Thomas Gregg
History of Hancock County
(Chicago: C. C. Chapman, 1880)

  • Title Page
  • pp. 242-56  The Mormon Period
  • pp. 257-64  Book of Mormon authorship
  • pp. 290-95  Smith's June 1843 arrest
  • pp. 319-27  "The Atonement"
  • Hancock Co.  1880 Thomas Gregg map

  • Transcriber's Comments

  • Warsaw Message  (1843)  |  American Review  (1852)  |  Prophet of Palmyra  (1890)

    This page is still under construction.







    AND  A



    By TH. GREGG.




    (pages 1-241 not yet transcribed)

    [ 242 ]



    When at Mecca, in Arabia, about the close of the sixth century, Mahomet, the founder of Islamism, began his career, he was doubtless honest in his purposes, which were to modify and improve the idolatrous worship of his people. But he was an enthusiast and a fanatic. His efforts met first with neglect and contumely, then with opposition and violence. Enemies increased around him, and he was compelled to flee his native city to save his life; and henceforward he was a changed man. Revenge and ambition became his ruling passions.

    The character and career of this great leader have sometimes been compared with those of the pretended Mormon prophet, Joseph Smith; but the contrast is so great as to afford but very slight resemblance. "When Joseph Smith began his career at Palmyra, New York, his motives were not honest, nor was he prompted by either revenge or ambition. His feeble imagination had not yet grasped at anything beyond a mere toying with mysterious things, by which he hoped, if anything, to earn a living without honest labor. It is evident that at first he had no higher or more ambitious purpose in view. He was one of those indolent and illiterate young men to be found in all communities, who, dissatisfied with their lot, have embraced the pernicious doctrine contained in the phrase "The world owes me a living." Fortune, luck, chance, deception, jugglery, any or all of these that would aid him to obtain that living he was ready to employ. Hence we find him at an early age trying his skill at little tricks to impose on the credulity of his associates. As he grew older, searching for lost treasure became one of his favorite employments; for was it not better to obtain the golden millions from the nooks and crevices of the earth, in which Kidd and the pirates and robbers had hid them, and live in splendor, than it was to obtain a small competency by the slow and uncertain processes of honest labor? And as he progressed from one wild scheme to another, new light began to dawn upon his mind, till accident threw Rigdon and "The Manuscript Found" in his way. Then it was that the idea of a new sect, a new creed, a new play upon popular ignorance and credulity, and consequent place and power and fortune, was gradually developed and boldly and persistently carried forward.

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    It is the purpose in these pages to give not only a true and faithful history of Mormonism as it existed in Hancock county for eight or nine years, but to go back to its beginnings and investigate the claims of its founders. We say founders, because all who knew Joseph Smith, the so-called prophet, can bear testimony that he was not, without help, capable of building up the structure to the shape and consequence it assumed. Ignorant and unlettered as he was, he managed to draw to him a few men of greater mental capacity than his own, through whose combined efforts his and their crude purposes were gradually brought into shape.

    Mormonism had its birth and incipient growth in Western New York; it gained strength and acquaintance with the world in Northern Ohio; it increased to a considerable magnitude in Northwest Missouri. But it was broken and weakened there in its contests with its neighbors and the authorities. After a few years of arrogant pretension and active proselytism, it met with a similar fate in Illinois, and also lost its daring leader. When left to itself in the wilderness of Utah, it developed into what it now is, an ugly and troublesome excrescence upon the body politic.

    When the little band of "Latter-Day Saints," as they called themselves, landed in Illinois, in the winter of 1838-9, they were poor and disheartened, and many of them were objects of charity. Their troubles in Missouri had brought them into notice. They were thought to have been persecuted for opinion's sake; and when they crossed the Mississippi at Quincy, they received much sympathy and material aid from the people of that city and Adams county; and afterward as they passed up into Hancock, the same kindness and consideration were shown them. Their prophet and his chief adviser, Sidney Rigdon, were yet in durance at Liberty, Mo., and their principal men scattered, some as refugees from Missouri wrath, and some as missionaries to the Gentile world.

    Such were the Mormons and such Mormonism when they first became a reality to the people of Hancock county and the State of Illinois.

    At that time there was a little village on the river shore, where Nauvoo now stands, called Commerce, with but a few houses. Below was the farm of Hugh White, and out northeast on the hill, where the temple since stood, was the farm of Daniel H. Wells, another old settler, who, after growing rich by the sale of his lands to the new-comers, joined the Church, and finally left with the rest for Salt Lake, where he has since become a leader high in authority among them. Alongside of this village of Commerce lay the lots and squares, and streets and parks of Commerce City -- a paper town which, a few months before, had been ushered into existence by a brace of Eastern speculators.

    Opposite, across the Mississippi, in the then Territory of Iowa, stood the barracks of the old fort Des Moines, but lately vacated by the U. S. Dragoons and occupied by a few settlers. Here was also the land-office of the New York half-breed land company. The

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    village of Keokuk, on the same side and twelve miles below, also on the half-breed lands, had but a few inhabitants, while Fort Madison, above, had a somewhat larger population.

    In Hancock county was Warsaw, eighteen miles below, with a population of, say, 300; Carthage, the county seat had not so many; Augusta, St. Mary's Plymouth, Fountain Green, La Harpe, Chili, and a few others, had been laid out (chiefly in 1836), and contained each a few families, and were in the midst of young and fast growing settlements. There was no newspaper in the county; The zzzCarthatienian, at Carthage, had, in 1836-7, a sickly existence, and had now "gone where the woodbine twineth." The population of the county was probably 6,000; by the census of 1840 it was 10,000, including the then Mormon emigrants.

    Such was the status of Hancock county and its neighborhood when the Mormon exodus from Missouri began. That people crossed directly eastward to Quincy, in Illinois, through North Missouri, as the nearest and best route to a place of safety. Their leader was yet in jail, but he, somehow escaping, soon made his appearance among them, and at once began operations for planting a "new stake," and gathering his followers around him. The first intention was to settle on the half-breed lands in Iowa, to which Smith had been invited through correspondence with Dr. Isaac Galland before leaving Missouri. Dr. C had interest in those lands, and also resided and held some interest at Commerce. For various reasons, chief of which was imperfect title, the negotiation as to the half-breed lands fell through, and the main body of the Mormons remained in Hancock county, though numbers had already settled on the other side of the river.

    In September, 1839, the city of Nauvoo was laid out and named, its proprietors being Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon, Hyrum Smith and George W. Robinson. Afterward, down to May, 1843, as many as fifteen additions had been made to it by different parties, including one in 1840 by Daniel H. Wells, embracing part of his farm. The whole of the two farms named, including a portion of Mr. Davidson Hibbard's, and much additional land, was finally included within the limits of the fast rising city.

    The name "Nauvoo" was said by its projectors to be Hebrew for "pleasant land." Whether this be true, we leave for linguists to determine, but the site of the city is certainly one of the most pleasant and beautiful in the West. It is presumed, however, that Smith and Rigdon knew about as much of Hebrew as they did of the "Reformed Egyptian" (whatever that may be), in which the "Book of Mormon" is said to have been written on the golden plates.

    All the important movements of this people from the beginning, as well as some very unimportant ones, had been directed by professed revelation from heaven, through Joseph Smith, their "prophet, seer and revelator." There had been revelations before, as will appear hereafter, that these "Latter-Day Saints" were to enter in and enjoy promised lands, first in Ohio at Kirtland, then at two

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    or three different places in Missouri. And now the way was open for a new revelation; and it came, under the sanction of a "Thus saith the Lord," that this "pleasant land" was the "promised land," to be henceforth occupied by the scattered saints. And the command went out to all the world, and summoned them hither; and hither they came as fast as proselytes could be made and circumstances would permit. A monthly paper called the Times and Seasons was started, to be the organ. Revelations were multiplied, as occasion demanded, and promulgated through the organ and from the stand. A city began to be built. The sounds of industry were heard on every hand. For whatever may be said of the Mormon people in other respects, it is true that the great body of them were hard-working, frugal and industrious citizens.

    Is it any wonder, then, that in view of all these circumstances, these people and their prophet and leader should attract attention? The war in Missouri; their sufferings there and during their flight, in an inclement season; their cry of oppression, so industriously repeated, and the sympathy created in their behalf, had drawn public attention to them over the whole country.


    But what of this man, Joseph Smith, and these people, his professed disciples and followers? He claimed to be a holy man, a prophet of God, a seer and revelator; a chosen minister of the Most High, for the accomplishment of a grand and divine purpose. And yet he was killed -- slain by the hand of violence! And these people who followed him and believed in his mission, claim that he died a martyr to the cause of righteousness!

    Concerning him and his history and claims, there are two theories, neither of which maybe true; and if neither be true, one must be infamously and blasphemously false. The story told by himself and accepted as true by his followers, is as given below, and purports to be in his own words, contributed for publication in a "History of the Religious Denominations of the United States," published in Philadelphia, and is orthodox Mormon history:

    "I was born in the town of Sharon, Windsor county, Vt., on the 23d of December, 1805. "When ten years old my parents removed to Palmyra, N. Y., where we resided about four years, and from thence we removed to the town of Manchester, a distance of six miles.

    "My father was a farmer, and taught me the art of husbandry. When about 14 years of age, I began to reflect upon the importance of being prepared for a future state, and upon inquiring the place of salvation; I found there was a great clash in religious sentiment; if I went to one society they referred me to one place, and another to another, each one pointing to his own particular creed as the summum bonum of perfection. Considering that all could not be right, and that God could not be the author of so much confusion,

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    I determined to investigate the subject more fully, believing that if God had a Church it would not be split up into factions, and that if He taught one society to worship one way, and administer in one set of ordinances, he would not teach another principles which were diametrically opposed. Believing the word of God, I had confidence in the declaration of James: 'If any man lack wisdom let him ask of God, who giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him.'

    "I retired to a secret place in a grove, and began to call upon the Lord, "While fervently engaged in supplication, my mind was taken away from the objects with which I was surrounded, and I was enwrapt in a heavenly vision and saw two glorious personages who exactly resembled each other in features and likeness, surrounded by a brilliant light which eclipsed the sun at noonday. They told me that all the religious denominations were believing in incorrect doctrines, and that none of them was acknowledged of God as His Church and kingdom. And I was expressly commanded 'to go not after them,' at the same time receiving a promise that the fulness of the gospel should at some future time be made known unto me.

    "On the evening of the 21st of September, A. D. 1823, while I was praying unto God and endeavoring to exercise faith in the precious promises of scripture, on a sudden alight, like that of day only of a far purer and more glorious appearance and brightness, burst into the room; indeed, the first sight was as though the house was filled with consuming fire. The appearance produced a shock that affected the whole body. In a moment, a personage stood before me surrounded with a glory yet greater than that with which I was already surrounded. This messenger proclaimed himself to be an angel of God, sent to bring the joyful tidings that the covenant which God made with ancient Israel was at hand to be fulfilled; that the preparatory work for the second coming of the Messiah was speedily to commence; that the time was at hand for the gospel, in all its fullness, to be preached in power unto all nations, that the people might be prepared for the millennial reign.

    "I was informed that I was chosen to be an instrument in the hands of God to bring about some of His purposes in this glorious dispensation.

    "I was informed also concerning the aboriginal inhabitants of this country, and shown who they were and from whence they came; -- a brief sketch of their origin, progress, civilization, laws, governments, of their righteousness and iniquity, and the blessings of God being finally withdrawn from them as a people, was made known unto me. I was also told where there were deposited some plates, on which was engraved an abridgment of the records of the ancient prophets that had existed on this continent. The angel appeared to me three times the same night, and unfolded the same things. After having received many visits from the angel of God, unfolding the majesty and glory of the events that should transpire

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    in the last days, on the 22nd of September, A. D. 1827, the angel of the Lord delivered the record into my hands.

    "These records were engraven on plates which had the appearance of gold; each plate was six inches wide and eight inches long, and not quite so thick as common tin. They were filled with engravings in Egyptian characters, and bound together in a volume as the leaves of a book, with three rings running through the whole. The volume was something near six inches in thickness, a part of which was sealed. The characters in the unsealed part were small and beautifully engraved. The whole book exhibited many marks of antiquity in its construction, and much skill in the art of engraving. With the records was found a curious instrument, which the ancients called 'Urim and Thummim,' which consisted of two transparent stones set in the rim on a bow fastened to a breastplate.

    "Through the medium of the 'Urim and Thummim' I translated the record, by the gift and power of God."

    The foregoing is the story of his life to the finding of the Golden Plates, in what is since called "Mormon Hill," in the town of Manchester, near Palmyra, N. Y. Corroborative of his statement is the testimony of eleven witnesses, to be found prefixed to all editions of the Book of Mormon, as follows:


    Be it known unto all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people, unto whom this work shall come, that we, through the grace of God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, have seen the plates which contain this record, which is a record of the people of Nephi, and also of the Lamanites, his brethren, and also of the people of Jared, which came from the tower of which hath been spoken; and we also know that they have been translated by the gift and power of God, for His voice hath declared it unto us; whereof we know of a surety that the work is true. And we also testify that we have seen the engravings which are upon the plates; and they have been shown unto us by the power of God, and not of men. And we declare with words of soberness, that an angel of God came down from heaven, and he brought and laid before our eyes, that we beheld and saw the plates, and the engravings thereon; and we know that it is tiy the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, that we beheld and bare record that these things are true; and it is marvelous in our eyes; nevertheless, the voice of the Lord commanded us that we should bear record of it; wherefore, to be obedient unto the commandments of God, we bear testimony of these things. And we know that if we are faithful in Christ, we shall rid our garments of the blood of all men, and be found spotless before the judgment seat of Christ, and shall dwell with him eternally in the heavens. And the honor be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, which is one God. Amen.


    Oliver Cowdery,

    David Whitmer,

    Martin Harris.

    And also the Testimony of Eight Witnesses.

    Be it known unto all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, unto whom this work shall come, that Joseph Smith, Jr., the author and proprietor of this work, has shown unto us the plates of which hath been spoken, which hath the appearance of gold; and as many of the leaves as the said Smith has translated we did handle with our hands; and we also saw the engravings thereon, all of which has the appearance of ancient work, and of curious workmanship. And this, we bear record, with words of soberness, that the said Smith has shown unto us, for we

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    have seen and hefted, and know of a surety, that the said Smith has got the plates of which we have spoken. And we give our names unto the world, to witness unto the world that which we have seen; and we lie not, God bearing witness of it.


    Christian Whitmer,

    Jacob Whitmer,

    Peter Whitmer, Jr.,

    John Whitmer,

    Hiram Page,

    Joseph Smith, Sr.,

    Hyrum Smith,

    Samuel H. Smith.

    Late editions of the book make these eight witnesses testify of Smith as the "translator" of the work, instead of the "author and proprietor," as in the foregoing certificate. A copy issued at Plano, Ill., from the press of young Joseph Smith's reorganized Church, now before us, perpetuates this change, and also corrects a number of errors in grammar.

    It is further claimed by Mormon adherents that the book contains internal evidence of its genuineness, proving how much men can differ; for all others than Mormons can see in it numerous internal evidences of a fraudulent character.

    The second theory in regard to the origin of the Book of Mormon, is that it was written as a mere romance by Rev. Solomon Spaulding, a Presbyterian minister of northern Ohio; that it somehow fell into the hands of Rigdon and Smith, and was by them diverted to its present purpose.

    It is however believed by many that Smith and his co-workers in iniquity manufactured the whole thing themselves, and out of whole cloth. Yet the people about Palmyra, many of them still living, who were cognizant of the facts as they occurred, and who knew the Smiths and the eleven witnesses well, assure us, in recent correspondence, that the Spaulding story is undoubtedly true.


    The first questions likely to be asked by one unacquainted with any of the facts, would be, what matters it whether Spaulding wrote the story or not, either as a romance or as a veritable history, or whether Smith and Rigdon wrote it? What is its character? "What does it purport to be?

    The following is its title in full:


    an account written by the hand of Mormon, upon plates taken from the plates of Nephi; wherefore it is an abridgment of the record of the people of Nephi, and also of the Lamanites, written to the Lamanites, which are a remnant of the house of Israel, and also to Jew and Gentile; written by way of commandment, and also by the spirit of prophecy and revelation: written and sealed up and hid unto the Lord, 'that they might not be destroyed; to come forth by the gift and power of God," unto the interpretation, thereof; sealed by the hand of Moroni, and hid up unto the Lord,

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    to come forth in due time by the way of the Gentiles; the interpretation thereof by the gift of God, and an abridgment taken from the book of Ether.

    " Also, which is a record of the people of Jared, which were scattered at the time the Lord confounded the language of the people, when they were building a tower to get to heaven; which is to show unto the remnant of the house of Israel how great things the Lord had done for their fathers, and that they may know the covenants of the Lord, that they are not cast off forever; and also to the convincing of Jews and Gentiles that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself to all nations.

    "And now, if there be fault, it be the mistake of men; wherefore condemn not the things of God, that ye may be found spotless before the judgment seat of Christ.

    "By Joseph Smith, Junior, Author and Proprietor."

    In late editions, instead of "By Joseph Smith, Jr., author and proprietor," the title is simply signed "Moroni."

    In regard to the claims set up by Smith and his eleven witnesses, there are several things to be considered before we take their statements as true. 1. The importance and value of the so-called revelation; 2. The means used; and 3. The character of the agents employed.

    How any person with a well-balanced mind can see anything in the book worthy of being styled a revelation from God to man, surpasseth understanding. Its purport and aim no man can gather from the ''confounding of language," in its title; but in turning over its pages we find it to be a pretended history of the early inhabitants of this continent; that they are represented to be the descendants of some of the tribes of Israel; or, as the book of Ether has it, of the people dispersed at the tower; that they somehow got to this country in "eight barges;'" and that after multitudinous and terrible wars, they were, like the Kilkenny cats, nearly used up; and that the Indian tribes are the tails that were left. What possible difference can it make to the human family, in a soul-saving point of view, whether the story is true or false? Had the general idea been eliminated into good English by one who had a well-balanced mind, and not by one who had

    eaten of the insane root

    That takes the reason prisoner,

    it might have made a volume of pleasant reading, if nothing more; and were there any facts of co-incident history to verify it, it might even approach the dignity of an historical treatise. But why men should be required to believe it, is a mystery. And why these "Records" should be thus preserved and handed down through various hands, ''servants of the Lord" (Mormon, Moroni, Nephi, Ether, and a lot of others), and finally "sealed up" and deposited in a hill in New York, for fourteen centuries, is another mystery. And then the character of the agents employed by the Almighty

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    to bring these things to light and usher them to the world! If that is the Lord's work, truly "the ways of the Lord are past finding out."

    There are so many silly things throughout the work that it is hard to speak of it seriously. They abound, but we can only make room for a few. Turn to page 504, book of Ether (Plano edition), and learn how America was peopled, and also obtain some valuable ideas of ship-building and navigating the seas:

    And the Lord said, Go to work and build after the manner of barges which ye have hitherto built. And it came to pass that the brother of Jared did go to work, and also his brethren, and built barges after the manner which they had built, according to the instructions of the Lord. And they were small, and they were light upon the water, even unto the lightness of a fowl upon the water: and they were built after a manner that they were exceedingly tight, even that they would hold water like unto a dish; and the sides thereof were tight, like unto a dish; and the bottom thereof was tight, like unto a dish; and the ends thereof were peaked; and the top thereof was tight like unto a dish; and the length thereof was the length of a tree; and the door thereof, when it was shut, was tight like unto a dish.

    And it came to pass that the brother of Jared cried unto the Lord, saying, O Lord, I have performed the work which thou hast commanded me, and I have made the barges according as thou hast directed me. And, behold, O Lord, in them is no light: whither shall we steer? And also we shall perish, for in them we cannot breathe, save it be the air which is in them; therefore we shall perish. And the Lord said unto the brother of Jared, Behold, thou shalt make a hole in the top thereof, and also in the bottom thereof; and when thou shalt sutfer for air, thou shalt unstop the hole thereof, and receive air. And if it so be, that the water come in upon thee, behold, ye shall stop the hole thereof, that ye may not perish in the flood. And it came to pass that the brother of Jared did so, according as the Lord had commanded. And he cried again unto the Lord, saying, O Lord, behold I have done even as thou hast commanded me; and I have prepared the vessels for my people, and, behold, there is no light in them. Behold, O Lord, wilt thou suffer that we shall cross this threat water in darkness? And the Lord said unto the brother of Jared, what will ye that I should do that ye may have light in your vessels? For, behold, ye cannot have windows, for they will be dashed in pieces; neither shall ye take tire with you, for ye shall not "go by the light of fire; for, behold, ye shall be as a whale in the midst of the sea; for the mountain waves shall dash upon you. Nevertheless, I will bring you up again out of the depths of the sea; for the winds have gone forth out of my mouth, and also the rains and the floods have I sent forth. * * zzz« ^n(j j; came to pass that the brother of Jared (now the number of vessels which had been prepared was eight) went forth unto the mount which they called mount Shelem, because of its exceeding height, and did molten out of a rock sixteen small stones; and they were white and clear, even as transparent glass; and he did carry them in his hands upon the top of the mount, and cried "again unto the Lord, saying, O Lord, * * * touch these stones with thy fingers, and prepare them that they may shine forth in darkness; and they shall shine forth unto us in the vessels which we have prepared, that we may have light while we shall cross the sea. * * * and the Lord stretched forth his hand and touched the stones, one by one, with his finger. * * * zzzpqj. it came to pass after the Lord had prepared the stones, which the brother of Jared had carried up into the mount, the brother of Jared came down out of the mount, and he did put forth the stones into the vessels which were prepared, one in each end thereof; and behold, they did give light unto the vessels thereof And thus the Lord caused stones to shine in darkness, to give light unto men, women and children, that they might not cross the great waters in darkness.

    And it came to pass that when they had prepared all manner of food, that thereby they might subsist upon the water, and also food for their flocks and herds, and whatsoever beast, or animal, or fowl, that they should carry with them, -- and it came to pass that when they had done all these things, they got aboard of their vessels or barges, and set forth into the sea, commending themselves

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    unto the Lord their God. And it came to pass that the Lord God caused that there should a furious wind blow upon the face of the waters, toward the promised land; and thus they were tossed upon the wave of the sea before the wind. And it came to pass that they were many times buried in the depths of the sea, because of the mountain waves which broke upon them, and also the great and terrible tempests, which were caused by the fierceness of the wind.

    And it came to pass that when they were buried in the deep, there was no water that could hurt them, their vessels being tight like unto a dish, and also they were light like unto the ark of Noah. * * * And no monster of the sea could break them, neither whale that could mar them; and they did have light continually, whither it was above the water or under the water. * * * and thus they were driven forth three hundred and forty and four days upon the water; and they did land upon the shore of the promised land.

    Let us imagine these eight wonderfully planned vessels, on their adventurous voyage, -- all built alike, light like a fowl, long as a tree, tight like a dish, all provided with holes in bottom and top, and all lighted with those transparent stones which the brother of Jared "did molten" out of a rock, -- they all start together before the wind -- a furious wind, -- and after a little voyage of only three hundred and forty-four days, land together, without so much as one being lost! No monster of the deep hurt them; no whale marred them! Sometimes engulfed beneath the mountain wave, the ever-watchful brother of Jared is ready, plug in hand, to stop the holes; and when rising to the surface, as the whales do to spout, he is ever on the alert to give his crew and passengers another sniff of air! zzz

    And now having them safely landed on the shore of this promised land, let us turn to page 530 of this same prophet Ether, and learn some of the deeds of their descendants here. War seems to have been the main business and pastime of these people through all the long centuries of their existence in their Western home. But here is an account of one of the greatest battles ever fought since the world began. Talk of the wars of Napoleon, of the Caesars, of Alexander; they are nothing compared to the struggles between those two great heroes, Shiz and Coriantumr. These were the chiefs of the two contending parties at one time. They had already fought till Coriantumr computed he had lost "two millions of mighty men and also their wives and children." If Shiz had lost as many, the computation would reach from fifteen to twenty millions of souls. And now they are real mad, and are going at it in earnest:

    And it came to pass that when they were all gathered together, every one to the army which he would, with their wives and their children, both men, women and children being armed with weapons of war, having shields and breast-plates and head-plates, and being clothed after the manner of war, they did march forth, one against another to battle.

    Men, women and children, all armed and panoplied, going forth to battle! And it proved a nine-days battle, at that; for "on the morrow" they went at it again, and the next, to the sixth day, when the historian makes a count, and finds "they had all fallen by the sword, save it were fifty and two of the people of Coriantumr,

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    and sixty and nine of the people of Shiz." Then again, at the end of this day Shiz had 32 left and Coriantumr 27. The next day it was fight and flight; but on the morrow, which was the ninth, after a fierce and day-long struggle, only the generals Shiz and Coriantumr were left. And they were about as good as dead, for Shiz fainted with the loss of blood.

    And it came to pass that when Coriantumr had leaned upon his sword, that he rested a little, he smote off the head of Shiz. And it came to pass that after he had smote off the head of Shiz, that Shiz raised up his hands and fell; and after that he had struggled for breath, he died. And it came to pass that Coriantumr fell to the earth, and became as if he had no life.

    And so ended the battle and that story. Messages from heaven, indeed!!

    Such are some of the records, which Mormon, and Moroni, and Nephi, and Ether, and a lot of others are said to have written and preserved in Cumorah Hill, New York, and which Joseph Smith was commissioned by an angel to dig up and translate for the salvation of the world! And the plates, too, must be hid away again by the angel. O, why could not at least those translated ones have been retained, and exhibited to, and "hefted" by an unbelieving world? They might have been at least as convincing as the unsupported testimony of Oliver Cowdery and the Whitmers and Smiths.

    But, after all, the whole question turns upon human credulity, for rejection or acceptance. To speak phrenologically, those people whose heads have the organ of Marvelousness excessively developed will perhaps believe the story, though the heavens should fall.


    We turn now to find what their neighbors say of Smith and his co-workers. In 1867 appeared from the press of D. Appleton & Co. a work entitled, "Origin, Rise and Progress of Mormonism," by Pomeroy Tucker, Palmyra, N. Y. This book is written by one whose residence was at Palmyra when this Mormon imposture began; who was personally well acquainted with all the Smith family, and with Martin Harris, Oliver Cowdery, and most of their earlier adherents; who, at the time the "Book of Mormon" first made its appearance, was editor of the paper on the press of which said book was printed; who did much of the proof-reading on the book, and had many interviews with these men.

    Of the truth and general correctness of the statements contained in this book of Mr. Tucker's, we have the attestations of numbers of honored living witnesses about Palmyra; and not only that, but that it represents the beginnings of that folly, as known to all the old citizens of Palmyra and the region around it.

    The name of Thurlow Weed is of national fame. He resided at Rochester during the progress of these events, and was acquainted with some, if not all, the actors therein. He says:

                                       HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                     255

    New York, June 1, 1867.

    Dear Sir. -- I have been so constantly occupied that I really did not get time to say how much I was interested in your history of Mormonism. I have long hoped that some person with personal knowledge of the origin of this great delusion, who saw it as I did, when it was "no bigger than a man's hand," and who has the courage and capacity to tell the whole truth, would undertake the task. I read enough of your manuscript to be confident that you have discharged this duty faithfully. The character you have given "Joe Smith,'' his family and associates, corresponds with what I have often heard from the old citizens of Palmyra. Such a work is wanted, and no one but a writer personally and familiarly acquainted with the false prophet and his surroundings could have written it. Truly yours, Thurlow Weed.

    The testimony of the eleven witnesses to the book of Mormon, or of eleven hundred like them, impeached and branded as most of them have since been by Smith himself, will not weigh an atom in the scale with that brought in Tucker's book, substantiated as it is by so many living witnesses and facts.

    Smith says in his biography, that his father was a farmer, and "taught him the art of husbandry." Tucker says that while in Palmyra the family subsisted on the profits of a "cake and beer shop," and that while out on the "farm" afterward, "the larger proportion of the time of the Smiths was spent in hunting and fishing, trapping muskrats (mush-rats was the word they used), digging out wood-chucks from their holes, and idly lounging around the stores and shops in the village." Further, that "the family were popularly regarded as an illiterate, whisky-drinking, shiftless, irreligious race of people;" "Joe, as he was always called, being unanimously voted the laziest and most worthless of the generation," "noted only for his indolent and vagabondish character, and his habits of exaggeration and untruthfulness." His father called him the "genus of the family," and he was; for after a while he got to be a tolerable reader, and delighted in zzzsu^pBgh-toned works as "Kidd, the Pirate;" though he afterward zzztome to reading the Bible and attending protracted meetings, once even joining a Methodist class, but was soon "let off." But the story how he passed on from reading Kidd to reading the Bible; from digging potatoes, for which he had no taste and had been poorly "instructed," to digging for buried treasure, for which he had a penchant, inspired by Kidd; and from digging for treasure to prophesying, is too long to tell in these pages. It is told in the book zzz before us with great particularity and much sincerity. Suffice it to say that he finally succeeded in making a few ignorant persons believe that there was "something" in his pretensions. Numerous diggings for treasure were engaged in, Smith in the meantime sitting by directing the work. But nothing ever was found, the "devil" generally interfering just in time to prevent it from falling into their hands. In these searchings for treasure, and other divinations, he used a little white stone, held in his hat; probably one of the identical stones used by Jared and his brother in lighting their barges across the sea.

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    We quote one of these money-digging incidents from Tucker, p. 32:

    A single instance of Smith's style of conducting these money-diggings will suffice for the whole series, and also serve to illustrate his low cunning, and show the strange infatuation of the persons who yielded to his unprincipled designs. Assuming his accustomed air of mystery on one of these occasions, and pretending to see by his miraculous stone exactly where the sought-for chest of money had lodged in its subterranean transits. Smith save out the revelation that a "black sheep'' would be required as a sacrificial offering upon the enchanted ground, before entering upon the work of exhumation. He knew that his kind-hearted neighbor, William Stafford, who was a listener to his plausible story, a respectable farmer in comfortable worldly circumstances, possessed a fine black wether, intended for division between his family use and the village market; and Smith know, moreover, that fresh meat was a rarity in his father's home, where he lived. The scheme succeeded completely. It was arranged that Mr. Stafford should invest the wether as his stock in the speculation, the avails of which were to be equitably shared among the company engaged in it. At the approach of the appointed hour at night, the digging fraternity, with lanterns and the fattened sheep for the sacrifice were conducted by Smith to the place where the treasure was to be obtained. There Smith described a circle upon the ground around the buried chest, where the blood of the animal was to be shed as the necessary condition of his power to secure the glittering gold. As usual, not a word was to be spoken during the ceremony, nor until after the prize was brought forth. All things being thus in readiness, the throat of the sheep was cut by one of the party, according to previous instructions, the poor animal made to pour out its own blood around the circle, and the excavation entered upon in a vigorous and solemn manner. In this case the digging was continued about three hours, when the "devil" again frustrated the plan exactly in the same way as on the repeated trials before! In the meantime, the elder Smith, aided by one of the junior sons, had withdrawn the sacrificial carcass and reduced its flesh to mutton for his family use.

    We cite a case of conversion, to show the extent that human credulity can go. Calvin Stoddard was a citizen whose mind was ever on the watch for the miraculous, and he also became impressed, and thought there zzz'^a^hthe" something in these pretended revelations; and yet zzz flllP' didn't know." Among the many Governors sent out to govern Utah, our readers will probably recall the name of Hon. Stephen S. Harding, of Indiana. In his youth he was a fun-loving young man, with a keen sense of the ludicrous, and resided at Macedon, a village in the vicinity of Palmyra. Knowing Stoddard's proclivities, and bent on fun, he concluded to have some at his expense. So he repaired one dark night at midnight to Stoddard's house, and knocking him awake, called out in as unearthly a tone as he could assume, -- "Cal-vin Stod-dard! Cal-vin Stod-dard! the an-gel of the Lord com-mands that be-fore an-o-ther go-ing down of the sun thou shalt go forth among the peo-ple and preach the Gos-pel of Ne-phi, or thy wife shall he a widow, thy chil-dren orphans, and thy ash- es scat-ter-ed to the four winds of heaven."

    Young Harding remained long enough to hear Calvin out and on his knees promising to obey the divine command, and then he "cut and run." And Calvin did obey it; was around the next day telling of the miraculous visitation; joined the new Church; came with the band to the West; was at Nauvoo, and, we believe, died in this county.


                                       HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                     257


    As to the golden plates, and what became of them, no human being has ever professed to have seen them, except the eleven witnesses. The story is that they were hid away again by the angel, for what purpose we are left to guess; perhaps to be revealed again in another age, when another fit man makes his appearance on the earth to receive and translate them. Can any reasonable man fail to reach the conclusion that Oliver Cowdery, David "Whitmer, Martin Harris, and the other eight, were liars and perjurers? It is a hard thing to believe of a fellow-being, but easier, far easier, than to believe such a story, told for such a purpose. The world is full of bad men; and that these men were of that class, we have other than "Gentile" testimony. Martin Harris was denounced by the prophet Smith himself, in the "Elders' Journal" of August, 1838, as "a liar and swindler;" and in the "Times and Seasons,'' at Nauvoo, volume I, he denounces both Cowdery and Whitmer in unsparing terms. It may be mentioned here that all three of them, at different periods, have renounced Mormonism; though it is claimed, with what truth we cannot say, that they all returned again to the fold. * Cowdery and Harris are both dead; Whitmer was lately living at Richmond, Missouri, near the scene of their former troubles. He is said to have in his possession the original manuscript of the "Book of Mormon," in the handwriting of Oliver Cowdery.

    Who, then, was the real author of the "Book of Mormon?" We have felt inclined to reject the Spaulding story, for it seemed incredible that a college-bred Christian minister could be the author of such an ill-conceived "confusion of language" and ideas. But the proof is clear that Rev. Spaulding did write a book of zzz similar import, which was left in manuscript at his death in 1816, and was entitled "Manuscript Found." How it came into the hands of Smith and Rigdon may never be known; one story being that the latter obtained it, or a copy of it, from the office of a book publisher in Pittsburg, where it had been left for publication; and another, that at a late day it was stolen from the widow. That Spaulding, though educated, was weak and visionary, is evident. Had he succeeded in procuring the publication of the book, he certainly would have lost in literary reputation; but it might have cut off the chance for a senseless and base imposition.

    No one will deny that it is entirely competent for an individual to take "Manuscript Found," "The Mysteries of Udolpho," the "Last of the Mohicans," or any other book he may choose, and make it the basis of a religious creed; and from it form articles of faith on which to originate and build up a sect. Some of the sects

    * Since writing the above we have conversed with a gentleman who knew Cowdery well in Tiffin, Ohio, since leaving the Mormons. He says Cowdery confessed to him that when he signed the "Testimony of the Three Witnesses," he "was not one of the best men in the world,'' -- using his own expression.

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    of the day, other than the Mormon, liad their origin in a no more reputable manner. And there is no law to prevent people from attaching themselves to such sects and ransacking the world for proselytes. So, had Smith and Rigdon written or stolen "Manuscript Found," and built upon it a creed, claiming no supernatural agency in the matter, and had been able to induce a sect to rally around it, no one could complain. It could only have excited ridicule and contempt. But when they claim it as a God-given message; that Smith is God's chosen one to communicate it to the world; that the angels of heaven were its bearers to him; and that those who fail to receive it on his ipse dixit are to be eternally lost; and these eleven witnesses testify that they know these things to be true, it puts quite another aspect upon the matter.

    The article of the Mormon creed which requires them all to congregate together in the "New Zion," and claims all who are not believers as enemies -- Gentiles who were ultimately to be cut off -- is the rock on which they were wrecked in Ohio, in Missouri and in Illinois, and which will wreck them as long as it remains. The theory that they are the chosen people of God, who are to come in and possess the land for an inheritance, so industriously preached from the beginning, is an aggressive one. No people outside of "Zion" can be expected to relish it. It cannot fail to embroil any people with their neighbors. Though it may be put forth in a figurative sense (which we are compelled to say was seldom the case), the ignorant and simple followers were always prone to interpret it literally. It was that, and not persecution for opinion's sake, that worked their ruin in Northern Ohio; it was that, and not persecution for opinion's sake, which drove them from Missouri; it was that, and not persecution, that caused the death of' the Smiths in Carthage jail and drove the deluded followers into the wilderness. This very essence of their creed is a challenge -- a continual menace everywhere. "We do not say there was no wrong done against them in all these places. Far from it. There was much wrong done against them everywhere; and yet that policy of their leader which brought them all to one ''Zion,'' was the great source of Smith's power and influence. It was meat and bread, and fine clothes, and riotous living, and honor and zzzetnolument to him, and to Rigdon and the rest of the leaders. Without it, he and they could only have been priests -- and poor ones at that -- or humble members of an humble sect; and that was not the purpose. With it he was an autocrat, a king; and they were his dukes and lords and nobles.

    It is not at all probable that in the beginning of his career, Smith had any thought of founding a religious sect. His only aim was to see how far he could dupe a few idle and worthless associates. His success emboldened him to try still further arts, and make them zzzinure to his own pecuniary benefit. The result, no doubt, astonished him; and as his influence in that direction increased, his ambition became awakened, and he dimly saw the road to advancement opening

                                       HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                     259

    before him. What would have been his course, and what he might have achieved, had not Rigdon and the "Manuscript Found" fallen in his way, it is hard to guess, but the presumption is that, had it not been for this circumstance, the world would never have heard of the Prophet Smith, or been cursed with the delusion of Mormonism.

    The following narration, from the pen of Mrs. Matilda Davison, the widow of Rev. Solomon Spaulding, was published in the Boston Recorder in 1839. It gives so clear an account of the origin of the book, and is told with such apparent sincerity and truthfulness, that we are forced to accept it as true. We are well aware that the Mormons deny the story -- deny that Rigdon was ever a printer in the office of Mr. Patterson at Pittsburg -- and claim that it is a fabrication of their enemies. But that such a work was written by Mr. Spaulding is incontestable; that it was read frequently to his neighbors and friends, and left in manuscript at his death, is equally clear. The only break in the chain is that missing link which places it in the hands of Rigdon and Smith.

    MRS. (Spaulding) DAVISON'S STORY.

    Mrs. Davison's story is as follows: "Learning recently that Mormonism has found its way into a Church in Massachusetts, and has impregnated some of its members with its gross delusions, so that excommunication has become necessary, I am determined to delay no longer doing what I can to strip the mask from this monster of sin, and to lay open this pit of abominations. Rev. Solomon Spaulding, to whom I was united in marriage in early life, was a graduate of Dartmouth College, and was distinguished for a lively imagination and great fondness for history. At the time of our marriage he resided in Cherry Valley, N. Y. From this place we removed to New Salem, Ashtabula county, O., sometimes called Conneaut, as it is situated upon Conneaut creek. Shortly after our removal to this place, his health sunk, and he was laid aside from active labors. In the town of New Salem there are numerous mounds and forts, supposed by many to be the dilapidated dwellings and fortifications of a race now extinct. These ancient relics arrest the attention of the new settlers, and become objects of research for the curious. Numerous implements were found, and other articles, evincing great skill in the arts. Mr. Spaulding being an educated man, passionately fond of history, took a lively interest in these developments of antiquity; and in order to beguile the hours of retirement, and furnish employment for his lively imagination, he conceived the idea of giving an historical sketch of this long lost race. Their extreme antiquity, of course, would lead him to write in the most ancient style, and as the Old Testament is the most ancient book in the world, he imitated its style as nearly as possible.

    "His sole object in writing this historical romance was to amuse himself and neighbors. This was about the year 1812. Hull's

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    surrender at Detroit occurred near the same time, and I recollect the date well from that circumstance. As he progressed in his narrative, the neighbors would come in from time to time to hear portions read, and a great interest in the work was excited among them. It claimed to have been written by one of the lost nation, and to have been recovered from the earth, and assumed the title of 'Manuscript Found.' The neighbors would often inquire how Mr. S. progressed in deciphering 'the manuscript.' and when he had a sufficient portion prepared he would inform them, and they would assemble to hear it read. He was enabled, from his acquaintance with the classics and ancient history, to introduce many singular names, which were particularly noticed zzzIn' the people and could be easily recognized by them. Mr. Solomon Spaulding had a brother, Mr. John Spaulding, residing in the place at the time, who was perfectly familiar with this work, and repeatedly heard the whole of it read. From New Salem he removed to Pittsburg, Pa. Here Mr. S. found an acquaintance and friend in the person of Mr. Patterson, an editor of a newspaper. He exhibited his manuscript to Mr. P., who was very much pleased with, and borrowed it for perusal. He retained it a long time, and informed Mr. S. that if he would make out a title-page and preface he would publish it, and it might be a source of profit. This Mr. S. refused to do, for reasons I cannot now state.

    "Sidney Rigdon, who has figured so largely in the history of the Mormons, was at this time connected with the printing- office of Mr. Patterson, as is well known in that region, and as Rigdon himself has frequently stated. Here he had ample opportunity to become acquainted with Mr. Spaulding's manuscript, and to copy it if he chose. It was a matter of notoriety and interest to all who were connected with the printing establishment. At length the manuscript was returned to its author, and soon after we removed to Amity, Washington county, Pa., where Mr. Spalding deceased in 1816. The manuscript then fell into my hands and was carefully preserved. It has frequently been examined by my daughter, Mrs. McKenstry, of Monson, Mass., with whom I now reside, and by other friends. After the 'Book of Mormon' came out, a copy of it was taken to New Salem, the place of Mr. Spaulding's former residence, and the very place where the 'Manuscript Found' was written.

    "A woman preacher appointed a meeting there (New Salem), and in the meeting read and repeated copious extracts from the 'Book of Mormon.' The historical part was immediately recognized by all the older inhabitants as the identical work of Mr. Spaulding, in which they had been so deeply interested years before. Mr. John Spaulding was present, who is an eminently pious man, and recognized perfectly the work of his brother. He was amazed and afflicted, that it should have been perverted to so wicked a purpose. His grief found vent in a flood of tears, and he arose on the spot and expressed in the meeting his deep sorrow and regret that the

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    writings of his sainted brother should be used for a purpose so vile and shocking. The excitement in New Salem became so great that the inhabitants had a meeting, and deputed Dr. Philastus Hurlbut, one of their number, to repair to this place, and to obtain from me the original manuscript of Mr. S. for the purpose of comparing it with the Mormon Bible, to satisfy their own minds, and to prevent their friends and others from embracing an error so delusive. * This was in the year 1834. Dr. Hurlbut brought with him an introduction and request for the manuscript, signed by Messrs. Henry Lake, Aaron Wright, and others, with all whom I was acquainted, as they were my neighbors when I resided in New Salem. I am sure that nothing could have given my husband more pain, were he living, than the use which has been made of his work.

    ''The air of antiquity which was thrown about the composition, doubtless suggested the idea of converting it to purposes of delusion. Thus an historical romance, with the addition of a few pious expressions, and extracts from the sacred scriptures, has been construed into a New Bible, and palmed off upon a company of poor deluded fanatics, as divine. I have given the previous brief narration, that this work of deception and wickedness may be searched to the foundation, and its author exposed to the contempt and execration he so justly deserves.

    Matilda Davison."

    A. Ely, D. D., Pastor Congregational Church, and D. R. Austin, Principal of Monson Academy, Mass., certify to the good character of Mrs. (Spaulding) Davison, under date of April 1, 1839. The "Book of Mormon" was printed at Palmyra in the summer of 1830 -- Martin Harris mortgaging his farm for the payment. This act, with others in regard to the matter, caused such "unpleasantness" between him and his better half, as to lead to final separation. Mr. Harris afterwards married the widow of the celebrated Morgan, of Anti-Masonic fame, and resided with her at Nauvoo.

    The book was printed at the office of the Wayne Sentinel, at Palmyra, of which Mr. Tucker was editor, the type-setting being done by Mr. John H. Gilbert, now a worthy citizen of that place. A great error, we think, was committed by the printers in this matter. In submitting the manuscript, Smith and his helpers insisted that no alteration from copy in any manner was to be made; but the printer having charge of the job found the manuscript to be in such an imperfect condition, that he objected to the arrangement, and was allowed to correct its "many errors of syntax, orthography, punctuation, capitalizing, paragraphing, etc." This was wrong; it should have been printed verbatim. A work "from heaven" should not have been changed in any particular.

    A Church organization was also attempted the same year. The most conspicuous names among these earliest members were Cowdery and Harris, the Whitmers and Smiths. We find also

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    that of Orrin Rockwell, the parent, we believe, of the celebrated "O. P." of Danite Band memory. Previous to this Rigdon was not known among them, though it is believed he had been an occasional visitor at Smith's for a year. He now appeared as the first Mormon preacher. His first sermon was preached at Palmyra, but it was so coolly received that no public attempt at proselytism was ever again made at that place.

    Kirtland, Ohio, was soon chosen by "revelation" as the place for building up the new Zion, and hither all the "Saints" were required to congregate. Active work was commenced; Rigdon, Parley P. Pratt and others were sent out to preach, and many were converted, who made their way to Kirtland; and in a short time over one hundred had joined them. Here Smith had divers revelations, of which the following may be regarded as chief, as laying the foundation of his temporal power. It was a bold stroke, but it was meekly accepted by his followers:

    In answer to the question, O Lord, show unto thy servants how much thou requirest of the properties for a tithing. Verily, thus saith the Lord, I require all their surplus property to be put into the hands of the bishop of my church of Zion, for the building of mine house, and for the laying of the foundations of Zion, and for the priesthood, and for the debts of the presidency of my Church; and this shall be the beginning of the yearly tithing of my people; and after that, those who have been thus tithed shall pay one-tenth of their interest annually, and this shall be a standing law unto them forever, for my holy priesthood, saith the Lord. Verily, I say unto you, it shall come to pass that all those who gather unto the land of Zion shall be tithed of their surplus properties, and shall observe this law, or they shall not be found worthy to abide among you.

    How much of one's property was to be called "surplus property" the Lord did not inform them; so it was left for Smith to decide. This was to begin with, and one-tenth annually was to follow. Among the rest, it was to be devoted to "paying the debts of the presidency of the Church." With the funds thus abundantly provided by revelation, milling and merchandising were entered into, and after a time the "Kirtland Safety Society Bank" was established, on the "wild-cat" plan, and for a period everything went on swimmingly.

    But the "We-are-the-Elect" style of preaching and practice, was distasteful to the unbelievers around Kirtland, and difficulties arose. So a new commandment was requisite, and one was forthcoming, that Independence, Missouri, was to be the place for the city of Zion. An embassy was sent, a spot for the temple indicated, and numbers flocked to the new "stake," though Smith and a portion remained behind. A temple had already been begun at Kirtland, to cost fifty thousand dollars. But matters at that place grew worse and worse; the mill and the store ceased operations; and the "safety" bank bills, having been freely circulated, became depreciated and came flowing in for redemption. To stop this tide. Smith resorted to this stratagem. We copy from the "Latter-Day Saints Messenger and Advocate," at Kirtland, for August, 1837:

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    Caution. -- To the brethren and friends of the Church of Latter-Day Saints: I am disposed to say a word relative to the bills of the Kirtland Safety Society Bank. I hereby warn them to beware of speculators, renegades, and gamblers, who are duping the unsuspecting and unwary by palming upon them those bills, which are of no worth here. I discountenance and disapprove of all such practices. I know them to be detrimental to the best interests of society, as well as to the principles of religion. Joseph Smith, Jr.

    Cool, for a president of a bank!

    Kirtland was now declared to be only a branch of Zion, the main body being at Independence. Here much the same policy was pursued, bringing disaster. The same thing occurred at two or three other points in that State afterward -- each time planting a new Zion, and beginning the erection of a temple; till finally, in the fall and winter of 1838, they were expelled from the State.


    Among the numerous books on Mormonism, perhaps the most curious one is, "The Rocky Mountain Saints: a History of the Mormons," -- by T. B. H. Stenhouse, and issued by the Appletons in 1873. Its author claims to have been for twenty- five years a Mormon Elder and Missionary, and editor of the Salt Lake Daily Telegraph. He was an Englishman, and, from the encomiums passed upon Orson Pratt, we take it he was connected by that gentleman during his successful missionary efforts in England. His work contains some of the most terrible accusations and statements against the Salt Lake Mormon leaders; and yet, strange to say, he professes to believe that they are honest and good men!! Of course, it would not do to acknowledge that he had been for 25 years intimately associated with rogues and villains. How he manages to reconcile his opinions with his statements, will be seen in some of the extracts which we quote. Though not among them till after the death of the prophet, he had made himself familiar with his history and has much to say regarding him. He says:

    The Mormon organization is thorough and complete. It permeates every position and condition of life, and controls and governs everything from the cradle to the grave, (p. 6. )


    Summed up, Mormonism demands perfect submission -- total dethronement of individuality -- blind obedience. There is no middle path. (p. 11. )

    Of the Spaulding story, he writes:

    Those who accept such statements as the true solution of this book (the "Book of Mormon") must necessarily conclude that Joseph; Smith was a deliberate falsifier and impostor. There is no avoiding this. * * * the most incisive writer on this subject -- John Hyde, formerly an Elder in the church -- unhesitatingly announces this as his own conclusion. His "Analysis of the Book of Mormon and its Internal Evidences," is a masterly work to which no Mormon Elder has ever attempted a reply, (p. 545. )

    But while the author frankly admits the unanswerable and powerful arguments of Mr. Hyde, he dissents from his conclusions -- that Joseph Smith was a willful impostor, (p. 546. )

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    That is, Hyde makes "unanswerable" arguments, to which Stenhouse dissents!

    And here is another:

    To the author's mind, Joseph is still defensible against the charge of willful imposture. It does not seem possible that he could have borne up through his whole life of persecution, and have lived and died maintaining the truth of his story, if the book had been a fraud.

    Let us look a little into the force of this argument: Joseph Smith died at about the age of forty years -- only fourteen years after the promulgation of the "Book of Mormon;" certainly less than twenty years after he could have had any thought of such an imposture. Not a very long period for a man to run a career of infamy. The criminal records of the world abound with cases where grey-haired old men have carried forward their schemes of imposture and other villainies, including rapine and murder, and never relented. John Hyde had been in a position to know, and likely did know, of the truth whereof he wrote.

    To insist that there were deliberate imposture and deliberate falsehood at the origin of Mormonism, is to challenge the veracity and honesty of the hundreds and thousands of persons who accept the faith antl who testify that they know of its truth. -- ( p.553. )

    Not so; it is only to "challenge the veracity and honesty" of Smith and his eleven witnesses, with a few others, who have been in a position to know whether the claim was true or false. And is it not more reasonable and rational to believe a dozen or score of men to be blasphemers and liars, than to believe that the Almighty would resort to such ridiculous and silly means to reveal great truths to men -- truths on which their soul's salvation depends?

    That Joseph Smith was, in these experiences (clairvoyance) one of the most remarkable men that ever lived, those outside of Mormonism altogether, who knew him intimately, testify. -- (p. 5.51. )

    No people who knew him intimately ever testified to any such thing. Besides, this is an after apology. "While he was living and in the height of his glory and fame, no one ever thought of claiming any unusual mental quality for him -- clairvoyant or otherwise.

    The charges made against him (the prophet Smith) of being an "indolent, worthless young vagabond," are in all probability somewhat exaggerated, for it is hardly possible that the vast energy and benevolence of his after-life could have developed from any such roots. -- (p. 14. )

    Stenhouse, p. 520, quotes approvingly from a correspondent, in which the writer says:

    Joseph Smith was no more and no less than a "spirit medium," -- more impressional than clairvoyant or clairaudient. Being the first of the age operated upon by spiritual power, he was very crude in his conceptions, both of the character and zzzmodii^ opel-nmK of spiritual communications, and gave them all the weight of divine revelations, while they were really no more than the opinions of the spirits of men who had once lived on the earth.

    Is not this the veriest bosh in the world? The opinions of departed spirits would not likely cause him to believe that he had found golden plates, worth $15,000 in the market, when he had

                                       HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                     267

    not; that he was daily translating them, and submitting his translations to his friends, when he was doing no such tiling; - - and these departed spirits would hardly make the eleven witnesses believe they were handling and "hefting" these valuable golden plates, when there were no such plates to heft and handle. No; the whole story of the origin of Mormonism is either true or false; and how much more reasonable to account for it on that theory, than to ransack the unseen and the unknown world for a theory to make its founder an honest but deluded man. Delusion there certainly was, and still is; but it is the delusion of the followers and believers of the blasphemous story. No theory of delusion can apply to his case and the cases of his co-workers. Our author has cited cases of delusion in the world's history, in proof; but where there has been one case of delusion approaching this in character, there have been a thousand of brilliant and successful rascality, many of them transcending this in enormity.

    And so, of Brigham Young, one author says, page 460:

    That Brigham Young is by his natural instincts, a bad man, or that his Apostles or his Bishops are men of blood, is not true. Here and there among them a malicious man is met with, but apart from religion, the ruling men in Utah would be considered good citizens in any community.

    Let the scenes of the Mountain Meadow massacre, the dastardly killing of the Parrishes at Springville, and the heart- rending assassination of the seceding prophet, Morris and his followers, answer this statement. True, it has not been shown that Brigham actually gave the orders for the commission of these demoniacal crimes, so strongly depicted by Stenhouse himself; yet that he was an accessory before and after the fact, is as clear as sunlight. The whole life of Brigham Young in Utah has been a standing attestation that he could have looked with complacency on and seen their little Jordan running with blood, if that blood was from the veins of Gentile unbelievers; or he could find some sanction for its shedding in one of Smith's or his own pretended revelations, or for the successful up-building of the priesthood. "Apart from religion," these "Apostles and Bishops" would be good citizens in any community What is "religion?" Apart from a system which requires a blind, unquestioning obedience to a priesthood, and an entire and absolute abnegation of conscience and of self, and surrounded and restrained by the conservative influences of society and law, they might have been passive and peaceful, but not "good" citizens. To place one's self of his own free will and choice, in a position to do evil, is an essential ingredient of a bad citizen.

    So, in respect to the character of John D. Lee, the "scape-goat" who was executed for his share in the Mountain Meadow massacre, as one has depicted it: "Lee is a good, kind-hearted fellow, who would share his last biscuit with a fellow traveler on the plains, but at the next instant, if Brigham Young said so, he would cut that fellow traveler's throat." Such is the system taught in Utah, was taught in less horrid perfection in Nauvoo, in Missouri, in Kirtland

    268                                    HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                    

    and away back in Palmyra. Ah! but it is the system and not the men, urge these apologists, to which these monstrous evils are to be attributed. True; but who, if not the men who originated and uphold it, are responsible for the system?

    The Mormons as a people are not justly chargeable with the wrong-doing which has been ascribed to them. There are bad men among them, dangerously bad men, who have committed outrages and damning deeds which would disgrace any community. But these deeds were perpetrated by the few; the masses were sincere and devoted to their conceptions of right and truth, as the whole course of their lives and eventful history abundantly proves. This has been the united testimony of all the "Gentiles" who have lived among them. The errors of the past life of the people, whether in their treatment of apostates or in their hostility to the nation, are attributable to the system and to the men who direct the public mind. Men and women who, for a religious faith, voluntarily abandon the homes of childhood and rend asunder the hallowed ties of family and friends -- as Mormon converts do in all parts of the world -- traversing oceans and plains, and suffering privations incident to creating new homes in a barren waste, are not persons devoid of the qualities of good citizens. -- (Stenhouse, p. 7. )

    The foregoing, while partly true, is yet in a sense extremely false. That a large portion of the rank and file of the Mormon brotherhood are "sincere and devoted to their conceptions of right and truth," will not be denied; yet another large portion of them joined the ranks caring little for "right and truth," so that they could improve their worldly condition in a land said to be ''flowing with milk and honey," and where the Gentile was soon to be brought into subjection. These, it will not be claimed, possessed the qualities of good citizens. And it may well be questioned if the sincerely honest ones were not really the more "dangerous" in the hands of the few bad men, whose behests were to them as the word of God. Take for example the Mountain Meadow massacre, or the slaughter of the seceding Morrisites. These "damning" deeds were not perpetrated alone by the bad leaders; they were done in all their atrocity by men who were "devoted to their conceptions of right and truth," -- inspired by the vindictive fanaticism of the leaders; and that is the system to which our author attributes the "errors" of Mormonism! Errors, indeed! Which is to be most dreaded in a community, -- the few bad men who order and direct, or the many "sincere and devoted," who execute the damning deeds of midnight or open-day assassination and pillage?

    In referring to the character of Smith, Stenhouse in another place gives us the following, p. 158:

    The poor farm laborer merges in the preacher, the preacher becomes a translator, a prophet, a seer, a revelator, a banker, an editor, a mayor, a lieutenant-general, a candidate for the Presidency of the world's greatest republic, and last of all, though not the least difficult of his achievements, he becomes the husband of many wives. This variety of work accomplished within the short space of fourteen years, exhibits a fertility of brain and a reckless activity, which stamps Joseph Smith, the Mormon prophet, as one of earth's most remarkable men.

    All this seems very remarkable and real until submitted to the touchstone of truth -- until we call things by their right names. Not one half of these was he ever in reality. We have already

                                       HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                     269

    shown that he was not a farmer. A preacher? instead, he was only a rude, foul-mouthed declaimer and blasphemer; a translator instead, he was notoriously incapable of even interpreting his own native tongue; a prophet? a seer? a revelator? in each and all an arrant pretender and failure; a banker? on the money bestowed upon him by his dupes, he and his associates did establish what they called a bank, but its disgraceful ending showed that it deserved any other name; an editor? only by having his name at the head of a paper, his subordinates doing the work; a major? he did hold the title under the city charter, but it was really an office of king and high priest. The title of lieutenant-general was bestowed on him by the charter, but it was one unknown to the Constitution or laws of the State or nation. A candidate for the Presidency? any man can proclaim himself such, but that does not invest it with the dignity of fact. And as to the last, - - that of being the husband of many wives, -- the laws of the country decide. A "variety of work," truly; but all centered in one grand scheme of imposture -- the success of which has been truly remarkable, both under him and his successors; but which does not stamp either him or them as of "earth's most remarkable men."

    His character in youth, as described by Tucker, is no doubt correct -- a character just suited to the foundation for such a structure as his life proved to be.

    Tucker says, p. 16:

    From the age of twelve to twenty years he is distinctly remembered as a dull-eyed, flaxen-haired, prevaricating boy, noted only for his indolent and vagabondish character, and his habits of exaggeration and untruthfulness. * * * He could utter the most palpable exaggeration or marvelous absurdity with the utmost apparent gravity. He nevertheless evidenced the rapid development of a thinking, plodding, evil-brewing mental composition, largely given to inventions of low cunning, schemes of mischief and deception, and false and mysterious pretensions. In his moral phrenology, the professor might have marked the organ of secretiveness as very large, and that of conscientiousness "omitted."

    Stenhouse, in his charity for the prophet and his cashier, Rigdon, as bankers, concludes that they did not contemplate a deliberate swindle, in the matter of the Kirtland bank. He says such a conclusion "would be very inharmonious with their life and programme at that period." And yet he gives this statement in regard to it, on the authority of a Pittsburg banker. Those hankers, having been induced to receive the Kirtland money, found themselves one day with considerable of it on hand, and a rumor on the air that the bank had become shaky. So they despatched an agent with a lot of its bills for redemption. Rigdon was astonished at their assurance; coolly told him that their notes had been put out as a circulating medium for public accommodation! that they redeemed nothing ! that the Pittsburgers had not been asked to take their paper! and compared them to the money-changers who had been scourged out of the temple at Jerusalem!

    270                                    HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                    


    were "said to have been seven by eight inches in size, about the thickness of common tin, and that they were fastened together at one side by rings, making a book about six inches thick. This would make a solid gold block of nearly 300 cubic inches; worth, say fifteen to eighteen thousand dollars. Who will believe that so much treasure in hand, no matter what may have been engraved thereon, would not have been too tempting a bait for those men to resist; and that they would not have found some way to circumvent the angel, rather than have them again hid from sight? Such a mine of wealth, in those days, and to such men, would have been a bonanza worth fighting angels and "devils" for.


    We resume now the thread of Mormon history in Hancock county.

    The first great error committed by the people of the county, was in accepting too readily the Mormon story of persecution. It was continually wrung in their ears, and believed as often as asserted. The Mormon people were among us, many of them in distress and in need of our sympathy and aid; while the "Missouri ruffians" were at a distance; -- and that was before the age of railroads and telegraphs and fast mails.

    Another great wrong grew out of party spirit. The two political parties, Democrat and Whig, were nearly equally divided in the county, and a great presidential election was approaching. It was soon seen that Mr. Smith's influence would control the Mormon vote; and that that vote, if thrown one way, would decide all political contests in the county. Hence, it was only natural that both parties sought to attach the Mormons to their interests. In August, 1839, the election did not turn on party politics, and not many of the new comers being voters, the result was much as before, -- candidates of both parties were elected.

    During the summer and fall of 1839, many who had crossed the river at Quincy wended their way up to the new Zion; many others stopped with their families in Adams and the lower end of Hancock, wherever they could find an empty hut or place for temporary sojourn. In September the city of Nauvoo was laid out. It embraced a large portion of the two small fractional townships six and seven north, range nine west, lying in the bend of the river, at the head of the rapids, and extended over into the township on the south.

    In view of their distressed condition when they reached Quincy, large contributions were made for them by the citizens, and also in Hancock county. The then small city of Quincy contributed some thousands of dollars. These contributions were made in money, clothing, provisions, or any thing to relieve distress.

    It soon began to be loudly urged that Missouri was in duty

                                       HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                     271

    bound to make good the losses incurred by the refugees; and preparations were made by the chiefs at Nauvoo to press their claims upon the national authorities at Washington. During the fall, the prophet, with two of his chiefs, Rigdon and Colonel Higbee, repaired to Washington to lay the matter before Congress and President Van Buren. They carried with them a large number of certificates reciting losses sustained by the brethren in Missouri, made out in due form and sworn to, with the county seal attached. zzzlion. John T. Stuart, member of Congress from this District -- a Whig -- undertook to present the matter to the House, and Henry Clay was appealed to to lay it before the Senate. They also applied to the President and to Mr. Calhoun. The latter bluntly informed them that the General Government had no authority in the premises. No redress was obtained, either through Congress or the President; and they returned to Nauvoo, highly incensed against the President and his administration. One great object, however, had been attained -- a national notoriety.

    At this date, Egbert Lucas a former Governor of Ohio, was Governor of Iowa Territory. He was appealed to for a letter, and he kindly forwarded the following:

    Iowa Territory, Jan. 4, 1840.

    Sir: -- You informed me that a committee of Mormons are about to apply to Congress of the United States for an investigation on the cause of their expulsion from the State of Missouri, and to ask of the General Government remuneration for the losses sustained by them in consequence of such expulsion, and ask me to state my opinion of the character and general conduct of these people while they resided in the State of Ohio; and also the conduct and general report of those who have settled in the Territory of Iowa since their expulsion from the State of Missouri.

    In compliance with your request, I will state that I have had but little personal acquaintance with them. I know that there was a community of them in the northern part of the State of Ohio; and while I resided in the State they were generally considered an industrious, inoffensive people; and I have no recollection of ever having heard in that State of their being charged with violating the laws of the country.

    Since their expulsion from Missouri, a portion of them, about one hundred families, have settled in Lee county, Iowa Territory, and are generally considered industrious, inoffensive and worthy citizens.

    Very respectfully yours,

    Robert Lucas, Gov. of Iowa Ter.

    A. Ripley.

    A great Conference of the Church was held at Nauvoo on the zzz6-9th of April, 1840, at which it was said there were several thousand persons present. At this meeting Orson Hyde and John E. Page were commissioned to visit the Jews in Europe, and at Constantinople and Jerusalem. At this Conference, Smith gave an account of his reception and doings at Washington, in which he was very severe upon President Van Buren. The Conference also passed a series of resolutions, thanking the people of Illinois for their kind and generous conduct; the Illinois delegation in Congress for their course; and Governors Carlin of Illinois and Lucas of Iowa for their sympathy, aid and protection.

    It is stated that while in Missouri Mr. Smith had been an adherent of the Democratic party; but his treatment there, with this rebuff at Washington, prepared the way for throwing his support

    272                                    HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                    

    to the Whigs. In the summer of 1840 it came to be generally believed that such was his intention; and as he had several hundred votes now at his control, it became a matter of concern with candidates to secure his favor. Hence, those of both parties frequently visited Nauvoo, hoping to receive some pledge or to obtain some sign of support for the coming election in August. And these signs were in turn vouchsafed to them all; all were allowed to go away with high hopes, to relate to their friends in other sections the certainty of success.

    It will be remembered that this campaign of 1840 was distinguished as the "log cabin and hard cider" campaign, in which the Whigs held many large and enthusiastic meetings in favor of Gen. Harrison for President. About the last of March one of these mass meetings was held at Carthage, at which nominations were made for the county. The ticket put in the field was an unexceptionable one, viz.: for County Commissioner, Samuel Comer, of Carthage; for Sheriff, Wm. D. Abernethy, of Augusta; for Coroner, Harmon T. Wilson, of Carthage; and for Representative, Martin Hopkins, of Fountain Green. The ticket was well received by the people, and was placed at the head of the Western World, the Whig paper at Warsaw, where it remained until the 22d of July, the election to take place early in August. In the World of that date, the "Important Announcement" was made that Mr. Hopkins had withdrawn, and that Dr. John F. Charles, of Carthage, had been selected in his place. And what was the reason for this change -- the purpose of a party in thus setting aside a capable and good man and substituting another in his place? Simply this: the autocrat at Nauvoo had declared he wouldn't support him! Such was party subserviency. And it is not strange that Smith used the power of which he found himself so fully possessed.

    The result was, that the whole Whig ticket was elected by an average majority of about 400 votes.

    No sooner had these people settled amongst us than they commenced those petty acts of stealing and other depredations upon property which were charged against them everywhere, and which were so annoying to their neighbors and provocative of hostility. It will not do to charge that all these offenses were committed by Mormons; some of them were doubtless zzzVjy others on their credit; but it is clear that the prophet had among his followers a large number who interpreted literally his teachings that the property of the Gentiles rightfully belonged to the Saints, and practically carried out the precept. It is also a notable fact that while openly professing a desire to punish all offenses, the leaders and members generally would screen and protect the guilty.

    These depredations had been going on more or less for a year, when an event occurred on the river below Warsaw which created great excitement. A citizen found in his vicinity a depot of stolen goods, a considerable portion of which had been taken from a store in Tully, Missouri, a few miles further down. Some citizens of

                                       HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                     273

    that place came over and claimed part of the goods, and took them away; and finding some Mormons in the river bottom hunting horses, caught them and took them to Missouri, where they were tied to trees and severely beaten. It is claimed that they confessed the theft, but this is not certain. This outrage created a great sensation at Nauvoo, and throughout the county. A large public meeting was held and strong resolutions passed. Shortly afterward, some four or live citizens of Tully, found on this side of the river, were arrested and brought before Daniel H. Wells, Esq., of Nauvoo, for examination, and upon a hearing discharged. Mr. Sidney H. Little, Whig Senator, was employed in the prosecution. An envoy was sent by Gov. Carlin to Jefferson City, it was stated, to demand the delivery of the Tully culprits, and he returned to Quincy stating that they would be given up. But a day or two afterward a couple of officers arrived in Quincy (Gov. Carlin resided in that city), armed with a requisition from Gov. Boggs, of Missouri, for Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon, as fugitives from justice in that State. So far as now remembered neither of these demands was complied with.


    During the summer or fall of 1840, a new star rose upon the horizon at Nauvoo, and shed its light upon the city and people for a year or two, and then disappeared. This was no less a personage than Dr. John C. Bennett, a man, though small in stature, yet large, extremely large, in his own estimation. About the first of October he was baptized into the Mormon faith, and at once was taken into the confidence of the prophet, and assigned a high rank among the leaders. Gov. Ford's notice of this individual is so tersely written, and so well accords with the public opinion, that we give it in his own language. He says:

    This Bennett was probably the greatest scamp in the Western country. I have made particular inquiries concerning him, and have traced him in several places, in which he has lived before he had joined the Mormons, -- in Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, -- and he was everywhere accounted the same debauched, unprincipled and profligate character. He was a man of some little talent, and had the confidence of the Mormons, and particularly that of their leaders. (Hist. III., p. 263. )

    To Dr. Bennett was entrusted the duty of procuring from the Legislature such charters as they required. Accordingly, at the session of 1840-41, he repaired to Springfield to lobby for that purpose. His task was an easy one; both parties in that body vying with each other to obey his behests. He returned about the first of January, having secured three charters -- one for the "City of Nauvoo," one for the "University of the City of Nauvoo," and a third for the "Nauvoo Legion." To Senator Little of Hancock county, and to Hon. Stephen A. Douglas, then Secretary of State, it is said he was mainly indebted for the liberal and extraordinary provisions contained in these charters, though they passed both houses without opposition, and were read only by their titles.

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    This act (the three charters "were all contained in one act) created a "City," a "University," and a "Military Legion," represented respectively by a "City "Council," a "Board of Trustees," and a "Court Martial," each of which was invested with legislative, judicial and executive powers, the right to "enact, establish, ordain and execute all laws and ordinances not repugnant to the Constitution of the United States or of this State." No proviso appears in the act, guarding against infringement of the laws of either State or United States. That very usual proviso in charters seems to have been purposely omitted; for it will be found, on examination, that in all other charters granted af that session of the General Assembly, the laws as well as the Constitutions, are included in the provisos. And yet, as in all probability the charters were the work of Bennett himself, the omission may have been accidental on the part of our legislators. We hope, for the fair fame of the honored dead, who were instrumental in procuring these charters, that it was so. Yet it is a no less painful fact, that the Judicially Committee, the members generally, and the Governor who signed the bill, omitted the performance of a plain duty.

    But this omission was not perhaps the worst feature of the act. All three of the charters seem to have been contrived to give the Mormons a system of government as far as possible independent of the rest of the State. Another provision, having the same purpose, was afterward added to the charter, by way of amendment, passed as a rider to a road law. It provided that "any citizen of Hancock county, may, by voluntary enrollment, attach himself to the Nauvoo Legion, with all the privileges which appertain to that independent military body." The effect of this, it will readily be seen, was to bring all those brethren who resided out of the city, in various parts of the county, into the legion, and under the same military control.

    On the 3d of February, 1841, the city of Nauvoo was organized under its charter, with Dr. Bennett as its first Mayor. The legion and the university were organized about the same time, with Smith as Lieutenant-General and Bennett as Major- General of the legion. James Kelley, A. M., "an alumnus of Trinity College, Dublin," was chosen Chancellor of the university. This last named, we think, never occupied the position. One of the first acts of the City Council was to pass a vote of thanks to the State Government for favors conferred, and to the citizens of Quincy for the kindness shown them when driven from Missouri. The legion was furnished with State arms by Gen. Bennett, who, we omitted to state, had been appointed Quarter-Master General the year before by Governor Carlin.

    Mr. Douglas, who had at the late legislative session been elected a Judge of the Supreme Court, and assigned to circuit duty, held a court in Hancock county early in May. One of his first acts was to appoint Major General Bennet to the office of Master in Chancery. This act of indiscretion met with unqualified condemnation

                                       HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                     275

    by people of all parties. It was rebuked by the Warsaw Signal (then the only paper in the county outside of Nauvoo), chiefly for the reasons that the appointee was a comparative stranger in the county and State, and that the mass of the people had no confidence in him. In the same issue of that paper was an editorial stating that a rumor existed that the newly arrived emigrants from England were dissatisfied with affairs at Nauvoo, but that Mr. Rigdon had given assurance that the rumor was false. The Signal continued as follows:

    But this is no concern of ours. While on the subject, however, we will notice an accusation which has been made against us -- that of having, for political effect, flattered the Mormons. This is not true. We have occasionally noticed their doings, but not with any such design. We believe they have the same rights as other religious bodies possess, and ought to be protected in the just and proper exercise of those rights. We do not believe in persecution for opinion's sake. But whenever they, as a people, step beyond the proper sphere of a religious denomination, and become a political body, as many of our citizens are beginning to apprehend will be the case, then this press stands pledged to take a stand against them. On religious questions it is and shall remain neutral; but it is bound to oppose the concentration of political power in a religious body, or in the hands of a few individuals.

    We copy the foregoing for two reasons: first, because it expresses the feeling that pervaded the public zzzraiml throughout the county at that time, without regard to party distinctions; and, secondly, in order to show in what spirit it was received by the prophet. Soon afterward the following note was received by Mr. Sharp through the mail;

    Nauvoo, Ill., May 36, 1841. Mr. Sharp, Editor of the Warsaw Signal:

    Sir -- You will discontinue my paper: its contents are calculated to pollute me. And to patronize that filthy sheet, that tissue of lies, that sink of iniquity, is disgraceful to any moral man. Yours, with utter contempt.

    Joseph Smith.

    P. S. -- Please publish the above in your contemptible paper.

    On June 5th. Mr. Smith, being in Quincy, was arrested on a warrant from the Governor, under a requisition from the Governor of Missouri. A writ of habeas corpus was at once sued out before Calvin A. Warren, Esq., Master in Chancery for Adams county. But Judge Douglas happened to be in the city, and he ordered that the prisoner should be taken before him at Monmouth, where his court was to sit on the following Monday. This was done, and after a hearing Smith was discharged on the ground that the writ had once been returned before it was served, and was functus officio. There was a strong suspicion among the people, and the charge was pretty freely made that this arrest on a defective writ, and discharge, was all concocted for political effect. Of this we know of no existing proof.

    On. the 6th of April, the imposing ceremony of laying the corner stone of the temple was performed at Nauvoo, in presence of a multitude of people, supposed to number seven to ten thousand. The legion was out in full force, amounting to over 600 men, commanded

    276                                    HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                    

    by Gen. Bennett, under the direction of the prophet, as Lieutenant-General. Sidney Rigdon was the orator of the day.

    On a Sunday about the first of May, Judge Douglas and Cyrus Walker, Esq., of Macomb, -- notables of the two great parties, paid a visit to Nauvoo and were received with great consideration and ceremony. They were each introduced to the congregation on the meeting ground, and after being complimented by the prophet, made addresses in response. A flattering notice of the fact was published by Smith in the next issue of the Times and Seasons.

    It is not to be wondered at, after what had transpired among the politicians, and the course so evidently to be pursued by Smith and the leaders at Nauvoo, that the sober and reflecting citizens of the county should become alarmed. And to increase this alarm and apprehension, the following appeared in the organ of the Church, under date of May 24, 1841:


    The First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, anxious to promote the prosperity of said Church, feel it their duty to call upon the Saints who reside out of this county to make preparations to come in, without delay. This is important, and should be attended to by all who feel an interest in the prosperity of this, the corner stone of Zion. Here the temple must be raised, the university be built, and other edifices erected which are necessary for the great work of the last days; and which can only be done by a concentration of energy and enterprise. Let it therefore be understood, that all the stakes, excepting those in this county, and in Lee county, Iowa, are discontinued, and the Saints instructed to settle in this county as soon as circumstances will permit.

    Joseph Smith.

    Nauvoo, Hancock Co., Ill., May 24, 1841.

    We have heretofore used the word "autocrat," in reference to this leader of the Mormon people. Is it an improper term? Did ever emperor of Russia claim to exercise such power over his subjects? Here is an order that the members of his church, wherever located, -- in the United States, in Great Britain, Germany, India, Australia, or the islands of the sea (and he had agents in all these to make proselytes), no matter what their occupation or condition in life, and owing allegiance no matter where, -- all must gather around this new corner stone of Zion, and contribute of their energy and enterprise, money, strength, sweat and toil, for this great work of the latter days! The mandate was issued as if expected to be obeyed; and it was obeyed.

    In consequence of the growing apprehension, public meetings began to be held over the county; and finally it was agreed to call a county convention to consider the subject. One was accordingly held at Carthage on the 28th of June, composed of citizens of both political parties. It was decided to nominate a ticket selected from both parties, to be run at the approaching August election. This was done, Robert Miller, a Whig, and Richard Wilton, a Democrat, being selected for County Commissioner and School Commissioner, and elected, the first by 114, and the last by 4 votes.

                                       HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                     277

    From this convention, and it was one of the most respectable and earnest ever held in the county may be dated the rise of the Anti-Mormon party, and the origin of the term "Anti-Mormon," as applied to those who were seeking to counteract Mormon influence in the county and State. One or two of the resolutions passed at this convention will not be out of place here. They resolved:

    That with the peculiar religious opinions of the people calling themselves Mormons, or Latter-Day Saints, we have nothing to do. -- being at all times perfectly willing that they shall remain in the full possession of all the rights and privileges which our Constitution and laws guarantee and other citizens enjoy.

    That in standing up as we do to oppose the influence which these people have obtained and are likely to obtain, in a political capacity, over our fellow citizens and their liberties, we are guided only by a desire to defend ourselves against a despotism, the extent and consequences of which we have no means of ascertaining.

    The convention also put forth an earnest address to the people, urging them to lay aside all party differences and support the ticket.

    In justice to Mr. Walter Bagby, Mr. Wilton's opponent for School Commissioner, it is proper to state that he was an old citizen and in no way identified with the Mormons, and in after years became a zealous Anti-Mormon.

    The Mormons cast their votes nearly solid for the Harrison electors, and for John T. Stuart, the Whig candidate for Congress.

    About this time, Mr. William Harris, a seceding Mormon elder, appeared in the county and lectured against them at several points. He was not a man of much talent, but by his zeal and energy, he succeeded in stirring up considerable opposition. He also issued a pamphlet exposing them, which was printed at the office of the Warsaw Signal.

    Few of the people of Warsaw at the present day know how near their pleasant little city came to being made a Mormon town. During the summer of zzzISil, the owners of the sixteenth (school) section lying adjoining town on the south, opened negotiations with Smith for the sale of said section to the Mormons; and on the 10th of July, the prophet, with Gen. Bennett and several other leaders, appeared to take a look at the tract and conclude the bargain. It was reported that the bargain was consummated, and that it was the intention to have the ground surveyed and a large colony located at once. The name was also said to have been selected -- the "City of Warren," in honor of Calvin A. Warren, Esq., now of Quincy, one of the principal owners. But for some cause the negotiation was broken off, and Warsaw escaped the fate of being merged into a Mormon city. In discussing names for the new town, the Signal suggested that it be called "Money- Diggersville."

    On the 10th of August occurred one of those events which so often happen to change the current of affairs. We allude to the death of Hon. Sidney H. Little, Senator of this District in the Legislature. Mr. Little was a man of fine talents, stood high in the estimation of the people, and had great magnetic power over

    278                                    HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                    

    all with whom he came in contact. He was an ardent Whig and a popular leader among them; and had already acquired an enviable distinction in the Legislature. The Mormons felt grateful to him for what he had done; and had he lived, he would doubtless have possessed much influence over them for good. But as the dissatisfaction increased among the old citizens, Mr. Little saw the delicate position in which he was placed, and sought to devise means to avert the coming troubles. To a near friend, he even expressed a thought of leaving the county; but this we do not believe he would have done. What course he would have pursued, had he lived through the years of disorder which followed, is only for an inscrutable Providence to know; but we feel sure that had Sidney H. Little been permitted to remain among us, his fertile genius and commanding talent would have found for the county a better way out of her difficulties than that she found and adopted.


    We have charged that the rank and file of the Mormon brotherhood were prone to commit depredations on their neighbors' property, and especially to screen from arrest and punishment those charged with such offences. They had high authority for such practices -- that of the leaders themselves. It is well known that in those days there was no legal title to be obtained to the half-breed lands lying in Lee county, Iowa, opposite Nauvoo -- what title there was, being undivided among several hundred claimants whose interests had never been adjudicated. These leaders obtained a lot of the pretended claims, on which they issued scrip, which was placed in the hands of proselyting elders East. And, as all new converts were required to emigrate to Nauvoo, it was sometimes difficult to sell property at home in order to get away. So this scrip was passed to them in exchange, they deeding their good titles for a worthless title in Iowa. How many thousands thus went into the coffers of the First Presidency may never be known; but that they were largely replenished in that way there is abundant proof.

    But if any believe that the Mormon leaders inculcated theft, let them be undeceived. Here is direct testimony to the contrary, submitted in all solemnity. We quote from Times and Seasons of Dec. 1, 1841: zzz


    Whereas, It hath been intimated to me by persons of credibility that there are persons in the surrounding country who profess to be members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, who have been using their influence and endeavors to instill into the minds of good and worthy citizens in the State of Illinois, and the adjoining States, that the First Presidency, and others in authority and high standing in said Church, do sanction and approbate the members of said Church in stealing property from those persons who do not belong to said Church, and thereby to induce persons to aid and abet them in the act of stealing, and other evil practices. I therefore hereby disavow any sanction or approbation by me, of the crime of

                                       HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                     281

    theft, or any other evil practice, in any person or persons whatever, whereby either the lives or property of our fellow-man may he unlawfully taken or molested; neither are such things sanctioned or approbated by the First Presidency, or any other person in authority or good standing in said Church, but such acts are altogether in violation of the rules, order, zzzaiidn-giilalioMs of the Church, contrary to the teachings given in said Church, and the laws of zzzImth OimI and man. I caution the unwary, who belong to the aforesaid Church. and all zzz other persons, against being duped, or led into any act or scheme which may endauger their character, lives, or property, or bring reproach zzzuimii the Church; and I certify that I hold my person and property ready to zzsupinu-t the laws of the land, in the zzdctdtinn of any person or persons who may commit any breach of the same. To which I subscribe my name and testify, this 26th day of November, 1841. Hyrum Smith.

    Sworn to, and subscribed before me, this zzz3Gth day of November, 1841.

    E. Robinson, J. P.

    Then follows a long address from the Twelve, from which we copy only the concluding paragraph:

    We hope that what we have written may suffice, and take this opportunity of expressing our decided and unqualified disapprobation of anything like theft, in all its bearings, as being calculated to destroy the peace of society, to injure the Church of Jesus Christ, to wound the character of the people of God, and to stamp with eternal infamy all who follow such diabolical practices, to blast their character on earth, and to consign them to eternal perdition.


    Nauvoo, Ill., Dec. 1, 1841.

    Brigham Young, Orson Hyde,

    Heber C. Kimball, William Smith,

    Parley P. Pratt, Orson Pratt,

    John E. Page, Wilford Woodruff,

    Willard Richards, John Taylor,

    Lyman Wight, Geo. A. Smith.

    Then follows another affidavit from President J. Smith, without doubt in his own language and of his own composition:

    City of Nauvoo, Ill.,

    Nov. 20, A. D., 1841.

    To the Public: -- The transpiration of recent events makes it criminal in me to remain longer silent. The tongue of the vile yet speaks, and sends forth the poison of asps; the ears of the spoiler zzz3'et hear, and he puts forth his hand to iniquity. It has been proclaimed upon the house-top and in the secret chamber, in the public walks and private circle, throughout the length and breadth of this vast continent, that stealing by the Latter-Day Saints has received my approval; nay, that I have taught the doctrine, encouraged them in plunder, and led on the van -- than which nothing is more foreign from my heart. I disfellowship the perpetrators of all such abominations; they are devils and not saints, totally unfit for the society of Christians or men. It is true, that some professing to be Latter-Day Saints have taught such vile heresies, but all are not Israel that are of Israel; and I wish it to be distinctly understood in all zzzcbmuig time, that the Church over which I have the honor of presiding will ever set its brows like brass, and its face like steel, against all such abominable acts of villainy and crime; and to this end I append my affidavit of disavowal, taken this day before General Bennett, that there may be no mistake hereafter as to my real sentiments, or those of the leaders of the Church, in relation to this important matter:


    Hancock County, Ill.

    Before me, John C. Bennett, Mayor of the City of Nauvoo, personally came Joseph Smith, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (commonly called Mormons), who, being duly sworn according to law, deposeth and saith, that he has never directly or indirectly encouraged the purloining of property, or taught the doctrine of stealing, or any other evil practice, and that all such vile and unlawful

    282                                    HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                    

    acts will ever receive his unqualified and unreserved disapproval, and the most vigorous opposition of the Church over which he presides, and further this deponent saith not.

    Joseph Smith,

    President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

    Sworn to, and subscribed before me, at my office in the City of Nauvoo, this 29th day of November, Anno Domini, 1841.

    John C. Bennett,

    Mayor of the City of Nauvoo."

    Now, it is to be hoped that none will hereafter be so zzzrecldess as to state that I, or the church to which I belong, approve of thieving, but that all the friends of law and order will join in ferreting out thieves wherever and whenever they may be found, and assist in bringing them to that condign punishment which such infamous crimes so richly merit. Joseph Smith,

    President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

    And now the Legion is after the thieves:

    Court Martial.

    City of Nauvoo, Ill., Nov. 30, 1841.

    To Brevet-Maj.-Gen. Wilson Law: -- We, the undersigned, members of the General Court Martial, detailed by you on the order of Lt.-Gen. Smith, through Maj.-Gen. Bennett, for the trial of David Smith and Joseph Holbrook, officers of the Nauvoo Legion, charged with theft, and being accessory thereto, are of the opinion that they are guilty of the charges preferred against them, and our unanimous decision is that they be cashiered, and their names be stricken from the rank roll.

    Witness against David Smith -- Hazen Kimball.

    Witnesses against Joseph Holbrook -- B. Young and W. Richards.

    Hyrum Smith, Brev.-Maj.-Gen.,

    President of the Court.

    Wm. Law, Brev.-Maj.-Gen.

    C. C. Rich, Brig. Gen. 2d Cohort.

    H. McFall, Adj. Gen.

    Daniel H. Wells, Com. Gen.

    S. Bent, Col. 3d Reg. 2d Cohort.

    T. Billings, Col. 1st Reg. 3d Cohort.

    J. T. zzzBennett, Capt. 3d Co. 1st Reg. 2d Ct.

    Members of the Court.

    To Maj. Gen. Bennett: -- I approve of the above decision, and submit it to you for your action on the case.

    Wilson Law, Brev.-Maj.-Gen.

    To Lt.-Gen. Smith: -- The General Court-Martial detailed for the trial of David Smith and Joseph Holbrook, officers of the Nauvoo Legion, have made the above report to me, and asked my concurrence in the same, which, under the circumstances, can not be withheld: it is, therefore, submitted to you for your final approval or disapproval.

    John C. Bennett, Maj.-Gen.

    Approved: Joseph Smith, Lt.-Gen.

    About the first of April, 1842, a weekly paper was established at Nauvoo, under the editorial management of the "Patriarch" William Smith, a brother to the prophet. This new sheet was entitled The Wasp, from which we are to infer that it was regarded as a stinger by its conductor; but for illiterate and vulgar abuse and silly nonsense, it has never been excelled perhaps in the State. The prophet in his youth had been pronounced the "genus" of the family, so "Bill Smith," as he was always called, was generally regarded as the fool of the family. Nevertheless, he had sense enough to aspire to political honors, and he was placed on the fusion ticket for one of the members of the Legislature and elected.

                                       HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                     283

    Late in 1841, the Democratic party, in State Convention, had nominated Hon. Adam W. Snyder for Governor; ex-Governor Joseph Duncan being the candidate of the Whigs. But Mr. Snyder died, and Judge Ford was nominated to take his place. Early in 1842, the prophet issued a proclamation enjoining his followers to support the Democratic nominees. Yet still, it was policy to divide and distract the anti-Mormon party in the county. This party held a convention, and placed a ticket in the field, as follows, selected from each of the political parties, viz:

    For Senator -- Wm. H. Roosevelt.

    For Representatives -- Wesley Williams,

    Edson 'Whtiipy. zzz

    For Sheriff -- Stephen H. Tyler.

    For County Commissioner -- John J. Brent.

    For School Commissioner -- Wm. D. Abernethy.

    For Coroner -- Benjamin Avise.

    Notwithstanding the proclamation, many political aspirants of both parties, believing they could secure the Mormon vote, were induced to run as independent candidates; but the result was the election of all the regular Democratic nominees by majorities of 800 to 1,000 votes. The official vote will be found elsewhere. The following is the county ticket elected:

    Senator -- Jacob Cunningham Davis.

    Representatives -- Thomas H. Owen,

    William Smith.

    Sheriff -- Wm. H. Backenstos.

    County Commissioner -- John T. Barnett.

    School Commissioner -- Franklin J. Bartlett.

    Coroner -- George W. Stigall.


    During the summer of 1842, a quarrel sprung up between the two great leaders in Nauvoo, -- Lieutenant-General Joseph Smith and Major-General John C. Bennett. The causes of this quarrel were never fully known to the public, but are believed to have originated in jealousy. The city, though large and rapidly growing, was not large enough for them both. Bennett had fast risen to power and greatness, through the munificence of the State Government and the favoritism of the Mormon people; and his ambition demanded a greater share of the honors and profits than the prophet was willing to yield him. Though, from the published articles on the subject from both sides, it looks as though there may have been a woman or two in it. As they had been close friends before, so now they became vindictive and bitter enemies. But, as was usual. Smith held the reins of power. The Lieutenant-General out-generaled the Major-General with the masses, and the latter was compelled to leave the city. He who had, within the year or two, held many of the most important offices in the city government, legion and university, was expelled -- or he seceded -- and began at once to expose the wrongs and wickedness perpetrated

    284                                    HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                    

    among them. Several other leaders, and prominent men at the same time, manifested a rebellious spirit -- among the rest, Sidney Rigdon, Orson Pratt, George W. Robinson, the Higbees, William Marks, etc. The power of the prophet restrained all these, however, and Bennett alone was turned over to the buffetings of Satan.

    Bennett at once left the city, and from Carthage and other points began a series of letters in the Sangamo Journal, the Whig organ at Springfield. These letters were widely read and commented on. They are interesting for many reasons. 1. They exhibit in strong light the character of Bennett himself. 2. Whether he is to be regarded as worthy of full credence or not, they portray the workings of that semi-theocratic system which prevailed at Nauvoo; and 3. They give us an idea of the sort of people he had been associating with, and the motives which actuated them and him. As literary productions they are weak and in bad taste; but we think a portion is worthy of introduction here. We copy from his letter, dated --

    "Carthage, Hancock Co., July 2, 1843.

    To the Editor of the Journal:

    I am now in this place to attend to some of my official duties as Master in Chancery, and having some leisure time, I shall proceed with my history of Joe Smith and the Saints. It is my determination to state facts, and such facts as will arouse the public indignation, if there is yet virtue and courage left in man -- for we are exhorted to be enterprising and courageous - - but the beast and false prophet (Joe Smith) shall tremble in the days of his captivity like an aspen leaf in the wilderness. The "Lord's anointed," as Joe is called, must be washed in the zzzlaverr of the law, until his polluted carcass and corrupt soul be purified by fire. And to begin:

    1st. -- The Duresse. -- On the 17th day of May, A. D. 1843, Joe Smith requested to see me alone in the preparation room of the Nauvoo Lodge, U. D., on some important business. We entered, and he locked the door, put the key in his pocket, and drew a pistol on me and said: "The peace of my family requires that you should sign an affidavit, and make a statement before the next City Council, on the 19th, exonerating me from all participation whatever, either directly or indirectly, in word or deed, in the spiritual wife doctrine, or private intercourse with females in general; and if you do not do it, with apparent cheerfulness, I will make catfish bait of you, or deliver you to the Danites for execution to-night; for my dignity and purity must and shall be maintained before the public, even at the expense of life. Will you do it, or die?" I replied that he had better procure some other person, or persons, to do so, as there were a plenty who could do it, in truth. ''No," said he, "that will not do; for it is known that you are well acquainted with all my private acts, better than any other man; and it is in your power to save me or damn me; and as you have now withdrawn from the Church in an honorable manner, over my own signature, a privilege never granted to any other person, you must and shall place it out of your power to injure me or the Church. Do it, or the Mississippi is your portion; will you do it?"

    I remarked that it was a hard case, and that I would leave peaceably, and without any public exposition, if he would excuse me. He replied: "I tell you, as I was once told, 'Your die is cast, your fate is fixed, your doom is sealed if you refuse. Will you do it, or die?" I remarked that I would, under the circumstances, but that it was hard to take the advantage of an unarmed man. "If you tell that publicly," said he, "death is your portion -- remember the Danites!" He then unlocked the door, we went into the room below, and I gave the affidavit as subscribed before Alderman Wells (who was then doing business in the lower room), and made the statement required before the City Council on the 19th. I was not aware, until Sunday last, that any other person was apprised of the fact of the threat of murder, but on that day Col. Francis H. Higbee told me, in the presence of Geo. W. Robinson,

                                       HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                     285

    that if it came to the worst, he was in possession of a secret that would open the eyes of the people, and that he would file his affidavit if necessary: but he would not tell me what the secret was. Gen. Robinson, however, informed me afterwards that it was a knowledge of Joe's threats of murder. On the 30th of June, 1843, I called upon Col. Higbee for his affidavit, which was taken before Gen. Hiram Kimball, an Alderman of the city, and is in llie following words, to-wit:



    Personally appeared before me, Hiram Kimball, an Alderman of the city of Nauvoo, Francis M. Higbee, who, being duly sworn according to law, deposeth and sayeth, that Joseph Smith told him that John C. Bennett could be easily put aside or drowned, and no person would be the wiser for it, and that it ought to be attended to; and he further remarked, that the sooner this was done, the better for the Church, fearing, as he said, that Bennett would make zzzsmiir ilisdusm-es prejudicial to said Smith. This was about the time of Bennett's withdrawal from the Church, or a short time before; and further this deponent saith not.

    Francis M. Higbee.

    Sworn to and subscribed, this 30th day of June, A. D, 1842.

    Hiram Kimball, Alderman,"

    My affidavit and statement, under Duresse, were published in the Nauvoo Wasp of the 25th of June, 1843. Is it not high time that this band of murderers should be made to feel the just penalty of the law? It is certainly a most alarming state of society when men are above the reach of law, and free to perpetrate the blackest crimes of cruelty and oppression. All this in a land of boasted freedom! Great God! where is the arm of power ? Where is liberty and the rights of man? Arise, ye officers of justice, and assert the majesty of your insulted laws. Let the sound of the clarion give the alarm! and horsemen and chariots will tell the story, until one stone shall not be left upon another, or a vestige of iniquity and crime to pollute the goodly land.

    2d. The Fulfillment of Prophecy. -- In 1841, Joe Smith predicted or prophesied, in a public congregation in Nauvoo, that Lilburn W. Boggs, ex-Governor of Missouri, should die by violent hands within one year. From one to two months prior to the attempted assassination of Gov. Boggs, Mr. O. P. Rockwell left Nauvoo for parts unknown to the citizens at large. I was then on terms of close intimacy with Joe Smith, and asked him where Rockwell had gone. "Gone?" said he -- "gone TO FULFILL PROPHECY!" Rockwell returned to Nauvoo the day before the report of the assassination reached there, and the Nauvoo Wasp remarked: "It yet remains to be known who did the noble deed." Rockwell remarked to a person now in Nauvoo, and whose name I forbear to mention for the present, from motives of prudence and safety of the person, but which shall be forthcoming in due time, that he had "been all over upper Missouri, and all about where Boggs lives;" and this was communicated to me by that person before I withdrew from the Church, and we had considerable conversation upon that daring act. Rockwell is a Danite. Joe's public memory is very treacherous on this subject, I presume; but his zzzprimitcraeuiory is so good he keeps a guard around his house every night, with the State cannon and a full supply of small arms, for the protection of his person against any attempted arrest. He likewise requested me to write to Gov. Carlin for his protection, which I agreed to do; and accordingly did, asking the Governor whether he would be protected from any zzzilUf/iil act of violence; to which the Governor replied that the citizens should receive equal protection, but that he knew of no privileged man, or order of men, and that the dignity of the State should be preserved according to the strict letter of the Constitution and the laws. This letter I refused to show to Joe, as open hostilities had commenced between us; and he accordingly detailed a court-martial to try me for treason against the citizens of the State of Illinois!!! This Court I regarded as illegal, and treated it with that utter contempt which such an assemblage of inferior officers will always receive at m)' hands. Now, I call upon Col. Francis M. Higbee to come out and tell what he told Gen. Robinson and myself, in relation to the murder of a certain prisoner in Missouri. Col. Higbee, do not fear to tell the dreadful story; tell exactly how Joe had the murder done up, and what part he ordered you to take in the affair, but which you did not take. Tell it as Robinson knows it, and as you told me, and do not fear. Gov. Reynolds will make another demand, and Joe shall be delivered over. I will visit Missouri and tell the dreadful story. Let the call be made, and the laws shall be executed.

    286                                    HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                    

    3d. My Late Visit to Springfield. -- On my arrival in Carthage, I found, as all the citizens well know, that I was followed by Mr. O. P. Rockwell, a Danite, who, on his arrival late in the night, made strict inquiries as to where I was: his ostensible business was to put a letter in the post office!! but judge ye the real design. I was prepared for the gentleman, and he approached me not; but another swift rider, Capt. John D. Parker, another Danite, followed me to Springfield, to carry a letter to Dr. Helm; but he had another object, and you may well suppose what it was. I told Capt. Parker that I was aware of his object, but I feared him not. At Virginia, in Cass county, on my return, Parker met me again, and I called the attention of the stage driver to him, who thereupon put two additional balls into his pistol, and then informed me he was ready for him or any other person having the same object in view. Many of the Danites have been around me in Nauvoo, for the purpose of secret murder, in order to save the arch-impostor Joe from public infamy.

    4th. Mrs. Sarah M. Pratt, wife of Professor Orson Pratt, of the University of Nauvoo. -- Joe Smith stated to me at an early day in the history of that city, that he intended to make that amiable and accomplished lady one of his spiritual wives, for the Lord had given her to him: and he requested me to assist him in consummating his hellish purposes; but I told him that I would not do it; that she had been much abused and neglected by the Church during the absence of her husband in Europe, and that if the Lord had given her to him he must attend to it himself. "I will do it," said he, "for there is no harm in it if her husband should never find it out." I called upon Mrs. Pratt and told her that Joe contemplated an attack upon her virtue, "in the name of the Lord," and that she mast prepare to repulse him in so infamous an assault. She replied: "Joseph can not be such a man: I can not believe it until I know it for myself, or have it from his own lips; he can not be so corrupt." "Well," I replied, "you will see, unless he changes his mind." Accordingly in a few days Joe proposed to me to go to Ramus with him. I consented to go, and we started from the house about four o'clock, p. m., rode into the prairie a few miles, and returned to the house of Capt. John T. Barnett, in Nauvoo, about dark, where we put up the horse with Barrett's permission. He, Joe, pretended we were looking for thieves. We then proceeded to the house where Mrs. Pratt resided, and Joe commenced discourse as follows: "Sister Pratt, the Lord has given you to me as one of my spiritual wives. I have the blessings of Jacob granted me, as he granted holy men of old, and I have long looked upon you with favor, and hope you will not deny me." She replied: "I care not for the blessings of Jacob, and I believe no Buch revelations; neither will I consent under any circumstances. I have one good husband, and that is enough for me." Joe could not come it! He then went off to

    see Miss , at the house of Mrs. Sherman. He remained with her an hour or two, and then returned to Barnett's, harnessed our horse, started for Ramus, and arrived at Carthage at early breakfast. We then went to Ramus, and returned to Carthage that night, and put up at the house of Esq. Comer. Next day we returned to Nauvoo. I called on Mrs. Pratt and asked her what she thought of Joseph. She replied: "He is a bad man. beyond a doubt." Mrs. Pratt, in a conversation with Mrs. Goddard, wife of Stephen H. Goddard, said: "Sister Goddard, Joseph is a corrupt man; I know it, for he made an attempt upon me." Three times afterward he tried to convince Mrs. Pratt of the propriety of his doctrine, and she at last told him: "Joseph, if you ever attempt anything of this kind with me again, I will tell Mr. Pratt on his return home; I will certainly do it." Joe replied, "Sister Pratt, I hope you will not expose me; if I am to suffer, all suffer; so do not expose me. Will you agree not to do so?" "If," said she, "you will never insult me again, I will not expose you, unless strong circumstances require it."

    "Well, Sister Pratt," says Joe, "as you have refused me, it becomes sin, unless sacrifice is offered;" and turning to me, he said, "General, if you are my friend, I wish you to procure a lamb, and have it slain, and sprinkle the door-posts and the gate with its blood, and take the kidneys and the entrails and offer them upon an altar of twelve stones that have not been touched with a hammer, as a burnt offering, and it will save me and my priesthood. Will you do it?" "I will," I replied. So I procured the lamb from Capt. John T. Barnett. * and it was slain by Lieut. Stephen H. Goddard, and I offered the kidneys and entrails a sacrifice for Joe, as he desired; and Joe said, "All is now safe: the destroying angel will pass over without harming

    * We have the authority of Capt. Barnett for the statement that Bennett's story is true, so far as to the procuring of a lamb from him. The Iamb was obtained by Bennett, the Captain wondering what he zzzdesianed doing with it. zzzCant. Ti. now reside at zzz(ra'i s'»arg. Ill.

                                       HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                     287

    any of us." Time passed on in apparent friendship, until Joe grossly insulted Mrs. Pratt again, after her husband had returned zzzlinine, by approaching and kissing her. This highly offended her, and she told Mr. Pratt, who was zzzuuieh eiM-ai;ed, and went and told Joe never to offer an insult of the like again. Joe replied: "I did not desire to kiss her; Bennett made me do it." Joe, you can't come it! Mrs. Pratt is far above your foul and polluted breath, your calumny and detraction. I now appeal to Mrs. Pratt, if this is not true to the very letter. Just speak out boldly.

    5th. Miss Nancy Rigdon, daughter of Sidney Rigdon, Esq. -- (A story of a similar attempt on Miss Rigdon, in which General Bennett and Col. F. M. Higbee interfere, and she is saved.)

    6th. I will now append my own affidavit:


    Hancock County, Ill.

    Personally appeared before me, Samuel Marshall, a Justice of the Peace in and for said county, John C. Bennett, who, being duly sworn according to law, deposeth and saith, that the affidavit taken before Esquire Wells, on the 17th of May, and the statement before the City Council of Nauvoo, on the 19th, as published in the Wasp of the zzz27th of June, 1843, are false, and were taken under duresse, as stated in zzz tins letter * * * John C. Bensett.

    Sworn to and subscribed, this 3d day of July, 1843.

    Samuel Marshall, J. P. {l. s.}

    Bennett's third letter to the Sangamo Journal is devoted largely to an expose of Smith's action as trustee for the Church, and in taking the benefit of the bankrupt law. He concludes as follows:

    Come out, gentlemen, and renounce and denounce Joseph Smith, that soul-damning impostor. Come out now, or bow down and lick the dust, worship at his shrine, and chain your fate to the wheels of damnation and the car of iniquity. The issue is made up: it can not be averted; and I pray God that the "bitter cup may not pass." You all, with Francis M. Higbee, Geo. W. Robinson, Chauncey L. Higbee, zzzHeiuy Marks, and hundreds of others, know that I have told the unvarnished truth, and the people at large will believe me, though I have not yet told half the dreadful story! Come out from among the ungodly, and be ye separate. Gen. Robinson writes under date of July 3d: Joe says to the people: "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 zzzcursed lies; for I know I am a prophet." Yes, and Pratt, and Rigdon, and Robinson, and the Higbees, and the zzzSlarks, and hundreds of others, know you to be a zzzliae, Joe; and Pratt and others have told you so in the face of open day. You lied in the name of the Lord! Remember that, you base blasphemer! remember that and weep! took at your black catalogue of crimes, your seductions in the name of your Maker, your robberies, and your murders! Why, Satan blushes to behold so corrupt and loathsome a mortal, -- one whose daring deeds of crime so far surpass hell's darkest councils, as to hide the sable Prince in impenetrable darkness forever. * * *

    I am going over to Missouri to have Joe taken to justice; and then I am going to New York to publish a book to be called "The History of the Saints," in which I shall tell most of the actings and doings at Nauvoo for the last two years -- of most of their great men, and some of their great women, too. So, look out for breakers. We shall have full disclosures, if the Danites don't catch me; they are after me like prowling wolves, by Joe's special orders. In haste, Yours respectfully,

    John C. Bennett.

    An apology may seem necessary for occupying so much of our space with this man's braggadocio letters; but it should he remembered that he was for more than a year the second man in position in the city and in the Church; that he had during that time the full confidence of the prophet and his people; and more, that he was an officer by appointment of the Governor of the State and a Judge of

    288                                    HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                    

    the Circuit Court. That he was a weak man and a knave, his own conduct and expose abundantly prove; and it is left for the public to decide how far his statements are to be relied on. Notwithstanding his urgent appeals, he failed to carry with him the men to whom they were made; though it is to be noted that, within the next two years, they all, or nearly all, seceded from the Church, and by their course brought about the events which ended in the prophet's death.

    We have been utterly unable to obtain possession of the Wasp, the Nauvoo paper of that period. The Mormon side in the controversy, it is remembered, was not left behind in the use of "names" and invective. So that about the proper conclusion for the outside public to adopt, was to believe both sides -- a conclusion which time has only strengthened.


    In August of this year a new demand was made for both Smith and Rockwell, and sent to Gov. Carlin, at Quincy, who issued a warrant for their arrest, which was placed in the hands of an officer during the week after the election. He repaired to Nauvoo, and on Monday, the zzz5th, made the arrests without difficulty. The prisoners were immediately taken on a writ of habeas corpus issued by the Municipal Court, brought before that body and at once discharged. The officer insisting that the Court had no jurisdiction, and that the discharge was illegal, it was agreed by Smith, that if the writ should be returned to the Governor, with the indorsement that the prisoners had been discharged by the Municipal Council, he would hold himself in readiness to zzzobject if the Governor should again send for him. The officer hereupon returned to Quincy, but was dispatched back by the Executive with orders to re-arrest at all hazards. In the meantime Smith had taken legal counsel, and when the officer returned had disappeared. It is believed that he was hid in the city. The name of Rockwell seems somehow to have been dropped. Why no effort was ever made to procure Rockwell, who was clearly amenable to the laws of Missouri, is not well understood.

    We find an ordinance of the City Council, dated the zzz5th of August, the day of the arrest, but whether passed in anticipation of that event, or subsequent to it, and to guard against the future, does not appear. It is evident, however, that whether discharged by virtue of it, or before its passage, the discharge was in any case flagrantly illegal. -- (For this ordinance see sub-head, "Charter and Ordinances, further on. "J )

    Gov. Ford says:

    As I before said, Gov. Carlin, in 1842, had issued his warrant for the arrest of Joe Smith, the prophet, as a fugitive from justice in Missouri. This warrant had never been executed, and was still outstanding when I came into office. The Mormons were desirous of having the cause of arrest legally tested in the Federal Court.

                                       HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                     289

    Upon their application a duplicate warrant was issued in the winter of 1842-3, and placed in the hands of the Sheriff of Sangamon county. Upon this Joe Smith came to Springfield and surrendered himself a prisoner. A writ of habeas corpus was obtained from Judge Pope of the Federal Court, and Smith was discharged." -- (Ford's Hist. Ill, p. 314. )

    As much controversy has been had in regard to the discharge from this arrest zzz by Judge Pope, it is proper that we should give the basis of the arrest, and the Judge's reasons for the discharge of the prisoner. The following are the official pajjcrs in the case:

    STATE OF Missouri,)


    This day personally appeared before me, Samuel Weston, a Justice of the Peace within and for the county of Jackson, the subscriber, Lilburn W. Boggs, who being duly sworn, doth depose and say, that on the night of the (zzzh day of May, 1842, while sitting in his dwelling in the town of Independence, in the county of Jackson, he was shot with intent to kill, and that his life was despaired of for several days; and that he believes, and has good reason to believe, from evidence and information now in his possession, that Joseph Smith, commonly called the Mormon prophet, was accessory before the fact of the intended murder; and that the said Joseph Smith is a citizen or resident of the State of Illinois; and that the said deponent hereby applies to the Governor of the State of Missouri to make a demand on the Governor of the State of Illinois, to deliver the said Joseph Smith, commonly called the Mormon prophet, to some person authorized to receive and convey him to the State and county aforesaid, there to be dealt with according to law.

    Lilburn W. Boggs.

    Sworn to and subscribed before me, this 20th day of July, 1842.

    Samuel Weston, J. P.

    The Governor of the State of Missouri to the Governor of the State of Illinois --


    "Whereas, It appears by the annexed document, which is hereby certified to be authentic, that one Joseph Smith is a fugitive from justice, charged with being accessory before the fact, to an assault with intent to kill, made by one O. P. Rockwell, on Lilburn W. Boggs, in this State: and it is represented to the Executive Department of this State, has tied to the State of Illinois;

    Now, therefore, I, Thomas Reynolds, Governor of the said State of Missouri, by virtue of the authority in me vested by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do by these presents, demand the surrender and delivery of the said Joseph Smith to Edward R. Ford, who is hereby appointed as the agent to receive the said Joseph Smith on the part of the State. In testimony, etc.

    The People of the State of Illinois to the Sheriff of Sangamon, county -- Greeting:

    Whereas, It has been made known to me by the Executive authority of the State of Missouri, that one Joseph Smith stands charged by the affidavit of one Lilburn W. Boggs, made on the 20th day of July, 1842, at the county of Jackson in the State of Missouri, before Samuel Weston, a Justice of the Peace within and for the county of Jackson aforesaid, with being accessory before the fact to an assault with intent to kill, made by one O. P. Rockwell on Lilburn W. Boggs, on the night of the 6th day of May, 1842, at the county of Jackson, in said State of Missouri, and that the said Joseph Smith had fled from the justice of said State and taken refuge in the State of Illinois:

    Now, therefore, I, Thomas Ford, Governor of the State of Illinois, pursuant to the Constitution and laws of the United States, and of this State, do hereby command you to arrest and apprehend the said Joseph Smith, if he be found within the limits of the State aforesaid, and cause him to be safely kept and delivered to the custody of Edward R. Ford, who has been duly constituted the agent of the said State of Missouri to receive said fugitive from the justice of said State, he paying all fees and charges for the arrest and apprehension of said Joseph Smith, and make due return to the Executive Department of this State, the manner in which this writ may be executed. In testimony whereof, etc.

    290                                    HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                    

    And now, at the distance of over a third of a century from these events, and regarding these writs and the facts in the light of reason and common sense, it seems like mere boys' play that these chief magistrates and officials were engaged in, or, worse still, that they were purposeh'zzz and wickedly issuing writs they knew to be defective, in order to avoid the responsibility resting upon them as conservators of the peace and supporters of the law's majesty. The writs were illegal and wrong: first, because if Joseph Smith did send Orrin P. Rockwell to Missouri to kill Gov. Boggs (and that be did, we believe, is almost the universal verdict), -- if he did, his crime was not against the State of Missouri, but the State of Illinois, where he resided and was a citizen, and by Illinois laws and courts must he be tried and punished. Secondly, ex-Gov. Boggs' affidavit plainly charges that Smith is a "resident or citizen of the State of Illinois;" and hence, for Gov. Reynolds in his requisition, and Gov. Ford in his writ of arrest, to say that he had "fled from the justice of the State of Missouri," were palpable and unwarranted perversions of fact, not only as stated by Boggs, but as they all knew it to exist. So, it is fair to presume that these officials knew, and that the prophet knew before he submitted himself as a prisoner at Springfield -- as well as we know now -- that Judge Pope was bound to discharge him. And he did discharge him, chiefly on the grounds above stated, in these words:

    The Court can alone regard the facts as set forth in the affidavit of Boggs, as having any legal existence. The mis-recitals and over-statements in the requisition and warrant are not supported by oath, and can not be received as evidence to deprive a citizen of his liberty, and transport him to a foreign State for trial. For these reasons. Smith must be discharged.


    In the year 1843 it was not deemed expedient, nor was it possible to keep up the Anti-Mormon organization. The Whig politicians had hopes of securing the Mormon vote, or at least of dividing it in favor of their candidates. Smith had been released from arrest by Judge Pope, a Whig judge, and his case had been ably argued by Whig lawyers. The Democrats equally desired a party organization, and expected to retain the vote because they had heretofore secured it, and saw no reason for a change. The Warsaw Message had succeeded the Signal, under charge of Gregg and Patch -- the latter its political editor, who strongly favored distinct Whig organization and a full Whig local ticket.

    On the 10th of May, at a Whig convention at Rock Island, in which the Mormons were represented, Cyrus Walker, of Macomb, was unanimously nominated as the Whig candidate for Congress. Joseph P. Hoge, of Galena, was about the same time nominated by the Democrats for the same office. This, the Fifth Congressional District, embraced the fifteen counties of Jo Daviess, Carroll, Stephenson, Winnebago, Ogle, Whiteside, Rock Island, Mercer, Warren, Henderson, McDonough, Stark, Lee, Knox and Hancock.

                                       HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                     291

    The two candidates were representative men of their respective parties, and personally popular. Mr. Walker was an old lawyer of distinction in the State, and regarded as the peer of the leading lawyers at the capital. Hoge was a younger and newer man, but was talented, energetic, and a good stump speaker. He had never been in any way identified with the Mormons, residing in a county remote from them in the district. Walker was supposed to be in good favor with them, and had once or twice acted as counsel for the Prophet.

    Soon after the nominations, the campaign of the district began with great vigor. To make a thorough canvass in so large a district, it required a great deal of time and a great amount of physical energy, it being necessary to address the people in at least three or four, and often eight to ten, places in a county. Irrespective of the Mormon vote, there was a decided Whig majority in the district, and the probabilities were strongly in favor of the success of the Whig candidate.

    But the "irrepressible conflict" between Missouri and the Mormon prophet, was not yet at an end. True to his threat. Gen. Bennett had gone to that State and succeeded in procuring another indictment against his enemy, and another requisition. Ford's History states that this indictment and requisition were against both Smith and Rockwell for the attempt upon the life of ex-Gov. Boggs. But Mr. Southwick, one of Smith's Dixon attorneys, in a statement made to the zzz2Iess
    Learning that Smith and his wife were on a visit to her relatives at Palestine Grove, in Lee county, Illinois, toward the northern pact of the district, and about 150 miles from Nauvoo, they quietly repaired thither, found him at the house of his friend, arrested him, and placing him in a carriage, started by way of Dixon, the county-seat. Here the prisoner was allowed to consult with lawyers, who procured for him a writ of habeas corpus from the Master in Chancery in said county. This writ was made returnable before Judge Caton, at Ottawa, in whose circuit they were. This placed the officers as prisoners in the hands of the Sheriff of Lee county. The morning following they started for Ottawa, distant about forty miles, and after traveling three-fourths of the distance, were informed that Judge Caton was temporarily out of the State, when they returned to Dixon.

    Before starting for Ottawa, Smith had commenced suit in the Lee Court for false imprisonment against Reynolds and Wilson; and being unable to procure bail, they were held in the custody of

    292                                    HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                    

    the Sheriff. Against this arrest they also procured a writ of habeas corpus returnable before Judge Young, at Quincy, -- and this writ was also placed in the hands of the Sheriff. After the return to Dixon, Smith procured another writ of habeas corpus (as a substitute for the first one), returnable before the "nearest tribunal in the Fifth Judicial Circuit, authorized to hear and determine writs of habeas corpus." The Fifth Judicial Circuit embraced Quincy (the residence of Judge Young), and also Nauvoo, with a Municipal Court, claiming the right to hear and determine writs of habeas corpus.

    These proceedings completely turned the tables upon the officers. Instead of Smith as their prisoner, they found themselves under arrest and unable to give bail, with Smith really a free man; the fiat had already gone forth that he would be discharged; for was not the Nauvoo Municipal Court ?!,«a/'(?^zzz than the court of Judge Young, at Quincy? and was not Smith himself Mayor of the city and presiding officer of that Court?

    Smith's arrest was made on Thursday, the 23d of June, and on Monday, the 26th, the cavalcade, "consisting of Reynolds, Wilson and Smith; Messrs. Walker, Southwick and Patrick, the counsel of Smith; McKay, a guard employed by Reynolds to guard Smith; Sanger, the owner of the stage coach that took them; McCorasey, the driver of one of the teams employed; Ross, the driver of the stage coach; Mason, attorney for Reynolds and Wilson; Wasson, a relative of the wife of Smith; Montgomery, son-in-law of Walker; and Mr. Campbell, Sheriff of Lee county -- all started from Dixon southward in the direction of Nauvoo and Quincy. Where were they going, and what were they going for? The officer had in his pocket two writs of habeas corpus, directing him to carry the persons therein named, one to Judge Young, at Quincy, the other to any authorized court in the Fifth Judicial Circuit, to hear and determine on habeas corpus. It is not too severe a judgment to say, that all five of those legal gentlemen well knew that the place where those writs were properly returnable, was Judge Young's court. Instead, they traveled directly to Nauvoo. The conclusion is irresistible, that when that second writ was obtained, the purpose was to carry them before that nondescript tribunal. We have, indeed, the testimony of one of the attorneys to that effect. Mr. Southwick says: "No threat or intimidation was used by any person whatever, to induce Mr. Campbell, the Sheriff of Lee county, to go to Nauvoo with Reynolds; and Mr. Campbell well knew before starting from Dixon, that it was the determination of the whole company to go to Nauvoo, he particularly consenting to the same. The stage was also chartered to go to Nauvoo. Smith stated before leaving Dixon, that he should submit to the law, and appeared desirous to do so.'' (.'.')

    "Smith pledged his word," continues Mr. Southwick's statement, "previous to his arrival in Nauvoo, that Reynolds should not be harmed;" and he was not. He and Wilson were even

                                       HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                     293

    invited to dine with the prophet at his house, which they did, and were introduced to his family! "In the afternoon of the day of said, arrival, a writ of habeas corpus (still another!) was issued by the Municipal Court of the city of Nauvoo, directed to Reynolds, requiring him to bring before said Court the body of said Smith; which he accordingly did, objecting, however, to the same, that said Court had no jurisdiction of the case."

    Of course he did; and the next sentence shows that there was still a lingering qualm of conscience on the part of counsel. Mr. Southwick continues: "The counsel of Smith, however, appeared to entertain a different opinion as to the jurisdiction of said Court, and the examination was had before them and Smith discharged upon the merits of the case, and upon the substantial defects in the warrant."

    Let us here recall the clause in the city charter in relation to writs of habeas corpus. The following is the whole of it:

    "The Municipal Court shall have power to grant writs of habeas corpus in all cases arising under the ordinances of the City Council."

    "When Smith was arrested it so happened that both Walker and Hoge were in the vicinity of Dixon canvassing the district. In addition to the two Dixon attorneys. Smith sent for and engaged Walker. This gentleman left his appointments, and, as we have seen, rode with the cavalcade to Nauvoo, and, it is said, there made a three-hours speech in favor of Smith's discharge by the Municipal Court, and contending for its jurisdiction. Gov. Ford, in his history, states that both he and Hoge, from the public stand in Nauvoo, afterwards declared their belief in the existence of the power claimed by the Court.

    Being thus signally baffled, the Missouri agent applied to Gov. Ford for a military force to enable him to retake Smith; and Mr. Walker, as Smith's attorney, repaired to Springfield to resist the application. The Governor declined to grant Reynolds' request, and the matter was dropped.

    Thus ended another move, and the last one, in the interesting game of "Demand and Discharge" which the chief executives of two great States had been for two or three years playing.

    It is funny to note how differently the two interested parties tell the incidents of this arrest. If either be true, it was dramatic in the extreme.

    The Times and Seasons of July 1, 1843, thus tells it:

    While he (Smith) was there (at his wife's sister's residence, 13 miles from Dixon), a Mr. J. H. Reynolds, Sheriff of Jackson county. Mo. (so he says), and Mr. Harmon Wilson, of Carthage, arrived at Dixon, professing to be Mormon preachers; from thence they proceeded to Mr. Wasson's, at whose house Mr. Smith was staying. They found Mr. Smith outside the door, and accosted him in a very uncouth, ungentlemanly manner, quite in keeping, however, with the common practice of Missourians. The following is as near the conversation as we can gather; Reynolds and his coadjutor, Wilson, both stepped up at a time to Mr. Smith, with their pistols cocked. and without showing any writ or serving any process, Mr. Reynolds, with

    294                                    HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                    

    his pistol cocked at Mr. Smith's breast, cried out "G--d d--n you, if you stir I'll shoot -- G--d d--n you! be still, or I'll shoot, by G--d."

    "What is the meaning of this?" interrogated Mr. Smith.

    "I'll show you the meaning, by G--d; and if you stu' one inch I'll shoot you, G--d d--n you."

    "I am not afraid of your shooting," answered Mr. Smith. "I am not afraid to die." He then bared his breast and said, "Shoot away; I have endured so much of oppression I am weary of life, and kill me if you please. I am a strong man, however, and with my own natural weapons could soon level both of you; but if you have any legal process to serve, I am at all times subject to law, and shall not offer resistance."

    " G -- d d -- n you, if you say another word, we'll shoot you, by G -- d."

    "Shoot away," answered Mr. S.; "I am not afraid of your pistols."

    They then hurried him off to a carriage they had, and without serving any process were for hurrying him off without letting him see or bid farewell to his family or friends. Mr. Smith then said:

    "Gentlemen, if you have any legal process, I wish to obtain a writ of habeas corpus," and was answered:

    "G--d d--n you, you shan't have one."

    Mr. Smith saw a friend of his passing, and said:

    "These men are kidnapping me, and I want a writ of habeas corpus to deliver myself out of their hands."

    This friend immediately proceeded to Dixon, whence the Sheriff also proceeded full speed.

    The account goes on to say, that, arriving at Dixon, they put up at a hotel where Reynolds continued very abusive of Smith, and refused to let him see or converse with a lawyer, so much so that the bystanders interfered, when he relented, and did allow him to consult with two attorneys.

    This story differs greatly from the one told by Wilson. We have heard it from his own lips; and knowing him as we did for many years previous to his death, can not but believe his statement to have been substantially true.

    He stated that he and Reynolds drove in their carriage to the residence of Mr. Wasson, alighted and hitched their team, and stepping to the front door, inquired for Mr. Smith. The answer was very unsatisfactory, but that he was not there. They took seats, however, -- Reynolds in the doorway, and Wilson on the step outside, -- and entered into conversation. While thus engaged, Wilson, who had a view of the stairway, saw Emma, the prophet's wife, hastily cross the hall at the head of the stairs. This convinced him that they were on the right track. The conversation continued a little longer, but Wilson was becoming excited and uneasy. Rising from his seat, he made a step or two to the corner of the house, and casting his eye along the side of the building, was astonished to see, off in an open field one or two hundred yards, the object of their search, running towards a piece of woods some distance away.

    On the impulse of the moment, and without bidding good-bye to the household, or explaining to Reynolds, he gave a whoop, and started in pursuit, leaving his companion to bring up the rear. The pursuers, being lighter in weight and nimbler of foot, gained upon the pursued. So he resorted to strategy. He was nearing an old building, uninhabited, but at the side of which was a well,

                                       HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                     295

    and near by a lot of clothes spread over some grass and weeds to dry. It was evident that Smith had been making or the forest beyond; but on arriving at the building, Wilson could nowhere see the fugitive. He certainly had not had time to reach the woods, nor could he be seen about the building. Giving a hurried glance at the surroundings, -- taking in the cabin, the weeds, the drying bed-clothes, -- an idea struck him, and the next moment he saw a pair of boots partly protruding from beneath some bedding on the weeds,

    By this time Reynolds was close at hand; but, in his excitement, and without waiting to see if there was a man in the boots, or who that man might be, Wilson sprang upon the blanket and called on Reynolds to come on. The man in the boots soon emerged from beneath, and stood before them as their prisoner, and in great trepidation assured them of his surrender. In due time he was placed in the carriage, and they started on their journey -- a journey ludicrous in its beginning, but disastrous to them in the end.

    These are the two stories of the arrest -- rather conflicting; we leave them with the reader.


    While these things were transpiring up north, tremendous excitement existed at Nauvoo and over Hancock county. As soon as possible after the arrest, the news thereof had been sent to the city by swift messenger, and quick preparations were, made for their prophet's rescue. But it was not known what route to Missouri would be taken by the officers with their prisoner. It was conjectured that they might drive eastward, and take steamer at the nearest point on the Illinois river; or that they might aim to put him on board a St. Louis steamer at Rock Island; or that he might be taken in by-ways across the country. All these contingencies were provided for. The little steamer Ariel, owned and employed at Nauvoo, was armed, it was said, with a cannon or two, and manned, and despatched down the Mississippi to intercept them in or at the mouth of the Illinois river. At the same time squads of horsemen were sent out on the various roads toward Dixon. The delay, as we have seen, at that place, gave time for numbers of these horsemen to be a considerable distance on their way north before the party of prisoners and lawyers had left for Nauvoo; and during the journey it was met by many of them, who turned and escorted their chief back to the city.

    These events occurred during, the latter part of June and the first days of July; and it was some time before Mr. Walker was ready to resume his canvass. His conduct, as well as that of Mr. Hoge, was the occasion of much comment throughout the district, and many Whigs were highly indignant. It is believed that Smith had intended in scood faith to throw the Mormon vote to Mr.

    296                                    HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                    

    "Walker; but the dissatisfaction of the Whigs in part, and for the reason that Reynold's application to the Governor for a force to aid him in retaking Smith was still held in zzzterrorem over him, he changed his policy. Ford himself states that a friend of his, in his absence and in his name, had pledged to a Mormon emissary, Backenstos, that if they would vote the Democratic ticket, the force should not be sent. -- (p. 317. )

    The Governor's statement of what occurred at Nauvoo in regard to the matter so nearly accords with what we learned from other sources, that we give it in his own words:

    A great meeting was called of several thousand Mormons, on Saturday before the election. Hyrum Smith, patriarch in the Mormon Church and brother to the prophet, appeared in this great assembly, and there solemnly announced to the people that God had revealed to him that the Mormons must support Mr. Hoge, the Democratic candidate. William Law, another great leader of the Mormons, next appeared, and denied that the Lord had made any such revelation. He stated that to his certain knowledge the prophet Joseph was in favor of Mr. Walker, and that the prophet was more likely to know the mind of the Lord on the subject than the patriarch. Hyrmn Smith again repeated his revelation, with a greater tone of authority. But the people remained in doubt until the next day, being Sunday, when Joe himself appeared before the assembly. He there stated that "he himself" was in favor of Mr. Walker, and intended to vote for him; that he would not influence any voter in giving his vote; that he considered it a mean business for him or any other man to attempt to dictate to the people who they should support in elections; that he had heard his brother Hyrum had received a revelation from the Lord on the subject; that for his part he did not much believe in revelations on the subject of elections; but brother Hyrum was a man of truth; he had known brother Hyrum intimately ever since he was a boy, and he had never known him to tell a lie. If brother Hyrum said he had received such a revelation, he had no doubt it was a fact. When the Lord speaks, let all the earth be silent.

    That settled it. The election occurred on the next day. It is believed the prophet did, with a few others, vote for Walker, in the face of the revelation; but the body of his followers voted for Hoge, giving him 2,088 votes to Walker's 733 in the county, and beating him in the district by 455 votes. This change of position at Nauvoo was not known in Adams county till after the election; so Mr. O. H. Browning, the Whig candidate in that district, received the Mormon vote there.

    To Mr. Walker and his friends, and the Whig party generally, this result was the more aggravating from the fact that it was made quite evident that by a straightforward, honest and independent course, thus securing a full and enthusiastic Whig support, he could have been elected with the Mormon vote solid against him.


    The conduct of politicians and political parties, during the campaign of 1843, gave a new impulse to the Anti-Mormon sentiment, and measures to prevent their recurrence began at once to be taken. The election fully developed the fact that, although two or three good men had been chosen to county offices -- men not objectionable to the great body of the old citizens -- yet practically the

                                       HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                     299

    whole county was at the feet of the prophet. Four of the officials elected were Mormons, and one of them, James Adams, was not even a citizen of the county. At the time of his election as Probate Judge, he held the same office in Sangamon county; having joined the Church and being about to settle in Nauvoo, he was placed upon the ticket here and elected.

    Mr. Adams died within a month after his election, when at a special election to fill the vacancy, David Greenleaf, an old settler Democrat was chosen in his place.

    An effort to reorganize the Anti-Mormon party was decided on. Accordingly a public meeting was called at the county seat on the 7th of September, at which a central and other committees were appointed, and other steps taken toward a permanent organization. Among the resolutions passed was one -- which we now think objectionable, and should have been omitted -- requesting the Governor of Missouri to make another demand for Smith, and pledging aid in the execution of the writ.

    In the meantime difficulties were frequently occurring between the parties at various points in the county and at Nauvoo, which tended to keep alive the excitement. Numerous acts of tyranny were perpetrated by the prophet on citizens of the county, and even on his own followers; and heavy fines were inflicted at his instance, for no punishable offense, by the Municipal Court, or by himself as Mayor and presiding officer of the Court. If he committed an offense against an individual, which rendered him liable, he had an easy way of escaping, which was to procure an arrest by some of his tools, have an ex-parte hearing, and get discharged; then, if an officer called upon him, he was coolly informed that he was too late!

    One of the most conspicuous of these outrages was perpetrated on Mr. Alexander Sympson, of Carthage, a well-known and prominent Anti-Mormon, about the beginning of 1844. This case so fully sets forth the man and his methods, that we give it in Mr. Sympson's own words:

    To the Editor of the Warsaw Message:

    Dear Sir: -- Through the columns of your journal I wish to make a full and fair statement of an occmTence with myself and the Mormon prophet at Nauvoo. I beg your indulgence while I give the particulars, as I wish it to go to the world in its true colors.

    On the 17th day of last month, I was waited on by Mr. Roundy, of Nauvoo, at Mr. Davis' store, of that place, with a request to go immediately to see the prophet at his own house, as he had some important business with me. I asked him if he knew what was wanting. He said he did not. I went with him to see what the prophet wanted. On arriving there we were told that he had gone to his farm in the country. He then requested me to go and see a Mr. Phelps, who was his clerk; he in all probability could tell what was wanting. On seeing Phelps, he could tell nothing about the business I was sent for. I went with him to the Steamboat Hotel, where I board; got my dinner, and was returning to my business in Dr. R. D. Foster's office, near the temple. On my way I was again met by this Mr. Roundy, who informed me that the prophet had left the business with a Col. Dunham to attend to, and that he was at the office waiting for me, and wished me to call and see him immediately. I again asked if he knew what was wanted. He assured me did not know. We went to the office; Dunham was not there; after waiting and looking

    300                                    HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                    

    for Dunham about one hour, I told him I could stay no longer. Said he, "Wait a few minutes longer; I have sent for Dunham, and I see the man I sent running across the street; he no doubt sees him, and will be here with him in a few minutes." Accordingly I waited some 30 or 30 minutes; they did not appear, and I told him I must leave; that he might tell Dunham he could find me in Dr. Foster's office any time that evening. I was in the act of leaving, when he said, "If you can not stay any longer, I must inform you that I must detain you on behalf of the people of the State of Illinois." I asked him why he did not tell me so at first, and not trifle with me in that way; and "Where is your authority, and what am I detained for?" He replied, that he had no precept -- that he was a police officer -- and by the ordinances of the city he could take me as well without as with a precept; and that I was accused of an attempt to murder and rob a Mr. Badham, who resides some five or six miles from the city, on the Carthage road, and that the prophet (Mayor) had told him that morning to arrest me. I asked who made the complaint. He said if he was at Esq. Johnson's office he could tell. We went to Esq. Johnson's office (it was now 3 o'clock p. M.) and asked for the papers. He, Johnson, showed me a blank affidavit and warrant, and said he got word to make out those papers this morning, and a Mr. Dunham had just left the office to find a man that would swear to it; and if he could not find him, he would return and swear to it himself. I remarked that "If Dunham could hire a man to swear to a d--d lie, he would do so; if not he would do it himself."

    By this time there had several called to see the prisoner. I spoke freely about their proceedings, and the power usurped by the prophet, which did not relish so well. The prophet was brought to set matters right. He told me why he had me apprehended; that he had been told I was the man, and he thought it his duty as Mayor to have me tried; and that they had a right to take a man without a writ in that city; and said he: "Mr. Sympson, you know I am a man that keeps nothing back. Mr. Badham has seen you, and says that you are the identical man that stabbed and robbed him, and sent me word to have you apprehended; which I have done."

    I was held in duress till seven o'clock, or a little after that time. Neither Dunham nor the man he went after had yet returned. The prophet. Smith, then made affidavit that he really believed I was the man who stabbed and robbed Mr. Badham, on or about the 10th of December last. The warrant was issued and served at half-past seven, p. m. We then went to trial. R. D. Foster, Esq., was called to assist Esq. Johnson. Mr. and Mrs. Badham were sworn in behalf of the State. Mr. Badham was examined first:

    Question. Would you know the man, if you were to see him, that stabbed and robbed you? Answer. I would.

    C. L. Higbee. Esq., pointed me out to him, and asked: Is that the man? Ans. No, nor nothing like him.

    I then asked him if he had ever seen me before. He said he had no recollection of ever having seen me. I asked him if he had sent the prophet word that he had seen me, and that I was the man who had committed the act, and he wanted me apprehended. Ans. I never did.

    Mrs. Badham testified that I was not the man, and did not resemble him in the least.

    His Holiness, the prophet, came next, and requested to tell his story without any questions being asked. After he got through, I remarked to the Court that I wanted to propound a few questions to the witness. Leave was granted.

    Q. Have you the smallest particle of belief whatever, at this time, that I am the man who committed the act with which I am charged ? Ans. No, sir; I have not now, and I never had.

    Q. Why did you swear it in your affidavit? A. I did not.

    I replied: "You did, sir." The affidavit was then read, and he too plainly saw that it zzz did not agree with his evidence in the case. Said he, extending his hand towards Esq. Johnson, who had just read the affidavit, "Give me that paper." The Court hesitated. He asked for it again; he said it was couched in stronger language than he had intended to swear to.

    Mr. Higbee, my attorney, said he hoped the Court would not give it up; that it was part of the record, and that Smith had no right to it. Smith then said he had not sworn to it; that he had signed it, but the oath was not administered to him. (This is zzz¦svith him and his justice, Esquire Johnson.) Smith went on to say that what

                                       HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                     301

    he had done was to befriend me -- that he knew I would be honorably acquitted, and that I would stand fairer than over I did. (The Lord deliver me from such friends!) I was now discharged by the magistrates.

    Alexander Sympson.

    Gen. Bennett's exposes mentioned several parties by name, as being disaffected toward the prophet. These, it is believed, never became heartily reconciled, though they refused to "come out," when so strongly urged by the General. Some of these were Sidney Rigdon, Bishop Marks, Geo. W. Robinson, William and Wilson Law, Dr. Robert D. and Charles A. Foster, and Francis M. and Chauncey L. Higbee; also a Sylvester zzzEl^lmo^s, an attorney at law, who was a member of the City Council, but was said to have never been a member of the Church. None of these had ever been fully in the prophet's confidence since the secession of Bennett; and the breach was daily widening between them. The conduct of young Higbee, as we have seen in the case of Sympson, in daring to defend a man charged by the prophet with crime, was of itself enough to doom him to that person's displeasure. Dr. Foster had been elected School Commissioner by Mormon votes, probably as an inducement to keep him quiet.

    During the winter and spring of 1843zzz, the breach had widened to the extent of organizing a new Church, and one was instituted in April or May, with William Law as its President, but who disclaimed any prophetic attainments. It was also decided to establish a newspaper in the city, as their organ, and with which to fight the prophet. Accordingly, in May a printing press and materials arrived by steamer from St. Louis, and were landed and hauled into the city and set up without molestation.

    Of course, these events caused great excitement, not only in the city among the faithful, but over the whole county. Evidently a crisis was approaching. The lion was being bearded. In the meantime the habeas corpus was not inactive. In May, Mr. Francis M. Higbee, one of the seceders, commenced against the prophet a civil action for slander, in the Hancock Circuit Court, on which a capias was issued. On this being served by the Sheriff, instead of entering bail for his appearance, as usual. Smith obtained a writ of habeas corpus zzziYOva. the City Court, and was set at liberty. About the same time, one Jeremiah Smith, an Iowa defaulter to the U. S. Government, fled to the city for refuge, was arrested by the U. S. Marshal, and twice released in the same way, the Court rendering a judgment for costs against the United States!

    The May term of the Hancock Circuit Court commenced its session at Carthage on the 20th. At this Court several cases against Smith were disposed of, as follows:

    Alexander Sympson vs. Joseph Smith, for false imprisonment; change of venue to Adams county. F. M. Higbee, complainant, for slander; C. A. Foster, complainant, for false imprisonment; and A. Davis, complainant, for trespass, to the county of McDonough. In addition to the four above named civil actions, two indictments were found against him by the grand jury -- one for adultery, and one

    302                                    HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                    

    for perjury. To the great surprise of all, on the Monday following, the prophet appeared in Court and demanded trial on the last named indictment. The prosecutor not being ready, a continuance was entered to the next term.

    In the meantime the seceders were not idle. Law boldly denounced the prophet from the stand in the city; while the others were busy among the people in and out of the city. The prospectus for the newspaper was circulated extensively, and received with much comment. Its title was to be the Nauvoo Expositor, and its purposes, as set forth in the prospectus, were the Unconditional Repeal of the City Charter -- To Correct the Abuses of the That Power -- To Advocate Disobedience to Political Revelations, -- in short, to oppose the prophet Smith, and correct the abuses of which he was claimed to be the cause.

    The paper was issued under date of June 7th. It had for its editor Sylvester Emmons, and the names of William Law, Wilson Law, Charles Ivins, Francis M. Higbee, Chauncey L. Higbee, Robert D. Foster and Charles A. Foster, as its publishers. In a literary point of view, it exhibited no decided talent. It had evidently been prepared in hurry and excitement, and with no attempt at artistic arrangement. About half of its reading matter was selected. Of its original contents, live or six columns were occupied with a "Preamble, Resolutions and Affidavits of the Seceders from the Church at Nauvoo,'' giving reasons for their action, and making charges against Smith and his adherents. A number of editorial articles followed, couched in strong language, but not remarkable for ability or point.

    The confessed aim and purpose of this sheet were to expose the enormities practiced by the prophet and his followers at Nauvoo. And from the statements and proofs adduced, and from corroborative facts, making all due allowance for exaggeration, we are compelled to accept most of them as true. Yet we can not but remember that while they were showing Joseph Smith to have been a desperately bad man, they were, to put it in as mild a way as possible, adding little to their own characters, inasmuch as for years they had been his supporters and defenders, and (having been in his confidence) must have known long before that he was a cheat and a fraud, and that all his pretensions to religion and sanctity were false. And now that he and they had quarreled, that their personal right had been trampled upon, that the sanctity of their homes had been invaded, they rebelled and sought to put him down. Better late than never, and better from questionable motives than not at all, however.

    Sidney Rigdon, who, taking their statements to be true, had more reason than any to come out and denounce the prophet, still refused, till after the prophet's death, and Brigham and the Twelve had thrown him overboard. Did Rigdon know of Smith's villainies, after fifteen years' association with him? These seceders gave countenance to Joseph H. Jackson, in his exposures, -- a newcomer,

                                       HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                     303

    who, as he says, had only been in Smith's confidence a little while; and Jackson published that Smith had acknowledged to him that he was a counterfeiter, that he had instigated murder, and that the Mormon bible and golden plates were frauds. Is it more likely that Jackson would have gained the prophet's confidence than they?

    But the life of the Expositor was a short one. This number was its initial and final one. It was issued on Friday, the 7th of June, 1844, and on Saturday, the 8th, the City Council was in session, considering what should be done about it. They deliberated all day, and all day Monday, and at 6 o'clock in the evening passed a resolution declaring it a nuisance, and instructing the Mayor to cause it to be abated, which he did about eight the same evening.

    The Nauvoo Neighbor had succeeded the Wasp. We have before us an extra of that paper, containing a certified copy of the proceedings of Council on this occasion. It is due to them that their side of the controversy should be given, and this extra fully sets forth the reasons for their action. Besides, it should be preserved for all time to come, as a curiosity in legal proceedings, and as illustrating to future law-makers the nature of a nuisance, and its proper mode of treatment. Though long, it is worthy of a place here, and we copy it entire, only correcting its typography:


    Monday Morning, June 17, 1S44.

    To the Public:

    "As a soft breeze in a hot day mellows the air, so does the simple truth calm the feelings of the irritated, and so we proceed to give the proceedings of the City Council relating to the removal of the Nauvoo Expositor as a nuisance. We have been robbed, mobbed and plundered with impunity some two or three times, and as every heart is more apt to know its own sorrows, the people of Nauvoo had ample reason, when such characters as the proprietors and abettors of the Nauvoo Neighbor proved to be before the City Council, to be alarmed for their safety. The men who got up the press were constantly engaged in resisting the authority or threatening something. If they were fined an appeal was taken, but the slander went on; and when the paper came, the course and the plan to destroy the city was marked out. The destruction of the City Charter and the ruin of the saints was the all commanding topic. Our lives, our city, our Charter and our characters are just as sacred, just as dear and just as good as other people's; and while no friendly arm has been extended from the demolition of our press in Jackson county, Missouri, without law, to this present day, the City Council, with all the law of nuisance, from Blackstone down to the Springfield Charter, knowing that if they exceeded the law of the land, a higher court would regulate the proceedings -- abated the Nauvoo Expositor.

    304                                    HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                    

    "The proceedings of the Council show, as sketched, that there was cause of alarm. The people when they reflect will at once say that the feelings and rights of men ought to be respected. All persons otherwise, and, without recourse to justice, mercy or humanity, to come out with inflammatory publications, destructive resolutions, or more especially extermination, shows a want of feeling, and a want of respect, and a want of religious toleration that honorable men will deprecate among Americans, as they would the pestilence, famine, or horrors of war. It can not be that the people are so lost to virtue as to coolly go to murdering men, women, and children. No. Candor and common sense forbid it.

    For the Neighbor.

    "Mr. Editor: -- In your last week's paper I proposed giving your readers an account of the proceedings of the City Council, but time forbids any thing more than a brief synopsis of the proceedings of the Municipality of the City of Nauvoo, relative to the destruction of the press and fixtures of the Nauvoo Expositor.

    "City Council, Regular Session,

    June 8th, 1844.

    "In connection with other business, as stated in last week's paper, the Mayor remarked that he believed it generally the case, that when a man goes to law, he has an unjust cause and wants to go before some one who wants business, and that he had very few cases on his docket, and referring to councilor Emmons, editor of the Nauvoo Expositor, suggested the propriety of first purging the City Council; and referring to the character of the paper and proprietors, called up Theodore Turley, a mechanic, who, being sworn, said that the Laws (Wm. and Wilson) had brought bogus dies to him to fix.

    ''Councilor Hyrum Smith inquired what good Foster, and his brother, and the Higbees, and Laws had ever done; while his brother Joseph was under arrest, from the Missouri persecution, the Laws and Foster would have been rode on a rail, if he had not stepped forward to prevent it, on account of their oppressing the poor.

    "Mayor said while he was under arrest by writ from Gov. Carlin, Wm. Law pursued him for $40.00 he was owing Law, and it took the last expense money he had to pay it.

    "Councilor H. Smith referred to J. H. Jackson's coming to this city, etc. Mayor said Wm. Law had offered Jackson $500.00 to kill him.

    "Councilor H. Smith continued Jackson, told him, he (Jackson) meant to have his daughter; and threatened him if he made any resistance. Jackson related to him a dream; that Joseph and Hyrum were opposed to him, but that he would execute his purposes; that Jackson had laid a plan with four or five persons to kidnap his daughter, and threatened to shoot any one that should come near, after he had got her into the skiff; that Jackson was

                                       HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                     305

    engaged in trying to make bogus, which was his principal business, -- referred to the revelation read to the High Council of the Church, which has caused so much talk about a multiplicity of wives; that said revelation was in answer to a (question concerning things which transpired in former days, and had no reference to the present time; that when sick, Wm. Law confessed to him that he had been 'guilty of adultery,' and 'was not fit to live,' and had 'sinned against his own soul,' etc., and inquired who was Judge Emmons. When he came here he had scarce two shirts to his back, but he had been zzzdandled by the authorities of the city, etc., and was now editor of the Nauvoo Expositor, and his right-hand man Francis M. Higbee, who had confessed to him that he had * * * *

    "Washington Peck sworn: -- Said soon after Joseph H. Jackson came here, he came to witness to borrow money, which witness loaned him, and took some jewelry as security. Soon after, a man from across the river came after the jewelry; Jackson had stolen the jewelry from him. At another time, wanted to get money of witness; asked witness if he would do any thing dishonorable to get a living. Witness said he would not. Jackson said witness was a damned fool, for he could get a living a deal easier than he was then doing by making bogus, and some men high in the Church were engaged in the business. Witness asked if it was Joseph. 'No,' said Jackson, 'I dare not tell it to Joseph.' Witness understood him the Laws were engaged in it. Jackson said he would be the death of witness, if he ever went to Joseph or any one else to tell what he had said.

    ''Ordered by the Council that Sylvester Emmons be suspended until his case could be investigated for slandering the City Council; that the Recorder notify him of his suspension, and that his case would come up for investigation at the next regular session of the Council. (The order is in the hands of the Marshal.)

    "Councilor J. Taylor said that Councilor Emmons helped to make the ordinances of the city, and had never lifted his voice against them in the Council, and was now trying to destroy the ordinances and the charter.

    "Lorenzo Wasson, sworn: -- Said Joseph H. Jackson told witness that bogus-making was going on in the city; but it was too damned small business. Wanted witness to help him to procure money, for the General (Smith) was afraid to go into it, and with $500 he could get an engraving for bills on the bank of Missouri, and one on the State of New York, and could make money; said many times witness did not know him; believed the General had been telling witness something. 'God damn him, if he has I will kill him,' -- swore he would kill any man that should prove a traitor to him. Jackson said if he could get a company of men to suit him, he would go into the frontiers and live by highway robbery; had got sick of the world.

    "Mayor suggested that the Council pass an ordinance to prevent

    306                                    HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                    

    misrepresentation and libelous publications, and conspiracies against the peace of the city; and referring to the reports that Mr. Foster had set afloat, said he had never made any proposals to Foster to come back to the Church. Foster proposed to come back; came to Mayor's house and wanted a private interview; had some conversation with Foster in the Hall, in presence of several gentlemen, on the 7th inst.; offered to meet him and have an interview in presence of friends, three or four to be selected by each party, which Foster agreed to; and went to bring his friends for the interview, and the next notice he had of him was the following letter:

    "June 7, 1844.

    "To Gen. J. Smith:

    "Sir -- I have consulted my friends in relation to your proposals of settlements, and they as well as myself are of the opinion that your conduct and that of your unworthy, unprincipled clan is so base that it would be morally wrong and detract from the dignity of gentlemen to hold any conference with you. The repeated insults and abuses, I, as well as my friends, have suffered from your unlawful course towards us demands honorable resentment. "We are resolved to make this our motto; nothing on our part has been done to provoke your anger, but have done all things as become men; you have trampled upon everything we hold dear and sacred, you have set all law at defiance and profaned the name of the Most High to carry out your damnable purposes, and I have nothing more to fear from you than you have already threatened; and I as well as my friends will stay here and maintain and magnify the law as long as we stay; and we are resolved never to leave until we sell or exchange our property that we have here. The proposals made by your agent, Dimick Huntington, as well as the threats you sent to intimidate me, I disdain and despise as I do their unhallowed author. The rights of my family and my friends demand at my hand a refusal of all your offers; we are united in virtue and truth, and we set hell at defiance and all her agents. Adieu.

    "R D. Foster.

    "Gen. J. Smith:

    "Mayor continued: -- And when Foster left his house, he went to a shoe shop on the hill and reported that 'Joseph said to him if he would come back he would give him Law's place in the Church and a hat full of specie.'

    "Lucien Woodworth sworn: -- Said that the conversation as stated by the Mayor was correct; was at the Mansion June 7th when Dr. Foster rode up and inquired if Gen. Smith was at home. Dr. Foster went into the house; witness followed. Dr. Foster was there, the General and others looking at some specimens of penmanship; something was said respecting a conversation at that time between the General and Doctor. Gen. Smith observed to Foster, if he had a conversation he would want others present. The Doctor

                                       HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                     307

    said he would have a word with him by himself, and went into the hail. Witness went to the door that he might see and hear what was passing. They still continued to talk on the subject of a conversation that they might have afterwards with others present, whom Mr. Smith might choose and Foster might choose. Foster left, and went for them that he said he wanted present, and would return soon with them; thinks he heard all the conversation; heard nothing about Gen. Smith's making any offers to Foster to settle; was present all the time. Dimick Huntington said he had seen Foster and talked with him.

    "Mayor said he wished it distinctly understood that he knew nothing about Dimick Huntington going to see Foster.

    "Woodworth said he sent Dimick Huntington to Foster, and Joseph knew nothing about it.

    "Councilor H. Smith said Dimick Huntington came to him on the 7th inst., and said he had had an interview with Dr. Foster, and thought he was about ready to come back, and a word from him to Joseph would bring it about.

    "Mayor said the conduct of such men and such papers are calculated to destroy the peace of the city, and it is not safe that such things should exist, on account of the mob spirit which they tend to produce; he had made the statements he had, and called the witnesses to prepare the Council to act in the case.

    "Emmons was blackguarded out of Philadelphia, and dubbed with the title of Judge (as he had understood from the citizens of Philadelphia), was ppor, and Mayor helped him to cloth for a coat before he went away last fall, and he labored all winter to get the post-office from Mr. Rigdon (as informed).

    "Mayor referred to a writing from Dr. Goforth, showing that the Laws presented the communication from the 'Female Relief Society,' in the Nauvoo Neighbor to Dr. Goforth, as the bone of contention and said, 'If God ever spake by any man, it will not be five years before this city is in ashes and we in our graves, unless we go to Oregon, California, or some other place, if the city does not put down everything which tends to mobocracy, and put down their murderers, bogus-makers and scoundrels;' all the sorrow he ever had in his family has arisen through the influence of Wm. Law.

    "C. H. Smith spoke in relation to the Laws, Fosters, Higbees, editor of the Signal, etc., and of the importance of suppressing that spirit which has driven us from Missouri, etc.; that he would go in for an effective ordinance.

    "Mayor said at the time Gov. Carlin was pursuing him with his writs, Wm. Law came to his house with a band of Missourians, for the purpose of betraying him; came to his gate, and was prevented by Daniel Cairns, who was set to watch. Law came within his gate and called Mayor, and the Mayor reproved Law for coming at that time of night, with a company of strangers.

    "Daniel Cairns sworn: -- Said that about 10 o'clock at night a boat came up the river, with about a dozen men. Wm. Law came to

    308                                    HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                    

    the zzz^ate with them, witness on guard. Stopped them. Law called Joseph to the door and wanted an interview. Joseph said, 'Bro. Law, you know better than to come here at this hour of the night;' and Law retired. Next morning Law wrote a letter to apologize, which witness heard read, which was written apparently to screen himself from the censure of a conspiracy, and the letter betrayed a conspiracy on the face of it.

    "Adjourned at half-past 6 F. M. till Monday, 10th, at 10 o'clock A. M.

    "adjourned session.

    "June 10th, 10 o'clock A. M.

    "Alderman Harris presiding.

    "Mayor referred to Dr. Foster, and again read his letter of the 7th inst. (as before quoted.)

    "Cyrus Hills, a stranger, sworn: -- Said one day last week, believed it Wednesday, a gentleman whom witness did not know came into the sitting-room of the Nauvoo Mansion, and requested the Hon. Mayor to step aside, he wanted to speak with him. Mayor stepped through the door into the entry by the foot of the stairs, and the Gen. (Mayor) asked him what he wished. Foster, as witness learned since was the gentleman's name, said he wanted some conversation on some business witness did not understand at the time. The Gen. refused to go any farther, and said he would have no conversation in private; what should be said should be in public; and told Foster if he would choose three or four men, he would meet him with the same number of men, among whom was his brother Hyrum, and they would have a cool and calm investigation of the subject, and by his making a proper satisfaction, things should be honorably adjusted. Witness judged from the manner in which Foster expressed himself that he agreed to the Mayor's proposals, and would meet him the same day, in presence of friends. Heard no proposals made by Mayor to Foster for settlement, heard nothing about any offers of dollars, or money, or any other offer except those mentioned before; nothing said about Wm. Law; was within hearing of the parties at the time conversation was going on.

    "O. P. Rockwell sworn: -- Some day last week, said Dr. Foster rode up to the Nauvoo Mansion and went in; witness went in, and found the Mayor and Dr. Foster in conversation. Gen. Smith was naming the men he would have present, among whom was Hyrum Smith, Wm. Marks, Lucien Woodworth and Peter Hawes, and Dr. Foster had leave to call an equal number of his friends, as witness understood, for the purpose of having an interview on some matters in conversation.

    "The doctor's brother was proposed; Gen. said he had no objections; wanted him present. Dr. Foster started, saying he would be back shortly. Before Dr. F. left, the men whom Gen. Smith had named to be present at the conversation were sent for.

                                       HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                     309

    "Cross-examined. -- Witness went into the house as Mayor and Dr. Foster were coming out of the bar-room into the hall; nothing said by the Mayor to Dr. Foster about his coming back; made no offer to Foster about a settlement.

    "Mayor said the first thing that occurred when he stepped into the hall with Foster, was that he wanted to assassinate him; he saw something shining below his vest; Mayor put his finger on it and said, 'What is that?' Foster replied, "It is my pistol,'' and immediately took out the pistol and showed it openly, and wanted the Mayor to go with him alone. Mayor said he would not go alone. Mayor never saw the pistol before; had a hook on its side, to hang on his waistcoat.

    "Andrew L. Lamaraux sworn: -- Said that in 1839 or '40, while President Joseph Smith, Elder Eigdon, Judge Higbee, O. P. Rockwell and Dr. R. D. Foster, on their way to Washington, called at witness' house in Dayton, Ohio; the evening was spent very agreeably, except some dissatisfaction on the part of certain females with regard to the conduct of Dr. Foster. On their return from Washington, witness informed President Smith of Foster's conduct. President Smith said he had frequently reproved Foster for such conduct, and he had promised to do better, and told witness to reprove Foster if he saw anything out of the way. That evening Foster refused to join the company, and walked through the town till about 8 o'clock, when he came in and interrupted President Smith, who was expounding some passages of scriptures, and changed the conversation. Soon after the company was invited to Mr. Brown's at the next door, whither they all repaired. While at Mr. Brown's, conversation going on, and the room much crowded. Dr. Foster and one of the hidies he had paid so much attention to before, took their seats in one corner of the room. Witness heard her state to Dr. Foster that she supposed she had been en ceinte 'iovzzz some time back, but had been disappointed, and supposed it was on account of her weakness, and wanted Foster to prescribe something for her. Foster said he could do it for her, and dropped his hand to her feet, and began to raise it, she gave him a slight push and threw herself close to the wall.

    "He laid his hand on her knee, and whispered so low that witness could not hear. Next morning witness went in while Foster and others were at breakfast, and related what he had seen. Foster denied it. President Smith told him not to deny it, for he saw it himself and was ashamed of it. Foster confessed it was true, and promised to reform.

    "Peter Hawes sworn: -- Said that he had come to Nauvoo before the Laws and brought considerable property; it was a short time after the Church had been driven out of Missouri, and had arrived in this place. The families having been robbed of all in Missouri were in a starving condition. By the counsel of the Presidency, witness converted his funds to feeding the poor, bringing in meat and flour, etc., and while thus engaged drew upon the Laws, who

    310                                    HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                    

    were at that time engaged in merchandise, to the amount of some six hundred dollars, which, on account of expenditure for the poor, he was not able to pay, to within some 70 or 80 dollars, which they pressed him for as soon as they wanted it, although he offered them good property at considerable less than the market value. As witness was obliged to leave the city on Church business for a little season, Wm. Law threatened and intimidated witness' family during his absence for the pay.

    "Dr. Foster made a public dinner on the 4th of July. Witness was obliged to be absent, and deposited meat, flour, etc., with Wm. Law, to give to the poor at that dinner, and Law handed it out as his own private property. Witness carried a load of wheat to Law's mill to be ground. Law would not grind it only to give a certain (Quantity of flour in return by weight. Law used up the flour, promising from time to time he would refund it. As witness was about to start on a mission to the South, with valise in hand, saw Law before his door, talking with Hyrum Smith; called on Law and told him he was going away, and his family wanted the flour: Law promised on the honor of a gentleman and a saint, his family should have the flour when they wanted.

    "Councilor H. Smith said he recollected the time and circumstance.

    "Hawes said when he returned, found his family must have starved if they had not borrowed money to get food somewhere else -- could not get it of Law. And Law was preaching punctuality, PUNCTUALITY, PUNCTUALITY, as the whole drift of his discourses to the saints; and abusing them himself all the time, and grinding the poor.

    "Mayor said if he had a City Council who felt as he did, the establishment (referring to the Nauvoo Expositor) would be a nuisance before night; and he then read an editorial from the Nauvoo Expositor. He then asked, 'Who ever said a word against Judge Emmons until he has attacked this Council, or even against Joseph H. Jackson or the Laws, until they came out against the city? Here is a paper (Nauvoo Expositor) that is exciting our enemies abroad. Joseph H. Jackson has been proved a murderer before this Council.' He declared the paper a nuisance, a greater nuisance than a dead carcass. They make a criminality for a man to have a wife on the earth, while he has one in heaven, according to the keys of the holy Priesthood; and he then read a statement of William Law's from the Expositor, where the truth of God was transformed into a lie concerning this thing. He then read several statements of Austin Cowles in zzz\X\q Expositor concerning a private interview, and said he never had any private conversation with Austin Cowles on these subjects; that he preached on the stand from the Bible, showing the order in ancient days, having nothing to do with the present times. What the opposition party want, is to raise a mob on us and take the spoil from us, as they did in Missouri. He said it was as much as he

                                       HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                     311

    could do to keep his clerk, Thompson, from publishing the proceedings of the Laws, and causing the people to rise up against them, Said he would rather die to-morrow and have the thing smashed, than live and have it go on, for it was exciting the spirit of mobocracy among the people and bringing death and destruction upon us.

    "Peter Hawes recalled a circumstance, which he had forgotten to mention, concerning a Mr. Smith who came from England and soon after died. The children had no one to protect them; there was one girl 16 or 17 years old and a younger sister. Witness took these girls into his family out of pity. Wilson Law, then Major-General of the Nauvoo Legion, was familiar with the eldest daughter. Witness cautioned the girl. Wilson was soon there again and went out in the evening with the girl, who, when charged by witness's wife, confessed that Wilson Law had seduced her. Wilson told her he could not keep her. The girl wept, made much ado, and many promises. Witness told her if she would do right she might stay; but she did not keep her promise. Wilson came again and she went out with him. Witness required her to leave his house.

    "Mayor said certain women came to complain to his wife, that they had caught Wilson Law with the girl on the floor at Mr. Hawes' in the night.

    "Councilor C. H. Smith proceeded to show the falsehood of Austin Cowles in the Expositor in relation to the revelation referred to, that it was in reference to former days, and not the present time, as related by Cowles.

    "Mayor said he had never preached the revelation in private, as he had in public; had not taught it to the anointed in the Church in private, which statement many present confirmed, that on inquiring concerning the passage in the resurrection concerning 'they neither marry nor are given in marriage,' etc., he received for answer, 'Men in this life must marry in view of eternity, otherwise they must remain as angels, or be single in heaven, which was the amount of the revelation referred to;' and the Mayor spoke at considerable length in explanation of this principle and was willing for one to subscribe his name, to declare the Expositor and whole establishment a nuisance.

    2 o'clock P. M.

    "The Clerk of the Council bore testimony to the good character and high standing of Mr. Smith and his family, whose daughter was seduced by Wilson Law, as stated by the last witness before the morning Council; that Mrs. Smith died near the mouth of the Mississippi, and the father and eldest daughter died soon after their arrival in this place; and that the seduction of such a youthful, fatherless and innocent creature by such a man in high standing as the Major-General of the Nauvoo Legion was one of the darkest, damndest and foulest deeds on record.

    312                                    HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                    

    "Councilor Hyrum Smith concurred in the remarks made by the clerk concerning the excellent character of Mr. Smith and his family.

    "Mayor said the Constitution did not authorize the press to publish libels, and proposed that the Council make some provision for putting down the Nauvoo Expositor.

    "Councilor Hyrum Smith called for a prospectus of the Expositor.

    "Councilor Phelps read article 8, section 1, Constitution of Illinois.

    "Mayor called for the Charter.

    "The Clerk read the prospectus of the Nauvoo Expositor.

    "Mayor read the statements of Francis M. Higbee from the Expositor and asked, 'Is it not treasonable against all chartered rights and privileges, and against the peace and happiness of the

    ''Councilor H. Smith was in favor of declaring the Expositor a nuisance.

    "Councilor Taylor said no city on earth would bear such zzzslan and he would not bear it, and was decidedly in favor of active measures.

    "Mayor made a statement of what Wm. Law said before the City Council under oath, that he was a friend to the Mayor, etc., etc., and asked if there were any present who recollected his statement, when scores responded. Yes!

    "Councilor Hunter was one of the grand jury; said Wm. Law stated before the grand jury that he did not say to the Council that he was Joseph's friend.

    "Councilor Taylor continued: 'Wilson Law was President of this Council during the passage of many ordinances, and referred to the Records. Wm. Law and Emmons were members of the Council; and Emmons has never objected to any ordinance while in the Council; but has been more like a cipher, and is now become editor of a libelous paper, and is trying to destroy ouk charter and ordinances.'

    "He then read from the Constitution of the United States on the freedom of the press, and said, 'We are willing they should publish the truth; but it is unlawful to publish libels; the Expositor is a nuisance and stinks in the nose of every honest man.'

    "Mayor read from Illinois Constitution, article S, section 2, touching the responsibility of the press for its Constitutional liberty.

    "Councilor Stiles said a nuisance was any thing that disturbs the peace of a community, and read Blackstone on Private Wrongs, vol. ii, page 4; and the whole community has to rest under the stigma of these falsehoods, referring to the Expositor, and if we can prevent the issuing of any more slanderous communications, he would go in for it. It is right for this community to show a

                                       HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                     313

    proper resentment, and he would go in for suppressing all further communications of the kind.

    "Councilor H. Smith believed the best way was to smash the press and 'pi' zzz the type.

    "Councilor Johnson concurred with the Councilor who had spoken.

    "Alderman Bennett referred to the statement of the Expositor concerning the Municipal Court in the case of Jeremiah Smith as a libel, and considered the paper a public nuisance.

    "Councilor Warrington considered his a peculiar situation, as he did not belong to any Church or any party thought it might be considered rather harsh for the Council to declare the paper a nuisance, and proposed giving a few days' limitation and assessing a fine of $3,000 for every libel, and if they would not cease publishing libels, to declare it a nuisance, and said the statutes made a provision for a fine of $500.

    "Mayor replied that they threatened to shoot him when at Carthage, and the women and others dare not go to Carthage to prosecute; and read a libel from the Expositor concerning the imprisonment of Jeremiah Smith.

    "Councilor H. Smith spoke of the Warsaw Signal and disapproved its libelous course.

    "Mayor remarked he was sorry to have one dissenting voice in declaring the Expositor a nuisance.

    "Councilor Warrington did not mean to be understood to go against the proposition; but would not be in haste in declaring it a nuisance.

    "Councilor H. Smith referred to the mortgages and property of the proprietors of the Expositor and thought there would be little chance of collecting damages for libels.

    "Alderman E. Smith considered there was but one course to pursue; that the proprietors were out of the reach of the law; that our course was to put an end to the thing at once; believed, by what he had heard, that if the city did not do it, others would.

    "Councilor Hunter believed it to be a nuisance; referred to the opinion of Judge Pope on habeas corpus, and spoke in favor of the charter, etc.; asked Francis M. Higbee before the grand jury if he was not the man he saw at Joseph's house making professions of friendship; Higbee said he was, not (hundreds know this statement to be false); he also asked R. D. Foster if he did not state before hundreds of people that he believed Joseph to be a prophet; 'No,' said Foster. They were under oath when they said it. (Many hundreds of people are witness to this perjury.)

    "Alderman Spencer accorded with the views expressed, that the Nauvoo Expositor is a nuisance; did not consider it wise to give them time to trumpet a thousand lies. Their property could not pay for it; if we pass only a fine or imprisonment, have we any confidence that they will desist? None at all! We have found these men covenant-breakers with God! with their wives!! etc. Have

    314                                    HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                    

    we any hope of their doing better? Their characters have gone before them; shall they be suffered to go on, and bring a mob upon us and murder our women and children, and burn our beautiful city? No! I had rather my blood would be spilled at once, and would like to have the press removed as soon as the ordinance would allow, and wish the matter might be put into the hands of the Mayor, and everybody stand by him in the execution of his duties, and hush every murmur.

    "Councilor Levi Richards said he had felt deeply on this subject, and concurred fully in the view General Smith had 'expressed of it this day;' thought it unnecessary to repeat what the Council perfectly understood; considered private interest as nothing in comparison with the public good. Every time a line was formed in the far West he was there, for what? To defend it against just such scoundrels and influence as the Nauvoo Expositor and its supporters were directly calculated to bring against us again. Considered the doings of the Council this day of immense moment, not to this city alone, but to the whole world; would go in to put a stop to the thing at once; let it be thrown out of this city, and the responsibility of countenancing such a press be taken off our shoulders and fall on the State if corrupt enough to sustain it.

    "Councilor Phineas Richards said that he had not forgotten the transactions at Haun's Mills, and that he recollected that his son, George Spencer, then lay in the well referred to, on the day previous, without a winding-sheet, shroud, or coffin. He said he could not sit still when he saw the same spirit raging in this place; he considered the publication of the Expositor as much murderous at heart as David was before the death of Uriah. Was for making a short work of it; was prepared to take his stand by the Mayor, and whatever he proposes, would stand by him to the last. The quicker it is stopped the better.

    "Councilor Phelps had investigated the Constitution, Charter, and laws; the power to declare that office a nuisance is granted to us, in the Springfield charter, and a resolution declaring it a nuisance is all that is required.

    "John Birney sworn: -- Said Francis M. Higbee and Wm. Law declared they had commenced their zzzojserations and would carry them out, law or no law.

    "Stephen Markham sworn: -- Said that Francis M. Higbee said the interest of this city is done the moment a hand is laid on their press.

    "Councilor Phelps continued, and referred to Wilson Law in destroying the character of a child, an orphan child, who had the charge of another child.

    "Warren Smith sworn: -- Said F. M. Higbee came to him and proposed to have him go in as a partner in making bogus money. Higbee said he would not work for a living; that witness might go in with him if he would advance fifty dollars, and showed him (witness) a half dollar he said was made in his dies.

                                       HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                     317

    "Councilor Phelps continued, and said he felt deeper this day than ever he felt before, and wanted to know, by 'Yes,' if there were any present who wanted to avenge the blood of that innocent female who had been seduced by the then Major-General of the Nauvoo Legion, Wilson Law, when ' Yes ' resounded from every quarter of the house. He then referred to the tea plot at Boston, and asked if anybody's rights were taken away with that transaction, and 'Are we offering, or have we offered to take away the rights of any one these two days?' 'No!!! resounded from every quarter.) He then referred also to Law's grinding the poor during the scarcity of grain, while the poor had nothing but themselves to grind; and spoke at great length in support of active measures to put down iniquity and suppress the spirit of mobocracy.

    ''Alderman Harris spoke from the chair, and expressed his feelings that the press ought to be demolished.

    "The following resolution was then read and passed unanimously, with the exception of Councilor Warrington:

    Resolved, By the City Council of the City of Nauvoo, that the printing office from whence issues the Nauvoo Expositor is a public nuisance, and also all of said Nauvoo Expositor which may be or exist in said establishment; and the Mayor is instructed to cause said printing establishment and papers to be removed without delay, in such manner as he shall direct.

    Passed June 10th, 1844. Geo. W. Harris, Prest. pro tem.

    W. RICHARDS, Recorder.

    6 o'clock, p. m., Council adjourned.

    This certifies that the foregoing is a true and correct synopsis of the proceedings of the City Council of the City of Nauvoo, on the 8th and 10th days of June, isfi, zzz in relation to the Nauvoo Expositor and proprietors, as taken from the minutes of said Council.

    In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand, {l. s.} and the corporation seal, at Nauvoo, this 17th day of June, 1844.


    Recorder and Clerk of the City Council.

    The following order was immediately issued by the Mayor:


    City of Nauvoo.

    To the Marshal of said City, Greeting:

    You are hereby commanded to destroy the printing press from whence issues the Nauvoo Expositor, and pi the type of said printing establishment in the street, and burn all the Expositors and libelous hand-bills found in said establishment; and if resistance be offered to your execution of this order, by the owners or others, demolish the house, and if any one threatens you, or the Mayor, or the officers of the City, arrest those who threaten you and fail not to execute this order without delay and make due return hereon.

    By order of the City Council.

    Joseph Smith, Mayor.

    Marshal's return -- The within named press and type is destroyed and pied according to order, on this 10th day of June, 1844, at about 8 o'clock, p. m.

    J. P. Green, C. M.

    Headquarters Nauvoo Legion,)

    June 10, 1844.;

    To Jonathan Dunham, acting Major-General of the Nauvoo Legion:

    You are hereby commanded to hold the Nauvoo Legion in readiness, forthwith to execute the City ordinances, and especially to remove the printing establishment

    318                                    HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                    

    of the Nauvoo Expositor, and this you are required to do at sight, under the penalty of the laws; provided the Marshal shall require it, and need your services.

    Joseph Smith, Lieut. General Nauvoo Legion.


    Mayor's Office, Nauvoo, June 16, 184:4.

    "As there are a number of statements in circulation which have for their object the injury of the 'Latter-Day Saints,' all of which are false, and prompted by black-hearted villains, I therefore deem it my duty to disabuse the public mind in regard to them, and to give a plain statement of facts which have taken place in the city within a few days past, and which has brought upon us the dis'pleasure of the unprincipled and the uninformed, and seems to afford an opportunity to our enemies to unite and arouse themselves to mob; and already they have commenced their hellish operations by driving zzzaway defenseless Mormons from their houses and homes in the vicinity of Warsaw and Carthage.

    "A short time since a press was started in this city which had for its object the destruction of the institutions of the city, both civil and religious; its proprietors are a set of unprincipled scoundrels, who attempted in every conceivable way to defame the character of the most virtuous of our community, and change cur peaceful and prosperous city into a place as evil and polluted as their own black hearts. To rid the city of a paper so filthy and pestilential as this, becomes the duty of every good citizen who loves good order and morality; a complaint was made before the City Council, and after a full and impartial investigation it was voted, without one dissenting voice, a public nuisance, and to be immediately destroyed; the peace and happiness of the place demanded it, the virtue of our wives and daughters demanded, and our consciences demanded it at our hands as conservators of the public peace. That we acted right in this matter we have the assurance of one of the ablest expounders of the laws of England, viz.: Blackstone, the Constitution of the State of Illinois, and our own chartered rights. If then our charter gives us the power to decide what shall be a nuisance and cause it to be removed, where is the offense? What law is violated? If then no law has been violated, why this ridiculous excitement and bandying with lawless ruffians to destroy the happiness of a people whose religious motto is 'peace and good will toward all men.'

    "Our city is infested with a set of blacklegs, counterfeiters and debauchees, and that the proprietors of this press were of that class, the minutes of the Municipal Court fully testify, and in ridding our young and flourishing city of such characters, we are abused by not only villainous demagogues, but by some who, from their station and influence in society, ought rather to raise than depress the standard of human excellence. We have no disturbance or excitement among us, save what is made by the thousand and one idle rumors afloat in the country. Every one is protected in his

                                       HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                     319

    person and property, and but few cities of a population of twenty thousand people, in the United States, hath less of dissipation or vice of any kind, than the city of Nauvoo.

    "Of the correctness of our conduct in this affair, we appeal to every high Court in the State, and to its ordeal we are willing to appear at any time that His Excellency, Governor Ford, shall please to call us before it. I therefore, in behalf of the Municipal Court of Nauvoo, warn the lawless not to be precipitate in any interference in our affairs, for as sure as there is a God in Israel we shall ride triumphant over all oppression.

    "Joseph Smith, Mayor."

    It was stated at the time, that the brothers, Joseph and Hyrum, were occasionally, during the two days' discussion in the Council, highly excited, and indulged in violent language. The former is reported to have vehemently exclaimed: "If you will not stick by me, and wade to your knees in Hood, for my sake, you may go to h--I and he d--d, and I will go and build another city!" Hyrum is reported to have used this ironical language: "We had better send a message to Long-nosed Sharp that if he does not look out, he might be visited with a pinch of snuff that will make him sneeze!" And continued: "If any person will go to Warsaw boldly, in daylight, and break the press of the Signal office with a sledge hammer, I will bear him out in it, if it costs me a farm. He could only be taken with a warrant at any rate, and what good would that do?"

    Of course such language would not do to be reported in the organ. It is proper, however, to state that Hyrum and his friends made emphatic denial of having uttered threats against the Signal or its editor.

    The foregoing report in the extra is to be taken as conclusive of the reasons for the destruction of the press. When analyzed they resolve themselves into this: Emmons was poor when he came to the city, with only two shirts to his back; the Laws oppressed the poor, by adhering to their rules in grinding, and they had dunned the prophet for money due; Dr. Foster had been too intimate with a sister in Ohio, and besides had written the Mayor a saucy letter; Wilson Law had seduced another sister; they had all misrepresented the spiritual-wife doctrine; and all this amounted to treason and rebellion against the independent sovereignty and kingdom of Nauvoo; and, therefore, their printing press was a nuisance, and must be destroyed. Even in this the Mayor transcended the authority given him by the Council. The resolution instructed him to abate the nuisance by removal; he issued his order to the City Marshal to destroy the press and pi the types in the street, and, if necessary, demolish the house, and arrest all who oppose.


    The city was now at fever heat. The seceders all left, and repairing to the county seat, procured writs for all engaged in the

    320                                    HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                    

    destruction of the press, on the charge of riot. These writs were placed in the hands of an officer, who, with a posse, went to the city and arrested a number of persons charged. The habeas corpus was again applied, and they were "honorably discharged!"

    "Meanwhile the whole county was in commotion. Public meetings were held at various points, and the people called to arm for the approaching crisis. The following resolutions were adopted at "Warsaw and afterward at Carthage, by acclamation:

    Resolved, That the time, in our opinion, has arrived, when the adherents of Smith as a body should be driven from the surrounding settlements into Nauvoo. That the prophet and his miscreant adherents should then be demanded at their hands, and if not surrendered, a "war of extermination should be waged to their entire destruction, if necessary for our protection.

    Resolved, That every citizen arm himself to be prepared to sustain the resolutions herein contained.

    It is proper here to state that there were at this time and even afterward while the Mormons remained, four classes of citizens in the county: 1. The Mormons themselves; 2. A class called Jack-Mormons, who, not members of the church, adhered to and sustained them for mercenary or political gain; 3. Old citizens who were Anti-Mormons at heart, but who refused to countenance any but lawful measures for redress of grievances; and 4. Anti-Mormons who, now that the crisis had come, advocated "war and extermination." Some of the third class were denounced as Jacks, by the extremists; though the great body of them acted throughout with the fourth class, in all but their extreme measures.

    All over the county men were arming, organizing and drilling, having been notified by the officers that the posse comitatus would be called out to assist in making the arrests. A great want existed in the absence of arms and ammunition. Agents were sent to Quincy, to St. Louis and other places. At St. Louis a cannon and a lot of ammunition were procured and brought to Warsaw. The authorities of the town voted $1000 zzz for supplies. A deputation having been sent to Gov. Ford, at Springfield, he decided to visit the county in person, and judge for himself.

    In much that follows regarding the death of the Smiths, and the events leading thereto and subsequent, we condense from Ford's History, correcting his evident mistakes, and his many distortions of facts in order to make a case against the old citizens.

    Upon the Governor's arrival at Carthage he found an armed force collected and collecting, while another was assembling at Warsaw. Gen. Deming had also called for the militia of McDonough and Schuyler counties. The Governor at once placed all the troops under orders and under command of their proper officers. He next summoned the Mayor and City Council of Nauvoo to present their side of the question, which they did, through a committee sent to him. After some considerable delay and indecision as to what course to pursue, "a force of ten men was sent with the constable to make the arrest and to guard the prisoners to headquarters."

                                       HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                     321

    The officer made the arrests of the Mayor and Councilors, who signified their willingness to accompany him to Carthage at eight o'clock next morning. Eight o'clock came, but the accused failed to appear, and the posse marched back to Carthage without them.

    This incensed the Governor; he blamed the officer for coming without them, very unjustly. The officer knew better than His Excellency the ways of the accused. He knew if they had intended submission, they would have presented themselves at the time; and that if they did not, an officer and ten men would find it an up-hill business to hunt out and bring away an equal number, from the midst of two or three thousand armed men.

    Next the Governor demanded that the State arms in possession of the Legion should be delivered up; and they delivered three pieces of cannon and 220 stand of small arms, of 300 which had been distributed to it by Quarter-Master General Bennett.

    The surrender of the chiefs being insisted on, on the zzz2ith the prophet, his brother Hyrum, some members of the City Council, and others, came in and surrendered to the officer holding the writs, and voluntarily entered into recognizances to appear at court.

    In the mean time a new warrant charging Joseph and Hyrum with treason had been issued, and they were again arrested by the constable. The charge of treason was based on the alleged fact of levying war against the State, by declaring martial law, and ordering out the legion to resist the execution of the laws. Here historian Ford, in order to find fault with the Hancock people, gives us a new and novel definition of treason. He says:

    Their actual guiltiness of the charge would depend upon circumstances. If their opponents had been seeking to put the law in force in good faith, and nothing more, then an array of military force in open resistance to the posse comitatus and the militia of the State, most probably would have zzzaraomited to treason. But if those opponents mainly intended to use the process of the law, the militia of the State, and the posse comitatus, as cat's-paws to compass the possession of their persons for the purpose of murdering them afterward, as the sequel demonstrated the fact to be, it might well be doubted whether they were guilty of treason. -- (Ford's Hist. Ill., p. 337. )

    So that treason, instead of depending upon the acts and intentions of the person charged, is to be measured by the acts and intentions of others. It is a principle of law that intention must be taken into account; but it comes strangely from the Governor of a State, that to constitute crime, the intentions of the people who are endeavoring to bring a criminal to justice, rather than his own, are to be considered. But by what process does Gov. Ford so summarily arrive at the intentions of those he styles the "opponents" of the Mormon leaders?

    Neither party being prepared for the examination on the charge of treason, the Smiths were committed to the county jail for greater security.

    322                                    HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                    

    The Governor now decided to march his force into Nauvoo, but does not seem to have had any clearly defined purpose in so doing. The morning of the 27th was fixed on for the march, and on the 26th word was sent to the troops at Warsaw to meet him and the main body at Golden's Point, about seven miles from the city; but on the 27th he wavered in his intention of going with a force into the city, and called a council of officers to consult. A small majority voted in favor of going, but the Governor took the responsibility, and ordered the troops disbanded, excepting three companies, two to remain at Carthage, and one to accompany himself and a few friends to Nauvoo. Word to this effect was sent to the Warsaw troops, who were already on the march; and they were met by the messenger on the prairie before reaching Golden's Point. Here, much to their dissatisfaction, the officer disbanded them. After disbanding, many returned home, while a portion lingered, and finally straggled east toward Carthage. The two companies left to guard the jail were placed under command of Capt. Smith, of the Carthage Greys, his own company being one of them.

    "Having ordered the guard, and left Gen. Deming in command in Carthage, and discharged the residue of the militia, I immediately departed for Nauvoo, 18 miles distant, accompanied by Col. Buckmaster, Quartermaster-General, and Capt. Dunn's (Augusta) company of dragoons." -- (p. 34:5. )

    It was claimed that one purpose had in view, in thus visiting the city, was "to search for counterfeit money." But on the way, he began to fear an attack on the jail; so he decided to omit the search, but hurry on to the city, make the Mormons a speech, and return to Carthage the same night. The baggage wagons were halted, with orders to return at night. He and his escort reached the city about four o'clock, called the people together, made them an address, in which he says he rated them pretty severely for their bad conduct, and ended by putting the vote whether they in future would obey the laws. They unanimously voted Yes, when His Excellency and his retinue started for Carthage a little before sundown. A few miles out they were met by a messenger with the information that the two Smiths had been assailed in jail by a mob, and killed! The messenger who brought the news was ordered to return with them to Carthage, which he did; but by some means unknown to us the news reached the city during the night.

    General consternation now pervaded the whole county. The troops had been disbanded, and most of them had left for their homes. Three companies only remained -- the one with the Governor, and the two at Carthage -- to confront the Legion, should it make a raid upon them. The Governor with his command hurried on to Carthage, only to find the place partially deserted; and all who had not gone were going as fast as they could find means of conveyance. Men with their families, in carts, in wagons, and on

                                       HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                     323

    horseback or a-foot, were en route mostly toward Augusta and St. Mary's. The Hamilton Hotel, where the dead bodies and their wounded comrade had been taken, with perhaps a few other houses only, were not forsaken. Gen. Deming had left town in the afternoon, before the deed had been committed. The Governor, in great excitement, hurried into town, where he remained only long enough to denounce the people for their folly, and rode on to Augusta.

    At Warsaw the people were not long in hearing what had been done, and anticipating Mormon vengeance, hurried from their homes, mostly crossing the river to Alexandria. Picket guards were stationed about the town to watch the approach of an enemy.

    At Nauvoo great consternation prevailed. The messenger had been turned back by the Governor; yet late in the night the news somehow reached the city. The people were appalled at the disaster which had befallen them. Most of the citizens had retired to sleep before the news was received, so that only a portion knew of the death of their leader till the morning.

    On the morning of the 28th of June, 1844, the sun rose on as strange a scene as the broad Hancock prairies had ever witnessed. At the three corners of a triangle, 18 miles asunder, stood a smitten city and two almost deserted villages, with here and there a group of questioning men, anxious to hear the news of the night. Toward the two villages the more courageous ones were returning to find their several abodes unsacked and untouched. The wet and heavy roads leading to the county seat from the south and east were being again traversed by the refugees of the night, now returning, and wondering that they had homes to return to. All know that a great crime had been committed, by whom they knew not; and they knew not how, upon whom, where, or in what manner retribution might fall!

    The murder of the Smiths, while he was at Nauvoo and in danger, convinced our suspicious Governor that his own death had been contemplated by the murderers as a part of the programme. But for this suspicion he had not the shadow of evidence. He, however, very justly concluded that his authority was at an end. He had by his course failed to satisfy either party, and both regarded him with distrust. He accordingly hurried from the county, and brought up at Quincy, forty miles from the scene of the troubles. It was strongly suspected by the citizens that he had contemplated a rescue or an escape of the prisoners; and he was very angry with them for harboring such suspicion. But he acknowledges in his book that he had such a plan; which was "thwarted by this insane folly of the Anti-Mormons," (p. 839).

    This fact was never fully known, until made public by himself. Its consummation could hardly have been effected without bloodshed and violence. And here we have the startling fact confessed, that the Executive of a State, whose duty it is to execute the laws, was contemplating the escape of great criminals, in order to avoid

    324                                    HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                    

    the responsibilities his duty devolved upon him, and as the easiest way of getting rid of troublesome men.


    There can be little doubt that the killing of the Smiths was perpetrated by men who had been with or of the Warsaw troops. There was plenty of time during the day, however, for others to have joined them, and they may have done so. Those troops were composed partly of citizens of Warsaw and the country around it, with a few from Missouri and other places. They numbered some one or two hundred, and were under command of Colonel Levi Williams.

    After being disbanded on the prairie, as we have seen, a portion of them left at once for their homes, while others went on toward Carthage. What course they took, or what became of them, until the afternoon when they were observed approaching the jail, is not known. From a lady who resided perhaps nearest the jail, and who saw them approach, we lately obtained the following: That they strung along in single file and quick step, from the direction of the woods northwest of the town, until they came to the fence surrounding the building. This they scaled at once, and seized the guard. She was several hundred yards away, too far to recognize any of them, or to see positively whether they were masked or otherwise disfigured, though she thinks they were not. Her first impression was that they were Mormons, come to release the prisoners; and that impression was shared by the other inhabitants of the town, as the alarm spread. She thinks there were not more than thirty to forty men in the gang, as they filed along. The guard was soon overpowered, and a rush was made for the stairway, ascending on the outside to the door of the jail, on the south end, the upper story being used for that purpose. The door was assailed and burst open. The prisoners inside, aware of the attack, were, however, behind it, well armed, endeavoring to prevent ingress. As the door would yield to the outside pressure, the Prophet fired several shots around the edge with his revolver. The mobbers fired a number of shots through the door, which killed Hyrum Smith, and wounded John Taylor severely. Seeing they were being overpowered, Richards, who was still unhurt, ran with Taylor wounded into the inner dungeon, while Joseph Smith hastened to a window on the east, raised the sash and leaned partly out, probably with a view of jumping, when he was shot by several balls from the outside, and he fell to the ground near the well curb. It has been stated that after he fell, he was set up against the curb, and several times shot. This last, we are reliably informed, is not the fact, but that no shot was fired after he fell, and that he died from the two or three shots he received in the window. The story, we believe, is based on the statement of Daniels, who afterward issued a pamphlet giving a most miraculous account of the transaction.

    Gov. Ford and others have stated that the plan had been devised

                                       HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                     325

    and concerted between the mob and the Carthage Greys, and that the guard of ten men of that company who were stationed around the jail, were in the plot, and made only a feint at resistance. This we are compelled to believe is partly true. It is certain that a portion of the Greys knew that something was to be done; but others, the great body of them, knew nothing about it. We have lately conversed with some who protest that they were wholly ignorant of anything going on, until the firing was heard, and then, like the rest of the citizens, they apprehended a Mormon rescue.

    Gov. Ford also charges that the mob selected that time -- while he was in Nauvoo, and in the power of the Mormons -- to do the bloody deed, in order to compass his own destruction at their hands in revenge. His own too excitable and suspicious nature originated the thought. So far from it being the fact that they designed and contemplated the murder of the Governor, we believe they did not even contemplate the killing of the prisoners! This avowal will no doubt surprise many of our readers; for we well know that the Governor's statement has been so often reiterated that it has been generally received. But from all the inquiries we have made, and looking at the circumstances as they are known to have existed, that is our honest and fixed conclusion. Of the thirty or forty men who approached the jail that day with stealthy tread, we do not believe there was one with murder in his heart. They are not excusable, nevertheless. They were there for an unlawful and wrongful purpose; though we believe that purpose was not clearly defined in any one's mind.

    Let us look at the circumstances on which this opinion is based: There had been several demands made by Missouri for the delivery of Smith, in the near past, all of which had in some way been thwarted. Added to this, only a short time before, a public meeting at Warsaw and another one at Carthage had asked the Governor of Missouri to make another demand, and pledging aid in support of it. This purpose, we are convinced, and this only -- to take the prisoners and run them into Missouri -- was as far as any purpose went, until they reached the door uf the jail. There they were met with resistance -- with tight; a defense certainly to have been expected; and it ended in death. It has been stated that two or three of the mobbers were wounded and carried away. We know not whether this is so.

    This "Book of Daniels," referred to above, was such a curiosity in itself, and contained so many wonderful statements, that we should be glad to copy it entire as a specimen of the literature and truthfulness of the times. It was put forth by one Wm. M. Daniels, a good-for-nothing youth, whom no one ever heard of before or since, who says that he was among the Warsaw troops, and at the jail when the deed %\as done, and that afterward he was warned in a dream that he must go and join the Saints, and publish his knowledge to the world, in order to further the ends of justice. He accordingly went to Nauvoo, and, with the assistance of a typo there,

    326                                    HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                    

    his book was ushered to the world. But we must content ourselves with a very short extract. He says that on the way to Carthage, after being disbanded, the Warsaw troops concocted the plan of killing the Smiths; that Sharp, and Grover, and Davis, and others, openly boasted of it along the road; that they sent a squad of men on ahead, to confer with the Carthage Greys; that a portion of the latter came out to meet them with a proposition, which was agreed upon; that the Greys stood and looked on while the killing was going on, etc., etc. He says, that after Joseph fell to the ground --

    A fellow six feet tall and upward, holding a pewter flute in his hands, bare-headed and bare-footed, having on nothing but his pants and shirt, with his sleeves rolled above his elbows, and his pants rolled above his knees, picked him up instantly and set him up on the south side of the well curb, situated three or four feet from the building. As the ruffian sprang over the fence to Gen. Smith, and while he was in the act of picking him up, he said: "This is old Jo: I know him. I know you, old Jo. Damn you! You are the man that had my daddy shot." The reason of his talking in this way, I suppose, was that he wished to pass himself to Gen. Smith as being the son of Gov. Boggs. * * * Four of the ruffians who stood in front of Col. Williams, about eight feet east of the curb, were ordered by Williams to fire. They raised their muskets and the fire was simultaneous. * * * After the breath had left his body, the person I have previously described, who had passed as the son of Gov. Boggs, caught up a bowie knife for the purpose of cutting off his head. The knife was raised ready to strike, when a light, so strange, so bright and sudden, flashed between him and the corpse, that he and the four men who had shot him were struck with terror and consternation. Their muskets fell from their hands, and they stood like marble, not having power to move a single limb. They were about to be left, when Col. Williams, who had also beheld and been terrified at the light, shouted out to the men, "For God's sake, come and carry away these men!" They were obliged to carry them away, as they were as helpless as though they were dead. This light was something like a flash of lightning, and was so much brighter than the day, that after it had passed, it left a slight darkness like a twilight.

    Daniels further states that when it became known that he was going to be a witness against the accused, and the nature of his testimony became public, the sum of $2,500 was offered him to leave the State; this failing, efforts were made to put him out of the way by violence!


    During the summer and fall (1844), after the death of the leaders, great dissatisfaction and trouble existed at Nauvoo, growing mainly out of the struggle for the succession. Rigdon and his adherents were at work against Brigham Young and the rest of the Twelve. Many of the rank and file were becoming lukewarm, and were quietly leaving the city; at the same time numbers were retiring from the Mormon settlements in other parts of the county, some locating in the city, and others scattering to other counties, and in doing so were stealing liberally from the Gentiles.

    To add to the excitement a Grand Military Encampment was called to be held at Warsaw on the 2d of October. This call was circulated in handbill, and was dated 27th Sept., signed by Col. Williams, Major Aldrich, and a number of officers of independent companies in the neighborhood of Warsaw.

    We are assured that this movement actually intended nothing

                                       HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                     327

    beyond what was expressed in the call, but it gave great uneasiness to the Mormons and their friends. They saw in it something more than a peaceful military display; and it soon became magnified into a great wolf hunt, in which the wolves hunted were to be Mormons in sheep's clothing. The excitement spread, and the Governor was appealed to for protection. His Excellency, ever ready to believe any thing prejudicial to the old citizens, in this case allowed himself to be imposed upon, and without proper inquiry, decided to send an expedition with troops into the county. A proclamation was accordingly issued, calling for volunteers (2,500 required), and after a delay of several day a force of about 450 men was marched into Hancock, the whole under command of Col. John J. Hardin, accompanied by the Governor himself. The two Quincy companies were sent directly to Nauvoo, by way of the river. People were reluctant to volunteer, believing that the Governor was engaged in an unnecessary and uncalled-for enterprise.

    Some days previous to the call for troops, Murray McConnell, Esq., of Jacksonville, had been sent into the county, to Carthage and Nauvoo; and the result was that Messrs. Williams and Sharp of Warsaw, and the Laws and Fosters of Rock Island, with Joseph H. Jackson, were selected as examples for arrest, and writs for them were accordingly issued by Aaron Johnson, a Nauvoo Justice of the Peace. These writs, excepting as to Col. Williams, were served; but all refused to go to Nauvoo for hearing, and no attempt was made to take them there.

    After a delay of a day or two at Carthage, the Governor's army was marched to Nauvoo on the 27th, and encamped about a mile and a half below the city near the Mississippi. On the 28th the Nauvoo Legion was paraded for review. From Nauvoo the troops were ordered to Warsaw, where they arrived on the 29th, and encamped in the suburbs. As the troops approached the town, the men apprehending arrest, with some of their friends, quietly repaired across the river to Alexandria. Knowing this fact. Gov. Ford chartered a keel-boat at Montebello, and had it secretly dropped down to the vicinity of Warsaw; intending to use it that night in kidnapping the men from Missouri, and bringing them to the Illinois side. But during the afternoon Cols. Hardin and Baker visited the Missouri side, and had a conference with the accused. An agreement was entered into by which Williams and Sharp (Jackson being sick) agreed to give themselves up on condition that they be taken before Judge Thomas for examination, with some other conditions as to bail, etc. The writ was accordingly read to them, and afterwards, with Col. Baker, escorted by Quincy troops, they were shipped to Quincy in quest of the Judge. Here, after waiting two days, and no prosecuting witnesses appearing, they entered into voluntary recognizance to appear at next term of Court, and were set at liberty; thus leaving the whole matter as it was previous to the Governor's expedition.

    328                                    HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                    

    Mention has been made of Joseph H. Jackson. Mr. J. was an adventurer of fine appearance and gentlemanly manners, who appeared in the county during the troubles; went to Nauvoo and became quite intimate with the prophet and the leaders; afterwards turned against them, went to Warsaw and published a pamphlet claiming to be an exposure of Mormonism and the evil purposes and practices of its chief's. This pamphlet made many serious charges against Smith and his adherents -- charges of murder and conspiracy, of counterfeiting, debauchery, spiritual-wifery, etc.; and claimed that he had gone among them with the sole view of ingratiating himself and then exposing them. His expose was of much the same character as that of General Bennett. As in the case of the latter, much of his statement was corroborated by circumstances, and much lacked confirmation. The equivocal position in which he stood, it is proper to say, tended to lessen the confidence of the public in his statements, and his little book made but slight impression. The Mormons charged that he was an adventurer of the worst class, and came there to practice his trade of counterfeiting, etc., and quarrelled with the prophet and the authorities because he was detected and exposed.


    At the October term, 1844, of the Hancock Circuit Court -- present, Jesse B. Thomas, Judge; William Elliott, Prosecuting Attorney; Jacob B. Backenstos, Clerk, and Gen. Minor K. Deming, Sheriff."

    The following composed the Grand Jury:

    Abram Lincoln, Thomas Gilmore,

    James Reynolds, Benj. Warrington,

    Thomas J. Graham, Reuben H. Loomis,

    "Wm. M. O-svens, Samuel Scott,

    Ebenezer Rand, James Ward,

    Thomas Brawner, Samuel Ramsey,

    Ralph Gorrell, Thomas H. Owen,

    Brant Agnert, David Thompson,

    Martin Tetter, John J. Hickok.

    William Smith,

    Abram Golden, E. A. Bedell, and Geo. Walker, excused for cause. Samuel Marshall refused to serve, and fined $5.00.

    The Court began its session on Monday, the 21st. There had been rumors industriously circulated that the old citizens intended to rally and interpose obstacles in the way of the Court, and considerable anxiety was felt. The Judge in his charge to the Grand Jury alluded to this rumor, and said he was glad to see that no such demonstrations were being made. He charged them to do their duty in the cases likely to come before them, and leave the consequences. His charge gave general satisfaction.

    There was a rumor that a lot of Mormons and Indians were encamped near town, and this rumor occasioned considerable uneasiness. Orders were issued to investigate. The facts turned out to be that a number of Mormons had come down from Nauvoo to attend Court, and had gone into camp to save expense. As to the Indians, it was ascertained that a company of them had gone through the county.

                                       HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                     329

    on their way to Iowa, for some purpose not known; but the two facts had no connection with each other.

    On Tuesday the Grand Jury began their work, and on Saturday about noon, they brought into Court two bills of indictment against nine individuals; one for the murder of Joseph Smith, and the other for the murder of his brother Hyrum. The persons indicted were as follows: Levi Williams, Jacob C. Davis," Mark Aldrich, Thos. C. Sharp, William Voras, John Wills, Wm. N. Grover, Gallaher and Allen.

    Murray McConnell, Esq., of Jacksonville, by special appointment of the Governor, was present, assisting Mr. Elliott in the prosecution. Messrs. Bushnell and Johnson of Quincy and Calvin A. Warren, and perhaps others, appeared for defendants.

    Immediately on announcement of the indictments, most of the defendants appeared, and asked for an immediate trial. This Mr. McConnell objected to on the ground of not being ready. His witnesses before the Grand Jury had departed without being recognized, and besides, Mr. Elliott had gone. It was finally agreed that the causes be postponed until next term, and that no capias should issue from the Clerk in the interim, if the defendants would pledge themselves to appear at the time agreed on -- a compact which was afterward violated by the prosecution.

    Subpoenas were asked for by the prosecution for between thirty and forty witnesses, among whom were Wm. M. Daniels and Brackenberry, the two miracle men, and John Taylor, Mrs. Emma Smith, and Governor Ford.

    On May 19, 1845, Court again met in special term at Carthage -- present, Richard M. Young, Judge; James H. Ralston, Prosecuting Attorney; David E. Head, Clerk; and M. R. Deming, Sheriff. The cause of The People vs. Williams et al. coming up, Messrs. Williams, Davis, Aldrich, Sharp and Grover appeared, and were admitted to bail on personal recognizance in the sum of $5,000 jointly and severally. Josiah Lam born, of Jacksonville, as Assistant Prosecutor; and Wm. A. Richardson, O. PI. Browning, Calvin A. Warren, Archibald Williams, O. C. Skinner and Thos. Morrison for defendants. Motion of defendants to quash the array of jurors for first week, on account of supposed prejudice of County Commissioners, who selected them, and of the Sheriff and deputies, was sustained. Also, motion for the appointment of elisors for the same cause, and absence of Coroner from the county. The array was set aside, and Thomas H. Owen and Wm. D. Abernethy appointed elisors for the case. These gentlemen had a thankless and arduous duty to perform. Usually it is not hard to find men willing to sit on juries; in this case but few were willing to try the experiment of going to Court, with the almost certainty of being rejected by one or the other party; and the position was not an enviable one, if taken. Ninety-six men were summoned and brought into Court before the requisite panel of twelve was full. The following are the names of the jurors chosen:

    Jesse Griffitts, Jonathan Foy,

    Joseph Jones, Solomon J. Hill,

    Wm. Robertson, James Gittings,

    Wm. Smith, F. M. Walton,

    Joseph Massey, Jabez A. Beebe,

    Silas Griffitts, Gilmore CaUison.zzz

    The trial lasted till the 30th, when the jury was instructed by the Court, and, after a deliberation of several hours, returned a verdict of Not Guilty.

    330                                    HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                    

    Instructions to the jury had been asked by both parties. The following, among a list of nine asked by defendants' counsel, were given, and probably had most influence on the verdict:

    That where the evidence is circumstantial, admitting all to be proven which the evidence tends to prove, if then the jury can make any supposition consistent with the facts, by which the murder might have been committed without the agency of the defendants, it will be their duty to make that supposition, and find defendants not guilty.

    That in making up their verdict, they will exclude from their consideration all that was said by Daniels, Brackenberry, and zzzjSIiss Graham. (Witnesses.)

    That whenever the probability is of a definite and zzzunlimited nature, whether in the proportion of 100 to 1 or of 1,000 to 1, or any ratio, is immaterial, it cannot be safely made the ground of conviction; for to act upon it in any case would be to decide that for the sake of convicting many criminals, the life of one innocent man might be sacrificed. -- (Stakkie, 508. )

    Same defendants, for murder of Hyrum Smith, were required to enter into recognizance of $5,000 each (with 14 sureties) to the June term, 1845. At said term case was called, and Elliott and Lamborn not answering, the cause was dismissed for want of prosecution, and defendants discharged.

    It has been the custom for sensational writers to treat this trial and verdict as farcical and an outrage. One of these writers. Col. John Hay, now of the State Department at Washington, though then a mere boy, was yet raised in the county, and had within his reach correct sources of information. In the Atlantic Monthly for Dec, 1869, he has a lengthy article, abounding in extravagant and sensational statements and surmises, among which we quote only the following:

    "The case was closed. There was not a man on the jury, in the Court, in the county, that did not know the defendants had done the murder. But it was not proven, and the verdict of Not Guilty was right in law."

    Here is a fling at the jury, the Judge, and people; and we venture to characterize it as extremely unjust. "We know the writer intended to perpetrate no wrong. He was too intimately connected with some of the accused -- indeed, with all concerned -- to desire them wrong; but he aimed to produce a readable story for the Atlantic, which he did, though at the expense of candor and justice. Another fling at the jury was equally unjust:

    "The elisors presented ninety-six men before twelve were found ignorant enough and indifl'erent enough to act as jurors."

    Some of those men we knew -- not all; and we know that they, instead of being "ignorant and indifl'erent," were men of intelligence, probity and worth.

    There were some circumstances connected with those cases, not generally known, that tend to show how difficult it was to find out the guilty ones. The Mormons had had one John C. Elliott arrested and bound over, charged with the offense; they had also had writs for the Laws, and Fosters, and Higbees, at Rock Island, under the same charge. And when the Grand Jury was in session,

                                       HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                     331

    the names of some sixty individuals were presented by the prosecution for indictment. One of those sixty has informed us that he since learned that he narrowly escaped indictment, although, being one of the Warsaw men, he returned immediately home after disbandment, and had no knowledge of the affair till after it was over. It has since transpired that the Grand Jury voted on the whole sixty together at the first, and failing of an indictment, struck off ten and voted again, and so on until the last nine were reached, when the indictment carried. It has also been ascertained that the Grand Jury found bills against the nine, some as principals and some as accessories solely on the testimony of the three witnesses whose testimony on the trial the Court instructed the petit jury to disregard.

    From all these facts it is very easy to say that a murder had been committed; that somebody had done the deed. But to say that among the Elliotts, Laws, and Fosters, and Higbees, and long list of men charged, those five or six who were on trial had done it, and the jury, and Court, and everybody else knew it, is saying a great deal.


    If anything were needed to convince one of the folly and wickedness of Mormonism, it is to be found in the quarrels and contentions of the leaders. During the prophet's lifetime he was continually at variance with one or more of his former followers and trusted associates; denouncing and excommunicating them one month, and the next taking them back to his embrace and confidence. Cowdery, Harris, Whitmer, Rigdon, Phelps, Williams, and many others, had been sent by his maledictions to "buffet with Satan for a thousand years;" and long before their time was out, taken back again and the malediction removed.

    So, after his death, a great struggle began for the possession of the mantle that had fallen from his shoulders. The grief at his death was genuine on the part of the main body; but on the part of the few, its bitterness was assuaged by the hope of assuming his place and honors. Rigdon, who had the best right -- having furnished the principal brain supply for the concern at its origin -- was soon sent back to Pittsburg with a flea in his ear. He had made the inexcusable and unlucky mistake of moving to carry the delusion back to the East. Young, wiser and more discerning, adopted the idea of following the setting sun; and he succeeded in overcoming all opposition. Absent when the prophet was killed, he hastened home, and quietly but firmly began to gather the reins of government about him -- one by one securing the co- operation of his associates -- till, before they knew it, he was supreme dictator, and they the pliant tools of his will.

    William, the patriarch (all the Smiths, we believe, had been patriarchs), the only male member left of the family, also hurried to Nauvoo, to advance his claims. But he was vacillating and

    332                                    HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                    

    weak, and sadly lacking in the traits requisite for a leader; and he fell into the meshes of the others, and quietly settled down into the business of dispensing "patriarchal blessings" for pay; and the organ urged the brethren and sisters to patronize him. But the pay being insufficient, or for some other cause, he again became troublesome -- flew off at a tangent -- quarreled with and denounced the Twelve -- -and finally went and joined James J. Strang in Wisconsin. But after the leaders had left for the West, thinking there might be a chance again, he came back to Nauvoo, and tried to prevent the remnant from following Young into the wilderness. zzzFtYiling again, he, Rigdon and Strang organized a trinity which drew off a great many of the faithful. Whether Strang had ever been with them at Nauvoo, we do not know. The first we hear of him is at a place he called Voree, in Wisconsin, where he tried the old game of finding plates, claimed the prophet's mantle by will from the prophet himself, got up revelations, issued a small monthly paper, and for a time made some noise in the Mormon world. The following illustrates his method of plate finding:

    Strang's four witnesses.

    On the 13th day of September, 1845, we, Aaron Smith, Jirah B. Wheelan, James M. Van Nostrand, and Edward Whitcomb, assembled at the call of James. J. Strang, who is by us and many others approved as a prophet and seer of God. He proceeded to inform us that it had been revealed to him in a vision that an account of an ancient people was buried in a hill south of White river bridge, near the east line of Walworth county, and leading us to an oak tree about one foot in diameter, told us that we would find it enclosed in a case of rude earthenware under that tree at a depth of about three feet; requested us to dig it up, and charged us to examine the ground, that we should know we were not imposed upon, and that it had not been buried since the tree grew. The tree was surrounded by a sward of deeply rooted grass, such as is usually found in the openings, and upon the most critical examination we could not discover any indication that it had ever been cut through or disturbed.

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

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

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

    In fine, we found an alphabetic and pictorial record, carefully cased up, buried deep in the earth, covered with a flat stone, with an oak tree one foot in diameter

                                       HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                     335

    growing over it, with every evidence that the sense can give that it has lain as long as that tree has been growing. Strang took no part in the digging, but kept entirely away from before the first blow was struck till after the plates were taken out of the case; and the sole inducement to our digging was our faith in his statement as a prophet of the Lord, that a record would thus and there be found

    Aaron Smith,


    I. M. Van Nostrand,

    Edward Whitcomb.

    Now, if living, stand forth, Messrs. Smith, Wheelan, Van Nostrand, and Whitcomb, and answer: When you made that public statement thirty-five years ago, did you not utter an absolute and infamous falsehood?

    Why the discovery of these plates did not form the basis of anew revelation and a new creed, we can not say; nor even whether Strang ever attempted a translation of them. It may be that he came to the very erroneous conclusion that the fools were nearly all dead -- and so gave it up.

    Rigdon, as heretofore stated, endeavored by all the means in his power to gain the place left vacant in the Church. The Twelve however decided quite unanimously that they would have no prophet, seer and revelator any inore, but that the Twelve should be the supreme authority as a body. The breach widened, and finally they brought the contumacious old man to trial before the conference. This trial is reported at length in the Times and Seasons, and deserves a conspicuous place in the history of ecclesiastical tribunals. The charge against him was -- a little of everything bad; but the offense for which he was tried and condemned, was really that he wished to be President of the Church. The trial was a long one, and finally the vote was put, offered by W. W. Phelps, "that Elder Sidney Rigdon be cut off from the Church, and delivered over to the buffetings of Satan until he repents."

    The vote, says the report, ''was unanimous, excepting about ten." A motion was then made to cut off the ten. This failed, and they were taken singly, on separate and different charges, and cut off by unanimous votes. Elder Marks was one of them, having made a speech defending Rigdon; but the conference had hopes of him, and he was not expelled. In the next Times and Seasons he issued a card, stating that after candid consideration he had become convinced that Sidney Rigdon's claims to the Presidency were not founded in truth. The conference closed after Elder Young had delivered Sidney over to the buffetings of Satan, in the name of the Lord, ''and all the people said Amen!"

    Mr. Saulsbury, a brother-in-law to the Smiths, though we believe never a leader among them, about this time came out, and through a letter to the Warsaw Signal denounced the Twelve and made the same or similar charges against them that William Smith and Rigdon had made. He died in this county.

    336                                    HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                    


    If the year 1844 was one of blood, that of 1845 was more bloody still. Excitement and violence prevailed during a great part of the year.

    We have seen that Gen. Minor E. Deming was elected Sheriff of the county in August, 1844, and Jacob B. Backenstos and Almon W. Babbitt members of the Legislature, by Mormon votes. More objectionable men to the Anti-Mormon citizens could scarcely have been found in the county. Gen. Deming was an officer of militia, and a citizen previously in no way identified with the Mormon fraternity. He had resided on a farm some miles out of Carthage; was well educated and capable, and we think he was conscientious in his endeavors to do right. But he was extremely conservative in his respect for law and order. He was also conceited and self-willed, and had "an itching palm" for office, and the best way to obtain this was to ingratiate himself with the Mormon leaders.

    Mr. Backenstos was a new-comer into the county, imported, it was said, by Judge Douglas from Sangamon, to take the office of Circuit Clerk, which he had held for some time previous to his election to the Legislature. Babbitt was a Mormon lawyer. He was expected to obey the behests of the Mormon leaders, of course. As the others obtained favor with the Mormons, they incurred the hatred and distrust of the other citizens of the county.

    As before stated, the agreement entered into that no arrests should be made of the parties indicted for killing the Smiths, was violated on the part of the prosecution, and frequent attempts were made by the Sheriff and his deputies to arrest some of them, during the winter. J. C. Davis, one of them, was State Senator. At the opening of the Legislative session he took his seat in that body. During the winter he was arrested at Springfield by an officer from Hancock county, but was ordered released by resolution of the Senate.

    During the session a move was made to repeal the Nauvoo charters, and after discussion in the House was passed, January 21, 1845, by a vote of, 76 to 36. It subsequently passed the Senate. Messrs. Backenstos and Babbitt both made speeches against the repeal, the former taking occasion to violently denounce the old citizens of the county. For this speech, and his otherwise vindictive and objectionable course, a demonstration was made in the spring after his return, to drive him from the county. He soon afterward obtained an appointment through Congressman Hoge, to an office in the lead mines, and subsequently was made a Captain in the forces sent to the Mexican war.

    During the winter and spring, as a result of the unsettled state of affairs in Nauvoo, and the consequent hard times, there was an unusual amount of stealing done, not only in the city, but in other parts of the county. It extended to Adams, Henderson, and other adjoining counties. In Adams, where arrests could be made, there

                                       HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                     337

    were as many as eight Mormons in jail at one time. In the city, the two parties, Twelveites and Rigdonites, stole from each other; while in the country the Gentiles were the chief sufferers. This became so insupportable that public meetings were held at many points to devise means of protection and redress. Township committees were appointed to collect statistics of these thefts, which was done, and many of them published, footing up hundreds of dollars in various townships. Some of these reports were no doubt exaggerated; but as many must have been omitted, it is safe to say that the totals fell short of the truth. Of course, it was not proven that all these depredations were committed by Mormons, and probably were not. The charge has often been made that stealing was done on Mormon credit, which is in itself an admission against them; but that a vast percentage of it was done by them alone, all circumstances go to show. And events which transpired this year, show that they had among them some who did not hesitate at robbery and murder, as well as theft and burglary.

    On Saturday night, May 10, 1845, a horrible murder was committed near the town of Franklin, in Lee Co., Iowa, on the persons of John Miller, a Mennonite German minister from Pennsylvania, and his son-in-law, Leiza. The latter was not killed, but died of his wounds afterward. The locality is about ten or twelve miles from Nauvoo, and the murderers, three in number, were traced to that city. Their names were William Hodge, Stephen Hodge, and Thomas Brown. The Hodges were arrested on the 13th and conveyed to the Iowa penitentiary at Fort Madison, for safe keeping. On the 15th they were indicted by the Grand Jury at West Point, and on the 21st were arraigned for trial. They asked for a change of venue, and the cause was certified to DesMoines county. On the 21st of June they were put upon their trial at Burlington. They were defended by two eminent Burlington attorneys, J. C. Hall and F. D. Mills, assisted by George Edmunds, of Nauvoo. The trial lasted about a week. Mason, District Judge, then sentenced them to be hung on the 10th of July. They were so executed.

    A peculiar cap worn by one of the murderers, and which he lost at the house of the murder, led to their arrest. They were traced to Nauvoo, and found at the house of their brother, Amos Hodge, in the suburbs. They were taken before Aaron Johnson, a Justice of the Peace, for examination, where they were defended by Almon W. Babbitt. Babbitt himself was afterward murdered mysteriously in Utah [sic], while U. S. District Attorney.

    On the night of the 23d of June, Irvin Hodge, brother to the accused, was assassinated in Nauvoo, while on his way home from a visit to them at Burlington. He had, it is said, endeavored to induce Brigham Young to send and have his brothers rescued from jail, and failing, was free in denouncing him for the neglect. But little notice was taken of this last murder in Nauvoo. The father of the Hodges was allowed to visit them before their execution.

    338                                    HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                    

    from his confinement in the Alton penitentiary, where he was under sentence for larceny.

    The patriarch Wm. Smith, in a letter to the Sangamo Journal, dated Sept. 24, 1846, says of the Hodges: "Irvin Hodge was murdered within twelve feet of Brigham Young's door. Amos Hodge was murdered, it is said, between Montrose and Nashville, Iowa, by Brigham Young's guard, who pretended to escort him out of Nauvoo for his safety, under cover of women's clothes, who then pretended that he had run away." And again: "If Mr. Amos Hodge, the father of the young Hodges, will call and see me, I can tell him the names of persons that will put him on the track of the men who murdered his sons."

    In an affidavit for witnesses to prove an alibi, the Hodges claimed to rely on the testimony of six or eight named witnesses residing in Nauvoo, and upon John Long, Aaron Long, and Judge Fox, who they said resided in St. Louis. These names will long be remembered in the annals of crime in the West, as the parties who perpetrated


    at his home on Rock Island, on the 4th of July, just after the conviction of the Hodges. This murder was perpetrated in broad daylight, while all the family but the old Colonel wore absent at a celebration on the main land. He was an aged and quite infirm man, and was quietly sitting at his house reading a paper, when he was attacked by the robbers. Rising to approach the door, at which he heard a noise, it was pushed open, and three men entered, one of whom at once discharged a pistol at him, the ball entering his thigh. He was then dragged through a hall, and up the stall's, to a closet containing his safe, which they compelled him to open. After obtaining the contents, and money from his bureau drawers, they left him, still tied upon his bed, in which condition he was afterward found by persons passing. Surgical aid was procured, and he was revived sufficiently to describe the assassins and the circumstances, but he died about ten o'clock that night.

    Fifteen hundred dollars reward for the murderer was offered by George L. Davenport, his son; and John Long, Aaron Long and Granville Young were finally arrested and hung for the offense; Judge Fox was arrested and allowed to escape, while one Birch, a daring desperado, said to have been connected with the Danite Band, was implicated and arrested, but escaped by turning State's evidence. About the same time numerous acts of robbery and burglary were committed in Lee county, opposite, and along the river, traceable in almost all cases, to a gang that had their headquarters in Nauvoo.


    But while these acts of violence were being perpetrated out of the county, a most lamentable tragedy was enacted at home. On

                                       HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                     339

    Tuesday, June 24, 1845, an altercation occurred between Dr. Samuel Marshall. County Clerk, and the Sheriff of the county, General Deming, which resulted in the death of the former at the hands of the latter. The difficulty arose in regard to some mistake in official business. Dr. M. was a very exact and punctual man in all his affairs, and he expected others to be equally so, and the General's apparent carelessness in the matter in dispute irritated him. A scuffle ensued, in the midst of which Gen. Deming drew a pistol and shot his antagonist. The affair was a very unfortunate one, as it resulted in the death of a most estimable citizen and public officer, and added to the excitement already existing in the county. A little self-control and moderation on the part of both, and the conflict might have been avoided. Dr. Marshall was a strong Anti-Mormon in his feelings and principles, and had the full confidence of the party; yet he resolutely refused to sanction any of their unlawful proceedings. He was one of that small number who believed it better to suffer all the ills of Mormonism, rather than resort to illegal and violent measures for redress.

    Gen. Deming was at once taken into custody by the Coroner, and a jury of inquest summoned. The jury returned a verdict of "Murder without sufficient cause or provocation." This occurred on the day set for the special term of Court for the trial of the persons charged with the murder of Hyrum Smith. The Court opened about five in the afternoon, and two hours after the tragedy Deming was brought into Court, and stated that he was desirous to have a Grand Jury impaneled for the investigation of this case. The Court ordered the Coroner to summon a Grand Jury by the next morning. The accused then inquired if there was no process by which he might be admitted to bail during the pendency of the investigation, to which the Court gave a negative answer. On Wednesday morning a jury was impaneled, and charged by the Court, and at three in the afternoon brought into Court a bill for murder, with counts for manslaughter. It was stated that the vote stood in the jury room 16 to 3.

    A motion was made by Deming's counsel to admit him to bail, and after hearing he was admitted to bail in the sum of $5,000. Bail was given and he was discharged from custody.

    Mr. Deming resigned the office of Sheriff, and an election was ordered to fill the vacancy, to take place August 11th, resulting in the election of J. B. Backenstos by the following vote: Backenstos, 2,334; John Scott, 750; scattering, 11.

    Mr. D. was never brought to trial. He was stricken with congestive fever, no doubt brought on or aggravated by excitement, and died on the 10th of September, and was buried in Quincy by his brother's side.

    And now it becomes our painful duty to chronicle a series of events which transpired in the county, -- acts which had no warrant in law or order, and which cannot be reconciled with any correct principles of renponing. and which we then thought, and still

    340                                    HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                    

    think, were condemned by every consideration looking to good government; acts which had for their object, and which finally resulted in, the forcible expulsion of the Mormon people from the county. The disorders at Nauvoo, the vast amount of stealing and other depredations upon property, the murders in Iowa and elsewhere, and the consequent feeling of fear and insecurity everywhere, brought the people to a state of recklessness.

    On the night of Sept. 9th, a public meeting of Anti-Mormons was being held in a school-house at Green Plains, for some purpose, when it was fired upon by parties in the bush. It was at once resolved to begin the expulsion of the Mormons from the settlement known as Morley-Town. This resolve was put into execution; on Wednesday night two Mormon cabins were burned, and the inmates notified to leave the settlement. For a week the burning continued until the whole of Morley-Town was in ashes, with many other residences in the Bear Creek region and that of Green Plains. In all it is stated that as many as 100 or 125 houses were burned, and their occupants driven off. These proceedings created intense excitement all over the county. Sheriff Backenstos endeavored to raise a posse among the old citizens to suppress the disturbances, but failed. He therefore issued a proclamation dated at Green Plains on the 13th, calling on the rioters to desist, and upon the posse comitatus of the county to assist him. He also stated that it was his policy to have the Mormons remain quiet, but that 2,000 men held themselves in readiness in Nauvoo to come to his aid when necessary. On the 16th Lieut. Franklin A. "Worrell was killed while passing from Carthage to Warsaw, by Backenstos, or some of his posse, and on the 17th Samuel McBratney was killed among the burners at Bear Creek, by the posse. Lieut. Worrell (of the Carthage Greys) was in no way connected with the burners, and had nothing to do with the prevailing disturbances. In company with eight other men, he was passing on the road from Carthage to Warsaw, with the view of ascertaining the facts as to the disturbances at Green Plains. Three of these men, Worrell and two others, were on horseback; the others were in a buggy and a two-horse wagon, the wagon also containing the arms of the company. As they came in sight of the road leading toward Nauvoo, and which they would cross at right angles, they discovered a man riding up that road. Not knowing him, and seeing he was coming from the direction of the burning, they hurried on to intercept him at the crossing, hoping to gain information. He then drove more rapidly, apparently to cross before they could come up. They hurried on, the three horsemen in the lead. As they neared the brow of a ravine he had crossed, and when they came in sight, he was seen standing near his buggy, and at the same moment a shot was fired from near him, which struck Worrell. He nor his associates had made no demonstrations of violence; but now seeing or believing it to be Backenstos and zzz\\\& posse, immediately wheeled their horses and rode toward

                                       HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                     341

    the wagon and buggy which were approaching Mr. Worrell soon fell from his horse, was picked up, placed in the wagon and driven to Warsaw; but died on the way.

    Backenstos and the notorious O. P. Rockwell were both subsequently indicted for the murder of Worrell, and both acquitted, the former under trial by change of venue at Peoria, and the latter at Galena. AVho was the actually guilty party may never be known. We have lately been informed from Salt Lake that Rockwell did the deed, under order of the Sheriff, which is probably the case. The Sheriff's Proclamation No. 2 would lead to this conclusion. He says, in his usual style of exaggeration: "I discovered an armed body of some 20 or more men on the Warsaw and Carthage road, two or three miles east of me, going toward Warsaw. I watched them, and on discovering that four men of the force mounted on horses, left the main body, apparently to strike a point in advance of me, with all the speed of their horses, and finding that they were in pursuit of me, I put the whip to my horse; as I was traveling in a buggy, they taking a near cut evidently gained on me, The chase lasted for a distance of about two miles, when I fortunately overtook three men with teams. I immediately informed them that armed men were pursuing me, evidently to take my life; I summoned them as a posse to aid me in resisting them. I dismounted and took a position in the road, pistol in hand. I commanded them (the mobbers) to stop, when one of them held his musket in a shooting attitude; whereupon one of my posse fired, and. it is believed, took effect on one of the lawless banditti."

    Admitting this statement to be an honest one from his standpoint -- which is not at all likely -- it only illustrates how easily the fears and excitements of an individual can change peaceable citizens into "lawless banditti." It is, furthermore, quite certain that had Lieut. Worrell and his companions known who it was they were following, he would have been permitted to go his way unmolested.

    The Sheriff says that he ordered his posse to take the burners prisoners, if practicable, if not, to fire on them. How well this order was obeyed the killing of McBratney will show. He was pursued, with others, by a crowd of men on horseback; was overtaken and shot in the back, and while down was hacked and bayoneted in numerous places. His horse was slow, and he could have easily been taken prisoner alive.

    It is proper to state that the Mormons and their friends have charged the tiring on the school-house at Green Plains to have been a sham previously arranged by the mobbers to create a sympathy in their favor. This has been denied; whether true or not, we do not know.

    The Sheriff, failing to raise a posse outside of Nauvoo, was obliged to resort to his "2,000 armed men" there, to carry out his purposes. He obtained such force as he desired, and soon succeeded in scattering the burners. He now carried things in the county

    342                                    HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                    

    with a high hand. Exactly what his object was is not known, but on the evening of the 19th of September, the Sheriff, at the head of several hundred men, rode into Carthage after sundown, surrounded the place, and ordered all the citizens who could be found to be arrested and taken to headquarters at the court-house. He said he was in quest of criminals. After roughly handling many of them, and searching their houses for arms, most of them were set at liberty. In the morning, the posse, excepting about fifty, left town, the fifty remaining, as he said, to protect the town. They retained possession of the court-house till the arrival of Gen. Hardin and his State troops, who gave them immediate leave of absence.

    These disturbances and excesses, as on a former occasion, of course, called for executive interference, and accordingly Gov. Ford again sent a detachment of volunteers into the county, and again under command of Gen. John J. Hardin. The General was accompanied as adviser, by J. A. McDougal, Attorney-General of the State, and also by Judge S. A. Douglas and Major W. B. Warren. On the 27th of September, Gen. Hardin issued a highly meritorious proclamation to the people of the county, enjoining them to be peaceable and to obey the laws and the constituted authorities. In conjunction with his advisers he at once entered into correspondence with the authorities of the Mormon Church at Nauvoo, which resulted in the Mormons agreeing to leave the State in the spring.


    In the meantime a meeting of representatives of nine counties contiguous to Hancock had been called to meet at Carthage on the first and second days of October (Hancock county being excluded), to take into consideration the state of affairs. The convention was organized as follows, viz: Isaac N. Morris, Esq., of Adams, President; Col. Wm. Ross, of Pike, Gen. James McCallen, of Warren, and John Kirk, Esq., of McDonough, Vice-Presidents; and Alva Wheeler, of Knox, Geo. Robinson, of Schuyler, and Wm. H. Benneson, of Adams, Secretaries. Fifty-eight delegates were reported from the counties of Adams, Brown, Henderson, McDonough, Pike, Schuyler, Warren, Marquette and Knox. On motion of O. H. Browning, of Adams, a committee of three from each county was appointed to prepare a preamble and resolutions expressive of the sense of the convention. Mr. Browning, in behalf of the committee, reported a preamble and series of resolutions, of which we find room for only two, as giving the sense of the convention on the points mentioned.

    Resolved, That it is the settled and deliberate conviction of this convention that it is now too late to attempt the settlement of the difficulties in Hancock county upon any other basis than that of the removal of the Mormons from the State; and we therefore accept, and respectfully recommend to the people of the surrounding counties to accept the proposition made by the Mormons to remove from the State next spring, and to wait with patience the time appointed for removal.

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    Resolved. That we utterly zzzrepinlinle the impudent assertion so often and so consistently put forth by the Mormons, that they are PERSECUTED for righteousness' sake, we do not believe them to be a persecuted people. We know that they are not; but that whatever grievances they may suffer are the necessary and legitimate consequences of their illegal, wicked and dishonest acts.

    The action of this convention, composed as it was of leading and representative men from the neighboring counties, and from both the political parties, had a beneficial effect upon the public mind; and no doubt satisfied many that the conclusions to which it arrived were only such as would give peace and prosperity to our distracted county. And the Mormons also accepted the conclusions as inevitably and earnestly prepared to act accordingly. The opinion expressed in the last of the resolutions quoted, is as much as the most ardent Anti-Mormon could ask, and should forever shut the mouths of those Mormon apologists, who have regarded them as a persecuted people, only needing to be let alone.

    As the basis for the subsequent action of both parties, the correspondence alluded to is here reproduced:

    Nauvoo, Oct. 1, 1845.

    To the First President and Council of the Church at Nauvoo:

    Having had a free and full conversation with you this day, in reference to your proposed removal from this county, together with the members of your Church, we have to request you to submit the facts and intentions stated to us in said conversation to writing, in order that we may lay them before the Governor and people of the Slate. We hope that by so doing It will have a tendency to allay the excitement at present existing in the public mind. We have the honor to subscribe ourselves, respectfully yours, etc ,

    John J. Hardin,

    S. A. Douglas,

    W. B. Warken,

    J. A. McDougal.

    Nauvoo, Oct, 1, 1845.

    To Gen. John J. Hardin, W. B. Warren, S. A. Douglas and J. A. McDougal:

    Messrs: -- In reply to your letter of this date, requesting us to "submit the facts and intentions stated by us to writing, in order that you may lay them before the Governor and people of the State," we would refer you to our communication of the 24th ultimo, to the "Quincy Committee," etc., a copy of which is herewith inclosed.

    In addition to this, we would say, that we had commenced making arrangements to remove from this county previous to the recent disturbances; that we now have four companies organized of one hundred families each, and six more companies now organizing of the same number each, preparatory to removal. That one thousand families, including the Twelve, the High Council, the Trustees and general authorities of the Church, are fully determined to remove in the spring, independent of the contingency of selling our property, and that this company will comprise from Ave to six thousand souls.

    That the Church, as a body, desires to remove with us, and will, it sales can be effected, so as to raise the necessary means.

    That the organization of the Church we represent is such, that there never can exist but one head or presidency at any one time, and all good members wish to be with the organization; and all are determined to remove to some distant point where we shall neither infringe or be infringed upon, so soon as time and means will permit.

    That we have some hundreds of farms and some two thousand or more houses for sale in this city and county, and we request all good citizens to assist in the disposal of our property.

    That we do not expect to find purchasers for our Temple and other public buildings; but we are willing to rent them to a respectable community who may inhabit the city.

    344                                    HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                    

    That we wish it distinctly understood, that, although we may not find purchasers for our property, we will not sacrifice or give it away, or suffer it illegally to be wrested from us.

    That we do not intend to sow any wheat this fall, and should we all sell we shall not put in any more crops of any description.

    That as soon as practicable we will appoint committees for this city, La Harpe, Macedonia, Bear Creek, and all necessary places in the county, to give information to purchasers.

    That if these testimonies are not sufficient to satisfy any people that we are in earnest, we will soon give them a sign that cannot be mistaken -- we will leave them!

    In behalf of the Council, respectfully yours, etc.,

    Brigham Young, Pres.


    The communication to the Quincy committee was of similar import to the above, but referred particularly and in eloquent terms to their sufferings and grievances here and elsewhere, and begged to be let alone.

    Two other murders were committed at this time, one in Nauvoo and the other in the Camp Creek settlement, by Mormons. On the 16th, Phineas Wilcox, a young man of St. Mary's township, went into Nauvoo on business, was there charged with being a spy, and was never afterward heard of, although repeated inquiries and search were made for him by his friends. Circumstances strongly showed that he had been murdered and thrown into the river. The other case, that of Andrew Daubenheyer, was as mysterious and atrocious. Mr. D. resided in the north part of the county, and was known as an active Anti-Mormon. On the 18th of September he started to Carthage with a two-horse wagon. On the evening of the 20th he started for his home on horseback, which he never reached, but on the morning of the 21st his horse came home without him. On his road, home was encamped a body of Mormons, supposed to be of Backenstos' posse, and the belief was that he had been waylaid and killed by them. Search being made his body was afterward found, buried near the place of the encampment.

    The agreement entered into by Gen. Hardin and the Mormons being deemed suflicient to pacify the county, the troops were withdrawn, leaving only Major Warren with a hundred men, to remain until withdrawn by the Governor.


    In accordance with the pledge made by the Twelve, active preparations were made during the winter in Nauvoo, and throughout the county, to leave in the spring. Those residing in the country made sales of their property and retired to the city in order to join the expeditions. Large numbers of wagons were manufactured, and many were obtained by way of exchange, while oxen and horses were in great demand. As early as Feb. 10, the weather being favorable, it was stated that over one thousand persons, including most of the Twelve, and many of the other dignitaries of the Church, had crossed the river and were on their way westward. As

                                       HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                     345

    the spring advanced they were still leaving in large numbers; but the advance had not yet reached beyond Keosauqua, from which point they kept up a constant intercourse with the city. The Rigdonites, Strangites, Smithites, and Twelveites, still behind, kept up their dissentions, the former all agreeing in denunciation of the latter, and all excepting the latter, censuring the Western movement.

    Major Warren, who had been deputed in the fall to remain in the county with a small force, had orders from the Governor in April to disband and withdraw on the first of May. He and his troops had been stationed at Carthage all winter, and had performed many arduous and delicate duties to preserve the peace, arrest offenders, and execute writs. Their aid had been invoked in all parts of the county, and they had been employed on numerous occasions in Nauvoo in the execution of process. They had been braved and threatened and insulted, even to violent resistance in that city, but they had exhibited a prudence, firmness and judgment which entitled them to the regard of all peace-loving citizens. These gentlemanly soldiers were mostly from Quincy, the "Quincy Riflemen," under the immediate command of Captain James D. Morgan and Lieut. B. M. Prentiss, names the country has since recognized in the list of Union Generals in the late Rebellion.

    The contemplated withdrawal of the Guard, together with indications at Nauvoo, gave general uneasiness to the people. It began to be feared that many of the Mormons were not intending to leave the city, but to quietly remain, in the hope and expectation that in time all danger would be over. Public meetings began to be held in Hancock and the adjoining counties, at which these apprehensions were expressed, and reference made to the action of the nine counties in October. These demonstrations brought a letter of inquiry from Mr. Babbitt to Gov. Ford. In his answer the Governor denied that he or the State was a party to the agreement that the Mormons should leave in the spring. But he also plainly intimated that they were bound to go, and that he would be powerless to prevent their expulsion. "I tell you plainly," said His Excellency, "that the people of Illinois will not fight for the Mormons."

    The day after Maj. Warren's detachment had been disbanded at Carthage, he received an order from Gov. Ford to retain them in service until further orders. He again mustered them in and remained, making his headquarters chiefly at the Mansion House in Nauvoo. On May 14. he sent a dispatch to the Signal, stating that the Mormons were leaving with all possible speed; that the ferry was crossing as fast as possible; that an estimate of 450 teams and 1,350 souls had left within the week; that new settlers were taking their places, etc. Information was also received from LaHarpe, Ramus and other points, that they were fast leaving the neighborhoods. On the 22d he reported: "The Mormons still continue to leave the city in large numbers. The zzzi'en-y at this place averages about 32 teams per day, and at Fort Madison, 45. Thus it will be

    346                                    HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                    

    seen that 539 teams have left during the week, which average about three persons to each, making in all 1,617 souls." A week later the reported estimate was about 800.

    After the Twelve had left the city, and while within convenient reach, O. P. Rockwell seems to have been employed as a messenger between the camp and the city. He became very violent in his conduct while there, so much so that the leaders began to fear he would bring trouble upon them. On May first, a writ was issued for his arrest, on the affidavit of a certain Dr. Watson, charging him with the killing of Lieut. Worrell. This writ was placed in the hands of some of Maj. Warren's men, who proceeded to Nauvoo and arrested him, surrounded with fifteen shooters and other weapons of defense. He waived examination, and was sent to Quincy to fail. At the May term in Carthage, a true bill was found against him by the Grand Jury, and he was sent to Galena for trial, he having obtained a change of venue from this Circuit. He was subsequently tried in Galena and acquitted.

    Warlike demonstrations still continuing, on May 11th Maj. Warren issued a proclamation, in which he warned the Anti- Mormons to desist, assuring them that in his opinion the Mormons were making all reasonable efforts to leave. Notwithstanding this assurance, a public meeting was held at Carthage, at which the opinion was expressed that large numbers of the Mormons designed to remain; and recommending that the citizens of the surrounding counties prepare forthwith to put in execution the resolutions of October last. Accordingly a considerable force was assembled at Carthage, and thence marched to Golden's Point, where they held a conference with a deputation of new citizens from Nauvoo, who had been invited to meet them there. The latter objecting to their entrance into the city, and the force being weak, and poorly officered and drilled, it was decided to retire again to Carthage, where it was soon disbanded.

    On June 20th, George Walker, Esq., the "old citizen" County Commissioner, resigned his office and notified the public that his Mormon associates, Coulson and Perkins, having both left the country, there would be a full board to elect at the coming election. Backenstos, having been appointed to a Captaincy in the army against Mexico, also resigned the office of Sheriff. On July 25th an Anti-Mormon Convention was held at Carthage to nominate candidates for office. The following ticket was put in nomination: For Senator, Jacob C. Davis; for Representatives, Thomas Morrison and James Stark; for Sheriff, Melgar Couchman; for County Commissioners, Frederic Walton, Daniel N. Painter and James M. Renshaw; for Treasurer and Assessor, James W. Brattle; and for Coroner, Wm. S. Moore -- a Democrat and 5 Whigs. No full ticket was put up against this, but there were several independents. The above named were all elected by majorities of about zzz-±00. At this election Nauvoo polled between 500 and 800 votes. zzz

    The peace was of short duration. About the 10th of July, some

                                       HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                     347

    Mormons from Nauvoo went out to the vicinity of Pontoosuc, and engaged in harvesting a field of wheat for one of the brethren. It is stated that they behaved in a very unruly manner, when some of the neighbors collecting, seized and whipped them, and sent them away. A few days after, a posse went out from Nauvoo and arrested Maj. McAuley, of Pontoosuc, and James W. Brattle, of Carthage, who happened to be at his house. In return, several other Mormons were captured and held as hostages, and this led to other arrests, till there were of McAuley's party some ten or fifteen held in the city in custody. They were held for over a week, and denied the privilege of an examination or giving bail. At length a writ of habeas corpus was obtained from Adams county, and served on Clifford and Furness, who had the prisoners in custody, and they and their prisoners were taken to Quincy, examined and released on bail.

    The new citizens of Nauvoo were generally an orderly and well-disposed people; but they had a few ruffians among them, who, by their violence and intemperate conduct made themselves generally obnoxious. Of these, the most conspicuous and disorderly was William Pickett. Clifford and Furness, above named, were very vindictive toward the Anti-Mormons.

    About the first of April the Hancock Eagle appeared at Nauvoo. It was ably conducted by Dr. William E. Matlack, a stranger in the county, it claimed to be a "Democratic" sheet, but was in fact the organ and mouthpiece of Backenstos and what was known as the "Jack-Mormon" influence. Its course no doubt greatly weakened the Mormon efforts to get away, and increased the animosity existing between them and their enemies. It continued under Dr. Matlack's management until his death, which occurred about the last of August.


    During the first week in August writs were issued by John Banks, Esq., of Rocky Run township, for Clifford, Furness and Pickett, of Nauvoo, charged with false imprisonment and robbery, during the troubles heretofore mentioned. These writs were placed in the hands of John Carlin, of Carthage, a Deputy Sheriff. On the 7th, the officer went to Nauvoo and arrested Clifford and Furness, but was resisted and defied by Pickett. He took Furness before the Magistrate (Clifford having taken sick and left), where he gave bail for his appearance at Court, and was set at liberty. Carlin resolved that Pickett should be arrested. On the 17th he therefore issued a proclamation, calling out the posse comitatus to assemble at Carthage on Monday the 24th, to aid in the arrests.

    On the 12th a meeting was held in Nauvoo, of the Mormons and their adherents, at which it was resolved that Carlin's writs should not be executed; they also took measures to organize for military resistance.

    On the 21st, Gov. Ford, at Springfield, issued an order to Maj. James E. Parker, of the 32d Reg. Ill. Militia, saying:

    348                                    HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                    

    Sir: -- I have received information that another effort is to be made on Monday next to drive out the inhabitants of Nauvoo, new and old, and to destroy the city. Maj. P. was authorized to take command of such persons as would volunteer free of cost to the State, and repel any attack and defend the city. He was also authorized to assist any peace officer in making arrests. This order of the Governor's placed Parker and Carlin in antagonism. Carlin's proclamation was dated the 17th; on the 25th, Parker issued a counter proclamation, calling on all armed bodies of men in the county to disperse, and stating that he held himself in readiness "to aid any officer in any part of the county in executing any lawful writs in his hands." Carlin replied by letter, that he was a legally constituted officer, with writs in his hands to execute, that he had been resisted, and had called out the posse to aid him, that he did not acknowledge the authority of the military to interfere, that a large force was collecting, and he should proceed. To this Parker rejoined, that he was sent by the Governor, that the force under Carlin was a mob, whose aim was to set the Mormons over the river, that his position compelled him to regard the posse as a mob, and he must treat them as such. This brought another letter from Carlin, who reiterated his former statements, and concluded: "The posse will proceed to perform its duty, and as you have cautioned me, that if it does not soon disperse you will treat it as a mob and as one good turn deserves another, I will caution you, that if you attempt to interfere with this posse while acting under the law, I shall regard you and your command as a mob, and 'treat them as such.'" Hereupon Parker fell back upon proclamations. On the 28th he issued a second, and on the 3d of September, a third, defining his position, and warning "the mob" to desist.

    In the meantime the force was concentrating at Carthage. On the 25th, Col. John B. Chittenden, of Adams county, was placed in temporary command, with the understanding that Col. James W. Singleton, of Brown, was to supersede him on his arrival, Col. S. arrived on the 2Sth and took command, with Col. Brockman, of Brown, in command of the First Regiment, and Col. Thomas Geddes, of Hancock, in command of the Second. The camp was fixed about five miles from Carthage, on the Nauvoo road, the force numbering from 600 to 800 men. Here negotiations for a compromise began between the two commanders in secret. This was concluded and ratified by Col. Singleton, but unanimously rejected by his officers and men, amid great excitement. The conditions of this agreement were, in short: that the Mormon population of Nauvoo shall all leave in 60 days; that a force of 25 men be left as a guard, the expense to be equally borne by both parties; that an attorney be selected to take charge of all writs; that the Mormons shall deliver up the State arms, and that all hostilities shall at once cease. The reasons given for the rejection were, that no confidence could be placed in the Mormon's professions of sincerity, and that no provision was made for the execution of the writs in Carlin's hands.

    On the rejection of the treaty, Col. Singleton withdrew from the command, and Carlin appointed Col. Brockman to the place. He immediately gave orders for an advance, and on the 10th, the whole force, numbering about 700 men, marched toward Nauvoo and encamped about three miles from the temple. Here a committee, consisting of Hon. John Wood, Major Flood and Joel Rice, of Quincy, appeared and proposed a compromise. Terms were named to them, and by them taken to the city; but no answer was received. The posse was put in motion towards the city, and for

                                       HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                     349

    two days considerable skirmishing was carried on between picket guards, and some firing of artillery, of which both parties had a few pieces. On the 12th, a flag of truce was sent in by Brockman and Carlin, demanding a surrender. It was replied to by Maj. Benjamin Clifford, in command (but what became of Parker does not appear), refusing to comply. Preparations for battle were thereupon immediately made. As this was the concluding and only military battle of the war, we deem a report of it in full, copied from the Warsaw Signal of the 13th October, worthy of a place here.


    "After the reception of this letter (Clifford's) the army was drawn up in column on a piece of high ground lying between the camp and the city. While in this position a few shots were fired from a breastwork the Mormons had erected during the night, and the fire was returned from our artillery. So soon as all was ready, the Warsaw Riflemen were divided into two sections and deployed on the right and left as flankers. Capt. Newton's Lima Guards, with Capt. Walker's gun, were ordered to take position a quarter of a mile in front of the camp, and employ the attention of the Mormons at their breastwork, and from which they kept a constant fire, while the main body of the army wheeled to the left, passed down across the La Harpe road, through a cornfield, thence across Mulholland street, then bore to the right through an orchard and on to the city. So soon as the army was fairly under way, Capt. Newton's company and the piece of artillery with it, were brought up in the rear. This march was made directly across and in the face of the enemy's fire, and within good cannon range, yet not a man was injured.

    "Arriving on the verge of the city, the army, all except the artillery and flankers, was halted, while the latter advanced and commenced an attack on the Mormon works, from which they had been firing during the whole time of the march. A hot fire was kept up by the artillery from both sides for fifteen or twenty minutes. During this time the Mormons did no execution on our ranks, while the balls from our cannon rattled most terrifically through the houses in the city.

    "At length the fire of small arms was heard from some Mormons who had taken position on the extreme left in a cornfield. Immediately Col. Smith's regiment was ordered up and drove the assailants before them. The Second Regiment was in the meantime ordered up to the support of the artillery. By this time the action became general.

    "The Mormons were in squads in their houses and poured in their shots with the greatest rapidity. Our men were also divided off into squads, took shelter where they could best find it, and returned the fire with great energy. The greater part of the First Regiment had no better shelter than a cornfield and a worm fence;

    350                                    HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                    

    the Second Regiment was on open ground, having but two or three small houses to cover the whole body; while our artillery was entirely exposed.

    "The firing of small arms was continued for half an hour, during which time our men steadily advanced, driving the enemy in many instances from their shelter. For a time their fire was almost entirely silenced; but unfortunately at this juncture our cannon balls were exhausted; and our commander deeming it imprudent to risk a further advance without these necessary instruments, he ordered the men to be drawn off." This was done in good order, and in slow time the whole force returned to the camp.

    "In this action we had about 500 men engaged, and four pieces of artillery; 200 men and one piece of artillery having been left at the camp for its protection. Our loss in this engagement, as well as in the subsequent skirmishes, will be found in the report of the surgeons hereto appended. Most of our men throughout the action displayed remarkable coolness and determination; and we have no doubt did great execution. We believe if our cannon balls had held out ten minutes longer, we should have taken the city; but when the action commenced we had but 61 balls. The battle lasted from the time the first feint was made until our men were drawn off -- an hour and a quarter. Probably there is not on record an instance of a longer continued militia fight. (?)

    "The Mormons stood their ground manfully; but from the little execution done by them, we infer that they were not very cool or deliberate. Their loss is uncertain -- as they have taken especial pains to conceal the number of their dead and wounded. They acknowledge but three dead and ten wounded. Amongst the killed is their master spirit, Capt. Anderson, of the 15-shooter rifle company. Their force in the fight was from three to four hundred. They had all the advantage, having selected their own positions; and we were obliged to take such as we could get. Sometimes our men could get no cover, and the artillery was all the time exposed, while theirs was under cover.

    "On Saturday after the battle, the Antics commenced entrench- ing their camp, and on Sunday made it secure against the shots of the enemy's cannon, which frequently reached or passed over it. On Sunday the Anties cut part of the corn from the field on the left of the La Harpe road, to prevent the Mormons from taking cover in it. While thus engaged the Mormons fired on the guard which was protecting the corn-cutters. The fire was returned by the guard, and kept up at long distance for two or three hours. In this skirmish one of our men was badly wounded. The loss of the enemy is not known. On Monday a party of Mormons crept up through the weeds to a piece of high ground, and fired at our camp -- wounding three men, none seriously. Their balls were nearly spent when they struck. On Sunday morning after the battle a powder plot was dug up in the La Harpe road, which the army was expected to pass. On Wednesday another was dug up on the

                                       HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                     353

    same road nearer the city. Several of these plots were discovered near the temple and in other parts of the city."

    But the lighting was over and the war was ended. On Tuesday morning, the 15th, a deputation from 100 citizens of Quincy arrived in camp with proposals for mediation. The sub-committee was headed by Andrew Johnston, Esq., as chairman. A similar sub-committee was sent to Nauvoo to confer with B. Clifford, the Commander there. A truce was agreed on, and after a long and voluminous correspondence, a treaty was concluded, which we can give best in its own words:

    1. The City of Nauvoo will surrender. The force of Col. Brockman to enter and take possession of the city to-morrow, the 17th of September, at 3 o'clock p. m.

    3. The arms to be delivered to the Quincy Committee, to be returned on the crossing of the river.

    3. The Quincy Committee pledge themselves to use their influence for the protection of persons and property from all violence; and the officers of the camp and the men pledge themselves to protect all persons and property from violence.

    4. The sick and helpless to be protected and treated with humanity.

    5. The Mormon population of the city to leave the State, or disperse, as soon as they can cross the river.

    6. Five men, including the trustees of the Church, and five clerks, with their families (William Pickett not one of the number) to be permitted to remain in the city for the disposition of property, free from all molestation and personal violence.

    7. Hostilities to cease immediately, and ten men of the Quincy Committee to enter the city in the execution of their duty as soon as they think proper.

    We, the undersigned, subscribe to, ratify and confirm the foregoing articles of accommodation, treaty and agreement, the day and year first above written.

    Signed by: Almon W. Babbitt, Joseph L. Heywood, John S. Fullmer, Trustees in Trust for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints; Andrew Johnson, Chairman of the Com. of Quincy; Thos. S, Brockman, commanding posse; John Carlin, Special Constable.

    The remarkable feature of this treaty is, that it contained not a word about the arrest of the persons named in the writs held by Carlin, and for the service of which the expedition was undertaken.

    Soon after the agreement was signed and exchanged, Major Clifford gave orders for the withdrawal of the forces under his command. By three o'clock the next day, nearly the whole Mormon population had crossed the river. At three, Brockman's force was put in motion, marched through the city, and encamped near the south end of town. On Friday all except 100 men were disbanded, and to co-operate with these the new citizens organized a company of 100 men as guards to the city.

    The surgeons in Col. Brockman's camp, Drs. Berry and Charles of Warsaw, reported twelve men wounded, as follows: John Kennedy, of Augusta, in the shoulder; Jefferson Welsh, of McDonough Co., in the thigh; Mr. Rogers, of Adams Co., thigh and hip; Uriah Thompson, of Fountain Green, in arm; Mr. Humphreys, of Hancock Co., in the thigh severely, and died ten hours afterward; George Wier, Warsaw, in the neck; Capt. Robert F. Smith, who commanded the First Regiment, slightly in the neck; Mr. Crooks, of Chili, in the head slightly; Mr. Winsor, of Nauvoo, in the back, while loading; Mr. Denny, of Green Plains, at camp-guard;

    354                                    HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                    

    Dr. Geiger, of Nauvoo, in camp; and Mr. Stinson, of Brown Co., in the thigh. Of the loss on the other side we have no reliable data.

    But, although the war was over, the troubles were not yet to end. The force left in the city, not satisfied with the withdrawal of the Mormons, dealt pretty roughly with the ring-leaders of the obnoxious new citizens. A few of them were ordered to leave. They did so, but made their appeals to the public and to Gov. Ford at Springfield, in a tissue of most exaggerated statements. Maj. Brayman, who had been commissioned by the Governor to investigate, made reports also to his Excellency, which, taken together, decided him to again order a force into the county. He recruited about 100 men, with which he entered the county, and after a day or two at Carthage, proceeded to Nauvoo, where he arrived on the 28 th of October. He was waited on by numbers of the respectable new citizens, who endeavored to disabuse his mind as to the state of affairs in the city. The Governor encamped his force about the temple, where he remained until the lith of November, when he left for Springfield, leaving a part of his force under Major Weber, at Nauvoo. Before reaching the county, the Governor became convinced that he had undertaken a useless expedition, as the result proved, for during his whole two weeks' presence nothing transpired requiring military or executive interference. The force left, remained in the county inactive, until withdrawn by Gov. French. Gov. F., having been elected to succeed Ford, was inaugurated December 8th, and on the 12th he withdrew the force, and addressed a short note to the people of Hancock county, announcing their withdrawal, and exhorting to peace and quietness.


    A history of Mormonism in Hancock county would be incomplete that failed to recite the Charter granted that people by the State Legislature, and to give a few samples of the Ordinances passed by the City Council. The following is a verbatim copy of the Charter:


    Sec. 1. Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois, represented in the General Assembly, That all that district of country embraced within the following boundaries, to-wit: (omit long description of boundaries.)

    Sec. 2. Whenever any tract of land adjoining the city of Nauvoo shall have been laid out into town lots, and duly recorded according to law, the same shall form a part of the city of Nauvoo.

    Sec. 3. The inhabitants of said city, by the name and style aforesaid, shall have power to sue and be sued, plead and be impleaded, defend and be defended, in all courts of law and equity, and in all actions whatsoever; to purchase, receive and hold property, real and personal, in said city; to purchase, receive and hold real property beyond the city for burying ground, or for other public purposes, for the use of the inhabitants of said city; to sell, lease, convey or dispose of property, real and personal, for the benefit of the city; to improve and protect such property, and to do all other things in relation thereto as natural persons.

                                       HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                     355

    Sec. 4. There shall be a City Council to consist of Mayor, four Aldermen and nine Councilors, who shall have the qualifications of electors of said city, and shall be chosen by the qualified voters thereof, and shall hold their offices for two years, and until their successors shall be elected and qualified. The City Council shall judge of the qualifications, elections and returns of their own members, and a majority of them shall form a quorum to do business; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and compel the attendance of absent members, under such penalties as may be prescribed by ordinance.

    Sec. 5. The Mayor, Aldermen and Councilors, before entering upon the duties of 'their offices, shall take and subscribe an oath or affirmation, that they will support the Constitution of the United States and of this State; and that they will well and truly perform the duties of their offices to the best of their skill and abilities.

    Sec. 6. On the first Monday of February next, and every two years thereafter, an election shall be held for "the election of one Mayor, four Aldermen, and nine Councilors; and at the first election under this act, three Judges shall be chosen viva voce by the electors present, the said Judges shall choose two clerks, and the Judges and clerks, before entering upon their duties, shall take and subscribe an oath or affirmation, such as is now required by law to be taken by judges and clerks of other elections; and at all subsequent elections, the necessary number of Judges and clerks shall be appointed by the City Council. At the first election so held the polls shall be opened at nine o'clock, a.m., and closed at six o'clock, P. M.; at the close of the polls the votes shall be counted, and a statement thereof proclaimed at the front door of the house at which such election shall be held; and the clerks shall leave with each person elected, or at his usual place of residence within five days after the election, a written notice of his election, and each person so notified, shall within ten days after the election, take the oath or affirmation hereinbefore mentioned, a certificate of which oath shall be deposited with the Recorder, whose appointment is hereafter provided for, and be by him preserved; and all subsequent elections shall be held, conducted, and returns thereof made as may be provided for by the ordinances of the City Council.

    Sec. 7. All free white male inhabitants, who are of the age of 21 years, who are entitled to vote for State officers, and who shall have been actual residents of said city sixty days next preceding said election, shall be entitled to vote for city officers.

    Sec. 8. The City Council shall have authority to levy and collect taxes for city purposes, upon all property, real and personal, within the limits of the city, not exceeding one-half per cent, per annum upon the assessed value thereof, and may enforce the payment of the same in any manner to be provided by ordinance, not repugnant to the Constitution of the United States, or of this State.

    Sec. 9. The City Council shall have power to appoint a Recorder, Treasurer, Assessor, Marshal, Supervisor of streets, and all such other officers as may be necessary, and to prescribe their duties, and remove them from office at pleasure.

    Sec. 10. The City Council shall have power to require of all officers, appointed in pursuance of this act, bonds with penalty and security, for the faithful performance ot their respective duties, such as may be deemed expedient; and also to require all officers appointed as aforesaid, to take an oath for the faithful performance of the duties of then- respective offices.

    Sec. 11. The City Council shall have power and authority to make, ordain, establish and execute all such ordinances, not repugnant to the Constitution of the United States or of this State, as they may deem necessary for the benefit, peace, good order, regulation, convenience and cleanliness of said city; for the protection of property therein from destruction by fire or otherwise, and for the health and happiness thereof; they shall have power to fill all vacancies that may happen by death, resignation or removal, in any of the offices herein made elective; to fix and establish all the fees of the officers of said corporation not herein established; to impose such fines not exceeding one hundred dollars for each offense, as they may deem just, for refusing to accept any office in or under the corporation, or for misconduct therein; to chvide the city into wards; to add to the number of Aldermen and Councilors, and apportion them among the several wards as may be most just and conducive to the interests of the city.

    Sec. 12. To zzzMcense, tax, and regulate auctions, merchants, retailers, grocers, hawkers, pedlars, brokers, pawn-brokers and money-changers.

    Sec. 13. The City Council shall have exclusive power within the city, by ordinance to license, regulate and restrain the keeping of ferries; to regulate the police

    356                                    HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                    

    of the city to impose tines, forfeitures and penalties for the breach of any ordinance, and provide for the recovery of such fines and forfeitures, and the enforcement of such penalties, and to pass such ordinances as may be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the powers specified in this act: Provided, Such ordinances are not repugnant to the Constitution of the United States or of this State; and in fine, to exercise such other legislative powers as are conferred on the City Council of the city of Springfield, by an act entitled "An act to incorporate the city of Springfield," approved February third, one thousand eight hundred and forty.

    Sec. 14. All ordinances passed by the City Council shall, within one month after they shall have been passed, be published in some newspaper printed in the city, or certified copies thereof be posted up in three of the most public places in the city.

    Sec. 15. All ordinances of the city may be proven by the seal of the corporation, and when printed or published in book or pamphlet form, purporting to he printed or published by authority of the corporation, the same shall be received in evidence in all courts or places without further proof.

    Sec. 16. The Mayor and Aldermen shall be conservators of the peace within the limits of said city, and shall have all the powers of Justices of the Peace therein, both in civil and criminal cases, arising under the laws of the State; they shall, as Justices of the Peace within the limits of said city, perform the same duties, be governed by the same laws, give the same bonds and security as other Justices of the Peace, and be commissioned as Justices of the Peace in and for said city by the Governor.

    Sec. 17. The Mayor shall have exclusive jurisdiction in all cases arising under the ordinances of the corporation, and shall issue such process as may be necessary to carry said ordinances into execution and effect; appeals maybe had from any decision or judgment of said Mayor, or Aldermen, arising under the city ordinances, to the Municipal Court, under such regulations as may be presented by ordinance, which Court shall be composed of the Mayor, or Chief Justice, and the Aldermen as Associate Justices, and from the final judgment of the Municipal Court to the Circuit Court of Hancock County, in the same manner as appeals are taken from the judgments of Justices of the Peace: Provided, That the parties litigant shall have a riglit to a trial by a jury of twelve men in all cases before the Municipal Court. The Municipal Court shall have power to grant writs of habeas corpus in all cases arising under the ordinances of the City Council.

    Sec. 18. The Municipal Court shall sit on the first Monday of every month, and the City Council at such times and places as may be prescribed by city ordinance, special meetings of which may, at any time, be called by the Mayor or any two Aldermen.

    Sec. 19. All processes issued by the Mayor, Aldermen or Municipal Court shall be directed to the Marshal, and in the execution thereof he shall be governed by the same laws as are or may be prescribed for the direction and compensation of constables in similar cases. The Marshal shall also perform such other duties as may be required of him under the ordinances of said city, and shall be the principal ministerial officer.

    Sec. 20. It shall be the duty of the Recorder to make and keep accurate records of all ordinances made by the City Council, and of all their proceedings in their corporate capacity; which records shall at all times be open to the inspection of the electors of said city, and shall perform such other duties as may be required of him by the ordinances of the City Council, and shall serve as Clerk of the Municipal Court.

    Sec. 21. When it shall be necessary to take private property for opening, widening, or altering any public street, lane, avenue or alley, the Corporation shall make a just compensation therefor to the person whose property is so taken, and if the amount of such compensation can not be agreed upon, the Mayor shall cause the same to be ascertained by a jury of six disinterested freeholders of the city.

    Sec. 23. All jurors impaneled to inquire into the amount of benefits or damages that shall happen to the owners of property so proposed to be taken, shall first be sworn to that effect, and shall return to the Mayor their inquest in writing, signed by each juror.

    Sec. 23. In case the Mayor shall at any time be guilty of a palpable omission of duty, or shall willfully and corruptly be guilty of oppression, mal-conduct, or partiality in the discharge of the duties of his office, he shall be liable to be indicted in the Circuit Court of Hancock county; and on conviction he shall be fined not more than two hundred dollars, and the Court shall have power, on the

                                       HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                     357

    recommendation of the jury, to add to the judgment of the Court, that he be removed from office.

    Sec. 24. The City Council may establish and organize an institution of learning within the limits of the city for the teaching of the arts, sciences and learned professions, to be called the "University of the City of Nauvoo;" which institution shall be under the control and management of a Board of Trustees, consisting ot a Chancellor, Registrar, and twenty-three Regents, which Board shall thereafter be a body corporate and politic, with perpetual succession, by the name of the "Chancellor and Regents of the University of the City of Nauvoo,'' and shall have full power to pass, ordain, establish and execute all such laws and ordinances as they may consider for the welfare and prosperity of said University, its officers and students; Provided, That the said laws and ordinances shall not be repugnant to the Constitution of the United States or of this State; and. Provided, also, That the Trustees shall at all times be appointed by the City Council, and shall have all the powers and privileges for the advancement of the cause of education which appertain to the trustees of any other college or university of this State.

    Sec. 25. The City Council may organize the inhabitants of said city subject to military duty into a body of independent military men, to be called the "Nauvoo Legion," the court-martial of which shall be composed of the commissioned officers of said Legion, and constitute the law-making department, with full powers and authority to make, ordain, establish and execute, all such laws and ordinances, as may be considered necessary for the benefit, government and regulation of said Legion; Provided, Said court-martial shall pass no law or act repugnant to or inconsistent with the Constitution of the United States or of this State; and. Provided, also. That the officers of the Legion shall be commissioned by the Governor of the State. The said Legion shall perform the same amount of military duty as is now or may be hereafter required of the regular militia of the State, and shall be at the disposal of the Mayor in executing the laws and ordinances of the City Corporation, and the laws of the State, and at the disposal of the Governor for the public defense and the execution of the laws of the State, or of the United States, and shall be entitled to their proportion of the public arms; and. Provided, also. That said Legion shall be exempt from all other military duty.

    Sec. 26. The inhabitants of the "City of Nauvoo" are hereby exempt from working on any road beyond the limits of the city; and for the purpose of keeping the streets, lanes, avenues and alleys in repair, to require of the male inhabitants of said city, over the age of twenty-one and under fifty years, to labor on said streets, lanes, avenues and alleys, not exceeding three days in each year; any person failing to perform such labors when duly notified by the Supervisor, shall forfeit and pay the sum of one dollar per day for each day so neglected or refused.

    Sec. 27. The City Council shall have power to provide for the punishment of offenders, by imprisonment in the county or city jail, in all cases when such offenders shall fail or refuse to pay the fines and forfeitures which may be recovered against them.

    Sec. 28. This Act is hereby declared to be a public act, and shall take effect on the first Monday of February next.

    Approved, December 10, 1840.


    And we present below a few of the ordinances passed from time to time by the City Councils of Nauvoo:


    Regulating the mode of proceeding in cases of habeas corpus before the Municipal Court:

    Section 1. Be it ordained by the City Council of the City of Nauvoo, That in all cases where any person or persons shall at any time hereafter be arrested or under arrest, in this city, under any writ or process, and shall be brought before the Municipal Court of this city, by virtue of a writ of habeas corpus, the Court shall in every such case have power and authority, and are hereby required to examine into the origin, validity and legality of the writ or process, under which such arrest was made; and if it shall appear to the Court upon sufficient testimony, that said writ or process was illegal, or not legally issued, or did not proceed from the proper authority, then the Court shall discharge the prisoner from under

    358                                    HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                    

    said arrest; but if it shall appear to the Court that said writ or process had issued from proper authority, and was a legal process, the Court shall then proceed and fully hear the merits of the case upon which said arrest was made, upon such evidence as may be produced and sworn before said Court; and shall have power to adjourn the hearing, and also issue process from time to time, in their discretion, in order to procure the attendance of witnesses, so that a fair and impartial trial and decision may be obtained iu every case.

    Sec. 2. And be it further ordained, That if upon investigation it shall be proven before the Municipal Court that the writ or process has been issued either through private pique, malicious intent, religious or other persecution, falsehood or misrepresentation, contrary to the Constitution of the United States or of this State, the said writ or process shall be quashed, and considered of no force or effect, and the prisoner or prisoners shall be released and discharged therefrom.

    Sec. 3. And be it also further ordained, That in the absence, sickness, debility or other circumstances disqualifying or preventing the Mayor from officiating in his office, as Chief Justice of the Municipal Court, the Aldermen present shall appoint one from amongst them to act as Chief Justice or President pro tempore.

    Sec. 4. This ordinance to take effect and be in force from and after its passage.

    Hyrum Smith,

    Vice-Mayor and President pro tempore.

    Passed August 8, 1842.

    James Sloan, Recorder.


    Section 1. Be it ordained by the City Council of the City of Nauvoo, That all male persons over the age of seventeen years, and females over the age of fourteen years, may contract and be joined in marriage; Provided, in all cases where either party is a minor, the consent of parents or guardians be first had.

    Sec. 2. Any persons as aforesaid wishing to marry, or be joined in marriage, may go before any regular minister of the gospel, Mayor, Alderman, Justice of the Peace, Judge, or other person authorized to solemnize marriages in this State, and celebrate or declare their marriage in such manner and form as shall be most agreeable, either with or without license.

    Sec. 3. Any person solemnizing a marriage as aforesaid, shall make return thereof to the City Recorder, accompanied by a recording fee of fifty cents, within thirty days of the solemnization thereof; and it is hereby made the duty of the Recorder to keep an accurate record of all such marriages. The penalty for a violation of either of the provisions of this ordinance, shall be twenty dollars, to be recovered as other penalties or forfeitures.

    John C. Bennett, Mayor.

    Passed Feb. 17, 1843.

    James Sloan, Recorder.

    The foregoing, it will be observed, abrogates a law of the State, which requires a license to be obtained from the County Court. The second section was a mere scheme to put money into the pockets of the Recorder; and no penalty for its infraction could have been enforced by law, as every person solemnizing a marriage is required by State law to make return to the County Clerk, and when that is done the law is fulfilled.

    Here is an ordinance investing the "Prophet, Seer and Revelator," and President of the Church of Zion, with all the rights, duties, responsibilities and emoluments -- aye, emoluments -- belonging to the liquor traffic:


    For the health and convenience of travelers and other persons.

    Section 1. Be it ordained by the City Council of the City of Nauvoo, That the Mayor of the city be and is hereby authorized to sell or give spirits, of any

                                       HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                     359

    quantity, as lie in his wisdom shall judge to be for the health, comfort or convenience of such travelers or other persons as shall visit his house from time to time.

    Joseph Smith, Mayor.

    Passed Dec. zz, 1843.

    W. Richards, Recorder.


    For the extra case of Joseph Smith and others.

    (Preamble recounting Smith's difficulties with Missouri omitted.)

    Section 1. Be it ordained by the City Council of the City of Nauvoo, According to the intent and meaning of the Charter, for the "benefit and convenience" of Nauvoo, that hereafter if any person or persons shall come with process, demand or requisition, founded upon the aforesaid Missouri difficulties, to arrest said Joseph Smith, he or they shall be subject to be arrested by any officer of the city, with or without process, and tried by the Municipal Court, upon testimony, and if found guilty, sentenced to imprisonment in the city prison for life, which convict or convicts can only be pardoned by the Governor, with the consent of the Mayor of said city. * * * *

    Joseph Smith, Mayor.

    Passed Dec. 8, 1843

    W. Richards, Recorder.

    Another of similar purport;


    To prevent unlawful search or seizure of person or property, by foreign process in the City of Nauvoo.

    Section 1. Be it ordained by the City Council of the City of Nauvoo, To prevent kidnapping, illegal arrests of persons, or unlawful searches for property, that all writs issued zzzoiU of the city shall, before they are executed within the limits of the city, be examined by and receive the approval and signature of the Mayor of said city on the back of said process, and be served by the Marshal of said city.

    Sec. 2. And be it further ordained, That every officer who shall execute, or attempt to execute, any process as aforesaid, without first obtaining the approval and signature of the Mayor of said city, as specified in the first section of this ordinance, shall be subject to a fine of not less than five dollars nor more than one hundred dollars, or imprisonment not less than one month nor more than six months in the city prison, or both, as a breach of ordinance to be tried before the Municipal Court of said city. Joseph Smith, Mayor.

    Passed Dec. 21, 1843. zzz



    Sec. 3. Be it ordained by the City Council of the City of Nauvoo, That nothing in the foregoing ordinance shall be so construed as to prevent, hinder, or thwart the designs of justice, or to retard the civil officers of the State or county in the discharge of their official duties; but to aid and assist them within the limits of this city. Joseph Smith, Mayor.

    Passed Jan. 10, 1814.

    Willard Richards, Recorder.

    These two ordinances were so glaringly illegal and offensive, that it was deemed necessary to repeal, or at least make a show of repealing them. That was done in this wise, -- a repeal which re-enacts their chief features, only slightly varying the penalty:


    Entitled "An ordinance to repeal certain ordinances therein mentioned."

    Whereas, An ordinance entitled "An ordinance for the extra case of Joseph Smith and others." passed December 8, 1843, and, Whereas, the ordinance entitled

    360                                    HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                    

    "An ordinance to present unlawful search and seizure of person and property by foreign process in the city of Nauvoo," passed December 31, 1843, have had their desired effect in preserving the peace, happiness, persons or property of the citizens of Nauvoo, according to their intent and meaning; therefore.

    Sec. 1. Be it ordained by the City Council of the city of Nauvoo, That the aforesaid ordinances are hereby repealed.

    Sec. 3. And be it further ordained, that nothing in the first section of this ordinance shall be so construed as to give license or liberty to any foreign officer, or other person or persons, to illegally disturb the peace, happiness or quiet of any citizen of said city, any ordinance to the contrary notwithstanding, under a penalty of not less than five hundred dollars, or imprisonment six months in the city prison.

    Joseph Smith, Mayor.

    Passed February, 1844.


    The foregoing ordinances are copied verbatim from the Times and Seasons and the Nauvoo Neighbor, the official and recognized organs of the Church and city. Want of room forbids the copying of a number of other ordinances passed by the City Council, exemplifying the peculiar genius of that honorable body for governing a city.

    In concluding this chapter on Mormon affairs in Hancock county we throw together a number of items omitted in the course of the narrative, of more or less importance as parts of a complete history.


    The above are fair representations of two uf the six plates of copper, held together by a small ring, which were dug from a mound at Kinderhook, Pike county, Illinois, by Mr. Wiley, a merchant of that place, about the year 1843. They were brought to Nauvoo, and exhibited among the Mormons, as well as at other places in the county, and regarded by the Saints as proofs of the authenticity of the Book of Mormon. The writer hereof saw and "hefted"

                                       HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                     361

    them, at the time, but is now unable to tell what became of them. They are probably deposited in some museum, where they should be, unless the angel who guided Mr. Wiley in procuring them, ordered them replaced in the mound. Whether the prophet ever undertook their translation, we are not informed.

    "SONS OF DAN."

    Both John and Orson Hyde believed in and doubtless knew of the existence of the Danite Band. The former, in his work on Mormonism, published ten or twelve years after that people left Hancock county, states that in 1838, in Missouri, a "death society" was formed under the direction of Sidney Rigdon; that its first captain was David Patten, one of the Apostles, known as Capt. Fearnaught; and that its object was to "punish the obnoxious." They had some trouble to find a suitable name. "Daughters of Zion," was first adopted, but dropped, from its inappropriateness. "Genesis xlix, 17, furnished the name they finally assumed. The verse is quite significant: 'Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path that biteth the horse's heels, so that his rider shall fall backward.'" And Hyde continues: "'The Sons of Dan' was the style adopted: and many have been the times they have been adders in the path, and many a man has fallen backward and has been seen no mfire." -- (Stenhouse, p. 104. )

    From "Sons of Dan," they came to be known to the Gentiles as the "Danite Band." Brigham Young himself furnishes full confirmation, as quoted by Stenhouse from the Deseret News, vol. 7, page 148:

    "If men come here and do not behave themselves, they will not only find the Danites, whom they talk so much about, biting the horse's heels, but the scoundrels will find something biting their heels. In my plain remarks, I merely call things by their own names."

    It is due to the Mormons to say, that in all their publications, they have steadily denied the existence of any such organization among them.


    The country (America) to which these "Wandering Jews," described in the Book of Mormon, were directed, was entirely uninhabited. But "there were beasts in the forests of every kind," -- among the rest the ox. Here is revealed a fact in natural history of which even Cuvier was ignorant. Oxen have heretofore been supposed to exist only in countries inhabited by man: but here they were found running wild in the forests of America!


    This man, notorious among the faithful at Nauvoo as one of the most zzzblindh- obsequious followers of the prophet, was a printer by

    362                                    HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                    

    trade, and published at Independence the Evening and Morning Star. He was a ready writer, but usually dealt in the "hifalutin" style. He was supposed to have been often employed by Joseph to adorn his compositions. For these many acts of kindness, his patron is said to have had a revelation in his favor, that he should live till Jesus came. The Salt Lake papers report his death in that city on March 7, 1872, aged over 80 years.


    As given by W. W. Phelps, and published in the Times and Seasons, in 1841:

    Brigham Young -- The Lion of the Lord.

    Parley P. Pratt -- The Archer of Paradise.

    Orson Hyde -- The Olive Branch of Israel.

    "Willard Richards -- The Keeper of the Rolls.

    John Taylor -- The Champion, of Right.

    William Smith -- The Patriarch of Jacob's Staff.

    Wilford Woodruff -- The Banner of the Gospel.

    George A. Smith -- The Entablature of Truth.

    Orson Pratt -- The Gauge of Philosophy.

    John E. Page -- The Sun-Dial, and

    Lyman Wight -- The Wild Ram of the Mountains.


    How he became a linguist is beyond comprehension, seeing he was so entirely ignorant of his own native English tongue. But he was fond of parading his acquirements in that respect before his wondering followers. In the Times and Seasons of May 1, 1843, we find over his signature a learned dissertation on the derivation of the name "Mormon:"

    * * * It has been stated that this word was derived from the Greek word Mormo. This is not the case. There was no Greek or Latin upon the plates from which I, through the grace of God, translated the Book of Mormon. Let the language of that book speak for itself. On the 523d page of the fourth edition, it reads:

    "And now behold we have written this record according to our knowledge in the characters which are called among us the Reformed Egyptian, being handed down and altered by us, according to our manner of speech; and if our plates had been sufficiently large, we should have written in Hebrew; but the Hebrew hath been altered by us also; and if we could have written in Hebrew, behold ye would have had no imperfection in our record; but the Lord knoweth the things which we have written, and also that none other people knoweth our language; therefore he hath prepared means for the interpretation thereof."

    Here, then, the subject is put to silence; for ''none other people knoweth our language," therefore tire Lord, and not man, had to interpret, after the people were all dead. * * * We say from the Saxon, goud; the Dane, jod; the Goth, goda; the German, gut; the Dutch, goed; the Latin, bonus; the Greek, kalos; the Hebrew, toh; and the Egyptian, mon. Hence, with the addition more, or the contraction mor, we have the word Mormon, which means literally more good.

                                       HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                     363


    In a correspondence with James Arlington Bennett, a "swell-head" relative of Dr. John C. Bennett's, residing at Arlington House, near New York city, the prophet made this display of his learning:

    Were I an Egyptian, I would exclaim Jah-oh-eh, Enish-go-on-dosh, Flo-ces-Floa-is-is (O, the Earth! the power of attraction, and the moon passing between her and the sun); a Hebrew, Haueloheem zzzyenau; a Greek, O theos phos esi; a Roman, Domiuus regit me; a German, Got gebe uns das licht; a Portugee, Senhor Jesu Christo e libordade; a Frenchman, Dieu defend le droit; but as I am, I give God the glory, and say, in the beautiful figure of the poet:

    Could we with Ink the ocean fill;

    Was the whole earth of parclunent made,

    And every stogie stick a quill,

    And every man a scribe by trade, --

    To write the love of God above

    Would drain the ocean dry;

    Nor could the whole upon a scroll

    Be spread from sky to sky.

    That beat Arlington. He had been appointed to some office in the Nauvoo Legion, and he had had some thought of coming to Illinois, and through the prophet's influence being elected Governor. But he never came.


    of those grand displays is given in "Gen. Joseph Smith's Appeal to the Green Mountain Boys." This effort was published in the Nauvoo Neighbor about the last of Jan., 1843. It was an address "To the Freemen of the State of Vermont, the brave Green Mountain Boys, and honest men." The burden of it was a recital of his sufferings in Missouri, and a call for aid in obtaining redress for the same, but whether by the sword and bayonet, or moral suasion, is not stated. He starts out by stating that he was born and raised in Vermont; that his father fought in the Revolution, etc., and after a rehearsal of Missouri outrages, and other matters, he injects the following learned paragraph:

    Were I a Chaldean, I would exclaim: "Keed'-naob ta maroon le-hoam elauhay augh deysheraayaugh yah aur kan ion gua abadoo, yabadoo ma-ar'guan bomen tehoat shemayaugh elah." (Thus shall ye say unto them. The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, they shall perish from the earth, and from these heavens.) An Egyptian: "Saeeh-ni." (What other persons are those?) A Grecian: "Diabolos bassileuei." (The Devil reigns.) A Frenchman: "Messieurs sans Dieu." (Gentlemen without God.) A Turk: "Ain sheurs." (The fountain of light.) A German: "Sie sind unferstandig." (What consummate ignorance!) A Syrian: "Zanbok." (Sacrifice.) A Spaniard: "Il sabio muda conscio, Il nescio no." (A wise man reflects, a fool does not.) A Samaritan: "Sannau." (O Stranger!) An Italian: "O tempa!_ O diffidanza!" (O the times! O the diflSdence!) A Hebrew: "Autoub ail rancy." (Thou Goil seest me.) A Dane: "Hoad tidende?" (What tidings?) A Saxon: "Hwart riht!" (What right!) A Swede: "Hvad skilla!" (What skill!) A Polander: "Nav-yen-shoo-bah poa na Jesu Christus." (Blessed be the name of Jesus Christ.) A Western Indian: "Slie-mo-kah, she-mo-kah, ough-ne-gah." (The white man, O the white man, he very uncertain.) A Roman: "Procol, o procol este profani." (Be off, be off, ye profane.) But as I am, I will only add: "When the wicked rule, the people mourn."

    364                                    HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                    

    Our readers will remember this individual as having been tried, found guilty, and executed a few years ago in Utah, for his participation in the Mountain Meadow Massacre. In looking over the Church organ, we find his name as having been a resident at Nauvoo in ISiS, and a traveling elder, preaching and healing the sick, as reported. He was afterward advanced to the position of bishop, and at the time of the Mountain Meadow aflair was known as Bishop Lee.


    Uttered in the name of the Lord, by the prophet. Smith, soon after his appearance in Illinois, and indeed throughout his whole career, would of themselves form a curious chapter in religious literature. The limit and scope of this work will not permit us to devote much space to them; but we copy parts of one given Jan. 19, 1841, as found in the Tinier and Seasons, of June 1, 1841. It is long, and we only quote its essential portions:

    Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you, my servant, Joseph Smith, I am well pleased with your offerings and acknowledgments which you have made; for unto this end have I raised you up, that I might shew forth my wisdom through the weak things of the earth. Your prayers are acceptable before me, and in answer to them, I say unto you that you are now called immediately to make a solemn proclamation of my gospel, and of this stake which I have planted to be a corner-stone of Zion, which shall be polished with that refinement which is after the similitude of a palace. This proclamation shall be made to all the kings of the world, to the four corners thereof, to the honorable President-elect, and the high-minded Governors of the nation in which you live, and to all the nations of the earth scattered abroad. * * * *

    And again I say unto you, let my servant, Robert B. Thompson, help you to write this proclamation, for I am well pleased with him, etc.

    And again I verily say unto you, blessed is my servant Hyrum Smith, for I, the Lord, loveth him, etc.

    Again, let my servant John C. Bennett help you in your labor, in sending my word to the kings and people of the earth. * * * I have seen the work he hath done, which I accept, if he continue, and will crown him with blessings and great glory.

    And again, it is my will that my servant Lyman Wright should continue in preaching for Zion, etc.

    And again, my servant George Miller is without guile; I seal upon his head the office of a bishoprick. Let my servant George, and my servant Lyman, and my servant John Snider and others, build a house unto my name, such an one as my servant Joseph shall show unto them, upon the place which he shall show unto them also. And it shall be for a house of boarding, a house that strangers may come from afar to lodge therein; therefore let it be a good house, worthy of all acceptation, that the weary traveler may find health and safety while he shall contemplate the word of the Lord, and the corner-stone I have appointed for Zion, This house shall be a healthy habitation, if it be built unto my name, and if the Governor which shall be appointed unto it shall not suffer any pollution to come upon it. It shall be holy, or the Lord your God will not dwell therein.

    And again, verily I say unto you, let all my saints from afar, and send ye swift messengers, yea, chosen messengers, and say unto them, come ye, with all your gold and your silver, and your precious stones, and with all your antiquities; and with all who have knowledge of antiquities, that will come, may come, and bring the box-tree and the fir-tree and the pine- tree, together with all the precious trees of the earth; and with iron, and with copper, and with brass, and with zinc, and with all your precious things of the earth, and build a house to my name for the Most High to dwell therein, etc. * * *

                                       HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                     365

    And now I say unto you, as pertaining to my boarding house, which I have commanded you to build for the boarding of strangers, let it be built unto my name, and let my name be named upon it, and let my servant Joseph and his house have place therein from generation to generation. * * * Therefore, let my servant Joseph and his seed after him, have place in that house from generation to generation, forever and ever, saith the Lord, and let the name of that house be called the Nauvoo House. * * *

    Let my servant Isaac Galland put stock in that house, for I, the Lord loveth him for the work he hath done, and will forgive all his sins, etc. * * * And let my servant William Law pay stock in that house for himself and his seed after him, etc. * * * And again, verily I say unto you, if my servant Sidney will serve me, and be a counselor unto my servant Joseph, let him arise and stand in the office of his calling, and humble himself before me. * * * Verily I say unto you, even now, if he will hearken to my voice it shall be well with him.


    Who may be entitled to the infamy of introducing polygamy as part of the system of Mormonism is not positively known to the outside world. It is a question on which the saints themselves disagree. That it was instituted and practiced sometime before it was publicly acknowledged is certain. It needs no argument to prove that it is a direct and flagrant violation of law throughout all Christendom, the bane of the social system, destructive of the best influences of home and the family circle, and an outrage upon civilized society. It has not one ennobling and humanizing feature; and could have only been engrafted into their system and practiced for the most debasing and lustful purposes. But no people, no set of men and women, however well-meaning they may be, have a right to shield themselves from just punishment for such practices, under cover of a religious creed. And it is a wonder and a shame, that more determined efforts have not been made by the constituted authorities to put an end to these illegal practices. It is now claimed that the system has been so long in operation, that to break it up would cause great injury to many innocent persons. It is a principle of law, that one shall not take advantage of his own wrong; and besides, every one is presumed to know the law. These pretended revelators, while claiming the sanction of heaven to cover their selfish purposes, knew that the law and the morality of the country were against them, and that their so-called revelation was an infamous and blasphemous falsehood. Religious creed, too often used as a cloak for sin, cannot be permitted to shield its wearer from the consequences of crime.

    That Joseph Smith ever advocated or encouraged polygamy, as a branch of the creed, is now strenuously denied by the followers of his son, of the re-organized branch. They justly denounce it with all the rest of Christendom; and they quote strong proof from his writings and from the Book of Mormon, that he set his face against it. The Salt Lake Mormons as flail}'zzz assert that he was its author and introducer. We think the new branch will have hard work to convince the world, -- as they certainly have not convinced us, -- that the prophet was innocent of this outrage. He may not in his day have fully incorporated it into his creed and taught it to his

    366                                    HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                    

    followers in public; but we think there is indubitable evidence that he was its originator. Who, without his sanction, had a right to broach such a thing, and preach it, by degrees and parcels, as was done in his life-time and in his chosen city? And how came it to be so fully established so soon after his death, that it had become a sweet morsel in the creed of the leaders, at the time they left for the West two years afterward, so sweet a morsel that it divided man and wife? In his life- time it had not reached the dignity of title it has since. Now, it is ''Polygamy" (and didn't Solomon and David and Abraham, and all the patriarchs practice polygamy?). Then it was "Spiritual-wifery," a sort of clandestine, sneaking system of concubinage, with an I-would-if-I-dare effort to adopt it, and an I-do-and-I-don't acceptance; but with a crushing public denial and denunciation. All who remember the days of Mormonism in this county and are conversant with its workings, know that this is the way in which polygamy became a constituent of its creed and a chief pillar in its system. Had the main body remained here it would have been "spiritual-wifery" still, most probably -- denied to the outside world, and practiced in the harems of the leaders. Before they left it was the accepted creed of the governing class; and we know of one legal wife of a prominent man among them, who refused to go with him, and did not, because he would not agree to forego the anticipated delights of the system in the wilderness; * while others generally went, by force of circumstances, though their best natures as women cried out against the unnatural dogma. The Salt Lake people now publish a revelation which they assert was delivered by the prophet before his death, in which this doctrine is promulgated. The reorganized branch here claim this to be a forgery; whether justly or not, we leave the reader to decide. John Taylor is now and has ever been a prominent leader at Salt Lake; while here, and after the prophet's death, we believe throughout, be was editor of both the Mormon papers. The files of those sheets show that he was continually denying the doctrine, and ridiculing it as an invention of their enemies. If said revelation had been genuine, as now claimed, Taylor must have known it; and what can be said of his and their truthfulness?


    The Act to incorporate the "Nauvoo House Association" contained one clause which can be recommended to all similar associations:

    Sec. 9. It is moreover established as a perpetual rule of said house, to be observed by all persons who may keep or occupy the same, that spirituous liquors of every description are prohibited, and that such liquors shall never be vended as a beverage, or introduced into common use in said house.


    The following ordinance was flourished in the Nauvoo papers, without date, as proof of the tolerant spirit prevailing there;

                                       HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                     367


    Sec. 1. Be it Ordained by the City Council of the city of Nauvoo, That the Catholics, Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists, Latter-Day Saints, Quakers, Episcopalians, Universalists, Unitarians, Mohammedans, and all other religious sects and denominations whatever, shall have free toleration and equal privileges in this city; and should any person be guilty of ridiculing, abusing, or otherwise depreciating another in consequence of his religion, or of disturbing or interrupting any religious meeting, within the limits of this city, he shall, on conviction thereof before the Mayor or Municipal Court, be considered a disturber of the public peace, and fined in any sum not exceeding five hundred dollars, or imprisoned not exceeding six months, or both, at the discretion of said Mayor or Court.

    The foregoing was paraded as proof of the extremely liberal spirit prevailing in the city; and yet it will be perceived that it empowers the Mayor to fine a man five hundred dollars and imprison him six months, for merely speaking in depreciation of the Mormon religion!


    which many have confounded with the Nauvoo House, was a neat frame building situated some hundreds of yards from the river, and was in all the prophet's after years his residence and home, and where he dispensed hospitality and good cheer to friends and visitors. It was a hotel, and was opened with great ostentation on the 3d of October, 1843, on which occasion a large crowd sat down to the table. The following is one of the volunteer toasts passed: "Resolved, That Gen. Joseph Smith, whether we view him as a Prophet at the head of the Church; a General at the head of the Legion; a Mayor at the head of the City Council, or as a Landlord at the head of his table, has few equals and no superiors."


    Prof. Caswell, of Kemper College, near St. Louis, told the following story: He paid a visit to Nauvoo and the Mormon prophet, and had in his possession a Greek psalter of great age -- one that had been in his family several hundred years. "Why he took it to Nauvoo does not appear; but some of the brethren saw it, and insisted that he should give brother Joseph a chance of translating it. The professor consented, and the book was handed over. The spirit of prophecy -- the same as in the days of the golden plates -- descended upon Joseph, and he said, "This book I pronounce to be a Dictionary of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphics."


    is said to have cost in labor and money over a million of dollars. It may be possible, and is very probable, that contributions to that amount were made to it, but that it cost that much to build it, few will believe. Half that sum would be ample to build a much more costly edifice to-day; and in the three or four years in which it was being erected, labor was cheap and all the necessaries of life remarkably low. Wheat was quoted in the county markets at forty to

    368                                    HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                    

    sixty cents; corn, 20; flour, $4.00, and pork, $2.00. If a million of dollars were contributed by the faithful for the temple fund, it is easy to guess where at least half the sum was expended.


    was never half finished during the prophet's life- time, and was never occupied by him or any one. It stood, one of its wings under roof, but the walls of the main building unfinished, an imposing structure, until long since the prophet had met his fate, and his followers had located in the wilderness. It was left or somehow passed to the ownership of the widow and her second husband. Major Bidamon, and has recently been fitted up and kept by them as a hotel. The location is most beautiful and commanding, being on the sloping and rocky bank of the Mississippi, facing southward at the curve of the river, and about 150 yards from the water's edge.

    The work upon this building was never prosecuted by the faithful with the same zeal as that upon the temple. While the contributions flowed in freely for the temple, those for the hotel lagged; and it took much hard begging to keep the latter going forward. At the April conference, 1844, President Smith said: "It is necessary that this conference give importance to the Nauvoo House. A prejudice exists against building the Nauvoo House, in favor of the Lord's House, and the conference are required to give stress to the building of the Nauvoo House. This is the most important matter for the time being; for there is no place in this city where men of wealth and character and influence from abroad can go to repose themselves, and it is necessary we should have such a place."

    So the Times and Seasons, under date of Nov. 15, 1841, in an editorial says: "Let us not forget that we have another house also to build in this place, even the Nauvoo House; and which is as important to us as the temple; inasmuch as great things are depending upon that house, and it is commanded us of God.''


    This was an ambitious young man, who resided in Springfield, Ill., and a member of the Church. He claimed to be gifted with the spirit of prophecy, and issued a pamphlet in which he put forth his claims. But this was not allowed. He was dealt with, and the organ, Dec. 1, 1842, admonishes the brethren against him, quoting from the Book of Doctrine and Covenants: "But behold, verily, verily, I say unto thee, no one shall be appointed to receive commandments and revelations in this Church, excepting my servant Joseph Smith, junior, for he receiveth them even as Moses," etc. So Mr. Brewster was squelched. But this command must have been afterward abrogated in favor of brother Hyrum; for we find him declaring a revelation in the election of 1843, in favor of Hoge for Congress; and the prophet vouched that "brother Hyrum never told a lie."

                                       HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                     371


    "It is stated that on leaving Nauvoo for Carthage, he said: 'I am going like a lamb to the slaughter, but I am calm as a summer morning. I have a conscience void of offense toward God and toward all men. I shall die innocent, and it shall yet be said of me, he was murdered in cold blood.'" -- (Doctrine and Covenants, p. 335. )

    Stenhouse says:

    Notwithstanding this apparent readiness to meet death, and the deep and clear divine impressions claimed to have been imparted to the prophet of his forthcoming end, it is understood that he managed to send from prison a communication to the Mormon officers in military command at Nauvoo, to bring with all possible dispatch a portion of the Legion to protect him from treachery and from that assassination which he had then so much cause to apprehend. This military commander put the prophet's communication into his pocket and gave no heed to the call for help. No one was acquainted with the contents of the paper, and the officer was therefore, he presumed, safe in disregarding it.

    After the prophet's death, by some accident or other, this communication was lost, and picked up on the street and read. The intelligence that Joseph had called for aid, and none had been rendered him, was soon bruited among the Saints, and excited their deepest indignation, as they were not only ready to march at a moment's notice, but were eager for the opportimity.

    Some time afterward, when all was quiet, this "coward and traitor," as some of the Mormons called him, or "fool and idiot," as others said, was sent on a mission to the Western frontiers, accompanied by a faithful elder. While traveling alone with his companion he fell ill and died, it is said of dysentery! His companion buried him. (Page 164, Note. )

    If the foregoing statement is true, it reveals a fact which we have never heard from any other source. The whole story bears the semblance of truth; and from the narrator's twenty-five years' connection with the priesthood afterward, it is evident he had every facility to learn the truth. It was always accounted a wonder that the Legion did not make some demonstration while their leaders were in jail, either to protect or release them. That they did not, we have attributed to their reliance upon the prophet's previous good luck. This story, taken in connection with the admission of Gov. Ford, that he, too, contemplated a rescue, presents a very important suggestion: whether the disobedience of the officer of the Legion did not frustrate a rescue, and the consequent massacre of the guards and citizens. The belief has always been general, that had not the murders been perpetrated as they were by the mob, the affair would soon have terminated in a bloody encounter by an attack from the other side. This belief cannot be offered as an excuse for the murders, but it does excuse the people of Carthage and the Greys for the feverish apprehension under which they labored, and which their vacillating and excitable Governor blamed them so severely for. Who that Legion commander was, thus alluded to in the quotation, and who died afterward of dysentery (the italics are Stenhouse's own) we are unable to state. The italics suggest a popular Mormon mode of dealing with offenders.

    372                                    HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                    


    We have shown from his own admission, that Gov. Ford was willing to connive at the escape of the Smiths, notwithstanding his virtuous indignation at the citizens for suspecting him. We shall now show that, notwithstanding his devotion to law and order, he did, what was asserted at the time, counsel the violent expulsion of the Mormons from the State. Col. Thomas Geddes, then still residing at Fountain Green in this county, and at the time of the troubles in command of a portion of the troops at Carthage, has recently made us this statement, of which he says his recollection is clear:

    "While the Smiths were in jail, I went to the jail in company with Gov. Ford, and there we conversed with them for some time, the burden of Smith's talk being that they were only acting in self-defense, and only wanted to be let alone. After leaving the jail, and while returning from it, the Governor and I had still further conversation about the subject matter. After some time the Governor exclaimed, 'O, it's all nonsense; you will have to drive these Mormons out yet!' I then said, 'If we undertake that. Governor, when the proper time comes, will you interfere?' 'No, I will not,' said he; then, after a pause, adding, 'until you are through.'"


    wife of the now General Daniel H. Wells, one of the dignitaries at Salt Lake, was a daughter of Rev. Charles Robison. She now resides at Burlington, Iowa. On the authority of her brother, Chauncey Robison, of Appanooe, zzz we have the statement that when the Mormons left for the Far West, Mrs. Wells refused to go with her husband because he would not consent to confine himself to one wife -- which he refused to do. She had never joined the Church. Thus they were separated and divorceds, he remaining behind, and he following the fortunes of the Brighamites, with whom he was then and has since remained in high authority. This fact tends to show that polygamy was a cherished institution with the leaders before they left Nauvoo.


    A good deal was said by Gov. Ford and in the Mormon papers, about the insubordination of the Carthage Greys toward Gen. Deming, while the Smiths were in custody. From a gentleman who was a member of that company, we have procured the following statement of the facts, as near as he can recollect them. It seems that after the McDonough regiment had been disbanded and were about to return home, they expressed a desire to see the prisoners. The wish was reasonable, and as the easiest mode of gratifying it, they were drawn up in line, and Gen. Deming, with the two prisoners, one on each arm, and the Greys as an escort,

                                       HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                     373

    passed along the line of the troops, Deming introducing them as "Gen. Joseph Smith," and "Gen. Hyrum Smith, of the Nauvoo Legion." The Greys, not aware that this was done at the request of the McDonough men, and not satisfied to be made an escort to such a display, exhibited signs of dissatisfaction, and finally gave vent to their feelings by hisses and groans. As a punishment for this offense, they were afterward ordered under arrest. In the mean time there was great excitement in the company. As a detachment of the troops was being detailed for the purpose of putting the General's order into execution, the officer in command of the Greys addressed them a few words, and then said, "Boys, will you submit to an arrest for so trifling an offense?" "No!" was the unanimous response. "Then load your pieces with ball!" was his sullen order. In the mean time some explanations had been made, which permitted Gen. Deming to countermand the order for arrest, and the Greys were quietly marched to their encampment.


    In 1838 Parley P. Pratt was engaged in a controversy with LaRoy Sunderland, editor of Zion's Watchman, an Eastern paper. During the controversy, Mr. Pratt was seized with the spirit of prophecy, and poured forth the following: "Within ten years from now the people of this country who are not Mormons will be entirely subdued by the Latter-Day Saints, or swept from the face of the earth; and if this prediction fails, then you may know the 'Book of Mormon' is not true."

    It has now been forty-two years since this prediction was uttered, and Pratt himself, and the prophet, and Rigdon, and Young, have been "swept from the face of the earth." So we have Pratt's own testimony to the falsity of the Book of Mormon. Mr. Pratt mistook his own intense fanaticism for the voice of the Lord, -- a mistake which many men wiser than he have made before him.


    in the temple at Nauvoo, was in itself a curiosity, and a fit accompaniment to the building. It was first constructed of wood, but this being deemed not sufhciently durable, was taken away, and another built of stone. It rested on the backs of twelve stone oxen of colossal size -- four abreast at the sides, and two at each end, standing back to back. The oxen had the appearance of being sunk in the floor half-way to their knees, and the font rested on their shoulders, their horns, heads, necks and shoulders being exposed to view outside. The font itself was of immense size -- 18 feet long, eight feet wide, and four feet deep. It thus stood about eight feet high, from the top of its rim to the floor. It was placed in the basement, or first story of the building -- an object of great curiosity and comment to all stranger visitors.

    374                                    HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                    


    From a very respectable old gentleman who was an eye-witness of some of the house-burning operations in the fall of 1845, we have the following statement received from him verbally during the last year. He says that for such lawless and outrageous acts, they were done in such a quiet and orderly manner as to be astonishing. He resided not far from some of the houses that were burned; and hearing what was going on, he mounted his horse and rode to where the work was in progress. There seemed to be a company of 25 or 30 men engaged -- mostly, as he thought, Warsaw clerks, though he only knew a portion. They were commanded, he thinks, by a man from the north part of the county, whose name he could not recollect.

    The burning began at what is now Tioga -- then called Morley-town, or Yelrome, in Walker township -- and continued on up to Green Plains. The last house burnt in that section of the county, was the one they were at when attacked by the Mormon posse under Sheriff Backenstos, and where McBratney was killed. The houses burnt were mostly log cabins of not much value, though some pretty good dwellings were included.

    The manner was to go to the house and warn the inmates out -- that they were going to burn it. Usually there would be no show of resistance; but all hands, burners and all, would proceed to take out the goods and place them out of danger. When the goods were all securely removed, the torch would be applied, and the house consumed. Then on to another. We are not aware that a correct count was ever made of the number thus burned; but our informant states that there were probably 70 or 80. Some accounts have placed it as high as 125.

    As an evidence of the coolness and good temper in which this work was done, our informant relates the following, to which he says he was an eye-witness. While the burners were engaged in burning a certain house, a young woman belonging to the family, standing and looking on, felt an inclination to smoke, and asked one of the burners for some tobacco. Having none himself, he pointed to one of his comrades and said he would give her some. She approached the other; he unconcernedly put his hand in his pocket, handed her the tobacco, from which she took what she wanted, and handed it back; when he went on with the work in hand, and the young woman proceeded to smoke !


    I. R. Tull, Esq., of Pontoosuc, gives us the following items, as illustrating Mormon methods: "I often went with produce to Nauvoo; and it mattered little what kind it was, so it was something people could live on; and if at any time my stuff was dull sale, I would go to the committee rooms, and could always trade it off for something. They had almost every conceivable thing, from

                                       HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                     375

    all kinds of implements and men's and women's clothing down to baby clothes and trinkets, which had been deposited by the owners as tithing, or for the benefit of the temple."

    Again he says: ''In the foil of 1843 I went to Nauvoo to buy calves, and called on a blind man who had one to sell. I bought his calf, and being curious to learn his history, went in and saw his wife, with two little twin infants in a cradle, and great destitution. He told me that he had a nice home in Massachusetts, which gave them a good support. But one of the Mormon elders preaching in that country called on him and told him if he would sell out and go to Nauvoo, the prophet would open his eyes and restore his sight. And he sold out, and had come to the city, and had spent all his means, and was now in great need. I asked why the prophet did not open his eyes. He replied that Joseph had informed him that he could not open his eyes until the temple was finished, and then when the temple was finished he would open them, and he should see better than betbre! And he believed, and was waiting patiently for the last stroke to be made on the temple."

    And again, of this same, poor family: "After this interview, when in Nauvoo I often took them something, and the blind man's wife seemed to think I was one of the Saints. One day I inquired how they were getting along. She told rae they had been getting along finely; that there was a company formed to go out on the prairie and butcher cattle to get beef for the destitute, and they had been well supplied until about a week ago; but brother zzzwas mean enough to tell on them, and now they dare not go out any more to kill beef on the prairie, and 'what to do we don't know.'"


    As a specimen of Gov. Ford's general inaccuracy of statement in regard to our difficulties, we mention the following: He says in his History of Illinois, p. 319, of Walker and Hoge's canvass: "Mr. Hoge received about 3.000 votes in Nauvoo, and was elected by 600 or 800 majority." The facts are: the vote for Hoge throughout the whole county, including regular Democrats and Mormons outside the city, was just 2,088, and he was elected by 155 majority in the district.


    The prophet was quite a speculator in lands and town lots, in and about Nauvoo. Of course, he desired a monopoly of the business. One of his methods was to keep the following notice standing in the Neighbor.

    To Emigrants and Latter-Day Saints Generally:

    I feel it my duty to say to the brethren generally, and especially those who are emigrating to this place, that there is in the hands of the trustees in trust, a large quantity of lands, both in the city and adjoining townships m this county, which is

    376                                    HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                    

    for sale, some of which belongs to the Church and is designed for the benefit of the poor, and also to liquidate debts owing by the Churchy for which the trustee in trust is responsible. Some, also, is land which has been consecrated for the building of the Temple and the Nauvoo House.

    If the brethren who move in here and want an inheritance, will buy their lands of the trustees in trust, they will thereby benefit the poor, the Temple, and the Nauvoo House, and even then only be doing that which is their duty, and which I know, by considerable experience, will be vastly for their benefit and satisfaction in days to come. Let all the brethren, therefore, when they move into Nauvoo, consult President Joseph Smith, the trustee, etc., and purchase their lands of him; and I am bold to say that God will bless them, and they will hereafter be glad they did so.

    We hold ourselves ready at any time to wait upon the brethren and show them the lands belonging to the Church, and Temple, etc., and can be found any day, either at President Joseph Smith's bar-room or the Temple Recorder's office at" the Temple.

    Nauvoo, Dec. 16, 1843. W. Clayton, Clerk.


    In concluding this history of the Mormon Era in Hancock county, it will not be out of place to refer to Joseph Smith, junior, who, it is known, is building up a sect which he denominates the "Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- Day Saints." (While he was about it he might have reorganized the phraseology of its title to advantage.)

    At the time of the exodus from Nauvoo Joseph was a mere child, and with his mother and the rest of the family remained behind; she not choosing to relinquish a competence and a home here, for the uncertain honors and the certain privations of a sojourn in the new promised land. In this she acted wisely; but by doing so she greatly thwarted the purposes of the leaders. It was their ambition to carry with them the widow, and above all, the young son of their martyred leader. For years afterward they adhered to this darling scheme, and many efforts were made to induce the youth to join them. Embassies were sent to him, and glowing representations made; but to no purpose. His ever-watchful mother and his own disinclination proved effective against all their solicitations and blandishments.

    Joseph grew up to be a sober, temperate, and steady young man. and with a fair reputation among his neighbors. We never heard that he aspired to any extra share of holiness, or to the possession of any miraculous gifts; or pretended to have had any special call from heaven, for the course he has seen proper to pursue. zzzFor do we know just at what time or in what manner he undertook his work of reorganization. Strange as it may seem, we must inter that he believes in the divine mission of his father and the truth of his claims; as he makes these in effect the basis of his work.

    This reorganized Church is based on the "Book of Mormon," the "Book of Doctrines and Covenants," and other works common to Utah Mormonism; but it totally rejects the polygamy features of the Utah creed. We are not able to perceive any other marked features of difference either in creed or form. The practice of the new Church, however, has been widely different. Instead of calling all the believers together to one "Zion," or "New Jerusalem,"

                                       HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                     377

    the building of one magnificent temple, and the pampering of a domineering and infallible priesthood, as under the old system, the new organization thus far has allowed its members the freedom of choice as to where they may make their homes and pursue the business of life. Consequently here and there through the States, societies are springing up, churches being erected, and regular worship carried on, much as is done by societies of other denominations. There are several of these reorganized Churches in this county And why not? Joseph Smith has just as good a right to head a sect as any man has, and to build up a creed and ransack the country for proselytes. And he has a right to base his creed on Spaulding's Manuscript Found or Aesop’s Fables, if he so choose. That is a right to which no man or set of men has a monopoly. And so long as he will continue in what seems to be his present course and policy, and avoid the rocks on which his father went down -- and which are sooner or later to be the destruction of Utah Mormonism -- while we may not respect his judgment or wish him God-speed, no man can desire him evil.

    While Methodism, Presbyterianism, Quakerism, or any other form of Christianity can live and be at peace even with Paganism, no so-called Gentile people in a land of light and liberty can quietly dwell side by side with Mormonism, as it existed of yore under the dynasty of Smith, the elder, in this county, and since under Brigham Young in Utah. Under them it was eternally aggressive upon the rights, the consciences, the property of their neighbors. "This land is for the home of the Saints -- This property you call your own, is consecrated to their use and the service of the Lord -- Your blood is as water, to be poured out upon the earth, for the unbeliever shall be utterly destroyed," -- is now and has been from the beginning, the teaching from their temples and the burden of their songs. And should this reorganizer ("President," we believe he calls himself) ever fall into this fatal and wicked error, it will as certainly bring to him disaster, as it did to his predecessors who adopted it.

    Whatever may be in the future for Utah Mormonism, it looks as if the reorganized branch might take and hold a respectable place among the religious sects of the day, could but the facts of its origin and the character of its founders be effaced from memory.


    And we now close our account of the Mormons and Mormon history in Hancock county and the State of Illinois. Much more we are compelled for want of room to omit. We believe, however, that we have brought together in these preceding chapters, a more complete and reliable statement of Mormon affairs, during their eight years' sojourn in this county, than can elsewhere be found, or that has ever before been given to the public.

    And, in conclusion, we beg to be indulged in a few reflections. It would seem that no one can take the trouble to acquaint himself

    378                                    HISTORY  OF  HANCOCK  COUNTY.                                    

    with Joseph Smith's character and career, as seen in the light of history and truth, and not know that he was a very bad man -- a hypocrite, a blasphemer, a knave. And yet hundreds and thousands believe otherwise, that he was a holy man, a saint and a martyr to the truth. Such is the difference in men. And while we are forced to believe that he was as before stated, we are also compelled to conclude that many of his professed followers and believers were equally guilty -- were, in truth, not his dupes, but his tools. That while he was taking care of number one, and rioting in luxury and debauchery, they were doing the same thing, as his aiders and abettors. His own talents could never have secured for him the position and notoriety he obtained; but to Sidney Rigdon, Parley P. Pratt, Brigham Young, and scores of others, whom his interests and their interests drew around him, he was largely indebted for his success. They submitted to be managed by him, because their interest lay in submission.

    Beyond these and around them, supporting, feeding, pampering, and ready to fight for them, rallied a host of others, of many grades of character, sincere, devout, ignorant, willing and unwilling dupes, to whose sustaining power the sect owes its life. They furnish the bonds that hold the rotten system together.

    (remainder of text not transcribed)


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