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The Story of the Mormons: From the Date of their Origin to the Year 1901 by William Alexander Linn

Part 6 out of 15

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one of the militia tell General Clark," says Corrill, "that a
well twenty or thirty feet deep was filled with their dead bodies
to within three feet of the top."*

* Details of this massacre will be found in Lee's "Mormonism
Unveiled," pp. 78-80; in the Missouri "Correspondence, Orders,
etc.," p. 82; the Millennial Star, Vol. XVI, p. 507, and in
Greene's "Facts Relative to the Expulsion of the Mormons from
Missouri," pp. 21-24.

The Mormons have always considered this "massacre," as they
called it, the crowning outrage of their treatment in Missouri,
and for many years were especially bitter toward all participants
in it. A letter from two Mormons in the Frontier Guardian, dated
October, 1849, describing the disinterred human bones seen on
their journey across the plains, said that they recognized on the
rude tombstone the names of some of their Missouri persecutors:
"Among others, we noted at the South Pass of the Rocky Mountains
the grave of one E. Dodd of Gallatin, Missouri. The wolves had
completely disinterred him. It is believed that he was the same
Dodd that took an active part as a prominent mobocrat in the
murder of the Saints at Hawn's Mill, Missouri; if so, it is a
righteous retribution." Two Mormon elders, describing a visit in
1889 to the scenes of the Mormon troubles in Missouri, said, "The
notorious Colonel W. O. Jennings, who commanded the mob at the
[Hawn's Mill] massacre, was assaulted in Chillicothe, Missouri,
on the evening of January 20, 1862, by an unknown person, who
shot him on the street with a revolver or musket, as the Colonel
was going home after dark." * They are silent as to the avenger.

* "Infancy of the Church" (pamphlet).

Governor Boggs now began to realize the seriousness of the
situation that he was called to meet, and on October 26 he
directed General John B. Clark (who was not the ranking general)
to raise, for the protection of the citizens of Daviess County,
four hundred mounted men. This order he followed the next day
with the following, which has become the most famous of the
orders issued during this campaign, under the designation "the
order of extermination":--


"Sir:--Since the order of this morning to you, directing you to
cause four hundred mounted men to be raised within your Division,
I have received by Amos Rees, Esq., of Ray County and Wiley C.
Williams, Esq., one of my aids, information of the most appalling
character, which entirely changes the face of things, and places
the Mormons in the attitude of an open and avowed defiance of the
laws, and of having made war upon the people of this state. Your
orders are, therefore, to hasten your operations with all
possible speed.

"The Mormons must be treated as enemies, and must be exterminated
or driven from the State if necessary for the public peace--their
outrages are beyond all description. If you can increase your
force, you are authorized to do so to any extent you may consider
necessary. I have just issued orders to Maj. Gen. Willock, of
Marion County, to raise five hundred men, and to march them to
the northern part of Daviess, and there unite with Gen. Doniphan,
of Clay, who has been ordered with five hundred men to proceed to
the same point for the purpose of intercepting the retreat of the
Mormons to the north. They have been directed to communicate with
you by express; you can also communicate with them if you find it

"Instead therefore of proceeding, as at first directed, to
reinstate the citizens of Daviess in their homes, you will
proceed immediately to Richmond and then operate against the
Mormons. Brig. Gen. Parks, of Ray, has been ordered to have four
hundred of his brigade in readiness to join you at Richmond. The
whole force will be placed under your command.

"I am very respectfully, "Your ob't serv't, "L. W. Boggs,

The "appalling information" received by the governor from his
aids was contained in a letter dated October 25, which stated
that the Mormons were "destroying all before them"; that they had
burned Gallatin and Mill Pond, and almost every house between
these places, plundered the whole country, and defeated Captain
Bogart's company, and had determined to burn Richmond that night.
"These creatures," said the letter, "will never stop until they
are stopped by the strong hand of force, and something must be
done, and that speedily."*

* For text of letter, see "Correspondence, Orders, etc.," p. 59.

The language of Governor Boggs's letter to General Clark cannot
be defended. The Mormons have always made great capital of his
declaration that the Mormons "must be exterminated," and a man of
judicial temperament would have selected other words, no matter
how necessary he deemed it, for political reasons, to show his
sympathy with the popular cause. But, on the other hand, the
governor was only accepting the challenge given by Rigdon in his
recent Fourth of July address, when the latter declared that if a
mob disturbed the Mormons, "it shall be between us and them a war
of extermination, for we will follow them till the last drop of
their blood is spilled, or else they will have to exterminate
us." What compromise there could have been between a band of
fanatics obeying men like Smith and Rigdon, and the class of
settlers who made up the early Missouri population, it is
impossible to conceive. The Mormons were simply impossible as
neighbors, and it had become evident that they could no more
remain peaceably in the state than they could a few years
previously in Jackson County.

General Atchison, of Smith's counsel, was not called on by the
governor in these latest movements, because, as the governor
explained in a letter to General Clark, "there was much
dissatisfaction manifested toward him by the people opposed to
the Mormons." But he had seen his mistake, and he united with
General Lucas in a letter to the governor under date of October
28, in which they said, "from late outrages committed by the
Mormons, civil war is inevitable," and urged the governor's
presence in the disturbed district. Governor Boggs excused
himself from complying with this request because of the near
approach of the meeting of the legislature.

General Lucas, acting under his interpretation of the governor's
order, had set out on October 28 for Far West from near Richmond,
with a force large enough to alarm the Mormon leaders. Robinson,
speaking of the outlook from their standpoint at this time, says,
"We looked for warm work, as there were large numbers of armed
men gathering in Daviess County, with avowed determination of
driving the Mormons from the county, and we began to feel as
determined that the Missourians should be expelled from the
county."* The Mormons did not hear of the approach of General
Lucas's force until it was near the town. Then the southern
boundary was hastily protected with a barricade of wagons and
logs, and the night of October 30-31 was employed by all the
inhabitants in securing their possessions for flight, in
anticipation of a battle the next day.

* The Return, Vol. I, p. 189.

CHAPTER IX. The Final Expulsion From The State

At eight o'clock the next morning the commander of the militia
sent a flag of truce to the Mormons which Colonel Hinckle, for
the Mormons, met. General Lucas submitted the following terms, as
necessary to carry out the governor's orders:

1. To give up their leaders to be tried and punished.

2. To make an appropriation of their property, all who have taken
up arms, to the payment of their debts and indemnity for damage
done by them.

3. That the balance should leave the State, and be protected out
by the militia, but be permitted to remain under protection until
further orders were received by the commander-in-chief.

4. To give up the arms of every description, to be receipted for.

While these propositions were under consideration, General Lucas
asked that Smith, Rigdon, Lyman Wight, P. P. Pratt, and G. W.
Robinson be given up as hostages, and this was done. Contemporary
Mormon accounts imputed treachery to Colonel Hinckle in this
matter, and said that Smith and his associates were lured into
the militia camp by a ruse. General Lucas's report to the
governor says that the proposition for a conference came from
Hinckle. Hyrum Smith, in an account of the trial of the
prisoners, printed some years later in the Times and Seasons,
said that all the men who surrendered were that night condemned
by a court-martial to be shot, but were saved by General
Doniphan's interference. Lee's account agrees with this, but says
that Smith surrendered voluntarily, to save the lives of his

General Lucas received the surrender of Far West, on the terms
named, in advance of the arrival of General Clark, who was making
forced marches. After the surrender, General Lucas disbanded the
main body of his force, and set out with his prisoners for
Independence, the original site of Zion. General Clark, learning
of this, ordered him to transfer the prisoners to Richmond, which
was done.

Hearing that the guard left by General Lucas at Far West were
committing outrages, General Clark rode to that place accompanied
by his field officers. He found no disorder,* but instituted a
military court of inquiry, which resulted in the arrest of
forty-six additional Mormons, who were sent to Richmond for
trial. The facts on which these arrests were made were obtained
principally from Dr. Avard, the Danite, who was captured by a
militia officer. "No one," General Clark says, "disclosed any
useful matter until he was captured."

* "Much property was destroyed by the troops in town during their
stay there, such as burning house logs, rails, corn cribs,
boards, etc., the using of corn and hay, the plundering of
houses, the killing of cattle, sheep, and hogs, and also the
taking of horses not their own."--"Mormon Memorial to Missouri
Legislature," December 10, 1838.

After these arrests had been made, General Clark called the other
Mormons at Far West together, and addressed them, telling them
that they could now go to their fields for corn, wood, etc., but
that the terms of the surrender must be strictly lived up to.
Their leading men had been given up, their arms surrendered, and
their property assigned as stipulated, but it now remained for
them to leave the state forthwith. On that subject the general

"The character of this state has suffered almost beyond
redemption, from the character, conduct, and influence that you
have exerted; and we deem it an act of justice to restore her
character to its former standing among the states by every proper
means. The orders of the governor to me were that you should be
exterminated and not allowed to remain in the state. And had not
your leaders been given up, and the terms of the treaty complied
with, before this time you and your families would have been
destroyed, and your houses in ashes. There is a discretionary
power vested in my hands, which, considering your circumstances,
I shall exercise for a season. You are indebted to me for this

"I do not say that you shall go now, but you must not think of
staying here another season, or of putting in crops, for the
moment you do this the citizens will be upon you; and if I am
called here again, in a case of a non-compliance of a treaty
made, do not think that I shall do as I have done now. You need
not expect any mercy, but extermination, for I am determined the
governor's orders shall be executed. As for your leaders, do not
think, do not imagine for a moment, do not let it enter into your
mind, that they will be delivered and restored to you again, for
their fate is fixed, their die is cast, their doom is sealed.

"I am sorry, gentlemen, to see so many apparently intelligent men
found in the situation you are; and O ! if I could invoke the
great spirit, the unknown God, to rest upon and deliver you from
that awful chain of superstition, and liberate you from those
fetters of fanaticism with which you are bound, that you no
longer do homage to a man. I would advise you to scatter abroad,
and never organize yourselves with bishops, presidents, etc.,
lest you excite the jealousies of the people, and subject
yourselves to the same calamities that have now come upon you.
You have always been the aggressors: you have brought upon
yourselves these difficulties by being disaffected, and not being
subject to rule. And my advice is that you become as other
citizens, lest by a recurrence of these events you bring upon
yourselves irretrievable ruin."

General Clark then marched with his prisoners to Richmond, where
the trial of all the accused began on November 12, before Judge
A. A, King. By November 29 the called-out militia had been
disbanded, and on that date General Clark made his final report
to the governor. In this he asserted that the militia under him
had conducted themselves as honorable citizen soldiers, and
enclosed a certificate signed by five Mormons, including W. W.
Phelps, Colonel Hinckle, and John Corrill, confirming this
statement, and saying, "We have no hesitation in saying that the
course taken by General Clark with the Mormons was necessary for
the public peace, and that the Mormons are generally satisfied
with his course."

In his summing up of the results of the campaign, General Clark

"It [the Mormon insurrection] had for its object Dominion, the
ultimate subjugation of this State and the Union to the laws of a
few men called the Presidency. Their church was to be built up at
any rate, peaceably if they could, forcibly if necessary. These
people had banded themselves together in societies, the object of
which was to first drive from their society such as refused to
join them in their unholy purposes, and then to plunder the
surrounding country, and ultimately to subject the state to their

"The whole number of the Mormons killed through the whole
difficulty, so far as I can ascertain, are about forty, and
several wounded. There has been one citizen killed, and about
fifteen badly wounded."*

* "Correspondence, Orders, etc.," p. 92.

Brigadier General R. Wilson was sent with his command to settle
the Mormon question in Daviess County. Finding the town of
Adamondi-Ahman unguarded, he placed guards around it, and
gathered in the Mormons of the neighborhood, to the number of
about two hundred. Most of these, he explained in his report,
were late comers from Canada and the northern border of the
United States, and were living mostly in tents, without any
adequate provision for the winter. Those against whom criminal
charges had been made were placed under arrest, and the others
were informed that General Wilson would protect them for ten
days, and would guarantee their safety to Caldwell County or out
of the state. "This appeared to me," said General Wilson, in his
report to General Clark, "to be the only course to prevent a
general massacre." In this report General Wilson presented the
following picture of the situation there as he found it: "It is
perfectly impossible for me to convey to you anything like the
awful state of things which exists here--language is inadequate
to the task. The citizens of a whole county first plundered, and
then their houses and other buildings burnt to ashes; without
houses, beds, furniture, or even clothing in many instances, to
meet the inclemency of the weather. I confess that my feelings
have been shocked with the gross brutality of these Mormons, who
have acted more like demons from the infernal regions than human
beings. Under these circumstances, you will readily perceive that
it would be perfectly impossible for me to protect the Mormons
against the just indignation of the citizens . . . . The Mormons
themselves appeared pleased with the idea of getting away from
their enemies and a justly insulted people, and I believe all
have applied and received permits to leave the county; and I
suppose about fifty families have left, and others are hourly
leaving, and at the end of ten days Mormonism will not be known
in Daviess county. This appeared to me to be the only course left
to prevent a general massacre."*

* "Correspondence, Orders, etc.," p. 78.

The Mormons began to depart at once, and in ten days nearly all
had left. Lee, who acted as guide to General Wilson, and whose
wife and babe were at Adamondi-Ahman, says:

"Every house in Adamondi-Ahman was searched by the troops for
stolen property. They succeeded in finding very much of the
Gentile property that had been captured by the Saints in the
various raids they made through the country. Bedding of every
kind and in large quantities was found and reclaimed by the
owners. Even spinning wheels, soap barrels, and other articles
were recovered. Each house where stolen property was found was
certain to receive a Missouri blessing from the troops. The men
who had been most active in gathering plunder had fled to
Illinois to escape the vengeance of the people, leaving their
families to suffer for the sins of the believing Saints."*

* "Mormonism Unveiled," p. 89.

We may now follow the fortunes of the Mormon prisoners. On
arriving at Richmond, they were confined in the unfinished brick
court-house. The only inside work on this building that was
completed was a partly laid floor, and to this the prisoners were
restricted by a railing, with a guard inside and out. "Two
three-pail iron kettles for boiling our meat, and two or more
iron bake kettles, or Dutch ovens, were furnished us," says
Robinson, "together with sacks of corn meal and meat in bulk. We
did our own cooking. This arrangement suited us very well, and we
enjoyed ourselves as well as men could under such

* The Return, Vol. I, p. 234.

Joseph and Hyrum Smith, Rigdon, Lyman Wight, Caleb Baldwin, and
A. McRea were soon transferred to the jail at Liberty. The others
were then put into the debtor's room of Richmond jail, a
two-story log structure which was not well warmed, but they were
released on light bail in a few days.

A report of the testimony given at the hearing of the Mormon
prisoners before judge King will be found in the "Correspondence,
Orders, etc.," published by order of the Missouri legislature,
pp. 97-149. Among the Mormons who gave evidence against the
prisoners were Avard, the Danite, John Whitmer, W. W. Phelps,
John Corrill, and Colonel Hinckle. There were thirty-seven
witnesses for the state and seven for the defence. As showing the
character of the testimony, the following selections will

Avard told the story of the origin of the Danites, and said that
he considered Joseph Smith their organizer; that the constitution
was approved by Smith and his counsellors at Rigdon's house, and
that the members felt themselves as much bound to obey the heads
of the church as to obey God. Just previous to the arrival of
General Lucas at Far West, Smith had assembled his force, and
told them that, for every one they lacked in numbers as compared
with their opponents, the Lord would send angels to fight for
them. He presented the text of the indictment against Cowdery,
Whitmer, and others, drawn up by Rigdon.

John Corrill testified about the effect of Rigdon's "salt
sermon," and also that he had attended meetings of the Danites,
and had expressed disapproval of the doctrine that, if one
brother got into difficulty, it was the duty of the others to
help him out, right or wrong; that Smith and Rigdon attended one
of these meetings, and that he had heard Smith declare at a
meeting, "if the people would let us alone, we would preach the
Gospel to them in peace, but if they came on us to molest us, we
would establish our religion by the sword, and that he would
become to this generation a second Mohammed"; just after the
expulsion of the Mormons from Dewitt, Smith declared hostilities
against their opponents in Caldwell and Daviess counties, and had
a resolution passed, looking to the confiscation of the property
of the brethren who would not join him in the march; and on a
Sunday he advised the people that they might at times take
property which at other times it would be wrong to take, citing
David's eating of the shew bread, and the Saviour's plucking ears
of corn.* Reed Peck testified to the same effect.

* Corrill, Avard, Hinckle, Marsh, and others were formally
excommunicated at a council held at Quincy, Illinois, on March
17, 1839, over which Brigham Young presided.

John Clemison testified to the presence of Smith at the early
meetings of the Danites; that Rigdon and Smith had advised that
those who were backward in joining his fighting force should be
placed in the front ranks at the point of pitchforks; that a
great deal of Gentile property was brought into Mormon camps, and
that "it was frequently observed among the troops that the time
had come when the riches of the Gentiles should be consecrated to
the state."

W. W. Phelps testified that in the previous April he had heard
Rigdon say, at a meeting in Far West, that they had borne
persecution and lawsuits long enough, and that, if a sheriff came
with writs against them, they would kill him, and that Smith
approved his words. Phelps said that the character of Rigdon's
"salt sermon" was known and discussed in advance of its delivery.

John Whitmer testified that, soon after the preaching of the
"salt sermon," a leading Mormon told him that they did not intend
to regard any longer "the niceties of the law of the land," as
"the kingdom spoken of by the Prophet Daniel had been set up."

The testimony concerning the Danite organization and Smith's
threats against the Missourians received confirmation in an
affidavit by no less a person than Thomas B. Marsh, the First
President of the twelve Apostles, before a justice of the peace
in Ray County, in October, 1838. In this Marsh said:--

"The plan of said Smith, the Prophet, is to take this state; and
he professes to his people to intend taking the United States and
ultimately the whole world. The Prophet inculcates the notion,
and it is believed by every true Mormon, that Smith's prophecies
are superior to the law of the land. I have heard the Prophet say
that he would yet tread down his enemies, and walk over their
dead bodies; that, if he was not let alone, he would be a second
Mohammed to this generation, and that he would make it one gore
of blood from the Rocky Mountains to the Atlantic Ocean."

This affidavit was accompanied by an affidavit by Orson Hyde, who
was afterward so prominent in the councils of the church, stating
that he knew most of Marsh's statements to be true, and believed
the others to be true also.

Of the witnesses for the defence, two women and one man gave
testimony to establish an alibi for Lyman Wight at the time of
the last Mormon expedition to Daviess County; Rigdon's daughter
Nancy testified that she had heard Avard say that he would swear
to a lie to accomplish an object; and J. W. Barlow gave testimony
to show that Smith and Rigdon were not with the men who took part
in the battle on Crooked Creek.

Rigdon, in an "Appeal to the American People," which he wrote
soon after, declared that this trial was a compound between an
inquisition and a criminal court, and that the testimony of Avard
was given to save his own life. "A part of an armed body of men,"
he says, "stood in the presence of the court to see that the
witnesses swore right, and another part was scouring the country
to drive out of it every witness they could hear of whose
testimony would be favorable to the defendants. If a witness did
not swear to please the court, he or she would be threatened to
be cast into prison . . . . A man by the name of Allen began to
tell the story of Bogart's burning houses in the south part of
Caldwell; he was kicked out of the house, and three men put after
him with loaded guns, and he hardly escaped with his life.
Finally, our lawyers, General Doniphan and Amos Rees, told us not
to bring our witnesses there at all, for if we did, there would
not be one of them left for the final trial . . . . As to making
any impression on King, if a cohort of angels were to come down
and declare we were clear, Doniphan said it would be all the
same, for he had determined from the beginning to cast us into
prison. Smith alleged that judge King was biased against them
because his brother-in-law had been killed during the early
conflicts in Jackson County.

Several of the defendants were discharged during or after the
close of the hearing. Smith, Rigdon, Lyman Wight, and three
others were ordered committed to the Clay County jail at Liberty
on a charge of treason; Parley P. Pratt and four others to the
Ray County jail on a charge of murder; and twenty-three others
were ordered to give bail on a charge of arson, burglary,
robbery, and larceny, and all but eight of these were locked up
in default of bail. The prisoners confined at Liberty secured a
writ of habeas corpus soon after, but only Rigdon was ordered
released, and he thought it best for his safety to go back to the
jail. He afterward, with the connivance of the sheriff and
jailer, made his escape at night, and reached Quincy, Illinois,
in February, 1839.

P. P. Pratt, in his "Late Persecution," says that the prisoners
were kept in chains most of the time, and that Riodon, although
ill, "was compelled to sleep on the floor, with a chain and
padlock round his ankle, and fastened to six others." Hyrum
Smith, in a "Communication to the Saints" printed a year later,
says; "We suffered much from want of proper food, and from the
nauseous cell in which I was confined."

Joseph Smith remained in the Liberty jail until April, 1839. At
one time all the prisoners nearly made their escape, "but
unfortunately for us, the timber of the wall being very hard, our
augur handles gave out, which hindered us longer than we
expected," and the plan was discovered.

The prophet employed a good deal of his time in jail in writing
long epistles to the church. He gave out from there also three
"revelations," the chief direction of which was that the brethren
should gather up all possible information about their
persecutions, and make out a careful statement of their property
losses. His letters reveal the character of the man as it had
already been exhibited --headlong in his purposes, vindictive
toward any enemy. He says in his biography that he paid his
lawyers about $50,000 "in cash, lands, etc." (a pretty good sum
for the refugee from Ohio to amass so soon), but got little
practical assistance from them, "for sometimes they were afraid
to act on account of the mob, and sometimes they were so drunk as
to incapacitate them for business." In one of his letters to the
church he thus speaks of some of his recent allies," This poor
man [W. W. Phelps] who professes to be much of a prophet, has no
other dumb ass to ride but David Whitmer, or to forbid his
madness when he goes up to curse Israel; but this not being of
the same kind as Balaam's, therefore, notwithstanding the angel
appeared unto him, yet he could not sufficiently penetrate his
understanding but that he brays out cursings instead of
blessings." *

* Times and Seasons, Vol. I, p. 82.

On April 6, Smith and his fellow-prisoners were taken to Daviess
County for trial. The judge and jury before whom their cases came
were, according to his account, all drunk. Smith and four others
were promptly indicted for "murder, treason, burglary, arson,
larceny, theft, and stealing." They at once secured a change of
venue to Boone County, 120 miles east, and set out for that place
on April 15, but they never reached there. Smith says they were
enabled to escape because their guard got drunk. In a newspaper
interview printed many years later, General Doniphan is quoted as
saying that he had it on good authority that Smith paid the
sheriff and his guards $1100 to allow the prisoners to escape.
Ebenezer Robinson says that Joseph and Hyrum were allowed to ride
away on two fine horses, and that, a few Weeks later, he saw the
sheriff at Quincy making Joseph a friendly visit, at which time
he received pay for the animals.* The party arrived at Quincy,
Illinois, on April 22, and were warmly welcomed by the brethren
who had preceded them. Among these was Brigham Young, who was
among those who had found it necessary to flee the state before
the final surrender was arranged. The Missouri authorities, as we
shall see, for a long time continued their efforts to secure the
extradition of Smith, but he never returned to Missouri.

As the Mormons had tried to set aside their original agreement
with the Jackson County people, so, while their leaders were in
jail, they endeavored to find means to break their treaty with
General Lucas. Their counsel, General Atchison, was a member of
the legislature, and he warmly espoused their cause. They sent in
a petition,* which John Corrill presented, giving a statement in
detail of the opposition they had encountered in the state, and
asking for the enactment of a law "rescinding the order of the
governor to drive us from the state, and also giving us the
sanction of the legislature to inherit our lands in peace"; as
well as disapproving of the "deed of trust," as they called the
second section of the Lucas treaty. The petition was laid on the
table. An effort for an investigation of the whole trouble by a
legislative committee was made, and an act to that effect was
passed in 1839, but nothing practical came of it. When the Mormon
memorial was called up, its further consideration was postponed
until July, and then the Mormons knew that they had no
alternative except to leave the state.

* For full text, see Millennial Star, Vol. XVI, pp. 586-589.

While the prisoners were in jail, things had not quieted down in
the Mormon counties. The decisive action of the state authorities
had given the local Missourians to understand that the law of the
land was on their side, and when the militia withdrew they took
advantage of their opportunity. Mormon property was not
respected, and what was left to those people in the way of
horses, cattle, hogs, and even household belongings was taken by
the bands of men who rode at pleasure,* and who claimed that they
were only regaining what the Mormons had stolen from them. The
legislature appropriated $2000 for the relief of such sufferers.

* See M. Arthur's letter, "Correspondence, Orders, etc.," p. 94.

Facing the necessity of moving entirely out of the state, the
Mormons, as they had reached the western border line of
civilization, now turned their face eastward to Quincy, Illinois,
where some of their members were already established. Not until
April 20 did the last of them leave Far West. The migration was
attended with much suffering, as could not in such circumstances
be avoided. The people of the counties through which they passed
were, however, not hostile, and Mormon writers have testified
that they received invitations to stop and settle. These were
declined, and they pressed on to the banks of the Mississippi,
where, in February and March, there were at one time more than
130 families, waiting for the moving ice to enable them to cross,
many of them without food, and the best sheltered depending on
tents made of their bedclothing.*

* Green's "Facts Relative to the Expulsion."

What the total of the pecuniary losses of the Mormons in Missouri
was cannot be accurately estimated. They asserted that in Jackson
County alone, $120,000 worth of their property was destroyed, and
that fifteen thousand of their number fled from the state. Smith,
in a statement of his losses made after his arrival in Illinois,
placed them at $1,000,000. In a memorial presented to Congress at
this time the losses in Jackson County were placed at $175,000,
and in the state of Missouri at $2,000,000. The efforts of the
Mormons to secure redress were long continued. Not only was
Congress appealed to, but legislatures of other states were urged
to petition in their behalf. The Senate committee at Washington
reported that the matter was entirely within the jurisdiction of
the state of Missouri. One of the latest appeals was addressed by
Smith at Nauvoo in December, 1843, to his native state, Vermont,
calling on the Green Mountain boys, not only to assist him in
attaining justice in Missouri, "but also to humble and chastise
or abase her for the disgraces she has brought upon
constitutional liberty, until she atones for her sin."

The final act of the Mormon authorities in Missouri was somewhat
dramatic. Smith in his "revelation" of April 8, 1838, directing
the building of a Temple at Far West, had (the Lord speaking)
ordered the beginning to be made on the following Fourth of July,
adding, "in one year from this day let them recommence laying the
foundation of my house." The anniversary found the latest
Missouri Zion deserted, and its occupants fugitives; but the
command of the Lord must be obeyed. Accordingly, the twelve
Apostles journeyed secretly to Far West, arriving there about
midnight of April 26, 1839. A conference was at once held, and,
after transacting some miscellaneous business, including the
expulsion of certain seceding members, all adjourned to the
selected site of the Temple, where, after the singing of a hymn,
the foundation was relaid by rolling a large stone to one
corner.* The Apostles then returned to Illinois as quietly as
possible. The leader of this expedition was Brigham Young, who
had succeeded T. B. Marsh as President of the Twelve.

* The modern post-office name of Far West is Kerr. All the Mormon
houses there have disappeared. Traces of the foundation of the
Temple, which in places was built to a height of three or four
feet, are still discernible.

Thus ended the early history of the Mormon church in Missouri.

BOOK IV. In Illinois

CHAPTER I. The Reception Of The Mormons

The state of Illinois, when the Mormons crossed the Missouri
River to settle in it, might still be considered a pioneer
country. Iowa, to the west of it, was a territory, and only
recently organized as such. The population of the whole state was
only 467,183 in 1840, as compared with 4,821,550 in 1900. Young
as it was, however, the state had had some severe financial
experiences, which might have served as warnings to the
new-comers. A debt of more than $14,000,000 had been contracted
for state improvements, and not a railroad or a canal had been
completed. "The people," says Ford, "looked one way and another
with surprise, and were astonished at their own folly." The
payment of interest on the state debt ceased after July, 1841,
and "in a short time Illinois became a stench in the nostrils of
the civilized world . . . . The impossibility of selling kept us
from losing population; the fear of disgrace or high taxes
prevented us from gaining materially."* The State Bank and the
Shawneetown Bank failed in 1842, and when Ford became governor in
that year he estimated that the good money in the state in the
hands of the people did not exceed one year's interest on the
public debt.

* Ford's "History of Illinois," Chap. VII.

The lawless conditions in many parts of the state in those days
can scarcely be realized now. It was in 1847 that the Rev. Owen
Lovejoy {handwritten comment in the book says "Elijah P.
Lovejoy." PG Editor} was killed at Alton in maintaining his right
to print there an abolition newspaper. All over the state,
settlers who had occupied lands as "squatters" defended their
claims by force, and serious mobs often resulted. Large areas of
military lands were owned by non-residents, who were in very bad
favor with the actual settlers. These settlers made free use of
the timber on such lands, and the non-residents, failing to
secure justice at law, finally hired preachers, who were paid by
the sermon to preach against the sin of "hooking" timber.*

* Ford's "History of Illinois," Chap. VI.

Bands of desperadoes in the northern counties openly defied the
officers of the law, and, in one instance, burned down the
courthouse (in Ogle County in 1841) in order to release some of
their fellows who were awaiting trial. One of these gangs ten
years earlier had actually built, in Pope County, a fort in which
they defied the authorities, and against which a piece of
artillery had to be brought before it could be taken. Even while
the conflict between the Mormons was going on, in 1846, there was
vitality enough in this old organization, in Pope and Massac
counties, to call for the interposition of a band of
"regulators," who made many arrests, not hesitating to employ
torture to secure from one prisoner information about his
associates. Governor Ford sent General J. T. Davies there, to try
to effect a peaceable arrangement of the difficulties, but he
failed to do so, and the "regulators," who found the county
officers opposed to them, drove out of the county the sheriff,
the county clerk, and the representative elect to the
legislature. When the judge of the Massac Circuit Court charged
the grand jury strongly against the "regulators," they, with
sympathizers from Kentucky, threatened to lynch him, and actually
marched in such force to the county seat that the sheriff's posse
surrendered, and the mob let their friends out of jail, and
drowned some members of the posse in the Ohio River.

The reception and treatment of the Mormons in Illinois, and the
success of the new-comers in carrying out their business and
political schemes, must be viewed in connection with these
incidents in the early history of the state.

The greeting of the Mormons in Illinois, in its practical shape,
had both a political and a business reason.* Party feeling ran
very high throughout the country in those days. The House of
Representatives at Washington, after very great excitement,
organized early in December, 1839, by choosing a Whig Speaker,
and at the same time the Whig National Convention, at Harrisburg,
Pennsylvania, nominated General W. H. Harrison for President.
Thus the expulsion from Missouri occurred on the eve of one of
our most exciting presidential campaigns, and the Illinois
politicians were quick to appraise the value of the voting
strength of the immigrants. As a residence of six months in the
state gave a man the right to vote, the Mormon vote would count
in the presidential election.

* "The first great error committed by the people of Hancock
County was in accepting too readily the Mormon story of
persecution. It was continually rung in their ears, and believed
as often as asserted."--Gregg, "History of Hancock County," p.

Accordingly, we find that in February, 1839, the Democratic
Association of Quincy, at a public meeting in the court-house,
received a report from a committee previously appointed, strongly
in favor of the refugees, and adopted resolutions condemning the
treatment of the Mormons by the people and officers of Missouri.
The Quincy Argus declared that, because of this treatment,
Missouri was "now so fallen that we could wish her star stricken
out from the bright constellation of the Union." In April, 1839,
Rigdon wrote to the "Saints in prison" that Governor Carlin of
Illinois and his wife "enter with all the enthusiasm of their
nature" into his plan to have the governor of each state present
to Congress the unconstitutional course of Missouri toward the
Mormons, with a view to federal relief. Governor Lucas of Iowa
Territory, in the same year (Iowa had only been organized as a
territory the year before, and was not admitted as a state until
1845), replying to a query about the reception the Mormons would
receive in his domain, said: "Their religious opinions I consider
have nothing to do with our political transactions. They are
citizens of the United States, and are entitled to the same
political rights and legal protection that other citizens are
entitled to." He gave Rigdon at the same time cordial letters of
introduction to President Van Buren and Governor Shannon of Ohio,
and Rigdon received a similar letter to the President,
recommending him "as a man of piety and a valuable citizen,"
signed by Governor Carlin, United States Senator Young, County
Clerk Wren, and leading business men of Quincy. Thus began that
recognition of the Mormons as a political power in Illinois which
led to concessions to them that had so much to do with finally
driving them into the wilderness.

The business reason for the welcome of the Mormons in Illinois
and Iowa was the natural ambition to secure an increase of
population. In all of Hancock County there were in 1830 only 483
inhabitants as compared with 32,215 in 1900. Along with this
public view of the matter was a private one. A Dr. Isaac Galland
owned (or claimed title to) a large tract of land on both sides
of the border line between Illinois and Iowa, that in Iowa being
included in what was known as "the half-breed tract," an area of
some 119,000 acres which, by a treaty between the United States
government and the Sacs and Foxes, was reserved to descendants of
Indian women of those tribes by white fathers, and the title to
much of which was in dispute. As soon as the Mormons began to
cross into Illinois, Galland approached them with an offer of
about 20,000 acres between the Mississippi and Des Moines rivers
at $2 per acre, to be paid in twenty annual instalments, without
interest. A meeting of the refugees was held in Quincy in
February, 1839, to consider this offer, but the vote was against
it. The failure of the efforts in Ohio and Missouri to establish
the Mormons as a distinct community had made many of Smith's
followers sceptical about the success of any new scheme with this
end in view, and at this conference several members, including so
influential a man as Bishop Partridge, openly expressed their
doubt about the wisdom of another gathering of the Saints.
Galland, however, pursued the subject in a letter to D. W.
Rodgers, inviting Rigdon and others to inspect the tract with
him, and assuring the Mormons of his sympathy in their
sufferings, and "deep solicitude for your future triumphant
conquest over every enemy." Rigdon, Partridge, and others
accepted Galland's invitation, but reported against purchasing
his land, and the refugees began scattering over the country
around Quincy.

CHAPTER II. The Settlement Of Nauvoo

Smith's leadership was now to have another illustration. Others
might be discouraged by past persecutions and business failures,
and be ready to abandon the great scheme which the prophet had so
often laid before them in the language of "revelation"; but it
was no part of Smith's character to abandon that scheme, and
remain simply an object of lessened respect, with a scattered
congregation. He had been kept advised of Galland's proposal,
and, two days after his arrival in Quincy, we find him, on April
24, presiding at a church council which voted to instruct him
with two associates to visit Iowa and select there a location for
a church settlement, and which advised all the brethren who could
do so to move to the town of Commerce, Illinois. Thus were the
doubters defeated, and the proposal to scatter the flock brought
to a sudden end. Smith and his two associates set out at once to
make their inspection.

The town of Commerce had been laid out (on paper) in 1834 by two
Eastern owners of the property, A. White and J. B. Teas, and
adjoining its northern border H. R. Hotchkiss of New Haven,
Connecticut, had mapped out Commerce City. Neither enterprise had
proved a success, and when the Mormon agents arrived there the
place had scarcely attained the dignity of a settlement, the only
buildings being one storehouse, two frame dwellings and two
blockhouses. The Mormon agents, on May 1, bought two farms there,
one for $5000 and one for $9000 (known afterward as the White
purchase), and on August 9 they bought of Hotchkiss five hundred
acres for the sum of $53,500. Bishop Knight, for the church, soon
afterward purchased part of the town of Keokuk, Iowa, a town
called Nashville six miles above, a part of the town of Montrose,
four miles above Nashville, and thirty thousand acres in the
"half-breed tract," which included Galland's original offer, and
ten thousand acres additional.

Thus was Smith prepared to make another attempt to establish his
followers in a permanent abiding-place. But how, it may be asked,
could the prophet reconcile this abandonment of the Missouri Zion
and this new site for a church settlement with previous
revelations? By further "revelation," of course. Such a
mouthpiece of God can always enlighten his followers provided he
can find speech, and Smith was not slow of utterance. While in
jail in Liberty he had advised a committee which was sent to him
from Illinois to sell all the lands in Missouri, and in a letter
to the Saints, written while a prisoner, he spoke favorably of
Galland's offer, saying, "The Saints ought to lay hold of every
door that shall seem to be opened unto them to obtain foothold on
the earth." In order to make perfectly clear the new purpose of
the Lord in regard to Zion he gave out a long" revelation" (Sec.
124), which is dated Nauvoo, January 19, 1841, and which contains
the following declarations:--

"Verily, verily I say unto you, that when I give a commandment to
any of the sons of men to do a work under my name, and those sons
of men go with all their might and with all they have, to perform
that work and cease not their diligence, and their enemies come
upon them and hinder them from performing that work, behold, it
behooveth me to require that work no more at the hands of those
sons of men, but to accept their offerings.

"And the iniquity and transgression of my holy laws and
commandments I will visit upon the heads of those who hindered my
work, unto the third and fourth generation, so long as they
repent not and hate me, saith the Lord God.

"Therefore for this cause have I accepted the offerings of those
whom I commanded to build up a city and house unto my name in
Jackson County, Missouri, and were hindered by their enemies,
saith the Lord your God."

This announcement seems to have been accepted without question by
the faithful, as reconciling the failure in Missouri with the new
establishment farther east.

The financiering of the new land purchases did credit to Smith's
genius in that line. For some of the smaller tracts a part
payment in cash was made. Hotchkiss accepted for his land two
notes signed by Smith and his brother Hyrum and Rigdon, one
payable in ten, and the other in twenty years. Galland took
notes, and, some time later, as explained in a letter to the
Saints abroad, the Mormon lands in Missouri, "in payment for the
whole amount, and in addition to the first purchase we have
exchanged lands with him in Missouri to the amount of $80,000."*
Galland's title to the Iowa tract was vigorously assailed by Iowa
newspapers some years later. What cash he eventually realized
from the transaction does not appear.** Smith had influence
enough over him to secure his conversion to the Mormon belief,
and he will be found associated with the leaders in Nauvoo

* Times and Seasons, Vol. II, p. 275.

** "Galland died a pauper in Iowa."--"Mormon Portraits," p. 253.

The Hotchkiss notes gave Smith a great deal of trouble.
Notwithstanding the influx of immigrants to Nauvoo and the growth
of the place, which ought to have brought in large profits from
the sale of lots, the accrued interest due to Hotchkiss in two
years amounted to about $6000. Hotchkiss earnestly urged its
payment, and Smith was in dire straits to meet his demands. In a
correspondence between them, in 1841, Smith told Hotchkiss that
he had agreed to forego interest for five years, and not to
"force payment" even then. Smith assured Hotchkiss that the part
of the city bought from him was "a deathly sickly hole" on which
they had been able to realize nothing, "although," he added, with
unblushing affrontery for the head of a church, "we have been
keeping up appearances and holding out inducements to encourage
immigration that we scarcely think justifiable in consequence of
the mortality that almost invariably awaits those who come from
far distant parts."* In pursuance of this same policy (in a
letter dated October 12, I84I), the Eastern brethren were urged
to transfer their lands there to Hotchkiss in payment of the
notes, and to accept lots in Nauvoo from the church in exchange.

* Millennial Star, Vol. XVIII, p. 631.

The name of the town was changed to Nauvoo in April, 1840, with
the announcement that this name was of Hebrew origin, signifying
"a beautiful place."*

* In answer to a query about this alleged derivation of the name
of the city, a competent Hebrew scholar writes to me: "The
nearest approach to Nauvoo in Hebrew is an adjective which would
be transliterated Naveh, meaning pleasant, a rather rare word.
The letter correctly represented by v could not possibly do the
double duty of uv, nor could a of the Hebrew ever be au in
English, nor eh of the Hebrew be oo in English. Students of
theology at Middletown, Connecticut, used to have a saying that
that name was derived from Moses by dropping 'iddletown' and
adding 'mass.' "

CHAPTER III. The Building Up Of The City--Foreign Proselyting

The geographical situation of Nauvoo had something in its favor.
Lying on the east bank of the Mississippi, which is there two
miles wide, it had a water frontage on three sides, because of a
bend in the stream, and the land was somewhat rising back from
the river. But its water front was the only thing in its favor.
"The place was literally a wilderness," says Smith. "The land was
mostly covered with trees and bushes, and much of it so wet that
it was with the utmost difficulty a foot man could get through,
and totally impossible for teams. Commerce was so unhealthy very
few could live there, but, believing it might become a healthy
place by the blessing of heaven to the Saints, and no more
eligible place presenting itself, I considered it wisdom to make
an attempt to build up a city."

Contemporary accounts say that most of the refugees from Missouri
suffered from chills and fevers during their first year in the
new settlement. Smith, in his autobiography, laments the
mortality among the settlers. The Rev. Henry Caswall, in his
description of three days at Nauvoo in 1842, says:--

"I was informed again and again in Montrose, Iowa, that nearly
half of the English who emigrated to Nauvoo in 1841 died soon
after their arrival. . . In his sermon at Montrose in May 9,
1841, the following words of most Christian consolation were
delivered by the Prophet to the poor deluded English: 'Many of
the English who have lately come here have expressed great
disappointment on their arrival. Such persons have every reason
to be satisfied in this beautiful and fertile country. If they
choose to complain, they may; but I don't want to be troubled
with their complaints. If they are not satisfied here, I have
only this to say to them, "Don't stay whining about me, but go
back to England, and go to h--l and be d--d."'"*

*"City of the Mormons," p. 55.

Brigham Young, in after years, thus spoke of Smith's exhibition
of miraculous healing during the year after their arrival in
Illinois: "Joseph commenced in his own house and dooryard,
commanding the sick, in the name of Jesus Christ, to arise and be
made whole, and they were healed according to his word. He then
continued to travel from house to house, healing the sick as he
went."* Any attempt to reconcile this statement by Young with the
previously cited testimony about the mortality of the place would
be futile.

* "Life of Brigham Young" (Cannon & Son, publishers), p. 32.

The growth of the town, however, was more rapid than that of any
of the former Mormon settlements. The United States census shows
that the population of Hancock County, Illinois, increased from
483 in 1830 to 9946 in 1840. Statements regarding the population
of Nauvoo during the Mormon occupancy are conflicting and often
exaggerated. In a letter to the elders in England, printed in the
Times and Seasons of January, 1841, Smith said, "There are at
present about 3000 inhabitants in Nauvoo." The same periodical,
in an article on the city, on December 15, 1841, said that it was
"a densely populated city of near 10,000 inhabitants." A visitor,
describing the place in a letter in the Columbus (Ohio) Advocate
of March, 1842, said that it contained about 7000 persons, and
that the buildings were small and much scattered, log cabins
predominating. The Times and Seasons of October, 1842, said, "It
will be no more than probably correct if we allow the city to
contain between 7000 and 8000 houses, with a population of 14,000
or 15,000," with two steam mills and other manufacturing concerns
in operation. W. W. Phelps estimated the population in 1844 at
14,000, almost all professed Mormons. The Times and Seasons in
1845 said that a census just taken showed a population of 11,057
in the city and one third more outside the city limits.

As soon as the Mormons arrived, Nauvoo was laid out in blocks
measuring about 180 by 200 feet, with a river frontage of more
than three miles. An English visitor to the place in 1843 wrote
"The city is of great dimensions, laid out in beautiful order;
the streets are wide and cross each other at right angles, which
will add greatly to its order and magnificence when finished. The
city rises on a quick incline from the rolling Mississippi, and
as you stand near the Temple you may gaze on the picturesque
scenery round. At your side is the Temple, the wonder of the
world; round about and beneath you may behold handsome stores,
large mansions, and fine cottages, interspersed with varied

* Mackay's "The Mormons," p. 128.

Whatever the exact population of the place may have been, its
rapid growth is indisputable. The cause of this must be sought,
not in natural business reasons, such as have given a permanent
increase of population to so many of our Western cities, but
chiefly in active and aggressive proselyting work both in this
country and in Europe. This work was assisted by the sympathy
which the treatment of the Mormons had very generally secured for
them. Copies of Mormon Bibles were rare outside of the hands of
the brethren, and the text of Smith's "revelations" bearing on
his property designs in Missouri was known to comparatively few
even in the church. While the Nauvoo edition of the "Doctrine and
Covenants" was in course of publication, the Times and Seasons,
on January 1, 1842, said that it would be published in the
spring, "but, many of our readers being deprived of the privilege
of perusing its valuable pages, we insert the first section."
Mormon emissaries took advantage of this situation to tell their
story in their own way at all points of the compass. Meetings
were held in the large cities of the Eastern states to express
sympathy with these victims of the opponents of "freedom of
religious opinion," and to raise money for their relief, and the
voice of the press, from the Mississippi to the Atlantic, was,
without a discovered exception, on the side of the refugees.

This paved the way for a vast extension of that mission work
which began with the trip of Cowdery and his associates in 1830,
was expanded throughout this country while the Saints were at
Kirtland, and was extended to foreign lands in 1837. The
missionaries sent out in the early days of the church represented
various degrees of experience and qualification. There were among
them men like Orson Hyde and Willard Richards, who, although they
gave up secular callings on entering the church, were close
students of the Scriptures and debaters who could hold their own,
when it came to an interpretation of the Scriptures, before any
average audience. Many were sent out without any especial
equipment for their task. John D. Lee, describing his first trip,

"I started forth an illiterate, inexperienced person, without
purse or scrip. I could hardly quote a passage of Scripture. Yet
I went forth to say to the world that I was a minister of the
Gospel." He was among the successful proselyters, and rose to
influence in the church.* Of the requirement that the
missionaries should be beggars, Lorenzo Snow, who was sent out on
a mission from Kirtland in 1837, says, "It was a severe trial to
my natural feelings of independence to go without purse or scrip
especially the purse; for, from the time I was old enough to
work, the feeling that 'I paid my way' always seemed a necessary
adjunct to self respect."

* For an account of his travels and successes, see "Mormonism

Parley P. Pratt, in a letter to Smith from New York in November,
1839, describing the success of the work in the United States,
says, "You would now find churches of the Saints in Philadelphia,
in Albany, in Brooklyn, in New York, in Sing Sing, in Jersey, in
Pennsylvania, on Long Island, and in various other places all
around us," and he speaks of the "spread of the work" in Michigan
and Maine.

The importance of England as a field from which to draw emigrants
to the new settlement was early recognized at Nauvoo, and in 1840
such lights of the church as Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, P.
P. Pratt, Orson Pratt, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, and George
A. Smith, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, were sent to
cultivate that field. There they ordained Willard Richards an
Apostle, preached and labored for over a year, established a
printing-office which turned out a vast amount of Mormon
literature, including their Bible and "Doctrine and Covenants,"
and began the publication of the Millennial Star.

In 1840 Orson Hyde was sent on a mission to the Jews in London,
Amsterdam, Constantinople, and Jerusalem, and the same year
missionaries were sent to Australia, Wales, Ireland, the Isle of
Man, and the East Indies. In 1844 a missionary was sent to the
Sandwich Islands; in 1849 others were sent to France, Denmark,
Sweden, Norway and Iceland, Italy, and Switzerland; in 1850 ten
more elders were sent to the Sandwich Islands; in 1851 four
converts were baptized in Hindostan; in 1852 a branch of the
church was organized at Malta; in 1853 three elders reached the
Cape of Good Hope; and in 1861 two began work in Holland, but
with poor success. We shall see that this proselyting labor has
continued with undiminished industry to the present day, in all
parts of the United States as well as in foreign lands.

England provided an especially promising field for Mormon
missionary work. The great manufacturing towns contained hundreds
of people, densely ignorant,* superstitious, and so poor that the
ownership of a piece of land in their own country was practically
beyond the limit of their ambition. These people were naturally
susceptible to the Mormon teachings, easily imposed upon by
stories of alleged miracles, and ready to migrate to any part of
the earth where a building lot or a farm was promised them. The
letters from the first missionaries in England gave glowing
reports of the results of their labors. Thus Wilford Woodruff,
writing from Manchester in 1840, said, "The work has been so
rapid it was impossible to ascertain the exact number belonging
to each branch, but the whole number is 33 churches, 534 members,
75 officers, all of which had embraced the work in less than four
months." Lorenzo Snow, in a letter from London in April, 1841,
said: "Throughout all England, in almost every town and city of
any considerable importance, we have chapels or public halls in
which we meet for public worship. All over this vast kingdom the
laws of Zion are rolling onward with the most astonishing

* "It has been calculated that there are in England and Wales six
million persons who can neither read nor write, that is to say,
about one-third of the population, including, of course, infants;
but of all the children more than one-half attend no place of
public instruction."--Dickens, "Household Words."

The visiting missionaries began their work in England at Preston,
Lancashire, in 1836 or 1837, and soon secured there some five
hundred converts. Then they worked on each side of the Ribble,
making converts in all the villages, and gaining over a few farm
owners and mechanics of some means. Their method was first to
drop hints to the villagers that the Holy Bible is defective in
translation and incomplete, and that the Mormon Bible corrects
all these defects. Not able to hold his own in any theological
discussion, the rustic was invited to a meeting. At that meeting
the missionary would announce that he would speak simply as the
Lord directed him, and he would then present the Mormon view of
their Bible and prophet. As soon as converts were won over, they
were immersed, at night, and given the sacrament. Then they were
initiated into the secret "church meeting," to which only the
faithful were admitted, and where the flock were told of visions
and "gifts," and exhorted to stand firm (along with their earthly
goods) for the church, and warned against apostasy.

One way in which the prophetic gift of the missionaries was
proved in the early days in England was as follows: "Whenever a
candidate was immersed, some of the brethren was given a letter
signed by Hyde and Kimball, setting forth that 'brother will not
abide in the spirit of the Lord, but will reject the truth, and
become the enemy of the people of God, etc., etc.' If the brother
did not apostatize, this letter remained unopened; if he did, it
was read as a striking verification of prophecy."*

* Caswall's "City of the Mormons," appendix.

Miracles exerted a most potent influence among the people in
England with whom the early missionaries labored, and the
Millennial Star contains a long list of reported successes in
this line. There are accounts of very clumsy tricks that were
attempted to carry out the deception. Thus, at Newport, Wales,
three Mormon elders announced that they would raise a dead man to
life. The "corpse" was laid out and surrounded by weeping
friends, and the elders were about to begin their incantations,
when a doubting Thomas in the audience attacked the "corpse" with
a whip, and soon had him fleeing for dear life.*

* Tract by Rev. F. B. Ashley, p. 22.

Thomas Webster, who was baptized in England in 1837 by Orson Hyde
and became an elder, saw the falsity of the Mormon professions
through the failure of their miracles and other pretensions, and,
after renouncing their faith, published a pamphlet exposing their
methods. He relates many of the declarations made by the first
missionaries in Preston to their ignorant hearers. Hyde declared
that the apostles Peter, James, and John were still alive. He and
Kimball asserted that neither of them would "taste death" before
Christ's second coming. At one meeting Kimball predicted that in
ten or fifteen years the sea would be dried up between Liverpool
and America. "One of the most glaring things they ever brought
before the public," says Webster, "was stated in a letter written
by Orson Hyde to the brethren in Preston, saying they were on the
way to the promised land in Missouri by hundreds, and the wagons
reached a mile in length. They fell in with some of their
brethren in Canada, who told him the Lord had been raining down
manna in rich profusion, which covered from seven to ten acres of
land. It was like wafers dipped in honey, and both Saints and
sinners partook of it. I was present in the pulpit when this
letter was read."

However ridiculous such methods may appear, their success in
Great Britain was great.* In three years after the arrival of the
first missionaries, the General Conference reported a membership
of 4019 in England alone; in 1850 the General Conference reported
that the Mormons in England and Scotland numbered 27,863, and in
Wales 4342. The report for June, 1851, showed a total of 30,747
in the United Kingdom, and said, "During the last fourteen years
more than 50,000 have been baptized in England, of which nearly
17,000 have migrated from her shores to Zion." In the years
between 1840 and 1843 it was estimated that 3758 foreign converts
settled in and around Nauvoo.**

* "There is no page of religious history which more proudly tells
its story than that which relates this peculiar phase of Mormon
experience. The excitement was contagious, even affecting persons
in the higher ranks of social life, and the result was a grand
outpouring of spiritual and miraculous healing power of the most
astonishing description. Miracles were heard of everywhere, and
numerous competent and most reliable witnesses bore testimony to
their genuineness." --"Rocky Mountain Saints," p. 10.

** Two of the most intelligent English converts, who did
proselyting work for the church and in later years saw their
error, have given testimony concerning this work in Great
Britain. John Hyde, Jr., summing up in 1857 the proselyting
system, said: "Enthusiasm is the secret of the great success of
Mormon proselyting; it is the universal characteristic of the
people when proselyted; it is the hidden and strong cord that
leads them to Utah, and the iron clamp that keeps them
there."--"Mormonism," p. 171.

Stenhouse says: "Mormonism in England, Scotland and Wales was a
grand triumph, and was fast ripening for a vigorous campaign in
Continental Europe" (when polygamy was pronounced).
The emigration of Mormon converts from Great Britain to the
United States, in its earlier stages, was thoroughly systemized
by the church authorities in this country. The first record of
the movement of any considerable body tells of a company of about
two hundred who sailed for New York from Liverpool in August,
1840, on the ship North American, in charge of two elders. A
second vessel with emigrants, the Shefeld, sailed from Bristol to
New York in February, 1841. The expense of the trip from New York
to Nauvoo proved in excess of the means of many of these
immigrants, some of whom were obliged to stop at Kirtland and
other places in Ohio. This led to a change of route, by which
vessels sailed from British ports direct to New Orleans, the
immigrants ascending the Mississippi to Nauvoo.

The extent of this movement to the time of the departure of the
Saints from Nauvoo is thus given by James Linforth, who says the
figures are "as complete and correct as it is possible now to
make them*":--

* "Route from Liverpool to Great Salt Lake Valley," 1855.

Year *** No. of Vessels *** No. of Emigrants
1840 1 200
1841 6 1177
1842 8 1614
1843 5 769
1844 5 644
1845-46 3 346
Total 3750

The Mormon agents in England would charter a vessel at an English
port* when a sufficient company had assembled and announce their
intention to embark. The emigrants would be notified of the date
of sailing, and an agent would accompany them all the way to
Nauvoo. Men with money were especially desired, as were mechanics
of all kinds, since the one sound business view that seems to
have been taken by the leaders at Nauvoo was that it would be
necessary to establish manufactures there if the people were to
be able to earn a living. In some instances the passage money was
advanced to the converts.

* For Dickens's description of one of these vessels ready to
sail, see "The Uncommercial Traveller," Chap. XXII

CHAPTER IV. The Nauvoo City Government--Temple And Other

A tide of immigration having been turned toward the new
settlement, the next thing in order was to procure for the city a
legal organization. Several circumstances combined to place in
the hands of the Mormon leaders a scheme of municipal government,
along with an extensive plan for buildings, which gave them vast
power without incurring the kind of financial rocks on which they
were wrecked in Ohio.

Dr. Galland* should probably be considered the inventor of the
general scheme adopted at Nauvoo. He was at that time a resident
of Cincinnati, but his intercourse with the Mormons had
interested him in their beliefs, and some time in 1840 he
addressed a letter to Elder R. B. Thompson, which gave the church
leaders some important advice.** First warning them that to
promulgate new doctrinal tenets will require not only tact and
energy, but moral conduct and industry among their people, he
confessed that he had not been able to discover why their
religious views were not based on truth. "The project of
establishing extraordinary religious doctrines being magnificent
in its character," he went on to say, would require "preparations
commensurate with the plan." Nauvoo being a suitable
rallying-place, they would "want a temple that for size,
proportions and style shall attract, surprise and dazzle all
beholders"; something "unique externally, and in the interior
peculiar, imposing and grand." The "clergymen" must be of the
best as regards mental and vocal equipment, and there should be a
choir such as "was never before organized." A college, too, would
be of great value if funds for it could be collected.

* "In the year 1834 one Dr. Galland was a candidate for the
legislature in a district composed of Hancock, Adams, and Pike
Counties. He resided in the county of Hancock, and, as he had in
the early part of his life been a notorious horse thief and
counterfeiter, belonging to the Massac gang, and was then no
pretender to integrity, it was useless to deny the charge. In all
his speeches he freely admitted the fact."--FORD's" "History of
Illinois," p. 406.

** Times and Seasons, Vol. II, pp. 277-278. The letter is signed
with eight asterisks Galland's usual signature to such

These suggestions were accepted by Smith, with some important
additional details, and they found place in the longest of the
"revelations" given out by him in Illinois (Sec. I 24), the one,
previously quoted from, in which the Lord excused the failure to
set up a Zion in Missouri. There seemed to be some hesitation
about giving out this "revelation." It is dated after the meeting
of the General Conference at Nauvoo which ordered the building of
a church there, and it was not published in the Times and Seasons
until the following June, and then not entire. The "revelation"
shows how little effect adversity had had in modifying the
prophet's egotism, his arrogance, or his aggressiveness.

Starting out with, "Verily, thus with the Lord unto you, my
servant Joseph Smith, I am well pleased with your offerings and
acknowledgments," it calls on him to make proclamation to the
kings of the world, the President of the United States, and the
governors of the states concerning the Lord's will, "fearing them
not, for they are as grass," and warning them of "a day of
visitation if they reject my servants and my testimony." Various
direct commands to leading members of the church follow. Galland
here found himself in Smith's clutches, being directed to "put
stock" into the boardinghouse to be built.

The principal commands in this "revelation" directed the building
of another "holy house," or Temple, and a boardinghouse. With
regard to the Temple it was explained that the Lord would show
Smith everything about it, including its site. All the Saints
from afar were ordered to come to Nauvoo, "with all your gold,
and your silver, and your precious stones, and with all your
antiquities, . . . and bring the box tree, and the fir tree, and
the pine tree, together with all the precious trees of the earth,
and with iron, with copper, and with brass, and with zinc, and
with all your most precious things of the earth."

The boarding-house ordered built was to be called Nauvoo House,
and was to be "a house that strangers may come from afar to lodge
therein. . . a resting place for the weary traveler, that he may
contemplate the glory of Zion." It was explained that a company
must be formed, the members of which should pay not less than $50
a share for the stock, no subscriber to be allotted more than
$1500 worth.

This "revelation" further announced once more that Joseph was to
be "a presiding elder over all my church, to be a translator, a
revelator, a seer and a prophet," with Sidney Rigdon and William
Law his counsellors, to constitute with him the First Presidency,
and Brigham Young to be president over the twelve travelling

Legislation was, of course, necessary to carry out the large
schemes that the Mormon leaders had in mind; but this was secured
at the state capital with a liberality that now seems amazing.
This was due to the desire of the politicians of all parties to
conciliate the Mormon vote, and to the good fortune of the
Mormons in finding at the capital a very practical lobbyist to
engineer their cause. This was a Dr. John C. Bennett, a man who
seems to have been without any moral character, but who had
filled positions of importance. Born in Massachusetts in 1804, he
practised as a physician in Ohio, and later in Illinois, holding
a professorship in Willoughby University, Ohio, and taking with
him to Illinois testimonials as to his professional skill. In the
latter state he showed a taste for military affairs, and after
being elected brigadier general of the Invincible Dragoons, he
was appointed quartermaster general of the state in 1840, and
held that position at the state capital when the Mormons applied
to the legislature for a charter for Nauvoo.

With his assistance there was secured from the legislature an act
incorporating the city of Nauvoo, the Nauvoo Legion, and the
University of the City of Nauvoo. The powers granted to the city
government thus established were extraordinary. A City Council
was authorized, consisting of the mayor, four aldermen, and nine
councillors, which was empowered to pass any ordinances, not in
conflict with the federal and state constitutions, which it
deemed necessary for the peace and order of the city. The mayor
and aldermen were given all the power of justices of the peace,
and they were to constitute the Municipal Court. The charter gave
the mayor sole jurisdiction in all cases arising under the city
ordinances, with a right of appeal to the Municipal Court.
Further than this, the charter granted to the Municipal Court the
right to issue writs of habeas corpus in all cases arising under
the city ordinances. Thirty-six sections were required to define
the legislative powers of the City Council.

A more remarkable scheme of independent local government could
not have been devised even by the leaders of this Mormon church,
and the shortsightedness of the law makers in consenting to it
seems nothing short of marvellous. Under it the mayor, who helped
to make the local laws (as a member of the City Council), was
intrusted with their enforcement, and he could, as the head of
the Municipal Court, give them legal interpretation. Governor
Ford afterward defined the system as "a government within a
government; a legislature to pass ordinances at war with the laws
of the state; courts to execute them with but little dependence
upon the constitutional judiciary, and a military force at their
own command." *

* A bill repealing this charter was passed by the Illinois House
on February 3, 1843, by a vote of fifty-eight to thirty-three,
but failed in the Senate by a vote of sixteen ayes to seventeen

This military force, called the Nauvoo Legion, the City Council
was authorized to organize from the inhabitants of the city who
were subject to military duty. It was to be at the disposal of
the mayor in executing city laws and ordinances, and of the
governor of the state for the public defence. When organized, it
embraced three classes of troops--flying artillery, lancers, and
riflemen. Its independence of state control was provided for by a
provision of law which allowed it to be governed by a court
martial of its own officers. The view of its independence taken
by,the Mormons may be seen in the following general order signed
by Smith and Bennett in May, 1841, founded on an opinion by judge
Stephen A. Douglas:-- "The officers and privates belonging to the
Legion are exempt from all military duty not required by the
legally constituted authorities thereof; they are therefore
expressly inhibited from performing any military service not
ordered by the general officers, or directed by the court

* Times and Seasons, Vol. II, p. 417. Governor Ford commissioned
Brigham Young to succeed Smith as lieutenant general of the
Legion from August 31, 1844. To show the Mormon idea of
authority, the following is quoted from Tullidge's "Life of
Brigham Young," p. 30: "It is a singular fact that, after
Washington, Joseph Smith was the first man in America who held
the rank of lieutenant general, and that Brigham Young was the
next. In reply to a comment by the author upon this fact Brigham
Young said: 'I was never much of a military man. The commission
has since been abrogated by the state of Illinois; but if Joseph
had lived when the (Mexican] war broke out he would have become
commander-in chief of the United States Armies.'"

In other words, this city military company was entirely
independent of even the governor of the state. Little wonder that
the Presidency, writing about the new law to the Saints abroad,
said, "'Tis all we ever claimed." In view of the experience of
the Missourians with the Mormons as directed by Smith and Rigdon,
it would be rash to say that they would have been tolerated as
neighbors in Illinois under any circumstances, after their actual
acquaintance had been made; but if the state of Illinois had
deliberately intended to incite the Mormons to a reckless
assertion of independence, nothing could have been planned that
would have accomplished this more effectively than the passage of
the charter of Nauvoo.

What next followed remains an unexplained incident in Joseph
Smith's career. Instead of taking the mayoralty himself, he
allowed that office to be bestowed upon Bennett, Smith and Rigdon
accepting places among the councillors, Bennett having taken up
his residence in Nauvoo in September, 1840. His election as mayor
took place in February, 1841. Bennet was also chosen major
general of the Legion when that force was organized, was selected
as the first chancellor of the new university, and was elected to
the First Presidency of the church in the following April, to
take the place of Sidney Rigdon during the incapacity of the
latter from illness. Judge Stephen A. Douglas also appointed him
a master in chancery.

Bennett was introduced to the Mormon church at large in a letter
signed by Smith, Rigdon, and brother Hyrum, dated January 15,
1841, as the first of the new acquisitions of influence. They
stated that his sympathies with the Saints were aroused while
they were still in Missouri, and that he then addressed them a
letter offering them his assistance, and the church was assured
that "he is a man of enterprise, extensive acquirements, and of
independent mind, and is calculated to be a great blessing to our
community." When his appointment as a master in chancery was
criticised by some Illinois newspapers, the Mormons defended him
earnestly, Sidney Rigdon (then attorney-at-law and postmaster at
Nauvoo), in a letter dated April 23, 1842, said, "He is a
physician of great celebrity, of great versatility of talent, of
refined education and accomplished manners; discharges the duties
of his respective offices with honor to himself and credit to the
people." All this becomes of interest in the light of the abuse
which the Mormons soon after poured out upon this man when he
"betrayed" them.

Bennett's inaugural address as mayor was radical in tone. He
advised the Council to prohibit all dram shops, allowing no
liquor to be sold in a quantity less than a quart. This
suggestion was carried out in a city ordinance. He condemned the
existing system of education, which gave children merely a
smattering of everything, and made "every boarding school miss a
Plato in petticoats, without an ounce of genuine knowledge,"
pleading for education "of a purely practical character." The
Legion he considered a matter of immediate necessity, and he
added, "The winged warrior of the air perches upon the pole of
American liberty, and the beast that has the temerity to ruffle
her feathers should be made to feel the power of her talons."

Smith was commissioned lieutenant general of this Legion by
Governor Carlin on February 3, 1841, and he and Bennett blossomed
out at once as gorgeous commanders. An order was issued requiring
all persons in the city, of military obligation, between the ages
of eighteen and forty-five, to join the Legion, and on the
occasion of the laying of the corner-stone of the Temple, on
April 6, 1841, it comprised fourteen companies. An army officer
passing through Nauvoo in September, 1842, expressed the opinion
that the evolutions of the Legion would do honor to any militia
in the United States, but he queried: "Why this exact discipline
of the Mormon corps? Do they intend to conquer Missouri,
Illinois, Mexico? Before many years this Legion will be twenty,
perhaps fifty, thousand strong and still augmenting. A fearful
host, filled with religious enthusiasm, and led on by ambitious
and talented officers, what may not be effected by them? Perhaps
the subversion of the constitution of the United States." *

* Mackay's "The Mormons," p. 121.

Contemporary accounts of the appearance of the Legion on the
occasion of the laying of the Temple corner-stone indicate that
the display was a big one for a frontier settlement. Smith says
in his autobiography, "The appearance, order, and movements of
the Legion were chaste, grand, imposing." The Times and Seasons,
in its report of the day's doings, says that General Smith had a
staff of four aides-de-camp and twelve guards, "nearly all in
splendid uniforms. The several companies presented a beautiful
and interesting spectacle, several of them being uniformed and
equipped, while the rich and costly dresses of the officers would
have become a Bonaparte or a Washington." Ladies on horseback
were an added feature of the procession. The ceremonies attending
the cornerstone laying attracted the people from all the outlying
districts, and marked an epoch in the church's history in

The Temple at Nauvoo measured 83 by 128 feet on the ground, and
was nearly 60 feet high, surmounted by a steeple which was
planned to be more than 100 feet in height. The material was
white limestone, which was found underlying the site of the city.
The work of construction continued throughout the occupation of
Nauvoo by the Mormons, the laying of the capstone not being
accomplished until May 24, 1845, and the dedication taking place
on May 1, 1846. The cost of the completed structure was estimated
by the Mormons at $1,000,000.* Among the costly features were
thirty stone pilasters, which cost $3000 each.

* "The Temple is said to have cost, in labor and money, a million
dollars. It may be possible, and it is very probable, that
contributions to that amount were made to it, but that it cost
that much to build it few will believe. Half that sum would be
ample to build a much more costly edifice to-day, and in the
three or four years in which it was being erected, labor was
cheap and all the necessaries of life remarkably low."--GREGG'S
"History of Hancock County," p. 367.

The portico of the Temple was surrounded by these pilasters of
polished stone, on the base of which was carved a new moon, the
capital of each being a representation of the rising sun coming
from under a cloud, supported by two hands holding a trumpet.
Under the tower were the words, in golden letters: "The House of
the Lord, built by the Church of Latter-Day Saints. Commenced
April 6, 1841. Holiness to the Lord." The baptismal font measured
twelve by sixteen feet, with a basin four feet deep. It was
supported by twelve oxen "carved out of fine plank glued
together," says Smith, "and copied after the most beautiful
five-year-old steer that could be found." From the basement two
stairways led to the main floor, around the sides of which were
small rooms designed for various uses. In the large room on this
floor were three pulpits and a place for the choir. The upper
floor contained a large hall, and around this were twelve smaller

The erection of this Temple was carried on without incurring such
debts or entering upon such money-making schemes as caused
disaster at Kirtland. Labor and material were secured by
successful appeals to the Saints on the ground and throughout the
world. Here the tithing system inaugurated in Missouri played an
efficient part. A man from the neighboring country who took
produce to Nauvoo for sale or barter said, "In the committee
rooms they had almost every conceivable thing, from all kinds of
implements and men and women's clothing, down to baby clothes and
trinkets, which had been deposited by the owners as tithing or
for the benefit of the Temple." *

* Gregg's "History of Hancock County," p. 374

Nauvoo House, as planned, was to have a frontage of two hundred
feet and a depth of forty feet, and to be three stories in
height, with a basement. Its estimated cost was $100,000.* A
detailed explanation of the uses of this house was thus given in
a letter from the Twelve to the Saints abroad, dated November 15,

* Times and Seasons, Vol. II, p. 369.

"The time set to favor the Stakes of Zion is at hand, and soon
the kings and the queens, the princes and the nobles, the rich
and the honorable of the earth, will come up hither to visit the
Temple of our God, and to inquire concerning this strange work;
and as kings are to become nursing fathers, and queens nursing
mothers in the habitation of the righteous, it is right to render
honor to whom honor is due; and therefore expedient that such, as
well as the Saints, should have a comfortable house for boarding
and lodging when they come hither, and it is according to the
revelations that such a house should be built. . . All are under
equal obligations to do all in their power to complete the
buildings by their faith and their prayers; with their thousands
and their mites, their gold and their silver, their copper and
their zinc, their goods and their labors."

Nauvoo House was not finished during the Prophet's life, the
appeals in its behalf failing to secure liberal contributions. It
was completed in later years, and used as a hotel.

Smith's residence in Nauvoo was a frame building called the
Mansion House, not far from the river side. It was opened as a
hotel on October 3, 1843, with considerable ceremony, one of the
toasts responded to being as follows, "Resolved, that General
Joseph Smith, whether we view him as a prophet at the head of the
church, a general at the head of the Legion, a mayor at the head
of the City Council, or a landlord at the head of the table, has
few equals and no superiors."

Another church building was the Hall of the Seventies, the upper
story of which was used for the priesthood and the Council of
Fifty. Galland's suggestion about a college received practical
shape in the incorporation of a university, in whose board of
regents the leading men of the church, including Galland himself,
found places. The faculty consisted of James Keeley, a graduate
of Trinity College, Dublin, as president; Orson Pratt as
professor of mathematics and English literature; Orson Spencer, a
graduate of Union College and the Baptist Theological Seminary in
New York, as professor of languages; and Sidney Rigdon as
professor of church history. The tuition fee was $5 per quarter.

CHAPTER V. The Mormons In Politics--Missouri Requisitions For

The Mormons were now equipped in their new home with large landed
possessions, a capital city that exhibited a phenomenal growth,
and a form of local government which made Nauvoo a little
independency of itself; their prophet wielding as much authority
and receiving as much submission as ever; a Temple under way
which would excel anything that had been designed in Ohio or
Missouri, and a stream of immigration pouring in which gave
assurance of continued numerical increase. What were the causes
of the complete overthrow of this apparent prosperity which so
speedily followed? These causes were of a twofold character,
political and social. The two were interwoven in many ways, but
we can best trace them separately.

We have seen that a Democratic organization gave the first
welcome to the Mormon refugees at Quincy. In the presidential
campaign of 1836 the vote of Illinois had been: Democratic,
17,275, Whig, 14,292; that of Hancock County, Democratic, 260,
Whig, 340. The closeness of this vote explained the welcome that
was extended to the new-comers.

It does not appear that Smith had any original party
predilections. But he was not pleased with questions which
President Van Buren asked him when he was in Washington (from
November, 1839, to February, 1840) seeking federal aid to secure
redress from Missouri, and he wrote to the High Council from that
city, "We do not say the Saints shall not vote for him, but we do
say boldly (though it need not be published in the streets of
Nauvoo, neither among the daughters of the Gentiles), that we do
not intend he shall have our votes."*

* Millennial Star, Vol. XVII, p.452.

On his return to Illinois Smith was toadied to by the workers of
both parties. He candidly told them that he had no faith in
either; but the Whigs secured his influence, and, by an
intimation that there was divine authority for their course, the
Mormon vote was cast for Harrison, giving him a majority of 752
in Hancock County. In order to keep the Democrats in good humor,
the Mormons scratched the last name on the Whig electoral ticket
(Abraham Lincoln)* and substituted that of a Democrat. This
demonstration of their political weight made the Mormons an
object of consideration at the state capital, and was the direct
cause of the success of the petition which they sent there,
signed by some thousands of names, asking for a charter for
Nauvoo. The representatives of both parties were eager to show
them favor. Bennett, in a letter to the Times and Seasons from
Springfield, spoke of the readiness of all the members to vote
for what the Mormons wanted, adding that "Lincoln had the
magnanimity to vote for our act, and came forward after the final
vote and congratulated me on its passage."

*This is mentioned in "Joab's" (Bermett's) letter, Times and
Seasons, Vol, II, p. 267.

In the gubernatorial campaign of 1841-1842 Smith swung the Mormon
vote back to the Democrats, giving them a majority of more than
one thousand in the county. This was done publicly, in a letter
addressed "To my friends in Illinois,"* dated December 20, 1841,
in which the prophet, after pointing out that no persons at the
state capital were more efficient in securing the passage of the
Nauvoo charter than the heads of the present Democratic ticket,
made this declaration:--

* Times and Seasons, Vol. III, p. 651.

"The partisans in this county who expect to divide the friends of
humanity and equal rights will find themselves mistaken. We care
not a fig for Whig or Democrat; they are both alike to us; but we
shall go for our friends, OUR TRIED FRIENDS, and the cause of
human liberty which is the cause of God . . . . Snyder and Moore
are known to be our friends . . . . We will never be justly
charged with the sin of ingratitude,--they have served us, and we
will serve them."

If Smith had been a man possessing any judgment, he would have
realized that the political course which he was pursuing, instead
of making friends in either party, would certainly soon arraign
both parties against him and his followers. The Mormons announced
themselves distinctly to be a church, and they were now
exhibiting themselves as a religious body already numerically
strong and increasing in numbers, which stood ready to obey the
political mandate of one man, or at least of one controlling
authority. The natural consequence of this soon manifested

A congressional and a county election were approaching, and a
mass meeting, made up of both Whigs and Democrats of Hancock
County, was held to place in the field a non-Mormon county
ticket. The fusion was not accomplished without heart-burnings on
the part of some unsuccessful aspirants for nominations. A few of
these went over to Smith, and the election resulted in the
success of the state Democratic and the Mormon local ticket,
legislative and county, Smith's brother William being elected to
the House. It is easy to realize that this victory did not lessen
Smith's aggressive egotism.

Some important matters were involved in the next political
contest, the congressional election of August, 1843. The Whigs
nominated Cyrus Walker, a lawyer of reputation living in
McDonough County, and the Democrats J. P. Hoge, also a lawyer,
but a weaker candidate at the polls. Every one conceded that
Smith's dictum would decide the contest.

On May 6, 1842, Governor Boggs of Missouri, while sitting near a
window in his house in Independence, was fired at, and wounded so
severely that his recovery was for some days in doubt. The crime
was naturally charged to his Mormon enemies,* and was finally
narrowed down to O. P. Rockwell,** a Mormon living in Nauvoo, as
the agent, and Joseph Smith, Jr., as the instigator. Indictments
were found against both of them in Missouri, and a requisition
for Smith's surrender was made by the governor of that state on
the governor of Illinois. Smith was arrested under the governor's
warrant. Now came an illustration of the value to him of the form
of government provided by the Nauvoo charter. Taken before his
own municipal court, he was released at once on a writ of habeas
corpus. This assumption of power by a local court aroused the
indignation of non-Mormons throughout the state. Governor Carlin
characterized it somewhat later, in a letter to Smith's wife, as
"most absurd and ridiculous; to attempt to exercise it is a gross
usurpation of power that cannot be tolerated."***

* The hatred felt toward Governor Boggs by the Mormon leaders was
not concealed. Thus, an editorial in the Times and Seasons of
January 1, 1841, headed "Lilburn W. Boggs," began, "The THING
whose name stands at the head of this article," etc. Referring to
the ending of his term of office, the article said, "Lilburn has
gone down to the dark and dreary abode of his brother and
prototype, Nero, there to associate with kindred spirits and
partake of the dainties of his father's, the devil's, table."

Bennett afterward stated that he heard Joseph Smith say, on July
10, 1842, that Governor Boggs, "the exterminator, should be
exterminated," and that the Destroying Angels (Danites) should do
it; also that in the spring of that year he heard Smith, at a
meeting of Danites, offer to pay any man $500 who would secretly
assassinate the governor. Bennett's statement is only cited for
what it may be worth; that some Mormon fired the shot is within
the limit of strict probability.

** Rockwell, who, in his latter days, was employed by General
Connor to guard stock in California, told the general that he
fired the shot at Governor Boggs, and was sorry it did not kill
him.--"Mormon Portraits," p. 255.

*** Millennial Star, Vol. XX, p. 23.

Notwithstanding his release, Smith thought it best to remain in
hiding for some time to escape another arrest, for which the
governor ordered a reward of $200. About the middle of August his
associates in Nauvoo concluded that the outlook for him was so
bad, notwithstanding the protection which his city court was
ready to afford, that it might be best for him to flee to the
pine woods of the North country. Smith incorporates in his
autobiography a long letter which he wrote to his wife at this
time,* giving her directions about this flight if it should
become necessary. Their goods were to be loaded on a boat manned
by twenty of the best men who could be selected, and who would
meet them at Prairie du Chien: "And from thence we will wend our
way like larks up the Mississippi, until the towering mountains
and rocks shall remind us of the places of our nativity, and
shall look like safety and home; and there we will bid defiance
to Carlin, Boggs, Bennett, and all their whorish whores and
motley clan, that follow in their wake, Missouri not excepted,
and until the damnation of Hell rolls upon them by the voice and
dread thunders and trump of the eternal God."

* Ibid., pp. 693-695.

In October Rigdon obtained from Justin Butterfield, United States
attorney for Illinois, an opinion that Smith could not be held on
a Missouri requisition for a crime committed in that state when
he was in Illinois. In December, 1842, Smith was placed under
arrest and taken before the United States District Court at
Springfield, Illinois, under a writ of habeas corpus issued by
Judge Roger B. Taney of the State Supreme Court. Butterfield, as
his counsel, secured his discharge by Judge Pope (a Whig) who
held that Smith was not a fugitive from Missouri.

While these proceedings were pending, the Nauvoo City Council
(Smith was then mayor), passed two ordinances in regard to the
habeas corpus powers of the Municipal Court, one giving that
court jurisdiction in any case where a person "shall be or stand
committed or detained for any criminal, or supposed criminal,
matter."* This was intended to make Smith secure from the
clutches of any Missouri officer so long as he was in his own

* For text of these ordinances, see millennial Star, Vol. XX, p.

But Smith's enemy, General Bennett (who before this date had been
cast out of the fold), was now very active, and through his
efforts another indictment against Smith on the old charges of
treason, murder, etc., was found in Missouri, in June, 1843, and
under it another demand was made on the governor of Illinois for
Smith's extradition. Governor Ford, a Democrat, who had succeeded
Carlin, issued a warrant on June 17, 1843, and it was served on
Smith while he was visiting his wife's sister in Lee County,
Illinois. An attempt to start with him at once for Missouri was
prevented by his Mormon friends, who rallied in considerable
numbers to his aid. Smith secured counsel, who began proceedings
against the Missouri agent and obtained a writ in Smith's behalf
returnable, the account in the Times and Seasons says, before the
nearest competent tribunal, which "it was ascertained was at
Nauvoo"--Smith's own Municipal Court. The prophet had a sort of
triumphal entry into Nauvoo, and the question of the jurisdiction
of the Municipal Court in his case came up at once. Both of the
candidates for Congress, Walker (who was employed as his counsel)
and Hoge, gave opinions in favor of such jurisdiction, and, after
a three hours' plea by Walker, the court ordered Smith's release.
Smith addressed the people of Nauvoo in the grove after his
return. From the report of his remarks in the journal of
Discourses (Vol. II, p. 163) the following is taken:

"Before I will bear this unhallowed persecution any longer,
before I will be dragged away again among my enemies for trial, I
will spill the last drop of blood in my veins, and will see all
my enemies in hell . . . . Deny me the writ of habeas corpus, and
I will fight with gun, sword, cannon, whirlwind, thunder, until
they are used up like the Kilkenny cats . . . . If these
[charter] powers are dangerous, then the constitutions of the
United States and of this state are dangerous. If the Legislature
has granted Nauvoo the right of determining cases of habeas
corpus, it is no more than they ought to have done, or more than
our fathers fought for."

Smith expressed his gratitude to Walker for what the latter had
accomplished in his behalf, and the Whig candidate now had no
doubt that the Mormon vote was his.

But the Missouri agent, indignant that a governor's writ should
be set aside by a city court, hurried to Springfield and demanded
that Governor Ford should call out enough state militia to secure
Smith's arrest and delivery at the Missouri boundary. The
governor, who was not a man of the firmest purpose, had no
intention of being mixed up in the pending congressional fight
and struggle for the Mormon vote; so he asked for delay and
finally decided not to call out any troops.

The Hancock County Democrats were quick to see an opportunity in
this situation, and they sent to Springfield a man named
Backenstos (who took an active part in the violent scenes
connected with the subsequent history of the Mormons in the
state) to ascertain for the Mormons just what the governor's
intentions were. Backenstos reported that the prophet need have
no fear of the Democratic governor so long as the Mormons voted
the Democratic ticket.*

* Governor Ford, in his "History of Illinois," says that such a
pledge was given by a prominent Democrat, but without his own

When this news was brought back to Nauvoo, a few days before the
election, a mass meeting of the Mormons was called, and Hyrum
Smith (then Patriarch, succeeding the prophet's father, who was
dead) announced the receipt of a "revelation" directing the
Mormons to vote for Hoge. William Law, an influential business
man in the Mormon circle, immediately denied the existence of any
such "revelation." The prophet alone could decide the matter. He
was brought in and made a statement to the effect that he himself
proposed to vote for Walker; that he considered it a "mean
business" to influence any man's vote by dictation, and that he
had no great faith in revelations about elections; "but brother
Hyrum was a man of truth; he had known brother Hyrum intimately
ever since he was a boy, and he had never known him to tell a
lie. If brother Hyrum said he had received such a revelation, he
had no doubt it was a fact. When the Lord speaks, let all the
earth be silent." *

* Ford's"History of Illinois," p. 318.

The election resulted in the choice of Hoge by a majority of 455!

CHAPTER VI. Smith A Candidate For President Of The United States

Smith's latest triumph over his Missouri enemies, with the
feeling that he had the governor of his state back of him,
increased his own and his followers' audacity. The Nauvoo Council
continued to pass ordinances to protect its inhabitants from
outside legal processes, civil and criminal. One of these
provided that no writ issued outside of Nauvoo for the arrest of
a person in that city should be executed until it had received
the mayor's approval, anyone violating this ordinance to be
liable to imprisonment for life, with no power of pardon in the
governor without the mayor's consent! The acquittal of O. P.
Rockwell on the charge of the attempted assassination of Governor
Boggs caused great delight among the Mormons, and their organ
declared on January 1, 1844, that "throughout the whole region of
country around us those bitter and acrimonious feelings, which
have so long been engendered by many, are dying away."

Smith's political ideas now began to broaden. "Who shall be our
next President?" was the title of an editorial in the Times and
Seasons of October 1, 1843, which urged the selection of a man
who would be most likely to give the Mormons help in securing
redress for their grievances.

The next month Smith addressed a letter to Henry Clay and John C.
Calhoun, who were the leading candidates for the presidential
nomination, citing the Mormons' losses and sufferings in
Missouri, and their failure to obtain redress in the courts or
from Congress, and asking, "What will be your rule of action
relative to us as a people should fortune favor your ascendancy
to the chief magistracy? "Clay replied that, if nominated, he
could "enter into no egagements, make no promises, give no
pledges to any particular portion of the people of the United
States," adding, "If I ever enter into that high office, I must
go into it free and unfettered, with no guarantees but such as
are to be drawn from my whole life, character and conduct." He
closed with an expression of sympathy with the Mormons "in their
sufferings under injustice." Calhoun replied that, if elected
President, he would try to administer the government according to

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