John C. Bennett (1804-1867)
History of the Saints
(Boston: Leland & Whiting, 1842)
pp. 005-132 | pp. 133-256 | pp. 257-341
HISTORY OF THE SAINTS;
A N E X P O S E
JOE SMITH AND MORMONISM,
J O H N C. B E N N E T T.
LELAND & WHITING, 71 WASHINGTON ST.
NEW YORK: BRADBURY, SODEN, & CO., 127 NASSAU STREET.
CINCINNATI: E. S. NORRIS & CO., 247 MAIN STREET.
[ 343 out of order ]
[ i ]
In offering the following work to the public, we think it not improper to make a few observations respecting the author and our connection with him.
We became aware, through the medium of the newspapers, that General Bennett was about to publish a work containing his disclosures respecting Joe Smith and the Mormons. Meeting him in New York, and being satisfied, from our intercourse with him, that he deserved our confidence, we made arrangements with him to publish the book he was preparing. During its preparation and passage through the press, we have been almost constantly in his society, and have seen him for a long time under a variety of circumstances. The result of our observations has been, that we place the most implicit reliance upon his veracity, and are perfectly convinced that he is a gentleman of strict honor, and of very considerable acquirements in information.
In regard to the statements he has made in the following pages, we cannot, of course, say anything upon our personal knowledge; but we know, from our own inspection, that the documents, affidavits,
ii   NOTE BY THE PUBLISHERS.
and certificates, he has inserted therein, are genuine; and most of the letters, at least those of a recent date, came through the post-office into our hands, and were by us given to General Bennett, who invariably submitted them to our inspection.
We can also state that we have seen numerous letters from Nauvoo, written by respectable persons, who, we have learnt from the public papers, reside at Nauvoo, and who state things which corroborate, in all particulars, the disclosures of General Bennett.
Our motive in publishing this work is to let the public be informed of the true character of these pretended Mormon Saints, which we firmly and conscientiously believe to be truly set forth in General Bennett's work, and in colors not heightened or exaggerated.
As a true exposition, therefore, of Mormon Faith and Practice, we commend it to the serious and impartial attention of the public.
WILLARD J. WHITING
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1842, by
JOHN C. BENNETT,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of Massachusetts.
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I HAVE been induced to prepare and publish the following work by a desire to expose the enormous iniquities which have been perpetrated by one of the grossest and most infamous impostors that ever appeared upon the face of the earth, and by many of his minions, under the name and garb of Religion, and professedly by the direct will and command of Almighty God.
My facilities for doing what I have undertaken are great as could possibly be desired. For eighteen months I was living with the Mormons at their chief city, and possessed the confidence of the Prophet himself, and of his councillors. I was, indeed, from an early period, one of their First Presidents, who, after the Prophet, are the rulers of the Church. This gave me access to all their secret lodges and societies, and enabled me to become perfectly familiar with the doings and designs of the whole Church.
This book contains a full and accurate account of my motives for joining them, and of the discoveries which I made among them, illustrated and confirmed by a variety of documents, both public and private.
I have not, I can fearlessly assert, exaggerated the facts I have here presented to the world, though I have, as they richly deserve, shown them up with an unsparing hand.
I have been obliged to insert much personal matter, and many testimonials respecting myself, in consequence of the violent and scurrilous attacks made upon me through the public papers by the Impostor and his rmissaries. This, I trust, the reader will not impute to egotism, but to its real cause -- a desire to strengthen my statements against the opposition which I am certain they will encounter.
In conclusion, I would commend to the candid and earnest attention of every patriotic and religious person the statement I have made; and, with the assurance that I have told the truth, and nothing but the truth, though by no means the whole truth, entreat them to use all their influence and exertions to arrest and quell the Mormon Monster in his career of imposture, iniquity, and treason.
The haste with which I have necessarily written my book will be my apology to the critics for its defects of style and arrangement. I have been more solicitous about the matter than the manner of it.
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I find that it is almost universally the opinion of those who have heard of me in the eastern part of the United States, that I united myself with the Mormons from a conviction of the truth of their doctrines, and that I was, at least for some time, a convert to their pretended religion. This, however, is a very gross error. I never believed in them or their doctrines. This is, and indeed was, from the first, well known to my friends and acquaintances in the western country, who were well aware of my reasons for connecting myself with the Prophet; which reasons I will now proceed to state.
My attention had been long turned towards the movements and designs of the Mormons, with whom I had become pretty well acquainted, years before, in the state of Ohio; and after the formation of their establishment at Nauvoo, in 1839, the facts and reports respecting them, wgich I continually heard, led me to suspect, and, indeed, believe, that their leaders had formed, and were preparing to execute, a daring and colossal scheme of rebellion and usurpation throughout the North-Western States of the Union. It was to me evident that temporal, as well as spiritual, empire was the aim and expectation of the Prophet and
6 HISTORY OF THE SAINTS.
his cabinet. The documents that will hereafter be introduced, will clearly show the existence of a vast and deep laid scheme, upon their part, for conquering the States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri, and of erecting upon the ruin of their present governments a despotic military and religious empire, the head of which, as emperor and pope, was to be Joseph Smith, the Prophet of the Lord, and his ministers and viceroys, the apostles, high-priests, elders and bishops, of the Mormon church.
The fruition of this hopeful project would, of course, have been preceded by plunder, devastation, and bloodshed, and by all the countless horrors which invariably accompany civil war. American citizens could not be expected to stand quietly by, and suffer their governments to be overthrown, their religion subverted, their wives and children converted into instruments for a despot's lust and ambition, and their property forcibly appropriated to the use and furtherance of a base imposture. The Mormons would, of course, meet with resistance as soon as their intentions became evident; and so great was already their power, and so rapidly did their numbers increase, that the most frightful consequences might naturally be expected to ensue, from an armed collision between them and the citizens who still remained faithful to the God and the laws of their fathers.
These reflections continually occurred to me, as I observed the proceedings of the Mormons, and, at length, determined me to make an attempt to detect and expose the movers and machinery of the plot.
I perceived that it would be useless to undertake this by open opposition. So great and complete was the control that the Prophet had established over the souls of his followers, that very little of his vile proceedings could be made known from the confessions or testimony of his subordinates. Even if one or two did testify to any particular acts of wickedness, such were the addresse and influence of Smith, that he would, without difficulty, bring forward any required number of witnesses, who would perjure themselves in direct contradiction of his adversaries.
It at length occurred to me that the surest and speediest way to overthrow the Impostor, and expose his iniquity to
REASONS FOR JOINING THE MORMONS. 7
the world, would be to profess myself a convert to his doctrines, and join him at the seat of his dominion. I felt confident that from my standing in society, and the offices I held under the state of Illinois, I should be received by the Mormons with open arms; and that the course I was resolved to pursue would enable me to get behind the curtain, and behold, at my leisure, the secret wires of the fabric, and likewise those who moved them.
I was quite aware of the danger I ran, should I be suspected or detected by the Mormons; and I also anticipated the probability of being received by many of my fellow-citizens with disbelief and obloquy, when the time came to throw off the mask, and proclaim to the world the discoveries I felt certain I should make. But none of these things deterred me. Impelled by a determination to save my country and my countrymen from the evils which menaced them through the machinations of the Prophet, I was rendured insensible to the risk I incurred. There was, it was evident, no other way of thwarting the Impostor and his myrmidons, and the plan I proposed to myself could not possibly, so far as I could forsee, fail of complete success.
I found in history a distinguished example of a somewhat parallel case, -- that in which Napoleon, for the furtherance of the views of the French government upon Egypt and the East, had nominally adopted the Moslem creed. The following is the passage in his Life to which I refer: --
"Buonaparte entertained the strange idea of persuading the Moslems that he himself pertained in some sort to their religion, being an envoy of the Deity, sent on earth, not to take away, but to confirm and complete, the doctrines of the Koran, and the mission of Mahomet. He used, in executing this purpose, the inflated language of the East, the more easily that it corresponded, in his allegorical and amplified style, with his own natural tone of composition; and he hesitated not to join in the external ceremonial of the Mahommedan religion, that his actions might seem to confirm his words. The French general celebrated the feast of the Prophet, as it recurred, with some Sheik of emminence, and joined in the litanies and worship enjoined by the Koran. He affected, too, the language of an inspired follower of the faith of Mecca, of which the following is a curious example: --
"On entering the sepulchral chamber in the pyramid of Cheops, 'Glory be to Allah,' said Buonaparte; 'there is no God but God,
8 HISTORY OF THE SAINTS.
and Mahommed is his prophet;' -- a confession of faith which is in itself a declaration of Islamism.
"'Thou hast spoken like the most learned of the prophets,' said the Mufti, who accompanied him.
"II can command a car of fire to descend from heaven,' continued the French general, 'and I can guide and direct its course upon earth.'
"'Thou art the great chief to whom Mahommed gives power and victory,' said the Mufti.
"Napoleon closed the conversation with the not very pertinent Oriental proverb -- 'The bread which the wicked seizes upon by force, shall be turned to dust in his mouth.'" -- Life of Napoleon Buonaparte, Vol. 1., p. 416.
The motives which led Napoleon to profess Mohammedanism were undoubtedly a desire to advance the interests of his country, and to facilitate the operations of the army he commanded. But, if these motives justified him in the course he pursued, how much more had I to justify me in a similar line of conduct! His temporary professions of a false religion was by no means absolutely necessary under the circumstances; while, as I before observed, mine was indispensable to the end I had in view. And how much superior was my object to his! He merely wished to promote the ambitions of his government; I, on the contrary, was endeavoring to save my country from the most dreadful evils -- civil war, despotism, and the establishment of a false and persecuting religion.
"But how," inquires some cautious reader, "were you, as an honest man, justified in taking such a course? What confidence can I place in your statements, when I know, by your own confession, that you have once played the part of a hypocrite!"
These suspicions are very natural, and from the first I expected to incur them; but I think that a very little consideration of the extraordinary nature of my case will convince any candid person of the propriety, and indeed necessity, of the course of action I pursued.
Suppose for a moment, my dear reader, that you were located on our western frontier, in the vicinity of a large, powerful, and increasing tribe of savage Indians. Suppose it is apparent from their movements, that they intend evil to the whites, your countrymen; that they are meditating murder, plunder, and devestation, and all the horrors
REASONS FOR JOINING THE MORMONS. 9
that invariably attend an Indian war. Suppose that by going to them, and professing to be their friend, you knew that you would be received by them freely, and admitted into their counsels, and could, by the intelligence you would thus gain, be enabled to frustrate their plans, and advert from your country the evils and dangers which these savages would otherwise bring upon it. Would you for a moment scruple to make such pretensions? especially if, as in the case of the Mormons, there were no other possible way to do what the safety of the west demanded, -- viz., expose the imposture.
The fact that in joining the Mormons I was obliged to make a pretence of belief in their religion does not alter the case. That pretence was unavoidable in the part I was acting, and it should not be condemned like hypocrisy towards a Christian church. For so absurd are the doctrines of the Mormons that I regard them with no more reverence than I would the worship of Manitou or the Great Spirit of the Indians, and feel no more compunction at joining in the former than in the latter, to serve the same useful purpose.
I was perfectly satisfied, even before the Mormons went from Ohio, that it was the intention of Joe Smith and those who possessed his confidence, to destroy the sacre institutions of Christianity, and substitute, instead of its powerful restraints upon the unholy passions of the human heart, a flightfully-corrupt system, that would enable them to give free course to their lust, ambition, and cruelty -- a system than which, one more abominable and arch-enemy of mankind himself could not have invented. Persons unacquainted with the subject can scarcely imagine the baseness and turpitude of Mormon principles, and the horrid practices to which these principles give rise. When they learn how habitually the Mormons sacrifice to their brutal propensities the virtue and happiness of young and innocent females, how they cruelly persecute those who refuse to join them, and how they murder those who attempt to expose them, they will look with indulgence upon almost any means employed to thwart their villanous designs and detect and disclose their infamy.
There was -- I repeat it -- no possible way for me to expose
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the enormous wickedness of the Mormon faith and conduct than to join them, profess my belief in their "religion," win their confidence, and take an active part, for a time, in carrying out their measures. This I did; and I appeal to every reader of this book whether, in view of the facts herein stated upon indubitable evidence, the course I took ought not to entitle me to the praise rather than the censure of honorable men.
Had I been actuated by selfish and dishonorable motives, I should have remained among the Mormons; for with them I possessed power, wealth, and the means to gratify every passion or desire that I might conceive. But I felt myself an humble instrument in the hands of God to expose the Impostor and his myrmidons, and to open the eyes of my countrymen to his dark and damnable designs, I have done my duty, and whatever may be thought of my motives and my conduct, I am satisfied with the approval of my own conscience, and I feel certain that I have acted right and honorably
CHARACTER OF THE AUTHOR.From S. P. Hildreth, M. D., President of the Medical Convention of the State of Ohio, January 1, A. D. 1838; and J. Cotton, M. D., President of the General Medical Society of the State of Ohio, January 5, A. D. 1829.
"Marietta, Ohio, May 25, 1831."To whom it may concern: --
"The undersigned with pleasure state, that they have for several years past been acquainted with Doctor J. C. Bennett, and have known him to be a very ingenious and successful practitioner of medicine and surgery, as well as an able writer in the Western Medical Journal. His moral character has ever been fair and unexception able.
"S. P. Hildreth,
CHARACTER OF THE AUTHOR. 11
CHARACTER OF THE AUTHOR. 11
From Thomas Burrell, Jr., M. D.: J. O. Masterson, A. M. of Trinity College, Dublin; and others, citizens of South Bloomfield.
"South Bloomfield, Ohio, January 1, 1833. "We, the undersigned, citizens of South Bloomfield, Pickaway County, Ohio, do certify- that we hare been personally acquainted with Doctor John C. Bennett, for more than twelve months, (and several of us for a number of years,) during which time" he sustained the character of a sober, moral man. scrupulously honest in all his dealings: and, in regard to his talents and professional acquirements, we believe them to be of the first order.
"Tho. Burrell., Jr.
"Benj. S. Olds,
"J. O. Masterson,
"Geo. R. Piper,
"C. R. Bye."
From the President and Secretary of the Board of Trustees of the WilIoughby University.
"Chagrin, August 20, 1834.
"J. C. Bennett, M. D.
"Dear Sir, --
"A few days since, we. as officers of the Board of Trustees of the Willoughby University of Lake Erie, forwarded to you an appointment as agent for said Institution; since which time the Board have had a meeting, at which it was agreed that we should communicate with you on the subject of commencing our University by organizing the Medical Department first, or, in other words, by obtaining (if possible) two or more suitable persons to deliver a course of Lectures on Anatomy. Chemistry, &c., as soon as the necessary arrangements can be made. It was also proposed, at the meeting of the Board, to commence a select school, or preparatory department, as soon as a suitable person could be obtained to take charge of it, and circumstances justify the undertaking..
"The Board flatter themselves that yourself and your friend Mr. Masterson may yet feel it to be your duty to embark in this business, and assist in building up this Institution.
"We make the suggestion at this time for your consideration, and the Board would be happy to hear from you on the subject.
"On the lot which the trustees have purchased is a large two story dwelling-house, which could be fitted for a preparatory school, or for chemical and anatomical lectures, at a small expense.
"The Board feel thankful far the interest which you have taken in this Embryo Institution, and they flatter themselves that success will attend your efforts in its behalf, and that you may yet receive in some way a satisfactory reward.
"N. Allen, President.
"H. Graham, Secretary."
12 HISTORY OF THE SAINTS.
From W. Willoughhy, M.D., Professor of Midwifery in the College of Physicians and Surgeons in the Western District of New York.
"Fairfield, January 20, 1835.
"My dear Sir, --
"Your communication of the 31st of December -- mailed the 4th ultimo -- has this day been received, for which you will receive my thankful acknowledgments.
"I feel under greater obligation than my feeble language can express, to my friends of the University located in your village, that they have honored me by naming their College after me; and again, I am under renewed obligation to my much esteemed friends that they should deem my name worthy of designating their town. These testimonials of regard have made a deep impression upon my mind -- never to be forgotten. Whatever I can do to insure the stability and prosperity of your school will be done with great cheerfulness and pleasure. If I cannot benefit your institution by personal services, I shall not fail of bestowing something toward its funds.
"The contemplated period for choosing your President had passed by ere I received your letter, so that I could not render the reasons why my name should not be among the candidates. The President should be one among you, live so contiguous as to be enabled to attend all your meetings of the trustees, and exercise a paternal care over the diversified interests of the University. These services could not be attended to by me. I am too far removed from the College to exercise the necessary supervision over its interests and its welfare. I hope, therefore, the honor has fallen upon yourself, or some other one, more able to serve you usefully than would be possible for me to do.
"I promise myself the pleasure of visiting my friends in your section of country -- and the University -- the ensuing summer, if my health and that of my wife will permit. Mrs. Willoughby's health is very bad, and I greatly fear will never be much improved. She is laboring under hydrathorax -- from organic disease of the lungs.
-- Receive, my dear sir, for yourself -- for your colleagues and the Trustees of the University over whom you preside -- my grateful acknowledgments for the honors conferred upon me, with my best wishes for your general and individual welfare. I am, my dear sir, with sentiments of high consideration, your obliged and very humble servant,
"John C. Bennett, M. D.,
President of the Medical Faculty of the Willoughby University of Lake Erie."
CHARACTER OF THE AUTHOR. 13
From the Medical Class of the Willoughby University of Lake Erie.
"WILLOUGHBY, Ohio, February 21, A. D. 1835.
"At a meeting of the Medical Class of the Willoughby University of Lake Erie, convened at the College Edifice, on Saturday, the 21st inst., the following resolution was unanimously adopted:
"Resolved, That we, the members of the Medical Class of the Willoughby University of Lake Erie, present our thanks to John C. Bennett, M.D., President of our Medical Faculty, and Professor of the Principles and Practice of Midwifery, and the Diseases of Women and Children, for the very able, interesting, and scientific Course of Lectures, by him delivered, during the present session, and as a feeble testimonial of our high regard for the interest he has evinced in our welfare and improvement, and for his splendid talents as a teacher.
"James Wheeler, President.
"T. F. Robinson,
"H. Robinson, Vice-President.
"E. M. Gleeson,
From S. P. Hildreth, M, D,, President of the Medical Convention of the State of Ohio, January 1, 1838, to Alfred Hobby, Esq., Mayor of Hocking City.
"Marietta, Ohio, April 11, A. D. 1838.
"To a. Hobby, Esq., Mayor of Hocking City. "Dear Sir, --
"In answer to your inquiries as to 'the acquirements and medical knowledge of Dr. John C. Bennett, as a physician and surgeon,' I with great pleasure answer, that I deem him to be well qualified in either branch, and that his opportunities for acquiring knowledge-in the Practice of Medicine have been equal to those o? any other in this portion of the State.
"Your obedient servant,
"S. P. Hildreth."
From the Rev. John Stewart, of the Methodist Episcopal Church.
"Hocking City, Ohio, April 29, 1838.
"To whom it may concern: --
"This is to certify, that 1 have been for many years intimately acquainted with John C. Bennett, M. D., who was in 1825 my Family Physician; Dr. Bennett's advantages to acquire correct
14 HISTORY OF THE SAINTS.
medical knowledge have been very great, far superior to most physicians in this country; and I consider him one of our most able and accomplished physicians and surgeons.
From Alfred Hobby, Esq., Mayor of Hocking City, Ohio.
"Hocking City, Ohio, June 9, 1838.
"To whom it may concern: --
"I with great pleasure state, that I have long had a very intimate acquaintance with John C Bennett, M. D., both as a medical man, and private citizen. I have a personal knowledge of his skilful and dexterous professional tact in some of the major operations in surgery, such as the extirpation of the cancerous breast; and as a citizen I deem him a gentleman of much moral and intellectual worth. Alfred Hobbv."
By perusing Mr. Stewart's certificate, and comparing the foregoing dates and statements, it will be perceived that they give a full account of my character and standing from 1825, when I first commenced the practice of my profession, up to June, 1838, when I removed from the State of Ohio to the State of Illinois. On the 20th day of February, 1839, I was unanimously elected Brigadier General of the Invincible Dragoons of the 2d Division of Illinois Militia, and commissioned as follows: --
"Thomas Carlin, Governor of the State of Illinois, to all to whom these presents shall come, greeting;
"Know ye, That J. C. Bennett, having been duly elected to the office of Brigadier- General of the Invincible Dragoons of the 2d Division of the Militia of the State of Illinois, I, Thomas Carlin, Governor of said State, for and on behalf of the People of said State, do commission him Brigadier- General of Invincible Dragoons of the Second Division of the Militia of the State of Illinois, to take rank from the 20th day of February, 1839. He is, therefore, carefully and diligently to discharge the duties of said office, by doing and performing all manner of things thereunto belonging; and I do strictly require all officers and soldiers under his command to be obedient to his orders; and he is to obey such orders and directions as he shall receive from time to time, from the Commander-in-Chief, or his superior officer.
"In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the State Seal to be affixed. Done at Vandalia, this 25th of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty-nine, and of the Independence of the United States the sixty-third.
"By the Governor,
"A. P. Field, Secretary of State"
CHARACTER OF THE AUTHOR. 15
On the 20th day of July, 1840, on the nomination of the principal military men of the State, I was appointed Quarter-Master-General of the State of Illinois, and commissioned as follows: --
"Thomas Carlin, Governor of the State of Illinois, to all to whom these presents shall come, greeting:
"Know ye, That J. C. Bennett having been duly appointed to the office of Quarter-Master- General of the Militia of the State of Illinois, I, Thomas Carlin, Governor of said State, for and on behalf of the People of said State, do commission him Quarter-Master- General, to take rank from the 20th day of July, 1840. He is, therefore, carefully and diligently to discharge the duties of said office, by doing and performing all manner of things thereunto belonging; and I do strictly require all officers and soldiers under his command to be obedient to his orders; and he is to obey such orders and directions as he shall receive from time to time, from the Commander-in-Chief, or his superior officer.
"In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the Great Seal of State to be hereunto affixed. Done at Springfield, this 20th day of July, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty, and of the Independence of the United States the sixty-fifth. Tho. Carlin.
"By the Governor,
"A. P. Field, Secretary of State"
"Appointment by the Governor. -- Brigadier- General John C Bennett to be Quarter-Master-General of the militia of the State of Illinois, from the 20th day of July.
"In making the above appointment, the Governor has selected an able, energetic and efficient officer. The duties that will devolve on him, perhaps no man in the State is better qualified to fill, and we have no doubt he will render due justice to the office which he has been selected to superintend. -- Wabash Republican," as quoted in Times and Seasons, No. 12, p. 190.
Official Documents, showing that I was in actual Service in the State, as a State Officer.
"Washington, October 23, 1840.
"J. C. Bennett, Esq. Qr. Master Genl. Illinois Ma. Nauvoo, Ill.
"Capt. Wm. H. Bell, the officer in command of the St. Louis Arsenal, has been instructed to supply the artillery, small arms, &c., specified in your requisition of the 26th ult., received yesterday. The order will, no doubt, be filled immediately. "I am, respectfully,
"Your obedient servant,
"G. Talcott, Lt. Col. Ord.
16 HISTORY OF THE SAINTS.
"To His Excellency Thomas Carlin.
"The following Resolution has passed the House of Representatives.
"'Resolved, That the Governor be requested to furnish this House with a statement of the arms and accoutrements belonging to the State; the amount of the same, and where stationed, and how the companies bringing themselves under the regulation of the militia law, can be furnished with the same, and at what point, and that he report to this House as soon as suits his convenience.'
"Clerk of the House of Representatives.
"February 16, 1841."
"Department of State,
"Springfield, Illinois, 16 February, 1841.
"To John C. Bennett, Quarter-Master- General of the Militia of
the State of Illinois:
"Enclosed I have the honor to send you a copy of a Resolution of the House of Representatives of the General Assembly of the State of Illinois, now in session, calling on me for information relative to the number and kind of arms, belonging to the State, their present location, as also the points where companies in this State can be furnished with the same.
"I have to request that you will report to me, so far as the information desired is in your possession, that 1 may lay the same before the House from which said Resolution emanated.
" I have the honor to be, sir,
" Your most obedient servant.
"MEDICAL CONVENTION OF ILLINOIS.
"To the Medical Profession of Illinois.
"At a meeting of a number of the Physicians and Surgeons of the State of Illinois, convened in Springfield, on the 9th of June, 1840, for the purpose of making preliminary arrangements for the organization of a State Medical Society, the undersigned were appointed a committee of correspondence, and, as such, directed to address you on that subject. It was proposed that the medical men of the State of Illinois, should assemble in Convention, at Springfield, on the first Monday of December next, and then and there proceed to the complete organization of the Illinois State Medical Society -- the Convention to be composed of one or more delegates from each County in the State. This proposition was unanimously adopted; and we now call upon you to cooperate with us in the consummation of so desirable a result. Hitherto we have been like a vessel cast upon a boisterous ocean, without compass or helm; we have
CHARACTER OF THE AUTHOR. 17
acted solitary and alone, without harmony or concert; but when wo see hundreds of our fellow-citizens and worthy friends, annually sacrificed by the empirical prescriptions of charlatan practitioners, on the altars of ignorance, erected within the very temple of Aesculapius, by rude and unskillful hands, is it not time for us to act? -- We think so: not, however, by declaring war against mountebanks and uneducated pretenders to the art of healing within our borders; but by digesting a plan that shall he calculated in its legitimate operations to benefit the people, instruct the unlearned, improve ourselves, and elevate the entire profession above all mercenary considerations to a station of superior mental, moral and medical excellence. Already do our forests groan under the axeman's hand, and our prairies swarm with a busy, free and enterprising population; in Agriculture and Commerce, we are rapidly approximating to the level of the oldest States; our citizens are rearing Colleges and Universities for mental culture; our Divines and Lawyers have already attained a high rank and an elevated standing; and, shall medicine be wholly neglected? Is law of more consequence than medicine, or property more valuable than life? If not, let us not be behind our sister States in our efforts to improve our profession, and place it on a level with that of law. We ask not the protection of legal power, nor do we require the strong arm of legislative enactment to sustain us. We place ourselves before the public on our true merits, having a strong and abiding confidence in the wisdom of the people. All we require is a concerted effort, to enable us to diffuse true and useful medical knowledge -- and this we ask. It is due to the profession and to humanity, now, and in all time to come. We hope then to see a general attendance on the day proposed.
"J. C. Bennett, of Fairfield.
"C. V. Dyer, of Chicago.
"A. W. Bowen, of Juliet.
"M. Helm, of Springfield.
"E. H. Merryman, do.
"F. A. McNeil, do.
"J. Todd, do.
"W. S. Wallace, do.
"D. Turney, of Fairfield.
"C. F. Hughes, of Rochester.
"I. S. Berry, of Vandalia.
"B. H. Hart, of Alton."
Times and Seasons, Vol. I. No. 11, p. 174.
Fom Col N. N. Smith,
"Wabash, August 27, A. D. 1840.
"Dear Friend, --
"Yours of last week was duly received, and attended to. You speak of going to the north in a few days, but whether on business, or to change your residence, does not appear. I hope you do not intend leaving this county, as your business prospects are
18 HISTORY OF THE SAINTS.
good, and your professional services much required. 1 have heard that you intended winding up your business, and quitting our county, and this section of Illinois, but I supposed your visit to the north an official one, pertaining to your state appointment. Please write me before you start.
"N. N. Smith."
This gives an account of my standing up to the time of my removal to Nauvoo, in September, 1840. On the 5th day of February, 1841, I was unanimously elected Major-General of the Nauvoo Legion, and commissioned as follows: --
"Thomas Carlin, Governor of the State of Illinois, to all to whom these presents shall come, greeting:
"Know ye, That John C. Bennett having been duly elected to the office of Major-General of the Nauvoo Legion of the Militia of the State of Illinois, I, Thomas Carlin, Governor of said State, for and on behalf of the People of said State, do commission him Major-General of said Legion, to lake rank from the 5th day of February, 3841. He is, therefore, carefully and diligently to discharge the duties of said office, by doing and performing all manner of things thereunto belonging; and I do strictly require all officers and soldiers under his command to be obedient to his orders; and lie is to obey such orders and directions as he shall receive from time to time from the Commander-in-Chief, or his superior officer.
"In testimony whereof, 1 have hereunto set my hand, and caused the Great Seal of State to be hereunto affixed. Done at Springfield, this 16th day of February, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty-one, and of the Independence of the United States the sixty-fifth.
"By the Governor,
"S. A. Douglass, Secretary of State."
The following letter from General Scott to Judo-e Young, one of the United States Senators from Illinois, shows clearly that I could legally officiate in the offices of Major-General and Quarter-Master-General of Illinois at the same time, and other official documents will show that I did so officiate.
"War Office, August 4, 1841. "Dear Sir, --
"I hasten to reply to your letter of yesterday.
"You state this case; -- General J. C. Bennett, being the Quarter- Master-General of Illinois, (it is presumed with the rank of Brigadier
CHARACTER OF THE AUTHOR. 19
General,) he is elected, in a separate organization of a portion of the State, a Major-General, and commissioned accordingly.
"The professional question put to me, is -- Are the two offices incompatible with each other? -- in other words, Does the acceptance of the second vacate the first?
"I answer -- Not necessarily; -- not unless there be something express to that effect in the constitution or laws of Illinois. The first office is in the general staff of the State; the second in the line of the militia generally, or in the line of the separate organization.
"For example; -- General Jesup is the Quarter-Master-General of the United States army, which gives him, from the date of appointment, the rank of Brigadier-General under one act of Congress, and under another, for ten years' faithful services in that rank, he was made a Major-General by brevet. As Quarter-Master- General he serves as Brigadier- General: in all other situations, that is, out of the staff, his other commission makes him a Major- General.
"If the law of Illinois does not give the rank of Brigadier, or Major-General, to the officer appointed Quarter-Master-General, there is not even the show of incompatibility between the two commissions of General J. C. Bennett in the statement laid before me.
"It will be understood, of course, that, as Major-General of the army, I do not presume to have the least possible authority over questions arising in the militia, under the laws of the particular States. I venture merely to give, for what it may be worth, my professional opinion on a point submitted to me.
"I have the honor to remain, Sir, "With great respect,
"Your most obedient servant,
"Hon. R. M. Young,
"United States Senate."
On the 1st day of February, 1841, I was unanimously elected Mayor of the city of Nauvoo, and commissioned as follows: --
"Thomas Carlin, Governor of the State of Illinois, to all to whom these presents shall come, greeting:
"Know ye, that John C. Bennett having been duly elected to the office of Mayor of the city of Nauvoo, in the county of Hancock, I, Thomas Carlin, Governor of the State of Illinois, for and on behalf of the People of said State, do commission him Justice of the Peace for said city in said county, and do authorize and em- power him to execute and fulfil the duties of that office according to law.
"And to have and to hold the said office, with all the rights and emoluments thereunto legally appertaining, until his successor shall be duly elected and qualified to office.
20 HISTORY OF THE SAINTS.
"In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State to be hereunto affixed. Done at Springfield, this 22d day of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty-one, and of the Independence of the United States the sixty-fifth.
"By the Governor,
"Lyman Trumbull, Secretary of State."
On the 3d of February, 1841, I delivered to the City Council, in the presence of a large assembly, the following
INAUGURAL ADDRESS.City of Nauvoo, Illinois, February 3, 1841.
"Gentlemen of the City Council;
Aldermen and Councillors:
"Having been elected to the Mayoralty of this city by the unanimous suffrages of all parties and interests, I now enter upon the duties devolving upon me as your Chief Magistrate under a deep sense of the responsibilities of the station. - I trust that the confidence reposed in me, by my fellow-citizens, has not been misplaced, and for the honor conferred they will accept my warmest sentiments of gratitude. By the munificence and wise legislation of noble, high-minded, and patriotic statesmen, and the grace of God, we have been blessed with one of the most liberal corporate acts ever granted by a legislative assembly. As the presiding officer of the law making department of the municipal government, it will be expected that I communicate to you from time to time, by oral or written messages, for your deliberative consideration and action, such matters as may suggest themselves to me in relation to the public weal; and upon this occasion I beg leave to present the following as matters of paramount importance.
"The 21st Sec. of the addenda to the 13th Sec. of the City Charter concedes to you plenary power 'to tax, restrain, prohibit and suppress, tippling-houses, dram-shops,' etc. etc., and I now recommend, in the strongest possible terms, that you take prompt, strong and decisive measures to 'prohibit and suppress' all such establishments. It is true you have the power 'to tax,' or license and tolerate, them, and thus add to the city finances; but I consider it much better to raise revenue by an ad valorem tax on the property of sober men, than by licensing dram-shops, or taxing the signs of the inebriated worshippers at the shrine of Bacchus. The revels of bacchanalians in the house of blasphemy and noise will always prove a disgrace to a moral people. Public sentiment will do much to suppress the vice of intemperance, and its concomitant evil results: but ample experience has incontrovertibly proven that it cannot do all - the law must be brought to the rescue, and an effective prohibitory ordinance enacted. This cannot be done at a better time than at the present. Let us commence correctly, and the
CHARACTER OF THE AUTHOR. 21
great work of reform, at least so far as our peaceful city is concerned, can be summarily consummated. It would be difficult to calculate the vast amount of evil and crime that would be prevented, and the great good that would accrue to the public at large by fostering the cause of temperance; but suffice it to say that the one would be commensurate to the other. - No sales of spirituous liquors whatever, in a less quantity than a quart, except in cases of sickness on the recommendation of a physician or surgeon duly accredited by the Chancellor and Regents of the University, should be tolerated. The liberty of selling the intoxicating cup is a false liberty - it enslaves, degrades, destroys and wretchedness and want are attendant on every step, - its touch, like that of the poison Upas, is DEATH. Liberty to do good should be cheerfully and freely accorded to every man; but liberty to do evil, which is licentiousness, should be peremptorily prohibited. The public good imperiously demands it - and the cause of humanity pleads for help. The protecting ęgis of the corporation should be thrown around every moral, and religious institution of the day, which is in any way calculated to ennoble, or ameliorate the condition of the human family.
"The immediate organization of the University, as contemplated in the 24th Sec. of the act incorporating our city, cannot be too forcibly impressed upon you at this time. - As all matters in relation to mental culture, and public instruction, from common schools up to the highest branches of a full collegiate course in the Arts, Sciences, and Learned Professions, will devolve upon the Chancellor and Regents of the University, they should be speedily elected, and instructed to perfect their plan, and enter upon its execution with as little delay as possible. The wheels of education should never be clogged, or retrograde, but roll progressively from the Alpha to the Omega of a most perfect, liberal, and thorough course of university attainments. The following observations in relation to false education, from Alexander's Messenger, so perfectly accords with my feelings and views on this highly important subject, that I cannot do better than incorporate them in this message.
"'Among the changes for the worse, which the world has witnessed within the last century, we include that specious, superficial, incomplete way of doing certain things which were formerly thought to be deserving of care, labor and attention. It would seem that appearance is now considered of more moment than reality. The modern mode of education is an example in point. Children are so instructed as to acquire a smattering of every thing; and, as a matter of consequence, they know nothing properly. Seminaries and academies deal out their moral and natural philosophy, their geometry, trigonometry, and astronomy, their chemistry, botany, and mineralogy, until the mind of the pupil becomes a chaos; and, like the stomach when it is overloaded with a variety of food, it digests nothing, but converts the superabundant nutriment to poison. This mode of education answers one purpose: - it enables people to seem learned; and seemingly, by a great many,
22 HISTORY OF THE SAINTS.
is thought all-sufficient. Thus we are schooled in quackery, and are early taught to regard showy and superficial attainments as most desirable. Every boarding school Miss is a Plato in petticoats, without an ounce of that genuine knowledge, that true philosophy, which would enable her to be useful in the world, and to escape those perils with which she must necessarily be encompassed. Young people are taught to use a variety of hard terms, which they understand but imperfectly; - to repeat lessons which they are unable to apply; - to astonish their grand-mothers with a display of their parrot-like acquisitions; - but their mental energies are clogged and torpified with a variety of learned lumber, most of which is discarded from the brain long before its possessor knows how to use it. This is the quackery of education.
"'The effects of the erring system are not easily obliterated. The habit of using words without thought, sticks to the unfortunate student through life, and should he ever learn to think, he cannot express his ideas without the most tedious and perplexing verbosity. This is, more or less, the fault of every writer in the nineteenth century. The sense is encumbered with sound. The scribbler appears to imagine that if he puts a sufficient number of words together he has done his part; and, alas! how many books are written on this principle. Thus literature, and even science itself, is overloaded with froth and flummery. Verbalizing has become fashionable and indispensable, and one line from an ancient author will furnish the materials for a modern treatise.'
"Our University should be a 'utilitarian' institution - and competent, industrious, teachers, and professors, should be immediately elected for the several departments. 'Knowledge is power.' - foster education and we are forever free! Nothing can be done which is more certainly calculated to perpetuate the free institutions of our common country, for which our progenitors 'fought and bled, and died,' than the general diffusion of useful knowledge amongst the people. Education should always be of a purely practical character, for such, and such alone, is calculated to perfect the happiness, and prosperity, of our fellow-citizens - ignorance, impudence, and false knowledge, are equally detestable, - shame and confusion follow in their train. As you now possess the power, afford the most ample facilities to the Regents to make their plan complete; and thus enable them to set a glorious example to the world at large. The most liberal policy should attend the organization of the University, and equal honors and privileges should be extended to all classes of the community.
"In order to carry out the provisions of the 25th Sec. of the act incorporating our city, I would recommend the immediate organization of the Legion. Comprising, as it does the entire military power of our city, with a provision allowing any citizen of Hancock county to unite by voluntary enrollment, early facilities should be afforded the Court Martial for perfecting their plan of drill, rules, and regulations. Nothing is more necessary to the preservation of order, and the supremacy of the laws, than the perfect organization of our military forces, under a uniform and rigid discipline,
CHARACTER OF THE AUTHOR. 23
and approved judicious drill; and to this end I desire to see all the departments, and cohorts of the Legion put in immediate requisition. The Legion should be all powerful, panoplied with justice and equity, to consummate the designs of its projectors - at all times ready, as minute men, to serve the state in such way and manner as may, from time to time, be pointed out by the Governor. You have long sought an opportunity of showing your attachment to the state government of Illinois - it is now afforded: the Legion should maintain the constitution and the laws, and be ready at all times for the public defence. The winged warrior of the air perches upon the pole of American liberty, and the beast that has the temerity to ruffle her feathers should be made to feel the power of her talons; and until she ceases to be our proud national emblem we should not cease to show our attachment to Illinois. Should the tocsin of alarm ever be sounded, and the Legion called to the tented field by our Executive, I hope to see it able, under one of the proudest mottos that ever blazed upon a warrior's shield - Sicut Patribus sit Deus nobis: as God was with our fathers, so may he be with us - to fight the battles of our country, as victors, and as freemen: the juice of the uva, or the spirit of insubordination should never enter our camp, - but we should stand, ever stand, as a united people - ONE AND INDIVISIBLE.
"I would earnestly recommend the construction of a wing-dam in the Mississippi, at the mouth of the ravine at or near the head of Main street, and the excavation of a ship-canal from that point to a point terminating in a grand reservoir on the bank of said river, east of the foot of said street, a distance of about two miles. This would afford, at the various outlets, the most ample water power for propelling any amount of machinery for mill and manufacturing purposes, so essentially necessary to the building up of a great commercial city in the heart of one of the most productive and delightful countries on earth. I would advise that an agent be immediately appointed on behalf of the city corporation, to negotiate with eastern capitalists for the completion of this great work, on the most advantageous terms, even to the conveyance of the privilege for a term of years. This work finished, and the future greatness of this city is placed upon an imperishable basis. In addition to the great advantages that will otherwise accrue to the city and country by the construction of this noble work, it would afford the best harbor for the steam-boats, for winter quarters, on this magnificent stream.
"The public health requires that the low lands, bordering on the Mississippi, should be immediately drained, and the entire timber removed. This can and will be one of the most healthy cities in the west, provided you take prompt and decisive action in the premises. A Board of Health should be appointed and vested with the usual powers and prerogatives.
The Governor, Council of Revision, and Legislature of Illinois, should be held in everlasting remembrance by our people-they burst the chains of slavery and proclaimed us forever free! A vote of thanks, couched in the strongest language possible, should be tendered them in our corporate capacity; and, when this is done,
24 HISTORY OF THE SAINTS.
Quincy, our first noble city of refuge, when we came from the slaughter in Missouri with our garments stained with blood, should not be forgotten.
"As the Chief Magistrate of your city I am determined to execute all state laws, and city ordinances passed in pursuance to law, to the very letter, should it require the strong arm of military power to enable me to do so. As an officer I know no man; the peaceful unoffending citizen shall be protected in the full exercise of all his civil, political, and religious rights, and the guilty violator of law shall be punished, without respect to persons.
"All of which is respectfully submitted,
"JOHN C. BENNETT."
Times and Seasons, Vol. II., No. 8, p. 316.
On the 3d day of February, 1841, I was unanimously elected Chancellor of the University of the City of Nauvoo, as will hereafter appear.
"We are glad to see the action of the Council on the subject of education; and that they have chosen a Board of Regents, and appointed a Chancellor and Registrar for the 'University of the City of Nauvoo.' The appointment, we think, does great credit to the Council, and, we have no doubt but that the board will assiduously engage in the great and all-important work of education."
Times and Seasons, Vol. II., No. 8, p. 319.
"AN ORDINANCE, ORGANIZING THE 'UNIVERSITY OF THE CITY OF NAUVOO.'
"Sec. 1. Be it ordained by the City Council of the City of Nauvoo, That the 'University of the City of Nauvoo,' be, and the same is hereby organized, by the appointment of the following Board of Trustees, to wit: John C. Bennett, Chancellor, William Law, Registrar, and Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, Hyrum Smith, William Marks, Samuel H. Smith, Daniel H. Wells, N. K. Whitney, Charles C. Rich, John T. Barnett, Wilson Law, Don C. Smith, John P. Greene, Vinson Knight, Isaac Galland, Elias Higbee, Robert D. Foster, James Adams, Robert B. Thompson, Samuel Bennett, Ebenezer Robinson, John Snider, George Miller, and Lenos M. Knight, Regents; who shall hereafter constitute the 'Chancellor and Regents of the University of the City of Nauvoo,' as contemplated in the 24th section of 'An act to incorporate the City of Nauvoo,' approved December 16, 1840.
"Sec. 2. The Board named in the 1st section of this ordinance shall hold its first meeting at the office of Joseph Smith, on Tuesday, the 9th day of February, 1841, at 2 o'clock, P. M.
"Sec. 3. This ordinance shall take effect, and be in force, from and after its passage.
"Passed, Feb. 3d, A. D. 1841.
"John C Bennett, Mayor
"James Sloan, Recorder."
CHARACTER OF THE AUTHOR. 25
"COMMON SCHOOL BOOKS ADOPTED.
"Extract from the Minutes of the Board of Regents.
"University of the City of Nauvoo, )
Illinois, December 18, A. D. 1841. )
"Gentlemen of the Board of Regents:
"Permit me to present for your adoption, the following series of books for Common Schools, which 1 have carefully selected and approved., to wit: -- Town's Spelling Book; Town's Introduction to Analysis; Town's Analysis; M'Vickar's Political Economy for Schools; Help to Young Writers; Girl's Reading Book, by Mrs. Sigourney; Boy's Reading Book, by Mrs. Sigourney; Bennett's Arithmetic; Bennett's Book Keeping; Kirkham's English Gram- mar; Olney's Geography.
"John C. Bennett, Chancellor.
"Adopted as follows, to wit: --
"Yeas -- Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith, Charles C. Rich, Heber
C. Kimball, John Taylor, N. K. Whitney, Samuel H. Smith, John Snider, Wm. Marks, Ebenezer Robinson, Elias Higbee, (Regents,) William Law, (Registrar,) John C. Bennett, (Chancellor,) 13.
"Nays -- None.
"Absent -- Sidney Rigdon, Daniel H. Wells, John T. Barnett, Wilson Law, John P. Green, Vinson Knight, Isaac Galland, Robert
D. Foster, James Adams, Samuel Bennett, George Miller, Lenos M. Knight, (Regents,) 12."
Times and Seasons, Vol. III., No. 5, p. 652.
On the 6th day of May, A. D. 1841, I was appointed Master in Chancery for Hancock County, as follows: --
"Know all men by these presents. That I, Stephen A. Douglass, Justice of the Supreme Court, and presiding Judge of the Fifth Judicial Circuit of the State of Illinois, do constitute and appoint John C. Bennett, Esq., Master in Chancery, in and for the County of Hancock, in said State, and do authorize and impower him to have, exercise and enjoy, all the rights, privileges and emoluments pertaining to said office of Master in Chancery.
"Given under my hand and seal, this 6th day of May, A. D. 1341.
"S. A. Douglass, [seal.]"
"State of Illinois, )
Hancock County. )
"This day, personally appeared before the undersigned, Judge of the Fifth Judicial Circuit of the State of Illinois, John C. Bennett, Esq., who, being first duly sworn, declared that he would faithfully support the Constitution of the United Stales and of this State, and that he would faithfully discharge his duties as Master in Chancery, according to the best of his knowledge, skill and understanding.
"Given under my hand and deal, this 6th day of May, A. D. 1841.
"S. A. Douglass, [seal.]"
26 HISTORY OF THE SAINTS.
On the 7th day of April, 1841, I was elected to the First Presidency of the Mormon Church, as will be seen by reference to the conference minutes, published in the "Times and Seasons," (the official Mormon paper, edited by Joe Smith, the Prophet, assisted by John Taylor, the Apostle,) Vol. 11., No. 12, page 387, from which I extract the following: --
"Gen. J. C. Bennett was presented with the First Presidency, as Assistant President, until President Rigdon's health should be restored."
MORMON TESTIMONY, UP TO THE TIME OF, AND SUBSEQUENT TO, MY WITHDRAWAL FROM THE CHURCH.
"The Quarter-Master-General of Illinois, (Dr. J. C. Bennett) has joined the Mormons and been baptized according to their faith. Under such a leader they will no doubt be able to whip the Missourians in the next campaign.' -- Louisville Journal.
"Very liberal, Mr. Editor: But the 'next campaign' belongs to the PEOPLE, and unless tliey arise with one voice and avenge the wrongs of an innocent and much injured community -- farewell to LIBERTY -- she has fled forever, and mobocrats bear rule." -- Times and Seasons, Vol. II., No. 3, p. 234.
"==> Great Moral Victory! -- The high grounds taken by our Mayor, General Bennett, in relation to the great work of ternperance reform, have been fully sustained by the City Council. President Joseph Smith, chairman of the committee to whom was referred that part of the inaugural address of His Honor, the Mayor, which relates to Temperance, reported the following Ordinance to the City Council on the 15th instant, which was elaborately discussed by Aldermen Wells and Whitney, and Councillors J. Smith, H. Smith, Rigdon, Law, and Greene, and in Committee of the Whole, by His Honor, and after dispensing with the rules, read three several times, and passed unanimously.
"This ordinance passed by ayes and noes, on the call of Councillor Barnett, as follows: --
"Yeas -- Aldermen Wells, Smith, Marks and Whitney -- Councillors Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith, Don C. Smith, Rigdon, Law, Rich, Barnett, Greene, and Knight -- and the Mayor -- 14. (Full Council.)
"Nays -- None!
"Thus has the City of Nauvoo set a glorious example to the world -- sustained by principle, and the Great God; to wit --
CHARACTER OF THE AUTHOR. 27
"AN ORDINANCE IN RELATION TO TEMPERANCE.
"Sec. 1. Be it ordained by the City Council of the City of Nauvoo, That all persons and establishments whatever, in this City, are prohibited from vending whisky in a less quantity than a gallon, or other spirituous liquors in a less quantity than a quart, to any person whatever, excepting on the recommendation of a Physician duly accredited, in writing, by the 'Chancellor and Regents of the University of the City of Nauvoo,' and any person guilty of any act contrary to the prohibition contained in this ordinance, shall, on conviction thereof before the Mayor, or Municipal Court, be fined in any sum not exceeding twenty-five dollars, at the discretion of said Mayor, or Court; and any person or persons who shall attempt to evade this ordinance by giving away liquor, or by any other means, shall be considered alike amenable, and fined as aforesaid.
"Sec. 2. This ordinance, to take effect, and be in force, from and after its passage.
"Passed, Feb. 10th, A. D. 1841.
"John C. Bennett, Mayor.
"James Sloan, Recorder."
"'Gen. J. C. Bennett, a very popular and deserving man, has been elected Mayor of Nauvoo, Hancock county.' -- Chicago Democrat.
"We cheerfully respond to the above statement respecting our worthy Mayor, and we are indeed glad that any of our friends of the press, can nobly come forward and award to faithfulness and integrity their due, even if found in a Mormon.
"We would say, that if untiring diligence to aid the afflicted and the oppressed, zeal for the promotion of literature and intelligence, AND A VIRTUOUS AND CONSISTENT CONDUCT, are evidences of popularity, &.C., we venture to say that no man deserves the appellations of 'popular and deserving' more than Gen. J. C. Bennett." Times and Seasons, Vol. II., No. 10, p. 351.
"LAYING THE CORNER STONE OF THE TEMPLE. GENERAL CONFERENCE.
"'Oh! that I could paint the scenes
Which on my heart are sketch'd.'
"The general conference of the Church, together with the laying of the corner stones of the Temple of our God, now building in this city, have long been anticipated by the saints of the Most High, both far and near, with great pleasure, when they should once more behold the foundation of a house laid, in which they might worship the God of their fathers.
"It frequently happens, that our anticipations of pleasure and delight, are raised to such a height that even exceeds the enjoyment itself, but we are happy to say, this was not the case with the immense multitude who witnessed the proceedings of the sixth of April, and subsequent days of conference. The scenes were of such a character, the enjoyment so intense, that left anticipation far behind.
28 HISTORY OF THE SAINTS.
"However anxious we are to portray the grandeur and majesty of the celebrations, the union and order which every way prevailed, we are confident, we shall come very far short of doing them justice.
"For some days prior to the sixth, the accession of strangers to our city was great, and on the wide-spread prairie, which bounds our city, might be seen various kinds of vehicles wending their way from different points of the compass to the city of Nauvoo, while the ferry-boats on the Mississippi were constantly employed in wafting travellers across its rolling and extensive bosom.
"Among the citizens, all was bustle and preparation, anxious to accommodate their friends who flocked in from distant parts, and who they expected to share with them the festivity of the day, and the pleasures of the scene.
"At length the long-expected mom arrived, and before the king of day had tipped the eastern horizon with his rays, were preparations for the celebration of the day going on. Shortly after sun-rise, the loud peals from the artillery were heard, calling the various companies of the Legion to the field, who were appointed to take a conspicuous part in the day's proceedings.
"The citizens from the vicinity, now began to pour in from all quarters, a continuous train, for about three hours, and continued to swell the vast assembly.
"At eight o'clock, A. M. Major-General Bennett left his quarters to organize and prepare the Legion for the duties of the day, which consisted of about fourteen companies, several in uniform', besides several companies from Iowa, and other parts of the county, which joined them on the occasion.
"At half past nine, Lieut. General Smith was informed that the Legion was organized and ready for review, and immediately accompanied by his staff, consisting of four Aids-de-camp, and twelve guards, nearly all in splendid uniforms, took his march to the parade ground. On their approach, they were met by the band, beautifully equipped, who received them with a flourish of trumpets and a regular salute, and then struck up a lively air, marching in front to the stand of the Lieut. General. On his approach to the parade ground the artillery was again fired, and the Legion eave an appropriate salute while passing. This was indeed a glorious sight, such as we never saw, nor did we ever expect to see such a one in the west. The several companies, presented a beautiful and interesting spectacle, several of them being uniformed and equipped, while the rich and costly dresses of the officers, would have become a Bonaparte or a Washington.
"After the arrival of Lieut. General Smith, the ladies who had made a beautiful silk flag, drove up in a carriage to present it to the Legion. Maj. General Bennett, very politely attended on them, and conducted them in front of Lieut. General Smith, who immediately alighted from his charger, and walked up to the ladies, who presented the flag, making an appropriate address. Lieut. General Smith, acknowledged the honor conferred upon the Legion, and stated that as long as he had the command, it should never be
CHARACTER OF THE AUTHOR. 29
disgraced; and then politely bowing to the ladies gave it into the hands of Maj. General Bennett, who placed it in possession of Comet Robinson, and it was soon seen gracefully waving in front of the Legion. During the time of presentation, the baud struck up a lively air and another salute was fired from the artillery.
"After the presentation of the flag, Lieut. General Smith, accompanied by his suite, reviewed the Legion, which presented a very imposing appearance, the different officers saluting as he passed. Lieut. General Smith then took his former stand and the whole Legion by companies passed before him in review.
"Immediately after the review. Gen. Bennett organized the procession, to march to the foundation of the Temple, in the following order; to wit:
Lieut. Gen. Smith,
Brig. Generals Law and Smith,
Aids-de-Camp, and conspicuous
2nd Cohort, (foot troops,)
Ladies eight abreast.
Gentlemen, eight abreast,
1st Cohort, (horse troops.)
"Owing to the vast numbers who joined in the procession, it was a considerable length of time before the whole could be organized.
"The procession then began to move forward in order, and on their arrival at the Temple block, the Generals with their staffs and the distinguished strangers present, took their position inside of the foundation, the ladies formed on the outside immediately next the walls, the gentlemen and infantry behind, and the cavalry in the rear.
"The assembly being stationed, the choristers, under the superintendence of B. S. Wilber, sung an appropriate hymn.
"Prest. Rigdon, then ascended the platform, which had been prepared for the purpose, and delivered a suitable
which was listened to with the most profound attention by the assembly. From the long affliction and weakness of body we hardly expected the speaker to have made himself heard by the congregation, but he succeeded beyond our most sanguine expectations, and being impressed with the greatness and solemnities of the occasion, he rose superior to his afflictions and weakness, and for more than an hour occupied the attention of the assembly.
" It was an address worthy a man of God, and a messenger of salvation. We have heard the speaker on other occasions when he has been more eloquent, when there has been more harmony and beauty in the construction of his sentences, and when the refined
30 HISTORY OF THE SAINTS.
ear has been more delighted; but never did we hear him pour out such pious effusions; in short it was full to overflowing, of Christian feeling and high-toned piety.
"He called to review the scenes of tribulation and anguish through which the Saints had passed, the barbarous cruelties inflicted upon them for their faith and attachment to the cause of their God, and for the testimony of Jesus, which, they endured with patience, knowing that they had in heaven a more enduring sub- stance, a crown of eternal glory.
"In obedience to the commandments of their Heavenly Father, and because that Jesus had again spoken from the heavens, were they engaged in laying the foundation of the Temple that the Most High might have a habitation, and where the Saints might assemble to pay their devotions to his holy name.
"He rejoiced at the glorious prospect which presented itself of soon completing the edifice, as there were no mobs to hinder them in their labors, consequently their circumstances were very different than before.
"After the address, the choir sung a hymn. Prest. Rigdon then invoked the blessings of Almighty God upon the assembly, and upon those who should labor on the building.
"The First Presidency superintended the laying of the
CHIEF CORNER STONE,
on the south-east corner of the building, which done, Prest. J. Smith arose and said, that the first corner stone of the Temple of Almighty God was laid, and prayed that the building might soon be completed, that the Saints might have an habitation to worship the God of their fathers.
"Prest. D. C. Smith and his Councillors, of the High Priests' Quorum, then repaired to the south west corner, and laid the corner stone thereof.
"The High Council, representing the Twelve laid the north-west corner stone.
"The Bishops with their Councillors laid the north-east corner stone with due solemnities.
"The ceremony of laying the corner stones being over, the Legion marched to the parade ground, and formed a hollow square for an address. Maj. General Bennett addressed the Legion at some length, applauding them for their soldierlike appearance, and for the attention which both officers and men had given to the orders.
"Lieutenant-General Smith likewise expressed his entire approbation of the conduct of the Legion and all present.
"The assembly then separated with cheerful hearts, and thanking God for the great blessings of peace and prosperity by which they were surrounded, and hearts burning with affection for their favorite and adopted state.
"It was indeed a gladsome sight, and extremely affecting, to see the old revolutionary patriots, who had been driven from their homes in Missouri, strike hands and rejoice together, in a land where they knew they would be protected from mobs, and where
CHARACTER OF THE AUTHOR. 31
they could again enjoy the liberty for which they had fought many a hard battle.
"The day was indeed propitious -- heaven and earth combined to make the scene as glorious as possible, and long, very long, will the 6th of April, A. D. 1841, be remembered by the many thousands who were present.
"The whole passed off with perfect harmony and good feeling. The people were truly of one heart and mind, no contention or discord; even persons unconnected with the Church forgot their prejudices, and for once took pleasure in the society of the Saints, admired their order and unanimity, and undoubtedly received favor- able impressions by their visit.
"Too much praise cannot be given to Maj. General Bennett for his active services on the occasion: he has labored diligently for the prosperity of the city, and particularly for the Legion, and it must have been a proud day for him, and entirely satisfactory, to see his efforts crowned with success, and his labor so well bestowed.
"R. B. Thompson."
Times and Seasons, Vol. II., No. 12, p. 380.
"Dr. Bennett is of the opinion that most of the bilious affections to which our citizens are subjected during the hot season, can be prevented by the free use of the Tomato -- we are of the same opinion, and as health is essential to our happiness and prosperity as a people, we would earnestly recommend its culture to our fellow-citizens, and its general use for culinary purposes. Do not neglect it."
Times and Seasons, Vol. II., No. 13, p. 404.
"It is well known, that Gen. Bennett has for some time been striving to organize the militia of this state, on a plan which would make them more effective in the time of emergency. The example of his skill and ability, to effect that object, so necessary for the public weal, is now fairly before the public; and as lovers of our country we hope that it will be satisfactory and be adopted by the citizens of this state.
"In time of peace, it is necessary to prepare for war; the following remarks of Gen. Washington to both houses of Congress, in 1793, are so appropriate, that we cheerfully give them a place.
"I am pressing upon you the necessity of placing ourselves in a condition of complete defence, and exact the fulfilment of duties towards us. The people ought not to indulge a persuasion contrary to the order of human events. There is a rank due to the nation, which will be withheld, if not lost, by the known weakness and absolute neglect to improve our system of defence. If we desire to avoid insult, we must be ready to repel it.'"
Times and Seasons, Vol. II., No. 14, p. 416.
"From the Belleville Advocate.
"Mr. Boyd: I have read with much interest, the 'Inaugural Address' of Dr. John C. Bennett, of the city of Nauvoo, which was
32 HISTORY OF THE SAINTS.
delivered to the City Council on the 3d of February last, as published in the 'Times and Seasons.'
"'It is a document which, 1 think, is entitled to the particular notice of our respectable fellow-citizens: and if it should meet your views, as it does mine, diffusing a will to promote morality and science, I would be proud to see it in its verbatim character, portrayed in the columns of your widely circulating paper, the "Belleville Advocate."
"'I am and have been long acquainted with Dr. Bennett, and his present character in the military department of this State is not inferior to any in the Union.
"'With this communication, you will receive the Address.
"'With sentiments of respect,
"'I have the honor to be
"'Yours, respectfully, &c.
"'W. G. GOFORTH, M. D.
'"Belleville, Illinois, March 22, 18-11.'"
"We should be happy to comply with the request of our worthy and esteemed M. D. friend, 'Old Pills,' to publish the 'Address,' entire, which he was kind enough to furnish us; but the press of other matter prevents. We have given it an attentive perusal; and heartily concur with the sentiments contained therein. Certainly, they ought to be the guide of those who are placed in immediate authority over the morals of community, and Mayor Bennett clearly understands his duties. We shall make some extracts from his speech, and earnestly commend them to our readers. We think, our 'town' Trustees might profit by the example that is set them, by the Mayor of Nauvoo."
Times and Seasons, Vol. II., No. 14, p. 419.
"Not only has the Lord given us favor in the eyes of the community, who are happy to see us in the enjoyment of all the rights and privileges of freemen, but we arc happy to state, that several of the principal men of Illinois, who have listened to the doctrines we promulge, have become obedient to the faith, and are rejoicing in the same; among whom is John C. Bennett, M. D., Quarter-Master- General of Illinois." -- Times and Seasons, Vol. II., No. G, p. 275.
"For the Times and Seasons.
"THE NAUVOO LEGION.
"The firm heart of the Sage and the Patriot is warm'd
By the grand 'Nauvoo Legion:' The 'Legion' is form'd
To oppose vile oppression, and nobly to stand
In defence of the honor, and laws of the land.
Base, illegal proscribers may tremble -- 'tis right
That the lawless aggressor should shrink with affright,
From a band that's united fell mobbers to chase.
And protect our lov'd country from utter disgrace.
CHARACTER OF THE AUTHOR. 33
"Fair Columbia! rejoice! look away to the West,
To thy own Illinois, where the saints have found rest
See a phoenix come forth from the graves of the just,
Whom Missouri's oppressors laid low in the dust:
See a phoenix -- a 'Legion' -- a warm-hearted band,
Who, unmov'd, to thy basis of freedom will stand.
"When the day of vexation rolls fearfully on --
When thy children turn traitors -- when safety is gone --
When peace in thy borders no longer is found --
When the fierce battles rage, and the war-trumpets sound;
Here, here are thy warriors -- a true-hearted band,
To their country's best int'rest forever will stand;
For then to thy standard, the 'Legion' will be
A strong bulwark of Freedom -- of pure Liberty.
"Here's the silver-hair'd vet'ran, who suffer'd to gain
That Freedom he now volunteers to maintain:
The brave, gallant young soldier -- the patriot is here
With his sword and his buckler, his helmet and spear;
And the horseman whose steed proudly steps to the sound
Of the soul-stirring music that's moving around;
And here, too, is the orphan, whose spirit grows brave
At the mention of Boggs,' and his own father's grave;
Yes, and bold-hearted Chieftains as ever drew breath,
Who are fearless of danger -- regardless of death;
Who've decreed in the name of the Ruler on high
That the Laws shall be honor' d -- that treason shall die.
"Should they need reinforcements, those rights to secure,
Which our forefathers purchas'd; and Freedom ensure,
There is still in reserve a strong Cohort above;
'Lo.' the chariots of Israel, and horsemen thereof.'
"City Of Nauvoo, June 2, 1841."
Times and Seasons, Vol. II., No. 17, p. 467.
"From a Revelation given to Joseph Smith, Jr., Jan. 19, 1841.
"Again, let my servant, John C. Bennett, help you in your labor, in sending my word to the Kings and people of the earth, and stand by you, even you my servant Joseph Smith in the hour of affliction, and his reward shall not fail if he receive counsel; and for his love, he shall be great; for he shall be mine if he docs this, saith the Lord. I have seen the work he hath done, which I accept, if he continue; and will crown him with blessings and great glory."
Times and Seasons, Vol. II., No. 15, p. 425.
34 HISTORY OF THE SAINTS.
"THE WARSAW SIGNAL.
"We can hardly find language to express our surprise and disapprobation at the conduct of the Editor of the 'Signal,' as manifested in that paper of the 19th ult. We had fondly hoped that the sentiments there expressed, would never have dared to be uttered by any individual, in the community in which we reside, whose friendship we esteem, and whose virtuous and honorable conduct, have secured them the approval of every patriotic and benevolent mind. We are, however, anxious to know the real feelings of individuals, and are glad that the latent feelings of the Editor of the Signal, have at last, manifested themselves, clearly and distinctly.
"And, we would ask the Editor of the Signal, what is the cause of his hostility -- of this sudden and unexpected ebullition of feeling -- this spirit of opposition and animosity. 'Whose rights have been trampled upon.' 'Whose peace have we disturbed.' General Bennett has been appointed Master in Chancery, by Judge Douglass, and General Bennett is a Mormon! This is the atrocious act -- this is the cause of the Editor's vile vituperation. It will not require the gift of discernment to tell what spirit the Editor was possessed of, when he wrote the following: --
"'Bennett has but recently become an inhabitant of this State -- he joins a sect and advocates a creed in which no one believes he has any faith.'
" It is obvious, that the intention is to make the community believe, that General Bennett is a mere renegade -- hypocrite -- and all that is base in humanity. But General Bennett's character as a gentleman, an officer, a scholar, and physician, stands too high to need defending by us; suffice it to say, that he is in the confidence of the Executive, holds the office of Quarter-Master-General of this State, and is well known to a large number of persons of the first respectability throughout the State. He has, likewise, been favor- ably known for upwards of eight years by some of the authorities of the Church, and has resided three years in this State. But being a Mormon, his virtues are construed into defects, and is thought a proper object of the base, cowardly, and ungentlemanly attack of the Editor of the 'Signal.'"
Times and Seasons, Vol. II., No. 15, pp. 431, 432.
"Generals Joseph Smith, John C. Bennett, and Hyrum Smith, and some other citizens of Nauvoo, attended the military parade, at Montrose, on the 14th, as visitors, on the special invitation of General Swazey, and Colonel Fuller of Iowa, the officers in command. Generals Joseph and Hyrum Smith attended, attired in plain citizen's garb, as citizens, without the least military appearance about them. General Bennett, and some of his staff officers, it is true, appeared in the 'splendid and brilliant uniform of the Nauvoo Legion,' as the Editor of the Signal is pleased to term it. All passed off with perfect good feeling, and in a highly creditable manner."
Times and Seasons, Vol. II., No. 23, p. 563.
CHARACTER OF THE AUTHOR. 35
"STATE GUBERNATORIAL CONVENTION.
"City of Nauvoo, Illinois, )
December 20, A. D. 1841.
"To my friends in Illinois: --
"The Gubernatorial Convention of the State of Illinois have nominated Colonel Adam W. Snyder for GOVERNOR, and Colonel John Moore for LIEUTENANT-GOVERNOR of the Slate of Illinois -- election to take place in August next. Colonel Moore, like Judge Douglass, and Esq. Warren, was an intimate friend of General Bennett, long before that gentleman became a member of our community, and General Bennett informs us that no men were more efficient in assisting him to procure our great chartered privileges than were Colonel Snyder, and Colonel Moore. They are sterling men, and friends of equal rights -- opposed to the oppressor's grasp, and the tyrant's rod. With such men at the head of our State Government, we have nothing to fear. In the next canvass we shall be influenced by no party consideration -- and no Carthaginian coalescence or collusion, with our people, will be suffered to affect, or operate against. General Bennett or any other of our tried friends already semi-officially in the field; so the partisans in this county who expect to divide the friends of humanity and equal rights, will find themselves mistaken -- we care not a fig for Whig or Democrat: they are both alike to us; but we shall go for our friends, our tried friends, and the cause of human liberty., which is the cause of God. We are aware that 'divide and conquer,' is the watch word with many, but with us it cannot be done -- we love liberty too well -- we have suffered too much to be easily duped -- we have no cat's-paws amongst us. We voted for General Harrison, because we loved him -- ho was a gallant officer, and a tried statesman; but this is no reason why we should always be governed by his friends -- he is now dead, and all of his friends are not ours. We claim the privileges of freemen, and shall act accordingly. Douglass is a Master Spirit, and his friends are our friends -- we are willing to cast our banners on the air, and fight by his side in the cause of humanity, and equal rights -- the cause of liberty and the law. Snvder, and Moore, are his friends -- they are ours. These men are free from the prejudices and superstitions of the age, and such men we love, and such men will ever receive our support, be their political predilections what they may. Snyder, and Moore, are known to be our friends; their friendship is vouched for by those whom we have tried. We will never be justly charged with the sin of ingratitude -- they have served us, and we will serve them. "Joseph Smith,
"Lieutenant- General of the Nauvoo Legion."
Times and Seasons, Vol. III., No. 5, p. 651.
"RULES OP ORDER OF THE CITY COUNCIL.
"Extracts from the Minutes of the City Council.
"The Council then received the following communication from the Mayor, to wit:
36 HISTORY OF THE SAINTS.
"Mayor's Office, City of Nauvoo, Illinois, January 22, A. D. 1842.
"Gentlemen of the City Council;
"Aldermen and Councillors: --
"I have carefully selected and prepared the following 'Rules of Order of the City Council of the City of Nauvoo,' and present them for your adoption, to wit: --
"Rules of Order of the City Council of the City of Nauvoo.
"Duties of the Mayor.
"1st. The Mayor, or President pro tempore, shall take the chair and organize the Council, within thirty minutes after the arrival of the hour to which it shall have been adjourned, and, while presiding, shall restrain all conversation irrelevant to the business then under consideration.
"2d. The Mayor having taken the chair, and a quorum (which shall consist of a majority of the entire Council) being present, the Council shall be opened by prayer, after which the journal of the preceding meeting shall be read by the Recorder, to the end that any mistake may be corrected that shall have been made in the entries; after which no alteration of the journal shall be permitted, without the unanimous consent of the members present.
"3d. The Mayor shall decide all questions of order -- subject, nevertheless, to an appeal to the Council, by any member.
"4th. When the question is taken on any subject under consideration, the Mayor shall call on the members in the affirmative to say, aye, -- those in the negative to say, no -- and he shall declare the result. When doubts arise on the decision, he may call on the members voting to rise, or take the yeas and nays -- the yeas and nays, likewise, may be taken on the call of any four members.
"5th. The Mayor shall have a right to vote on all occasions; and when his vote renders the division equal, the question shall be lost.
"6th. The Mayor shall sign his name to all acts, addresses, and resolutions of the Council.
"Of the Vice-Mayor.
"7th. The Council shall elect a Vice-Mayor, to serve as President pro tempore, who shall preside during the absence of the Mayor, and who shall be chosen by ballot -- and a majority of the votes of the members present shall be necessary to a choice.
"8th. If at any meeting when a majority shall be assembled, neither the Mayor, nor the President pro tempore, shall be present, the Council shall proceed to the election of a President for that meeting.
"Of the Recorder.
"9th. The Recorder shall keep a journal of the proceedings of the Council, and shall enter therein whatever a majority of the members shall order; and, in all cases, the yeas and nays, or dissent of any member, when required to do so.
CHARACTER OF THE AUTHOR. 37
"10th. The Recorder shall read whatever is laid before the Council for the consideration of the members, and shall countersign every act, address, or resolution, passed by the Council, noting the date of its passage.
"11th. When the yeas and nays are called upon any question, the Recorder shall read over distinctly, first, the names of the members who voted in the affirmative, and next, the names of those who voted in the negative.
"Of the Marshal.
"12th. The Marshal shall serve as Door-Keeper, and Sergeant- at-Arms, to the Council.
"Order of Business.
"13th. After the reading of the journal of the preceding meeting, the Mayor shall call for petitions, and no petition shall be received thereafter, unless by unanimous consent.
"14th. Petitions having been called for and disposed of, reports of Standing Committees shall next be received, then reports of Select Committees, and then any miscellaneous business shall be in order.
"15th. The Mayor shall always be at liberty to deliver his sentiments in debate, on any question before the Council; but when the Mayor speaks, it shall be from his chair.
"16th. In cases of disorderly conduct in spectators, the Mayor may either order the persons out, committing the disorder; have the room cleared; or fine or commit the offenders to prison for contempt.
"Of Order and Debate.
"17th. When any member is about to speak in debate, or offer any matter to the Council, he shall rise from his seat, and address the Mayor as 'Mr. President,' and avoid personalities.
"18th. When two members rise at the same time, the Mayor shall name the person to speak, but in all other cases, the member first rising shall speak first. No member shall speak more than three times to the same question without leave of the Council, nor speak more than twice without leave, until every person choosing to speak shall have spoken.
"19th. Any member may call another to order, and when a member is so called to order, he shall immediately desist speaking, until the Mayor decide whether he is in order, or not; and every question of order shall be decided without debate; but any member may appeal from his decision to the Council; if the decision be in favor of the member called to order, he shall be at liberty to proceed; if otherwise, the Council shall determine upon the propriety of his proceeding with his observations.
"20th. When a question has been taken and carried in the affirmative, or negative, it shall be in order for any member of the majority to move for the reconsideration thereof; but no motion for the reconsideration of any vote shall be in order, after the paper
38 HISTORY OF THE SAINTS.
upon which the same shall have been taken, shall hare gone out of the possession of the Council
"21st. No motion, or proposition, shall be received as an amendment which shall be a substitute for the proposition before the Council; but nothing shall be considered a substitute which shall have relation to the subject matter under consideration.
"22d. When the yeas and nays are called, every member shall vote, unless specially excused; and in voting by yeas and nays, the Counsellors shall be called first, the Aldermen next, and the Mayor last.
"23d. When a motion is made and seconded, it shall be reduced to writing, and shall be first read aloud before any order be taken thereon; but the question, 'Will the Council now consider it,' shall not be put, unless called for by a member, or is deemed necessary by the Mayor: and on motions to amend, the question of consideration shall in no case be put.
"24th. Any motion maybe withdrawn or modified by the mover, at any time before a final decision or amendment.
"25th. When a question is under debate, no motion shall be received but to adjourn, to lie on the table, for the previous question, to postpone indefinitely, to postpone to a day certain, to commit, or to amend; which several motions shall have precedence in the order they stand arranged. A motion to strike out the enacting words of a bill, shall have precedence of a motion to amend, and, if carried, shall be considered a rejection. -- And a motion to refer to a Standing Committee, shall have precedence of one to refer to a Select Committee. A motion to adjourn shall always be in order; that, and a motion to lie on the table, shall be taken without debate.
"26th. The previous question shall be in this form, 'Shall the main question be now put.''' It shall only be admitted when demanded by a majority of the members present; until it is decided, shall preclude all amendment and further debate of the main question, and upon said question there shall be no debate.
"27th. Any member may call for the division of a question where the sense will admit of it, but a question to strike out and insert shall be indivisible.
"28th. When a question is carried in the affirmative by yeas and nays, any member may enter on the journal his reasons for dissenting.
"29th. It shall not be in order to introduce a bill, unless by way of report from committee, or leave be previously asked and obtained.
"30th. Every bill or resolution requiring the signature of the Mayor and Recorder, shall receive three several readings previous to its passage.
"31st. The first reading of a bill shall be for information, and if opposition be made to it, the question shall be, 'Shall this bill be rejected?' If no opposition be made it shall go to the second reading without a question, when it shall be open for discussion and amendment, or such order as the Council may think proper to take, except the question on the passage thereof, which can only be taken, on the day of the introduction of the bill, by the consent of two thirds of the members present.
CHARACTER OF THE AUTHOR. 39
"32nd. Before any bill or resolution requiring the signature of the Mayor and Recorder, shall be read a third time, the question shall be put, 'Shall this bill be read a third time?' and if a majority of the members present shall not vote in the affirmative, the same shall be declared to be rejected.
"33rd. On the third reading of a bill, the question shall be on its passage, but it may be committed at any time previous to its passage.
"34th. When a blank is to be filled, and different sums or dates are proposed, the question shall be first taken on the highest sum or longest date, and thence downwards.
"35th. The Council may at any time suspend any of its rules by a majority of three fourths of the members present.
"36th. After the arrival of the hour to which the Council may stand adjourned, no member who may have appeared, shall absent himself without leave of those present, or of the Council when formed.
"37th. All Standing and Select Committees shall be appointed by the Mayor, unless otherwise directed, and the first named member shall be the Chairman. The following Standing Committees shall be appointed, to wit:
A Committee of Ways and Means, to consist of one member from each ward, to whom shall be referred all subjects of taxation and revenue.
A Committee of Improvement, to consist of one member from each ward, to whom shall be referred all subjects relative to repairs and opening of roads and streets, and other subjects of a similar nature.
A Committee of Claims, to consist of three members, to whom shall be referred all matters of claims against the city, and applications for remission of penalties.
A Committee of Unfinished Business, to consist of two members, who shall examine the journal of the preceding Council, and report such business as may have remained unfinished.
A Committee of Elections, to consist of three members.
A Committee of Police, to consist of one member from each ward, who are empowered to call upon any officer of the Corporation, for any information, report, paper or other matter relative to the police.
A Committee of Municipal Laws, to consist of five members, to whom shall be referred all bills for ordinances presented to the Council.
A Committee of Public Grounds, to consist of one member from each ward.
A Committee of Public Works, to consist of three members.
"Of Amendment to Rules.
"38th. All motions for amendment of the rules, shall be submitted one month previous to a final determination thereof, unless three fourths of the members present shall assent that it shall be finally acted on the day on which it is submitted.
40 HISTORY OF THE SAINTS.
"39th. In balloting for committees, a plurality of votes shall be sufficient to make a choice, but in other cases a majority of the whole number of votes shall be required to decide.
"All of which is respectfully submitted.
"John C. Bennett, Mayor.
"The above communication was read by the Recorder to the City Council, on the 22d January, 1842, and referred to a Select Committee, consisting of Joseph Smith and Orson Pratt, -- the Committee reported back the Communication and recommended its adoption, which was carried."
Times and Seasons, Vol. III., No. 7, pp. 683 -- 686.
"In regard to the correspondence between Dr. C. V. Dyer and Gen. Bennett, referred to by Gov. Duncan, his statements are foul perversions of truth; the correspondence does not show either myself or Gen. Bennett to be abolitionists, but the friends of equal rights and privileges to all men." -- Times and Seasons, Vol. III., No. 15, p. 808,
From Sidney Rigdon, Esq., Attorney at Law, to Major-Gen. James Arlington Bennet, LL. D., of Arlington House, L. I.
" Post-Office, Nauvoo, Illinois, April 23, 1842.
"A letter has appeared in the New York Herald, giving a description of certain individuals in this city. I take the liberty of addressing this letter to you, that I may answer my part and show my opinion. The subject of this address is General J. C. Bennett. General Bennett is five feet five inches high, one hundred and forty-two pounds' weight, and thirty-seven years of age. He is at once Major-General in the Nauvoo Legion, Quarter-Master-General of the State, Mayor of the City of Nauvoo, and Master in Chancery for the County of Hancock. He is a Physician of great celebrity, and a successful practitioner; of great versatility of talent; of re- fined education, and accomplished manners; discharges the duties of his respective offices with honor to himself; and credit to the peo- ple. He possesses much decision of character; honorable in his intercourse with his fellows, and a most agreeable companion; possessing much vivacity and animation of spirit, and every way qualified to be a useful citizen, in this or any other city.
"Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
"Sidney Rigdon, Post-Master.
"J. A. Bennet, Esq."
Official Withdrawal from, the Mormon Church.
"May 17, 1842.
"Brother James Sloan, --
"You will be so good as to permit General Bennett to withdraw his name from the Church record, if he desires to do so, and this with the best of feelings towards you and General Bennett.
CHARACTER OF THE AUTHOR. 41
"In accordance with the above I have permitted General Bennett to withdraw his membership from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, this 17th day of May, 1842; the best of feelings subsisting between all parties.
"General Church Clerk and Recorder,
" City of Nauvoo, May 17, 1842.
"The above is a true copy from the original.
After my withdrawal from the Church, the Prophet and his minions withdrew from me the hand of fellowship, and
ANTE-DATED THE MORMON BULL OF EXCOMMUNICATION,
and presented it to Professor Orson Pratt, A. M., one of the twelve Mormon Apostles, for his signature, some days after I showed him my official withdrawal, and Mr. Pratt REFUSED to sign it -- stating as his reason that he knew NOTHING AGAINST ME. This BULL was signed by the Mormon Hierarchy, who forged the names of Lyman Wight, who was then in Tennessee; William Smith, who was in Pennsylvania; and John E. Page, who was in Pittsburgh! -- These are three of the Mormon Apostles.
Prentice and Weissinger, the able editors of the Louisville Journal, in their paper of July 23, 1842, in speaking on this subject, say, --
"Here Gen. Bennett publishes a copy of a highly honorable dismission from the Mormon Church, given him by the general church clerk and recorder, at Bennett's own request, and in accordance with Joe Smith's written instructions. Subsequently to this withdrawal and honorable dismission of Gen. B., Joe Smith, in anticipation of an attempt on the part of the General to expose his villanies, undertook to blast Bennett's character, and destroy his credibility, by publishing a pretended copy of a withdrawal of the fellowship of the Church from him, giving this withdrawal of fellowship a date prior to that of the honorable dismission, and appending to it the names of men, who, at the date of the document, were more than a thousand miles off. This fraud and forgery, on the part of the Prophet, is rendered so perfectly palpable, that even he himself can- not pretend to deny it."
New Election of Mayor and Vice-Mayor of the City of Nauvoo, on the Resignation of General Bennett.
"On the 17th instant, General John C. Bennett resigned the office of Mayor of the City of -Nauvoo, and on the 19th, General Joseph Smith, the former Vice-Mayor, was duly elected to fill the
42 HISTORY OF THE SAINTS.
vacancy; and on the same day, General Hyrum Smith was elected Vice-Mayor in place of General Joseph Smith, elected Mayor.
"The following vote of thanks was then unanimously voted to the Ex-Mayor, General Bennett, by the City Council, to wit: Re- solved by the City Council of the City of Nauvoo, that this Council tender a vote of thanks to General John C. Bennett, for his great zeal in having good and wholesome laws adopted for the government of this city, and for the faithful discharge of his duty while Mayor of the same.
"Passed May 19, 1842. Joseph Smith, Mayor.
" James Sloan, Recorder."
From "The (Nauvoo) Wasp," of May 21, 1842, Vol. I., No. 6.
It will be seen by the foregoing documents, that I was in perfectly good odor with the saints and their rulers, in the Holy City, up to the time of my withdrawal from the Church, and even afterwards. So it appears, from the Prophet's own showing, that the Lord was remarkably well pleased with his servant John C. Bennett so long as he was an advocate of the Mormon creed; but when he came out on the pretended man of God, the Lord's Anointed Old White Hat Prophet, Joe contended that he always knew Bennett was a scoundrel. It appears, therefore, that either the Lord, or Joe, was mistaken. Which do you think it was, Christian reader?
I will now conclude by giving my Patriarchal Blessing, from the Holy Hyrum Smith, the Patriarch of the whole Mormon Church, and Heir- Apparent to the Throne.
A Blessing pronounced on the Head of J. C. Bennett, son of J. and N. Bennett, horn in the Town of Fair Haven, Bristol County, Massachusetts, August 3, A. D. 1804, by Hyrum Smith, Patriarch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, September 21, 1840.
"John C. Bennett -- I lay my hands upon your head in the name of Jesus Christ, and inasmuch as thou art a son of Abraham, I bless you with the holy priesthood, with all its graces, and gifts, and with wisdom in all the mysteries of God. Thou shalt have knowledge given thee, and shalt understand the keys by which all mysteries shall be unlocked. Thou shalt have great power among the children of men, and shalt have influence among the great and the noble, even to prevail on many, and bring them to the knowledge of the truth. Thou shalt prevail over thy enemies; and shalt know when thou hast gained power over them, and in this thine heart shall rejoice. Many souls shall believe, because of the proclamation
CHARACTER OF THE AUTHOR. 43
which thou shalt make. The Holy Spirit shall rest upon thee, insomuch, that thy voice shall make the foundation on which thou standest to shake, -- so great shall be the power of God.
"His favor shall rest upon thee in dreams and visions, which shall manifest the glory of God. Beloved brother, if thou art faithful, thou shalt have power to heal the sick; cause the lame to leap like an hart; the deaf to hear; and the dumb to speak, and their voice shall salute thine ears; thy soul shall be made glad and thy heart shall rejoice in God. Thou shalt be like unto Paul, who, according to his own words, was like 'one born out of due time,' and shalt have the visions of heaven open, even as they were to him.
"Thy name shall be known in many nations, and thy voice shall be heard among many people. Yea, unto many of the remnants of Israel shalt thou be known, and when they shall hear of thy coming they shall rejoice, and thou shalt proclaim the gospel unto many tribes of the house of Israel.
"If thou shouldst step aside from the path of rectitude at any lime because of temptation, the Lord shall call after thee, because of the integrity of thine heart, and thou shalt return to the path from whence thou hast strayed, for God shall illume the path by the light of his everlasting covenant, and with its light thou shalt keep the way.
"God is with thee, and has wrought upon thy heart to come up to this place, that thou mayest be satisfied that the servants of God dwell here. God shall reward thee for thy kindness, and thou shalt be fully satisfied hereafter. Thy soul shall be enlarged, thy mind shall be clear, and thy judgment informed, and the knowledge of all these things shall be made clear to thy understanding. Thou wilt have to pass through tribulation, but thou shalt remember the promises of the Lord, and shalt be comforted, and shalt have the greater manifestations of the power of God.
"Thou must travel and labor for Zion, for this is the mind and will of God. Let thy voice be heard, and thy prayers and supplications and thy rejoicings be known. Turn not aside from the truth for the popularity of the world; but be like Paul. Let God be thy shield and buckler, and he shall shield thee forever. Angels shall guide thee, and shall lift thee out of many dangers, and difficulties; and after thou art delivered, thou shalt know they have done it, and thy heart shall be comforted.
"Thou shalt have power over many of thy friends, and relations, and shalt prevail with them, and when thou shalt reason with them, it shall be like Paul reasoning with Felix, and they shall tremble when they hear thy words. Thou shalt be blessed with the blessings of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and if thou art faithful, thou shalt yet be a Patriarch, and the blessings thou shalt pronounce shall be sealed in heaven. Thou shalt have an inheritance among the Saints in time and in eternity, for this is the will of God. If thou continue faithful and steadfast in the Everlasting Covenant, thou shalt have power over the winds and the waves, and they shall obey thy voice when thou shalt speak in the name of Jesus Christ.
"The power of God shall shield thee while thou art laboring for
44 HISTORY OF THE SAINTS.
Zion. Thou shalt outride the stream of adversity with patience, and shall be crowned with immortality in the Celestial Kingdom, when Christ shall descend. Even so, Amen.
"R. B. Thompson, Scribe."
"La Harpe, Hancock County, Illinois,"To Major-General J. C. Bennett:
"June 18, 1842.
"By your solitication, I raised the 3d Company of Cavalry of the 2d Regiment and 1st Cohort, of the Nauvoo Legion, and accepted the office of Captain. It is now rumored, that you are about to resign the command of the Legion, which induces me to tender to you my resignation.
"John F. Olney,
"Capt. 3d C. 2d R. 1st C. N. L.
"Accepted, June 20, A. D. 1842.
"John C. Bennett, Major-General."
"Nauvoo, June 20, A. D. 1842."Major-General J. C. Bennett:
"Dear Sir, --
"I would respectfully tender you my resignation of the offices of Brevet Major-General, and Cornet of the Nauvoo Legion, which offices I was pleased to accept at your insistance, and yours only, believing then, as I now do, that you were the only man in our city, capable and qualified to hold the office of Major-General in, or to command, said Legion. Be assurred, sir, that nothing more or less would tempt me to resign, than the fact of your intention of doing the same.
"Very respectfully, yours, &c.
"Geo. W. Robinson,
Brevet Maj. Gen. and Cor. N. L.
"Accepted, July 1, A. D. 1842.
"John C. Bennett, Major-General."
"Nauvoo, July 3, A. D. 1842."General Bennett:
"The Sangamo Journal came in to-day. I expected something from you, but was disappointed; but presumed you knew nothing of the new arrangement of the mails. I just saw Col. C. L. Higbee, and saw the affidavit of Mrs. Schindle. Good! The letter to N _____ (Nancy, -- Miss Nancy Rigdon,) C. L. H. (Col. Chauncy L. Higbee,) will get. F. M. H. (Col. Francis M. Higbee) has it, and I told him to get it. I will leave this for the present, and await the return of our folks from meeting, before I seal it, unless the mail should come before they return.
CHARACTER OF THE AUTHOR. 45
"2 o'clock. Our folks have returned from meeting, and the way Joe took back what he said about us, was a caution. He said he had agreed to take back what was said, but on thinking it over, he could not do it, for any man that would suffer Bennett to come into their houses, was just as bad as he; and he would, however, say this much, that one continued course of rascality in Mr. Rigdon and myself, for some time back, was the cause of his coming out on us, and if that would be any satisfactory confession, we could have that much, and do what we pleased. He said, that whenever he exposed iniquity, the persons chastised would turn round and endeavor to injure him. 'Now,' says he, 'look out! LOOK OUT!! These men, I will venture to say, will come out on me, with all their power, and say and do all they can to put me down; but do not believe one word of their , FOR I KNOW I AM A PROPHET!!!' Joe soaped over Messrs. Ivins, Hunter, and Pierce, and I think some have already consecrated, and quite likely the balance will. Joe did not say much about Higbee. He stated that a young man came down to see him the other day, and wanted to know why he came out on him; but, says he, 'I have settled all matters with him, and shall not mention his name, for he confessed his sins to me, and begged I would not mention him.' Francis will roar.
"Geo. W. Robinson,"
"Nauvoo, July 4, A. D. 1842."General John C. Bennett:
"Dear Sir, --
"I received your favor by Mr. Hamilton, to-day, and have done all in my power to accomplish your business, according to your request. * * * * I have talked with Mrs. G** and labored hard to show her the necessity of coming out to befriend the innocent, and defend her own character from Joe's foul aspersions; but she says that she will not give her affidavit now, but thinks that she will in the course of two or three days. She wants to have a talk with O. Pratt before she gives it. I have seen Pratt, and he says, if she comes to talk with him, he will tell her, that if she knows any thing, to tell it, let it hit where it will. There were a great many out to meeting yesterday. Smith preached -- said considerable against you, and stated that Messrs. Robinson and Rigdon had requested him to recall what he had said against them; but instead of doing it, according to promise, he vilified them worse than ever, if it were possible to do it -- no other names mentioned; but he insinuated very hard on Francis in the forenoon, and on myself in the afternoon, by saying that those who had resigned, were no better than yourself, after placing you at the lowest grade he possibly could, in his awkward way of doing it. I have seen Nancy, (Nancy Rigdon,) -- she told me to say to you, 'go ahead, and make of her name as much as you please, in relating the circumstances which happened between Smith and herself.' Mr. Pratt and his wife say, that if ever Smith renews the attack on them, they will come out against him, and stand it no longer.
"Yours, with respect,
"C. L. Higbee."
46 HISTORY OF THE SAINTS.
"NAUVOO, July 6, 1842."GENERAL JOHN C. BENNETT:
"Dear Sir, --
"Joseph Smith is yet thrashing about, tearing up the D****, and slandering every body. He has not lit on Rigdon and Robinson very severely as yet, but touched them slightly on Sunday, also myself; and we must keep things right side up. Mrs. Schindle's affidavit is a good one, and Mrs. G**, I have understood, was going to give hers. Mrs. Pratt, I think, will also give hers -- also, Miss Nancy Rigdon. Joe is operating with Mrs. White, and it is reported, that he is to settle upon her a fine sum soon, or return the money he and Sherman took from Bill White some time ago. You ought to see Mrs. White, and labor with her as soon as possible, and secure her testimony. because it would be great. As it respects my affidavit, sir, for God's sake, my sake, and the sake of my people, do not show it to any one on earth, as yet,never, until I give you liberty. Stiles has seen it, and you must sewar him that he will keep it dark as h***. I am yet true as death, and intend to stick or die, but you must keep my name back, because I am not ready as yet to leave; and as soon as you bring my name out, they are certain to take my life -- they go to it like h***, yet. I am likely to sell my property here, and as soon as I do, I will emigrate like lightning. Scotch them with the Missouri writ -- that is what scares them like the d****, Porter not excepted.
"Your dear friend,
"F. M. H."
"NAUVOO, July 5, 1842."DOCTOR BENNETT:
"Dear Friend, --
"Orissa's health is yet in a very critical situation, and we are very anxious to have your professional advice, for we do not know what to do without it. I will give you as accurate a description of the case as possible. * * * We wish you to write your prescription in full, and send it to Sarah's, (Prof. Orson Pratt's, -- Sarah M. Pratt being the sister of Mrs. Orissa A. Allred.) where we shall remain until Orissa recovers. We ALL, with one accord, send you our best respects. Mr. Pratt would write, but he is afraid to. He wishes to be perfectly still, until your second letter comes out -- then you may hear.
From W. F. Parrish, Esq., Attorney at Law.
"MASSILON, July 31, 1842."DEAR SIR, --
"Prof. Wm. M. Smith, M. D. informed me, that you passed through this place on Friday, on your way to New York, to make
CHARACTER OF THE AUTHOR. 47
an exposition of that infamous scroundrel, Joe Smith, and others connected with him, in their piracy upon the human family. I am exceedingly sorry, sir, that I could not have had an interview with you upon this subject, for, be assured, I consider any means which can be adopted to bring such a ruthless ruffian to justice, as most laudable, and not only worthy of the attention, but imperatively demanded at the hands of him who may be in possession of facts that will enable him to accomplish that object. I am, however, aware, that the man who attempts it, puts his life in competition with the secret influence of the most dangerous, dark, and damning kind, that may be brought to bear upon him, at times and places, and under circumstances least anticipated -- an influence that can be known only by those who have had the means of knowing that we have, and which is hard to make others believe exists in an enlightened community.
"I have known you by reputation for some time, but have not the pleasure of your acquaintance personally; have said but little upon the subject of your connection with the Prophet, but have thought much, and am not disappointed in the issue.
"You, no doubt, have learned, in your close connection with Joe, the position I occupied in his cabinet; and let me inquire what his present feelings are toward me? My life was sought for a time; how is it now? I was once a peculiar favorite of the Prophet and rulers in Israel, called to be his scribe by revelation, wrote his early history, kept his daily journal, superintended his mercantile, land, and banking speculations, under his directions.
"I joined the Church in 1833, and withdrew in 1837, at the head of some forty others, and shortly after was excommunicated by a Bull from his Holiness; and not long after that, I made Kirtland, the stake of Zion, so exceedingly unpleasant to him, that he got a revelation to leave between two days, and has not been there since.
"I lectured against him in the Temple, twice a week, during the season; since his lickskillets attempted to expel me by force from the sanctum sanctorum, but did not succeed. At about that time, their printing-office fell into our hands, which, if they had not consumed by fire, would have been speaking the truth as an atonement for an ill-spent life. Before I left them, those that were disaffected, met frequently, and consulted upon the matter, and many of the first in official stations of the Church, were convinced of the abominations of our leader, as well as myself, and so expressed themselves in our private councils, to wit, Bishop Whitney, Orson Hyde, Parley P. Pratt, Orson Pratt, Doctor Williams, Cahoon, and others, but had not the moral courage to come out publicly. By the by, have Orson Pratt andRigdon left them, as you intimated in your communications? -- Please write me who among the leaders have left, and what the prospects are for breaking them up. Can it be done? Be assured, sir, I would most cheerfully assist you in this laudable undertaking, were I situated so that I could. But I do not see how I can possibly, at this time, come to New York.
"My professional business, I suppose, I might leave, as I have a partner in Canton, but I am concerned in a mercantile establishment in this place, and my partner is absent, and will be for a month at least.
48 HISTORY OF THE SAINTS.
"At the time I left the Church, I wrote, by way of exposition, several newspaper articles; and the expectations of the public were highly raised, in anticipation that I intended to publish a book, although I did not so pledge myself, but intended to publish a weekly periodical of that character, and should have done so, had not our printing-office been burnt.
"I am. no doubt, in possession of same facts that you are not; and were I so situated that I could, I would join you in New York, and assist in your publication.
"Your obedient servant,
From Erastus Webb, M. D., of Circleville, Ohio.
"CIRCLEVILLE, June 23, 1842."DR. BENNETT:
"Dear Sir, --
"Your letter of the 7th ult. was duly received. I have conversed with the Master and Secretary of Pickaway Lodge. The Secretary is at this time making out a certificate under the seal of the Lodge, in answer to a letter received some time ago, from your Deputy-Grand-Marshall, making inquirier respecting your attending in this Lodge. The result will be Favorable, it appearing on your record that you were a member of this Lodge about fourteen years ago, and left it in peace and friendship. This will, of course, satisfy your calumniators.
From S. Francis, Esq., Editor of the Sangamo Journal.
"SPRINGFIELD, Illinois, July 6, 1842."MAJOR-GENERAL BENNETT:
"Dear Sir, --
"Yours of the 2d came safe to hand last night. Your first number appears in our paper sent to you by the mail which brings you this. These publications must produce intense excitement, and notwithstanding every effort will be made to discredit them by Smith and his friends, the people will believe them. You certainly have undertaken an arduous duty; but, judging from your success so far, the friends of morality, of truth, of true religion, have strong confidence that you will succeed in tearing away the veil that has hitherto concealed the 'polluted' Monster, who styles himself the Prophet of God.
"Go on with the good work. You will have the best wishes of the good. Obtain all the documentary evidence possible. Affidavits from Miss Rigdon, and other ladies mentioned, would produce mighty results. We hope to hear from you, in reference to the
CHARACTER OF THE AUTHOR. 49
Boggs affair, more fully, before next paper. Should you succeed in strangling the Monster with whom you are now grappled, you will have high claims to rank with those who have achieved the highest good for their species.
"SPRINGFIELD, July 10, 1842.
"Dear Sir, --
* * * * * * * * * *"We will give all your letters designed for publication. Joe flounders, but your statements are believed by all -- rest assured of this fact.
"I wrote you four or five days since. Furnish all the documentary evidence possible, all the affidavits possible, and send us your disclosures at St. Louis. Every body is now looking to the Journal for your publications. We should be glad to have from your own pen an account of the Danites, their obligations to each other, and the design of their society. Joe must come down. Governor Reynolds will be obliged to demand him, and innocent individuals must not be implicated with him. This last matter is important. A hair of the heads of those who were employed by him should not be injured, provided they will sustain you and tell the truth.
"I have been writing to my friend Mr. Chambers, the editor of the St. Louis Republican, this evening, and I introduced your name, the object of your visit to St. Louis, and solicited for you his kindness, and all the assistance and counsel you may wish. Please call upon him, and mention your name -- if not in his office, leave your address.
"Let me hear from you promptly, and I am respectfully, &c.
"GENERAL. J. C. BENNETT.."
OPINIONS OF THE NEWSPAPER PRESS.From the Sangamo Journal of July 8, 1842 -- a leading western paper, published at Springfield, the seat of government of the State of Illinois, by S. Francis, Esq., Editor.
"The public will be astounded at the statements made by Gen. Bennett in the article which follows from under his own hand. -- That in this day of light and intelligence such a man as Joe Smith should be able to collect around him a mass of people, and make them believe in his shallow and miserable scheme of imposture, is matter of astonishment now, and will be more so in after times.
"Gen. Bennett is the individual appointed by Judge Douglass, Master in Chancery for Hancock County -- a most important and responsible office, from the fact that the Master in Chancery, in
50 HISTORY OF THE SAINTS.
many cases, performs the duty of a Judge of the Supreme Court. We have, therefore, the official endorsement of Judge Douglass, (which, however, is not needed,) in support of the character of General Bennett for truth, and all those qualities required of one who fills an office of high responsibility.
"We state these facts, that the public may duly appreciate the attacks of those men upon Gen. Bennett, who are acting with Joe Smith, to decry and to destroy him."
From the Louisville Journal of July 23, 1842 -- a periodical second to none in America, edited by George D. Prentice, Esq. and _____ Weisinger.
"General John C. Bennett was lately, next to Joe Smith, the most distinguished member of the Mormon Church. He was commander of the Mormon Legion; and he was, and still is, Master in Chancery for Hancock County -- a county peopled principally by the Mormons. Some time ago a quarrel broke out between him and Joe Smith, which resulted in his abandoning the Mormon Church, and laying before the world an exposition of Smith's character and conduct. This exposition, as far as we have read it, is one of the most startling things of the kind we ever saw. Moreover, it is deeply interesting to the public. Joe Smith is generally regarded as a mere miserable fanatic; but, although he may be a fanatic, he is something more; he is the Prophet and the Commander-in-Chief of thirty thousand Mormons, all of whom regard him as a leader sent from Heaven, and look upon his commands as emanating from the Most High. Backed by his multitudinous and deluded host, he already attempts to control the politics of Illinois, and defies both the civil and military authorities of that State to call him to account for any thing that he has done or may do."
From the Sangamo Journal of July 15, 1842
From the Warsaw Signal of July 23, 1842 -- a paper printed in Hancock County, (the place of Smith's residence,) and edited by Thomas C. Sharp, Esq., Attorney at Law.
"We understand that General Bennett has commenced writing for the Sangamo Journal a series of communications, going to show the rascality of Joe Smith and his clan, and the dangerous designs which he is capable of forming and executing. The General asks not to be believed on his own assertions, but proves matters as he goes; he is a man of great energy and perseverance, and we should not be surprised if he made the Mormons feel like stuck hogs for a few months to come."
CHARACTER OF THE AUTHOR. 51
From the Cleveland Herald of July 19, 1842 -- a paper edited by
From the Chicago American of July 28, 1842 -- a paper edited by
Joe, it is said, anticipates a requisition for his person from the Governor of Missouri. He has the utmost horror of the idea of being given up. Joe thinks that Judge Ford will not give him up if he should be elected Governor.
"Joe, it is further said, is laboring to make up the breach with Rigdon, Pratt, and others, by offers of special favor. We trust that in this effort he will not succeed. Joe cannot now harm these men. He will not injure them. He dare not fulfil his threats, and his peomises are not to be relied on. -- We again call upon Messrs. Rigdon and Pratt, as they regard virtue, honor, and the reputation of their families, to come out from this Nauvoo 'Babylon, and Mother of Harlots,' the home of 'the whoremonger and the adulterer,' and 'be not a partaker of her plagues.' The developments which have been made, must sink Joe Smith to the lowest depths of infamy in the eyes of all honest men. He must fall so certain as God punishes vice and rewards virtue.
Miss Martha H. Brotherton has done herself honor, and the cause of virtue is greatly indebted to her for the publication she has made. We trust her example will be followed by Mrs. Pratt and Miss Rigdon. The holy cause of insulted virtue -- of wronged innocence -- of the honor and character of families -- demand that THE IMPOSTOR BE UNVAILED AND EXHIBITED TO THE WORLD IN ALL HIS DEFORMITY. -- Sangamo Jiurnal."
52 HISTORY OF THE SAINTS.
From the Chicago American of August 1, 1842."ORSON PRATT. -- We learn from the Warsaw Signal that this gentleman has gone from Nauvoo. He left a communication with his friends which stated that he had been induced to take this course on account of the treatment of his wife by Smith, and of the general management of the Church by him.
"We further learn from other sources that Smith, finding his attempts on Mrs. Pratt were matters of notoriety, went to her husband with a manufactured story that his wife was a base woman, and that the fact was well known to him. This communication had such an effect upon Mr. Pratt -- at once blasting his happiness and the reputation of a virtuous woman -- that the wretched husband left the city.
"It will be recollected that Mrs. Schindle, in her affidavit detailing the attempt of Smith upon her, said -- "He told her she must never tell his propositions to her, for he had all the influence in that place, and if she told he would ruin her character, and she would be under the necessity of leaving."
"This same scheme has been carried out in reference to Mrs. Pratt. She 'told' on the Impostor, and was marked by him for destruction. In a public speech in Nauvoo on the 14th, Joe spoke of this lady -- a woman whose reputation had been as fair as virtue could make it until she came in contact with him -- in a manner only befitting the lowest and most degraded vagabond in existence.
"The reader can hence learn the state of society at Nauvoo. The facts furnished are presented by the holy Joe himself.
"We do not know what course will be pursued by Mr. Pratt. If he sinks under the denunciations and schemes of Joe Smith -- if he fails to defend the reputation of himself and of the woman he has vowed before high Heaven to protect -- he will fix a stai upon character which he can never wash out and carry to the grave the pangs caused by 'the gnawings of the worm that never dies.'
"We trust that he will secure for himself a more honorable position in life, and will come to the rescue of the fame of his lady, and expose the infamous course of the Prophet, as becomes a man, an honorable citizen, and a sincere Christian, -- Sangamo Journal."
"==> Joe Smith, in a speech in Nauvoo on Thursday the 14th last, (and which was heard by two gentlemen of our city,) said -- "He wished Bennett was in Hell! -- he had given him more trouble than any man he ever had to do with." Joe was undoubtedly sincere in this expression of his wishes.
In the same speech he declared that Mrs. Pratt, the wife of Mr. O. Pratt, 'had been a _____ from her mother's breast.' This was the lady whom Bennett says Joe attempted to seduce, and who resisted all his efforts with the heroism of insulted virtue.
"In what a horrid and depraved condition society must be in Nauvoo! -- Sangamo Journal."
Mr. Pratt returned to Nauvoo the day after he left, and
CHARACTER OF THE AUTHOR. 53
has been nobly bearding the lion in his den. His voice is lifted like ten thousand thunders against the iniquities of the Mormon Prophet and his minions. Pratt is an honest man.
From the Cincinnati Republican of July 26, 1842 -- a paper edited by
From the Circleville Herald of July 29, 1842 -- a paper edited by
From the Cincinnati Gazette of July 27, 1842 -- a paper edited by
"The details are too disgusting almost for publication. They show Smith to be a monster who is using the power he possesses to gratify a brutal lust. The proof on this point is conclusive. Leading western papers speak of the fair character of the witnesses, and regard their testimonies as conclusive. To give some idea of the conduct of Joe Smith, and of the manner in which he attempts to carry his points, we give the testimony of Mrs, Pratt."
54 HISTORY OF THE SAINTS.
From the Louisville Journal of July 25, 1842."==> We copy below, from the Sangamo Journal, the second letter of General Bennett, portraying the character and detailing the horrible and revolting conduct of Joe Smith, the Prophet and leader of the Mormons. The exposition, as our readers will see, does not rest at all upon the personal veracity of General Bennett himself, but is sustained by the affidavits of men and women who cannot be mistaken as to the facts stated, and who have no motive for misrepresenting them. Those facts are proved by testimony strong enough to send any man on earth, prophet or no prophet, to the penitentiary or the gallows.
From the Buffalo Patriot and Journal of July 18, 1842."THE MORMONS. -- We have copied into another column the Mormon disclosures of General Bennett. The Sangamo Journal, in a postscript, says, --
"'We have another communication from General Bennett. Its disclosures are horrible. We shall publish it in an extra as soon as possible.'
"Gen. B. evidently writes under high excitement, but there is much in his communication that deserves attention. He shows up, as we believe, in its true colors, one of the most stupendous schemes of villany and religious fraud and imposture that the world ever saw. 'Errors of opinion.' said Jefferson, 'may be safely tolerated, so long as reason is left to combat them.' The remark is true in its general sense, but the Mormons form an exception. Their errors of opinion may be tolerated, but to their religious errors they have superadded a military and political organization dangerous in the extreme, when wielded as it is by one so unscrupulous as Joe Smith."
From the New York Herald of August 12, 1842. -- a rich and racy paper,
From the Wabash Express -- a paper published at Terra Haute.
CHARACTER OF THE AUTHOR. 55
that himself and the Prophet, Joe Smith, have had a regular separation. If half what Gen. Bennett states be true, the new teacher is a most hardened sinner, deserving a place in the Alton penitentiary, instead of a high rank in the community of Latter Day Saints.
"The writer speaks with great freedom, and in a spirit of daring bravery. Bennett has held a high rank in the Nauvoo Legion -- a body of troops well disciplined; and he is spoken of in some of the eastern papers, as a man of eminent military talents."
From the New York Sun of August 5, 1842 -- a paper of very
"The rule of our male Cassandra, our modern Jacob -- a combined prophet and patriarch -- could not last forever. He has degenerated from the religious moralist and priest into the lowest grade of chicanery and vice; he stands before us a swindler of his community, an impious dictator over free will, and now in his most glaring, and even hideous, aspect -- a libertine, unequalled in civilized life -- a Giovanni of some dozens of mistresses, and these acquired under the garb of prophetic zeal. However unworthy may be the instrument of this exposition, he is deserving of thanks, and may be absolved from some taints of immorality by becoming an evidence for the moral commonwealth. The state of these revelations, although not contained in the 'Book of Mormon,' or viewed by the divine inspiration of Joe's stone spectacles, will soon assume the settled principles of truth, and must bear conviction to the misled and ill-treated sect.
"Bennett now has blasted the spiritual and temporal Joseph Smith with a charge of horrid crimes; and Joe, in return for these favors, will attempt to blast the temporal and mortal John C. Bennett with a charge of still more horrid gunpowder. Both explosions will make a noise in the world; the moral one from the mouth of fame, the igneous one from the mouth of a pistol. At all events, both combatants appear booked on the calendar of fate -- one for punishment in the next world, the other for a still less agreeable infliction
56 HISTORY OF THE SAINTS.
in this small sphere. Up to this time, however, the only murder committed, is that of the 'King's English.'
"We firmly trust the punishment of Smith will be heavy in the extreme: his fate should be a warning to those itinerant mongers of religion, who, in every guise and form, infest the community; who steal away the dearest gifts of God, and render desolate firesides by their obscenity and lust. We have now an experiment of the modern philosophy of religious fanaticism; the rise of Mahomet is no longer a problem; his effigy of the nineteenth century has been destroyed. We have long expected this discovery, and now it comes; the wires are withdrawn from the animated puppet, and the excited Fantoceini twist and turn, without harmony or concord. The ruler and the sceptic have passed away; hypocrisy and error can no longer bear the powerful test of sincerity, truth, and morality.
"'Error,' observed a scholiast, 'begets a legion of followers,' and the Mormon fanaticism has fulfilled this prediction. It has conquered the Nauvoo Legion, but soon it will exist in name alone; its numbers are fast diminishing. Combination of societies, founded on religious and social basis, will be henceforth regarded with distrust, as weapons of misrule -- instruments placed in the hands of designing oligarchs. Charity, benevolence, sympathy, and pure religion, require no associations to forward their plans; they are the ingredients of every well-formed, cultivated mind."
From the St. Louis Bulletin of July 14, 1842 -- a useful paper
From the New York Tattler of September 5, 1842 -- an interesting an influential periodical
"We think the effect of making these scandalous things public will be to deter people from giving any credence to the Mormon fanatics."
JOE SMITH -- HIS CLAIMS AND CHARACTER. 57
From the New York Tribune of September 1, 1842 -- a very popular and influential paper edited by Horace Greeley, Esq. and [Thomas] McElrath.
"FROM NAUVOO. -- We were yesterday favored with the perusal of several private letters from this metropolis of the modern False Prophet. All is in confusion there. Joe Smith and O. P. Rockwell were in hiding at the last accounts -- of course, within or about the city -- to avoid obeying the process from Missouri. It was given out that Joe would appear and stand a trial before the Nauvoo Court! but would not be carried off to Missouri. Every effort was being made to counteract the revelations of Gen. J. C. Bennett, and to induce those to whom he appeals in his published statements to come out against them. Thus far the success has been trifling. Several are preparing to leave Nauvoo and Mormonism; some of them will come out with statements sustaining Bennett. Among the females there is a very natural reluctance to publishing statements at all. We suspect the Prophet's 'spiritual' race is nearly run.
From the foregoing documents and extracts, the public can judge of the character and standing of the author of this work, and of the opinion entertained of his disclosures by many of the principal leading journalists of the country.
JOE SMITH -- HIS CLAIMS AND CHARACTER.Under this head, I shall make free extracts from "Mormonism Portrayed," by Rev. William Harris; and "Mormonism Unveiled," by E. D. Howe, Esq.; and wind up with some original affidavits, or statements.
From "Mormonism Portrayed," by Rev. William Harris.
"The great noise which Smith has made, and the influence which he now sways in the world, is a striking illustration of what a man may attain through impudence. The scheme of Mormonism is too deep ever to admit the supposition that he is the dupe of his own imposture. His claims are such that they must be admitted as true, or he must be branded as a consumate knave -- for his works plainly show that he is neither a fool, nor a fanatic, but a deliberate designer, who intends the whole scheme which he has set in operation, for the gratification of his own vanity and selfishness.
58 HISTORY OF THE SAINTS.
In order to show this, I design to set forth, first, the claims which Smith makes for himself, and secondly, his real character.
"On page 177 of the Book of Covenants, you have the titles of Smith, in the following language: -- 'Behold there shall be a record kept amongst you, and in it thou (Smith) shall be called a seer, a translator, a prophet, an Apostle of Jesus Christ, and an elder of the Church.' And on page 88, 'a revelator, like unto Moses, having all the gifts of God, which he bestows upon the head of the Church.'
"On page 126, Book of Covenants, it appears that he is the only one to receive revelations for the Church. 'And this ye shall know assuredly, that there is none other appointed unto you to receive commandments and revelations, until he is taken, if he abide in me.'
"On page 177, Book of Covenants, you have his power over the Church. 'Wherefore, (meaning the Church,) thou shalt give heed unto all his words and commandments, which he shall give unto you, AND HIS WORDS YE SHALL RECEIVE AS IF FROM MY OWN MOUTH. Mark this revelation, for it is important in a political point of view. By this we are told that the Church is to obey all the words and commandments of Smith, as though they were from the MOUTH OF THE LORD, both in things spiritual and temporal. Now, I ask the community, while men are duped, as we know that they are, is not Mormonism inimical to the institutions of our country? Cannot Smith, at any time, set himself up as superior to the civil law? Can he not commit any act of depredation, and screen himself from punishment? Can he, ah! does he, not control the votes of his followers? Let the ballot-box, at every election where they have voted, answer, and it will be found that they have voted, almost to a man, with Smith. Is not this contrary to the spirit of our free institutions? Is is not an imposition on the rights of the other citizens, who enter into the civil compact only on the condition that all shall think and act for themselves? Carry out the principle. Suppose that the Mormons should become a majority of the citizens of the State of Illinois, where they are now concentrating their numbers; would it be right that such a majority, controlled by one man, should rule? Would not such a state of things be a total subversion of Republicanism, and the establishment, in effect, of a despotism? If so, the principle is the same while they are in the minority. But I digress.
"On page 112, Book of Covenants, he claims exemption from temporal labor. 'And in temporal labor thou shalt not have strength, for this is not thy calling; attend to thy calling, and thou shalt have wherewith to magnify thy office. And again I say unto you, that if ye desire the mysteries of the kingdom, provide for him food and raiment, and whatsoever thing he needeth, to accomplish the work.' Now, every one who has any knowledge of Smith, knows that the averment in this revelation is not true; for he is a large, portly man, remarkable for his physical strength. It was, then, evidently designed merely to excuse his laziness, and enable him to suck a livelihood from his followers.
(His age is 37 years -- his height, 6 feet -- and his weight, 212 pounds.)
"On page 180, Book of Covenants, Smith claims to have been
JOE SMITH -- HIS CLAIMS AND CHARACTER. 59
ordained by John the Baptist, in the presence of our ancient fathers, Joseph, Jacob, Isaac, Abraham and Adam, to the Aaronic priesthood; and also, on the same page, is an account of his ordination to the Melchisedec priesthood, by Peter, James and John. Now, what better evidence can be adduced, of the total ignorance of this man, respecting the nature of the priesthood, than is here afforded? What is the office and calling of a priest? St. Paul says, it is to 'offer gifts and sacrifices for sins.' A priesthood cannot, therefore, exist in the Christian church -- Christ having been offered as a complete sacrifice for all. And St. Paul, in Heb. vii. 18, speaking of the priesthood, says, 'For there is verily a disannulling of the commandments going before, for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof;' and in the 17th verse, he says, 'For he, (the Father,) testifieth, thou, (Christ,) art a priest forever, after the order of Melchisedec.' Now here, as by the whole tenor of the apostle's argument, it appears that the Aaronic and Levitical priesthoods were done away, and Christ created the sole priest; forever, after the order of Melchisedec. He, then, is the only priest known to the Christian religion. But this Latter Day Prophet has risen up to tell the world that God has annulled his former decrees, and revised the old priesthood which was abolished for its weakness and unprofitableness; and that Christ is stripped of the office which was given him forever, and he, Smith, made successor to him -- claiming, thereby, to be equal in official dignity to the Mediator; and that too, when Christ. according to the apostles, was made a priest after the order of Mechisedec, because the priesthood would be in him unchangable. Was there ever more abominable blasphemy?
"By reference to page 181, Book of Covenants, it will appear that Smith is at the head of the Mormon Church. 'And thou shalt not command him who is at the head of the Church.' And, in the Book of Mormon, page 66: 'And he shall be great, like unto Moses.'
"Search the annals of infallible Rome! Read the history of her most aspiring pretenders, and when was there ever assumed higher titles, greater authority, or more immaculate holiness, than is now assumed by this image of the beast, arisen in these latter days!
"In reviewing these claims of Smith, what a striking contrast is presented between him and the apostles! They acknowledged no head but Christ; they sought no titles but those of apostles, servants, or ministers of the New Covenant. All were permitted to receive revelations for the church -- all were on a level, as regards their authority. But Smith, not satisfied with calling himself a seer, a prophet, and a revelator, claims to be 'great like unto Moses.' It almost seems like blasphemy; but, as thousands profess to believe in the claims of this empty pretender, it becomes a duty to expose their weakness in the most effectual manner possible.
"Let us, then, ask, where is the least point of analogy between these men? We read of Moses being sent by God, from the burning bush to deliver the Israelites from under the tyranny of Pharoah, of the signs and wonders that attested his mission, of his leading the people out, of their journeying through the wilderness, of the division of the Red Sea, of the cloudy and fiery pillar that went before to
60 HISTORY OF THE SAINTS.
guide them in the way, of angel's food and quails for their subsistence, of rivers of water flowing from the flinty rock to satiate their thirst, of the miraculous durability of their clothing, of their glorious reception of the lively oracles, the cloud overshadowing, the mountain shaking, the trump of God waxing louder and louder, the voice of Nature's Author heard, his glory manifested, the people quaking, and all this in attestation of the divinity of the mission of Moses, and the laws of Jehovah.
"Now, what is there in the history of your Latter Day Prophet, that can compare with this? Where was the power of this pretender to work miracles, when his followers, fainting with hunger, were famished on the way? Where was he, when their enemies pressed sore upon them, threatening destruction? Did he then give even the slightest assistance to his people? No! on the contrary, he led the flight. Give us, then, at least, one well authenticated and incontestable instance of the miraculous power of this man, before he is claimed to be great like unto Moses.
"But where is there any analogy in the character of the two men? Moses was said to be the meekest and one of the most benevolent and upright of men. Now, is there any of this meekness in the character of Smith? Let his harsngues to his people speak, let his own writings speak, and they will show him to be one of the most vindictive men that can be produced. And what evidence is there of his benevolence? At the very time that the widows of the Church, and, indeed, the poorer class, were suffering for want of the common necessaries of life, Smith demanded at the hands of the people, twelve hundred dollars per year, in order to aggrandize himself, and enable him to live in luxury. And when some complained that this would be a violation of the rules of the Church, he remarked, that if he could not obtain his demand, his people might go to hell, and he would go to the Rocky Mountains! And this, too, when the Bishop is appointed by revelation, to deal out to every man according to his wants. Here, then, is a beautiful specimen of his benevolence -- he must have his enormous demands satisfied, though his people starve, even by breaking through the laws of the Church. Where was there any thing like Moses in this? But look at his example before his people. At the very time that their enemies were pressing them, he was found, like a giddy boy, or an abandoned renegade, wrestling for amusement, on the Sabbath day; and when reproved, said, 'Never mind, it is a time of war.' Those who were with Smith at the periods referred to, know that these things are true. And what do they show? Any thing but a Moses.
"Having now shown the emptiness of Smith's claims, let us, for a moment, inquire into his real origin and character. The following remark is from the Rev. John A. Clark, of the city of Philadelphia, but formerly of Palmyra, New York: --
"'Joe Smith, who has since been the chief Prophet of the Mormons, and was one of the most prominent ostensible actors in the first scenes of this drama, belonged to a very shiftless family near Palmyra. They lived a sort of vagrant life, and were principally known as Money-Diggers. Joe, from a boy, appeared dull, and utterly
JOE SMITH -- HIS CLAIMS AND CHARACTER. 61
destitute of genius; but his father claimed for him a sort of second sight, a power to look into the depths of the earth, and discover where its precious treasures were hid. Consequently long before the idea of a GOLDEN BIBLE entered their minds, in their excursions for money-digging, which I believe usually occurred in the night, that they might conceal from others the knowledge of the place where they struck upon treasures; Joe used to be usually their guide, putting into a hat a peculiar stone he had through which he looked to decide where they should begin to dig.'"
"The divine authenticity of the Gold Bible or the Book of Mormon, is established by three special and eight collateral witnesses, making in the whole eleven, without whom there is no pretention to testimony; and if their testimony is probable and consistent with truth, and unimpeached, according to the common rules of jurisprudence, we are bound to believe them.
"Upon the principles of common law, we are prepared to meet them; and they are offered to us in no other light. Under all circumstances, in civil and ecclesiastical tribunals, witnesses may be impeached, and after a fair hearing, on both sides, the veracity and credibility may be adjudged.
"If the eleven witnesses are considered, from what has already been said, unimpeached, we will offer the dispositions of some of the most respected citizens of our country, who solemnly declare upon their oaths that no credit can be given to any one member of the Smith family. Many witnesses declare that they are in the possession of the means of knowing the Smiths for truth and veracity, and that they are not upon a par with mankind in general. Then, according to the common rules of weighing testimony, the eleven witnesses stand impeached before the public; and until rebutting testimony can be produced which shall go to invalidate the respectable host which are here offered, we claim that no credit can or ought to be given to the witnesses to the Book of Mormon.
"We have not only testimony impeaching the moral characters of the Smith family, but we show by the witnesses, that they told contradictory stories, from time to time, in relation to their finding the plates, and other circumstances attending it, which go clearly to show that none of them had the fear of God before their eyes, but were moved and instigated by the devil.
Palmyra, Wayne Co. N. Y. Dec. 2d, 1833.
"I, Peter Ingersoll, first became acquainted with the family of Joseph Smith, Sen. in the year of our Lord, 1822. I lived in the neighborhood of said family, until about 1830; during which time the following facts came under my observation.
62 HISTORY OF THE SAINTS.
Pages 62-84 not yet transcribed
JOE SMITH -- HIS CLAIMS AND CHARACTER. 85
Testimony of Fanny Brewer, of Boston.
"I had strong intimations of the truth of all the matters disclosed
* [It appears from this testimony, and that of Willard Chase and others, that the beloved HYRUM is a prince of liars, scoundrals, cut throats, and ruffians, under the garb of religious sanctity; NOT TO BE BELIEVED UNDER OATH.]
86 HISTORY OF THE SAINTS.
by General Bennett, some months before they came to the public eye, by persons high in the confidence of the Prophet, and who had every opportunity of knowing.
"These are facts not to be contradicted, and are but a few out of the many I am acquainted with about the Prophet and his friends. Nothing could induce me to have my name appear before the public, but a hope that the united testimony of those who, by the mercy of God, have been delivered from the snares of the villians, may be the means of redeeming some of my fellow-beings, and especially my own sex, from the destruction that would fall upon them if they continued under the influence of the vile impostor.
"SUFFOLK, ss. September 13, 1842.
"Then personally appeared the above-named Fanny Brewer, and made oath, that the foregoing affidavit, by her subscribed, is true.
"Justice of the Peace."
"BOSTON, September 19, 1842.
"On or about the middle of June, 1837, I rode with Joseph Smith, Jr., from Fairport, Ohio, to Kirtland. When we left Fairport, we had been drinking pretty freely; I drank brandy, he brandy and cider, both together; and when we arrived at Painesville, we drank again; and when we arrived at Kirtland, we were very drunk.
"In July, William Smith, one of the Twelve Apostles [and brother of the prophet], arrived at Kirtland, from Chicago, drunk, with his face pretty well bunged up; he had black eyes and bunged nose, and told John Johnson that he had been MILKING THE GENTILES to his satisfaction, for that time.
"About the last of August, 1837, Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and others were drunk at Joseph Smith Jr.'s house, all together; and a man, by the name of Vinson Knight, supplied them with rum, brandy, gin, and port wine, from the cash store; and I worked in the loft, overhead. He, Joseph, told Knight not to sell any of the rum, brandy, gin, or port wine, for he wanted it for his own use. They were drunk, and drinking, for more than a week.
"Joseph Smith said that the Bank was got up on a revelation from God, and said it was to go into circulation to MILK THE GENTILES. I asked Joseph about the money. He said he could not redeem it; he was paid for signing the bills, as any other man would be paid for it, -- so he told me, -- and they must do the best they could about it.
"October 13. -- Hyrum Smith's wife was sick, and Brigham Young prayed with her, and laid on hands, and said she would get well; but she died at six o'clock at night.
"Joseph Smith, Jr., and others, went to Canada, in September. Said he, Joseph, had as good a right to go out and get money, as any of the brethren. He took money, in Canada, from a man by the name of Lawrence, and promised him a farm, when he arrived at Kirtland; but when he arrived, Joseph was among the missing, and no farm for him. (He took nine hundred dollars from Lawrence.)
JOE SMITH -- HIS CLAIMS AND CHARACTER. 87
"William Smith told Joseph if he did not give him some money he would tell where the Book of Mormon came from; and Joseph accordingly gave him what he wanted. G. B. FROST.
"SUFFOLK, ss. September 19, 1842.
"Then personally appeared the aforenamed G. B. Frost, and made oath that the foregoing affidavit, by him subscribed, is true.
"Justice of the Peace."
From Rev. George Montgomery West, A. M, D. D., the able Defender of the Christian Faith.""BOSTON, September 19, 1842.
"The undersigned is personally acquainted with Miss Fanny Brewer, and has no hesitation in saying that she sustains an unblemished character for truth and moral worth in the city of Boston.
"The undersigned is also personally acquainted with Mr. George B. Frost, of the same city; and hereby certifies, that he is perfectly worthy of belief, and he now is, and has been, for a length of time past, a perfectly temperate man, and is an acredited member of the Temperence Society. G. M. WEST."
CHARACTER OF JOE SMITH, AND TWO OF HIS ACCOMPLICES -- WILLIAM LAW AND JOHN TAYLOR -- FOR TRUTH AND HONESTY.
An article appeared in the (Nauvoo) Times and Seasons, of July 1, 1842 ...
Remainder of page 87 through page 102 is under construction.
THE BOOK OF MORMON. 103
young man who slept in the store retired for the night, and robbed of goods to the amount of between three and four hundred dollars, to wit:
5 or 6 " " satinets
1 " black circassian,
"The undersigned, however, are not the only sufferers; this our 'Gentile' neighbors know by sad experience. The four wheels of a new farm wagon were stolen from the yard of Harman Booth, Esq., a few nights since; and the week previous, all the tools of the blacksmith shop of Mr. S. H. Burtis, with a fine two-horse wagon, were taken. It is not a singular fact that the enclosures of the 'Gentiles,' and their buildings even, are entered, and property stolen, while the wagons and farming utensils of these 'Latter Day Saints' stand exposed in the open street, far from any dwelling, and yet are prefectly secure.'
"Why is it that those who oppose this swindle are the principal, if not the only, sufferers?
THE BOOK OF MORMON -- ITS ORIGIN, AND
"Our first point respects the character and credibility of Joseph Smith, Jr., who announces himself, on the title-page of the first edition of the Book of Mormon, as 'the AUTHOR and PROPRIETOR' of that work.
"We cannot conceive how any man of common sense could ever have imagined that God, or any other being, except Joe Smith, was either the author or proprietor of such a book. The only difficulty is, to see how God can be responsible for a work of which Joseph Smith is 'Author and Proprietor;' and one ground on which such a claim must be sustained, is the admitted excellence and trustworthiness of Joseph Smith's moral character.
104 HISTORY OF THE SAINTS.
"We admit that a man may have great faults, and still be not only worthy of credit, but an accredited and appropriate agent of the Most High.
"All the ancient worthies, who spake as they were moved by the Hily Ghost, were frail and sinful men, like ourselves; still they became the approved and accredited messengers of God.
"We admit, also, that God often chooses 'the weak things of the world to confound the wise;' and that want of mere worldly talent, acquirement, or genius, is therefore no insuperable objection to the credibility of a prophet of the Lord.
"Still, we contend that God never has, and never will, choose a character notoriously weak, silly, profane, and rotten in all its parts, to deliver a new dispensation of his will to man.
"What, then, was the NOTORIOUS CHARACTER of Joseph Smith BEFORE, AND AT THE TIME of the writing of the Book of Mormon?" -- Mormonism in all Ages, by J. B. Turner, pp. 150, 151.
(The remainder of page 104 through page 122, not yet transcribed)
THE BOOK OF MORMON. 123
"As might be expected, the disclosure of the plan greatly annoyed the authors, and caused no little merriment among those who were acquainted with the circumstance. As we were none of us Christians, and only labored for the 'gold that perisheth,' we did not care for the delusion, only so far as to be careful to avoid it ourselves, and enjoy the hoax. Not one of the hands in the office where the wonderful book was printed, ever became a convert to the system, although the writer of this was often assured by Harris, if he did not, he would be destroyed in 1832.
I am well acquainted with the two gentlemen whose names appear on pages 50, 51, in the work referred to at the head of this article, and know the certificate above the names to be true. I have known several instances of the grossest impostures by them in their pretensions of working miracles, &c. &c., and am greatly surprised that such a man as Nickerson, of your city, can induce any rational person to follow in his pernicious ways.
Mrs. Harris, the wife of Martin Harris, was so familiar with the monstrous wickedness and fully of her husband, and the trio who were engaged with him, that she would not follow him, nor live with him. His conduct was not such as a man of God would have been. After he had been absent about two years, and frequent reports of his having powers to heal the sick, &c., had reached his neighborhood, he returned and assured his wife that he could cure her of deafness, with which she was afflicted. But as a condition of so doing, he required her to put into his hands about $1500 of money which she had managed to secure out of the avails of his property, which he sold on joining the 'Latter Day Saints' colony. She assured him he should have every dollar as soon as her hearing was restored. But he very wisely replied, he could 'have no evidence of her faith until she put the cash down;' so, of course, she remained deaf, and Martin went back to the 'promised land' with pockets as light as when he came.
This is, no doubt, one of the great deceptions which should come upon the people on the eve of the second coming of the Son of Man. Let the saints of God beware of them. Let no persecution or violence he opposed to them, but simply an avoidance, and we shall soon find them without faith.
"J. N. T. TUCKER.
Signs of the Times, June 8, 1842.
I will remark here, in confirmation of the above, that the BOOK OF MORMON was originally written by the Rev. SOLOMON SPALDING, A.M., as a romance, and entitled the "MANUSCRIPT FOUND." and placed by him in the printing-office of Patterson and Lambdin, in the city of Pittsburg, from whence it was taken by a conspicuous Mormon divine, and RE-MODELLED, by adding the religious portion, placed by
124 HISTORY OF THE SAINTS.
him in Smith's possession, and then published to the world as the testimony exemplifies. This I have from the CONFEDERATION, and of its perfect correctness there is not the shadow of a doubt. There never were any plates of the Book of Mormon, excepting what were seen by the SPIRITUAL, and not the natural, eyes of the witnesses. The story of the plates is all CHIMERICAL.
THE CLAIMS AND ABSURDITIES OF THE BOOK OF MORMON.I quote from Harris's work: --
"Probably, in the history of the world, there is not to be found an instance of more cool impudence, and deliberate blasphemy, than is contained in the Book of Mormon. Coming forth, as has been shown, without one shadow of evidence in its favor, either circumstantial or direct, except what has evidently been manufactured by the occasion, it claims for itself, or the Mormons claim for it, a rank and importance excelled by nothing else that has gone before.
"In the first place, it is claimed to be a new and everlasting covenant, doing away with all former covenants. This is expressed in a revelation given to Joseph Smith, Jr., Book of Covenants, pages 91 and 178: 'And this condemnation resteth on the children of Zion, even all; and they shall remain under this condemnation until they repent and remember the new covenant, even the Book of Mormon.' 'Behold, I say unto you, that all old covenants have been done away in this thing, and this is a new and everlasting covenant.'
"Secondly, it is claimed to be the fulness of the everlasting gospel. Book of Covenants, page 180: 'Behold, this is wisdom in me; therefore marvel not, for the hour cometh, that I will drink of the fruit of the vine with you, on the earth, and with Moroni, whom I have sent unto you, to reveal the Book of Mormon, containing the fulness of my everlasting gospel.'
"Thirdly, it claims a preeminence over the Bible. Book of Mormon,* page 30, where the Roman church is referred to, as 'having taken away from the gospel many parts which are plain and most precious; and also many covenants of the Lord have they taken away,' &c.; and on page 32 you find that the preference is taken to itself, in that it professes to make known the 'plain and precious things which have been taken away.'
"Here, then, are some of the claims of this tryly wonderful book, The world is informed that all old covenants are done away; the promises of the Bible, therefore, are void; and hereafter we must look alone for comfort to the Book of Mormon. Not only this, it is
* The first edition is referred to.
Pages 125 through 132 are not yet transcribed.