Jules Remy
Journey to Great Salt Lake City

(London: W. Jeffs, 1861 -- English translation)

Volume One:  Intro.  |  Book 1  |  Book 2

  • Vol. 1: Contents

  • Bk. 1 Ch. 1  From Sacramento to Carson Valley
  • Bk. 1 Ch. 2  From Carson Valley to Haws's Ranch
  • Bk. 1 Ch. 3  From Haws's Ranch to New Jerusalem
  • Bk. 1 Ch. 4  The New Jerusalem

  • Bk. 2 Ch. 1  Life of the Prophet up to 1830
  • Bk. 2 Ch. 2  The Mormon Church Until 1839
  • Bk. 2 Ch. 3  Nauvoo, From 1839 to 1844
  • Bk. 2 Ch. 4  From Brigham Young to 1851

  • Go to:  Volume Two of the Set


    The inclinations of man, his tastes, his character, the course of his passions, the direction taken by his faculties, are generally determined by maternal influence. Childhood in its home, takes the imprint of all around it. But it is principally, nor do we need any physiological induction to be convinced of this, by the mind and by the heart of a tender and impulsive mother, whose love is ever anxiously   [226] HISTORY OF THE MORMONS. ministering to all his wants, that the mind and heart of the child are fashioned. This influence will be much greater still, when it calls to its aid the marvelous. Nothing is so fascinating to a child as tales of supernatural occurrences bordering upon magic. Nothing is more easy than to accustom its ductile imagination to prodigies and spirits, especially in a social position where such ideas are constantly recurring, and where there is an absence of those relations with the outer world which might tend to restrain or modify them. Hence there is no reason for our being surprised at its having been believed that the founder of the Mormon religion derived from his family associations the source of his vocation, a certain predisposing motive to the part he played, that is, to the mission of religious renovation which he arrogated to himself and sought to accomplish. In point of fact, however, it would be exceedingly rash to adopt this solution; nor is it at all admissible, save with a limitation, which it is important to indicate with some little precision. Yes, doubtless, the mystic circle in which Joseph Smith was brought up; the atmosphere swarming with pious visions, in which his infancy and early youth were passed; the halo, as it were, of spiritual appearances and miraculous agencies by which his mother was ever surrounded; all this was calculated to act upon his imagination; all this, too, was necessarily not without influence on the direction of his ideas; and one can imagine that   [227] EARLY LIFE OF THE PROPHET. the spectacle which daily passed before his eyes may have opened up peculiar views to him, and suggested the course he took. But here arises a question, the importance of which cannot be denied: did the religious impressions, so intense in his family, act seriously and profoundly on his mind? The sentiments, so ardent and excited in their expression, which circumfused his earlier years, were sincere convictions in them; but were they equally so in him? If they were at the outset, it is evident they did not long remain so; and it results from the leading features of his history, that eventually they were employed by him merely as means, as instruments, of which he made clever and powerful use. Joseph Smith is an argument in favour of the opinion, false as a rule, which sets down certain religious formulae as the results of cunning, and as the invention of imposture. From this point of view, the history of this man merits attention, and may throw light on certain phases of the human mind. But our opinion as to how much was calculation and falsehood in the part he played, will develop itself as we proceed with his history. The parents of Joseph Smith were tillers of the soil; they at first resided in Windsor county, in the State of Vermont. His father, who was in tolerably easy circumstances, considering the time and place in which be lived; ruined himself at an early period by a speculation in crystallized ginseng, a cargo of which he consigned to China, and of the proceeds of which he was defrauded by his consignee.   [228] He retrieved his affairs by taking a farm belonging to his father-in-law, and by keeping a school during the winter months for the neighbouring children. He was by no means of a religious turn; however, his views afterwards underwent a change, and about 1811 he, was converted through his wife's prayers. He was even favoured with visions, and from the time of his conversion spent the remainder of his life in religious observances. He died in 1840, a fervent adherent to the religion invented by his son. Lucy Mack, his wife, the Prophet's mother, had been from the outset exceedingly pious and even addicted to religious reveries. About 1803 she was, as she states in her son's biography, miraculously cured of a mortal complaint. But among the numerous sects which contended with each other for the possession of souls in the United States, not one for some time could fix her wandering faith. Tormented by a craving for belief of some sort, she long wavered in doubt, unable to decide among the great number of religious sects, all at the same time canvassing her, which was the true one; ultimately, wearied out in all probability by her efforts to ascertain the truth, her mind became excited, she saw apparitions, and under the influence of these hallucinations she was baptized by a Presbyterian minister, but without binding herself to any definite religious view, and with the understanding that she would not join any existing sect. The only definite idea she had   [229] was belief in the right of private judgment and faith in the Scriptures. She founded her faith entirely on the Bible, which she freely interpreted without other guide than her reason. Her thoughts were exclusively occupied with God and her children (ten in number), and there is reason to believe that these two objects of her constant concern were frequently blended in her thoughts and determined the current of her ideas, Her life was one entire mysticism. Sometimes she had visions which revealed to her that all religions had swerved from the truth; at other times she imagined miraculous interventions in favour of her family. Thus, one of her daughters, named Sophronia, who had long been given up by the physicians, was suddenly cured and restored to her parents after having been supposed to be dead for several hours, -- such was her impression. It was amid these associations, between a convert father and a fanatic mother, both visionaries, that the future Prophet of the Mormons passed his infancy and early youth. Joseph Smith was born the 23rd of December, 1805, at Sharon, in Windsor county, State of Vermont. He was the fourth child. His mother states that nothing remarkable occurred in connection with him in his early childhood, but a circumstance showed he possessed resolution of no ordinary character. Between eight and nine years of age he refused to be tied down while undergoing a most painful operation, the removal of a bone in his leg, which had become carious after causing him intense suffering. This   [230] mishap eventually relieved him from service in the militia. About the same time frequent illness attacked various members of his family, which, thus impoverished, left for Norwich and took to farming. Disheartened by three years' ill success, they afterwards went to Palmyra, where, having obtained a hundred acres of land, they by industry once more acquired a competence. Joseph for some time went to one of the elementary schools so numerous in America, but his parents were unable to give him a finished education. He learned to read with ease, to write a tolerable hand, and to understand more or less the four rules of arithmetic. At the age of fourteen, according to his mother's statement, he was a remarkably quiet boy, and gave signs of an excellent disposition. This favourable testimony, indeed, is not generally admitted; the enemies of the Prophet, on the contrary, represent him as exceedingly unruly and good-for-nothing. According to them, there was at that time an attempt made on his life,* and they assert that his disorderly habits were the sole cause of it. But his mother, who does not deny the fact, alleges that it was done by the malice of the wicked and at the instigation of the devil. _____________________ * Some person, unknown, fired a gun at Joseph; the ball missed him, and lodged in a cow's throat. About the time of this mysterious attempt upon the young man's life, his father had a seventh and final vision, wherein it was announced that he was justified, and that to assure his salvation but one thing was requisite, which would hereafter be written down for him by a supernatural hand. -- Lucy Mack's Biography of the Prophet.   [231] It would be difficult to follow or to determine the order of the impressions or ideas which, before 1820, worked upon the mind of young Smith, and first roused his intellect. But, about that period, at Manchester (New York), where the Smith family then resided, a great revival,* including all the neighbouring religious sects, took place, and it is quite certain that the discussions on that occasion, in which he took part, as well as the reaction produced in him by the rabidness exhibited by all parties in their struggle for the monopoly of consciences, made a strong and lasting impression upon him. The result of this was to shock, rather than decide him. He now felt a leaning towards the Methodists, without however joining them, and without showing any displeasure at four members of his family going over to the Presbyterians. He could not yet, he says in his biography, make out where the truth was. There came a moment when Catholicism seemed as if it would sway the balance. What especially struck him in this great religion was, that line of unbroken tradition which is more completely maintained by it than by any other Church; and also that powerful organization and imposing hierarchy which is unrivaled in the world, But _____________________ * A revival, in America, means a series of preachings and conferences, held by the ministers of different sects at nearly regular intervals, for the purpose of keeping up the zeal of the faithful, of reviving the faith of the lukewarm, of awakening the indifferent, and of converting the profane. We know nothing to which we can so well compare the revivals as the missions and general meetings in Catholic countries, with this difference, that in the United States different denominations are present.   [232] never having heard a Catholic missionary, and reduced as he was to obtain his information from some antipapist publications which represented the Roman faith as full of superstitions and absurd observances, how could he conceive any great esteem for it? how could his wavering mind espouse dogmas he did not know, or was scarcely acquainted with? He was content to give it a passing admiration, and though he may never have lost the memory of the impression its outward aspect had made on him, he did not treat it with more ceremony than other religious institutions, and still continued in the dilemma of Ruridan's ass, as he himself informs us. He has since described the state of doubt and uncertainty in which he was at this time, at this first moment of reflection, on this first occasion of his looking carefully into the real state of his religious views; a state of mind caused by the discordant controversies at which it was his fate to be present. "Amid this war of words," said he, "in the midst of this tumult of opinions, I often said to myself, what is to be done? Which of these parties is in the right? Are they not all equally in error? If one of them be right, which is it? How am I to ascertain?" Is it not a remarkable thing that a youth of fifteen, without high intellectual culture, should be so powerfully moved by considerations of such a nature, and should speak of established religions almost in the same terms as Rousseau puts in the mouth of his Savoyard curate?   [233] What is no less remarkable is, to find this same lad not slow in discovering that, in America at least, the different forms of religion which are there contending for mastery, are nothing more than mere opinions, taken up just as one takes up a political view. What he is thinking of is not merely the different forms he has under his eye; his critical speculations extend far beyond this, and reject, as empty images, all existing religions. We must let him speak for himself. "The different kinds of worship, thought he, are like the different forms of government. Each has its good and its evil. Not one is perfect; all are false. This is why my reason admits none. If either one or the other comprised absolute truth, it would be self-evident, and all others would fall of themselves. And as at the end of eighteen centuries, far from agreeing, we are further apart than ever, it is clear that the perfect form does not exist." We shall find a great analogy between this youth's manner of seeing things, and that which formed the staple of his mother's views, of which it was probably the reflection or echo. Keeping in mind that she long sought with painful anxiety for the best creed, that she constantly communicated to her family her doubts, and her uneasiness with respect to her own salvation, as well as the visions which she or her husband had seen, we are the less surprised that, face to face with the theological quarrels of sects, the youthful imagination of her son should have been stimulated to   [234] give itself free scope. But it must be noted that the boy did not only share his mother's doubts and belief, but that he moreover affirmed all religions to be mere matters of opinion, analogous to political opinions, and not the manifestations of absolute truth; and it will be easily conceded that this view of the matter, which did not occur to the parent, constituted a wide distinction between the mother and the son, and indicated a singular precocity in the latter.* The idea of the inefficacy, or rather of the vanity and emptiness, of religious worship, seems from that period to have taken possession of young Joseph Smith's mind, and to have prompted the part he subsequently played. It was a rapid but complete revolution, and there is reason to believe that from that time religious doubts occupied a much larger space in his mind than in his mother's, and that his nature was completely changed. Mrs. Smith sought for truth; Joseph Smith declared that it did not exist. The mother believed that she sometimes, in her visions, caught a glimpse of its radiant image; the son forged imaginary visions, and constructing out of them a fiction, offered it as a truth to the homage of the credulous. I cannot recall in history another example of such impudent audacity and precocious cleverness. At fifteen years of age, Smith had made up his mind that there was no true religion, and that _____________________ * Such precocity, however, is not rare in the United States, where children suck in their faith and doubts with their mother's milk, surrounded as they are by the religious squabbles which are ever pealing in their ears.   [235] many of his family were not far from sharing his opinion; it then soon occurred to him that on this state of mind in those around him, which had been formed and fanned by sectarian dissensions, he might rear up a new religion, and at one and the same time lay the foundation both of his fortune and his greatness. There are minds which reach at a single bound the extreme limits, whether of good or evil. At any rate, we will now show how Joseph Smith made his first appearance in that world of visions from which he hoped to get such fine pickings. While still full of that idea of the falsity of all creeds, which had made such rapid havoc in his mind, he came across a passage in the Epistle of St. James (ch. i. v. 5) which says, "If any one of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God." Struck, says he, by the appositeness of this passage, he withdrew, one morning in the spring of 1820, into a little wood in the vicinity of his father's house, and there, after ascertaining that he was alone, he knelt and made known to God the desires of his heart. Scarcely had he uttered his prayer, when his tongue became paralyzed, and he fell into a state of profound depression. But presently a column of light, more brilliant than the sun, descended upon his head, and he was comforted. Two celestial beings appeared in the air above him. One of them, calling him by name, said, pointing to his companion, "This is my well-beloved Son; hearken to him." Let us allow our pretended seer to speak for himself: --   [236] "No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right (for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong), and which I should join. I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; they teach for doctrine the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.' He again forbade me to join with any of them; and many other things did: he say unto me which I cannot write at this time," He then went on to say, that a few days afterwards, having mentioned this vision to a Methodist preacher, the latter treated his communication "not only lightly, but with great contempt, saying it was all of the devil; that there were no such things as visions and revelations in these days; and that all such things had ceased with the apostles. I soon found that my telling the story had excited a great deal of prejudice against me: and though I was an obscure boy, only between fourteen and fifteen years of age, and my circumstances in life such as to make a boy of no consequence in the world, yet men of high standing would take notice sufficient to excite the public mind against me, and create a hot persecution; and this was common among all the   [237] sects; all united to persecute me. It has often caused me serious reflection, both then and since, how very strange it was that a boy in my condition, doomed to the necessity of obtaining a scanty maintenance by his daily labour, should be thought a character of sufficient importance to attract the attention of the great ones of the most popular sects of the day, so as to create in them a spirit of the hottest persecution and reviling. But, strange or not, so it; was, and was often a cause of great sorrow to myself. However, it was no less a fact that I had a vision. I have thought since that I was much like Paul before Agrippa; some said he was dishonest, others said he was mad, and he was ridiculed and reviled; but all this did not destroy the reality of his vision. So it was with me; I was hated and persecuted for saying I had seen a vision, but yet it; was true; I knew it, and I knew that God knew it; and I: could not deny it, neither did I dare deny it."* Orson Pratt, in a pamphlet of sixteen pages, entitled 'Remarkable Visions,' states that celestial personages informed Joseph that his sins were forgiven him; but the Prophet does not mention this forgiveness in his biography. From 1820, the period of his first vision, up to 1823, Joseph suffered himself to lie carried away by the world's currents and committed faults which his panegyrists attribute to the weakness of youth, and the corruptness of human nature. He himself admits, in his autobiography, _____________________ * History of Joseph Smith, 'Millennial Star,' vol. iii. No. 2, p. 21.   [238] with something like compunction, that he yielded to temptation and to the gratification of divers appetites culpable in the sight of God. His mother does not mention these backslidings, in the history of his life. However, he felt remorse for his conduct, and one night, the 21st of September, 1823, after he had retired to bed, he supplicated the Almighty to forgive him his sins, and to make known to him by some manifestation, in what light he appeared to the Omniscient. A "Personage" then appeared to him in the midst of light brighter than mid-day, simply dad in a flowing robe of spotless whiteness. The dazzling messenger, calling him by name, said he had been sent by God to him, and that his name was Nephi; that God had a work for him to accomplish; that his name (Joseph's) would be blessed and accursed through all the nations of the earth; he likewise told him that there was in existence a book written on gold plates, which gave an account of the first inhabitants of the continent of America, and of their origin. He added that it contained the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ, as it was given to his people on this land. He further said, that there also existed an instrument which consisted of two smooth three-cornered diamonds set in glass, and the glasses were set in silver bows, which were connected with each other much in the same way as old-fashioned spectacles; that these glasses, being attached to a breastplate, constituted what is called the Urim and Thummim, and would be found deposited with the plates; that   [239] the possession and use of these glasses constituted a seer in primitive times, and that God had prepared them for the translation of the Book. He then quoted several prophecies from the Old Testament, and many passages from it and the New, and ended his discourse by warning Joseph that whenever the time should come for his receiving the plates, the breastplate, and the Urim and Thummim, he was to show them to no one, save such as God might indicate, on pain of death. Twice again did the same Personage appear that night, repeating exactly the same things; and, as he was on the point of departing, enjoined Joseph to be actuated in his desire to obtain the plates by no other motive than that of glorifying God, and also to be proof against the temptation of selling them, in order to satisfy his own wants. The cock crew, and day broke; Joseph rose without having had time to sleep. He went to his work, with his parents, when the same Personage he had seen during the night appeared to him a fourth time, repeating the same things and enjoining him to communicate all to his father. Joseph obeyed, and his father told him that it was an from God, and that he must go and do as the heavenly messenger had commanded him. Joseph at once left his work, and went to the place where the messenger had told him that the plates were deposited. Near the village of Manchester, in Ontario county (State of New York), is an eminence higher than any other in its   [240] neighbourhood, and known to the Mormons by the name of Cumorah. On the western side of this hill, a little below the summit, under a stone of considerable dimensions, the plates were found deposited in a stone box. The lid was thinned off towards the edges, and raised in the centre in a kind of globe, which rose above the surface of the soil. Joseph, after removing the earth which covered the edges, raised the stone with a crowbar, and found the tablets, the Urim and Thummim, and the breastplate.* The box was formed of stone held together at the corners by a kind of cement. Two stones were placed crossways at the bottom of the box, and upon these stones were the plates and other relies. Joseph attempted to take them out, but was prevented by the heavenly messenger, who again told him that the time had not yet arrived, and that he must wait four years from that time. The divine envoy added, that Joseph must present himself at the place of deposit in a year from that day, and that he must keep the same rendezvous every year, until the time had arrived for him to take away the plates. Joseph obeyed the commands of the Angel, and every year met him at the appointed spot, to receive his instructions as to what the Lord wished done, as well as revelations as to the manner in which His kingdom must be governed in the latter days. _____________________ * It would appear that Laban's sword was among these precious relies; but Joseph, who speaks of it afterwards, says nothing about the time when he found it.   [241] At this time Joseph's family were poor; all the members of it were obliged to labour, and often to hire themselves out to day-work. In October 1825, Joseph entered the service of an old man named Josiah Stoal, who lived in Chenango county, State of New York. Stoal employed him with other workmen in a silver-mine, which had been opened by the Spanish at Harmony, Pennsylvania. After a month's unproductive labour, Joseph induced the old man to give up his mine. "It was this circumstance," says Joseph, "that gave rise to the generally received belief that I was a money-digger." While he was in the service of Stoal, with whom he remained over a year, Joseph made the acquaintance of Emma Hale, the daughter of Isaac Hale, a tavern-keeper, at whose house he dined, and on the 18th of January, 1827, he married her, at South Bainbridge, State of New York, with the consent of his own parents, but in opposition to the family of the young woman, which was greatly opposed to the marriage, on account, as the Prophet states, of the persecutions that his visions had brought upon him. The young couple retired to the farm belonging to the Prophet's father, and betook themselves to agriculture. Joseph does not mention in his biography that he was, sometime after his marriage, very severely beaten by an angel, who reprimanded him for not being enough engaged   [242] in the work of the Lord; we get this fact from his mother's narrative.* The 22nd of September, 1827, the heavenly messenger delivered to Joseph Smith the plates, the Urim and Thummim, and the breast-plate, on condition that he would be responsible for them, and that he would preserve them carefully until such time as he should be again asked for them.** Having returned to his father's house with his precious trust, Joseph lost no time in finding a hiding-place in which to conceal it. His mother tells us, that he had a wooden chest made to enclose the sacred objects, and that the family not having the money to pay the carpenter for it, Joseph went and worked at the well of a Mrs. Wells, to earn the sum necessary to defray the cost. The report having spread that Joseph had obtained the golden tablets, some fanatical Methodists made a riotous attempt to steal them. But Joseph managed on this occasion, as on many others; to baulk their attempts. The Urim and Thummim consisted, states Joseph's mother, who had seen them, of two transparent stones, clear as crystal, set in the two rims of a bow. By this instrument _____________________ * Biographical Sketches of Joseph Smith, etc., by Lucy Smith, mother of the Prophet, c. 22; p. 99. ** The angel did claim the tablets and the other articles, after they had served for the fulfillment of the Divine purpose. Joseph, in a written communication, the 2nd of May, 1838, says that at this period they were in charge of the angel, but he does not tell us the precise moment at which he gave them up.   [243] Joseph was enabled to understand the characters on the tablets, to see to any distance, and to obtain revelations upon every kind of subject he desired.* The plates had the appearance of gold. They were about seven inches wide by eight long, and their thickness was not quite that of an ordinary sheet of tin. Egyptian characters were engraved on both sides of each plate, and the whole was bound in one volume, like the leaves of a book, closed by three clasps; its thickness was six inches. One portion of the plates was sealed up; on those which were not sealed there were small characters or letters skillfully cut. One of our engravings ** gives a facsimile of one, as published by the Mormons themselves, some time after the Prophet's death. "The whole book," says Joseph Smith, "by its shape, denoted the antiquity of its origin; and displayed some ability on the part of the engraver. The breast-plate, or pectoral, was of pure gold, according to the statement of Joseph's mother, who had seen and touched it. It had four golden straps, of which two were intended to, attach it to the shoulders, and the other two to fix it on the hips. These straps were exactly the breadth of two female fingers, and they were pierced with several holes at the ends, by which to fasten them. This article was worth five hundred dollars at least, adds the Prophet's aged mother. _____________________ * See Note XII. at the end of the work. ** See Note XIII. at the end of the work.   [244] After having been obliged several times to come to blows with those who attempted to rob him of his treasure, Joseph, who in the end found this sort of persecution insupportable, decided on quitting Manchester with his wife; to go and settle in Susquehannah county, Pennsylvania. As he was very poor, and as the annoyances to which he was everywhere exposed left him little hope of ever becoming rich, he accepted a sum of fifty dollars for his journey, which was offered him by Martin Harris, a friend of his, a farmer at Palmyra, State of New York. Thanks to this assistance, Joseph and his wife were enabled to go to Pennsylvania, where they arrived with their sacred charge, which they had secreted in a common bean-barrel. As soon as he was settled in his new abode, close to his father-in-law, Joseph set to work to copy the characters on the plates. From December 1827 to February 1828, he translated several by means of the Urim and Thummim. He confided the copy and translation to Martin Harris, to be shown to Professor Anthon, of New York, who was then very celebrated as a classical scholar, and, if we are to believe our informant, for his knowledge of hieroglyphics. Martin Harris went to New York, showed the copies to the Professor, who declared, if we are to believe our informant, that the characters were Egyptian, Chaldaic, Assyrian, and Arabic, and wished to see the original. Martin Harris informed the Prophet that Mr. Anthon entirely approved of his translation of these specimens,   [245] but this is not confirmed by the Professor, who, in a letter from New York, dated 17th of January, 1834, distinctly denies having seen a translation of any kind, and asserts that the characters which Harris showed him were anything but Egyptian. Mr. Anthon says in this letter, that the copy exhibited by Harris contained characters arranged in columns, imitating Greek and Hebrew letters, crosses, flourishes, Roman letters inverted, and that these perpendicular columns were terminated by a clumsily-drawn circle, divided into several compartments decked with various strange marks evidently copied from the Mexican calendar given by Humboldt, but so copied as to conceal the source from which it was taken. Martin Harris, returning about the 12th of April, 1828, rejoined Joseph, commenced his functions as secretary, and continued to be engaged on the translation of the plates until the 14th of June following, having then filled a hundred and sixteen pages of large-sized paper. The secretary was separated from the Prophet by a curtain that prevented his seeing the plates, which the translator read by means of the Urim and Thummim. At this stage of the great work, Harris, by his entreaties, obtained permission to take away his copy to read it to his wife and several other persons pointed out by a special revelation. By the treacherous connivance of his wife, Harris was robbed of this portion of the manuscript, which was thus for ever lost to the Prophet.   [246] Joseph was now to be punished for the confidence he had placed in his secretary. A revelation he had in July 1828, by means of the Urim and Thummim, reprimanded him for what he had done, but at the same time accused Harris of being a party to the fraud. An angel afterwards descended from the celestial regions for the purpose of taking back with him the plates and the magnifying-glass; both which, however, he brought down again in a few days, Joseph having meanwhile found favour before God. A little later, a special revelation warned the young Prophet that to avoid the attacks of the wicked, who would not fail to compare the new translation with that which had been stolen by a sacrilegious hand, and to single out any discrepancies between them, he must abstain from again translating the part in which Harris had served him as secretary. It is hardly necessary to make a remark on the simplicity of this mode of getting out of a difficulty. Joseph had successively a great number of revelations on the subject of his work, and of the men who rendered him assistance. They are all marked by personalities, and modes of expression which do not leave the slightest doubt as to their fraudulent fabrication. We do not in this place take any other objection to them than this, that their dates do not correspond with the events. The 15th of April, 1829, a new secretary presented himself to Joseph as a successor to Harris. This was Oliver Cowdery, who, being the schoolmaster of the village   [247] where the father of the new Prophet resided, had some knowledge of the great things which the Lord was preparing by his hands. Oliver gave up his school, and went to Pennsylvania, without any kind of invitation, to offer his gratuitous services to the translator of the new Bible. They were working busily on the translation of the Golden Book in the midst of a shower of revelations, when one day (May 15th, 1829, having betaken themselves to the woods to pray to God, and to interrogate him on the subject of baptism for the remission of sins, a heavenly messenger, who said he was John the Baptist, descended in "a cloud of light," and laying his hands upon Joseph, and on his scribe, ordained them, in the name of the Messiah, priests of the "Order of Aaron," which possesses the keys of the ministering of angels, of the gospel of repentance, and of baptism by immersion for the remission of sins. The messenger of Jehovah told them that this Aaronic priesthood had not the power of laying on hands to confer the gift of the Holy Spirit; but that this power, which belongs to the Order of Melchisedec, should be conferred on them later; that Joseph would be styled the First Elder, and Oliver the Second Elder; and he then commanded them to baptize one another. Joseph accordingly baptized Oliver, after which Oliver baptized Joseph; and they then ordained each other as priests of the Order of Aaron, a priesthood which they had already received from the angel.   [248] As soon as they were baptized, the Holy Ghost fell on them, and the spirit of prophecy was given to them. They at once turned it to account by setting to work prophesying the birth of a new religion, and of numberless things having reference to the Church and to the present generation. For some time they kept secret the heavenly gifts which had been accorded to them, for fear of reviving the spirit of persecution to which they had been at first exposed, Happily for Joseph, he was at this period on good terms with his wife's family, which had the effect of relieving him of a great deal of opposition and annoyance. A short time after this, Samuel, a brother of Joseph's, received the new baptism. Whilst engaged upon his translation, Joseph got hold of some persons well-disposed towards him, who aided him materially in his work, some by giving or lending him money, others by supplying him with food, some by offering him shelter others, again, by tendering all these things together. In the favourable reception which he met from these good people, he must have seen the first omen of his future success in the great work of religious renovation for which he was preparing with so much zeal. Among his benefactors, Joseph could reckon especially upon John Knight, of Colesville, State of New York, who supplied him with food; and on the family of Whitmer,* of Fayette, Seneca county, in the same State, _____________________ * Joseph states, and it is worth while noting it, that Whitmer, unsolicited,   [249] who placed at his disposal his house and table until the completion of the sacred work. Joseph accepted the generous offer of the Whitmers, and left Harmony, where he then. lived, to take up his abode at Fayette, about the month of June, 1820. He had every reason to be satisfied with his hosts, who assisted him in all ways. But it was by no means so with the old friends who lived in his father's part of the country. Harris's wife, whose vanity had been greatly wounded by Joseph's refusal to show her the sacred plates, infected several other persons with her ill-will, and it was resolved, at a meeting of persons competent to depose to the facts, that a charge should be brought before the magistrate of Lyons, State of New York, against Joseph, accusing him of fraudulent attempts to obtain or extort money from credulous persons. The case was entered into, but the principal witness, Martin Harris, husband of the woman who had raised up all these troubles, having declared on oath that Joseph had never made any attempt to get money from him, and that a sum of fifty dollars, which it came out in evidence _____________________ came himself with a carriage, proposing to take him to his house. The mother of the Prophet says otherwise. She states that her son received from God the command to write to Whitmer and desire him to come immediately, and take him home with him, as evil-disposed persons were seeking his life. Mrs. Smith also says that it was at Waterloo that Whitmer resided; that when Joseph's letter was given to him, a miracle was worked to testify to him that it was the will of God that he should go to the Prophet, and bring him back with him. The mother also says that in the journey from Harmony to Waterloo, an angel undertook to carry the plates, so that they might not be taken from her son by violence.   [250] had been received by Joseph, had been a free gift of his own, entirely unsolicited by the latter, the magistrate dismissed the case, advising the plaintiffs never again to trouble him with their ridiculous complaints. It is to the Prophet's mother we are indebted for these facts. Joseph does not mention the charge in his autobiography. It must also be remarked that his mother says, that before this affair no member of the family had ever had anything to do with the law. Joseph, aided by Cowdery, quietly completed his translation at the house of the Whitmers, worthy souls, whose good offices he secured, and repaid by revelations obtained expressly for them. He experienced nothing, on the whole, but kindness, from the inhabitants of Seneca county. He made some converts among them, and in June he baptized, in the waters of Lake Seneca, two of the Whitmers, together with his brother Hyrum. A revelation soon came (June 1829), commanding the Prophet to show the plates to three witnesses, in order that the work of God might receive a testimony before men. This revelation, when nominating as the chosen witnesses, Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris, promised them "the sight of the plates, of the breast-plate, of the sword of Laban, and of the Urim and Thummim; which were given on the mountain to the brother of Jared, when speaking face to face with the Lord." On the faith of this Divine promise, the three witnesses   [251] so nominated retired with Joseph into a wood hard by, and after a great many prayers, fervently repeated over and over again, an angel appeared in the midst of an excessively bright light, holding the plates in his hand, and turning over the leaves one by one, so as to enable them to see the characters distinctly. Then a voice, issuing from the light, was heard to say, "These plates have been revealed by the power of God, and they have been translated by the power of God. The translation which you have seen is correct, and I command you to bear witness to what you now see and hear." A written record of the facts was consequently drawn up, and the three witnesses affixed their signatures to it. "Some time after these things had passed," says Joseph," this additional testimony was obtained;" and he gives, without further explanation,* a certificate signed by eight new witnesses, who are four of the Whitmers, a person called Page, a relation of the Whitmers, and three of the Smiths. Without attaching more importance than they merit, to these testimonials, it is as well to observe that all they prove is that no one but Smith ever saw the plates, since the Prophet himself avows that it was in a vision only that they were seen by the eleven witnesses. Why got have _____________________ * The mother of the Prophet said the plates were shown to eight witnesses by one of the ancient Nephites, who, in a revelation made to Joseph, had arranged an interview with them. ** See Note XIV. at the end of the work.   [252] shown the plates, which he took the pains to shut up in a box, under lock and key, rather than seek the intervention of the Deity, the Deus ex machina? These plates were material things, consequently the seeing them in a vision cannot be admitted as a proof, even by those who saw it, if they would but reflect that Joseph was obliged to handle in order to translate them. It therefore seems certain that no other persons ever saw the plates of the Golden Book, that the Urim and Thummim have been seen by some few individuals only, including the Prophet's mother, and that the breastplate has been seen by the latter only. To establish the truth of his assertions, why did he not show these objects to respectable witnesses other than his family and the initiated? The mother of the Prophet says, that after the last eight witnesses had seen the plates which had been brought to a particular spot by one of the ancient Nephites, the angel again appeared to Joseph, and gave them to him to take away. It is not known what became of them from this time,* but it is probable they will one day reappear, for Orson Pratt informs us, that Joseph translated only the unsealed part of the book. The translation being completed, the next thing was to find a printer. But first a revelation ordered Oliver Cowdery to recopy the manuscript from beginning to end, and never to have more than one copy at a time at the printing-office, _____________________ * See note, page 242.   [253] so that if one happened to be destroyed or stolen, there would be another in reserve; to have always a guard to accompany him from his house to the office and back, and also one to watch night and day about the house, in order to protect the manuscript. In March 1830, a revelation was made to Joseph, commanding Martin Harris, under pain of damnation, to sell, his effects to cover the expenses of the publication of the Book of Mormon. A contract was made with a printer of the name of Egbert Grandin, who for three thousand dollars engaged to furnish five thousand copies. Harris was to pay half the cost, and the Smith family the other half; but a thousand difficulties presented themselves, which threatened to stay the publication. Some scamps endeavoured by violence to destroy the manuscript, and a journalist of the name of Cole went so far as to steal the copy, and to publish it, without authority, in the "Dogberry Paper on Winter Hill." Lucy Smith says, that one day, when Joseph had to go from Waterloo to Palmyra, she informed him that some vagabonds, led by one Huzzy, intended to lay wait for him, in order to play him some awkward prank, and that in consequence she begged him to defer his journey. The young Prophet, however, did not heed the warnings of his mother, and departed under the protection of God. Meeting these ruffians, who were on the look-out for him, he went straight up to their chief, took off his hat, and bowing, said in an easy quiet tone, " Good morning, Mr. Huzzy." He   [254] then did the same to the others, who, utterly confused and overwhelmed by all this politeness and coolness, returned his bow, and went away. Joseph had received, in June 1829, a revelation which commanded him to institute an apostleship composed of twelve apostles, and at the same time gave him instructions relative to the establishment of the Church of Christ. Somewhat later, another revelation fixed the day on which he was to organize his Church, indicated to him the mode of baptism, defined the duties of the members of the Church, etc. etc. In consequence of this heavenly order, on Tuesday the 6th of April, in the year of grace 1830, the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints was organized at Fayette, Seneca county, in the house of P. Whitmer, where six of the initiated, including Joseph, were. The near society, then styled itself the Church of Christ; it was not until some years afterwards that it took the name which it now bears. The six privileged members ordained each other; after which they received the sacrament, and were confirmed in the Church of Christ by the Holy Ghost, who gave them the gift of prophecy. While they were still assembled, Joseph had a revelation, in which God called upon him, the "Seer, the Translator, the Prophet, the Apostle of Jesus Christ, the Elder of the Church by the will of God the Father, and the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Inspired of the Holy Ghost, to lay the foundation of the Church, and   [255] to build it on the most holy faith; which Church was organized and established in the year of our Lord 1830, in the fourth month and the sixth day of the month which is called April)." Many of the persons who were present as spectators at this meeting, because suddenly converted, and were baptized that very day, among them the Prophet's father and mother.* Thus was established the Church by which Joseph Smith sought to remodel the face of the world. In the minute drawn up in reference to this matter, the only one of the six members whose name is mentioned is Oliver Cowdery. It is probable that the other four were Hyrum Smith, Martin Harris, and two of the Whitmers.** About the same time the Book of Mormon was published, under the title given below, which, according to the Prophet, is the literal translation of the outer side of the last plate: -- "THE BOOK OF MORMON. "An account written by the hand of Mormon, upon plates taken from the plates of Nephi. _____________________ * Joseph says that Martin Harris was baptized about the same time as his father. ** John Hyde says ('Mormonism,' p. 200) that the six organizers were Joseph Smith the elder, Hyrum Smith and Samuel Smith (two brothers of the Prophet), O. Cowdery, Joseph Knight, and the Prophet himself. Joseph Knight, of Colesville, is the person who brought the Prophet provisions during the work of the translation.   [256] "Wherefore it is an abridgment from the record taken from the people of Nephi, and also from the Lamanites, written to the Lamanites, who were 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 up 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, to come forth in due time by the way of the Gentile; the interpretation thereof by the gift of God. An abridgment taken from the book of Esther also; which is a record of the people of Jared; who 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 what great things the Lord hath done for their fathers; and that they may know the covenants of the Lord, that they are not cast off for ever; and also to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile, that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations. And now, if there are faults, they are the mistakes of men; wherefore condemn not the things of God, that ye may be found spotless at the judgment-seat of Christ." Such is the presumptuous title of the Book of Mormon, which is divided into fifteen books, as follows: -- The First Book of Nephi. The Second Book of Nephi. The Book of Jacob, brother of Nephi. The Book of Enos.   [257] The Book of Jarom. The Book of Omni. The Words of Mormon. The Book of Mosiah, to which are added the Memoirs of Zeniff. The Book of Alma, son of Alma. The Book of Helaman. The Book of Nephi, son of Nephi, who was the son of Helaman. The Book of Nephi, son of Nephi, one of the Disciples of Jesus Christ. The Book of Mormon. The Book of Ether. The Book of Moroni. Let us give a rapid summary of the Book of Mormon, as nearly as possible as it is accepted by the Mormons themselves. It gives the history of ancient America, from the establishment of the Hebrew colony which came from the tower of Babel, up to the beginning of the fifth century of the Christian era. After the confusion of tongues, the Asiatic colonists, called Jaredites, crossed the ocean in eight ships, and landed on the coast of North America, where they built large cities, and formed a highly civilized nation, which flourished by commerce and industry. They subsequently became corrupt, and their nation, after lasting fifteen hundred years, was destroyed on account of its wickedness, about six hundred years before Jesus Christ.   [258] A prophet named Ether, wrote their history up to and including the time of their destruction; and the annals left by him were recovered by a colony of Israelites, descended from the tribe of Joseph, which came from Jerusalem six centuries before Christ, and repeopled America. The Israelites who succeeded the Jaredites, left Jerusalem in the first year of the reign of Zedekiah, king of Judah. They first betook themselves to the coast of the Red Sea, along which they followed for some time bearing to the south-east, and then struck off in an easterly direction, until they reached the great ocean. Then God commanded -them to build a vessel, which bore them safe and sound across the Pacific Ocean to South America, on the western coast of which they landed. In the eleventh year of the reign of Zedekiah, when the Jews were led captive into Babylon, some descendants of Judah, leaving Jerusalem, reached North America, whence they emigrated towards the northern portion of South America, where they were discovered by the descendants of Joseph, about four hundred years after their arrival. The descendants of Joseph almost immediately became divided into two distinct nations, the one styled Nephites, from the name of the prophet who was its leader. This nation was persecuted for its uprightness by the other nation, which bore the name of Lamanites, from Laman its chief, a very corrupt and wicked man. The Nephites emigrated towards the north of South America, while the   [259] Lamanites peopled the middle and southern part of that country. The Nephites took with them a copy of the Holy Scriptures, that is to say, of the five books of Moses, and the Prophets down to Jeremiah, on to the time at which they left Jerusalem. These Scriptures were engraved on plates of brass, in the Egyptian language. The Nephites, after their arrival in America, made similar plates, on which they engraved their history, prophecies, visions, and revelations. All these annals have been preserved from generation to generation. The Nephites, whom God blessed for their uprightness and their piety, prospered and spread to the east, to the west, and to the north. They built immense cities, temples, fortresses, tilled the soil, bred domestic animals, and, in short, became an opulent people. The arts and sciences flourished among them. The Lamanites, on the contrary, from the. hardness of their hearts, were abandoned of God, and became a rude and barbarous people. Before their rebellion they were white and handsome as the Nephites; but God cursed them, and their white colour soon gave way to a dark hue; they became a savage and ferocious people; they fought numerous battles with the Nephites, but were always repulsed with loss, and the tumuli so often met with in the two Americas, are nothing but heaps of warriors slaughtered in those sanguinary struggles. Then the Nephites, four centuries after their arrival, discovered the descendants of Judah, who had quitted Jerusalem   [260] eleven years after them, they found a numerous but ignorant people, with scarcely a trace of civilization. This people was called Zarahemla. As they had not brought any written records with them, their language became corrupted, and they denied the existence of God. However, the Nephites entered into an alliance with them, taught them the Holy Scriptures, brought them back to civilization, and together they formed a single people. The Nephites built vessels on the Isthmus of Darien, launched them on the western ocean, and set out to colonize North America. Other colonies of Nephites emigrated overland, and in a few centuries the whole continent became peopled. Great cities were built on all sides by the Nephites, and even by the Lamanites. The law of Moses was observed by the Nephites, and prophets in large numbers appeared among them. The records of their history and prophecies were carefully preserved by them upon tablets of gold and other metal. The Nephites recovered the annals of the Jaredites, which were engraved upon plates of gold. These annals, which gave the history of thirty-five centuries, from the creation of the world, were translated by the Nephites into their own language by means of the Urim and Thummim. The Nephites were made acquainted with the birth and death of Christ by certain celestial and terrestrial phenomena. As at that time they had fallen away from the law of God, they were at the Crucifixion punished by frightful   [261] catastrophes, by earthquakes which raised mountains where valleys had been before, and which destroyed their cities. Thus were accomplished the predictions of their own prophets, and thus perished a great number of the wicked among the Nephites, as well as among the Lamanites. Those who survived these terrible chastisements, received a visit from Christ, who after his Ascension came to the northern portion of South America, to show the Nephites the wounds in his hands, his feet, and his side. At the same time Christ abolished the law of Moses, and substituted his Gospel, chose twelve disciples to preach his doctrine, instituted the Eucharist, worked all kinds of miracles, expounded the Scriptures from the commencement to his coming, and predicted everything which was to happen before the day when he should come back in his glory, to reign over the earth before the end of the world. These instructions were engraved upon golden plates, and some of them are found in the Book of Mormon; but the greater portion, still sealed up, will not be revealed unto the Saints till a future time. When Christ bad ended his mission among the nations of America, he re- ascended into heaven, and his twelve disciples went forth to preach throughout the continent. In all parts the Lamanites and the Nephites were converted to the Lord, and walked during more than three centuries in the paths of righteousness. But towards the fourth century of the Christian era, they had so far departed from the   [262] ways of God that he inflicted terrible judgments on them. At this epoch the Lamanites dwelt in South America, and the Nephites in North America. Before long a terrible war broke out between the two nations. Beginning in the Isthmus of Darien, it spread on like a destroying plague, beating back the Nephites towards the north and north-east. The whole nation of the Nephites was encamped round the hill of Cumorah (in the State of New York), where the plates were found, at about two hundred miles to the west of the city of Albany. And here it was the numerous bands of the Lamanites bore down upon them and cut them to pieces, sparing neither women, children, nor old people. The nation of the Nephites was utterly destroyed, with the exception of a very small number of persons who had the good fortune to escape, amongst whom were Mormon and his son Moroni, who were both upright men before God. Mormon had written upon some plates a short account of the annals of his ancestors. It is this account which is contained in the Book of Mormon, under the special name of the Book of Mormon. Mormon subsequently concealed, in the hill of Cumorah all the original annals he had in his possession, except the short account he had himself engraved, which he delivered to his son Moroni to continue. Moroni added the history of what passed up to the year 420 of the Christian era, at which epoch, by the order of God, he buried the annals in the hill of Cumorah,   [263] where they remained hidden (from 420 to the 22nd September, 1827) until an angel came down to reveal them to Joseph Smith, who, by the gift of God and the aid of the Urim and Thummim, translated them into English. The Indians who are now living in America are the descendants of the Lamanites, for of the Nephites not a soul remained after the death of Moroni. This succinct analysis which we have here made of the Book of Mormon, sufficiently indicates the plan adopted by Joseph Smith as the starting-point of his divine mission. At the same time this summary gives us a due to the circumstances which led the American Prophet to that scheme of religions renovation which he conceived, and the audacity of which it is impossible not to admire, even while we censure it. It would, perhaps, be difficult to deny him genius, were it true that at the age of fifteen he had spun out of his own brain the entire plot of this ingenious fable. But his share in the work is perhaps less than his disciples give him credit for; and we shall soon see that his whole merit consisted in a superiority of impudence and imposture, which was really extraordinary, and almost miraculous, at the age at which he devised his scheme, and with the modicum of information he possessed.  Towards the year 1809, a Protestant clergyman, named Solomon Spaulding, a graduate of Dartmouth, College, left Cherry Valley, New York, for New Salem, in the State of Ohio. This part of America is rich in all kinds of antiquities   [264] which prove that a powerful race formerly occupied the country. Spaulding, an inquisitive and imaginative man, was struck by these vestiges of an obscure past. Readily subscribing to the opinion, very general at that epoch, that the Indians of North America were the descendants of the ten lost tribes of Israel, he conceived the idea of composing a romantic history of the ancient race of the New World. To give greater originality to his composition, he, as far as possible, imitated the style of the Bible, and called his work 'The Manuscript Found.' His manuscript was never printed, but Spaulding frequently read it to friends; so that every one in the neighborhood had heard of this production, which moreover had no religious aim, and which the author acknowledged to be a work of his imagination. Spaulding died in 1816. The manuscript remained in the hands of his family, but it appears that a copy had been made by a person to whom it was lent, and that this copy fell into the hands of Joseph Smith. This fact is not proved, but neither is it impossible. But what is certain is, that Joseph must have known of Spaulding's romance, for it is proved that the young Prophet had worked in a part of the country in which this composition had been extensively read. It has even been stated that Sidney Rigdon copied the manuscript and communicated it to Joseph. Although this fact has been formally denied by Rigdon, and by Joseph, who declared he did not know Sidney till   [265] the publication of the Book of Mormon, such an interesting denial does not destroy the influence which has been drawn, and which does not depend upon it. It is certain, first, that Spaulding composed the 'Manuscript;' secondly, that he read it to many persons; thirdly, that those who were present at the reading of the work in question have perfectly identified it with the Book of Mormon, most of the names being the same, such as those of Mormon, Lehi, Nephi, Lamanites, etc. This suffices to show that Joseph must have been acquainted with the romance, even if indeed he had not the manuscript under his eyes. He only had to invent the religious plot, and add it to the historical plot which he found ready-made to his hands. Joseph himself tells us that he was deficient in education, and he proves it in every page of the Book of Mormon. But if he were not learned, it must be admitted that he could read, and that he read much, especially the Bible, and theological dissertations on the meaning of Scripture. By thus mixing up Spaulding's fiction with biblical narratives, his task, when once his plan was conceived, became easy. It is nothing but a jumble of bad imitations of Scripture, anachronisms, contradictions, and bad grammar.* It would not be difficult to find in the etymology which Joseph Smith gave of the word Mormon another proof of _____________________ * He is constantly repeating "And it came to pass," which renders the narrative not only heavy but ridiculous.   [266] the utter want of honesty in the execution of the work. According to the Prophet, the word Mormon is derived from the "reformed Egyptian" word mon, which means good, and from the English word mor, a contraction of more; Mormon thus meaning more good, or better. It is probable that Joseph, in giving this etymoloy, grotesque at any rate, meant to insinuate that the Book of Mormon is better than the Bible, a word which he states signifies good in its widest sense. This is all very well; but then, by what mysterious amalgamation could an English word be tacked on to an Egyptian word? How explain, unless we attribute it to bad faith combined with ignorance, the presence, in a manuscript assigned to the fifth century, of a word belonging to a language which did not exist on the spot where the prophetic manuscript was hidden, and where it was not destined to exist until several centuries afterwards? To those who may desire to trace back the new religion to its foundation, to its very beginning, anci to find the prototype of the Prophet's mission, and his supernatural fictions, it will be sufficient to call to mind the revelations of Jane Leade, published in England, at the end of the seventeenth century. The principal ideas which inaugurate or accompany Smith's mission, and which he presents as his own personal inspirations, are to be found in those celebrated reveries. For instance, Jane Leade says, "that the various existing religions are but fictions, and that   [267] all systems of human contrivance must vanish like shadows before. the light of day;.... hat the time is not far distant when the eternal Gospel will be made manifest with a power nothing can resist.... that to preach it, agents will come who will bring back all that was lost in the first Adam, etc. etc.;" all leading ideas in the doctrine or mission of Smith, like many others of the same kind shadowed forth in Jane Leade's revelations, as may be ascertained by reading the eight volumes of the theological works published by the celebrated foundress* of the Society of the Philadelphians. Yet, strange to say, Joseph Smith does not once speak of Jane Leade in the whole course of his apostleship! We will now briefly make known the origin of the famous plates, which play the same part in Mormonism as the tables of the law in Mosaism. On the 23rd of April, 1843, Robert Wiley found, while making excavations in a mound in the vicinity of Kinderhook (Illinois), six plates of brass,** of a bell-shape, as shown by the sketch we give of one of them, resembling the glyphs of Mexico;*** these plates were covered with _____________________ * Jane Leade, born in England in 1623, died. the 19th of August, 1704 after having occupied a distinguished place among the most learned Theosophists of Germany and Great Britain. Her doctrine was known to the French Illuminati. ** See Note XV. at the end of the work. *** There has also been found, in the United States, a small tablet of gold, on which are engraved hieroglyphics that have a great resemblance to those of the Egyptians. See, with respect to this, Note XVI. at the end.   [268] characters in vertical lines, which resembled those of which Martin Harris showed a copy to Professor Anthon. Did Smith himself find any such plates? Likely enough; he is known to have been called the "money-digger," and there would have been nothing extraordinary had he, in his frequent diggings, been the first to find objects similar to those which we know Wiley afterwards dug up in 1843. As to the Urim and Thummim, this is the Seer Stone which some Scotch American wizards used like the divining rod, to discover precious metals in the earth. Joseph Smith has only given it a biblical name: the Urim and Thummim,* as everybody knows, was a kind of ornament which the Jewish high-priest wore upon his breast. The sword of Laban, which Joseph somewhere. states he had found with the sacred plates, has never been seen by any one. The posterity of the Saints will doubtless regret that these holy objects have not been put in a reliquary, to be held up to the veneration of the faithful in future ages; but we must here admire the foresight evinced by the Prophet in withholding from the over-curious eyes of our age, relics too likely to compromise the success of his cause. If he had the boldness and effrontery to impose on men through the credulity associated with their religious feelings, he had also the sagacity to resist the temptation of supporting his work by exhibiting the instruments of his fraud. _____________________ * See Note XII., already mentioned, at the end of the work.   [269] The faculty of observation, which he possessed in an eminent degree, had led him to seize on a weak side of human nature; and that same faculty pointed out the limits he ought not to overstep under penalty of seeing the fragile edifice of his dawning fortune crumble away in an instant, even as the phantoms which swarm in darkness, vanish at the approach of light. Joseph Smith had obtained, no matter how, the testimony of eleven witnesses, -- neither more nor less than Christ had, who declared, in sight of God and man, that they had seen the plates; this was more than a set-off against the necessity imposed on him by the policy which his prudence suggested, of not exhibiting these wonderful objects to mortal eyes. We have now witnessed the birth of Mormonism. Conceived in the midst of mysticism, under the impression of actual ideas and feelings, it soon disengages itself from these earnest influences, and springs forth thoroughly armed, like Minerva of old, from the brain of its founder, not as if it were a hallucination or a dream, but like something premeditated, like a statue worked with thoughtfulness, if not with artistic skill. We shall presently see how the artist fixed it on a pedestal, and attracted to it the homage of the crowd.  


    The epoch of travail, an epoch comparatively obscure in the history of Mormonism, ends with the organization of the Church, which took place on Tuesday, the 6th of April, 1830. From this period, uncertainty as to the facts together with contradictory statements ceases, and give way to the light of history. If there were some obscurity around the cradle of the new creed, as there is around the origin of more ancient creeds, it now disappears, and the system of imposture, upon which the new institution is based, is   [271] henceforth exposed to the broad light of day. It may be admitted, -- and it is assuredly a fact which has an important bearing on the study of history in general, and on the investigation of religious truth in particular, that any obscurity should have been possible respecting the origin of a dogma of which the founder belongs to the present generation; -- it may be admitted, I say, that we shall never know to a :certainty whether Joseph were or were not a visionary at the commencement of his career; or it may be a matter for dispute whether the discovery of the Book of Mormon, and of the plates, were, or were not, the work of supernatural inspiration; but, at the point which we have now reached, all possibility of doubt is at an end. The remainder of the life of the founder of Mormonism, from this time, will show him resolutely intent upon his work, and playing openly, or at least under a veil easily seen through, the part of an impostor, a part one hesitates to attribute to him when only fifteen, that is to say, at an age when man is almost without self-knowledge or any experience of life, and when he is more likely to receive impressions than to originate ideas. In the new period we are about to enter, we shall meet at every step with revelations, and even miracles; with all that supernatural apparatus which accompanies and consecrates the birth of all religions; and, what is perhaps even more striking, with that which, more than miracles themselves, contributes to confirm and to propagate them, persecution   [272] and martyrdom. In this spectacle of a new religion, developed in the midst of the nineteenth century, in the bosom of a great and powerful society, there will not be a single feature lacking of those which history proves did accompany, or gives us reason to suppose must have accompanied, the outset of all the early religions of the world. If ever Mormonism fulfills the great destinies to which it professes to be called, the Sunday which fell on the 11th of April, 1830, will ever be a memorable moment in the world's history; for on this day occurred the earliest celebration of the new religion. The first sermon was preached at Fayette, in the house of the Whitmers, by Oliver Cowdery, and the effect of the new word was not long without its results. The very same day six converts were baptized in the water of Lake Seneca; and seven more, some days after, followed their example. During the same month of April the first miracle was worked by the Prophet; it was at Colvesville (in Broom county, N. Y.), on the person of Newel Knight, who was possessed with a devil. Joseph cast him out, by imposition of hands, and immediately the possessed man saw the devil fly out of him, and at once got rid of the contortions which had rendered him an object of horror to the whole neighbourhood. Several individuals who witnessed this miracle yielded to the evidence, and swelled the number of the faithful by being baptized.   [273] On the Ist of June, 1830, the Church, then numbering thirty, held its first conference at Fayette, in the presence of a certain number of believers, yet unbaptized. The Communion was administered in both kinds; then confirmation followed; after which several persons were ordained to different degrees of the sacerdotal order. Enthusiasm ran so high at this meeting, that several fresh marvels were, performed. Under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, several prophesied; others. saw the heavens open, and were in such ecstasies that they fainted away, and were obliged to be carried to their beds, utterly exhausted by their excitement, the hearts of all of them overflowing with love, "glory," and pleasure, to an inexpressible degree. When they came to again, the faithful around them thundered forth hosannahs to God and to the Lamb. Many were baptized after this conference. The success of the Church went on increasing daily, together with its miracles. The halt recovered the use of their limbs, the blind their sight, the deaf their hearing; the dropsied became immediately sound, and all kinds of ailments were miraculously healed. Whether the miracles occurred or not, it is certain that some were found to believe in them. Even now, persons are to be met with who affirm that they witnessed them, and to whom the fact of their occurrence is of itself a sufficient and certain sign of the truth of Mormonism. But in no time, and in no country, not even where liberty   [274] of conscience prevails, is the post of prophet without some peril; all that departs from the usual order of things must pay for it in this world. Mormons are not exempt from this fatal law. Some time after the manifestation of these miracles, the people in their vicinity began to be uneasy at the progress of the growing sect, and cabals were formed. The Prophet was again brought up before a magistrate as a disturber of the public peace, and as a swindler; charges which, though sustained by bitter enemies, were victoriously refuted; Joseph was acquitted, not, however, until he had been subject to barbarous treatment, which it is difficult, leaving opinions out of the question, not to condemn. Other persecutions succeeded to this first trial, but Joseph always managed to foil the machinations of his enemies, and professed to find his reward for these sufferings in new revelations, which he daily received. One of these Divine communications, dated Harmony (Pennsylvania), July, 1830, named Emma, the Prophet's wife, the Elect Lady, the daughter of God, and commanded her to act as secretary to her husband during Oliver Cowdery's absence, and moreover commissioned her to prepare a selection of Psalms for the new Church. All the brothers of the Prophet had been ordained priests, even Don Carlos, who was scarcely fourteen. Samuel was sent to Livonia, to preach, and diffuse the Book of Mormon. He had the glory of converting and baptizing   [275] Brigham Young, who became a zealous apostle of the new faith, and for whom was reserved an extraordinary destiny. Whilst missionaries were sent to the east to propagate the doctrine, Joseph preached at Harmony, where he had fixed his residence. In the month of August new persecutions compelled him to leave this place and return to Fayette (N.Y.). There, finding that some of his disciples, amongst others Cowdery, arrogated to themselves the power of receiving communications direct from God, Joseph quickly obtained a revelation by which Jehovah reproved these presumptuous men, and accorded to the Prophet alone the power of communicating with heaven. About the same time a brilliant conquest, and one of immense importance, was made by the new sect. Parley P. Pratt, a Campbellist minister, of rare eloquence and acquirements, came to hear the Mormon orators, and to refute them. A sermon of Joseph's, which he heard one Sunday in the month of August, at Manchester, sufficed to convince him of the Divine mission of the new reformer. The following day he applied for baptism and admission into the priesthood. The ardent proselyte at once set to work to make converts to the Mormon faith, and on the 19th of September he baptized, at Canaan (N. Y.), his brother, Orson Pratt, who was only nineteen, but who soon became one of the mainstays of the Church. At the same time Joseph received a revelation commanding several apostles to go and preach the, new religion to   [276] the gentiles and the Lamanites. Among the missionaries who, in obedience to this order from above, started for the west, as far as Missouri, were Parley Pratt, and O. Cowdery. These two apostles stopped at Kirtland (Ohio), where they converted to their faith the famous Sidney S. Rigdon, a preacher of talent, but of a wavering mind, who had already several times changed his religion. This was an acquisition of importance. Although deficient in general knowledge, Rigdon was a very eloquent minister, well versed in the Holy Scriptures. His conversion led to that of the greater part of the followers whom his eloquence had attached to him in his former Church, and Mormonism attained, in this manner, a footing, and the nucleus of a religious community, in the State of Ohio. John Whitmer was sent to preside over the Church of Kirtland, while the missionaries continued their course towards Missouri. In the month of December, Joseph received a visit from Sidney S. Rigdon and Edward Partridge, a spontaneous homage which must have greatly flattered the pride of the Prophet. Edward Partridge, after being at some pains to ascertain the truth, was baptized, in midwinter, in the river Seneca, and received the title of Bishop. After the publication of the Book of Mormon, Joseph set to work translating the Old Testament; but, about the month of December, God commanded him to give up this translation, and to go to Kirtland. He started in January   [277] 1831, accompanied by his wife, by Rigdon, Partridge, etc. Preaching as they went, wherever they found an opportunity, they made numerous proselytes, and arrived at Kirtland in the early part of February. In this place the Mormon flock amounted to about a hundred believers: "but the spirit of the devil had got possession of some souls, and propagated many errors." Joseph lost no time in encountering and casting out the evil spirit. Meantime revelations followed each other, according to the need of the revealer and his cause. He received one which commanded the people to build a house for the Prophet: a few days afterwards, on the 9th of February, another commanded all the faithful, except the Prophet and Rigdon, to go forth and preach in couples, and moreover proclaimed several laws for the Church. A third, in the month of March, directed John Whitmer to write the annals of the Church for the edification of posterity. This seed bore fruit. About the month of May, many believers from the State of New York came and settled at Kirtland, where they purchased land. W. W. Phelps, an intelligent man, not perhaps of very deep, but of varied knowledge, of restless imagination, and fitted to play many parts, came and placed himself and his family at the disposal of the Prophet. About the game time, on the 6th of June, a meeting of elders took place at Kirtland, according to instructions given by God. The Order of Melchisedek was there conferred for the first time, upon some of the elders. A few   [278] days afterwards a revelation made known to the Saints that the land of Missouri was destined to be their inheritance, and commanded the Prophet, with many others, to go and visit the parts of the State which P. P. Pratt had evangelized the year before. Let us remark, once for all, that the Prophet, in the first years following the organization of the Church, made strange abuse of revelations. He had them at all times, and on all subjects, as if he found this an excellent method of regulating, as he thought fit, everything, even down to the most insignificant matters. The style of these revelations is a clumsy imitation of the Bible. We will confine ourselves to one example, taken hap-hazard from one of the revelations relating to the journey to Missouri. We there meet with this passage: "And again, verily I say unto you, that my servant Ezra Thayre must repent of his pride, and of his selfishness, and obey the former commandment which I have given him concerning the place upon which he lives: and if he will do this, as there shall be no divisions made upon the land, he shall be appointed still to go to Missouri: otherwise he shall receive the money which he has paid, and shall leave the place and shall be cut off out of my Church, says the Lord God of Hosts; and though the heaven and the earth pass away, these words shall not pass away, but shall be fulfilled." Ezra Thayre, here alluded to, had declared that he could not manage to accompany another missionary as his colleague, in a mission which had been assigned   [279] to them. It was the disobedience of this lukewarm Mormon which called forth this communication from on high. Joseph Smith, accompanied by several devoted disciples, set out on the 19th of June to go into the State of Missouri, according to the orders of the Lord. They passed through Cincinnati, through Louisville, and arrived at St. Louis, whence they went on foot to Independence (Jackson county), which they reached in the middle of the month of July, after a journey of a hundred leagues, that is, from St. Louis. The country pleased the Prophet. The quality of the soil; the great variety of trees and useful plants which grew naturally; the quantity of cattle, horses, sheep, poultry, etc., bred there without trouble; the beauty of the prairies, the mildness and salubrity of the climate, all charmed the Prophet; and he declared in the name of God that this was the promised land, reserved for the Saints, that here should rise the City of Zion;that the Mormons should purchase this land, and build a temple on the spot pointed out by Jehovah. W. W. Phelps received the order to set up and to superintend a printing establishment, while some of the believers were charged with duties having reference to the organization and peopling of the colony, and to receiving offerings, and opening stores. On the 2nd of August, 1831, were laid the foundations of the new Zion, twelve miles west of Independence; and   [280] the ground was consecrated by religious ceremonies, as being henceforth the rallying-point for all the Saints. The next day the spot intended for the construction of the temple was likewise solemnly consecrated; and on the 4th of August was opened the first conference which had as yet taken place within the territory of Zion. After having regulated several other points, whether referring to the new colony, or to missionaries and other ecclesiastical matters, Joseph, by command of God, quitted Independence, accompanied by ten elders, in order to return to Kirtland. While sailing on the Missouri, W. W. Phelps, one of the Saints composing the Prophet's escort, saw the great destroyer in his most horrible aspect curvetting on the surface of the water. The other Saints heard the noise made by this apparition, but were not permitted to see it, On the 27th of August, the pious pilgrims re-entered Kirtland. Joseph was now engaged in giving, by the usual channel of revelation, new instructions to his people, and went, in the beginning of September, to reside at Hiram, a small town situate to the south-east, in Portage, county, only thirty miles from Kirtland, where it was the plan of the Prophet to set up his store in connection with the Church for the space of five years, before going to settle at Zion with all his people. We must here relate an incident which for a time grieved him, and cast a shadow over the brilliancy of his   [281] triumphs. Ezra Booth, formerly a Methodist preacher, who, on seeing a miracle, had recently become a convert to Mormonism, abjured in the month of October the faith he had so lately embraced. This first example of apostasy was afterwards followed by several others. Yet truth compels us to acknowledge that such occurrences were not more frequent in the commencement of Mormonism than in that of other creeds. All religions have undergone the same kind of trials, and all have triumphed over them. However, the doctrine spread. The year 1831-1832 was a fruitful period. Besides the conversion of a clerk in his store, Orson Hyde, who was destined subsequently to confer lustre on the Church, Smith had made numerous conversions all around him, both by his preaching, and by the action and influence of a newspaper, 'The Evening and Morning Star,' which he had set up, and even still more by his revelations, which followed each other with marvellous rapidity, and seemed to how from an inexhaustible source. At the same time Joseph laboured with Sidney Rigdon; at a translation of the Bible, which he annotated, and doubtless accommodated to his own views; a translation which, be it said, has not yet seen the light, but which his adepts state is put by for a future day. There is room to believe that he was assisted in this work by Sidney Rigdon, and by Phelps, who knew a little Hebrew, but his principal aid was the Urim anti Thummim,   [282] a marvellous optical instrument, by means of which he perceived all that he desired to see. Finally, he published the book of revelations, under the title of the 'Book of Doctrine and Covenants.' Matters were getting on very well, and Smith had no great reason to repent of his part as Revelator, when suddenly there burst forth a violent outbreak of hatred, which imperiled the Prophet, if not the creed. He was residing at Hiram, with an old man named Johnson, when, in the night of the 25th and 26th of March, 1832, he was suddenly roused by his wife crying 'Murder! and the next moment was himself forcibly borne out of the house by a dozen infuriated people, who grossly maltreated him, and did not let him go till they had dipped him into a barrel of tar and covered him with feathers; a kind of insult and punishment, which in the United States is often had recourse to in popular commotions, and which is known by the name of tarring and feathering. The remainder of the night was spent in dressing the Prophet's wounds and cleansing his sacred body from head to foot. The day following this ill-omened night was a Sunday. Joseph, bravely making the best of a bad case, preached before a numerous congregation, among which he recognized several of his persecutors. In the end, heaven did not permit his courage to go unrewarded; he was fortunate enough to baptize several after the sermon. Sidney Rigdon, who experienced the same treatment, did   [283] not escape so easily: he was out of his mind for several days.* Nevertheless the Prophet's activity did not relax, but acquired, as it were, new force from his persecutions. In the month of April, 1832, he paid a visit to Missouri, where, in a general council of the Church, he was proclaimed President of the High-Priests. At Zion he transacted both spiritual and temporal business, ordered three thousand copies of the 'Book of Doctrine and Covenants' to be printed, and a selection of hymns, made by Emma, his wife, to be published. He then returned to Kirtland, passing through Greenville, where he nearly became the victim of an attempt to poison him. At Kirtland fresh occupations awaited him. He devoted nearly all the summer to the translation of the Scriptures, he established the School of Prophets, and attended to the publication of the 'Evening and Morning Star,' a source of great comfort to his people, who could thereby reply to the attacks of the American press. But he was not so deeply engrossed in these cares of internal administration, as to allow external events to pass unheeded. Indeed he knew how to turn them to the profit of his cause. Thus _____________________ * The Prophet merely says Rigdon was mad; but his mother says that he counterfeited the madness in order to mislead the Saints into the belief that the keys of the kingdom had been taken from the Church, and would not be restored, as he said, until they had built him a new house. This, she says, gave rise to great scandal, which Joseph however succeeded in silencing. Rigdon repented, and was forgiven. He stated, that as a punishment for his fault, the devil had three times thrown him out of his bed in one night.   [284] the cholera, which at this period decimated several large cities of the earth, served him as an argument against existing religions, and as a proof that God was preparing, so he said, "great things in favour of Mormonism." Each year added a new stone to the edifice. On the 22nd of January, 1831, the gift of tongues was first manifested; and the miracle was so thoroughly to the taste of those on whom it was conferred, that they passed part of the night conversing in languages which were unknown to them in the morning. Next day the washing of feet was instituted amid prayers and hymns expressed in these new tongues. On the 2nd of February the translation of the New Testament was completed: the work was sealed up, not to be opened until they should arrive in Zion. On the 27th of February, the Prophet received the famous revelation entitled 'Word of Wisdom.' On the 12th of March, missionaries started to diffuse the new light in the east. On the 18th, the high-priests being assembled in the School of Prophets, Joseph laid hands on Sidney Rigdon and Frederick Williams, and ordained them Counselors of the Presidency.* On the 33rd, at a meeting of the council, it was resolved to purchase land at Kirtland, on which to construct a branch of Zion. On the 6th of May, a revelation commanded the building of a temple for the Lord, and of a house for the Prophet. On the 25th of June, the _____________________ * The Counselors of the Presidency, together with the Prophet, constituted what is called the Government of the High-Priests.   [285] measurements and plans of the temple to be built at Zion, were sent from Kirtland with the instructions of the " Revelator." Never had such great things been so rapidly accomplished. Every day had its idea and its event. But on that very account, and from the very progress thus made by the sect, hatred was of necessity awakened, and persecution, as a matter of course, revived and increased. It would seem to be a law that new ideas, good or bad, cannot wake their way in the world without encountering obstacles. In the month of July, in this same year of 1833, the inhabitants of Missouri rose against the Mormons of Zion, and sought to drive them out of the country; they were instigated by the ministers of the American Missionary Society. War broke out on the side of the Protestants in the shape of newspaper articles. The Mormons imagined they had a right to retaliate; but they were soon undeceived, for on the 20th of July, 1833, a large number of their enemies assembled, and required them to destroy their printing presses, to close their stores, and, in fact, entirely to abandon their occupations. As the Saints did not appear disposed to submit to these exactions, and as they claimed the right to enjoy liberty in a free country, their printing-house was plundered and destroyed; several of their leaders cruelly and shamefully treated; and they came to a knowledge of this truth, long since accepted, at least in the Old World, that laws are but feeble barriers when they come into collision with manners, above all, when they are confronted   [286] by popular passions, and the fanaticism of infuriated mobs. Indeed the whole course of events we have to narrate, during this period, is but a constant demonstration of this melancholy truth. The Protestant ministers of the different denominations could not rest content with merely a few printing-presses destroyed, a few blows given right and left, or even a wound or two here and there; they sought a more substantial and decisive result, the expulsion of the Mormons from the State of Missouri; and, as we shall see, in the end they effected their purpose, despite the laws, despite even the efforts of the magistrates to enforce the law. Alarmed at the spread of the new religion, which already numbered, in Independence and the neighbourhood, over twelve hundred followers, they were besides irritated at the pretensions of the new comers, intruders who arrogated Missouri to themselves by virtue of divine right, constantly proclaiming that this land had been promised them, as an inheritance, by the Most High. At first an appeal was made to public opinion. In Jackson county a committee was formed, composed of four or five hundred persons, of which a Mr. Flournoy, and Colonels Simpson and Samuel Lucas, were the most influential members. From it, as from a fortress, attacks were daily directed against the Mormons; they were in every possible form incessantly taunted with their profound ignorance, their grovelling superstition, their abject poverty. Next followed a manifesto,   [287] in which the adversaries of the Mormons pretended to be in fear for their lives and property, while in the proximity of people without truth or honesty, who dared to affirm on oath that they had seen miracles, that they conversed with God, that they possessed the gift of tongues, etc. etc. They accused them moreover of tampering with the slaves by their inducing the free Negroes of Illinois to come and settle in Zion. Finally, at an influential meeting, it was decided unanimously that the Mormons must not continue to remain in the territory of Missouri, and that henceforth no one of that creed should be allowed to reside there. A few days after this meeting there was another, on the 23rd of July, still more numerous, and partly composed of armed men. It was there decided that a deputation should be sent to the principal Mormon leaders, to inform them of the resolutions come to respecting them. This deputation acted on its instructions, and the Mormons, to gain time, or to avoid a sanguinary contest, agreed to what was required, stipulating only that those who were on the spot were not to leave until the 1st of January: following, and the remainder of their brethren on the 1st of April. This condition was agreed to, and their adversaries; on their side, further undertook to, use their influence to prevent any violence towards them, provided they fulfilled their agreement. But this kind of treaty, wrung from them by violence, was not approved of by Joseph Smith. As soon as he   [288] learnt, through Oliver Cowdery, what had taken place at Zion, he resolved that a new paper, under the name of 'The Latter-day Saints' Messenger and Advocate,' should be set up at Kirtland, to appeal to public opinion against this violation of the law, and he despatched two influential Saints to Missouri, commissioned to aid and advise their persecuted brethren. He did not confine himself to these measures: he despatched W. Phelps and O. Hyde to the Governor, Daniel Dunklin, to state their grievances to him, and to present him a petition from the Saints of Missouri, on the subject of the persecutions to which they were exposed. The petition was presented the 8th of October. The Governor answered it on the 19th. He condemned the illegal acts committed against the Saints by a portion of the citizens of Missouri, and directed the Mormons to bring the matter before the courts of law, promising to make use of all his authority to protect them, if justice were not done them. Thus reassured, the Saints of Zion made preparations to bring their cause before the State-Court. But this was not at all to the taste of their enemies, knowing as they did very well that law was not on their side. So as soon as they became apprised of what the Mormons meant to do, they determined to be beforehand with them, and to eject them by force. On the night of the 31st of October* they _____________________ * At this period (October 1833) Joseph had gone to preach in Canada, accompanied by S. Rigdon, and he did not return to Kirtland until the 4th of November, where he learnt, three weeks after they had happened, the sad events in Missouri.   [289] made their first attack; they destroyed ten houses, and brutally ill-treated both women and children. The following night similar scenes of violence were enacted. Houses were sacked, and Parley P. Pratt received a blow on the head from the stock of a gun. On the 2nd of November things still continued the same; firearms were used, and several Mormons wounded. The 4th, at nightfall, the struggle became more violent. The Mormons, who had vainly applied to the local magistrates for protection, found themselves compelled to arm in their own defence. They killed two of their adversaries, and lost one of their own number; many were wounded on both sides. The following day the Mormons in mass were preparing to continue the struggle, when Colonel Pitcher, at the head of the Militia, presented himself, with orders from Lieutenant-Governor Boggs, to put all end to hostilities. The Mormons were easily quieted: on the promise made to them that their enemies should lay down their arms, they consented to give up theirs, and rely on the public faith. They soon had good cause to repent it. The moment their assailants knew that the Mormons were without arms, they unscrupulously broke out into all sorts of excesses against them, and summoned them to leave the place, under pain of death. In the nights of the 5th and 6th of November, women and children were to be seen flying in all directions to avoid the merciless mob. Some wandered in the prairies for several days, others escaped to the   [290] borders of the Missouri. During these days of terror the violators of the law might be seen pursuing the Mormons and tracking them as one tracks game, firing on them as on wild beasts, scourging them with whips, and inflicting upon them every kind of suffering and indignity. A lamentable spectacle indeed was this, exhibited by the descendants of the English Puritans, and utterly at variance with their principles and history. The day following these barbarous scenes, the unfortunate exiles were busy ferrying themselves across the Missouri. The most excessive confusion of course accompanied this precipitate flight, every one being desirous of saving a portion of what was dearest to him. In the midst of the disorder, husbands sought their wives, children their parents. Night closed in; the weather was fearful; and this mass of fugitives, encamped in the open air under a drenching rain, presented a heart-rending sight, as we have been informed by those who witnessed it, and as we can too readily believe. At daybreak they made themselves shelters with willows, and were somewhat less miserable: at length, the greater part of them sought refuge in Clay county in the same State, on the opposite bank of the river, where they were well received; but some few were unfortunate enough to seek protection in Van Buren and Fayette counties, where the inhabitants refused to receive them. Some poor old men and women, only, whom age or infirmity had prevented flying with their brethren, were at   [291] first permitted to stay; but on the 24th of December a new outbreak of animosity occurred, -- their houses were sacked, and they were pitilessly driven out of the counties. Lieutenant-Governor Boggs is accused, with some appearance of justice, of having been the soul of these two movements of July and November. He is accused of having transformed the rioters into regular militia. At all events, it seems certain that if he had not induced the Mormons to lay down their arms and take to flight, the mob would not have gone to the extremes we have just described, and which will ever be a disgrace to those concerned in them. However, such acts of violence, such an armed aggression, could not possibly pass without remonstrance on the part of the sufferers, or without some exertion on the part of those administering the law to suppress them. The Mormons sent a statement of the facts to the Government, which immediately ordered a court of inquiry to sift the matter. They likewise presented a formal protest to the State Government, and the latter immediately appointed a commission to inquire into the affair. But nothing came of this commission; the Attorney-General, however, on the 21st of November, wrote to the counsel employed by the Mormons, saying, that if their clients wished to return to their properties in Jackson county, they would be protected by the State troops. He added, that if they chose to organize themselves into a regular body of militia, the Government   [292] would furnish them with arms. The District Attorney wrote some days after to the same effect. Finally, a commission of inquiry, held at Liberty (Clay county, Missouri), towards the end of December, decided that Colonel Pitcher should be tried by a court-martial for his conduct on this occasion. Moreover, the agitators at Independence allowed the banished Mormons to transfer as much as remained of their printing-presses to Liberty, and paid them a few hundred dollars as an indemnity; a sum utterly inadequate to compensate them for the mischief done to their presses. However, they at once took advantage of the opportunity, and set up a weekly paper, called the 'Missouri Inquirer,' at the latter place. But the concessions thus made were neither retraction, nor regret for the past; and all attempts at legal redress came to nothing, in consequence of the religious excitement.. As soon as it was known in Missouri that the Government was prepared to protect the return of the Mormons to Jackson county by physical force, there was a burst of indignation from the ministers of the different denominations. The people again became excited, their rage grew still more furious, and the position of the unhappy objects of their persecution was rendered all the worse. The Governor of Missouri, Daniel Dunklin, did certainly, in a letter dated February 4th, 1834, addressed to the Mormons, assure them he would employ the power which the Constitution reposed in him, to see them righted; that   [293] no one could dispute their claim to recover possession of the homes from which they had been ejected, and that he engaged to protect them by force whenever they chose to do so. He even concluded with this expression, as if to cheer them and to prevent their despairing of the future, -- " Justice, though slow, is sure." But the good intentions of the Government were powerless before the exasperation of the of the public in Jackson county. The law was constrained to acknowledge itself impotent, and to adjourn its intervention indefinitely. The only alternative now left to the Mormons was to right themselves by force. And this they did, relying on the righteousness of their cause, and cheered by the exhortations of their leader. Joseph Smith, who was still at Kirtland, did not learn, until the 25th of November, the events which were disturbing Zion. There is reason to think the prospect of persecution was by no means unwelcome to him. He saw at once that this was a natural and inevitable phase which he might turn to great account in securing the triumph of his doctrine and the success of his enterprise.* But, as one may well imagine, he never for one moment thought of resting entirely on divine protection, or even of relying exclusively on that moral force which he was sure to derive from the indignation of his people at these grievous acts of injustice. _____________________ * The shooting-stars on the 13th of November, 1833, were regarded by Joseph as signs announcing the approaching coming of Christ, and he returned thanks to God for them,   [294] Not choosing to abandon Zion, which was as it were the palladium of the new religion, he determined on recovering it by force, in the event of his not obtaining from the law and the local magistrates anything better than inefficient protection or powerless good will. It was a great enterprise; and he could only bring it to a successful termination by redoubled enthusiasm on the part of his people, backed by a respectable armed force. He devoted several months to obtaining these two means of action; and whatever, in other respects, may be the opinion we ought to entertain of this man, it is impossible for us too much to admire the energy and ability he displayed at this crisis. Misfortunes never come alone; this is as true of prophets as of other men. The misadventure in Missouri was coincident with difficulties of the most serious kind, affecting the internal administration of the Church, with which Joseph had at that time to contend. In the first place, he was obliged to excommunicate several members whose conduct had been censurable, and to suffer all the annoyances of a lawsuit, which one of these unworthy persons, Doctor Hulbert, had commenced against him. Some time afterwards he was himself the subject of a grave charge, which was not the less painful from being made indirectly. According to a statement of Martin Harris, Smith drank spirits too freely while engaged in the translation of the Book of Mormon; and was too fond of wrestling and boxing;   [295] in addition to this, Harris alleged he knew the contents of the Golden Book before its translation, whereas Joseph knew nothing of it till afterwards. Sidney Rigdon accused Harris before the great Council of having invented these defamatory statements; and although Harris denied having stated that Joseph was a drunkard, at least since the translation of the Holy Book; and although he made a recantation on the other points, all this caused great scandal, which did not fail to wound the feelings of the Prophet. But there were more difficulties still; the finances of Kirtland were in a bad state, and the people of Ohio threatened to pursue the same course as those of Missouri. Everything, therefore, gave room to fear that the work must succumb to violence, or to its own weakness, and would perish in its bud. Smith mastered this formidable crisis, and his mind was hot for an instant diverted from the great business of the moment. On the 24th of February he received a revelation, in which the Lord told him that the persecutions in Missouri were a chastisement for the disobedience of the brethren, but that his wrath would pass away ; that the abandoned country belonged to the Saints; that it had been given to them for ever; and that Zion should be built on the Missouri. The revelation added, that he must raise five hundred men, or at least a hundred, to re-conquer the Holy Land. Joseph wrote to this effect, to his brethren in Missouri: -- They must see in the events which had overtaken   [296] them nothing else than a chastisement inflicted by God .upon the whole body for the faults of some of its members; they must not give up their property; the Land of Zion was the inheritance given by God. They must submit to the will of the Lord, and merit his grace by redoubled faith, and righteousness of life. Such was the duty they should make a point of performing. These exhortations, which formed the usual theme of his correspondence, were supported by various revelations. The moral strength developed by these means was to be supported by a material force; Smith was not unaware that it is a law of this world that these forces should mutually sustain each other. The great revelation occurred on the 24th of February; on the 26th Joseph set out in search of volunteers, and, while raising troops, he collected from the converts, who daily increased in number, all the money he could, both for the expedition, and for replenishing the empty exchequer of Kirtland. His absence lasted a month. On his return to Kirtland,* learning that the petition addressed by the brethren of Missouri to the President of the Union begging to be reinstated in their possessions in Jackson county had been rejected, as referring to a matter not within the Federal jurisdiction, but appertaining to that of the State of Missouri, he resolved to open the campaign _____________________ * About this time the Mormon Church assumed, at the suggestion of Sidney Rigdon, the name of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.   [297] possible. He had already sent a detachment of twenty men as an advance guard. On the 5th of May, 1834, Joseph Smith himself took the field. He was accompanied by a hundred and fifty devoted and well-armed disciples. The good order observed by this small army, during the whole of its march, ensured the respect of people who might otherwise have been induced to impede it. Its leader; moreover, neglected nothing which tended to keep up the ardour of his men, and, while enacting the general, frequently called the Prophet to his assistance. Thus, on the 25th of May, in an address to his brethren, he told them that they were escorted on their march by the angels of heaven; "we know that the angels have been companions, for we have seen them." On arriving at the frontiers of the State of Illinois, some of his people having exhumed a skeleton from a tumulus, he took advantage of the circumstance to animate their courage by kindling their faith, and he made them believe that this skeleton was that of a Lamanite, mentioned in their sacred Book. To give greater weight to his words, be became more precise, giving them the name of the person: he had the audacity to state that they were the remains of a warrior chief, of the name of Zelph, who lived in the time of the great prophet Omandagus, and, moreover, to relate his history. inspired by so miraculous a confirmation of the truth of their Bible, his soldiers crossed the Mississippi with renewed energy.   [298] Joseph's army, recruited on its road by several brethren, arrived on the territory of Missouri, numbering two hundred and five sturdy well-armed men. As soon as the inhabitants of Jackson county learnt his approach, they, after having made several offers of accommodation, which were regarded as so many shams, collected a force to go and oppose him, and prevent his reaching Clay county. Joseph Smith relates their first affair in these words: "One of the leaders, named Campbell, swore, while placing his pistols in his holsters, that the eagles and turkey-buzzards should eat his flesh if he didn't, before two days, fix Joseph Smith and his army, so that their skins should not hold shucks." They came to the ferry and endeavoured to pass the Missouri after dusk, but the Angel of God thought fit to sink the boat in the very middle of the stream; and seven of the twelve who attempted to cross were drowned. "Thus suddenly and justly they went by water to their proper place." Campbell was among the drowned. He was borne four or five miles by the current, and lodged on a pile of drift-wood; where birds of prey and wild animals picked him to the bone, thus in fulfillment of his own words transforming him by the vengeance of God into a hideous skeleton, which was discovered three weeks later by a Mr. Purtle. Owen (another leader) got off with his life, after having been carried down four miles by the current, which cast him on an islet, whence at daybreak he swam in a state of nudity to shore, and was compelled to borrow a cloak to hide his   [299] shame, and to slink home somewhat humbled by the vengeance of God. In spite of these miraculous interventions, Joseph did not feel over-safe. He perceived that he had to deal with formidable opponents, and that enthusiasm was no less strong among his enemies than among his own people. The idea of a compromise, which he had at first haughtily rejected, he now turned over in his mind. On the 22nd of June he had a revelation, wherein God told him that he was not satisfied with a portion of his people, and that he must endeavour to make peace by purchasing land in Jackson county, as the Missourians had proposed a few days since. A great trial, well calculated to lead to thoughts of pacification, came upon the Prophet and his followers. The cholera broke out in his army the night of the 23rd of June. This, said he, was a special punishment from God, He vainly strove to drive away the scourge by laying on of hands and prayer; he lost thirteen of his men, and was himself attacked. He was thus compelled to disband his force and retire to Liberty, in Clay county, where he arrived the 2nd of July, after having passed the previous day in Jackson county, "to have the pleasure," he said, "to set his foot once more on that goodly land." Here he passed his time in transacting some spiritual and temporal business, and made all his flock sign a remonstrance, to be addressed to the public, setting forth the wrongs they had   [300] suffered in Missouri. They therein stated, among other things, that they desired peace, but that they could not give up the revelation which fixed Zion in Jackson county and they offered to purchase the land there, payable in a year, instead of in a month, as proposed. These proposals had no immediate result, and Joseph, awaiting better times, returned to Kirtland. He had nothing to fear from Missouri. His disciples, who had given up all idea of re-entering Jerusalem, had located themselves in Clay county, and were every day joined by new converts, as if to repay them for the persecutions they had suffered. He was now able to give himself up entirely to the internal administration of the church at Kirtland, from which he had been for a moment diverted by certain charges, some of them even affecting his probity, arising out of the recent expedition. Put he soon triumphed over them; his accusers retracted; and all ended in a solemn vow, which Joseph Smith made to God, to dedicate to the use of the poor of the Church a tenth part of all he possessed, if Jehovah helped him to pay his debts, and saved his reputation before the world. He first formed the council of the twelve apostles, which met, for the first time, at Kirtland, the 21st of February, 1835, and almost at the same time organized the quorum of the Seventy. Brigham Young, H. C. Kimball, Orson Hyde, Orson Pratt, and Parley P. Pratt were elected Apostles, on the first day of the establishment of the apostolic order. Joseph, about   [301] this period, opened the class of the high school of prophets, wherein, among other things, theology and Hebrew were taught. The 28th of March he received a revelation defining the orders of Melchizedek and Aaron. The 4th of May he sent the twelve apostles on a mission. The 11th of May a conference resolved that it was necessary to depute to Missouri experienced men to purchase land in Zion. In the month of June he collected considerable subscriptions, to finish the temple at Kirtland. The 5th of July he purchased Egyptian mummies and rolls of papyrus (these were simply rituals of Osiris), which he at once undertook to translate; and, by a singular favour of Heaven, discovered among them writings of Abraham and of Joseph.* The 17th of August he procured the unanimous adoption of the book of Doctrine and Covenants. So-much activity deserved reward. On the 17th of September a meeting of the Great Council of the Presidency of Kirtland resolved that Joseph should receive for services rendered by him to the church ten dollars a week, and that all his expenses besides should be paid, The same allowance was voted for his secretary; and Emma Smith, the Prophet's wife, was engaged the same day, to complete the collection of sacred hymns, in order to fulfill the commands of revelation. Heaven even sought to testify its gratitude. The 11th of October it permitted Joseph _____________________ * See Note B;VII. at the end of the work,   [302] to cure his father by his prayers; and every time that, at the request of his disciples, Smith sought a revelation from God, God heard the prayer, and liberally divulged his secrets. The early part of the following year (1836) was marked by a recurrence of similar events, and was of a thoroughly pacific character. The temple of Kirtland was nearly finished by the commencement of the year. The 4th of January a Hebrew professorship was established, and to fill it a, professor was brought from Hudson. A singing school was also established. The 26th of January Joseph had a vision: the heavens were opened to his gaze, with their streets paved with gold. In this vision the Lord appeared to him, and said: -- "All those who have died before this present dispensation, and who, had they been able to enjoy this privilege, would have received baptism, shall be saved; and also all those who die after it without knowing it, but who would have conformed to it had they known of it, shall likewise be saved without baptism; but it shall not be thus with those who, having known it, shall not conform to it." Others present had similar visions; it must be stated that all this passed during the night, and that they did not retire until two in the morning. The following day, nevertheless, the same scenes occurred again, and the Saints heard the voices of angels mingling with their own. On the 27th of March the Temple of Kirtland, which had cost forty thousand dollars, was consecrated. The   [303] ceremony was imposing. The different quorums of the church officially recognized Joseph Smith in his character of Prophet and Seer. As if to confirm this consecration, Moses, Elias, and Elisha appeared to him, and handed him the keys of the priesthood, which confirmed to their possessor absolute power as well in spiritual, as in temporal, matters. The Saints around him had also visions; they saw angels come and seat themselves among them during the ceremony. Brigham Young, favoured with the gift of tongues, made an address in an unknown tongue; and one of the assistants, on whom this gift was conferred by a sudden grace, was enabled spontaneously to interpret it. Other prodigies occurred during the service that night. A pillar of fire appeared over the temple; supernatural sounds were heard; many of the brethren prophesied, etc., etc. The assemblage was numerous, consisting of more than four hundred persons, who did not leave the temple till eleven at night. The festival continued for several consecutive days. On the night of the 29th of March they performed the ceremony of the washing of feet, and the interval till morning was passed in glorifying God and in prophesying. At daybreak they took bread and wine to make a jubilee in the church. They cursed the enemies of Christ who inhabited Jackson county, and they prophesied ail day long. As the faithful had fasted all this time, they supped in the evening, and passed the night in the Temple, with the exception   [304] of Joseph, who withdrew about nine o'clock. This night was the Pentecost of the Saints; only, instead of the Holy Ghost, it was Jesus and the angels who appeared to them. The ceremonies of the dedication did not terminate until the 31st of March, after five days' prayer and spiritual enjoyment -- a foretaste of heavenly delights. But was mysticism alone the source of all these unspeakable joys? There is reason to apprehend that they were derived from one much less pure, if it be true, as stated by the profane, that intoxicating drinks were not spared on the occasion. Be that as it may, the attention of the Prophet was soon called in another direction. A fresh storm arose in Missouri. The Mormons, who, after their violent expulsion from Jackson county, had met with a generous hospitality in Clay county, found a sudden change come over the feelings of the inhabitants. The people, becoming more and more shocked at the tenets of the new sect as they by degrees became unveiled to them, were consequently alarmed at the constantly increasing number of the emigrants: they feared they should find themselves some day overrun, or even absorbed by their guests. At a meeting held at Liberty, the 29th of June, 1836, they resolved that it was fitting the Mormons should be requested to withdraw from Clay county, to avoid civil war. In other respects the assembly was animated with a rare spirit of moderation: they took no account, they said, of the various accusations   [305] made by the multitude against the Mormons, which they admitted bore traces of evident exaggeration; but believing war to be imminent, it became their duty, in face of such an eventuality, no longer to tolerate the Mormons in their country. They advised them therefore to withdraw, recommending them to settle themselves in preference in some territory, Wisconsin for instance, where their association would come in contact with no other, and could develop itself in full liberty. The Mormons, under pressure of this and other meetings, held in various parts of the county, seemed disposed to yield to these suggestions. On the 1st of July, in reply to the communications from the meetings, they expressed their gratitude for the hospitality they had met with, defended themselves from the accusations made against them, and declared themselves quite ready, for the sake of peace, to put a stop to any further immigration into the county, and to seek out a new home in some other part of the United States, as soon as they could find one to suit them. From this it would appear, that both sides were nearly coming to an understanding. But it may be a matter of doubt if all were sincere on the part of the Mormons. At the very time they were apparently yielding to the demands of the inhabitants of Clay county, they were taking steps to prevail upon the Governor of Missouri to urge him to secure them in the possession of their property. They had not forgotten that the conduct of the inhabitants of   [306] Jackson county had been declared illegal by the head of the State, and they might hope that two years' peaceable possession would be taken into consideration, and become an argument in their favour, and a sufficient reason for not again placing them beyond the pale of the law. They were however deceived in their expectation. The Governor replied, on the 18th of July, that personally he saw with regret the persecutions to which they were subject, but that, in the face of the still increasing irritation against them, of their unpopularity in every county, he must needs yield to the force of opinion, right or wrong, and conform to the proverb, "Vox populi, vox Dei." As soon as this answer reached them they came to an immediate decision, and at once made preparations for departure. They withdrew into Ray county, and founded a settlement at Shoal creek. Some time afterwards they obtained an act of incorporation for a new county, named Caldwell. In their new abode they soon recovered that prosperity which nowhere failed to reward their industry and labour, whenever their tranquillity was not disturbed by dissensions from without or within. Things did not go on quite so smoothly at Kirtland. Joseph, during the occurrences at Missouri, had certainly made a few conquests elsewhere;* accompanied by Sidney Rigdon, Hyrum Smith, and Oliver Cowdery, he had _____________________ * The 13th of June, 1837, the first missionaries destined for England left Kirtland, with orders to preach in the first instance the Gospel only.   [307] preached in Salem, Massachusetts, going from house to house, and had brought over some few to his doctrine. He had even obtained a revelation, wherein the Lord, after addressing some reproaches to him for his conduct, announced that his debts would be paid, that Zion would be treated with mercy, and that Salem would belong to him. But secret discontents were now beginning to undermine the settlement, which had acquired a certain degree of importance, and they soon burst forth. First appeared a sort of heresy, which threatened to throw everything into confusion. A young girl, asserting she was inspired, and perhaps believing it, had predicted that Joseph would be overthrown, and succeeded by one of his apostles. A certain number of the Mormons believed in her words, and formed themselves into a party: here was the germ of a schism which might increase. To this evil was added another still more serious, although of an inferior character, since it only related to the temporal concerns of the settlement. Joseph, about the end of 1831, had established at Kirtland a bank, under the name of the "Safety Society Bank." The profits were to be appropriated to the propagation of the new faith, and towards the building, on an extensive scale, of the capital of the Saints in Missouri. Unfortunately, Joseph, although an excellent prophet, was a very indifferent financier. In the month of November, 1837, the bank was obliged to suspend payment, and its protested   [308] notes were all over the country. The bank was ultimately declared insolvent, and Joseph was proceeded against for swindling. He pretended that one of his clerks had robbed it, which did not at all allay the irritation. Pressed more and more, he resolved to get out of the way. Everything, in fact, was going wrong around him. Although he had been unanimously chosen President of the Church by the members of the Society, women included, things did not meet his wishes even in the bosom of the Church, and the views of all did not accord with his own. Abuses without end broke out, and daily excommunications became necessary; apostasy showed itself on every side. Brigham Young, his right-hand and future successor, was pursued by the hatred of the people, who accused him of being his evil- counselor, and of defending him right or wrong; so that he was obliged to take to flight. Joseph resolved to do the same, and to seek refuge in Missouri, where the Lord had commanded him, by a revelation, to find an asylum. Before his departure, he left instructions with his apostles, and bade them farewell, not without a certain dignity, or a becoming display of the decorum required by his part: "You will see me again, whatever happens," said he; " God has promised me that nothing shall prevail against me, and that my life is safe for the next five years to come." Afterwards, on the 12th of January, 1838, he clandestinely quitted Kirtland to withdraw into Missouri, and thus accomplish the will of the Lord. His family and Sidney Rigdon accompanied him.   [309] As soon as the enemies of the Prophet learnt his departure, they pursued him, and such was their fury, that they pressed him close for over two hundred miles. Ultimately he escaped them, and arrived the 14th of March at Far-West, in Missouri. Far-West was a Mormon settlement. This settlement, which was yet in its infancy, was already torn by internal dissensions, and at the point of dissolution. The heads of the Church had offended the faithful: W. W. Phelps, O. Cowdery* and John Whitmer, among others, had been deposed from their high functions, and some time afterwards Phelps and Whitmer had been excommunicated and delivered up to the buffets of Satan, for making away with the funds of the Church. Joseph arrived just in time to restore order. Well received by his disciples, lodged and boarded, he congratulated himself on having come, and wrote to Kirtland that all was going on well in Missouri. The presence of the Prophet, so serviceable to order in Far-West, was calculated to give a new face and fresh importance to the settlement. This point he destined in his own mind to become the centre of Mormonism, instead of Kirtland, which was destroyed or dispersed. Joseph at once went to work. The 26th of April he had a revelation wherein, among other things, he was commanded to attract all the Saints to Zion (now transferred to Far-West), so that _____________________ * A short time afterwards, O. Cowdery was expelled from the Church on nine different charges.   [310] they might be more powerful against their enemies. His appeal was responded to, and daily some of the brethren arrived from Kirtland, whom he settled in their new abode. The 18th of May he went and founded, twenty-five miles from Far-West, on the Grand River, a new city, which he called "Adam-Ondi-Ahman," because it was there he said, "that Adam would come again to visit his people," or because, in other terms, it was there "that the Ancient of days would come and seat himself." It is superfluous to state that revelations followed each other here, as everywhere else, to meet his wishes and convenience. He had one in July, which was somewhat important: it required the Saints to give the surplus of their property to the Church, for the construction of a temple, and for founding Zion, for the support of the clergy, and for the payment of the debts of the Presidency. It moreover established a permanent ten per cen. income-tax. We must not omit to mention a regulation prohibiting the sale of spirituous liquors in Far-West, or that an official paper, called the 'Elders' Journal,' was set up. Under this powerful impulse, the Mormon settlements, the centre of which was now in Missouri, entered into an entirely new phase of prosperity. The sect increased daily in number and strength. Joseph, elated with this state of affairs, did not conceal either his satisfaction, or even perhaps his pride. He imagined himself henceforth above the reach of persecution, and this opinion was shared by the   [311] whole community. Sidney Rigdon carried his confidence even to temerity and impudence. In a sermon he went so far as to threaten the enemies of the Church and all apostates, with the power of the Mormons. It is believed it was about this time that the idea of polygamy first appeared among them. Joseph, it is surmised, had then a first revelation to that effect, and began practising it on his own account. However this may have been, the inhabitants of the county who did not belong to the Mormon sect began to murmur, and to complain of their insolence and pride. Some members recently expelled from the Church, such as Martin Harris, Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and apostates like Orson Hyde, W. Phelps, and several others,* joined them, sowing dissension, and exciting the feelings of the public. They misrepresented the present, and bred uneasiness about the future. Lastly, in an unscrupulous _____________________ * Doctor Sampson Avard, but recently converted to the Mormon faith, sought by criminal intrigues to arrive at the supreme honours of the sect. He formed a secret society under the name of Danites or United Brethren of Gideon, the members whereof took the most terrible oaths, and bound themselves to triumph over the Gentiles by all means, legal or illegal. Apprised of his plans, Joseph cast him out of the Church, and then the conspiring Doctor joined the enemies of the Saints. Joseph disclaims conniving at, or being in any way mixed up with the Society of Danites, which, in fact, died out almost immediately after its birth. The direction of this secret police had been confided to the apostle David Patten, who assumed the name of Captain Fear-not. It is to this corps of Danites that the enemies of the Mormons have attributed numbers of infamous acts which would appear never to have existed, except in their own imagination.   [312] manner, as is generally the case with apostates, they accused Joseph of participation in several criminal acts, and designs against the independence of the State of Missouri. The continuance of a good understanding between the Saints and the other inhabitants of the three counties now hung upon a thread, which threatened every moment to break, and very soon did so. The first Sunday in August, 1838, elections were to take place at Gallatin, the county-town of Davies. The candidate of the party opposed to the Mormons, William P. Peniston, addressed the electors, and proposed to exclude the Mormons from voting, "which they had no more right to do than the negroes themselves." The Saints, however, by force of numbers exercised their right as citizens. But one of their adversaries having been killed in a private quarrel with one of the brethren, a general engagement ensued, and matters becoming daily more embittered, a real civil war broke out. The Missourians had been worsted in the elections. Under the sting of this defeat, and the fear of seeing a sect they detested prevail, they formed a league to preach up, and bring about, the extermination of the Mormon race. Printed appeals were circulated; the citizens were called to arms; sinister rumours spread abroad: it was even stated that Joseph, on the day of the election, had killed with his own hand seven citizens, and had sworn to exterminate all the inhabitants of the counties. The authorities, alarmed at these rumours, thought it   [313] right to take preventive measures, and, determining in the interest of public safety to strike a vigorous blow, issued a writ for the arrest of Joseph Smith. The Mormons relate with pride the nobleness and firmness exhibited by Smith on that occasion. When the officers, charged with the execution of the writ, presented themselves at his mother's house, he happened to be there writing a letter. Without moving, or being at all disturbed by their visit, the Prophet calmly went on writing. "When he had finished," says his mother, "seeing he was at liberty, I said,' Gentlemen, let me make you acquainted with Joseph Smith, the prophet.' They stared at him as if he were a spectre. He smiled, and stepping towards them, gave each of them his hand in a manner which convinced them he was neither a guilty criminal nor yet a hypocrite." Joseph then sat down and explained to them the views of the Church, his own course of conduct, and described the ill-treatment, utterly unprovoked, to which he had been exposed. After which, he quietly said to his mother, "I believe I will go home now, Emma will be expecting me.'" Hereupon, two of the officers, all of whom were much moved by what he had said, sprang to their feet, declaring it would be unsafe for him to go alone, and that they would go with him, in order to protect him. Moreover, they declared, that immediately after seeing him in security, they would disband their men and go home, which accordingly they did, and it was supposed that all would be quiet again. Such was the   [314] Smith's manner and air of conscious innocence! Thus the matter ended. The storm seemed to have passed over; but, before many days had elapsed, riotous assemblages began to collect. Encouraged by the impunity they had hitherto enjoyed, they gave themselves up to all kinds of excesses against their enemies, for the purpose of provoking them to a quarrel, and so bringing on a decisive contest. General Atchison sent troops to disperse the mob, and restore order. They succeeded, but only for the moment. As soon as the troops had departed, the tumult recommenced. They pillaged the houses of the Mormons, and threatened them with death. The Governor, to whom the latter appealed, hesitating between law and public feeling, was unable to maintain even this miserable neutrality, and had the weakness to reply, that his hands were tied, and that he could afford them no assistance. From this moment the audacity of the rioters knew no bounds. The Mormons, pursued and tracked like wild beasts, found themselves hemmed in in the town of Far-West, and surrounded on all sides, were exposed to the most fearful dangers. It would be difficult to justify the conduct of the public officials under these circumstances. It would not be too much to say that they were utterly false to their duty. Instead of resisting the rioters, of maintaining the authority of the law, of protecting citizens misled, it may be, but certainly in the right, who did no more than exercise a liberty   [315] conferred by the constitution of their country, the government sided with the stronger party, and could give no other reason for this shameful policy, than the impossibility of opposing an effectual resistance. And more than this, finding the wave of popular fury incessantly rising and threatening to engulf the unhappy Mormons, Governor Boggs thought it the simplest plan to hurl them himself into the abyss. Towards the end of October* he gave instructions to bring matters to a close with the Mormons; and the more effectually to attain that end, it was resolved to lay hands upon the principal leaders. Joseph Smith, invited to an interview with the officers of the militia, was arrested (the 31st of October, 1838) together with Parley Pratt, Sidney Rigdon, Lyman Wight, George W. Robinson, Hyrum Smith, and Amasa Lyman, and together with them was made, prisoner in the camp of General Lucas. Condemned to death the following day, the sentence would have at once been carried into effect, _____________________ * The 27th of October, 1838, the Governor of Missouri, L. W. Boggs, in an order to General Clark, wrote in these terms: "The Mormons must be treated as enemies, and exterminated or driven from the State, if the public weal requires it." General Clark, in a public address made the 6th of November, 1838, at Far-West, thus expressed himself: -- "The Governor has commanded me to exterminate you, and not to permit you to remain in the State; and had you not delivered up your leaders, and executed the conditions of our treaty, you would have been massacred; you, yourselves, and your families; and your houses would have been reduced to ashes. You are indebted to my clemency, etc. etc." See the extraordinary official order, or, as it is properly denominated, "exterminating order," cited at length in Joseph Smith's autobiography, under the date of October, 1838, published in 'The Deseret News' of October 15th, 1853.   [316] but for the opposition of General Doniphan, who declared that he would not assume the responsibility of such an act. Meanwhile, the city of Far- West was sacked. Joseph and the other prisoners were taken to Independence, in Jackson county, and afterwards to Richmond. Ultimately, General Clark, thinking that the matter was not within the jurisdiction of a court-martial, delivered up the prisoners to the civil authorities on a charge of treason, murder, theft, arson, etc. They were detained in prison for six months, and during the whole time were subjected to the most cruel privations and to the most infamous treatment. If the account of Smith is to be believed, they even sought to take their lives; several attempts were made to poison them; the flesh of their co-religionists was given them for food, which, in the brutal language of their persecutors, was called Mormon beef. Their keepers loaded them with insults, boasted of having shed their blood, plundered their goods, burnt their houses, and violated their wives and daughters. The mind can hardly conceive the horrors they had to undergo during this long imprisonment, or the ignominious conduct of the greater part of those who had them in their custody, or of the jury who had to decide upon their fate. The trial, if Smith is to be believed, did not, by the way it was conducted, reflect credit on the American character. The witnesses for the prosecution were chosen from among the bitterest enemies of the accused. The   [317] witnesses for the defence were cast into prison and hunted down by the armed populace. The evidence of apostates was admitted, who made the most outrageous charges against their former co-religionists. Notwithstanding all this, the major part of the accused were released, and the accusation was only followed up against Joseph Smith and the principal Saints, five in number, who were confined in the prison at Liberty. Thence Smith, who never lost sight of the part he had to play, or of his mission, addressed to his Church a kind of epistle exhorting his brethren not to lose confidence in God. This epistle, which is very long and is not wanting in interest, is dated the 16th of December, 1838. Meanwhile, a committee of Mormons, composed of citizens of Far-West, had addressed a petition to the House of Representatives of Missouri, stating their wrongs, and demanding redress. On the 19th of December a great debate on this subject took place, in the State legislature, but it only resulted in the adjournment of the question to the month of July following, which was equivalent to a determination not to entertain it, and to a denial of justice. An indemnity of two thousand dollars, which was, in fact, nothing better than a shameful mockery, was, by a vote of the House, appropriated to the people, Mormons and others, of Davies and Caldwell counties; while, on the other hand, a vote for two hundred thousand dollars was taken for the payment of the troops employed during this   [318] lamentable prosecution, odious to all men, and ever memorable in the annals of the new religion. On his side Joseph, yet in prison, protested against the illegality of his detention. That illegality was admitted; but the Secretary of State declared that neither he, nor the Governor, could do anything in the matter, and that there was nothing for him but to submit to it. What indeed could be done when the principle had been admitted of the right of the strongest, and when justice had been made to yield to popular violence? The irritation of the inhabitants of Missouri did not calm down; in Davies county were men who swore neither to eat nor drink, until they had slain Joseph. The position of the jailers who had charge of the prisoners, became one of difficulty. On the 6th of April, 1839, the judge before whom the case was brought, whether apprehensive of offending those in power, or of a riot, sent Joseph to Davies county under an escort of ten men, and placed him in the hands of the sheriff. The day after his arrival, the prisoner appeared before a jury who were all intoxicated, not excepting even Austin A. King, their foreman. Joseph, as well as his friends, were accused of murder, treason, theft, pillage, and arson. But having procured a change of venue he was taken to Broone county the 15th of April, and during the night of the 1Bth and 17th, perceiving that their jailers were drunk, Joseph and his fellow-prisoners contrived to escape. They made off in the direction of Illinois, taking care to keep out of the high-roads.   [319] Illinois had become the asylum of the persecuted Mormons. A very painful account would be that of this episode in Mormon history, if one could enter into its details: it reminds us of the worst days of ancient persecutions. The Saints had seen their property plundered, their houses given to the flames, their children maltreated or butchered. Amanda Smith* records, in terms which rend the heart, the sufferings, persecutions, murders, robberies, of which she was the victim or witness. Her husband, and several children, had been butchered by the crowd under her very eyes. An old white-headed man had been cut down, and hacked to pieces by a fellow named Rogers. One of the Saints, who had come to Jackson county to claim his property, was trampled underfoot by the infuriated mob, until his bowels obtruded from his body, and death ensued.** At Hawn's Mill (the 30th of October, 1838) a massacre took place, followed by pillage, in which fifteen Mormons lost their lives, and many women and children were severely wounded. The assassins, two hundred and forty in number, even went to the extent of stripping the dead. During this dreadful persecution, the losses of the Mormons amounted to between three and four hundred, men, women, and children included. All their property was destroyed or confiscated. The land they left behind them _____________________ * Judicial deposition of the 18th of April, 1839. ** Gunnison: 'The Mormons, or Latter-day Saints,' p. 112.   [320] in Missouri, which had cost them 200,000 dollars, was never restored to them. When they arrived in Illinois they were in a most fearful state of destitution; unhappy victims of a religious persecution, the more deplorable from the fact of its occurring in a country where liberty of conscience is proclaimed by the constitution, put in practice -- at least, on the common ground of Christianity -- to the greatest possible extent, and pushed, if one may say so, almost to despotism.* No regret, which the facts just related may cause us, will be more than barely adequate to the occasion; nor would it be possible, all religious considerations apart, to over-estimate the constancy and courage exhibited by the Mormons during this period of iniquitous persecution. The women even, and of these, Amanda Smith in particular, exhibited a courage worthy of the noblest cause. As to the Prophet, his firmness of mind did not desert him for a single instant; on the field _____________________ * Joseph denounces as the principal instruments of the persecution in Missouri, Generals Clark, Wilson, and Lucas; Colonels Price and Cornelius Gilliam, and Captain Bogart. The latter had stolen a horse, completely harnessed, from Joseph, and afterwards sold it to General Wilson. The General, being fully aware to whom the horse belonged, promised Joseph, on his word of honour, to restore if, which promise he never fulfilled. ** During the few months that he resided in Missouri, Joseph had paid his lawyers about 50,000 dollars for fees in the various suits which had been brought against him. And for all this money he obtained very little justice, for his counsel were frequently paralysed by fear of the mob, and sometimes were so drunk that they could do nothing when required to act. See autobiography of Joseph Smith, published in 'The Deseret News.'   [321] of battle, in prison, before the judgment seat, he rose to the height of the great part which as a religious regenerator he was enacting, and did so in a way as sometimes to tempt us to believe in his sincerity, and to do him honour as to a martyr to his faith. Singular inconsistency of human nature, which, in the same individual, can sink so low as falsehood, and soar so high as heroism! As a termination to this chapter, we give one of the letters which Joseph, when in prison, wrote to his people. It will prove that he was at times capable of eloquence; it may perhaps explain to us the secret of the influence which he exercised. "Liberty Jail, Clay County, Missouri, March 20, 1839. "TO THE CHURCH OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS AT QUINCY, ILLINOIS, AND SCATTERED ABROAD, AND TO BISHOP PARTRIDGE IN PARTICULAR. "Your humble servant Joseph Smith, Jun., prisoner for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and for the Saints taken and held by the power of mobocracy under the exterminating reign of his Excellency the Governor Lilburn W. Boggs, in company with his fellow-prisoners and beloved brethren, Caleb Baldwin, Lyman Wight, Hyrum Smith, and Alexander M'Rae, send unto you all greetings. May the grace of God the Father and of our lord and Saviour Jesus Christ rest upon you all, and abide with you for ever. May knowledge be multiplied unto you by the mercy of God. And may faith, and virtue, and knowledge, and temperance, and patience, and godliness, and brotherly kindness, and charity, be in you and abound, that you may not be barren in anything, nor unfruitful.   [322] "Forasmuch as we know that the most of you are well acquainted with the wrongs and the high-toned injustice and cruelty that is practised upon us: whereas we have be taken prisoners, charged falsely with every kind of evil, and thrown into prison, enclosed with strong walls, surrounded with a strong guard, who continually watch day and night as indefatigable as the devil is in tempting and laying snares for the people of God: "Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, we are the more ready and willing to lay claim to your fellowship and love. For our circumstances are calculated to awaken our spirits to a sacred remembrance of everything, and we think that yours are also, and that nothing therefore can separate us from the love of God and fellowship one with another; and that every species of wickedness and cruelty practised upon us will only tend to bind our hearts together and seal them together in love. We have no need to say to you, that we are held in bonds without cause neither is it needful that you say unto us, 'We are driven from our homes and smitten without cause.' We mutually understand that if the inhabitants of the State of Missouri had let the Saints alone, and had been as desirable of peace as they were, there would have been nothing but peace and quietude in this State unto this day; we should not have been in this hell, surrounded with demons; -- if not those who are damned, they are those who shall be damned; -- and where we are compelled to hear nothing but blasphemous oaths, and witness a scene of blasphemy, and drunkenness, and hypocrisy, and debaucheries of every description. "And again, the cries of orphans and widows would not have ascended up to God against them. It would not have stained the soil of Missouri. But oh, the unrelenting hand! the inhumanity   [323] and murderous disposition of this people! It shocks all nature; it beggars and defies all description; it is a tale of woe; a lamentable tale; yea, a sorrowful tale; too much to tell; too much for contemplation; too much to think of for a moment; too much for human beings; it cannot be found among the heathens; it cannot be found among the nations where kings and tyrants are enthroned; it cannot; be found among the savages of the wilderness; yea, and I think it cannot be found among the wild and ferocious beasts of the forest, --that a man should be mangled for sport! -- women be robbed of all that they have -- their last morsel for subsistence -- and then be violated to gratify the hellish desires of the mob, and finally left to perish, with their helpless offspring clinging around their necks. "But this is not all. After a man is dead, he must be dug up from his grave, and mangled to pieces -- for no other purpose than to gratify their spleen against the religion of God. "They practise these things upon the Saints, who have done them no wrong; who are innocent and virtuous; who loved the Lord their God, and were willing to forsake all things for Christ's sake. These things are awful to relate, but they are verily true; it must needs be that offences come, but woe unto them by whom they come. "O God! where art thou? and where is the pavilion that covereth thy hiding-place? How long shall thy hand be stayed, and thine eye, yea, thy pure eye behold from the eternal heavens the wrongs of thy people and of thy servants, and thine ear be penetrated with their cries? Yea, O Lord, how long shall they suffer these wrongs and unlawful oppressions, before thine heart shall be softened towards them, and thy bowels be moved with compassion towards them?   [324] "O Lord God Almighty, Maker of heaven, earth, and seas, and of all things that in them is, and who controlleth and subjecteth the devil, and the dark and benighted dominion of Shayole! Stretch forth thy hand, let thine eye pierce; let thy pavilion be taken up; let thy hiding-place no longer be covered; let thine ear be inclined; let thine heart be softened, and thy bowels moved with compassion toward us; let thine anger be kindled against our enemies; and in the fury of thine heart, with thy sword, avenge us of our wrongs; remember thy suffering saints, O our God! and thy servants will rejoice in thy name for ever. "Dearly and beloved brethren, we see that perilous times have come, as was testified of. We may look then, with most perfect assurance, for the rolling in of all those things that have been written, and, with more confidence than ever before, lift up our eyes to the luminary of day, and say in our hearts, 'Soon thou wilt veil thy blushing face. He that said, 'Let there be light,' and there was light, hath spoken this word. And again, thou moon, thou dimmer light, thou luminary of night, shall turn to blood. "We see that everything is fulfilling; and the time shall soon come, when the Son of Man shall descend in the clouds of heaven. Our hearts do not shrink, neither are our spirits altogether broken, at the grievous yoke which is put upon us. We know that God mill have our oppressors in derision; that he will laugh at their calamity, and mock when their fear cometh. "Oh that we could be with you, brethren, and unbosom our feelings to you! We would tell, that we should have been liberated at the time Elder Rigdon was, on the writ of habeas corpus, had not our own lawyers interpreted the law, contrary to what it reads, against us: which prevented us from introducing our evidence before the mock court.   [325] "They have done us much harm from the beginning. They have of late acknowledged that the law was misconstrued, and tantalized our feelings with it, and have entirely forsaken us and have forfeited their oaths, and their bonds; and we have a come back on them, for they are co-workers with the mob. "As nigh as we can learn, the public mind has been for a long time turning in our favour, and the majority is now friendly; and the lawyers can no longer browbeat us by saying that this or that, is a matter of public opinion, for public opinion is not willing to brook it; for it is beginning to look with feelings of indignation against our oppressors, and to say that the Mormons were not in the fault in the least. We think that Truth, Honour, and Virtue, and Innocence, will eventually come out triumphant. We should have taken a habeas corpus before the High Judge, and escaped the mob in a summary way; but unfortunately for us, the timber of the wall being very hard, our auger-handles gave out, and hindered us longer than we expected; we applied to a friend, and a very slight incautious act gave rise to some suspicions, and before we could fully succeed, our plan was discovered; we had everything in readiness but the last stone, and we could have made our escape in one minute, and should have succeeded admirably, had it not been for a little imprudence or over-anxiety on the part of our friend. "The sheriff and jailer did not blame us for our attempt; it was a fine breach, and cost the county: a round sum; but public opinion says, that we ought to have been permitted to have made our escape; that then the dis- grace would have been on us, but now it must come on the State; that there cannot be any charge sustained against us, and that the conduct of the mob, the murders committed at Haun's Mills, and the exterminating order   [326] the Governor, and the one-sided, rascally proceedings of the Legislature, has damned the State of Missouri to all eternity. I would just name also that General Atchison has proved himself as contemptible as any of them. "We have tried for a long time to get our lawyers to draw us some petitions to the Supreme Judges of this State, but they utterly refused. We have examined the law, and drawn the petitions ourselves, and have obtained abundance of proof to counteract all the testimony that was against us, -- so that if the Supreme Judge does not grant us our liberty, he has got to act without cause, contrary to honour, evidence, law, or justice, sheerly to please the devil; but we hope better things, and trust before many days God will so order our case, that me shall be set at liberty, and take up our habitation with the Saints. "We received some letters last evening, -- one from Emma, one from Don C. Smith, and one from Bishop Partridge, -- all breathing a kind and consoling spirit. We were much gratified with their contents. We had been a long time without information; and when we read those letters, they were to our souls as the gentle air is refreshing; but our joy was mingled with grief, because of the sufferings of the poor and much injured Saints. And we need not say to you that the floodgates of our hearts were hoisted, and our eyes were a fountain of tears; but those who have not been enclosed in the walls of prison, without cause or provocation, can have but little idea how sweet the voice of a friend is; one token of friendship, from any source whatever, awakens and calls into action every sympathetic feeling; it brings up in an instant everything that is past; it seizes the present with the avidity of lightning; it grasps after the future with the fierceness of a tiger; it retrogrades from one thing to   [327] another, until finally all enmity, malice, and hatred, and past differences, misunderstandings, and mismanagements, are slain victorious at the feet of Hope; and when the heart is sufficiently contrite, then the voice of inspiration steals along, and whispers, 'My son, peace he unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; and then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes; thy friends do stand by thee, and, they shall hail thee again, with warm hearts and friendly hands: thou art not yet as Job; thy friends do not contend against thee, neither charge thee with transgression as they did Job; and they who do charge thee with transgression, their hope shall be blasted, and their prospects shall melt away as the hoarfrost melteth before the burning rays of the rising sun; and also that God hath set to his hand and seal, to change the times and seasons, and to blind their minds that they may not understand his marvellous workings, that he may prove them also, and take them in their own craftiness; also because their hearts are corrupted, and the things which they are willing to bring upon others, and love to have others suffer, may come upon themselves, to the very uttermost; that they may be disappointed also, and their hopes may be cut off; and not many years hence, that they and their posterity shall be swept front under heaven, saith God, that not one of them is left to stand by the wall.' Cursed are all those that shall lift up the heel against mine anointed, saith the Lord, and cry, 'They have sinned' when they have not sinned before me, saith the Lord, but have done that which was meet; in mine eyes, and which I commanded them; but those who cry 'Transgression,' do it because they are the servants of sin, and are the children of disobedience themselves. And those who swear falsely against   [328] my servants, that they might bring them into bondage and death, woe unto them; because they have offended my little ones; they shall be severed from the ordinances of mine house; their basket shall not be full, and their houses and their barns shall perish, and they themselves shall be despised by those that flattered them; they shall not have right to the priesthood, nor their posterity after them, from generation to generation; it had been better for them that a millstone had been hanged about their necks, and they drowned in the depth of the sea. "Wo unto all those that discomfort my people, and drive and murder, and testify against them, saith the Lord of Hosts: a generation of vipers shall not escape the damnation of hell. Behold mine eyes see and know all their works, and I have in reserve a swift judgment in the season thereof, for them all; for there is a time appointed for every man according as his work shall be. "And now, beloved brethren, we say unto you, that inasmuch as God hath said that He would have a tried people, that he would purge them as gold, now we think that this time he has chosen his own crucible, wherein we have been tried; and we think if we get through with any degree of safety, and shall have kept the faith, that it will be a sign to this generation, altogether sufficient to leave them without excuse; and we think also, it will be a trial of our faith equal to that of Abraham, and that the ancients will not have whereof to boast over us in the day of judgment, as being called to pass through heavier afflictions; that we may hold an even weight in the balance with them; but now, after having suffered so great sacrifice and having passed through so great a season of sorrow, we trust that a ram may be caught in the thicket speedily, to relieve the sons and daughters   [329] of Abraham from their great anxiety, and to light up the lamp of salvation upon their countenances, that they may hold on now, after having gone so far unto everlasting life. "Now, brethren, concerning the places for the location of the Saints, we cannot counsel you as we could if we were present with you; and as to the things that were written heretofore, we did not consider them anything very binding; therefore we now say once for all, that we think it most proper that the general affairs of the Church, which are necessary to be considered while your humble servant remains in bondage, should be transacted by a general conference of the most faithful and the most respectable of the authorities of the Church, and a minute of those transactions may be kept, and forwarded from time to time, to your humble servant; and if there should be any corrections by the word of the Lord, they shall be freely transmitted, and your humble servant will approve all things whatsoever is acceptable unto God. If anything should have been suggested by us, or any names mentioned, except by commandment, or thus saith the Lord, we do not consider it binding; therefore our hearts shall not be grieved if different arrangements should be entered into. Nevertheless we would suggest the propriety of being aware of an aspiring spirit, which spirit has oftentimes urged men forwards, to make foul speeches, and influence the Church to reject milder counsels, and has eventually been the means of bringing much death and sorrow upon the Church. "We would say, beware of pride also; for well and truly hath the wise man said, that pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. And again, outward appearance is not always a criterion by which to judge our fellow-man; but the lips betray the haughty and overbearing imaginations of the   [330] heart; by his words and his deeds let him be judged. Flattery also is a deadly poison. A frank and open rebuke provoketh a good man to emulation; and in the hour of trouble he will be your best friend; but on the other hand, it will draw out all the corruptions of corrupt hearts, and lying and the poison of asps is under their tongues; and they do cause the pure in heart to be cast into prison, because they want them out of their way. "A fanciful and flowery and heated imagination beware of; because the things of God are of deep import; and time, and experience, and careful and ponderous and solemn thoughts can only find them out. Thy mind, O man! if thou wilt lead a soul unto salvation, must stretch as high as the utmost heavens, and search into and contemplate the darkest abyss, and expand upon the broad considerations of eternity's expanse; he must commune with God. How much more dignified and noble are the thoughts of God, than the vain imaginations of the human heart! None but fools will trifle with the souls of men. "How vain and trifling have been our spirits, our conferences, our councils, our meetings, our private as well as public conversations! too low; too mean; too vulgar; too condescending for the dignified characters of the called and chosen of God, according to the purposes of his will, from before the foundation of the world, to hold the keys of the mysteries of those things that have been kept hid from the foundation until now, of which some have tasted a little, and on which many of them are to be poured down from heaven upon the heads of babes; yea, the weak, obscure, and despisable ones of the earth. "Therefore we beseech of you, brethren, that you bear with   [331] those who do not feel themselves more worthy than yourselves, while we exhort one another to a reformation with one and all, both old and young, teachers and taught, both high and low, rich and poor, bond and free, male and female; let honesty, and sobriety, and candor, and solemnity, and virtue, and pureness, and meekness, and simplicity crown our heads in every place; and in fine, become as little children, without malice, guile or hypocrisy. "And now, brethren, after your tribulations, if you do these things, and exercise fervent prayer and faith in the sight of God always, he shall give unto you knowledge by His Holy Spirit, yea by the unspeakable gift of the Holy Ghost, that has not been revealed since the world was until now; which our forefathers have waited with anxious expectation to be revealed in the last times, which their minds were pointed to by the angels, as held in reserve for the fullness of their glory; a time to come in the which nothing shall be withheld, whether there be one God or many Gods, they shall be manifest. All thrones and dominions, principalities and powers, shall be revealed and set forth upon all who have endured valiantly for the Gospel of Jesus Christ; and also if there be bounds set to the heavens, or to the seas; or to the dry land, or to the sun, moon or stars; all the times of their revolutions; all the appointed days, months and years, and all the days of their days, months and years, and all their glories, laws, and set times, shall be revealed in the days of the dispensation of the fullness of times, according to that which was ordained in the midst of the council of the Eternal God of all other Gods, before this world was, that should be reserved unto the finishing and the end thereof, when every man shall enter into his eternal presence, and into his immortal rest.   [332] "But I beg leave to say unto you, brethren, that ignorance, superstition and bigotry placing itself where it ought not, is oftentimes in the way of the prosperity of this Church; like the torrent of rain from the mountains, that floods the most pure and crystal stream with mire, and dirt, and filthiness, and obscures everything that was clear before, and all rushes along in one general deluge; but time weathers tide; and notwithstanding we are rolled in for the time being by the mire of the flood, the next surge peradventure, as time rolls on, may bring to us the fountain as clear as crystal, and as pure as snow; while the filthiness, flood-wood and rubbish is left and purged out by the way. "How long can rolling water remain impure? What power shall stay the heavens? As well might man stretch forth his puny arm to stop the Missouri river in its decreed course, or to turn it up stream, as to hinder the Almighty from pouring down knowledge from heaven, upon the heads of the Latter-day Saints. "What is Boggs or his murderous party, but wimbling willows upon the shore to catch the flood-wood? As well might we argue that water is not water, because the mountain torrents send down mire and roil the crystal stream, although afterwards renders it more pure than before; or that fire is not fire, because it is of a quenchable nature, by pouring on the flood; as to say that our cause is down because renegadoes, liars, priests, thieves and murderers, who are all alike tenacious of their crafts and creeds, have poured down, from their spiritual wickedness in high places, and from their strongholds of the devil, a flood of dirt and mire and filthiness and vomit upon our heads. No! God forbid. Hell may pour forth its rage like the burning lava of   [333] Mount Vesuvius, or of Etna, or of the most terrible of the burning mountains; and yet shall Mormonism stand. Water, fire, truth and God are all realities. Truth is Mormonism. God is the author of it. He is our shield. It is by him we received our birth. It was by his voice that we were called to a dispensation of his Gospel in the beginning of the fullness of times. It was by him we received the Book of Mormon; and it is by him that we remain unto this day; and by him we shall remain, if it shall be for our glory; and in his Almighty name we are determined to endure tribulation as good soldiers unto the end. "But, brethren, we shall continue to offer further reflections in our next epistle. You will learn by the time you have read this, -- and if you do not learn it, you may learn it, -- that walls and irons, doors and creaking hinges, and half scared to death guards and jailers, grinning like some damned spirits, lest an innocent man should make his escape to bring to light the damnable deeds of a murderous mob, -- are calculated in their very nature to make the soul of an honest man feel stronger than the powers of hell. "But we must bring our epistle to a close. We send our respects to fathers, mothers, wives and children, brothers and sisters; we hold them in the most sacred remembrance. "We feel to inquire after Elder Rigdon; if he has not forgotten us, it has not been signified to us by his writing. Brother George W. Robinson also; and Elder Cahoon, we remember him, but would like to jog his memory a little on the fable of the bear and the two friends who mutually agreed to stand by each other. And perhaps it would not be amiss to mention Uncle John, and various others. A word of consolation and a blessing would not come amiss from anybody, while we are being   [334] so closely whispered by the bear. But we feel to excuse everybody and everything, yea the more readily when we contemplate that we are in the hands of persons worse that a bear, for the bear would not prey upon a dead carcass. "Our respects, and love, and fellowship to all the virtuous Saints. We are your brethren, and fellow-sufferers, and prisoners of Jesus Christ for the Gospel's sake, and for the hope of glory which is in us. Amen "JOSEPH SMITH, Jun., "HYRUM SMITH, "LYMAN WHITE, "CALB BALDWIN, "ALEXANDER M'RAE." The original document which we have faithfully given above, with all the errors and obscurities which occasionally characterize the style of Joseph Smith, would it not seem to emanate from a pen guided by sincerity and conviction? With the exception of some sentiments hardly consistent with the charity to be expected from one aspiring to be a Christian prophet, it is animated with so much fervour, and has such an appearance of sincere faith, that were we to judge Joseph by this epistle alone, we should term him a fanatic rather than an impostor. As to his followers, the sincerity of their faith cannot be questioned. It would be possible to relate acts of theirs which fully prove it, and which might be supposed taken from the most trustworthy legends of ancient times. Thus, to fulfill   [335] a revelation, -- that of the 8th of July, 1838, a few of the faithful left Quincy the 26th of April, 1839, and, braving every peril, betook themselves secretly to Far-West, where, during the night, after having laid the first stone of the house of the Lord by rolling a huge block of marble to the south-west angle of a site chosen for the temple, and already consecrated, they offered up the prayers usual on such an occasion, and then took their way back to Quincy, where they arrived in safety. Their pious mission had been miraculously protected, and they might consider themselves fortunate in escaping the death which awaited them had they been discovered by their enemies. We shall relate in the next chapter the new era which dawned upon the Mormons in Illinois, where, in the middle of winter, they had sought an asylum from the persecution in Missouri, and where, after his escape from prison, the Prophet had joined them on the 26th of April, 1839.


    The Mormons were exceedingly well received, on their arrival in Illinois, by the inhabitants of Quincy, a small town situate on the banks of the Mississippi. They were offered land a few miles to the north on that river, on a site which had been fixed upon for a town to be called Commerce. The situation was delightful, the temperature mild, the soil fertile, and adapted to all kinds of produce.   [337] Prairies stretched far away until lost in the distance. The new town, then consisting of a few huts only, was built on undulating ground, which skirted the left bank of the Father of Waters. Smith accepted the offer* made him, and fixed the seat of the new Church at Commerce, hoping to be able to find a resting-place for his wandering and persecuted divinities -- "Errantesque deos agitataque numina Trojae." But, resolute in asserting his right as in enduring persecution, Smith would not own himself vanquished, and, like all great characters, he was indefatigable in demanding justice, so long as a chance of obtaining it remained. On the 5th of May, at a conference, Rigdon was, at his suggestion, commissioned to go to Washington, to lay before the President a statement of their grievances. On the 14th of the same month, he wrote to the public journals, which: had tried to give a false colouring to the events in Missouri, by falsely declaring that he had attributed the persecutions complained of to a particular political party: he entered his protest against this insinuation, emphatically asserting that politics had nothing to do with them, and that the responsibility rested on an infatuated populace, who were in _____________________ * On the 1st of May, 1839, Joseph, in the name of a committee of Mormons, bought of Dr. Isaac Galland and of Hugh White, new land for a sum of 14,000 dollars. Dr. Galland, one of the principal landowners of the country, exhibited from the beginning much sympathy with the newcomers; he was baptized, and became an Elder; but his faith was not of very long duration.   [338] all respects as much divided in political as in religious opinions. Ultimately, he started himself, towards the close of the summer, for Washington, in company with Rigdon, Elias Higbee, and P. O. Rockwell.* An anecdote is related in connection with this journey, which does great honour to the courage of the Prophet. The coach in which he had taken a place, and in which were other passengers, members of Congress, was carried off at full speed down a rapid descent, and a fearful accident was imminent. The driver having been thrown off, Joseph contrived to get on the box, seized the reins, and checked the horses. The travellers whom he had saved from almost certain death, were enthusiastic in their praise of his cool determination, and even went to the extent of saying that they would make a motion in Congress for a reward to their intrepid fellow-traveller. It must be added that, of course, when it was understood that their preserver was the famous leader of the Mormons, they ceased to talk about a reward: party spirit overcame all feeling of gratitude. On his arrival at Washington, Smith and his friends at once immediately waited on the President, Martin Van Buren, who received the Mormon representatives with a good deal of stiffness. After listening with visible impatience to the recital of their complaints, he said to them: -- _____________________ * P. O. Rockwell is the same person who subsequently acquired considerable notoriety in the affair of an attempted assassination of Governor Boggs, of which he was strongly suspected of having been one of the principal instigators.   [339] "Gentlemen, your cause is just, but I can do nothing for you. Were I to take your part, I should lose the support of Missouri." Congress, to which they shortly after appealed, did not prove more just or more gracious. Like the President, it recognized the justice of their cause, but declared that Missouri was an independent State, that they must apply to the tribunals of that State, and that the business was no affair of the federal government. Despite the ill-success of these efforts, the Mormons would not give up yet: so powerful is the sense of right in this Anglo- American race, and so persistent and irresistible the desire of having recourse to every means of obtaining it! On returning to Nauvoo,* the new name given to Commerce, Smith and his people drew up their legal depositions on the Missouri affair for transmission to Washington, an they preferred a claim to Congress for 1,381,044 dollars, as indemnity for the losses they had suffered during the persecutions in Missouri. The claim was not listened to. But as a final protest against the denial of justice, the Saints officially complained, in one of their conferences, of the members of Congress who, instructed to examine into their complaints, had reported against them. In spite of all this, the period of persecution through which the Mormons had just passed, was not fruitless. _____________________ * Nauvoo, in the language of-the Book of Mormon, means beautiful. "The name of our city is of Hebrew origin, and signifies a beautiful site, conveying besides an idea of repose." -- Proclamation of Joseph Smith, the 15th of January, 1841.   [340] The missionaries whom the Prophet had sent out to preach his doctrine in England and various parts of America, had met with sympathy and with proselytes. From all parts, even of the Old World, new-made converts flocked to Nauvoo. On the 6th of June, 1840, a body of forty English Mormons embarked at Liverpool to join the Saints in America. Dwellings rose in the new city as if by enchantment. Commerce consisted of five or six huts when the Mormons went to settle there in April, 1839. On the 1st of June, 1840, it already consisted of two hundred and fifty houses. The land was under cultivation, and the prairies were covered with cattle. Several small settlements of Saints sprang up in the vicinity; among others, Augusta and Zarahemla, on the opposite bank of the Mississippi, in the State of Iowa, facing Nauvoo. This prosperity acted on certain apostates as striking evidence of the truth of the creed they had forsaken, and brought them back to better sentiments. Hence it was that W. W. Phelps wrote Joseph a penitent letter, asking pardon, and returned to the bosom of the Church, which received him like the prodigal son. Meantime, some important conversions were made, the most notable of which was that of J. C. Bennett, Quarter-master-general of the State of Illinois, who had shown sympathy for the Mormons during the persecutions in Missouri. He was a person of note, but, as will be seen hereafter, he turned out to be no great acquisition to the Church which had received him in its fold.   [341] Peace and harmony reigned in the new city, the prosperity of which the neighbouring towns regarded without envy. But the constantly increasing influx of emigrants called for extreme vigilance on the part of the administration. Bad characters, as was indeed inevitable, had found their way among the new population. Joseph took advantage of the circumstance to solicit the legislature of Illinois to pass an act of incorporation for the rising city. The charter was granted, with numerous privileges, which made Nauvoo a kind of free city. He also obtained a charter for the establishment of a university, and the power to form a special militia under the title of the Legion of Nauvoo. Joseph Smith's talent for administrative and political action, which is so conspicuous in his history, did not remain inactive an instant. The charters we have just mentioned belong to the end of the year 1840. On the 19th of January, 1841, Joseph received a long revelation from the Lord, relative to other wants of the city. The revelation commanded the people to erect a magnificent temple, of which God himself would point out the site, and would determine the dimensions and shape; also to build an hotel (Nauvoo House) for the accommodation of strangers, -- to serve, moreover, as a dwelling-house for Joseph, and his posterity in perpetuity;* it confirmed Hyrum, the elder _____________________ * A provisional residence had been hastily constructed for the Prophet, called Nauvoo House. This he occupied with his family, keeping, at the same time, an hotel for travellers whom curiosity or business attracted to Nauvoo.   [342] brother of the Prophet, in the patriarchate to which he had been nominated after the death of his father; it nominated Brigham Young president of the twelve apostles; it instituted the baptism of the dead, which could only be valid on condition of being administered in the appointed temple. Benedictions and reprimands were distributed according to merit or demerit. Joseph was proclaimed President of the whole Church, Translator, Revelator, Seer, and Prophet. The municipal council was instituted, and John C. Bennett was elected mayor of Nauvoo. Joseph was made lieutenant- general of the Legion, and Bennett major-general. Some time after, Joseph formed an agricultural and industrial society, the statutes of which were approved by the government of Illinois. He divided the city into four quarters. He published a decree which proclaimed liberty of worship, and the toleration of all religions, even Mohammedism, in the city of Nauvoo. He regulated public meetings, he organized his legion, super-intended the nomination of municipal officers, made regulations for the sale of spirituous liquors, etc. etc. No founder of a State ever displayed more intelligence or activity. Project succeeded project, and every project was at once carried into execution. On the 6th April, 1841, Joseph reviewed his legion in the presence of a vast concourse, which had gathered to witness the imposing ceremony. The legion consisted of more than fourteen hundred men. The foundation- stone of   [343] the temple was laid with great ceremony. Joseph blessed the stone, which was understood to represent the general presidency of the Church; the president of the high-priests blessed the second; the president of the great council the third; the president of the bishops the fourth. These four stones each occupied one of the angles of the projected church. At the termination of the April conference, numerous baptisms took place in the waters of the Mississippi. Finally, some of the Saints, chosen less for their piety than for their aptitude for the high mission confided to them, were sent forth to preach the new doctrine. This bright sky, however, was occasionally chequered with clouds. In Missouri the storm threatened to gather again, and to extend itself over Illinois. On the 5th of June, Governor Carlin, in other respects well disposed towards Joseph, caused him to be arrested on the requisition of the Governor of Missouri. He was required to meet the charge of murder, treason, etc., which still hung over him. This caused deep affliction among all his people. But it was of no great duration; their Prophet was restored to them in a few days. Arrested on the 6th of June, l841, he entered Nauvoo* on the 10th, amid the acclamations of the faithful, _____________________ * It is true, all this had to be done over again the following year. A person, generally believed to have been Porter O. Rockwell, the friend of the Prophet, had, on the 6th of May, 1842, fired a pistol at the Governor of Missouri, Lilburn W. Boggs, the bitterest enemy of the Mormons. Joseph was accused of the crime, and thought it most advisable to seek   [344] The resentment of the Missourians, however, still continued; for it is not in the Old World alone that the poet may exclaim, -- "Tant de fiel entre-t-il dans l'ame des devots!" Within Nauvoo itself subjects of dissension were ever arising. In a circle full of such conflicting elements, many bad passions were secretly at work in the dark, or bursting forth in open day. The mayor, J. C. Bennett, was foremost among the elements of trouble. Smith had long entertained suspicions of his hostility, but had as yet no proof against him. While reviewing, on the 7th of May, 1842, his legion, then two thousand strong, he got certain evidence that the mayor not only aimed at his authority, but at his life. However, he took no steps against him; but Bennett, being shortly after convicted, together with some other residents, of an immoral course of life, was ejected from office, and so deprived of the power of causing any more annoyance. But this wars not the only difficulty. The Prophet himself was the subject of all kinds of accusations. It was alleged that he preached an immoral doctrine respecting women; and some even went the length of saying that he countenanced the robberies committed by some of the Saints. He found it necessary to justify himself against the first charge, which was easily accomplished, _____________________ safety in flight from the rancour of his enemies; but by the advice of Thomas Ford, the Governor of Illinois, he appeared at Springfield before Judge Pope, and easily proved an alibi.   [345] no proof being brought against him; and in respect of the second, to declare that he would proceed against thieves, whoever they might be, with the utmost rigour. Then again, from time to time appeared disputants and rivals, who affected to possess, like Joseph, the gift of revelation and prophecy, and he was compelled to have recourse to censures and expulsion; extreme measures, which excited animosity, and shook the Church. However, on the whole, these incidents, grave though they were, did not obstruct the prosperity of the new settlement. The excommunications were amply compensated by the success of the missionaries in the United States and in England,* and by the return within the fold of old members, such as Orson Hyde and W. W. Phelps, who, having been cut off from the Church by exclusion or apostasy, had shown great anxiety at this period to find favour again with the Prophet. Indeed, the energy and ability he displayed overcame all obstacles. Public censor, dispenser of rewards and punishments, high-priest, administrator, and frequently chief-justice, he proved equal to every part, and successfully faced every difficulty. His superiority, acknowledged by all, ensured him the confidence and sympathies of the faithful, on which, indeed, he knew he could count. In a conference on the 6th of April, _____________________ * Although Mormonism had not been preached in Great Britain until 1837, it numbered, in 1845, over 10,000 followers, with a weekly periodical styled the 'Millennial Star,' which was founded in May 1840, and is still in existence.   [346] 1843, respecting the construction of Nauvoo House, finding an opportunity of asking his people if they were satisfied with him and his administration, or whether they desired another president, they answered him as one man, that they were perfectly satisfied with him, and entreated him to remain in the post he so admirably filled. Such was the high value placed upon his services. The year 1843 thus commenced under favourable auspices. The tempest in Missouri still growled at a distance; but they were now accustomed to it, and it no longer gave them any serious uneasiness. Nauvoo had considerably increased in the last three years;* it already contained _____________________ * Among the infidels who made part of the population of Nauvoo, were speculators who, foreseeing that the city would soon be obliged to extend its boundaries, had, at a low price, purchased the unoccupied lands, in the vicinity, in the hope of selling them back to the Mormons at an enormous profit. Their anticipations were quickly realized, and Joseph had some difficulty in obtaining the land he required at a reasonable price. It is stated, -- but the fact, although very possible, is not proved -- that the Prophet brought these speculators to their senses by means as simple as ingenuous. Three Mormons were ordered to visit one of these land-speculators, resided with him, followed him wherever he went like his shadow, never opened their mouths, remained insensible to every insult, and with the utmost gravity passed their time whittling. It is stated, that after three days of this kind of annoyance, the most intractable speculators yielded at discretion. Whittling consists in chipping up wood with a knife. This pastime is very much in vogue in the States. It is not unusual to meet on the high-road, and even indoors, with Yankees busy whittling, while engaged on business or in conversation. Even in Congress, senators have been seen keeping up their energy by this whittling. When by any accident they run short of bits of wood, they apply themselves to furniture or posts We have seen, in St. Louis, the wood pillars of a public building almost entirely cut through by this American habit.   [347] more than two thousand houses. The activity of the people equaled that of their leader. Commerce was flourishing, products easily exchanged by means of the numerous steamers which threaded the Mississippi. The Prophet himself owned a steamer called 'The Maid of Iowa,' which was employed for him and the Church. The temple was getting on; it was already of a considerable height; and the building of Nauvoo House was also proceeding vigorously. Neither was the drill of the legion neglected. On the 6th of May, 1843, Smith reviewed it with great ceremony, accompanied by twelve ladies, with Emma his wife at their head, and was exceedingly satisfied with its proficiency and soldierly appearance. However, the hatred of Missouri did not subside, and the security in which they were wrapped turned out, as we have seen, sadly delusive. By the instigation of J. C. Bennett, who, since his exclusion from the Church, had constituted himself, as it were, the ex officio adversary of the Mormons and their Prophet, attempts were made, about the beginning of June, to surprise Joseph, and bring him up before the Governor of Missouri. He contrived on that occasion to avoid the snare; but on the 23rd of the month, being on a visit at Dixon, he was arrested on the requisition of the Governor of Missouri, by two officers of justice, one of whom belonged to the State of Illinois. On receiving tidings of this arrest, the Nauvoo legion put itself in movement to go and deliver their General. This   [348] mark of affection touched the Prophet, and filled him with pride; but he did not need the assistance thus offered him. He cleverly contrived to get his case brought before the court at Nauvoo, which, by a writ of habeas corpus, for a while secured him from his enemies. It was about this period that the idea of polygamy, which had been for some time covertly entertained, and the first premonitory indications of which we have already noticed, began to emerge from obscurity and to exhibit itself with considerable openness. On the 12th of July, 1843, Joseph received, in the presence of Hyrum Smith and of Clayton, if we are to believe him, his famous revelation respecting polygamy, the starting-point of that institution. The concubinage of the patriarchs had always struck him, and he resolved at last to make a clean breast of it. He had therefore appealed to God, who had answered, "Do the works of Abraham.... If a man espouse ten virgins, who are given him by the law (the Mormon revealed law), he cannot commit adultery, for they belong to him; therefore is he justified. Let my daughter Emma receive all those who have been bestowed upon my servant Joseph; and who are virtuous in my sight." Hyrum was charged to read this revelation to Emma, the Prophet's first wife, who, as will be seen hereafter, was not much edified by it. A few days afterwards, Joseph preached, but with some reserve, upon this delicate subject, and intimated that he   [349] could not yet make known all that concerned it, on account of the ignorance and incredulity of the people. This revelation would prove, did we require it, that Joseph at that time practised polygamy, despite Emma's repugnance to the new dogma. It is certain that about that period he had several wives; the Mormons make no secret of it, but they do not know the precise period at which he first began this practice or the number of his wives. However this may be, the affairs of the Church continued to prosper. Joseph estimated that, in the various quarters of the earth where his religion had been preached, he had over a hundred and fifty thousand followers. There have been few founders of religions who, at the end of thirteen years have been able to boast a similar result. How could such success fail to raise the confidence of the new Prophet? Hence he feared neither discussion nor comparison, and readily allowed the ministers of various sects to preach their doctrines in his capital. And remarkably enough, far from this tolerance doing him harm or alienating his adherents, it would seem as though it had been expressly done in the interest of the new religion, for the number of conversions increased daily. Were these conversions, whether made on the spot or elsewhere, all sincere? There is reason for doubt, and it is certain that to many they were but a means of fortune or aggrandizement,. We will merely cite one example in support of this view. A namesake of the first mayor of Nauvoo (the apostate   [350] J. C. Bennett), General J. A. Bennett, of New York, had been baptized at Long Island by Brigham Young in the end of August. Less than two months after, he wrote to Joseph Smith, asking him to support him as a candidate for the post of Governor of Illinois, and proposing to become his right hand. "Joseph," according to him, "was the most extraordinary man of his time, a new Mohammed, as superior to the old one as he was to Moses." Joseph was not duped by all this flattery. He sent him a long answer, interlarded, according to a habit he had recently adopted, with quotations in several languages, but full of ability and acuteness, wherein, without discouraging the zeal of his admirer, he gives him to understand that he quite sees into the secret motives which had brought him over to his new faith. Meantime, the prosperous state of his spiritual and temporal matters revived the idea of once again claiming damages, with interest, for the losses caused to his people by the persecutions in Missouri. To attain his end with greater certainty, he conceived the idea of securing the support of the successful candidate for the Presidency. Five candidates were in the field, John Calhoun, General Lewis Cass, Richard M. Johnson, Henry Clay, and Martin Van Buren. On the 4th of November, 1843, he wrote to each of them. He asked them what, in the event of their standing, would be the line of policy they would follow with respect to the Mormons, considered as a separate people; and at the same time informed them that he would secure   [351] the votes of all his followers in favour of the candidate who would undertake to protect their rights. He did not stop here. On the 28th of November he addressed a memorial to the federal government upon the subject of the persecutions in Missouri, claiming reparation for the losses inflicted on the Mormons in that State, in defiance of all justice, in 1838 and 1839. Further, he made an appeal 'to the Children of the Green Mountains' (Vermont, his native place), begging them to come forward and back the protests of his people against the barbarous usage they had received from Missouri. This document is rather curious from the fact of its containing quotations in seventeen languages. He also advised his brethren in the different States to make similar appeals to their local legislatures. The only one among these petitions worthy of notice is that which Sidney Rigdon (who still remained a Mormon at all hazards, although Joseph had withdrawn his confidence from him) addressed to the State of Pennsylvania, where he was born. He set forth with undoubted ability the grievances the Mormons had against Missouri, and their just grounds of complaint. "The only reason why the people of Missouri," he said, "have thus persecuted the Mormons, is because the latter having violated no law, no law could be. enforced against them, and they were thus reduced to taking it into their own hands." The municipal council of Nauvoo, completely at Smith's disposal, was not behindhand. It addressed a petition   [352] to the federal Congress, claiming the rights, powers, privileges, and immunities of a Territory, until such time as Missouri should make reparation. It requested, moreover, that the mayor of Nauvoo should be empowered to call in the troops of the Union, if need were, to keep the peace and protect the unoffending. All this agitation met with but slight success. The answers of the five candidates for the Presidency were evasive or unsatisfactory. Wounded probably in his pride as prophet and popular leader, he suddenly conceived the idea of setting up himself for the Presidency. On the 7th of February, 1844, he accordingly issued an address to the people of the United States with this title," Views on the powers and policy of the United States Government." His political programme, modelled on the democratic views of Jefferson, included among other things, -- free trade, the protection of person and property, etc.; the diminution by two-thirds of the members of Congress, and the reduction of their salary; the diminution of public functionaries, of their pay, and jurisdiction; the liberation of convicts from the penitentiaries; the reform of the penal code; the substitution of profitable labour for other penalties; the transformation of prisons into schools; the abolition of slavery,* with reasonable indemnity to the owners; the _____________________ * Although Joseph preached the abolition of slavery, he by no means intended to raise the Negroes to an equality with the white man. The very day after the publication of his manifesto, he tried and condemned two Negroes who had intended to intermarry with two white women.   [353] abolition of martial law as applicable to deserters (inasmuch as honour alone should be the guiding principle of all men); the penalty of death to be confined to murder; the creation of a national bank with branches for each State or Territory, the annexation, if required, of Oregon, Texas, Canada, Mexico; and even of all the nations of the earth. This document appears to us worthy of being given at full length; independent of its historical value, it is interesting to us as furnishing us with some idea of the moral worth of Joseph Smith, of the spirit which inspired his policy and, possibly, contributed to the popularity of his religious opinions: -- "Nauvoo, Illinois, 7th of February, 1844. "VIEW OF THE POWERS AND POLICY OP THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES. "Born in a land of liberty, and breathing an air uncorrupted with the sirocco of barbarous climes, I ever feel a double anxiety for the happiness of all men, both in time and in eternity. My cogitations like Daniel's, have for a long time troubled me, when I viewed the condition of men throughout the world, and more especially in this boasted realm, where the Declaration of Independence "horde these truth" to be self evident; that all men are created equal: that they are endowed by their Creator, with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," but at the same time, some two or three millions of people are held as slaves for life, because the spirit in them is covered with a darker skin than ours: and hundreds of our own kindred for an infraction,   [354] or supposed infraction of some over wise statute, have to be incarcerated in dungeon glooms, or suffer the more moral penitentiary gravitation of mercy in a nut-shell, while the duellist, the debauchee, and the defaulter for millions, and other criminals, take the uppermost rooms at feasts, or, like the bird of passage find a more congenial clime by flight. "The wisdom, which ought to characterize the freest, wisest, and most noble nation of the nineteenth century, should, like the sun in his meridian of her splendor, warm every object beneath its rays: and the main efforts officers, who are nothing more or less than the servants of the people, ought to be directed to ameliorate the condition of all: black or white, bond or free; for the best of books says, "God hath made of one blood all nations of men, for to dwell on all the face of the earth." "Our common country presents to all men the same advantages; the same facilities; the same prospects; the same honors; and the same rewards: and without hypocrisy, the Constitution when it says, 'We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure tranquillity, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United states of America,' meant just what it said, without reference to color or condition: ad infinitum. "The aspirations and expectations of a virtuous people, environed with so wise so liberal, so deep, so broad and so high a charter of equal rights, as appears in said constitution, ought to be treated by those to whom the administration of the laws are intruded, with as much sanctity, as the prayers of the saints are treated in heaven, that love, confidence and union, like the sun, moon and stars should bear witness,   [355] "(For ever singing as they shine,) 'The hand that made us is divine!' "Unity is power, and when I reflect on the importance of it to the stability of all governments, I am astounded at the silly moves of persons and parties. to foment discord in order to ride into power on the current of popular excitement; nor am I less surprised at the stretches of power, or restrictions of right, which too often appear as acts of legislators, to pave the, way to some favorite political schemes, as destitute of intrinsic merit, as a wolfÕs heart is of the milk of human kindness: a Frenchman would say, 'Presque tout aimer richesses et pouvoir;' (Almost all men like wealth and power.) "I must dwell on this subject longer then others, for nearly one hundred years ego that golden patriot, Benjamin Franklin drew up a plan of union for the then colonies of Great Britain that now are such an independent nation, which among many wise provisions for obedient children under their fathers more rugged hand, -- thus: 'they have power to make laws, and lay and levy such general duties, imports, or taxes, as to them shall appear most equal and just, -- (considering the ability and other circumstances of the inhabitants in the several colonies,) and such as may be collected with the least inconvenience to the people; rather discouraging luxury, than loading industry with unnecessary burthens.' Great Britain surely lacked the laudable humanity and fostering clemency to grant such a just plan of union -- but the sentiment remains like the land that honored its birth as a pattern for wise men to study the convenience of the people more than the comfort of the Cabinet. "And one of the most noble fathers of our freedom and country's glory: great in war, great in peace, great in the estimation   [356] of the world, and great in the hearts of his countrymen, the illustrious Washington, said in his first inaugural address to Congress: 'I hold the surest pledges that as, on one side, no local prejudices or attachments, no separate views or party animosities, will misdirect the comprehensive and equal eye which ought to watch over this great assemblage of communities and interest, so, on another, that the foundations of our national policy will be laid in the pure and immutable principles of private morality; and the pre-eminence of free government be exemplifies by all the attributes which can win the affections of its citizens and command the respect of the world.' "Verily, here shines the virtue and the wisdom of a statesman in such lucid rays that had every succeeding Congress followed the rich instruction, in all their deliberations and enactments, for the benefits and convenience of the whole community and the communities of which it is composed, no sound of a rebellion in South Carolina; no rupture in Rhode Island; no mob in Missouri, expelling her citizens by executive authority; corruption in the ballot boxes; a border warfare between Ohio and Michigan: hard times and distress: outbreak upon outbreak in the principal cities: murder, robbery, and defalcations, scarcity of money, and a thousand other difficulties, would have torn asunder the bonds of the union; destroyed the confidence of man; and left the great body of the people to mourn over misfortunes in poverty, brought on by corrupt legislation in an hour of proud vanity, for self aggrandizement. "The great Washington, soon after the foregoing faithful admonition for the common welfare of his nation, further advised Congress that 'among the many interesting objects which will engage your attention that of providing for the common defence   [357] will merit particular regard. To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.' As the Italian would say: buono aviso, (good advice.) "The elder Adams in his inaugural address, gives national pride such a grand turn of justification, that every honest citizen must look back upon the infancy of the United States with an approving smile and rejoice, that patriotism in the rulers, virtue in the people, and prosperity in the union, once crowned the expectations of hope; unveiled the sophistry of the hypocrite and silenced the folly of foes: Mr. Adams said 'If national pride is ever justifiable, or excusable, it is when it springs not from power or riches, grandeur or glory, but from conviction of national innocence, information and benevolence.' "There is no doubt such was actually the case with our young realm at the close of the last century; peace, prosperity and union, filled the country with religious toleration, temporal enjoyment and virtuous enterprize; and gradually, too, when the deadly winter of the 'Stamp Act,' the 'Tea Act,' and other close communion acts of royalty had choked the growth of freedom of speech, liberty of the press, and liberty of conscience, did light, liberty and loyalty flourish like the cedars of God. "The respected and venerable Thomas Jefferson, in his inaugural address made more than forty years ago, shows what a beautiful prospect an innocent, virtuous nation presents to the sageÕs eye, where there is space for enterprize: hand for industry; heads for heroes, and hears for moral greatness. He said, 'A rising nation, spread over a wide and fruitful land, traversing all the seas with the rich productions of their industry, engaged in commerce with nations who feel power and forget right, advancing rapidly to destinies beyond the reach of mortal eye; when   [358] I contemplate these transcendent objects, and see the honor, the happiness, and the hopes of this beloved country committed to the issue and the auspices of this day, I shrink from the contemplation, and humble myself before the magnitude of the undertaking.' "Such a prospect was truly soul stirring to a good man, but 'since the fathers have fallen asleep,' wicked and designing, men have unrobed the government of its glory, and the people, if not in dust and ashes, or in sack cloth, have to lament in poverty, her departed greatness: while demagogues build fires in the north and south, east and west, to keep up their spirits till it is better times: but year after year has left the people to hope till the very name of Congress, or State Legislature, is as horrible to the sensitive friend of his country, as the house of 'Blue Beard' is to children; or 'Crockford's' Hell of London, to meek men. "When the people are secure and their rights properly respected, then the four main pillars of prosperity, viz: agriculture, manufactures, navigation, and commerce. need the fostering care of government: and in so goodly a country as ours, where the soil, the climate, the rivers, the lakes, and the sea coast; the productions, the timber, the minerals; and the inhabitants are so diversified, that a pleasing variety accommodates all tastes, trades and calculations, it certainly is the highest point of supervision to protect the whole northern and southern, eastern and western, centre and circumference of the realm, by a judicious tariff. It is an old saying and a true one, 'If you wish to be respected, respect yourselves.' "I will adopt in part the language of Mr. Madison's inaugural address, 'To cherish peace and friendly intercourse with all nations, having correspondent dispositions; to maintain sincere   [359] neutrality towards belligerent nations; to prefer in all cases amicable discussion and reasonable accommodation of differences to a decision of them by an appeal to arms; to exclude foreign intrigues and foreign partialities, so degrading to all countries, and so baneful to free ones; to foster a spirit of independence too just to invade the rights of others, too proud to surrender their own, too liberal to indulge unworthy prejudices ourselves, and too elevated not to look down upon them in others; to hold the union of the States as the basis of their peace and happiness; to support the constitution, which is the cement of the Union, as well as in its limitations as in its authorities; to respect the rights and authorities reserved to the States and to the people, as equally incorporated with, and essential to the success of the general system; to avoid the slightest interference with the rights of conscience, or the functions of religion, so wisely exempted from civil jurisdiction; to preserve in their full energy, the other salutary provisions in behalf of private and personal rights, and of the freedom of the press;' as far as intention aids in the fulfilment of duty, are consummations too big with benefits not to captivate the energies of all honest men to achieve them, when they can be brought to pass by reciprocation, friendly alliance, wise legislation, and honorable treaties. "The Government has once flourished under the guidance of trusty servants; and the Hon. Mr. Monroe in his day, while speaking of the Constitution; says -- 'Our commerce has been wisely regulated with foreign nations, and between the States; new States have been admitted into our Union: our territory has been enlarged by fair and honorable treaty, and with great advantage to the original States; the States respectively protected by the national Government, under a mild paternal system   [360] against foreign dangers, and enjoying within their separate spheres, by a wise partition of power, a just proportion of the sovereignty, have improved their police, extended their settlements, and attained a strength and maturity which are the beat proofs of whole some law well administered. And if we look to the condition of individuals, what a proud spectacle does it exhibit! On whom has oppression fallen in any quarter of our Union? who has been deprived of any right of person and property? Who restrained from offering his vows in the mode he prefers, to the Divine Author of his being? It is well known that all these blessings have been enjoyed to their fullest extent: and I add, with peculiar satisfaction, that there has been no example of a capital punishment being inflicted on any one for the crime of high treason.' What a delightful picture of power, policy and prosperity! Truly the wise proverb is just, -- 'Sedaukauh teromain goy, veh-ka-sede le-u-meem khahmaut.' Righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people. "But this is not all. The same honorable statesman, after having had about forty years' experience in the government, under the full tide of successful experiment, gives the following commendatory assurance of the efficiency of the Magna Charta to answer its great end and aim: to protect the people in their rights. 'Such, then, is the happy government under which we live; a Government adequate to every purpose for which the social compact is formed; a Government elective in all its branches, under which every citizen may, by his merit, obtain the highest trust recognized by the Constitution; which contains within it no cause or discord; none to put at variance one portion of the community with another; a Government which protects every   [361] citizen in the full enjoyment of his rights, and is able to protect the nation against injustice from foreign powers' "Again, the younger Adams in the silver age of our countryÕs advancement to fame, in his inaugural address (1825), thus candidly declares the majesty of the youthful republic, in its in creasing greatness; 'The year of jubilee since the first formation of our Union has just elapsed; that of the declaration of Independence is at hand. The consummation of both was effected by this Constitution. "'Since that period. a population of four million has multiplied to twelve. A territory, bounded by the Mississippi, has been extended from sea to sea. New States he have been admitted to the Union, in numbers nearly equal to those of the first confederation. "'Treaties of peace, amity and commerce, have been concluded with the principal dominions of the earth. The people of other nations, the inhabitants of regions acquired, not by conquest, but by compact, have been united with us in the participation of our rights and duties, of our burdens and blessings. "'The forest has fallen by the axe of our woodsmen; the soil has been made to teem by the tillage of our farmers: our commerce has whitened every ocean. "'The dominion of man over physical nature has been extended by the invention of our artists. Liberty and law have marched hand in hand. All the purposes of human association have been accomplished as effectively as under any other government on the globe, and at a cost little exceeding, in a whole generation, the expenditures of other nations in single year.' "In continuation of such noble sentiments, General Jackson, upon his ascension to the great chair of the chief magistracy,   [362] said: -- As long as our government administered for the good of the people, and as regulated by their will; as long as it secures to us the rights of person and property, liberty of conscience, and of the press, it will be worth defending; and so long as it is worth defending, a patriotic militia will cover it with an impenetrable Aegis.' "General JacksonÕs administration may be denominated the acme of American glory, liberty and prosperity, for the National Debt, which in 1815, on account of the late war, was 125,000,000 dollars, and lessened gradually, was paid up in his golden day; and preparations were made to distribute the surplus revenue among the several States: and that august patriot, to use his own words in his farewell address, retired leaving 'a great people prosperous and happy, in the full enjoyment of liberty and peace, honored and respected by every nation of the world.' "At the age, then, of sixty years, our blooming republic began to decline under the withering touch of Martin Van Buren! Disappointed ambition, thirst for power, pride, corruption, party spirit, faction, patronage; perquisites, fame, tangling alliances; priestcraft and spiritual wickedness in high places, struck hands, and revelled in midnight splendour. "Trouble, vexation, perplexity and contention, mingled with hope, fear and murmuring, rumbled through the Union and agitated the whole nation as would an earthquake at the centre of the earth the earth, the world heaving the sea beyond its bounds, and shaking the everlasting hills: so, in hopes of better times, while jealousy, hypocritical pretensions, and pompous ambition, were luxuriating on the ill-gotten spoils of the people, they rose in their majesty like a tornado, and swept through the land, till   [363] General Harrison appeared, as a star among the storm clouds for better weather "The calm came; and the language of that venerable patriot, in his inaugural address while descanting upon the merits of the Constitution and its framers, thus expressed himself. -- 'There were in it features which appeared not to be in harmony with their ideas of a simple representative democracy or republic. And knowing the tendency of power to increase itself, particularly when executed by a single individual, predictions were made that, at no very remote period, the Government would terminate in virtual monarchy. "It would not become me to say that the fears of these patriots have been already realized. But as I sincerely believe that the tendency of measures and of menÕs opinions, for some years past, has been in that direction, it is, I conceive, strictly proper that I should take this occasion to repeat the assurances I have heretofore given, of my determination to arrest the progress of that tendency if it really exists, and restore the Government to its pristine health and vigour.' "This good man died before he had the opportunity of applying one balm to ease the pain of our groaning country, and I am willing the nation should be the judge, whether General Harrison, in his exalted station, upon the eve of his entrance into the world of spirits, told the truth or not: with Acting- President Tyler's three years of perplexity and pseudo-whig-democrat reign, to heal the breaches, or show the wounds, secundum artum, (according to art). "Subsequent events, all things considered, Van BurenÕs downfall, HarrisonÕs exit, and TylerÕs self-sufficient turn to the whole, go to show, as a Chaldean might exclaim, 'Beram etia elauh   [364] beshmayauh hauhah rauzeen' (Certainly there is a God in heaven to reveal secrets). "No honest man can doubt for a moment but the glory of American liberty is on the wane, and that calamity and confusion will sooner or later destroy the peace of the people. Speculators will urge a national bank as a saviour of credit and comfort. A hireling pseudo-priesthood will plausibly push abolition doctrines and doings, and 'human rights,' into Congress and into every other place, where conquest smells of fame, or opposition swells to popularity. -- Democracy, whiggery, and cliquery, will attract their elements and foment divisions among the people, to accomplish fancied schemes and accumulate power, while poverty driven to despair, like hunger forcing its way through a wall, will break through the statutes of men, to save life, and mend the breach in prison glooms. "A still higher grade, of what the 'nobility of the nations' call 'great men,' will dally with all rights in order to smuggle a fortune at 'one fell swoop;' mortgage Texas, possess Oregon, and claim all the unsettled regions of the world for hunting and trapping: and should a humble honest man, red, black, or white, exhibit a better title, these gentry have only to clothe the judge with richer ermine, and spangle the lawyer's fingers with finer rings, to have the judgment of his peers, and the honour of his lords, as a pattern of honesty, virtue and humanity, while the motto hangs on his nation's escutcheon 'Every man has his price!' "Now, O people! people! turn unto the Lord, and live; and reform this nation. Frustrate the designs of wicked men. Reduce Congress at least two- thirds. Two senators from a state and two members to a million of population, will do more business than the   [365] army that now occupies the halls of the national legislature. Pay them two dollars and their board per diem (except Sundays); that is more than the farmer gets, and he lives honestly. Curtail the offices of government in pay, number and power, for the Philistine lords have shorn our nation of its goodly locks in the lap of Delilah. "Petition your State legislature to pardon every convict in their several penitentiaries, blessing them as they go, and saying to them, in the name of the Lord, Go thy way and sin no more. "Advise your legislators when they make laws for larceny, burglary or any felony, to make the penalty applicable to work upon the roads, public works, or any place where the culprit can be taught more wisdom and more virtue; and become more enlightened. Rigor and seclusion will never do as much to reform the propensities of man as reason and friendship. Murder only can claim confinement or death. Let the penitentiaries be turned into seminaries of learning, where intelligence, like the angels of heaven, would banish such fragments of barbarism: imprisonment for debt is a meaner practice than the savage tolerates with all his ferocity. 'Amor vincit [omnia] amnia' Love conquers all. "Petition also, ye goodly inhabitants of the slave States, your legislators to abolish slavery by the year 1850, or now, and save the abolitionist from reproach and ruin, infamy and shame. "Pray Congress to pay every man a reasonable price for his slaves out of the surplus revenue arising from the sale of public lands, and from the deduction of pay from the members of Congress. "Break off the shackles from the poor black man, and hire them to labour like other human beings, for 'an hour of virtuous liberty on earth, is worth a whole eternity of bondage!' Abolish   [366] the practice in the army and navy of trying men by court martial for desertion; if a soldier or marine runs away, send him his wages, with this instruction, that his country will never trust him again, he has forfeited his honour. "Make Honour the standard with all men: be sure that good is rendered for evil in all cases: and the whole nation, like a kingdom of kings and priests, will rise up with righteousness, and be respected as wise and worthy on earth: and as just and holy for heaven, by Jehovah the author of perfection. "More economy in the National and State governments, would make less taxes among the people, more equality through the cities, towns, and country, would make less distinction among the people, and more honesty and familiarity in societies, would make less hypocrisy and flattery in all branches of community; and open, frank, candid, decorum to all men, in this boasted land of liberty, would beget esteem, confidence, union and love; and the neighbour from any State or from any country, of whatever colour, clime or tongue, could rejoice when he put his foot on the sacred soil of freedom, and exclaim: 'The very name of American is fraught with friendship!' Oh! then, create confidence, restore freedom, break down slavery, banish imprisonment for debt, and be in love, fellowship, and peace with all the world! Remember that honesty is not subject to law; the law was made for transgressors; wherefore a Dutchman might exclaim. 'Ein ehrlicher Name ist besser als Reichthum' (a good name is better than riches). "For the accommodation of the people in every State and Territory, let Congress shew their wisdom by granting a national bank, with branches in each State and Territory, where the capital stock shall be held by the nation for the mother bank, and   [367] by the States and Territories, for the branches, and whose officers and directors shall be elected yearly by the people, with wages at the rate of two dollars per day for services; which several banks shall never issue any more bills than the amount of capital stock in her vaults and the interest. "The net gain of the mother bank shall be applied to the national revenue, and that the branches to the States' and Territories' revenues. And the bills shall be par throughout the nation, which will mercifully cure the fatal disorder known in cities, as brokerage, and leave the peopleÕs money in their own pockets. "Give every man his constitutional freedom, and the President full power to send an army to suppress mobs, and the States authority to repeal and impun that relic of folly which makes it necessary for the Governor of a State to make the demand of the President for troops, in cases of invasion or rebellion. "The Governor himself may be a mobber, and, instead of being punished as he should be for murder and treason, he may destroy the very lives, rights, and property he should protect. Like the good Samaritan, send every lawyer as soon as he repents and obeys the ordinances of Heaven, to preach the gospel to the destitute, without purse or scrip, pouring in the oil and the wine: a learned priesthood is certainly more honourable than 'an hireling clergy.' "As to the contiguous territories to the United States, wisdom would direct no tangling alliance: Oregon belongs to this Government honourably, and when we have the red-manÕs consent, let the Union spread from the east to the west sea; and if Texas petitions Congress to be adopted among the sons of liberty, give her the right-hand of fellowship; and refuse not the   [368] same friendly grip to Canada and Mexico: and when the right arm of freemen is stretched out in the character of a navy, for the protection of rights, commerce and honour, let the iron eyes of power watch from Maine to Mexico, and from California to Columbia; thus may union be strengthened, and foreign speculation prevented from opposing broadside to broadside. "Seventy years have done much for this goodly land; they have burst the chains of oppression and monarchy; and multiplied its inhabitants from two to twenty millions; with a proportionate share of knowledge, keen enough to circumnavigate the globe, draw the lightning from the clouds, and cope with all the crowned heads of the world. "Then why? oh! why, will a once flourishing people not arise, phoenix- like,over the cinders of Martin Van Buren's power; and over the sinking fragments and smoking ruins of other catamount politicians; and over the windfalls of Benton, Calhoun, Clay, Wright, and a caravan of other equally unfortunate law doctors, and cheerfully help to spread a plaster and bind up the burnt, bleeding wounds of a sore but blessed country? "The southern people are hospitable and noble: they will help to rid so free a country of every vestige of slavery, when ever they are assured of an equivalent for their property. The country will be full of money and confidence when a national bank of twenty millions, and a State bank in every State, with a million or more, gives a tone to monetary matters, and make a circulating medium as valuable in the purses of a whole community, as in the coffers of a speculating banker or broker "Tho people may have faults but they never should be trifled with. I think Mr. Pitt's quotation in the British Parliament of Mr. PriorÕs couplet, for the husband and wife, to apply to the   [369] course which the King and Ministry of England should pursue to the then colonies of the now United States, might be a genuine rule of action for some of the breath-made men in high places, to use towards the posterity of that noble daring people: -- 'Be to her faults a little blind; Be to her virtues very kind.' "We have had democratic Presidents; whig Presidents; a pseudo-democratic whig President, and now it is time to have a President of the United States; and let the people of the whole Union, like the inflexible Romans, whenever they find a promise made by a candidate that is not practised as an officer, hurl the miserable sycophant from his exaltation, as God did Nebuchadnezzar, to crop the grass of the field, with a beastÕs heart, among the cattle. "Mr. Van Buren said in his inaugural address, that he went 'into the presidential chair the inflexible and uncompromising opponent of every attempt, on the part of Congress, to abolish slavery in the district of Columbia, against the wishes of the slave-holding States; and also with a determination equally decided to resist the slightest interference with it in the States where it exists.' "Poor little Matty made his rhapsodical sweep with the fact before his eyes, that the State of New York, his native state, had abolished slavery, without a struggle or a groan. Great God! how independent! From henceforth, slavery is tolerated when it exists, constitution or no constitution; people or no people, right or wrong; vox Matti -- vox Diaboli, 'the voice of Matty -- the voice of the Devil;' and peradventure his great 'sub-treasury' scheme was a piece of the same mind: but the man and   [370] his measures have such a striking resemblance to the anecdote of the Welchman and his cart-tongue, that, when the constitution was so long that it allowed slavery at the Capitol of a free people, it would not be cut off; but when it was short that it needed a sub-treasury, to save the funds of the nation, it could be spliced! Oh, Granny what a long tail our puss has got! (As a Greek might say, hysteron proteron, the cart before the horse but his mighty whisk through the great national fire, for the presidential chestnuts burnt the locks of his glory with the blaze of his folly.) "In the United States the people are the government; and their united voice is the only sovereign that should rule, the only power that should be obeyed; and the only gentlemen that should be honoured; at home and abroad, on the land and on the sea. Wherefore, were I the President of the United States, by the voice of virtuous people, I would honor the old paths of the venerated father of freedom; I would walk in the tracks of the illustrious patriots who carried the ark of the government upon their shoulders with an eye single to the glory of the people; and when that people petitioned to abolish slavery in the slave States, I would use all honourable means to have their prayers granted, and give liberty to the captive; by giving the southern gentleman a reasonable equivalent for his property, that the whole nation might be free indeed. "When the people petitioned for a national bank, I would use my best endeavours to have their prayers answered, and establish one on national principles, to save taxes, and make them the controllers of its ways and means; and when the people petitioned to possess the territory of Oregon or any other contiguous territory, I would lend the influence of a chief magistrate   [371] to grant so reasonable a request, that they might extend the mighty efforts and enterprise of a free people from the east to the west sea, and make the wilderness blossom as the rose; and when a neighbouring realm petitioned to join the Union of the sons of liberty, my voice would be, come; yea, come Texas, come Mexico, come Canada, and come all the world; let us be brethren, let us be one great family, and let there be universal peace. Abolish the cruel customs of prisons, (except certain cases), penitentiaries, court-martials for desertion; and let reason and friendship reign over the ruins of ignorance and barbarity; yea, I would, as the universal friend of man, open the prisons, open the eyes, open the ears, and open the hearts of all people to behold and enjoy freedom, unadulterated freedom; and God, who once cleansed the violence of the earth with a flood, whose Son laid down his life for the salvation of all his Father gave him out of the world, and who has promised that he will come and purify. the world again with fire in the last days, should be supplicated by me for the good of all people -- With the highest esteem, I am a friend of virtue and of the people, "JOSEPH SMITH." This scarcely grammatical manifesto, in which practical and useful ideas are mixed up with others purely fanciful, was reprinted in a great number of newspapers, and Joseph Smith met with support, even among others than his sect. But at the same time it was strongly disapproved, or treated with contempt, in other quarters. The conduct of the Prophet in this instance, it must be admitted, was hardly distinguished by his usual prudence. He knew   [372] himself to be surrounded by powerful and bitter enemies; he knew that the prosperity of his colony had excited, even in Illinois, formerly so well disposed towards him, an under-current of discontent; moderation and silence might perhaps have disarmed them, but a fussy unrestrained ambition would naturally arouse their hatred, and expose him to fresh peril. So, in fact, it turned out. The inhabitants of Illinois, full of the worst feeling towards the Mormons, and urged on, even at this time, by apostates on the one hand and by Missouri on the other, at length began to devise means of expelling the Saints from their territory. In the beginning of 1844 they held meetings for this purpose. The people of Carthage especially, whose hostile disposition was of long standing, had reached such a pitch of irritation, that Joseph no longer dared present himself in that city. To allay the storm, or rather to fly from the point it threatened, was the wisest course; and there is reason to believe that Joseph at first seriously thought of doing so. With this intention, as much perhaps as for the purpose of hurrying forward the execution of his designs, which apparently aimed at nothing less than the establishment of a great temporal power, Joseph, at a meeting on the 20th of February, spoke of leaving the country, or at least hinted that he entertained such an idea. He gave instructions to the twelve apostles relative to an expedition to California and Oregon. The question under consideration now was, to find a good site to which to retire after the completion   [373] of the temple, there to build a great city where, sheltered by the mountains, they could establish a good government, and "where the devil could not reach them." This would be to abandon Zion, but that was a difficulty easily got over. Smith was of the school of Sertorius: "Rome n'est pas dans Rome; elle est toate on je suis. And moreover he gave abundant latitude for fixing the site of Zion. " All America from north to south constitutes Zion. The whole of America is designated by the prophets, who declare that it is the Zion where is the mountain of the Lord, and that it is in the centre of the country."* This idea of a settlement in Oregon, which idea has been realized in our days by the occupation of Salt Lake, was it perchance suggested to the Prophet by the recollection of the conversation he had in 1840, at Washington, with Henry Clay, and of the advice given him, at least indirectly, by that statesman, to retire into Oregon? It is impossible to say; but the actual state of things would naturally suggest it. Unfortunately Smith did not persist in his project of emigrating as resolutely as it was his interest to do. The fumes of ambition, for a time dissipated, again clouded his judgment, as the elections drew near, and under their intoxicating influence he abandoned himself to the most absurd conceits. Before sending his exploring parties to the west in search of a new territory, he wrote to the federal _____________________ * Sermon of Joseph Smith at the conference in April, 1844.   [374] Congress to ask for authority to levy a hundred thousand volunteers for the purpose of protecting American citizens emigrating to Texas, Oregon, and the adjoining parts, where they could not find the protection necessary for the prosperity of their settlements. In addition to this he requested to have the rank of General in the United States' army. It is hardly necessary to say that these requests were very summarily disposed of. Did his ambition soar still higher? Did he seriously aim at the Presidency of the Union? Did he really imagine for a moment he could attain the supreme magistracy of the republic? It would be difficult to reply. But certainly his language, through its studied and enigmatical obscurity, may sometimes induce one to suppose it. Thus, in the conference of the 6th of April, 1844, he said to his followers, there assembled to the number of twenty thousand: "The great Jehovah has always been with me, and the wisdom of God will guide me at the seventh hour. I feel that I am in more immediate communion with God and on a better footing with him than I have ever been in my life; and I am happy to appear among you under these circumstances." And what is even more certain is, that subsequent to the conferences in April, he sent out two hundred and forty-four missionaries to go into the various States of the Union, to preach up his candidacy for the Presidency, together with the new gospel. But however this may be, and whatever were the hopes   [375] of the Prophet and of the faithful as to the immediate success of the ambitious projects of the moment. The future appeared to them arrayed in the most brilliant colours, and gave them the assurance of the most glorious destinies. Brigham Young, in one of his sermons, during the April conference, seemed inspired with the like confidence, and said, in that apocalyptic style so common to the sect, and through the mists of which it is so difficult for the profane to discern a meaning, "If they strike us, we will upset the world, and will put the cart before the horse and let it draw them." Events moreover were of a kind to raise illusions, especially among the simple and credulous, and the simple and credulous were not wanting among the Mormons. What wonder if their heads were turned, when they beheld fresh converts arriving daily from all sides! A single vessel had just brought eight hundred brethren from England, and announced that propagandism was making rapid progress in the mother country. And, moreover, did not a missionary write them, from Great Britain, on the 18th of April, a letter, filled with miracles accomplished in witness of their faith? "The Marquis of Downshire;" he stated, "who had persecuted the Saints at Hillsborough, in Ireland, had the felicity of seeing his son, Lord William, killed by a fall from his horse while hunting; and Mr. Keilly, his agent, who had aided him in persecuting the Saints, had suffered a third attack of paralysis, while his son, who had headed an outbreak against our Church,   [376] has fallen ill without hope of recovery. So much for them." Surely, after such prodigies, God could not do less than bestow on them the empire of America. It is positive that about that time there was entertained such a hope, if not by the leaders themselves, at all events by their followers. A single fact will suffice to give an idea of their credulity. When they learned that Lorenzo Snow had presented the Book of Mormon to the Queen of England, the joy among them was great; they imagined that if her gracious Majesty read their sacred writings, it would be enough to convince her of the truth of their creed, and to induce her to become a convert. Without sharing all the illusions of his people, Smith, not over-modest himself, felt proud of the power he had created, of his character of Prophet, of the progress of his sect, of that kind of celebrity he had acquired, and which had admitted of his becoming candidate for the highest office in the republic. So that he believed himself to be in a position to treat on a footing of equality with his competitors; and as none of them had replied satisfactorily to his communication of the 4th of November, he took upon himself to write to Henry Clay a letter full of insolence and irony, but at the same time very remarkable and frequently eloquent. To present a complete idea of the mental calibre of the hero whose history we are relating, we think it necessary to give word for word his letter to Mr. H. Clay.


    "Nauvoo, Illinois, May 18th, 1844. "Sir, -- Your answer to my inquiry, 'What would be your rule of action towards the Latter-day Saints, should you be elected President of the United States,' has been under consideration since last November, in the fond expectation that you would give (for every honest citizen has a right to demand it) to the country a manifesto of your views of the best method and means which would secure to the people, the whole people, the most freedom, the most happiness, the most union, the most wealth, the most fame, the most glory at home, and the most honour abroad, at the least expense; but I have waited in vain. So far as you have made public declarations, they have been made, like your answer to the above, soft to flatter, rather than solid to feed the people. You seem to abandon all former policy which may have actuated you in the discharge of a statesman's duty, when the vigour of intellect and the force of virtue should have sought out an everlasting habitation for liberty; when, as a wise man, a true patriot, and a friend to mankind, you should have resolved to ameliorate the awful condition of our bleeding country by a mighty plan of wisdom, righteousness, justice, goodness and mercy, that would have brought back the golden days of our nation's youth, vigour, and vivacity, when prosperity crowned the efforts of a youthful Republic, when the gentle aspirations of the sons of liberty were, 'we are one.' "In your answer to my questions last fall, that peculiar tact, of modern politicians declaring, 'if you ever enter into that high office, you must go into it free and unfettered, with no guarantees but such as are to be drawn from your whole life, character, and conduct,' so much resembles a lottery-vendor's sign, with the goddess of good luck sitting on the car of fortune, a-straddle of the   [378] horn of plenty, and driving the merry steeds of beatitude, without reins or bridle, that I cannot help exclaiming, 'O frail man, what have you done that will exalt you?' Can anything be drawn from your life, character, or conduct that is worthy of being held up to the gaze of this nation as a model of virtue, charity, and wisdom? Are you not a lottery picture with more than two blanks to a prize? Leaving many things prior to your Ghent treaty, let the world look at that, and see where is the wisdom, honour, and patriotism which ought to have characterized the plenipotentiary of the only free nation upon the earth? A quarter of a century's negotiation to obtain our rights on the north-eastern boundary, and the motley manner in which Oregon tries to shine as American Territory, coupled with your presidential race and come-by-chance secretaryship in 1825, all go to convince the friends of freedom, the golden patriots of Jeffersonian democracy, free-trade, and sailors' rights, and the protectors of person and property, that an honourable war is better than a dishonourable peace. "But had you really wanted to have exhibited the wisdom, clemency, benevolence, and dignity of a great man in this boasted Republic, when fifteen thousand free subjects were exiled from own homes, lands, and property, in the wonderful patriotic State of Missouri, and you then upon your oath and honour, occupying the exalted station of a senator of Congress from the noble-hearted State of Kentucky; why did you not show the world your loyalty to law and order, by using all honourable means to restore the innocent to their rights and property? Why, Sir, the more we search into your character and conduct, the more we must exclaim from Holy Writ, the tree is known by its fruit.'   [379] "Again, this is not all; rather than show yourself an honest man, by guaranteeing to the people what you will do in case you should be elected President, ' you can enter into no engagement, make no promises, and give no pledges,' as to what you will do. Well, it may be that some hot-headed partisan would take such nothingarianism upon trust, but sensible men, and even ladies, would think themselves insulted by such an evasion of coming events. If a tempest is expected, why not prepare to meet it, and in the language of the poet, exclaim, --
      "'Then let fine trial come; and witness thou, If terror be upon me; if I shrink Or falter in my strength to meet the storm When hardest if besets me.'
    True greatness never wavers, but when the Missouri compromise was entered into by you for the benefit of slavery, there was a shrinkage of western honour: and from that day, Sir, the sterling Yankee, the struggling Abolitionist, and the staunch Democrat, with a large number of the liberal- minded Whigs, have marked you as a blackleg in politics, begging for a chance to shuffle yourself into the Presidential chair, where you might deal out the destinies of our beloved country for a game of brag that would end in 'Hark! from the tombs a doleful sound.' Start, not at this picture; for your 'whole life, character, and conduct,' been spotted with deeds that cause a blush upon the face of a virtuous patriot. So you must be contented in your lot, while crime, cowardice, cupidity, or low-cunning, have handed you down from the high tower of a statesman to the black-hole of a gambler. A man that accepts a challenge or fights a duel is nothing more nor less than a murderer; for Holy Writ declares that 'whoso sheds man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed;' and when   [380] in the renowned city of Washington the notorious Henry Clay dropped from the summit of a senator to the sink of a scoundrel to shoot at that chalk line of a Randolph, he not only disgraced his own fame, family, and friends, but he polluted the sanctum sanctorum of American glory; and the kingly blackguards throughout the whole world are pointing the finger of scorn at the boasted 'asylum of the oppressed,' and hissing at American statesman as gentleman vagabonds and murderers, holding the olive branch of peace in one hand and a pistol for death in the other! Well might the Saviour rebuke the heads off this nation with woe unto you scribes, Pharisees, hypocrites! for the United States government and Congress, with a few honourable exceptions, have gone the way of Cain, and must perish in their gainsayings like Korah and his wicked host. And honest men of every dime, and the innocent, poor, and oppressed, as well as heathens, pagans, and Indians, everywhere, who could but hope that the tree of liberty would yield some precious fruit for the hungry human race, and shed some balmy leaves for the healing of nations, have long since given up till hopes of equal rights, of justice and judgment, and of truth and virtue, when such polluted, vain, heaven-daring, bogus patriots, are forced or flung into the front rank of government to guide the destinies of millions. Crape the heavens with weeds of woe, gird the earth with sackcloth, and let hell mutter one melody in commemoration of fallen splendour! for the glory of America has departed, and God will set a flaming sword to guard the tree of liberty, while such mint-tithing Herods as Van Buren, Boggs, Benton, Calhoun, and Clay, are thrust out of the realms of virtue as fit subjects for the kingdom of failed greatness; vox reprobi, vox Diaboli!   [381] "In your late addresses to the people of South Carolina, where rebellion budded but could not blossom, you 'renounced ultraism, 'high tariff,' and almost banished your 'banking systems' for the more certain standard of public opinion.' This is all very well, and marks the intention of a politician, the calculations of a demagogue, and the allowance for leeings of a shrewd manager, just as truly as the weathercock does the wind when it turns upon the spire. Hustings for the south, barbecues for the west, confidential letters for the north, and 'American system' for the east: -- "'Lullaby baby upon the tree top, And when the wind blows the cradle will rock.' "Suppose you should also, taking your 'whole life, character, and conduct,' into consideration, and, as many hands make light work, stir up the old 'Clay party,' the 'National Republican party,' the 'High Protective Tariff party,' and the late coonskin party, with all their paraphernalia, ultraism, ne plus ultraism, -- sine qua non, which have grown with your growth, strengthened with your strength, and shrunk with your shrinkage, and ask the people of this enlightened Republic what they think of your powers and policy as a statesman; for verily it would seem, from all past remains of parties, politics, projects, and pictures, that you are the Clay and the people the potter; and as some vessels are marred in the hands of the potter, the natural conclusion is, that you are a vessel of dishonour. "You may complain that a close examination of your whole life, character, and conduct places you, as a Kentuckian would pleasantly term it 'in a bad fix;' but; Sir, when the nation has sunk deeper and deeper in the mud at every turn of the great   [382] wheels of the Union, while you have acted as one of the principal drivers, it becomes the bounden duty of the whole community, as one man, to whisper you on every point of government, to uncover every act of your life, and inquire what mighty acts you have done to benefit the nation, how much you have tithed the mint to gratify your lust, and why the fragments of your raiment hang upon the thorns by the path as signals to beware! "But your shrinkage is truly wonderful! Not only your banking system, and high tariff project, have vanished from your mind, 'like the baseless fabric of a vision,' but the 'annexation of Texas' has touched your pathetic sensibilities of national pride so acutely, that the poor Texans, your own, brethren, may fall back into the ferocity of Mexico, or be sold at auction to British stock-jobbers, and all is well, for 'I,' the old senator from Kentucky, am fearful it would militate against my interest in the north to enlarge the borders of the Union in the south. Truly 'a poor wise child is better than an old foolish king who will be no longer admonished.' Who ever heard of a nation that had too much territory? Was it ever bad policy to make friends? Has any people ever become too good to do good? No, never; but the ambition and vanity of some men have flown away with their wisdom and judgment, and left a creaking skeleton to occupy the place of a noble soul. "Why, Sir, the condition of the whole earth is lamentable. Texas dreads the teeth and toenails of Mexico. Oregon has the rheumatism, brought on by a horrid exposure to the heat and cold of British and American trappers; Canada has caught a bad cold from extreme fatigue in the patriot war; South America has the headache, caused by bumps against the beams of Catholicity and Spanish sovereignty; Spain has the gripes from age   [383] and Inquisition; France trembles and wastes under the effects of contagious diseases; England groans with the gout, and wiggles with wine; Italy and the German States are pale with the consumption; Prussia, Poland, and the little contiguous dynasties, duchies, and domains, have the mumps so severely, that 'the whole head is sick, and the whole heart is faint;' Russia has the cramp by lineage; Turkey has the numb palsy; Africa, from the curse of God, has lost the use of her limbs; China is ruined by the Queen's evil, and the rest of Asia fearfully exposed to the small-pox the natural way from British pedlars ; the islands of the sea are almost dead with the scurvy; the Indians are blind and lame; and the United States, which ought to be the good physician with 'balm from Gilead,' and an 'asylum for the oppressed,' has boosted and is boosting up into the council chamber of the government, a clique of political gamblers, to play for the old clothes and old shoes of a sick world, and 'no pledge, no promise to any particular portion of the people,' that the rightful heirs will ever receive a cent of their Father's legacy! Away with such self-important, self-aggrandising, and self- willed demagogues! their friendship is colder than polar ice; and their professions meaner than the damnation of hell. "O man! when such a great dilemma of the globe, such a tremendous convulsion of kingdoms, shakes the earth from centre to circumference; when castles, prison-houses, and cells, raise a cry to God against the cruelty of man; when the mourning of the fatherless and the widow causes anguish in heaven; when the poor among all nations cry day and night for bread and a shelter from the heat and storm; and when the degraded black slave holds up his manacled hands to the great statesmen of the United States, and sings,   [384] "'O Liberty, where are thy charms, That sages have told me were sweet!' "And when fifteen thousand free citizens of the high-blooded Republic of North America are robbed and driven from one State to another without redress or redemption, it is not only time for a candidate for the Presidency to pledge himself to execute judgment and justice though be there laws or not, but it is his bounden duty as a man, for the honour of a disgraced country, and for the salvation of a once virtuous people, to call for a union of all honest men, and appease the wrath of God by acts of wisdom, holiness, and virtue! 'The fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.' "Perhaps you may think I go too far with my strictures and innuendoes, because in your concluding paragraph you say: ?'It is not inconsistent with your declarations to say, that you have viewed with a lively interest the progress of the Latter-day Saints; that you have sympathized in their sufferings under injustice, as it appeared to you, which has been inflicted upon them; and that you think in common with all other religious communities, they ought to enjoy the security and protection of the constitution and the laws.' If words were not wind, and imagination not a vapour, such views' 'with a lively interest' might coax out a few Mormon votes; such 'sympathy for their suffering under injustice, might heal some of the sick yet lingering amongst them, raise some of the dead, and recover some of their property from Missouri; and finally, if thought was not a phantom, we might, in common with other religious communities, 'you think, enjoy the security and protection of the constitution and laws!' But during ten years, while the Latter-day Saints have bled, been robbed, driven from their own lands, paid   [385] oceans of money into the treasury to pay your renowned self and others for legislating and dealing out equal rights and privileges to those in common with all other religious communities, they have waited and expected in vain! If you have possessed any patriotism, it has been veiled by your popularity for fear the Saints would fall in love with its charms. Blind charity and dumb justice never do much towards alleviating the wants of the needy, but straws show which way the wind blows. It is currently rumoured that your dernier ressort for the Latter-day Saints is to emigrate to Oregon or California. Such cruel humanity, such noble injustice, such honourable cowardice, such foolish wisdom, and such vicious virtue, could only emanate from Clay. After the Saints have been plundered of three or four millions of land and property by the people and powers of the sovereign state of Missouri; after they have sought for redress and redemption from the county court to Congress, and been denied through religious prejudice and sacerdotal dignity; after they have builded a city and two temples at an immense expense of labour and treasure; after they have increased from hundreds to hundreds of thousands; and after they have sent missionaries to the various nations of the earth to gather Israel according to the predictions of all the holy prophets since the world began, that great plenipotentiary the renowned Secretary of State, the ignoble duellist, the gambling senator, and Whig candidate for the Presidency, Henry Clay, the wise Kentucky lawyer, advises the Latter-day Saints to go to Oregon to obtain justice and set up a government of their own. "O ye crowned heads among all nations, is not Mr. Clay a wise man and very patriotic? Why, great God! to transport 800,000 people through a vast prairie, over the Rocky Mountains, to   [386] Oregon, a distance of nearly two thousand miles, would cost more than four millions! or should they go by Cape Horn in ships to California, the cost would be more than twenty millions? and all this to save the United States from inheriting the disgrace of Missouri for murdering and robbing the Saints with impunity! Benton and Van Buren, who make no secret to say, that if they get into power, they will carry out Boggs's exterminating plan to rid the country of the Latter-day Saints, are "'Little nipperkins of milk,' compared to 'Clay's' great aquafortis jars. Why, he is a real giant in humanity: 'send the Mormons to Oregon, and free Missouri from debt and disgrace!' Ah! Sir, let this doctrine go to and fro throughout the whole earth, that we, as Van Buren said, know your cause is just, but the United States Government can do nothing for you, because it has no power; you must go to Oregon, and get justice from the Indians !' "I mourn for the depravity of the world, I despise the hypocrisy of Christendom, I hate the imbecility of American statesmen, I detest the shrinkage of candidates for office from pledges and responsibility; I long for a day of righteousness, when 'He whose right it is to reign shall judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth,' and I pray God, who hath given our fathers a promise of a perfect government in the last days, to purify the hearts of the people and hasten the welcome day. "With the highest consideration for virtue and unadulterated freedom,
      "I have the honour to be, "Your obedient Servant, "JOSEPH SMITH."
    "Hon. H. Clay, Ashland, Ky."   [387] The candidacy of Joseph, the noise it made, the personal importance it gave him, were, as we have stated, and as it is easy to understand, a great occasion of joy and pride to the Mormons. In their enthusiasm, and in the anticipation of the political career which was opening to their Prophet, as well as of the high destiny he was preparing for their cause, they determined to give him a, striking mark of their gratitude and of their love: the 17th of May they gave him an ovation, carrying him in triumph through the streets of Nauvoo. The Tarpeian rock is not far distant from the Capitol, neither is persecution from success, especially religious success. While Joseph revelled in his glory amid his people, his enemies, rendered more inveterate in their hatred by his very success, and by the noise which he everywhere made, were devising means of destroying him and of giving him a decisive and final blow. To the shame of sectarian spirit it must be said, they little cared by what means; it was deemed imperative at any cost to get rid of the man who gave them such umbrage. On the 21st of May, at Carthage, a summons was sent to Joseph Smith, at the instigation of a few apostates and fanatics, to appear before the court to answer a charge of adultery and, perjury. Joseph at first thought it advisable to keep out of the way of his enemies and lie in concealment; ultimately he made up his mind to appear, and, thanks to those guarantees which even bad passions cannot entirely override in   [388] free States, his cause was allowed to stand over to another Time would perhaps have allayed hatred and brought men back to reason. Unfortunately, Joseph, over-confident and too little under self-control, soon contrived to furnish arms against himself. Some apostates and personal enemies of the Prophet, among others* the renegade J. H. Jackson, an ex- Catholic priest, who having been refused the hand of Hyrum's daughter, determining to avenge the affront, conceived the idea of starting at Nauvoo a newspaper called the 'Expositor,' with the avowed object of opposing the Mormons, and the secret purpose of irritating them to reprisals and excesses, and furnishing a handle against them. The blow was well directed, and all that hatred had anticipated was not long in occurring. The first number of the 'Expositor' appeared the 10th of June; it contained such violent and terrible attacks** that an explosion immediately ensued. Joseph, indignant and exasperated _____________________ * Among the most inveterate enemies of Joseph at this period we may mention also William Law, Francis M. Higbee, and Dr. Foster. All three had been expelled the Church for unseemly conduct. Higbee, for the purpose of revenging himself on the Prophet, commenced a lawsuit against him, which was long and scandalous, but resulted in nothing. Dr. Foster accused Joseph of having attempted to seduce his wife by preaching to her the doctrine of "the spiritual wife." We are not in a position to state whether the facts justified this serious accusation; there is room for belief that it arose from Higbee's enmity. ** These charges were made to rest on the depositions, true or false, of sixteen women, accusing Joseph and the principal dignitaries of the Church of immoral conduct.   [389] immediately, in his capacity of mayor, assembled the municipal council, which, without a moment's hesitation, declared the paper 'a public nuisance which ought to be suppressed.' An order to destroy the journal, signed by Joseph, was immediately put into execution by a police officer, who proceeded the same day to break up the presses. This was an outrage in a country in which the liberty of the press is sacred, and considered as the foremost and most vital of all liberties; it was moreover an imprudence in the position in which the Mormons then were, and an impolitic act likely to lead to formidable results. No sooner did the destruction of the presses of the 'Expositor' get wind, than menaces of death against the Prophet resounded on all sides from the "gentiles." This time they had a plausible and legitimate excuse for giving vent to their fury, and they eagerly hastened to make use of it. On the l2th of June, Joseph and some other Mormons regarded as his accomplices in the fatal day of the 10th, were summoned to appear before the court to answer a charge of disturbing the public peace. Joseph got off by obtaining, as in similar circumstances he had done before, a writ of habeas corpus; and the court of Nauvoo, on the ground that the mayor had simply enforced according to law a decision of the municipal council, dismissed the charge. But this judgment could hardly be to the taste of the   [390] gentiles; it left a flagrant violation of the constitution unpunished. They protested; they met the 13th of June, at Carthage, to consider the means of obtaining justice, and resolved to take arms against the Mormons. The position became alarming. Joseph comprehended the danger all the more serious inasmuch as he was not now upheld by the goodness of his cause. He wrote to the Governor of Illinois, and after laying before him the circumstances which had led to the destruction of the presses of the 'Expositor,' he begged him to come to Nauvoo to suppress the rioters at Carthage, who were preparing to march against him and his people with five pieces of artillery. Before receiving an answer, Joseph on the 17th of June was once more arrested along with his accomplices, and again brought before the court of Nauvoo, to answer a counter-charge of riot in the affair of the 'Expositor.' He was discharged as in the first instance. The same day he convened the Saints, informed them he was resolved to defend himself if attacked by the mob from Carthage, and made an energetic appeal to the police, and to the legion of Nauvoo. The following day, receiving unsatisfactory news from Carthage and Missouri, and fearing an immediate attack, he was induced to take extreme measures, and on his own responsibility proclaimed martial law. He then harangued his troops, exhorting them to fight with him to the death in defence of their religion and their liberties.   [391] The ensuing days were employed in making preparations for defence. However, the Governor of Illinois, Thomas Ford, had arrived in Carthage. After having investigated the facts, he declared that the municipal council of Nauvoo had exceeded its powers in decreeing the suppression of the 'Expositor' newspaper, and he wrote to Smith advising him to give himself up to justice. It would seem that Joseph had not anticipated any such result: he had flattered himself that the Governor would have entertained different views, and would have looked upon the facts in quite another light. He however lost no time in answering him. His letter, written immediately upon the receipt of the Governor's, was humble enough: "He was ready," he said, "to give way if he had unwittingly violated the constitution; but he would not go to Carthage for fear of being assassinated by his enemies." He was discouraged and agitated by sinister presentiments. Knowing of what his enemies were capable, he seemed thoroughly resolved not to fall into their hands. He at first thought of going to Washington; ultimately he made up his mind to seek safety in the West, and at two o'clock one morning he crossed the Mississippi, intending to retire towards the Rocky Mountains. This was the wisest course, and it would have been fortunate for Joseph had he persevered in it to the last. The residence of himself and followers in Illinois was no longer   [392] possible. The public mind was excited against him to the highest pitch; the influence gained by the Mormons in the elections by their acting together, the singularity and progress of their doctrine, had united against them both the spirit of party and the spirit of sect, two powers formidable everywhere, but especially amid a democracy where liberty is unbounded. The affair of the 'Expositor' had brought matters to a crisis, and given popular animosity a favourable and almost justifiable occasion to explode. The Governor had hoped that Joseph, with that clear-headedness which indisputably characterized him, would have understood his position, and would have felt the necessity of quitting Illinois as he had quitted Missouri, and of going to settle in the vast districts which western America, offers to the emigrant and to human industry. This course was an obvious one; Joseph's flock would have followed him in mass, and enmity would have departed with them. But fate willed it otherwise. The very day of Smith's flight, Emma, alarmed at the aspect of Nauvoo during his absence, despatched a messenger, begging him to return and surrender himself to justice. Several intimate friends added their entreaties to hers. Too easily led by them, Joseph recrossed the Mississippi. He presently (the 24th of June) received from the Governor an order to disarm the legion of Nauvoo. He offered no resistance, and even aided in effecting the disarmament. He had decided upon placing himself in the hands of justice at Carthage, and he left   [393] the same day with seventeen others charged with violating the laws. Although the Governor had assured him of his protection, he was not free from uneasiness, and he said to his companions during the journey. "I go like a lamb to the slaughter, but I am calm as a summer's morn." It was midnight when they arrived at' Carthage. In spite of the advanced hour of the night, the streets were filled with people. Joseph passed through them amid shouts and threats which served to confirm his presentiments and apprehensions. The 25th of June, Governor Ford, who had promised the militia of Carthage to show them the Prophet and the Patriarch, passed before them with the two Smiths at his side. When they had thus been made to gratify the curiosity of the mob, they were taken before the judge. Remanded upon bail (7500 dollars), and ordered to appear next term to take their trial at Hancock, they for a moment possibly thought themselves out of danger. But a constable shortly after called upon the two brothers to surrender as prisoners, on a charge of treason against the State, by having called out the Nauvoo legion on the 18th of June. The following day (the 26th of June) the two prisoners were brought up before the court. The proceedings were very brief, and at their conclusion they were remanded to prison. The final judgment was to have been pronounced the following day, the 27th of June; but the   [394] Governor, who had just determined to send troops to Nauvoo to maintain order, intending to go there himself that very day with a detachment of them, the decision of the court was deferred until the 29th. This circumstance was fatal to the prisoners. Was it a preconcerted matter? Was the Governor in collusion with the rioters? Be that as it may, on the morning of the 27th, the Governor dismissed the greater portion of the militia, and went to Nauvoo with a small escort, leaving Hyrum and Joseph in prison, under the guard of a few militiamen, charged to protect them against the people, and at the same time to prevent their escape. The exasperation of the people seemed somewhat to have diminished, and it must be admitted, in exoneration of the Governor, that there is reason to believe he did not anticipate any serious danger; but Joseph, whether he better understood the public feeling, or that he was warned by the instinct of self-preservation and the consciousness of immediate danger, felt the keenest alarm. His fears were shared by Hyrum and by the two friends who had insisted on accompanying them to prison, John Taylor and Dr. W. Richards: the result will show these fears were but too well founded, The same day, between five and six in the afternoon, some hundred armed men, so disguised as not to be recognizable, made an attack on the jail where the unfortunate prisoners were. They fired a few shots at the guard,   [395] killing none; the guard returned the fire with as little result. All had been arranged beforehand, and they only exchanged shots to keep up appearances. The assailants, as may be imagined, were soon in possession of the place; they forced an entrance into the prison and rushed towards the room the prisoners were in. The door had no fastening whatever. They pushed it ajar and fired upon those within. Joseph, whom a faithful friend had secretly furnished with a revolver, fired and wounded the assassin by whose hand his brother Hyrum had just been shot in the face; the unfortunate Patriarch crying out as he fell, "I am a dead man;" in the act of falling he received three more bullets which despatched him. John Taylor at the same moment fell, severely wounded in several places. The firing was still kept up through the half-opened door. Up to this time Joseph was untouched. He had defended himself manfully, but now his revolver having missed fire three times, and being without further means of resistance, he tried to escape through the window, and had got his legs across the sill when he was struck by a couple of balls. He fell to the ground, a height of twenty feet, in the midst of his assassins, exclaiming, "O Lord, my God!" One of the mob dragged his body along, and propped it up against the wall of a well. Life was almost extinct, when Colonel Williams ordered four men to advance within eight paces and fire. The unfortunate victim, already mutilated by his fall and his wounds, received   [396] these four shots in his body, which put an end to him. The assassin who had dragged the body to the well, was about to cut off his head with a cutlass, when, if the Mormons are to be believed, a sudden flash of lightning struck him with terror and stayed his arm. The assassins panic- struck fled in disorder towards Warsaw. Thus perished the two principal persons among the Mormons. As to the two Saints who had accompanied them and who were with them in prison, viz. Dr. W. Richards and John Taylor (to whom, together with another witness named Daniels, not a Mormon, we are indebted for these facts), they managed to escape with life from this bloody struggle. Dr. Richards received only a scratch on the left ear, and assisted his companion, who was dangerously wounded, to get away after the assassins had departed. The principal object of the rioters had been attained. But their plot, aiming at more than the death of the Prophet, extended to his whole people. They had timed the murder so as to coincide with the Governor's presence in Nauvoo, in the hope that, the news of the death of the Prophet suddenly reaching the Mormons while he was still in their city, there would be an irresistible burst of popular grief and indignation, and that they would seek to revenge upon him the loss of so important and beloved a victim, a step which would have given a plausible pretext and a legitimate reason for the extermination of the abhorred sect. Fortunately this frightful calculation miscarried.   [397] The Governor -- who, during the bloody scene enacting at Carthage, was addressing the Mormons at Nauvoo, reproaching them with the destruction of the 'Expositor,' exhorting them to avoid the shedding of blood, and threatening them with terrible vengeance unless they remained peaceable and submissive to the laws -- first learned the tragic end of the Prophet during the night, on his return to Carthage from Nauvoo; and it is by no means certain that, even had he been on the spot when the sad news arrived, that their first impulse would have been the desire of vengeance. All hearts were plunged in grief. The lamentation was universal; the city in a state of stupor. The bodies of the martyrs were brought from Carthage to Nauvoo the day after the catastrophe. The whole populace hurried out to meet them. Nothing but cries of grief and despair was heard during the passing of the funeral procession. If eye-witnesses can be credited, never was there such an affecting sight. They at once proceeded to bury the bodies. But as the assassins had threatened the Mormons that they would not even leave them the solace of possessing the ashes of their beloved martyrs, the coffins they lowered into the grave, instead of containing the precious remains, were filled with bags of sand, and the funeral pomp, although magnificent, served only to cheat the eye and to put their enemies on a false scent. At midnight the bodies of the martyrs were secretly deposited under Nauvoo House, which   [398] was still in course of construction. The grave was covered in such a manner as to leave no trace of the place of sepulture. The following autumn the remains were removed, at Emma's request, and interred near the Mansion in the spot where the Bee House was subsequently erected. The deceased children of the Prophet were afterwards buried in the same tomb. The death of Joseph Smith, from whatever point of view we regard it, is a blot upon the democracy of the United States, and nothing can justify it. But unhappily, nothing is more easy of explanation. Starting from a different principle, and placing himself outside the common ground of the one revelation admitted by all the various sects, Joseph had necessarily united them all against him. Opposing to a gospel considered definitive by all, another gospel represented as new and superior to it, he was regarded as a kind of monster which must at any cost be cut off and destroyed. Moreover, as we have already explained, he had excited political jealousy against him. The unity of the Mormon voters rendered them masters of the local elections; this disarranged the plans and views of politicians, and of the ambitious and intriguing of all parties. At variance upon other points, they agreed in their hatred of the new sectaries, and also in the necessity of extirpating them, or at the very least, of freeing the country of them. All this suffices to explain the calumnies of every kind, the accusations of theft and felony, which were everywhere   [399] circulated against them. The singularity of their doctrine, and the mystery in which it was wrapped, were yet a further cause of suspicion and hatred. The agitation was assiduously kept up for the purpose of being turned to account. The people, too, on their side, animated with the same feelings as those of their agitators, were easily led to take part in every movement against the Mormons, and once let loose, went into every excess. The authorities were taken by surprise or overawed; if, indeed, they were not, at times, themselves under the influence of the general excitement. Occasionally efforts were made to mislead them. Governor Thomas Ford has officially admitted that the enemies of the Mormons had recourse to artifice to make him believe that the Saints were engaged in seditious intrigues, and thus to induce him to be a party to their plans of extermination. To these causes of their ruin, the Mormons themselves contributed others. Their prosperity, which had increased in spite of persecution, the flattering expectations in which they indulged, the great reputation of their Prophet; had inflamed their pride, and carried their confidence even to insolence. Finally, the apostates, the excommunicated and the ejected, covered with shame in the presence of the gentiles from whom they had first deserted, exposed to raillery and abuse, vowed implacable hatred against the leaders whose new doctrine had misled them, who were much too clever to become their dupes, and who, they   [400] thought, were making a speculation of their support. Were not these sufficient causes for popular irritation and excitement? America is unquestionably a very free country; religious liberty knows no bounds, but this, it must be observed, is in practice only true with respect to creeds resting on the common ground of Christianity; for any new religious system, professedly attacking Christianity, cannot attempt to establish itself without incurring considerable risk. The time has not yet anywhere arrived, when man can give his religious ideas the outward form he believes best calculated to represent and fully express them. It was feared that Nauvoo would seek vengeance for the death of the man who had founded and governed it: it was wealthy, powerful, and animated by that peculiar and lofty courage inspired by religious fanaticism. The Governor of Illinois at first shared this apprehension: he expected to see the Mormons burst upon Carthage, and commit all sorts of excesses. He even lost no time in going to Quincy, to be in a position to watch events. He was mistaken in his expectation. Every heart in Nauvoo seemed resigned to the catastrophe, which appeared to be a Divine confirmation of the Prophet's mission. The leaders, themselves moderate in their views, and rendered prudent by events, experienced no difficulty in keeping the people calm and composed; content to wait for justice from man, and, that failing, for vengeance from the great Elohim.   [401] The Mormons, independent of the animosity which still threatened them from without, were also in a very critical position as regarded their internal affairs. All depended on their leader, and this leader was no more. Those who were most fitted to replace him were absent on various duties. Of the twelve apostles, ten were dispersed over different parts of the Union, where they were engaged in supporting the Prophet's election for the, presidency. It was impossible, until their return, to proceed to the election of the new president of the Church. And then, who would be equal to the requirements of such a post, and competent to fill the void left by such a man? It was indeed no easy matter to find an efficient successor to Joseph Smith. This man, whatever our opinion may be as to his doctrine and the part he played, was no ordinary man.* This man, born in an obscure condition of life, without fortune, without education, early conceived _____________________ * In confirmation of the opinion we here emit, it may be well to give a few extracts from a severe criticism on Smith's character, which appeared in an American periodical, 'The Christian Reflector,' written shortly after his death. "It is but a few weeks," says the 'Reflector,' "since the death of Joe Smith was announced. His body now sleeps, and his spirit has gone to its reward, Various are the opinions of men concerning this singular personage; but whatever may be the views of any in reference to his principles, objects, or moral character, all agree that he was one of the most remarkable men of the age ... The Prophet's virtues have been rehearsed and admired in Europe; the ministers of Nauvoo have even found a welcome in Asia, and Africa has listened to the grave sayings of the Seer of Palmyra. The standard of the Latter-day Saints has been reared on the banks of the Nile, and even the Holy Land has been entered by the emissaries of this wicked impostor. He founded a city in one of   [402] and executed a project, difficult in all ages, and which, until his time, had been considered impossible in ours. We may blame the imposture, the conception, and performance of the part he played, the profound contempt for the human mind he evinced, many of the means he employed in order to succeed, and his persistent use of falsehood. We may assert, if we will, that success was only possible on the spot where it was sought for, in the theatre and before the pit where the farce was played; that elsewhere the actor would have been pitilessly hissed, if indeed, which is not probable, he had been able elsewhere to find a, stage; that what he indispensably required was, that medley multitude, made up of such varied and impure elements, which is either the growth of the New World or an importation from the Old, in order to obtain an audience and draw down applause. This is all very true, and we do not dispute it. But it is none the less a fact, that a new religion has been fashioned by this man, whatever may be the _____________________ the most beautiful situations in the world, in a beautiful curve of the 'Father of Waters,' of no mean pretensions; and in it he has collected a population of twenty-five thousand, from every part of the world. He planned the architecture of a magnificent- temple, and reared its walls nearly fifty feet high, which, if completed, will be the most beautiful, most costly, and the most noble building in America." (This, of course, was written previous to the expulsion from Nauvoo.) ... "Reasoning from effect to cause, we must conclude that the Mormon Prophet was of no common genius; few are able to commence and carry out an imposition like this, so long, and to such an extent and we see in the history of his success, most striking proofs of the gullibility of a large portion of the human family. What may not men be induced to believe?" Such was the impression made by Joseph Smith on the men of his own day and country.   [403] merits of this religion; that the seeds of a nation have been sown in a virgin soil, and that up to this moment, at any rate, these seeds are in process of development and actively germinating. It must not be imagined either, that men, however humble they may be, that the multitude, base as we may consider it, can be so easily seduced and persuaded, Many of undoubted intellect would fail were they to attempt the experiment. In truth, great influence is never obtained over mankind without real superiority, and if this be admitted, Smith is undoubtedly a superior man. And now let us consider whether, independent of the eternal censure attaching to his imposture, Joseph Smith merits that esteem which is due to uprightness of life and purity of morals and character. If we believe the enemies of the Mormons, and apostates, the question will not be difficult to answer, and the result will be far from favourable; if we place faith in the report of his friends sad followers, it will be exactly the other way. There is not a vice* with which the former do not load his name; there is not a virtue with which the latter do not adorn his memory. It _____________________ * Among the numerous vices attributed to Smith is drunkenness. It is related, but we do not vouch for the fact, that he one day said to some persons who expressed astonishment at a prophet getting intoxicated, "It is necessary, in order to prevent my disciples from adoring me as a God." Some years later, he is stated to have made his excuse for the same fault, by saying, "Several Elders have often got drunk without confessing it; I got in the same state to show them how disgusting it is, and to set them a good example by confessing my sin." -- Caswell, 'The City of the Mormons in 1842,' pp. 50, 51.   [404] is a law, that men who have played a part in the world, who have powerfully affected the imaginations and minds of their fellow-men, should be themselves subject to conflicting judgments, and never be either calumniated or extolled by halves. Perchance the truth lies midway between these extreme views; and extraordinary men, being compounded, like their fellows, of good and evil, might say to their friends and to their enemies, in the words of the poet, -- "Je n'ai point merite Ni cet exces d'honneur ni cette indignite," It would undoubtedly be difficult to rebut the accusations made against his morality, and to exhibit the promoter of polygamy as a Hippolytus. But if he had that failing, so common to many great men, and which Mohammed, one of his predecessors, so candidly acknowledged, he possessed other dualities which can hardly be ignored, and which are of some weight. He was gentle, humane, and conciliatory; he readily pardoned wrongs against himself, either in his public or private capacity. He had a peculiar fondness for children: he constantly associated with them, mingled in their sports, and consoled them in their little troubles. Amid his family he overflowed with kindness and love, both as a father and husband. His mother never refers to him but as the most affectionate and dutiful of sons, His brothers were his friends rather than his mere instruments. In his daily relations with his followers, the man constantly   [405] effaced the prophet, without thereby compromising his ascendancy. A lawyer, John S. Reid, whose testimony there appears no reason to suspect, spoke of him before a State convention, on the 17th of May, 1844, in a deposition made upon oath, as follows: -- "I have known Joseph Smith from eighteen years of age; his conduct was irreproachable: he was well known for his veracity and uprightness; he mixed in the best circles of his locality, and he, was spoken of as a young man of intelligence and good moral conduct, endowed with a mind capable of the highest intellectual acquirements." Doubtless this testimony only applies to the earlier parts of his career; but there is one fact which is worth all the rest, and which deserves consideration in the eyes of every impartial judge, which is, that tried thirty-nine times, by all kinds of courts, on various charges, the greater part hostile to him, he was never once convicted. May we say in passing, that this fact, which is such an eloquent answer to all the calumnies against him, does as much honour to the administration of justice in the United. States as to him? Perhaps we ought: it is a remarkable thing that in this country, where we have just seen religious and political fanaticism urging the populace to so many culpable excesses, that the administration of justice should have maintained its incorruptibility in the very trials which fanaticism had instigated. As to his capacity as administrator and organizer, there is no room for doubt: it stands out prominently throughout   [406] his whole life, and this it is perhaps, combined with his power of influencing mankind, which is the most distinguished feature in the career of the founder of Mormonism. As respects his moral qualities, his kindness, his sensitiveness, his attachment to his friends, without referring to other more manly traits, are positive and incontestable. True, Smith was an impostor, but when the mask was raised, he was still a man at heart, and it is not often we can say as much of all of those who have misled mankind.* _____________________ * The portrait of Joseph Smith and that of his brother Hyrum, which illustrate this work, have been copied with scrupulous fidelity from the original picture, now in the possession of Brigham Young, after having long been the property of the mother of the Prophet, who died at Nauvoo in 1856. According to the testimony of the oldest among the Mormons, these two portraits are most striking likenesses.


    The Prophet was dead; and owing to the absence of the apostles, who were all, with the exception of two, upon missions, the Church appeared left without a guide. However, the influencial Mormons who remained in Nauvoo, and [pages 408 to 507 not yet transcribed]   [508] 1857, November 21. Proclamation of Governor Cumming, the new governor. December 15. Brigham Young's message to the Legislature of Utah. 1858, January 16. Address of the citizens of Great Salt Lake City to President Buchanan. February: Arrival of Colonel Kane at Salt Lake. June 12. Brigham treats with the Government Commissioners. " 26. The army enters Great Salt Lake City and immediately retires. 1859, January 2. Religious service, interrupted by the war, is again performed in the Tabernacle. March. Dispute between the officers of the federal government. August. Citizens of Carson Valley declare themselves independent of Utah. 1860, The federal troops evacuate the territory of Utah. 1861. The Mormons are making remarkable progress, both materially and morally. In Utah the settlements increase in size and number. The attention of the heads of the Church is directed towards education, hitherto neglected; schools are being built, and the spread of information encouraged. As respects their external affairs, their missionary efforts have been crowned with success, and emigration, chiefly from England, resumes its course with greater vigour than at any previous period.

    (under construction)

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