States," to be authorized "to raise 100,000 armed volunteers" to police the inter-mountain and Pacific slope west, was presented to the House of Representatives by Mr. John Wentworth, of Chicago, where the following occurred with reference to it:


"Mr. Wentworth asked permission to present a memorial from Gen. Joseph Smith, the head of the Mormons, and required that it might be read by the clerk for the information of the House.

"The clerk commenced the reading of the memorial.

"Before the reading was concluded.

"Mr. J. R. Ingersoll interposed, and objected a the reception at first, and still objected.

"Mr. Weber observed that if memorials of this kind were to be read, he was entrusted with the presentation of one of a peculiar character, from certain city of Frederick county, Md.

"Mr. Wentworth said he would move a suspension of the rules to enable him to have the paper read; and he wished a inquire of the chair whether it would be in order for him to assign him reasons for making such a motion.

"Mr. Duncan observed, if the gentleman would yield him the floor, he would move to suspend the rules, to go into committee of the whole on the Oregon bill.

"Mr. Wentworth said that, as he had the floor, he would make the motion. Mr. Wentworth then moved that the rules be suspended, for the purpose of going into committee of the whole on the Oregon Bill.

"The Speaker said that the question would be put on suspending the rules to go into committee of the whole. If that motion prevailed, the gentleman could move to take up any bill he pleased.

"Mr. Vance called for the yeas and nays on the question; which were ordered.

"Mr. McKay inquired if the House should refuse to go into committee of the whole, if it could by postponement of the previous orders, take up the naval appropriation bill which had been reported from the committee of the whole.

"The speaker said a motion to that effect would require a vote of two-thirds.

"The question was put on suspending the rules and rejected—yeas 79, nays 86." ("Congressional Globe" for May 25th, 1844. Vol. 13, No. 39, p. 624.)




Monday, April 1, 1844.—In the court-room in the Mansion, Mr. J. Easton was brought up as being accessory to whipping Chism, [a negro]. Referred the case to Alderman Wells. On investigation, it appeared to the satisfaction of the court that he had been on trial for the same offense before Robert D. Foster, and acquitted.

I extract from the Neighbor:—

Comment on the Negro Chism's Case.

After the court dismissed the case, General Smith fearlessly stated that he believed that it was a plot on the part of those who were instrumental in getting up the previous trial to thwart the ends of justice and screen the prisoner from the condemnation he justly deserves. Mr. Foster then stated, by way of an apology, that at the time he issued the warrant he did not know that the prisoner was under an arrest, or that there was any process out against him.

We hope, for the honor of such a man as Mr. Foster, that his statement is true. Mr. Foster, however, called upon one of his jurors, Mr. Carn, to corroborate what he had said; but, to our astonishment, be replied that when Mr. Foster summoned him to appear and act as a juryman, he was not informed what case he was to act upon, nor did he learn until he entered the office, where he acted according to the evidence given; but believed then, as well as now, that it was a sham trial, and a mere mockery of justice. We state facts as they are, and let the public judge for themselves.

{285} The statement of the negro was that Messrs. Easton, Townsend, and Lawyer W. H. J. Marr were the persons engaged in this diabolical affair. Mr. Gibbs, one of the witnesses against Townsend, believed the above persons were engaged in it; but as a negro knows nothing in this state, and Mr. Gibbs could not positively swear to it, of course we don't know; but we have our opinion, and so have the public. We don't remember ever having seen more indignation manifest than was manifested on this occasion, and the public mind is not satisfied at the turn affairs have taken. Lynch law will not do in Nauvoo, and those who engage in it must expect to be visited by the wrath of an indignant people, not according to the rule of Judge Lynch, but according to law and equity.

It was thought best to acquit Easton and leave the case to the Circuit Court.

The Higbee Brothers in Trouble.

Francis M. Higbee and Chauncey L. Higbee were brought up before Esquire Wells for assaulting the police, and acquitted. Chauncey L. Higbee a lawyer, was brought before Daniel H. Wells Esq., on the charge of using abusive language to and insulting the city marshal while in the discharge of his official duty. He was fined ten dollars.

Also Robert D. Foster, Esq., was taken before Isaac Higbee, J. P., and fined ten dollars, for a breach of the ordinance pertaining to gambling, &c.

We are sorry to find that our lawyers and magistrates should be taking the lead among gamblers and disorderly persons, and be numbered among the law-breakers, rather than supporting virtue, law, and the dignity of the city.

Counter move of the Higbees.

Tuesday, 2.—At home, somewhat unwell, and kept my house this fine day. John P. Greene, marshal; Andrew Lytle, and John Lytle, policemen, were arrested by a warrant issued by Robert D. Foster, on complaint of Francis M. Higbee, for false imprisonment. As the case was going to trial, the prisoners were taken by John D. Parker, with a writ of habeas corpus before the Municipal Court; and tomorrow, at one, p.m., was fixed for trial.

{286} Wednesday, 3.—At one, p.m., presided in a special session of the Municipal Court, with Aldermen William Marks, Newel K. Whitney, Orson Spencer, George W. Harris, Gustavus Hills, George A. Smith, and Samuel Bennett as Associate-Justices. John P. Greene, Andrew Lytle, and John Lytle were brought up on habeas corpus having been taken from the officer who held them on a writ issued by Robert D. Foster, before whom they had been arraigned on the complaint of Chauncey L. Higbee, charged with false imprisonment.

Joel S. Miles, Andrew Lytle, John Lytle, John P. Greene, and Robert D. Foster were sworn, gave testimony in the case, and the court decided that Greene and the two Lytles be discharged, and that Chauncey L. Higbee is a very disorderly person; that this case on habeas corpus originated in a malicious and vexatious suit, instituted by Chauncey L. Higbee against the petitioners now discharged; and that said Higbee pay the costs.

Warm and cloudy.

Conference in New York.

A conference was held in the city of New York; Elder William Smith presiding, and Elder William H. Miles, clerk. Fifteen branches were represented, containing 566 members, including 3 High Priests, 26 Elders, 15 Priests, 16 Teachers, and 9 Deacons.

Thursday, 14.—In a general council in the assembly room from nine to twelve, a.m., and from one to four, p.m.

I was visited by eleven Indians, who wanted counsel, and had an impressive interview.

Elder Orson Hyde was in the council, and left immediately for Washington.[1]

{287} A company of Saints arrived on the steamer St. Croix.

Showery day.

Dedication Masonic Temple.

Friday, 5.—Attended the dedication of the Masonic Temple, which was attended by about 550 members of the Masonic fraternity from various parts of the world. A procession was formed at Henry Miller's house, and was accompanied by the Nauvoo Brass Band to the hall. The dedicatory ceremonies were performed by the Worshipful Master Hyrum Smith. Elder Erastus Snow delivered an able Masonic address. Dr. Goforth and I also addressed the assembly. All the visiting Masons were furnished a dinner at the Masonic Hall at the expense of the Nauvoo Lodge. The building is admitted to be the most substantial and best finished Masonic Temple in the Western States. It has been erected under the direction of Mr. Lucius N. Scovil.

In consequence of ill health, I deferred preaching the funeral sermon of King Follett until Sunday. Elder Amasa Lyman addressed a very large assembly at the stand.

General Conference Minutes of the Church, April, 1844.

Conference met pursuant to adjournment. Present—President Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith, Sidney Rigdon, and William Marks. Of the Twelve—Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Willard Richards, Wilford Woodruff, John Taylor, and George A. Smith.

The members of the High Council, an immense number of Elders, an a very large concourse of people.

Presidents Joseph and Hyrum Smith came to the stand at a quarter past ten o'clock, when the meeting was called to order by Elder Brigham Young. The choir sang a hymn, after which

Opening Address of President Joseph Smith.

President Joseph Smith rose to state to the congregation the nature of the business which would have to come before them. He stated that it had been expected by some that the little petty difficulties which have existed would be brought up and investigated before this conference, but {288} it will not be the case: these things are of too trivial a nature to occupy the attention of so large a body. I intend to give you some instruction on the principles of eternal truth, but will defer it until others have spoken, in consequence of the weakness of my lungs. The Elders will give you instruction; and then, if necessary, I will offer such corrections as may be proper to all up the interstices. Those who feel desirous of sowing the seeds of discord will be disappointed on this occasion. It is our purpose to build up and establish the principles of righteousness, and not to break down and destroy. The Great Jehovah has ever been with me, and the wisdom of God will direct me in the seventh hour. I feel in closer communion and better standing with God than ever I felt before in my life, and I am glad of this opportunity to appear in your midst. I thank God for the glorious day that He has given us. In so large a congregation it is necessary that the greatest order and decorum be observed. I request this at your hands, and believe that you will all keep good order.

Prayer was offered by W. W. Phelps, after which the choir sang a hymn.

Elder Sidney Rigdon.

Elder Sidney Rigdon then rose and said: It is with no ordinary degree of satisfaction I enjoy this privilege this morning. Want of health and other circumstances have kept me in silence for nearly the last five years. It can hardly be expected that when the violence of sickness has used its influence, and the seeds of disease have so long preyed upon me, that I can rise before this congregation, only in weakness. I am now come forth from a bed of sickness, and have enough of strength left to appear here for the first time in my true character. I have not come before a conference for the last five years in my true character. I shall consider this important privilege sacred in my family history during life. I hardly promise myself lungs to make this congregation hear me. I shall do the best I can, and the greatest can do no more.

The circumstance by which we are now surrounded point out the principles of my discourse—the history of this Church, which I have known from its infancy. My text is—"Behold the Church of God of the last days." I do not know that I can find it in the Bible. I do not think it necessary to have Paul to make a text for me; I can make a text for myself. I recollect in the year 1830 I met the whole Church of Christ in a little old log-house about 20 feet square, near Waterloo, N.Y., and we began to talk about the kingdom of God as if we had the world at our command. We talked with great confidence, and {289} talked big things. Although we were not many people, we had big feelings.

We knew fourteen years ago that the Church would become as large as it is today. We were as big then as we ever shall be. We began to talk like men in authority and power. We looked upon the men of the earth as grasshoppers. If we did not see this people, we saw by vision the Church of God, a thousand times larger. And when men would say we wanted to upset the Government, although we were not enough to well man a farm, or meet a woman with a milk-pail, all the Elders, all the members met in conference in a room twenty feet square.

I recollect Elder Phelps being put in jail for reading the Book of Mormon. He came to see us, and expressed great astonishment, and left us, apparently pondering in his heart. He afterwards came to Kirtland, Ohio, and said he was a convert. Many things were taught, believed, and preached then, which have since come to pass. We knew the whole world would laugh at us; so we concealed ourselves, and there was much excitement about our secret meetings, charging us with designs against the Government, and with laying plans to get money, &c., which never existed in the hearts of any one else [i. e., but in the hearts of their accusers]. And if we had talked in public, we should have been ridiculed more than we were. The world, being entirely ignorant of the testimony of the Prophets, and without knowledge of what God was about to do, treated all we said with pretended contempt and much ridicule, and had they heard all we said, it would have made worse for us.

We talked about the people coming as doves to the windows; and that nations should flock unto it; that they should come bending to the standard of Jesus, saying, "Our fathers have taught falsehoods and things in which there is no profit," and of whole nations being born in one day. We talked such big things that men could not bear them, and they not only ridiculed us for what we did say in public, but threatened and inflicted much personal abuse; and if they had heard all we said, their violence would have been insupportable. God had great things to say for the salvation of the world, which, if they had been told the public, would have brought persecution upon us unto death: so we were obliged to retire to our secret chamber and commune ourselves with God. If we had told the people what our eyes behold this day, we should not have been believed; but the rascals would have shed our blood if we had only told them what we believed. There we sat in secret and beheld the glorious visions and powers of the kingdom of heaven pass and repass. We had not a mighty congregation to shelter us. If a mob came upon us, we had to run and hide ourselves to save our lives.

{290} The time has now come to tell why we held secret meetings. We were maturing plans fourteen years ago which we can now tell. Were we maturing plans to corrupt the world, to destroy the peace of society? No. Let fourteen years' experience of the Church tell the story. The Church never would have been here if we had not done as we did in secret. The cry of "False prophet and imposter!" rolled upon us. I do not know that anything has taken place in the history of this Church which we did not then believe. It was written upon our hearts and never could be taken away. It was indelibly engraved; no power beneath yonder heavens could obliterate it. This was the period when God laid the foundation of the Church, and He laid it firmly, truly, and upon eternal truth.

If any man says it is not the work of God, I know he lies. Some of you who know you have a house, how long would it take to make you reason yourselves into a belief that you have no house where you now reside with your family? Neither have we any power whereby we can ever persuade ourselves that this is not the Church of God. We do not care who sinks or swims, or opposes, but we know here is the Church of God, and I have authority before God for saying so. I have the testimony of Jesus, which is the spirit of prophecy. I have slept with it,—I have walked with it. The idea has never been out of my heart for a moment, and I will reap the glory of it when I leave this world. I defy men and hell and devils to put it out of my heart. I defy all, and will triumph in spite of them.

I know God. I have gazed upon the glory of God, the throne, visions and glories of God, and the visions of eternity in days gone by. What is a man of God to do, when he sees all the madness, wrath and follies of our persecutors? He will do as God does—he will sit and laugh. * * * These were the beginning of good days—shut up in a room eating nothing but dry johnny-cake and buttermilk. Every man who had a little farm or clothes, sold them and distributed what he had among the rest, and did the best he could. I had a little to eat—little to wear, and yet it was the beginning of good days.

Some say "I want plenty to eat, plenty to drink, plenty to wear, and a good house to live in;" and, say they, then I will believe. But God will not give it until you have proved yourselves unto Him.

No wonder, then, that we should be joyful today. If the people will do as they are told, I will tell you what to do. Get the visions of heaven, and seek not what you shall eat or what you shall drink, but seek the will of God. Get into the presence of God, and then you will have johnny-cake and milk-and-water no more. Would you not be astonished if even now we should tell the glories and privileges of the Saints of God to you and to the world? We should be ridiculed; and {291} no wonder we shut it up in secret. If we were to tell you when Jehovah is looked upon, lo it is beauty, it is heaven, it is felicity to look upon Jehovah. I should marvel if it were otherwise. If a man tells you one glory or one message, he is learning another at the same time. Do not be astonished, then, if we even yet have secret meetings, asking God for things for your benefit.

Do not be afraid. Go back to the commencement of this Church, and see what was concocted then. There was no evil concocted when we first held secret meetings, and it is the same now. Has God forgotten to be gracious, to be merciful to mankind? Did He ever concoct anything that was devilish for mankind? He could not do it. I never am afraid of God or man concocting anything to hurt me. I have faith to detect men, even if they did. I would ask God to detect them, and hold them fast before they should do it. I am not afraid of men or devils. I have none of those fears, jealousies, dreads, forebodings, surmisings, &c. I put my trust in God, and whatever God does for me is only for my salvation.

A man is a bad teamster who runs his team in the worst road. What I have already said is only to prepare the way. [Here five of the Pottawattomie tribe appeared with their interpreter, and were assisted to the stand by the President.] I am going to tell of something that surprised me at the beginning of the Church. I have handled, heard, seen and known things which I have not yet told.

After the Church began to grow, it was favored with marvelously wise men. They had so much wisdom that they could dispute what God said, and what His servant said. They were opposed to virtue. They would say they had revelations and visions, and were as certain that the Lord had given it as I was that the devil had.

He referred to the children of Israel who were snivelling and murmuring about their leeks and onions, &c., &c.; and so it is in these last days; some men are always yelling about what the Church believes and opposing every good thing.

I want devils to gratify themselves; and if howling, yelling and yelping will do you any good, do it till you are all damned.

If calling us devils, &c., will do you any good, let us have the whole of it, and you can then go on your way to hell without a grunt.

We hear these things ever since the Church existed. They have come up with us; they have had so much more wisdom, they knew all about the kingdom before God revealed it, and they know all things before they were heard; they understand more than God knows. We gather of all kinds. If we get all nations, we get all wisdom, cunning, and everything else.

The sectarians cannot be as wise as we are, for they have only got {292} man's plans, the devil's plans, and, the best of all, we have God's plan.

I do not know whether there are any of these wise men here this morning or not; I have merely given this as a part of the history of this Church. I am disposed to give some reasons why salvation only belongs to the kingdom of God, and to that alone.

I will endeavor to show why salvation belongs to us more peculiarly, in contradistinction to all other bodies. Will this be clear enough?

I discover one thing: Mankind have labored under one universal mistake about this—viz., salvation was distinct from government; i. e., that I can build a Church without government, and that thing have power to save me!

When God sets up a system of salvation He sets up a system of government. When I speak of a government, I mean what I say. I mean a government that shall rule over temporal and spiritual affairs.

Every man is a government of himself, and infringes upon no government. A man is not an honorable man, if he is not above all law and above government.

I see in our town we have need of government. Some study law only for the purpose of seeing how many feuds, how many broils they can kick up, how much they can disturb the peace of the public without breaking the law, and then say—"I know my rights, and will have them;" "I did not know it was the marshal, or I would not have done it."

He is no gentleman. Gentlemen would not insult a poor man in the street, but would bow to him, as much as those who appear more respectable. No marshal or any one else, should pull me up. We ought to live a great way within the circle of the laws of the land would live far above all law.

The law of God is far more righteous than the laws of the land. The kingdom of God does not interfere with the laws of the land, but keeps itself by its own laws. (Reported by Elder Thomas Bullock.)

Elder Rigdon stopped to refresh himself. The choir sang hymn 104.

Elder John Taylor, being called upon to address the congregation, said—It gives me pleasure to meet and associate with so large an assemblage of the Saints. I always feel at home among the brethren. I consider them the honorable of the earth; and if I can do anything to conduce to their happiness, or that will in anywise tend to their edification, I am satisfied.

I therefore address this congregation with cheerfulness and pleasure, and if by unfolding any of the principles of truth that I am in possession {293} of, or laying before you anything pertaining to the kingdom—if my ideas will enlarge your minds, or produce beneficial results to any, I shall consider myself on this, as on all other occasions, amply repaid.

Many things have been spoken by Elder Rigdon concerning the early history of this Church. There is no person who has searched the oracles of eternal truth, but his mind will be touched with the remarks made by our venerable friend, which unfold the dispensation of Jehovah, and have a tendency to produce the most thrilling feelings in the bosoms of many who are this day present, and to promote our general edification. He traces with pleasure on the historic page—the rise of nations, kingdoms and empires. Historians dwell with great minuteness on the heroic deeds, the chivalrous acts, the dangers and deliverances, the tact, bravery, and heroism of their chieftains, generals and governments.

We, as Republicans, look back to the time when this nation was under the iron rule of Great Britain, and groaned under the power, tyranny and oppression of that powerful nation. We trace with delight the name of a Washington, a Jefferson, a LaFayette, and an Adams, in whose bosoms burned the spark of liberty. These themes are dwelt upon with delight by our legislators, our governors and presidents; they are subjects which fire our souls with patriotic ardor.

But if these things animate them so much, how much more great, noble and exalted are the things laid before us! They were engaged in founding kingdoms and empires that were destined to dissolution and decay; and although many of them were great, formidable and powerful, they now exist only in name. Their cloud-capped towers, their solemn temples, are dissolved, and nothing now remains of their former magnificence or ancient grandeur but a few dilapidated buildings and broken columns. A few shattered fragments remain to tell to this and to other generations the perishable nature of earthly pomp and worldly glory.

They were engaged in founding empires and establishing kingdoms and powers that had in themselves the seeds of destruction, and were destined to decay. We are laying the foundation of a kingdom that shall last forever—that shall bloom in time and blossom in eternity. We are engaged in a greater work than ever occupied the attention of mortals. We live in a day that prophets and kings desired to see, but died without the sight.

When we hear the history of the rise of this kingdom from one who has been with it from its infancy—from the lips of our venerable friend who has taken an active part in all the history of the Church, can we {294} be surprised if he should feel animated, and that his soul should burn with heavenly zeal? We see in him a man of God who can contemplate the glories of heaven, the visions of eternity, and yet who looks forward to the opening glories which the great Elohim has manifested to him pertaining to righteousness and peace—a man who now beholds the things roll on which he has long since beheld in prophetic vision.

Most men have established themselves in authority by laying desolate other kingdoms and the destruction of other powers. Their kingdoms have been founded in blood, and supported in tyranny and oppression. The greatest chieftains of the earth have obtained their glory—if glory it can be called—by blood, carnage and ruin. One nation has been built up at the expense and ruin of another, and one man has been made at the expense of another; and yet these great men were called honorable for their inglorious deeds of rapine. They have slain their thousands, and caused the orphans to weep and the widows to mourn.

Men did these things because they could do it—because they had power to desolate nations, and spread terror and desolation. They have made themselves immortal as great men. The patriots of this country had indeed a laudable object in view—a plausible excuse for the course they took. They stood in defense of their rights, liberty and freedom. But where are now those principles of freedom? Where are the laws that protect all men in their religious opinions? Where the laws that say, "A man shall worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience?" What say ye, ye Saints—ye who are exiles in the land of liberty? How came you here? Can you in this land of equal right return in safety to your possessions in Missouri? No. You are exiles from thence, and there is no power, no voice, no arm to redress your grievance. Is this the gracious boon for which your fathers fought and struggled and died? Shades of the venerable dead, could you but gaze upon this scene, and witness tens of thousands of Americans in exile on Columbia's soil—if pity could touch your bosoms, how you would mourn for the oppressed! If indignation, how would you curse the heartless wretches that have so desecrated and polluted the temple of liberty? "How has the gold become dim, and the fine gold, how has it changed." Let it not be told among the monarchs of Europe, lest they laugh and say, "Ha; so would we have it."

Ye Saints, never let it go abroad that ye are exiles in the land of liberty, lest ye disgrace your republic in the eyes of the nations of the earth; but tell it to those who robbed and plundered and refused to give you your rights. Tell your rulers that all their deeds of fame are tarnished, and their glory is departed.

{295} Are we now, indeed, in a land of liberty, of freedom, of equal rights? Would to God I could answer, Yes. But no, no, I cannot! They have robbed us, we are stripped of our possessions, many of our friends are slain, and our government says, "Your cause is just, but we can do nothing for you."

Hear it, ye great men, we are here in exile! Here are thousands of men in bondage in a land of liberty—of freedom! If ye have any patriotism, shake off your fetters and come and proclaim us free, and give us our rights. I speak of this government as being one of the best or governments—as one of the greatest and purest; and yet, what a melancholy picture! O ye venerable fathers who fought for your liberty, blush for your children, and mourn, mourn over your country's shame! We are now talking about a government which sets herself up as a pattern for the nations of the earth, and yet, oh, what a picture! If this is the best, the most patriotic, the most free, what is the situation of the rest?

Here we speak with national pride of a Washington, a LaFayette, a Monroe and a Jefferson, who fought for their liberties, achieved one of the greatest victories ever won; and scarcely has one generation passed away before fifteen thousand citizens petition government for redress of their wrongs, and they turn a deaf ear to their cry.

Let us compare this with the Church of Christ. Fourteen years ago a few men assembled in a log cabin; they saw the visions of heaven, and gazed upon the eternal world; they looked through the rent vista of futurity, and beheld the glories of eternity; they were planting those principles which were concocted in the bosom of Jehovah; they were laying a foundation for the salvation of the world, and those principles which they then planted have not yet begun to dwindle; but the fire still burns in their bones; the principles are planted in different nations and are wafted on every breeze.

When I gaze upon this company of men, I see those who are actuated by patriotic and noble principles, who will stand up in defense of the oppressed, of whatever country, nation, color or clime. I see it in their countenances. It is planted by the Spirit of God. They have received it from the great Elohim, and all the power or influence of mobs, priestcraft or corrupt men cannot quench it. It will burn. It is comprehensive as the designs of God, and as expansive as the universe and reaches to all the world. No matter whether it was an Indian, a negro, or any other man or set of men that are oppressed, you would stand forth in their defense.

I say unto you, continue to cherish those principles. Let them expand. And if the tree of liberty has been blasted in this nation—if it has been gnawed by worms, and already blight has overspread it, we {296} will stand up in defense of our liberties, and proclaim ourselves free in time and in eternity.

The choir, by request, sang, "O stop and tell me, Red Man." After prayer by Elder John P. Greene, the meeting was adjourned for one hour.


1. The object of his mission was to assist Elders Orson Pratt and John E. Page in getting President Smith's Memorial, asking to be appointed "a member of the U. S. Army" and to be authorized to raise one hundred thousand armed volunteers to police the inter-mountain and Pacific coast west from Oregon to Texas.




Saturday, April 6, 1844, [Conference Report Continued.]

The President arrived at the stand at half-past two o'clock, p.m. The choir sang a hymn; after which prayer by Elder John P. Greene, when the choir sang another hymn.

Elder Rigdon resumed his history of the Church.

A little before five o'clock the assembly was dismissed without ceremony, until next morning, on the appearance of a shower. The people had scarcely time to retire before a heavy shower of rain, wind, thunder and lightning followed. A splendid double rainbow seen in the heavens.

Sunday, 7.—

Very pleasant morning. The President arrived at ten o'clock, the largest congregation ever seen in Nauvoo having assembled. The choir sang the hymn, "Ye slumbering nations that have slept."

President Rigdon offered an affectionate appeal for the prayers of the Saints on behalf of the sick, and then prayer by Elder George J. Adams.

Choir sang the hymn, "The Spirit of God like a fire is burning," &c.

President Joseph Smith.

The Mayor requested the people to keep good order, and observed to the police, who were round the outskirts of the congregation to keep order, "Policemen, I want you to exercise your authority; and don't say you can't do anything for us, for the constitutional power calls you to keep good order, and God Almighty calls you, and we command you to do it."

Elder Sidney Rigdon arose and continued his subject of yesterday.

Choir sang. Benediction. Intermission.


During the intermission, thirty-five were baptized in the Mississippi river for the remission of their sins.

Address of Elder Hyrum Smith, Patriarch to the Church.

At 2 o'clock p. m.

Patriarch Hyrum Smith arrived at the stand, and said he wanted to say something about the temple.

"We want 200,000 shingles, as we shall resume the work on the Temple immediately. All who have not paid their tithing, come on and do it. We want provisions, money, boards, planks, and anything that is good; we don't want any more old guns or watches. I thought some time ago I would get up a small subscription, so that the sisters might do something. In consequence of some misunderstanding, it has not gone on as at first. It is a matter of my own; I do not ask it as a tithing. I give a privilege to any one to pay a cent a week, or fifty cents a year. I want it by next fall to buy nails and glass. It is difficult to get money. I know that a small subscription will bring more than a large one. The poor can help in this way. I take the responsibility upon myself, and call again upon the sisters. I call again until I get about $1,000. It only requires two thousand subscribers.

I have sent this subscription plan to England and the branches. I am not to be dictated to by any one except the Prophet and God. I want you to pay in your subscriptions to me, and it shall always be said boldly by me, the sisters bought the glass in that house, and their names shall be written in the Book of the Law of the Lord. It is not a tax, but a free will offering to procure something which shall ever be a monument of your works. No member of the Relief Society got it up. I am the man that did it. They ought not to infringe upon it. I am not a member of the Female Relief Society! I am one of the committee of the Lord's House.

I wish to accomplish something, I wish all the Saints to have an opportunity to do something. I want the poor with the purse of five dollars to have a chance. The widow's two mites were more in the eyes of the Lord than the purse of the rich; and the poor woman shall have a seat in the house of God—she who pays her two mites as well as the rich, because it is all she has. I wish to have a place in that house. I intend to stimulate the brethren. I want to get the roof on this season. I want to get the windows in, in the winter, so that we may be able to dedicate the House of the Lord by this time next year, if nothing more than one room. I will call upon the brethren to do something.

I cannot make a comparison between the House of God and anything now in existence. Great things are to grow out of that house. There {299} is a great and mighty power to grow out of it. There is an endowment. Knowledge is power. We want knowledge. We have frequently difficulties with persons who profess to be Latter-day Saints. When the sacrament will be administered in the Lord's House it will do away with a great deal of difficulty that is now in existence. If we can have a privilege and confess our faults unto God and one another every Sabbath day, it will do away with these. * * * You sisters shall have a seat in that house. I will stand on the top of that pulpit and proclaim to all what the sisters have done. When you offer up your sacraments every Sabbath, you will feel well a whole week; you will get a great portion of the Spirit of God, enough to last you a week—and you will increase. We are now deprived of the privilege of giving the necessary instruction; hence we want a house.

All the money shall be laid out for what you design it. It shall not be paid for anything else. I am one of the committee. The committee tells me the quarry is blockaded; it is filled with rock. The stone cutters are wanting work. Come on with your teams as soon as conference is over. It is not necessary for me to tell who will come and do it. I will prophesy that you will do it. There is not one in the city but what will do right if he knows it, with only one or two exceptions, and they are not worth notice. God will take care of them, and if He doesn't, the devil will. I described them once, and you will always know them while you see them. They will keep hopping till they hop out of town. Some of them are tree toads, who climb the trees and are continually croaking.

We are now the most noble people on the face of the globe, and we have no occasion to fear tadpoles. We are designated by the All-seeing Eye to do good, not to stoop to anything low. We are apt to suffer prejudice to get into our hearts on hearing reports. We never should allow it—never should pass our judgment until we hear both sides.

I will tell a Dutch anecdote: A certain Dutchman had a case brought before him, and heard one side, and he gave in his decision—"Sure you have got the case;" and when the other party brought their witnesses, he said again, "Sure, you have got the case, too." If you hear of any one in high authority, that he is rather inclined to apostasy, don't let prejudice arise, but pray for him. God may feel after him, and he may return. Never speak reproachfully nor disrespectfully; he is in the hands of God. I am one of those peacemakers who take a stand above these little things. It has been intimated we should have investigations this conference. Do you think I would trouble this conference with it? If I have a difficulty with a man, I will go and settle it. Let them settle their difficulties. There is not a man who has had a difficulty {300} who would trouble this congregation about it. We ask no favors; we can settle it ourselves. Don't think anything about persons who are on the eve of apostasy; God is able to take care of them. Let God judge, do your duty and let men alone.

Never undertake to destroy men because they do some evil thing. It is natural for a man to be led, and not driven. Put down iniquity by good works. Many men speak without any contemplation; if they had given the matter a little contemplation it would not have been spoken. We ought to be careful what we say, and take the example of Jesus, cast over men the mantle of charity, and try to cover their faults. We are made to enlighten, and not to darken one another; save men, not destroy them. Do unto others what you would have them do unto you. It is well enough to root out conspiracy. Do not fear, but if you are in the right track, having God to guide you, He will save you; for God will save you, if He has to destroy the wicked so as by fire.

I want to put down all false influence. If I thought I should be saved and any in the congregation be lost, I should not be happy. For this purpose Jesus effected a resurrection. Our Savior is competent to save all from death and hell. I can prove it out of the revelation. I would not serve a God that had not all wisdom and all power.

The reason why I feel so good is because I have a big soul. There are men with small bodies who have got souls like Enoch. We have. We have gathered our big souls from the ends of the earth. The Gospel picks the big souls out of all creation, and we will get the big souls out of all the nations, and we shall have the largest city in the world.

We will gather all the big souls out of every nation. As soon as the Gospel catches hold of noble souls, it brings them all right up to Zion. There is a thing called guiding star. The Gospel is similar. We will have a people great enough to be saved.

Popery could not write what Enoch preached. He told the people that the Spirit of God took him up into a high mountain, showed him the distress of the people—the destruction of the world, and he said his heart swelled wide as eternity. But adherents of Popery could not receive anything as large as that, and every man-made society is just like them. Men's souls conform to the society in which they live, with very few exceptions, and when men come to live with the Mormons, their souls swell as if they were going to stride the planets as I stride the Republic of America. I can believe that man can go from planet to planet—a man gets so high in the mansions above.

A certain good sister came to my house and she was troubled because she heard so many big things. She thought it weakened her faith. I {301} told her she had too much faith. She believed too much. I will tell you how you may know whether the thing is true or not. When any one comes to you with a lie, you feel troubled. God will trouble you, and will not approbate you in such belief. You had better get some antidote to get rid of it. Humble yourself before God, and ask Him for His Spirit and pray to Him to judge it for you. It is better not to have so much faith, than to have so much as to believe all the lies.

Before this conference closes, I want to get all the Elders together.

I shall make a proclamation. I want to take the line and ax and hew you, and make you as straight as possible. I will make you straight as a stretched line. Every Elder that goes from Nauvoo to preach the Gospel, if he preaches anything else, we will silence him through the public print. I want all the Elders to meet and to understand; and if they preach anything but the pure truth, we will call them home.

At a quarter-past three p.m., President Smith having arrived, the choir sang a hymn. Elder Amasa Lyman offered prayer.

President Joseph Smith delivered a discourse before twenty thousand Saints, being the funeral sermon of Elder King Follett.

[Transcriber's note: page number jumps from 301 to 318 here in the original. This is a printer's error—there are no missing pages.]




Monday, April 8, 1844.—[Conference Report Continued.]

At three-quarters past 9 a.m., President Joseph Smith took his seat on the stand and requested the choir to sing a hymn. He called upon Elder Brigham Young to read 1st Corinthians, 15th chapter, as his own lungs were injured.

Elder Brigham Young said—to continue the subject of President Smith's discourse yesterday, I shall commence by reading the 15th chapter of 1st Corinthians, from an old Bible; and requested W. W. Phelps to read it.

Prayer by Elder Brigham Young, after which the choir sang a hymn.

President Joseph Smith's Remarks—The Whole of America Zion.

President Joseph Smith said:—It is just as impossible, for me to continue the subject of yesterday as to raise the dead. My lungs are worn out. There is a time to all things, and I must wait. I will give it up, and leave the time to those who can make you hear, and I will continue the subject of my discourse some other time. I want to make a proclamation to the Elders. I wanted you to stay, in order that I might make this proclamation. You know very well that the Lord has led this Church by revelation. I have another revelation in relation to economy in the Church—a great, grand, and glorious revelation. I shall not be able to dwell as largely upon it now as at some other time; but I will give you the first principles. You know there has been great discussion in relation to Zion—where it is, and where the gathering of the dispensation is, and which I am now going to tell you. The prophets have spoken and written upon it; but I will make a proclamation that will cover a broader ground. The whole of America is Zion itself {319} from north to south, and is described by the Prophets, who declare that it is the Zion where the mountain of the Lord should be, and that it should be in the center of the land. When Elders shall take up and examine the old prophecies in the Bible, they will see it.

The declaration this morning is, that as soon as the Temple and baptismal font are prepared, we calculate to give the Elders of Israel their washings and anointings, and attend to those last and more impressive ordinances, without which we cannot obtain celestial thrones. But there must be a holy place prepared for that purpose. There was a proclamation made during the time that the foundation of the Temple was laid to that effect, and there are provisions made until the work is completed, so that men may receive their endowments and be made kings and priests unto the Most High God, having nothing to do with temporal things, but their whole time will be taken up with things pertaining to the house of God. There must, however, be a place built expressly for that purpose, and for men to be baptized for their dead. It must be built in this the central place; for every man who wishes to save his father, mother, brothers, sisters and friends, must go through all the ordinances for each one of them separately, the same as for himself, from baptism to ordination, washings and anointings, and receive all the keys and powers of the Priesthood, the same as for himself.

I have received instructions from the Lord that from henceforth wherever the Elders of Israel shall build up churches and branches unto the Lord throughout the States, there shall be a stake of Zion. In the great cities, as Boston, New York, &c., there shall be stakes. It is a glorious proclamation, and I reserved it to the last, and designed it to be understood that this work shall commence after the washings, anointings and endowments have been performed here.

The Lord has an established law in relation to the matter: there must be a particular spot for the salvation of our dead. I verily believe there will be a place, and hence men who want to save their dead can come and bring their families, do their work by being baptized and attending to the other ordinances for their dead, and then may go back again to live and wait till they go to receive their reward. I shall leave my brethren to enlarge on this subject: it is my duty to teach the doctrine. I would teach it more fully—the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. God is not willing to let me gratify you; but I must teach the Elders, and they should teach you. God made Aaron to be the mouth piece for the children of Israel,[1] and He will make me be god to you in {320} His stead, and the Elders to be mouth for me; and if you don't like it, you must lump it. I have been giving Elder Adams instruction in some principles to speak to you, and if he makes a mistake, I will get up and correct him.

Elder G. J. Adams preached a discourse which occupied three hours, and which could be heard a great distance.

President Joseph Smith turned over the conference into the hands of the Twelve.

Choir sang a hymn. Prayer.

President Hyrum Smith called the conference to order at twenty-five minutes to four p.m., and spoke to the assembly one hour and a half.

He treated upon the subject of Elders preaching abroad. He said it was a matter of consequence that the Elders of Israel should know what they were about when they go to preach the Gospel. They should, like Paul, be ready to give a reason for the hope of their calling. When they are sent to preach the Gospel, they should preach the Gospel and nothing else, if they wish to stand approved themselves. The Elders are sent into the world to preach faith, repentance, baptism for the remission of sins, and the laying on of hands for the reception of the Holy Ghost and they should let the mysteries alone.

God has commanded you to preach repentance to this generation; and if this generation will not receive the first principles of the Gospel and the Book of Mormon, they will receive nothing greater. Just go and do as you are told and God will bless you.

It is the power of God that is going to convert the world, and nothing but the power of God. Every man who knows me knows that I have taught these principles from the beginning. It is the honest and pure in heart that will harken to the everlasting covenant. They are those who are noble and good; they will feed and clothe you and receive your testimony; and we want the Elders to gather out the good seed to Nauvoo. The day will come when you will see the wicked flee when no man pursueth. I want you to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. Preach principles that will stand the test of ages; teach them good precepts and save souls, go forth as men of God, and you will find friends wherever you go. Drink deep of the Spirit of Truth and a great and mighty work shall be wrought in the world; hundreds {321} and tens of thousands shall flock to the standard and go up to Zion.

Many other remarks were made by the speaker.

After which Sidney Rigdon made a few remarks, and concurred in what Brother Hyrum had said.

Twelve minutes to six, adjourned to April 9th, at eight o'clock, a.m.

Special Meeting of Elders.

Tuesday, 9.—[Conference Report Continued]. At 8 a.m., the Elders assembled at the stand, (President Brigham Young presiding,) and were addressed by Elder Amasa Lyman; after which: President Brigham Young said—

Address of Brigham Young.

What has been given is correct; the speech and conduct of Elders one towards another is frequently wrong; one Elder will speak evil of another; and while you trample others you will sink yourself. A man has sinking principles; but if his feelings are elevated, he will build up others and build up himself. Just as sure as one Elder tries to build himself upon the destruction of another, he will surely sink himself.

I would like to sit and hear the brethren teach for a week; but as business is pressing, we must hurry through. Preach repentance to this generation. Faith must go before repentance, and of course all men must follow the course and obey the laws and ordinances for the remission of sins, so as to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, and then your mission is done. Let a man who goes into the vineyard build up all he can. If a man preaches anything in error, pray to God that no man may remember it any more. No Elder will correct another in public before unbelievers unless he has the sinking principle. I call all the Elders together to witness that I always use charity, for it covers a multitude of sins.

North and South America Zion.

Let us obey the proclamation of Joseph Smith concerning the Elders going forth into the vineyard to build up the Temple, get their endowments, and be prepared to go forth and preach the Gospel. You may build up Zion, and learn to be men, and not children. It was a perfect sweepstakes when the Prophet called North and South America Zion. Let us go to and build the Temple with all our might, that we may build up the kingdom when established and her cords lengthened. It is a perfect knock-down to the devil's kingdom. There is not a faithful Elder who cannot, if he is humble and diligent, build up the Church. There are many men who will give you large sums to build a {322} Stake of Zion where they live. It proves the words of the Prophet of the last days.

The Priesthood is fitted to every capacity in the world. There are blessings and conditions in that Priesthood that suit every man. This will suit the condition of thousands, because it is as broad as the heavens, deep as hell, and wide as eternity.

I am asked all sorts of questions about making gods and devils, and organizing the eternal worlds; but we could not get it precisely into our understandings so as to make them. The God we serve is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. There is no need of breaking the law of the land if you keep the law of the Lord. I want a wife that can take care of my children when I am away, who can pray, lay on hands, anoint with oil, and baffle the enemy; and this is a spiritual wife.

The sweepstakes is a perfect knock-down to the devil. We will build up churches and establish Zion and her stakes. This is a fire which, cannot be put out: it has spread far faster than ever it did before. If you kick us and cuff us, we will turn the world upside down, and make the cart draw the horse. We want to build the Temple and have the roof on this fall, in the name of Israel's God. There are hundreds of Elders who will sell their property to build up the Temple. Let us pay up our tithing. If there are any men who have not paid their tithing, they will not get in there. Let the branches send teams with provisions to work all the year.

We are acquainted with the views of Gen. Smith, the Democrats and Whigs and all factions. It is now time to have a President of the United States. Elders will be sent to preach the Gospel and electioneer. The government belongs to God. No man can draw the dividing line between the government of God and the government of the children of men. You can't touch the Gospel without infringing upon the common avocations of men. They may have helps and governments in the Church, but it is all one at last.

Address of Hyrum Smith the Patriarch.

Patriarch Hyrum Smith said: I never knew a proclamation to be understood at once. President Brigham Young wished to draw the attention of the brethren, first to build the Temple and get your washings, anointings, and endowments; after that to build up branches throughout the nations. We must do all we can to build up the Temple, and after that to build churches. The gathering will continue here until the Temple is so far finished that the Elders can get their endowments; and after that the gathering will be from the nations to North and South America, which is the land of Zion. North and South America, are the symbols of the wings. The {323} gathering from the old countries will always be to headquarters, and I have no doubt this conference will do a great deal of good.

We have every power and principle to teach the people. Say what God says, and say no more. Never deviate one fraction from what God tells you. Elder Rigdon's remarks were very correct. Give out the simple principles. A man never fails who only says what he knows; and if any man says more, and can't give reasons, he falls short. Preach the first principles of the Gospel—preach them over again: you will find that day after day new ideas and additional light concerning them will be revealed to you. You can enlarge upon them so as to comprehend them clearly. You will then be able to make them more plainly understood by those who teach, so that you will meet with scarcely any honest man but will obey them, and none who can oppose. Adduce sufficient reason to prove all things, and you can convert every honest man in the world. The knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is not prevalent in the world, although it is written in the Holy Book. You can prove it by the Holy Book they profess to believe in, and your arguments will be so strong and convincing, that people will hear and obey it by thousands. The Savior says that to you it is given to know the mysteries of God, but to the world it is not given. You have power; you are authorized to put down every foolish thing you hear. A wise man will put it out of existence as he goes along; for light cleaveth unto light, knowledge to knowledge, and intelligence to intelligence.

We engage in the election the same as in any other principle: you are to vote for good men, and if you do not do this it is a sin: to vote for wicked men, it would be sin. Choose the good and refuse the evil. Men of false principles have preyed upon us like wolves upon helpless lambs. Damn the rod of tyranny; curse it. Let every man use his liberties according to the Constitution. Don't fear man or devil; electioneer with all people, male and female, and exhort them to do the thing that is right. We want a President of the U. S., not a party President, but a President of the whole people; for a party President disfranchises the opposite party. Have a President who will maintain every man in his rights.

I wish all of you to do all the good you can. We will try and convert the nations into one solid union. I despise the principle that divides the nation into party and faction. I want it to grow up like a green bay tree. Damn the system of splitting up the nation into opposite belligerent parties. Whatever are the rights of men guaranteed by the Constitution of these United States, let them have them. Then, if we were all in union, no one dare attempt to put a warlike foot on our soil. I don't like to see the rights of Americans trampled down. I am opposed to the policy of all such persons as would allow Great Britain {324} or any other power to take from us Oregon or any portion of our national territory; and damn all who attempt it. Lift up your voices like thunder: there is power and influence enough among us to put in a President. I don't wonder at the old Carthaginian lawyer being afraid of Joseph Smith being elected.

[A unanimous vote was passed by the immense assembly for Joseph Smith to be the candidate for the next President.]

Address of Heber C. Kimball.

Elder Heber C. Kimball arose and said—What Brother Hyrum has told you is God's truth, and will eventually come to pass. As he was making his observations to the Elders, it made me think of the first time that I went out into the vineyard to preach. I dwelt on one subject till it branched like unto a tree that was cultivated, until the branches shot forth in all directions. Suppose you had only one seed to plant, and that seed was an acorn, and you spend your time in cultivating it till it comes forth a great and mighty tree, branching forth with many branches, and bearing fruit abundantly after its own kind. So it is with the first principles of the Gospel, they branch out in all directions, unfolding new light continually. They are eternal principles. I never preached anything else but the first principles. When first we went to England, we preached nothing else, and never even touched on the gathering, as there was no place of gathering, the Church having been driven from Jackson County and also from Kirtland, and the Prophets, Patriarchs, Apostles and Saints were wandering in the wilderness seeking for a home; but as soon as the people were baptized and received the Holy Ghost, the most of them had the spirit of prophecy, and prophesied of coming to this land, as being the land of Zion; and the time would come that they should come here. Yet we never taught the doctrine of the gathering or Book of Doctrine and Covenants.

If you tell the people to stay, they will gather here stronger than ever. If you want to cut anything off, you should know how to restore. You should never cut off the ears of the people until you are able to make them others. It is no matter what way you convert them so you do convert them to believe the doctrines of the very Bible they have always professed to believe. It is no use attempting to teach them other things until you can make them believe the principles contained in the Bible which they have been taught to reverence and believe from their infancy. It teaches the gathering and all the principles of the Gospel necessary to be taught to the unbelieving world. This is the thrashing floor, where the wheat is gathered to be thrashed. There are a great many green heads, and they of course have to be pelted a little harder. After the {325} wheat is thrashed, it has to go through the fanning-mill, and then the screen, and then the smut-mill; then it has to be ground and to be bolted: but many bolt away and leave. If you get a cudgeling, don't be mad, for your heads are green. We are going to arrange a plan for Conferences, and we design to send Elders to all the different States to get up meetings and protracted meetings, and electioneer for Joseph to be the next President.

A great many of the Elders will necessarily have to leave their families, and the mothers will have to assume the responsibility of governing and taking care of the children to a much greater extent than when their husbands were at home. I therefore exhort them to be humble, faithful, and diligent, seeking to the Lord for wisdom to rear up their children in righteousness and prepare them to roll on the work of the Lord when their fathers shall have been worn out in the ministry. The mothers, therefore, are the persons who will more or less have to train the children.

Twenty minutes to 11: A call was made for the volunteers to go preaching to pass out to the green. A great company moved out and returned to the right of the stand, and were numbered 244.

Twenty minutes to 1: Adjourned for one hour.

Met according to adjournment. The names of the volunteers were called, and places assigned to each.

Brigham Young's Instruction to the Elders.

President Brigham Young said: Take care of yourselves, be wise, be humble, and you will prosper. I curse all who degrade themselves with corruption and licentiousness, as many have done. Magnify your calling, keep yourselves pure and innocent, and your path shall be clear as the horizon. We have all manner of prejudices to contend with. We thank God for the Gospel, the Book of Mormon, and the Temple, and sing glory to God; and yet there are characters among us who from mere covetousness will squeeze a sixpence two inches long, and we have all their iniquity to bear.

We have the honor to be the first fruits of this dispensation, and have to contend with floods of oppression. Go humbly and prayerfully, trusting and believing in God, and what you desire to do you will accomplish. Cease not to ask the Father what you shall do, and He will give you the Spirit. You know not the day of your visitation. What is asked for in the name of Jesus Christ will be granted. J. C. Bennett's power fell like the lightning. God was asked not to let Joe Duncan be governor, and it was so. We asked the Lord to deliver us from Governor Reynolds, of Missouri; and he shot himself, and has {326} gone to hell. As for Squire Warren, of Quincy, it takes two of him to make a shadow.

The Lord is cutting off the bitterest branches. Look at the explosion of the big gun on board of the Princeton war-steamer at Washington. God will deliver His faithful Saints. You will be innocent, and do a good work: you will come back, and bring your sheaves with you, rejoicing. Every man has the privilege of practicing godliness and virtue, and of manifesting himself as a servant of the Most High God. Doctor Foster lost his money by gambling, and joined blacklegs. Those men who say there is evil in the Church are evil themselves. This doctrine is the best for any man to practice, and will do him good. Ask of God that you may have wisdom to do all things. If you hear anything of an Elder preaching false doctrine, ask of God in full faith that it may be taken off the minds of the people.

A contribution was taken up for President Joseph Smith, $100 was raised, and another $100 loaned.

Comment of President Smith on the Conference.

Tuesday, April 9th, [Continued]:—The weather has been beautiful for the conference; and they have been the greatest, best, and most glorious five consecutive days ever enjoyed by this generation. Much good was done. Many spectators were present from Quincy, Alton, Warsaw, Fort Madison, and other towns. When we consider the immense number present, and the good order that was preserved, it speaks much in favor of the morality of the city.

In the afternoon I rode out with Emma, Dr. Goforth, and others to the mound. The peach trees look beautiful.

The Mayor and Marshal received a notification to produce docket and other papers in case of O. F. Bostwick, before the circuit court at Carthage; also a similar notification to produce papers in case of Amos Davis, appealed before Circuit Court.

A General Conference in England Beginning April 6th, and Continuing Until April 9th, 1844.

According to previous announcement, the general conference of the various branches of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commenced its sittings in the Music Hall, Liverpool, on the 6th of April, {327} 1844, Elder Reuben Hedlock, president of the mission, presiding, and Elder J. S. Cantwell, acting as clerk.

Morning Session.

After opening meeting by singing and prayer, it was voted unanimously that Elder Reuben Hedlock preside over the conference and that Elder J. S. Cantwell, act as clerk.

The number of officers present at the opening are as follows:—High Priests, 10; Elders, 23; Priests, 5; Teachers, 3; Deacons, 2. The representation of the various conferences was then called for:—

Manchester Conference represented by Elder Charles Miller, including the branches of Manchester, Stockport, Ashton, Duckenfield, Newton Moor, Mottram, Bolton, Edgeworth Moor, Edgerton, Leith, Chewmoor, Breightmet Fold, Bradshaw, Tottington, Summerseat, Bury, Haslingden, Royton, Oldham, Rochdale, Eccles, Pendlebury, Heatons, Ratcliffe, Halfare, Crossmoor, Didsbury, Middleton, Crompton Fold, Marble Bridge, Ashworth Tops, Vale House. Comprises 1583 members, 2 High Priests, 41 Elders, 100 Priests, 56 Teachers, 19 Deacons. Baptized since last general conference, 194.

Liverpool Conference represented by Elder Mitchelson, including Liverpool, the Isle of Man, Chester, part of Wales, Warrington, St. Helens, and Graseby. Comprises 596 members, 3 High Priests, 29 Elders, 39 Priests, 19 Teachers, 11 Deacons. Baptized since last general conference, 107.

Preston Conference represented by Elder John Banks, including Preston, Lancaster, Kendal, Brigsteer Holme, Heskin, Hunter's Hill, Euxton, Leyland, Southport, and Longton. Comprises 594 members, 1 High Priest, 16 Elders, 23 Priests, 17 Teachers, 4 Deacons. Baptized since last general conference, 21.

London Conference represented by Elder John Cairns, including London, Newbury, Woolwich, Dover, and Luton. Comprises 324 members, 1 High Priest, 11 Elders, 21 Priests, 5 Teachers, 5 Deacons. Baptized since last general conference, 47.

Macclesfield Conference represented by Elder Galley, including Macclesfield, Bollington, Middlewich, Northwich, Plumbley, and Crewe. Comprises 219 members, 1 High Priest, 10 Elders, 22 Priests, 14 Teachers, 7 Deacons. Baptized since last general conference, 15.

Birmingham Conference represented by Elder Crook, including Birmingham, Gritsgreen, Oldbury, Wolverhampton, Dudley, Brittlelane, Bilston, Kidderminster, Leamington, Bloxwich, Stratford-upon-Avon, Catthorpe, Westbromwich, Penydarren, Abersychan, Beaufort, Rumny, Tredegar, Merthyr Tydvil, Aberdare. Comprises 707 members, {328} 38 Elders, 49 Priests, 27 Teachers, 12 Deacons. Baptized since last general conference, 200.

Wooden Box represented by Elder Robert Crook, including Wooden Box, Dunstall, Branstone, Barton, and Colebille. Comprises 96 members, 9 Elders, 10 Priests, 6 Teachers, 5 Deacons. Baptized since last general conference, 60.

Staffordshire Conference represented by Elder George Simpson, including Burslem, Hanley, Stoke-upon-Trent, Newcastle, Baddely Edge, Bradley Green, Knutton Heath, Longton, Coxbank, Prees, Tunstall, Leek, Longport, Hassell Green, Allsager's Bank. Comprises 370 members, 1 High Priest, 29 Elders, 48 Priests, 20 Teachers, 11 Deacons.

Edinburgh Conference represented by Elder George P. Waugh, including Edinburgh, Wemyss, Sterling, and Pathead. Comprises 330 members, 11 Elders, 16 Priests, 7 Teachers, 3 Deacons. Baptized since November, 1843, 37.

Garaway Conference represented by Elder Blakey, including Garaway, Llanfoist, Buckle, Ewaisharold, Llanthony, and Llanvano. Comprises 172 members, 4 Elders, 9 Priests, 8 Teachers, 1 Deacon.

Glasgow Conference represented by Elder James Houston, including Glasgow, Paisley, Kilbirnie, Bridge of Weir, Thorny Bank and Shaws, Campsie, Renfrew, Greenock, Ayr, Bonhill, Balfrone, Johnstone, Airdrie, Irvine, and Calry. Comprises 833 members, 1 High Priest, 26 Elders, 39 Priests, 30 Teachers, 19 Deacons.

Sheffield Conference represented by letter, including Sheffield, Woodhouse, Dennington, and Brampton. Comprises 201 members, 5 Elders, 9 Priests, 5 Teachers, 3 Deacons.

Bradford Conference represented by Elder William Speakman, including Bradford, Idle, Leeds, Doncaster. Comprises 206 members, 9 Elders, 15 Priests, 8 Teachers, 6 Deacons. Baptized since last general conference, 44.

Ireland represented by Elder Sloan, including Hillsborough, Crawfordsburn, and Melusk. Comprises 52 members, 5 Elders, 1 Priest, 1 Teacher.

Lincolnshire Conference represented by letter. Comprises 27 members, 2 Elders, 2 Priests, 1 Teacher, 1 Deacon. Baptized since last general conference, 17.

Worcestershire Conference represented by Elder Thomas Smith, including Earls Common, Pinvin, Flyford Flavel, Worcester, Bromsgrove, Randan Woods, Barford, St. John's, and Milton. Comprises 140 members, 6 Elders, 10 Priests, 3 Teachers, 3 Deacons. Baptized since last general conference, 28.

Clitheroe Conference represented by Elder William Snalam, including {329} Clitheroe, Chatburn, Downham, Waddington, Ribchester, Chaigley, and Settle. Comprises 299 members, 16 Elders, 22 Priests, 18 Teachers, 4 Deacons. Baptized since last general conference, 14.

Leicester Conference represented by Elder Thomas Margetts, including Leicester and Nottingham. Comprises 127 members, 5 Elders, 10 Priests, 1 Teacher, 2 Deacons.

Cheltenham Conference represented by letter, consisting of 18 branches. Comprises 532 members, 17 Elders, 30 Priests, 13 Teachers, 5 Deacons. Baptized since last General Conference, 90.

Bath represented by letter, comprising 31 members, 1 Elder, 2 Priests.

Wolverton represented by letter. Comprises 8 members, 1 Elder, 2 Priests.

Carlisle represented by letter. Comprises 160 members, 8 Elders, 19 Priests, 8 Teachers, 3 Deacons; and contains four branches.

Littlemoor represented by letter. Comprises 6 members, 1 Priest.

Bedfordshire Conference represented by letter, including 12 branches Comprises 184 members, 14 Elders, 20 Priests, 9 Teachers, 2 Deacons.

The number of members and authorities of each conference being ascertained as nearly as possible, it was determined that the delegates should represent the condition of each conference, and what alterations or measures were necessary to be adopted for the well being of each other.

Elder Charles Miller having remarked that he had been challenged to discussion, and had accepted it, it led to some remarks from Elder Ward as to the very little good effected in general by discussions; and that it was beneath the servants of God to turn aside from the path of duty to wrangle and dispute like the people of the world; and that while the professors of modern religion were in a manner devouring each other, the path of the Saints ought to be onward in the proclamation of the principles of truth.

Elder Hedlock agreed with the remarks of Elder Ward, and stated that they were in perfect accordance with the advice of the First Presidency, and that the evil ought to be guarded against as much as possible.

[The remaining sessions of the conference were devoted to hearing reports from the several conferences comprising the mission, giving instruction relative to ordaining men to the ministry, and the manner of conducting the ministry of the Church to make it effective. Among other items of interest was a communication from the Twelve in Nauvoo making the nomination of Elders Reuben Hedlock and Thomas Ward to preside over the British Mission, which nomination was accepted by the conference, and these brethren were unanimously {330} sustained as the presidency of the mission. The publication of the Millennial Star had been ordered suspended by the Twelve, but the conference voted by unanimous acclamation that this conference request the quorum of the Twelve to permit the continued publication of that periodical. The minutes of the conference state that—]

"Elder Hedlock addressed the assembly on the subject of the publications, and was desirous of taking the sense of that meeting on the same. It was true that the quorum of the Twelve had advised that the publication of the Millennial Star be stopped, and had given him authority to publish a circular as occasion might require; but he believed most sincerely that the stoppage of the Star would have a most injurious tendency.

"Several having spoken to the same effect, Elder Ward remarked that, if a publication was to be issued at all, it appeared trifling with the interest of the cause to change the name, inasmuch as the office had received the name of the Millennial Star Office, and many letters came to them with that address."

[Then followed the action of the conference upon the subject noted above. Permission must have been given soon afterwards to renew the publication of the Star, since it missed but one issue, that of May, 1844.—it was then published monthly. See vols. v and vi.]


1. The scripture alluded to in the text is as follows:—Moses pleaded to be excused from the appointment to deliver Israel on the plea that he was not eloquent; whereupon the Lord said: "Is not Aaron the Levite thy brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he cometh forth to meet thee; and when he seeth thee, he will be glad in his heart. And thou shalt speak unto him, and put in his mouth; * * * And he shall be the spokesman unto the people: * * * * he shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead of God" (Exodus iv:14-16.)

Somewhat later this passage occurs: "And the Lord said unto Moses, See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh; and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet" (Exodus vii:1.)




Wednesday, April 10, 1844.—The Twelve were in council arranging a plan for appointing conferences.

Thursday, 11.—In general council in Masonic Hall, morning and afternoon. Had a very interesting time. The Spirit of the Lord was with us, and we closed the council with loud shouts of Hosanna!

Friday, 12.—The Twelve met in council. Rode out with Brothers Parker and Clayton to look at some land.

A conference was held at Cypry, Tuscaloosa County, Alabama. Elder Benjamin L. Clapp, president, and John Brown, clerk. Seven branches were represented, consisting of 192 members, 12 Elders, 5 Priests, 4 Teachers, and 2 Deacons, all in good standing.

Saturday, 13.—At 10 a.m. met in City Council. George P. Styles was appointed City Attorney. I advise that the council take such a course as would protect the innocent: that in many cases the attorney would get his pay off the individual employing him; that the appointment would be a valuable consideration, and for one year a salary of $100 would be sufficient; perhaps $160 the next year, &c., increasing as the city increases; and if $100 would not satisfy, we had better have no attorney. "I would {332} rather give my services as counselor, &c., than levy a tax the people are not able to pay; and that every man ought to be willing to help prop the city by bearing a share of the burden till the city is able to pay a higher salary. My opinion is that the officers of the city should be satisfied with a very small compensation for their services. I have never received twenty-five dollars for my services; [as counselor] but the peace I have enjoyed in the rights and liberties of the city has been ample compensation."

I suggested the propriety of inserting a clause in the ordinance to be made relating to the City Attorney, authorizing him to claim fees of parties in certain cases, and the small salary satisfy the attorney in cases where he can get no fees from his client. "I would rather be docked $100 in my salary than have the $200 given to the City Attorney by the city."

I also proposed that the Council take into consideration the payment of the police; also proposed that a public meeting be called in each ward to see if they will not, then the council will take the case into consideration.

At 1 p.m., the Municipal Court sat in the assembly room, where I asked Dr. R. D. Foster if he bore my expenses to Washington, or any part thereof.

Foster replied he did not.

I stated that Dr. Goforth had said that he was taken in a secret council when Foster told him he had paid my expenses.

Dr. Foster replied he never had a secret interview with Dr. Goforth, and gave his version of the meeting.

I then asked him—"Have I ever misused you any way?"

Foster said—"I do not feel at liberty to answer this question, under existing circumstances?"

I again asked him—"Did I ever misuse you?"

He again replied—"I do not feel at liberty to answer under existing circumstances."

I then asked—"Did I ever wrong you in deal, or personally misuse you in any shape?"

{333} Foster said, "I do not feel at liberty to answer. I have treated you Christianly and friendly too, so far as I have had the ability."

I then asked him to tell me where I had done wrong, and I will ask his forgiveness; for I want you to prove to this company by your testimony that I have treated you honorably.

Foster then said—"I shall testify no further at present."

I then asked Justice Aaron Johnson—"Did I ever make oath before you against Simpson?"

He replied—"Not before the prosecution."

I then told the whole story.

Andrew Colton then came up before the Municipal Court on habeas corpus, and was discharged on the insufficiency of the papers.

After which, I preferred the following charge before the High Council against Dr. Robert D. Foster "for unchristian-like conduct in general, for abusing my character privily, for throwing out slanderous insinuations against me, for conspiring against my peace and safety, for conspiring against my life, for conspiring against the peace of my family, and for lying."

A charge was preferred against Harrison Sagers for teaching spiritual wife doctrine and neglecting his family, which was handed over to the High Council to act upon.

At 2 p.m., Elder John Taylor delivered a political discourse.

About 5 p.m., the "Maid of Iowa" arrived at the Nauvoo House wharf, filled with passengers from England, led by William Kay. 210 souls started from Liverpool, and nearly all arrived in good health and spirits, one smaller company having previously arrived.

Sunday, 14.—Rainy day. No meeting at the stand. I preached on board the "Maid of Iowa."

Committee of the Council met in the afternoon at my office.

{334} Monday, 15.—At home settling with Dan Jones for steamboat "Maid of Iowa." She has returned in debt about $1,700. After much conversation and deliberation, I agreed to buy out Jones, by giving him property in the city worth $1,231, and assuming the debts.

I rode out in the afternoon.

The Twelve Apostles arranged the appointments for the general conferences in the United States as follows:

Quincy, Ill.Sat. and Sun.May 4 and 5
Princess Grove, Ill.Sat. and Sun. " 11 12
Ottowa, Ill.Sat. and Sun. " 18 19
Chicago, Ill.Sat. and Sun. " 25 26
Comstock, Kalamazoo county, Mich.Sat. and Sun.June 1 2
Pleasant Valley, Mich.Sat. and Sun. " 8 9
Frankland, Oakland county, Mich.Sat. and Sun. " 15 16
Kirtland, OhioSat. and Sun. " 22 23
G.A. Neal's six miles west of Lockport, N. Y.Sat. and Sun. " 29 30
Batavia, N. Y.Sat. and Sun.July 6 7
Portage, Alleghany county, N. Y.Sat. and Sun. " 13 14
Hamilton, Madison county, N. Y.Sat. and Sun. " 20 21
Oswego, N. Y.Sat. and Sun.June 29 30
Adams, Jefferson county, N. Y.Sat. and Sun.July 6 7
London, Caledonia county, N. Y.Sat. and Sun.June 15 16
Northfield, Washington county,
ten miles of Montpelier, at Lyman Houghton's, N. Y.
Sat. and Sun. " 29 30
Fairfield, Essex Co, at Elder Tracy's, N. Y.Sat. and Sun.July 13 14
Boston, Mass.Sat. and Sun.June 29 30
Salem, " Sat. and Sun.July 6 7
New Bedford, Mass.Sat. and Sun. " 13 14
Peterboro, N. H.Sat. and Sun. " 13 14
Lowell, Mass.Sat. and Sun. " 27 28
Scarboro, MaineSat. and Sun. " 6 7
Vinal HavenSat. and Sun. " 13 14
Westfield, Mass.Sat. and Sun. " 27 28
Farmington, Mass.Sat. and Sun.Aug. 3 4
New Haven, Conn.Sat. and Sun. " 10 11
Canaan, Conn.Sat. and Sun. " 17 18
Norwalk, " Sat. and Sun. " 24 25
New York City, N.Y.Sat. and Sun. " 17 18
Philadelphia, Pa.Sat. and Sun.Aug. 31 Sep.1
{335} Dresden, Weekly county, Tenn.Sat. and Sun.May 25 26
Eagle Creek, Benton county, Tenn.Sat. and Sun.. Jun 8 and 9
Dyer county, C. H.Sat. and Sun. " 22 23
Rutherford county, C. H., Tenn.Sat. and Sun.July 20 21
Lexington, Henderson county, Tenn.Sat. and Sun.Aug. 3 4
New Albany, Clinton county, Ky.Sat. and Sun.June 29 30
Alquina, Fayette county, Ia.Sat. and Sun. " 1 2
Pleasant Garden, Ia.Sat. and Sun. " 15 16
Fort Wayne, Ia.Sat. and Sun. " 29 30
Northfield, Boon county, Ia.Sat. and Sun.July 13 14
Cincinnati, OhioSat. and Sun.May 18 19
Pittsburgh, Pa.Sat. and Sun.June 1 2
Leechburg, " Sat. and Sun. " 15 16
Running Water Branch, Noxuble Co., Miss.Sat. and Sun. " 1 2
Tuscaloosa, Ala.Sat. and Sun. " 22 23
Washington City, D. C.Sept. 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15.

We also publish the names of the Elders who are appointed to the several states, together with their appointments. Those who are numbered with the figures 1 and 2 will take the presidency of the several states to which they are appointed.

  J. Butterfield, 1st       Jonathan H. Hale
  Elbridge Tufts, 2nd       Henry Herriman
  S. B. Stoddard            John Moon

  W. Snow, 1st              Harley Morley
  Howard Egan, 2nd          Israel Barlow
  Alvin Cooley              David Clough Sen.
  John S. Twiss,            Calvin Reed
  Charles A. Adams,         Chilion Mack
  Bethuel Miller            Isaac Burton
  A. D. Boynton.

  Daniel Spencer, 1st       George Lloyd
  Milton F. Bartlett        Orlando D. Hovey
  Daniel Loveland           Nathaniel Ashby
  Joseph J. Woodbury        Samuel P. Hoyt
  W. H. Woodbury            Daniel W. Gardner
  John R. Blanchard

  William Seabury, 1st      Melvin Wilbur
  Thomas McTaggart

  E. H. Davis, 1st          Quartus S. Sparks

  Erastus Snow, 1st         Warren Snow
  William Hyde              Dominicus Carter
  Denman Cornish,           Levi W. Hancock
  Jeremiah Hatch            Alfred Cordon
  Martin Titus              Charles Snow
  William Haight            James C. Snow
  John D. Chase             A. M. Harding
  Josiah H. Perry           Isaac Houston
  Amos Hodges

  C. W. Wandell, 1st        William Newland
  Marcellus Bates, 2nd      Allen Wait
  Truman Gillett            William H. Parshall,
  A. A. Farnham             C. H. Wheelock
  Edmund Ellsworth,         Timothy B. Foote
  Gregory Bentley           George W. Fowler
  Homer C. Hoyt             Henry L. Cook
  Isaac Chase,              William W. Dryer
  Simeon A. Dunn            Elijah Reed
  Daniel Shearer            Solon Foster
  James W. Phippin          Hiram Bennett
  J. H. Van Natta           Chandler Holbrook
  Samuel P. Bacon           Lyman Hall
  Bradford W. Elliott       William Felshaw
  J. R. G. Phelps           Daniel Fisher
  Joseph P. Noble           D. H. Redfield
  John Tanner               Martin R. Tanner
  Thomas Fuller             G. D. Goldsmith
  O. M. Duel                Charles Thompson
  Samuel White              B. C. Elsworth
  W. R. R. Stowell          Archibald Bates
  William D. Pratt          David Pettigrew
  Marcellus McKeown         Ellis Eames
  Horace S. Eldredge

  Ezra T. Benson, 1st       John Pack

  D. D. Yearsley, 1st       Wm. P. McIntyre
  Edson Whipple, 2nd        Jacob Zundall
  John Duncan               Orrin D. Farlin
  Stephen Post              Henry Mouer
  G. W. Crouse              G. Chamberlain
  Jacob Shoemaker           Thomas Hess
  Stephen Winchester        A. J. Glaefke
  Hyrum Nyman               Henry Dean
  J. M. Cole                James Downing
  Charles Warner.

  John Jones                Jonathan O. Duke
  Warren Snow               Justus Morse

  Jacob Hamblin             Patrick Norris
  Lyman Stoddard.

  B. Winchester, 1st        James Park
  S. C. Shelton, 2nd        A. W. Whitney
  Geo. D. Watt, 3rd         Pleasant Ewell
  Chapman Duncan            W. E. Higginbottom
  Joseph King               John F. Betts
  Peter Fife                Alfred B. Lambson
  Robert Hamilton           David Evans

  A. McRae, 1st             John Holt
  Aaron Razer, 2nd          John Houston
  Thomas Guymon             James Sanderson
  George Watt

  Alonzo LeBaron, 1st       Ekells Truly
  John M. Emell             William Smith
  William D. Lyman

  Morgan L. Gardner         Miles Anderson
  Isaac Beebe               S. E. Carpenter

  John D. Lee, 1st          D. D. Hunt
  D. H. Rogers              M. B. Welton
  Samuel B. Frost           Horace B. Owens
  John O. Angus             Joseph Holbrook
  Charles Spry              Hiram W. Mikesell
  John H. Reid              Garret W. Mikesell
  William Watkins

  A. O. Smoot, 1st          J. J. Castell
  Alphonzo Young, 2nd       J. A. Kelting
  W. W. Riley               J. Hampton
  Amos Davis                Alfred Bell
  L. T. Coon                Armstead Moffitt
  Jackson Smith             D. P. Rainey
  W. P. Vance               James Holt
  H. D. Buys                Warren Smith
  A. D. Young               J. J. Sasnett
  Joseph Younger            H. B. Jacobs
  G. W. Langley             John L. Fullmer
  G. Penn                   Joseph Mount

  B. L. Clapp, 1st          L. D. Butler
  G. W. Brandon             T. J. Brandon

  J. B. Walker              Daniel Tyler
  Ethan Barrus.

  J. B. Bosworth, 1st       John Kelly
  H. H. Wilson              George Pew
  Wm. Nelson                Lorenzo Moore

  A. A. Simmons             J. A. McIntosh
  Darwin Chase              Nathaniel Leavitt.

  Lorenzo Snow, 1st         William Batson
  L. Brooks, 2nd            G. C. Riser
  Alfred Brown              Clark Lewis
  J. J. Riser               B. W. Wilson
{339}   J. Carroll                A. W. Condit
  L. O. Littlefield         Loren Babbitt
  J. M. Powers              Elijah Newman
  Milo Andrus               Milton Stow
  John Lovelace             Edson Barney
  W. H. Folsom              Hiram Dayton
  John Cooper               Jacob Morris
  S. Carter                 Ezra Strong
  John Nichols              J. M. Emmett
  David Jones               Allen Tulley
  Nathaniel Childs          P. H. Young
  Jesse Johnson             S. P. Hutchins
  J. A. Casper              J. H. Foster
  Joseph Rose               Nathan T. Porter
  W. Brothers               Ezra Vincent
  Jared Porter              Lysander Dayton
  John W. Roberts

  Amasa Lyman, 1st          U. V. Stewart
  G. P. Dykes, 2nd          Washington Lemon
  A. L. Lamoreaux           Edward Carlin
  Charles Hopkins           L. D. Young
  F. M. Edwards             Wm. Snow
  Salmon Warner             Nathan Tanner
  F. D. Richards            Wm. Martindale
  S. W. Richards            Henry Elliott
  John Mackey               A. F. Farr
  James Newberry            John Jones
  Abraham Palmer            Frederick Ott
  John G. Smith

  Charles C. Rich, 1st      Wm. Savage
  Harvey Green, 2nd         David Savage
  Thomas Dunn               Graham Coltrin
  R. C. Sprague             Samuel Parker
  Joseph Curtis             Jeremiah Curtis
  Zebedee Coltrin           C. W. Hubbard
  Reuben W. Strong          S. D. Willard
  L. N. Kendall             Wm. Gribble

  E. H. Groves, 1st         Morris Phelps, 2nd
{340}   John Vance                S. Mulliner
  H. Olmstead, Galena       John Gould
  H. W. Barnes, do.         Zenus R. Gurley
  Hiram Mott,               Jefferson Hunt
  David Candland            Jacob L. Burnham
  W. A. Duncan              D. J. Kershner
  Wm. O. Clark              N. Leavitt
  Almon Bathrick            John Laurence
  P. H. Buzzard             Nathan A. West
  Zachariah Hardy           Levi Jackman
  John Hammond              Abel Lamb
  G. W. Hickerson           Howard Coray
  Daniel Allen              Stephen Markham
  David Judah               Levi Stewart
  Thomas Dobson             James Graham
  James Nelson              Timothy S. Hoit
  David Lewis               Duncan McArthur

  A. H. Perkins, 1st        Wm. Coray
  John Lowry, 2nd           O. M. Allen
  Wm. G. Rule               Wm. H. Jordan

  S. H. Briggs

  F. Nickerson, 1st     A. C. Nickerson     L. S. Nickerson

Those Elders who are numbered in the foregoing list to preside over the different states will appoint conferences in all places in their several states where opportunities present, and will attend all the conferences, or send experienced and able Elders, who will preach the truth in righteousness, and present before the people "General Smith's Views of the Powers and Policy of the General Government," and seek diligently to get up electors who will go for him for the Presidency. All the Elders will be faithful in preaching the Gospel in its simplicity and beauty, in all meekness, humility, long-suffering and prayerfulness; and the Twelve will devote the season to traveling, and will attend as many conferences as possible.

Elder B. Winchester is instructed to pass through Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, North and South Carolina and Virginia, to visit the churches, hold conferences, and preside over them.


W. RICHARDS, Clerk of the Quorum of the Twelve.

{341} Tuesday, 16.—Rode out to Brother Greenwood's, but he had not returned. Five p.m. had a long talk with Chauncey L. Higbee and Esq. Marr, in front of my house, and read to them Dr. A. B. Williams' and M. G. Eaton's affidavit before Esq. Wells.

The Twelve Apostles met in council.

Wednesday 17.—Rode out with Brother Heber C. Kimball and William Clayton to the steamboat landing. Remainder of the day at home.

Thursday, 18.—Nine a.m. went into general council until noon and introduced J. W. Coolidge, D. S. Hollister, and added Lyman Wight's name.

While at dinner I made mention of the report that Foster, Higbee, et al. were paying someone's board at my table so as to catch something against me; so that, if the report is true, they may have something to carry back.

Two to five thirty p.m. in council.

Excommunication of the Laws, Fosters, et. al.

At 6 p.m. Brigham Young, Willard Richards, John Taylor, George A. Smith, Heber C. Kimball, Wilford Woodruff, of the Twelve Apostles; Alpheus Cutler, Samuel Bent, George W. Harris, A. Johnson, William Marks, of the City Council; Charles C. Rich, Amasa M. Lyman, of the High Council; William W. Phelps, Newel K. Whitney, John Smith, John M. Bernhisel, Joseph Fielding, George J. Adams, Erastus Snow, Reynolds Cahoon, J. W. Coolidge, John Scott, John D. Lee, Levi W. Hancock, S. Williams, Jos. Young, John P. Greene, John D. Parker, Alexander McRae, George D. Watt, and William Clayton held a council and unanimously cut off Robert D. Foster, Wilson Law, William Law and Jane Law, of Nauvoo, and Howard Smith of Scott county, Illinois, from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, for unchristian-like conduct; and their names were published in the Times and Seasons.

Friday, 19.—A company of about eighty Saints arrived.

In the evening rode to the upper steamboat landing.

{342} Saturday, 20.—Emma started for St. Louis to purchase goods.

I rode out with Dr. Bernhisel and my boys Frederick and Alexander to the prairie, which is now very green.

Elders Brigham Young and Wilford Woodruff rode to Lima and spent the night with Father Morley.

Sunday, 21.—At home; rainy day. A meeting at the Stand. Elder Erastus Snow preached on "The Law of Nature."

Elders Young and Woodruff attended a conference and preached to the Saints in Lima, where twenty-six Elders volunteered to go out preaching.

Elder Kimball attended a conference at Ramus.

Monday, 22.—All night lightning, thundering, raining, with strong east wind which continued through the day.

The river very high; all the mills in the city stopped on account of the high water.

This morning a man, who had put up at my house told me he wanted to see me alone. I went into my room with him, when he told me he was a prophet of God, that he came from Vermont, and he prophesied that this Government, was about to be overthrown, and the kingdom which Daniel speaks of was about to be established somewhere in the West, and he thought in Illinois.

My brother William arrived from New Jersey with some forty or fifty Saints. I spent some time with him in the evening.

Elders Young and Woodruff started for Nauvoo; but on account of a tremendous storm of hail and rain, they were glad to take shelter at Brother William Draper's where they spent the night.

Tuesday, 9.—From 9 to 12 a general meeting of citizens friendly to my election, was held in the hall, to elect a delegate to go to the Baltimore Convention, to be held on the first Monday in May. D. S. Hollister was elected.

{343} From 3 to 5 p.m. again assembled, and many speeches were made, &c.; and appointed the second Monday in May to hold a State Convention at Nauvoo.

In the evening, visited Agnes, my brother Carlos' widow, and Dr. Richards, with Hyrum.

Wednesday, 24.—Rode up to the steamboat landing, where we found Elder J. M. Grant, who introduced me to judge William Richards, of New Jersey, took him to Brother Winchester's.

In the evening Brother Ezra Thayer, Dr. Richards, and Dr. Williams were in my room, and a man who boarded at the Masonic Hall. At their request, I gave them a history of the Laws' proceedings, in part, in trying to make a difficulty in my family, &c.

Gave recommendations to Elders Amasa M. Lyman and D. S. Hollister.

Thursday, 25.—Emma returned from St. Louis.

A brother who works in the St. Louis Gazette office came up at the same time, and wanted to know by what principle I got so much power, how many inhabitants and armed men we had, &c. I told him I obtained power on the principles of truth and virtue, which would last when I was dead and gone, &c.

In general council from 10 till 12, and from 2 to 5, When they adjourned sine die, after appointing a State Convention to meet in Nauvoo on 17th May. The council then dispersed to go abroad in the nations.

Instructed Dr. Richards to make out a writ of habeas corpus for Mr. Jeremiah Smith, of Iowa, who was expecting to be arrested by the U. S. Marshal for getting money which was due him, as he says, at Washington.

A play on rational amusement was to commence this evening, but a most tremendous shower of rain and large hail from the southwest commenced about six p.m. which prevented it. The small creeks rose over four feet high, overflowed their banks, sweeping away fences, and doing considerable damage.

{344} The Mississippi river is higher at this place than ever known by the oldest inhabitant.

Violence of the Fosters and Higbees.

Friday, 26.—At home. At 10 a.m. the Marshal went up on the hill to arrest Augustine Spencer for an assault on his brother, Orson Spencer, in his own house. Robert D. Foster, Charles Foster and Chauncey L. Higbee came down. Charles Foster drew a pistol pointed towards me, and threatened to shoot while standing on the steps of my office. I ordered him to be arrested and the pistol taken from him, when a struggle ensued, in which Charles Foster, Robert D. Foster and Chauncey L. Higbee resisted, and I ordered them to be arrested also, and I as the Mayor ordered the policemen to be called; then went on to try Augustine Spencer. He was fined $100, and required to give bonds in $100 to keep the peace for six months. He appealed the case at once to the Municipal Court.

Robert D. Foster, Chauncey L. Higbee, and Charles Foster were also tried for resisting the authorities of the city.

O. P. Rockwell sworn. Marshal John P. Greene sworn:—Said Dr. Foster swore by God that he would not assist the Marshal, and swore by God they would see the Mayor in hell before they would go; and that Charles Foster drew a pistol and presented at the Mayor, which was being wrested from him when Dr. Robert D. Foster interfered. Charles Foster and Chauncey L. Higbee said they would be G—d—d if they would not shoot the Mayor. They breathed out many hard threatenings and menacing sayings. They said they would consider themselves the favored of God for the privilege of shooting or ridding the world of such a tyrant (referring to the Mayor).

Joseph W. Coolidge sworn, and confirmed the Marshal's testimony.

Elbridge Tufts sworn, and confirmed the foregoing statements.

{345} Robert D. Foster, Charles Foster and Chauncey L. Higbee were each fined $100. They immediately took an appeal to the Municipal Court.

I issued a warrant for Robert D. Foster, on complaint of Willard Richards, for a breach of ordinance, in that Foster said to Richards; "You," shaking his fist in the doctor's face, "are another d—ned black-hearted villain! You tried to seduce my wife on the boat, when she was going to New York and I can prove it; and the oath is out against you."

Saturday, 27.—A large company of gentlemen from St. Louis and other places on the river, called at the Mansion. After spending some time, they returned to the boat, but it was gone, when they again returned to the Mansion.

At 9 a.m. the case of Dr. Robert D. Foster came up for trial before the Municipal Court. I had a conversation with Foster in which he charged me with many crimes, and said that Daniteism was in Nauvoo; and he used a great variety of vile and false epithets and charges.

The court adjourned to Monday, the 29th at 9 a.m.

Foster agreed to meet me on the second Monday in May, at the Stand, and have a settlement, and he would publish the result of it in the Warsaw papers. I told him if he did not agree to be quiet, and not attempt to raise a mob, I would not meet him; if he would agree to be quiet, I would be willing to publish the settlement in the Neighbor. But Foster would not agree to be quiet. I then told him I had done my duty; the skirts of my garments were free from his (Foster's) blood; I had made the last overtures of peace to him; and then delivered him into the hands of God, and shook my garments against him as a testimony thereof.

I continued in the office some time afterwards in conversation, and then went into the big room and read in the Warsaw Signal a vile article against the Saints.

{346} Elder Hiram Smith arrived from Liverpool accompanied by one hundred and fifty immigrating Saints.

There was a meeting at the Stand at one o'clock, to give instructions to the Elders going out electioneering. They were addressed by President Rigdon and William Smith.

Dr. Richards prosecuted Robert D. Foster for slander, &c.

Sunday, 28.—At home. A beautiful clear day.

My brother Hyrum preached at the Stand in the morning, and among other things, said the time will shortly come that when one man makes another an offender for a word, he shall be cut off from the Church of Jesus Christ. There were prophets before, but Joseph has the spirit and power of all the prophets.

President Brigham Young also spoke very pointedly and very truly about Dr. Foster and others. Dr. Foster was cursed, and the people cried "Amen."

Several persons were baptized in the river at the foot of Main street.

There was a meeting of the Twelve Apostles, Seventies and others, in the Seventies' Hall, in the afternoon.

Prayer meeting in the evening: the brethren prayed for the sick, a deliverance from our enemies, a favorable termination to lawsuits, &c., &c. I had been suddenly taken sick, and was therefore unable to attend.

A conference of Elders assembled at Yelrome, or Morley Settlement, Lima, Isaac Morley presiding, when a quorum of High Priests was organized, consisting of thirty-one members. Horace Rawson president, Philip Gardner and Joseph S. Allen, his counselors, and James C. Snow, clerk.

There was a meeting at Wilson Law's, near the sawmill, of those who had been cut off from the Church, and their dupes. Several affidavits which they had taken against me and others were read. William Law, Wilson {347} Law, Austin A. Cowles, John Scott, Sen., Francis M. Higbee, Robert D. Foster, and Robert Pierce were appointed a committee to visit the different families in the city, and see who would join the new church; i.e., as they had decided that I was a fallen prophet, &c.; and they appointed William Law in my place, who chose Austin Cowles and Wilson Law as his counselors. Robert D. Foster and Francis M. Higbee to be two of the Twelve Apostles, &c., &c., as report says.

Elder James Blackeslee preached in the forenoon, bearing a faithful testimony of the truth of the work and my being a true prophet, and in the afternoon joined the "Anties." They chose Charles Ivins Bishop.

A conference was held in Sheffield, England, representing 215 members, 7 Elders, 19 Priests, 5 Teachers, and 3 Deacons.

Monday, 29.—At home; received a visit from L. R. Foster of New York, who gave me a good pencil case, sent me by Brother Theodore Curtis, who is now in New York; and the first words I wrote with it were, "God bless the man!"

At 11 a.m., Robert D. Foster came up for trial. I transferred the case to Alderman William Marks. Foster objected to the jurisdiction of the court, also to an informality in the writ, &c.

The court decided he had not jurisdiction. Esquire Noble, from Rock river, assisted the City Attorney. Esquire Patrick was present.

I called a special session of the City Council at 3:30 p.m., when it was voted that W. W. Phelps take the place of John Taylor during his absence this season; also Aaron Johnson in place of Orson Hyde; Phineas Richards in place of Heber C. Kimball; Edward Hunter in place of Daniel Spencer; Levi Richards in place of Brigham Young as councilors in the City Council; and Elias Smith as alderman in place of George A. Smith.

Lieutenant Williams filed his affidavit versus Major-General {348} Wilson Law, and he was suspended from office to await his trial before a court-martial of the Nauvoo Legion for ungentlemanly conduct, &c.; and he was notified of his command in the Legion being suspended, and Charles C. Rich was notified to take command, and also notified seven officers to sit as a court-martial.

William Law was suspended for trial about the same time.

Steamer Mermaid touched at Nauvoo House, landing at 5 p.m. for a short time when going down.

John P. Greene published the following in the Neighbor: (Impression of May 1st.)

The Foster-Higbee Embroilment.

All is peace at Nauvoo, among the Saints:

But, Mr. Taylor, I wish you to give the following outrage an insertion in the Neighbor, that the public mind may be disabused, and the disgrace and shame fall on those who have justly deserved it and merited the people's rebuke!

On Friday morning, the 26th inst., I was informed by Mr. Orrin P. Rockwell that one Mr. Augustine Spencer had committed an assault on the person of Alderman Orson Spencer, and the Mayor of the city had sent for Augustine Spencer, and found him in Mr. Marr's law office, made him a prisoner, and informed him he must go with me to the Mayor's office, when he said he would not go.

I then called upon Robert D. Foster, Chauncey L. Higbee, and Charles A. Foster to assist me in taking said Spencer to the Mayor's office; but they swore they would not, and used many threatening oaths and aspersions, saying they would see the Mayor and the city damned, and then they would not; but soon followed me and Mr. Augustine Spencer to the office door, when the Mayor ordered me to arrest these three men for refusing to assist me in the discharge of my duty; and when attempting to arrest them, they all resisted, and with horrid imprecations threatened to shoot.

I called for help, and there not being sufficient, the Mayor laid hold on the two Fosters at the same time. At that instant Charles A. Foster drew a double-barrel pistol on Mr. Smith, but it was instantly wrenched from his hand; and afterwards he declared he would have shot the Mayor, if we had let his pistol alone, and also he would thank God for the privilege of ridding the world of a tyrant! Chauncey L. Higbee responded to Foster's threats, and swore that he would do it.


However, the three were arrested and brought before the Mayor, whereupon Orrin P. Rockwell, Joseph Coolidge, John P. Greene and E. Tufts testified to the amount of the above statements; upon which evidence the court assessed a fine of one hundred dollars to each of the above-named aggressors, who appealed to the Municipal Court.

I wish the public to know who it is that makes insurrections and disturbs the peace and quiet of the people of the city of Nauvoo; and in order to do this I need only to tell the world that this Robert D. Foster is a county magistrate, and the same Robert D. Foster that was fined for gambling a few weeks since; and that this Chauncey L. Higbee is a lawyer and notary public of Hancock county, and the same Chauncey L. Higbee that was fined for insulting the city officers (the marshal and constable) when in the discharge of their official duties, a few weeks since.

"When the wicked rule the people mourn, but righteousness exalteth any nation"—SOLOMON.

J. P. GREENE, City Marshal.

N. B.—We wish it to be distinctly understood that neither of the three above-named individuals are members of the Church of Latter-day Saints, but we believe Charles A. Foster is a Methodist.—J. P. G.

Tuesday, 30.—At home counseling the brethren about many things; received much company, &c.

In the afternoon in council with Hiram Clark and Brigham Young, at Brigham Young's house, on the affairs of the Church in England.

A complaint was commenced against William and Wilson Law in the Masonic Lodge, &c.

Sent notification to two more officers to sit in the court-martial on the trial of William and Wilson Law.

The Osprey steamer touched at the Nauvoo House landing in the evening.

Wednesday, May 1.—Heavy rain and wind last night.

At home counseling the brethren, and rode out a short time in the afternoon with a gentleman from Quincy.

Elder Lyman Wight and Bishop George Miller arrived from the Pine country.

Mr. Thomas A. Lyne, a tragedian from New York, assisted by George J. Adams and others, got up a theatrical exhibition in the lower room of the Masonic Hall, which was fitted {350} up with very tasteful scenery. They performed "Pizarro," "The Orphan of Geneva," "Douglas," "The Idiot Witness," "Damon and Pythias," and other plays with marked success. The Hall was well attended each evening, and the audience expressed their entire satisfaction and approbation.

Thursday, 2.—Very windy all night, breaking down large trees; a thunder storm also.

At home and counseling the brethren.

Sent William Clayton to Wilson Law to find out why he refused paying his note, when he brought in some claims as a set-off which Clayton knew were paid, leaving me no remedy but the glorious uncertainty of the law.

At 10 a.m. the Maid of Iowa steamer started for Rock River for a load of wheat and corn to feed the laborers on the Temple.

William Clayton and Colonel Stephen Markham started to attend court at Dixon, on the case of "Joseph Smith vs. Harmon T. Wilson and Joseph H. Reynolds."

In the afternoon I rode to the prairie to sell some land, and during my absence Lucien Woodworth returned from Texas.

Lieut. Aaron Johnson made the following affidavit;

NAUVOO, May 2nd, 1844.



Personally appeared before me, John Taylor, Judge-Advocate of the Nauvoo Legion, Aaron Johnson; and being duly sworn deposes and says that on or about the 28th day of April, 1844, at the dwelling house of Wilson Law in Nauvoo aforesaid, Colonel R. D. Foster, Surgeon-in-Chief, and Brevet Brigadier-General of said Nauvoo Legion, while talking about General Joseph Smith, said that General Smith kept a gang of robbers and plunderers about his house for the purpose of robbing and plundering, and he (Smith) received half the spoils; also that said General Joseph Smith tried to get him (Foster) to go and kill Boggs, with many other ungentlemanly and unofficer-like observations concerning said General Smith and others.


2nd Lieut., 1st Comp., 1st Regiment, 2nd Cohort, Nauvoo Legion.

Personally appeared, Aaron Johnson, the signer of the above complaint, {351} and made oath the same was true according to the best of his knowledge and belief, the day and year above written before me.


Judge-Advocate of the Nauvoo Legion.

Friday, 3.—At home giving advice to brethren who were constantly calling to ask for counsel. Several thunder showers during the day.

In general council from 2 to 6, and from 8 to 10 p.m. Lucien Woodworth gave an account of his mission.

Wrote a letter to Uncle John Smith, and requested him to attend general council next Monday.

The following letter was written:

Letter: Brigham Young and Willard Richards to Reuben Hedlock—Instructions on Immigration Matters.

NAUVOO, May 3rd, 1844.

Elder Reuben Hedlock:

DEAR BROTHER—Your long communication by Elder Kay was received two weeks last Saturday, also the one by Elder Clark last Saturday, and we feel to thank you for the care you have taken to write us so particularly. We are glad to receive such communications, and wish you to continue the same course as opportunities present. The brethren have all had good passages (four ships). Elder Clark was only five weeks and three days to New Orleans. All things safe.

All things are going on gloriously at Nauvoo. We shall make a great wake in the nation. Joseph for President. Your family is well, and friends generally. We have already received several hundred volunteers to go out electioneering and preaching and more offering. We go for storming the nation. But we must proceed to realities.

The whisperings of the Spirit to us are that you do well to content yourself awhile longer in old England, and let your wife remain where she is. We hope the Temple may be completed, say one year from this spring, when in many respects changes will take place. Until then, who can do better in England than yourself! But we will not leave you comfortless; we will send Elders to your assistance. For three or four months we want all the help we can get in the United States; after which you may expect help.

In the meantime you are at liberty to print as many Stars, pamphlets hymn books, tracts, cards, &c., as you can sell; and make all the money you can in righteousness. Don't reprint everything you get from Nauvoo. Many things are printed here not best to circulate in England. Select and write doctrine, and matter, (new) such as will be {352} useful to the Saints in England and new to us; so that when we exchange papers all will be edified. God shall give you wisdom, if you will seek to Him, and you shall prosper in your printing.

We also wish you to unfurl your flag on your shipping office, and send all the Saints you can to New York, or Boston, or Philadelphia or any other port of the United States, but not at our expense any longer. We have need of something to sustain us in our labors, and we want you to go ahead with printing and shipping, and make enough to support yourself and help us a bit. You will doubtless find it necessary to employ Brother Ward. Keep all your books straight, so that we in the end can know every particular.

Ship everybody to America you can get the money for—Saint and sinner—a general shipping-office. And we would like to have our shipping-agent in Liverpool sleep on as good a bed, eat at as respectable a house, keep as genteel an office, and have his boots shine as bright, and blacked as often as any other office-keeper. Yes sir; make you money enough to wear a good broadcloth, and show the world that you represent gentlemen of worth, character and respectability.

We will by-and-by have offices from the rivers to the ends of the earth, and we will begin at Liverpool from this time and increase and increase and increase the business of the office as fast as it can be done in safety, and circumstances will permit. Employ a runner, if necessary, and show the world you can do a better and more honorable business than anybody else, and more of it. Don't be afraid to blow your trumpet.

We need not say, deal with everybody so that they will want to deal with you again, and make all the money you honestly can. Send no more emigrants on emigration books or Star money. Temple orders for emigrants may be filled on Temple funds. Keep account of all moneys in their separate departments and favor us with a report occasionally.

Sell the Books of Mormon the first opportunity, if it be at a reduced price, and forward the money by the first safe conveyance to Brigham Young.

We will pay your wife as you requested in your letter, as soon as possible. We wish you to take care of yourself and family, and withal help us besides; and we have now put you in possession of means to do it.

Let nobody know your business but the underwriters. Our wives know not all our business, neither does any wise man's wife know all things, for the secret of the Lord is with those that fear Him and do His business. A hint to the wise is sufficient. But we will add, if you want us to do anything for your wife, write us, and we will do it; but {353} keep our business from your wife and from everybody else.

We are glad to hear a door is open in France, and sure we have no objections to your going over and preaching, &c.; but we think perhaps you will now find as much to do in England as you can find time to do it in; if not, go by all means. We are in hopes of sending a special messenger to France in a few days; if so, very likely he may call on you, and you pass over and give him an introduction: this would be pleasant for you all.

Brother Hedlock, a word with you privately. Joseph said, last conference, that Zion included all North and South America; and after the Temple was done, and the Elders endowed, they would spread and build up cities all over the United States; but at present we are not to teach this doctrine. Nay, hold your tongue. But by this you can see why it is wisdom for the Saints to get into the United States—anywhere rather than stay in England to starve.

The prophet has a charter for a dam from the lower line of the city to the island opposite Montrose, and from thence to the sand-bar above in the Mississippi. Could five, six or seven thousand dollars be raised to commence the dam at the lower extremity, and erect a building, any machinery might be propelled by water. The value of a steam-engine would nearly build the dam sufficient for a cotton-factory, which we much need. Start some capitalists, if you can: 'tis the greatest speculation in the world: a world of cotton and woollen goods are wanted here.

We have proposed to Brother Clark to return to your assistance in the shipping business soon; also to enter into exchanges of goods and produce. Which he will do, he has not decided. What will hinder your doing a good business in shipping this season? Good? Yes, in competing with the first offices in the city, and by next season taking the lead, if not this! When the Saints get to New York, Boston, &c., let them go to work, spread abroad in the land, or come to Nauvoo, as they and convenient and have means, and when the season arrives, start again for New Orleans. Write soon after the receipt of this, and let us know the prospect.

Tell the Saints, when they arrive in America, to make themselves as comfortable as they can, and be diligent in business, and not be over anxious if they cannot come to Nauvoo. They will find Elders in all the states who will be ready to give them instruction; and if they can gather something by the way by their industry to assist themselves with when they arrive here, it will be well for them.

We have dropped the Nauvoo House until the Temple can be completed, and the Temple is going on finely. We have had an open winter and a forward spring. The Twelve are holding general conferences all over the United States. They will go East soon, and Brother Young {354} will write to you as soon as he gets the information to tell what house you can remit the book money to in New York.

We shall have a State Convention at Nauvoo on the 17th inst.,—an election. A great many are believing the doctrine. If any of the brethren wish to go to Texas, we have no particular objection. You may send a hundred thousand there if you can, in eighteen months, though we expect before that you will return to receive your endowments; and then we will consult your interest, with others who may be going abroad, about taking their families with them.

The kingdom is organized; and, although as yet no bigger than a grain of mustard seed, the little plant is in a flourishing condition, and our prospects brighter than ever. Cousin Lemuel is very friendly, and cultivating the spirit of peace and union in his family very extensively.

William and Wilson Law, Robert D. Foster, Chauncey L. and Francis Higbee, Father Cowles, &c., have organized a new church. (Laws and Fosters were first cut off). William Law is Prophet; James Blakesley and Cowles, Counselors; Higbee and Foster of the Twelve. Cannot learn all particulars. Charles Ivins, Bishop; old Dr. Green and old John Scott, his counselors. They are talking of sending a mission to England, but it will probably be after this when they come among you. 'Tis the same old story over again—"The doctrine is right, but Joseph is a fallen prophet."

Your brethren in the new covenant,



Elder Parley P. Pratt wrote from Richmond, Mass., as follows:

Letter: Parley P. Pratt to Joseph Smith et al., Denouncing Augustine Spencer.

Dear Brother Joseph and Brother Orson Spencer, or whom it may concern:

This is to forewarn you that you have a snake in the grass—a base traitor and hypocrite in your midst, of whom perhaps you may not be fully aware. You may think these harsh terms, but I speak from good evidence and speak the truth.

Mr. Augustine Spencer, brother to Elder Orson Spencer, has written a letter from Nauvoo, which is now going the rounds in this neighborhood, and is fraught with the most infamous slander and lies concerning Joseph Smith and others, and which is calculated to embitter the minds of the people who read or hear it. It affirms that Joseph Smith is in the habit of drinking, swearing, carousing, dancing all night, &c., {355} and that he keeps six or seven young females as wives, &c., and many other such like insinuations.

At the same time he cautions the people to whom he writes to keep the letter in such a way that a knowledge of its contents may not reach Nauvoo, as he says he is on intimate terms and confidential friendship with the "Prophet Joe" and the Mormons, and that he hopes to get into office by their means. This is his own acknowledgment of his own baseness, imposition and hypocrisy. I have not seen the letter myself, but have carefully examined the testimony of those who have, and I have also seen and witnessed its baneful effect upon the people here.

Now, I say to the Saints, Let such a man alone severely; shun him as they would the pestilence; be not deceived by a smooth tongue nor flattering words; neither accept of any excuse or apology until he boldly contradicts and counteracts his lying words abroad; but rather expose and unmask him in your midst, that he may be known and consequently become powerless, if he is not already so. I am well and expect to be in Boston tomorrow.

I remain, as ever, your friend and brother, in the love of truth,


RICHMOND, MASS., May 3rd, 1844.

Saturday, 4.—Rode out on the prairie to sell some land. The Stone work for four circular windows finished cutting for the middle story of the Temple. Elder Wilford Woodruff moved into his new brick house.

A court-martial was detailed as follows:


To Alanson Ripley, Sergeant-Major, 2nd Cohort, Nauvoo Legion:

You are hereby forthwith commanded to notify the following named officers of the Nauvoo Legion to assemble at the office of Lieut.-General Joseph Smith, on Friday, the 10th inst., at 9 o'clock a.m., as members of a court-martial detailed for the trial of Robert D. Foster, Surgeon-in-Chief and Brevet Brigadier-General of the Nauvoo Legion, on the complaint of Lieut. Aaron Johnson for unofficer-like and unbecoming conduct, and hereof fail not, and make returns of your proceedings to the President of the Court on the first day of its sitting—viz.

Brig.-Gen. George Miller as President; Brevet Brig.-Gen. Hugh McFall, Brevet Brig.-General Daniel H. Wells, Brevet Brig.-Gen. John S. Fullmer, Colonel Jonathan Dunham, Colonel Stephen Markham, Colonel Hosea Stout, Colonel John Scott, Lieut.-Colonel John D. Parker, Lieut.-Colonel Jonathan H. Hale, Lieut.-Colonel Theodore Turley, as members of said court, and Colonel John Taylor as Judge-Advocate. {356} Also to summons Willard Richards and Aaron Johnson to appear at the same time and place as witnesses.

Given under my hand the day and year above written.


Major-General N. L., Commanding.

Dr. Richards wrote a letter, at President Brigham Young's request, to Reuben Hedlock.

Sunday, 5.—At home. Rainy day. Elder Jedediah M. Grant preached at the Mansion at 2 p.m. A large company of friends at my house afternoon and evening, whom I addressed on the true policy of this people in our intercourse with the national government.

A conference was held at Marsh Hill, (formerly Froom's Hill) England, comprising 681 members, 22 Elders, 43 Priests, 15 Teachers, 7 Deacons.

Monday, 6.—Attended general council all day. Elder J. M. Grant was added to the council. Voted to send Almon W. Babbitt on a mission to France and Lucien Woodworth to Texas. Sidney Rigdon was nominated as a candidate for the Vice-Presidency of the United States.

I had a warrant served on me by John D. Parker, issued by the clerk of the Circuit Court at Carthage, on the complaint of Francis M. Higbee, who had laid his damages at $5,000, but for what the writ does not state. I petitioned the Municipal Court for a writ of habeas corpus, which I obtained.

At 6 p.m. I was in conversation with Jeremiah Smith and a number of gentlemen, in my office on the subject of Emma's correspondence with Governor Carlin.

Beautiful day. West wind.

Tuesday 7.—Rode out on the prairie at nine a.m., with some gentlemen, to sell them some land. A tremendous thunder shower in the afternoon, with a strong wind and rain, which abated about sunset, and I stayed at my farm all night.

Esquire Daniel H. Wells issued a writ of ejectment against all persons who had bought land of Robert D. {357} Foster on the block east of the Temple, Foster having given them warranty deeds, but not having paid for the land himself.

An opposition printing press arrives at Dr. Foster's.

The following notice was issued by the Recorder:



To the Marshal of the said City, greeting:

You are hereby required to notify Phineas Richards, Edward Hunter and Levi Richards, that they have been elected members of the City Council of said city; and Elias Smith, that he has been elected Alderman of said city by said City Council; and the said Councilors and Alderman and Gustavus Hills are required to appear, receive their oath of office, and take seats in said Council on Saturday, the 8th of June, 1844, at 10 o'clock a.m., at the Council Chamber. By order of the Council.

Witness my hand and corporation seal this 7th May, 1844.

[L. S.]

W. RICHARDS, Recorder.

Thursday, 8.—Returned home. At 10 a.m. went before the Municipal Court on the case, "Francis M. Higbee versus Joseph Smith."

The Prophet's Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus.


Third day, regular term, May 8, 1844.

Before Alderman N. K. Whitney, acting Chief Justice, and Aldermen Daniel H. Wells, William Marks, Orson Spencer, George W. Harris, Gustavus Hills, George A. Smith and Samuel Bennett, Associate Justices presiding.

Exparte Joseph Smith Sen., on habeas corpus.

Messrs. Styles and Rigdon, Counsel for Smith.

This case came before the court upon a return to a writ of habeas corpus, which was issued by this court on the 6th of May instant, upon the petition of Joseph Smith, Sen., as follows:



To the Honorable Municipal Court and for the City of Nauvoo:

The undersigned, your petitioner, most respectfully represents that he is an inhabitant of said city. Your petitioner further represents that he is under arrest in said city, and is now in the custody of one John D. Parker, deputy sheriff of the county of Hancock, and state of {358} Illinois; and that the said Parker holds your petitioner by a writ of Capias ad respondendum, issued by the clerk of the Circuit Court of the county of Hancock and state of Illinois, at the instance of one Francis M. Higbee of said county, requiring your petitioner to answer the said Francis M. Higbee, "of a plea of the case;" damage, five thousand dollars. Your petitioner further represents that the proceedings against him are illegal; that the said warrant of arrest is informal, and not of that character which the law recognizes as valid; that the said writ is wanting and deficient in the plea therein contained; that the charge or complaint which your petitioner is therein required to answer is not known to the law.

Your petitioner further avers that the said writ does not disclose in any way or manner whatever any cause of action; which matter your petitioner most respectfully submits for your consideration, together with a copy of the said warrant of arrest which is hereunto attached.

Your petitioner further states that this proceeding has been instituted against him without any just or legal cause; and further that the said Francis M. Higbee is actuated by no other motive than a desire to persecute and harass your petitioner for the base purpose of gratifying feelings of revenge, which, without any cause, the said Francis M. Higbee has for a long time been fostering and cherishing.

Your petitioner further states that he is not guilty of the charge preferred against him, or of any act against him, by which the said Francis M. Higbee could have any charge, claim or demand whatever against your petitioner.

Your petitioner further states that he verily believes that another object the said F. M. Higbee had in instituting the proceeding was and is to throw your petitioner into the hands of his enemies, that he might the better carry out a conspiracy which has for some time been brewing against the life of your petitioner.

Your petitioner further states that the suit which has been instituted against him has been instituted through malice, private pique and corruption.

Your petitioner would therefore most respectfully ask your honorable body to grant him the benefit of the writ of habeas corpus, that the whole matter may be thoroughly investigated, and such order made as the law and justice demand in the premises: and your petitioner with ever pray.


Order of the Municipal Court.



NAUVOO, May 6th, 1844.

The people of the State of Illinois, to the Marshal of said city, greeting:

Whereas application has been made before the Municipal Court of {359} said city, that the body of one Joseph Smith, Senior, of the said city of Nauvoo, is in the custody of John D. Parker, deputy sheriff of Hancock county and state aforesaid.

These are therefore to command the said John D. Parker, of the county aforesaid, to safely have the body of said Joseph Smith, Senior, of the city aforesaid, in his custody detained, as it is said, together with the day and cause of his caption and detention, by whatsoever name the said Joseph Smith, Senior, may be known or called, before the Municipal Court of said city forthwith, to abide such order as the said court shall make in this behalf; and further, if the said John D. Parker, or other person or persons, having said Joseph Smith, Senior, of said city of Nauvoo, in custody, shall refuse or neglect to comply with the provisions of this writ, you, the marshal of said city, or other person authorized to serve the same, are hereby required to arrest the person or persons so refusing or neglecting to comply as aforesaid, and bring him or them, together with the person or persons in his or their custody, forthwith before the Municipal Court aforesaid, to be dealt with according to law; and herein fail not and bring this writ with you.

Witness, Willard Richards, clerk of the Municipal Court at Nauvoo, this 6th day of May, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty-four.


Clerk M. C. C. N.

I hold the within-named Joseph Smith, Senior, under arrest, by virtue of a capias ad respondendum.


To May Term, A. D. 1844.

Francis M. Higbee vs. Joseph Smith

In case.

The day of his caption, May 6th, 1844.

To damage five thousand dollars.


By J. D. PARKER, D. S.



The people of the state of Illinois to the Sheriff of said county, greeting:

We command you that you take Joseph Smith, if to be found within your county, and him safely keep, so that you have his body before the Circuit Court of said county of Hancock on the first day of the next term thereof, to be holden at the Courthouse in Carthage on the third {360} Monday in the month of May instant, to answer Francis M. Higbee, of a plea of the case; damage, the sum of five thousand dollars, as he says; and you have then there this writ, and make due return thereon in what manner you execute the same.

[Sidenote: [Seal]]

Witness, J. B. Backenstos, clerk of said Circuit Court at Carthage, this first day of May, in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and forty-four.


By D. E. HEAD, Deputy.

This is a true copy of the original now in the possession of William B. Backenstos, Sheriff of Hancock county.

By J. D. PARKER, Deputy.




To Mr. Francis M. Higbee:

SIR.—You will please to take notice that Joseph Smith, Senior, has petitioned for a writ of habeas corpus from the Municipal Court of said city, praying that he may be liberated from the custody of John D. Parker, deputy sheriff of Hancock county, by whom he is held in custody on a capias ad respondendum, issued by the Circuit Court of Hancock county, on the first day of May instant, to answer Francis M. Higbee on a plea of the case, etc.; which writ is granted; and you will have the opportunity to appear before the Municipal Court at 10 o'clock a.m. on the 7th of May instant, at the Council Chamber in said city, and show cause why said Joseph Smith, Senior, should not be liberated on said habeas corpus.

[Sidenote: [Seal]]

Witness my hand and seal, of court this 5th day of May, 1844.


The case was argued at length by Messrs. George P. Styles and Sidney Rigdon. After which the court allowed the petitioner and his counsel to proceed with the case. Whereupon President Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Sidney Rigdon, Hyrum Smith, Orrin Porter Rockwell, Cyrus H. Wheelock, Joel S. Miles, Henry G. Sherwood, Heber C. Kimball, were permitted to testify proving (1) the very bad and immoral character of Francis M. Higbee; and (2) the maliciousness of his prosecution of Joseph Smith. In the course of his testimony the Prophet said: "The only sin I ever committed was in exercising sympathy and covering up their [the Higbees', Fosters', Laws' and Dr. Bennett's] iniquities, on their solemn promise to reform, and of this I am {361} ashamed, and will never do so again." After hearing these witnesses the Judge said: "It is considered and ordained by the court—

"1st. That the said Joseph Smith, Senior, be discharged from the said arrest and imprisonment complained of in said petition, on the illegality of the writ upon which he was arrested, as well as upon the writ of the case, and that he go hence without day.

"2nd. Francis M. Higbee's character having been so fully shown as infamous, the court is convinced that this suit was instituted through malice, private pique, and corruption, and ought not to be countenanced; and it is ordained by the court that the said Francis M. Higbee pay the costs."

[Sidenote: [Seal]]

In testimony whereof I hereunto set my hand and affix the seal of said court at the city of Nauvoo, this 8th day of May, 1844.


I copy the following from the Neighbor of this date:

Hurrah for the General! The following which we extract from the St. Louis Organ, shows how the public mind is turning, and what their feelings are in regard to the Prophet, his views and theirs also in regard to the Presidency.

Forebear awhile—we'll hear a little more. The matter is now settled with Messrs. Clay, Tyler and Van Buren. Let Mr. Clay return at once from his political perambulations in the South, Mr. Tyler abandon his hopes of re-election by aid of the "immediate annexation" of Texas, and let Mr. Van Buren be quiet at Kinderhook, that he may watch the operations of the "sober second thought" of the people!

General Joseph Smith, the acknowledged modern Prophet, has got them all in the rear; and from the common mode of testing the success of candidates for the Presidency, to wit., by steamboat elections, he (Smith) will beat all the other aspirants to that office two to one. We learn from the polls of the steamboat Osprey, on her last trip to this city, that the vote stood for General Joseph Smith, 20 gents and 5 ladies; Henry Clay, 16 gents and 4 ladies; Van Buren, 7 gents and 0 ladies.

Attended theatre in the evening.




Thursday, May 9, 1844.—A court-martial was held in my office for the trial of Major-General Wilson Law, on a charge of ungentlemanly and unofficer-like conduct. Present—Generals Hyrum Smith, Charles C. Rich, Lyman Wight, George Miller and Albert P. Rockwood; Cols. John Scott and Hosea Stout; Judge-Advocate John Taylor; and Secretary Thomas Bullock. The charge was sustained and Wilson Law cashiered.

Theatricals in Nauvoo.

Evening, attended theatre, and saw "Damon and Pythias" and "The Idiot Witness" performed.

Elders Wilford Woodruff and George A. Smith called upon me this morning, and said they were ready to start on their mission to attend the conferences appointed throughout the north of Illinois, Indiana and Michigan. I blessed them in the name of the Lord, and told them to go, and they should prosper and always prosper. They left in company with Elders Jedediah M. Grant and Ezra Thayer.

Friday, 10—Rode out after breakfast to the prairie to sell some land to some brethren.

The court-martial was held in the Mayor's office on the charge against Robert D. Foster, Surgeon-General, for unbecoming and unofficer-like conduct, &c.; Brigadier-General George Miller presiding. The charges were sustained.

{363} A prospectus of the Nauvoo Expositor was distributed among the people by the apostates.

The jury of Lee county, Illinois, awarded $40 damages and the costs against Joseph H. Reynolds and Harmon T. Wilson for illegal imprisonment and abuse, which I suffered from them last June in that county.

Saturday, 11.—At 10 a.m. I attended City Council, and stayed till half-past eleven; but there not being a quorum, adjourned until next regular session. At 1 p.m. at my office, and had a conversation with Mr. Lyne on the theatre; and at 6 p.m. attended prayer meeting; John P. Greene and Sidney Rigdon present. Several showers of rain during the day. The Nauvoo Legion had a company muster.

Sunday, 12.—At 10 a.m. I preached at the Stand. The following brief synopsis of my discourse was reported by my clerk, Thomas Bullock:

President Joseph Smith's Address—Defense of his Prophetic Calling—Resurrection of the Dead—Fullness of Ordinances Necessary Both for the Living and Dead.

The Savior has the words of eternal life. Nothing else can profit us. There is no salvation in believing an evil report against our neighbor. I advise all to go on to perfection, and search deeper and deeper into the mysteries of Godliness. A man can do nothing for himself unless God direct him in the right way; and the priesthood is for that purpose.

The last time I spoke on this stand it was on the resurrection of the dead, when I promised to continue my remarks upon that subject. I still feel a desire to say something on this subject. Let us this very day begin anew, and now say, with all our hearts, we will forsake our sins and be righteous. I shall read the 24th chapter of Matthew, and give it a literal rendering and reading; and when it is rightly understood, it will be edifying. [He then read and translated it from the German].

I thought the very oddity of its rendering would be edifying anyhow—"And it will preached be, the Gospel of the kingdom, in the whole world, to a witness over all people: and then will the end come." I will now read it in German [which he did, and many Germans who were present said he translated it correctly].

The Savior said when these tribulations should take place, it should be committed to a man who should be a witness over the whole world: {364} the keys of knowledge, power and revelations should be revealed to a witness who should hold the testimony to the world. It has always been my province to dig up hidden mysteries—new things—for my hearers. Just at the time when some men think that I have no right to the keys of the Priesthood—just at that time I have the greatest right. The Germans are an exalted people. The old German translators are the most correct—most honest of any of the translators; and therefore I get testimony to bear me out in the revelations that I have preached for the last fourteen years. The old German, Latin, Greek and Hebrew translations all say it is true: they cannot be impeached, and therefore I am in good company.

All the testimony is that the Lord in the last days would commit the keys of the priesthood to a witness over all people. Has the Gospel of the kingdom commenced in the last days? And will God take it from the man until He takes him Himself? I have read it precisely as the words flowed from the lips of Jesus Christ. John the Revelator saw an angel flying through the midst of heaven, having the everlasting Gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth.

The scripture is ready to be fulfilled when great wars, famines, pestilence, great distress, judgments, &c., are ready to be poured out on the inhabitants of the earth. John saw the angel having the holy priesthood, who should preach the everlasting Gospel to all nations. God had an angel—a special messenger—ordained and prepared for that purpose in the last days. Woe, woe be to that man or set of men who lift up their hands against God and His witness in these last days: for they shall deceive almost the very chosen ones!

My enemies say that I have be