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1844. work of translation. The issue of this work was, “ The Book of Mormon.” This book gives the history of Lehi and his posterity, from about 660 B. C. to 400 A. D.: these lived for the most part in America, Lehi and his sons having emigrated thither. After the emigration, terrible wars took place between the Nephites or faithful, and the Lamanites or heathen, in which all the former were destroyed except Mormon, his son Moroni, and a few others. Mormon and his son abridged the records of their ancestors, and added their own, and thus the Book was completed.*
An account referred to in the note, gives us reason to think this Book was not written by Smith, but by one Spalding, as a sort of romance, and that it was seen and stolen by Sidney Rigdon, afterwards Smith's right hand man, and by him made known to the Prophet.
Rigdon, however, had at first no open connection with Smith, and was converted by a special mission sent into his neighborhood in October 1830. From the time of Rigdon's conversion the progress of Mormonism was wonderfully rapid, he being a man of more than common capacity and cunning.–Kirtland, Ohio, became the chief city for the time being, while large numbers went to Missouri in consequence of revelations to that effect. In July 1833, the number of Mormons in Jackson county Missouri, was over 1200.1–Their increase having produced some anxiety among the neighboring settlers a meeting was held in the month just named from whence emanated resolutions forbidding all Mormons thenceforth to settle in that county, and intimating that all who did not soon remove of their own will would be forced to do so.|| Among the resolutions was one requiring the Mormon paper to be stopped, but as this was not at once ş complied with the office of the paper was destroyed. Another large meeting of the citizens being held, the Mormons became alarmed and contracted to remove. Before this contract, however, could be complied with, violent proceedings were again resorted to:** houses were destroyed, men whipped, and at length some of both parties were
As to the true origin of this Book, we have a full statement, which seems worthy of credit, made by Mrs. Spalding, the widow of the alledged author. It may be found in the Western Messenger for August, 1839, p. 288.-See also Hunt, 12 to 90.-Brown's Illinois, 392, 402. + Hunt, 93 to 112. | Hunt, 128. I See the resolutions in Hunt, 129, 130. § The Mormons were allowed two hours to determine upon their course. (Hunt, 130.)
See contract in Hunt, 131. ** The contract was for removal before January and April 1834, (see it in Hunt 1/1,) .but the Mormons were attacked in October 1833,
Troubles in Missouri.
killed. The result was a removal of the Morinons across the Missouri into Clay county.
These outrages being communicated to the Prophet at Kirtland, he took steps to bring about a great gathering of his disciples, with which, marshalled as an army, in May, 1834, he started for Missouri, which in due time he reached, but with no other result than the transfer of a certain portion of his followers as permanent settlers to a region already too full of them. At first the citizens of Clay county were friendly to the persecuted; but ere long trouble grew up, and the wanderers were once more forced to seek a new home, in order to prevent outrages. This home they found in Caldwell county, where, by permission of the neighbors and State legislature, they organized a county government, the country having been previously unsettled. Soon after this removal, numbers of Mormons flocking in, settlements were also formed in Davis and Carroll:- the three towns of the new sect being Far West in Caldwell; Adam-on-di-ah-mond, called Diahmond or Diahman, in Davis; and Dewit, in Carroll. Thus far the Mormon writers and their enemies pretty well agree in their narratives of the Missouri troubles;* but thenceforth all is contradiction and uncertainty. These contradictions we cannot reconcile, and we have not room to give both relations; referring our readers, therefore, to Hunt and Greene, we will, in a few words state our own impressions of the causes of the quarrel and the catastrophe.
The Mormons, or Latter-day Saints held two views which they were fond of dwelling upon, and which were calculated to alarm and excite the people of the frontier. One was, that the West was to be their inheritance, and that the unconverted dwellers upon the lands about them were to be destroyed, and the saints to succeed to their property. The destruction spoken of was to be, as Smith taught, by the hand of God; but those who were threatened naturally enough concluded that the Mormons might think themselves instruments in His hand to work the change they foretold and desired. They believed also, with or without reason, that the saints, anticipating, - like many other heirs, the income of their inheritance, helped themselves to what they needed of food and clothing; or, as the world called it, were arrant thieves.
* We have quoted Hunt, Anti-mormon, who gives the documents; for the Mormon view of same events, see 6. Facts, &c. by John P. Greene. Cincinnati, 1339”-pp. 10 to 12. 17. 18.
+ See Smith in Hunt, 140. 142. Same work, 128. 182, &c.
1844. The other offensive view was, the descent of the Indians from the Hebrews, taught by the Book of Mormon, and their ultimate restoration to their share in the inheritance of the faithful :* from this view, the neighbors were easily led to infer a union of the Saints and savages to desolate the frontier. Looking with suspicion upon the new sect, and believing them to be already rogues and thieves, the inhabitants of Carrol and Davis counties were of course opposed to their possession of the chief political influence, such as they already possessed in Caldwell, and from the fear that they would acquire more, arose the first open quarrel. This took place in August, 1838, at an election in Davis county, where their right of suffrage was disputed. The affray which ensued being exaggerated, and some severe cuts and bruises being converted into mortal wounds by the voice of rumor, a number of the Mormons of Caldwell county went to Diahmond, and after learning the facts, by force or persuasion induced a magistrate of Davis, known to be a leading opponent of theirs, to sign a promise not to molest them any more by word or deed. For this Joe Smith and Lyman Wight were arrested and held to trial. By this time the prejudices and fears of both parties were fully aroused; each anticipated violence from the other, and to prevent it each proceeded to violence. The Mormons of Caldwell, legally organized, turned out to preserve the peace; and the Anti-mormons of Davis, Carrol, and Livingston, acting upon the sacred principle of self-defence, armed and embodied themselves for the same commendable purpose. Unhappily, in this case, as in many similar ones, the preservation of peace was ill confided to men moved by mingled fear and hatred ; and instead of it, the opposing forces produced plunderings, burnings, and bloodshed, which did not terminate until Governor Boggs, on the 27th of October, authorised General Clark, with the full military power of the State, to exterminate or drive from Missouri, if he thought necessary, the unhappy followers of Joe Smith. Against the army, 3500 strong, thus brought to annihilate them, and which was evidently not a mob, the 1400 Mormons made no resistance; 300 fled, and the remainder surrendered. The leaders were examined and held to trial, bail being refused ;f while the mass of the unhappy people were stripped of their property to pay the expenses of the war, and driven, men,
* See Hunt, 280, &c.
Greene, 32.—The evidence on the examioation is in Hunt, 195 to 74.
Mormons received in Illinois.
women, and children,-in mid winter, from the state, - naked and starving. Multitudes of them were forced to encamp without tents, and with scarce any clothes or food, on the bank of the Mississippi, which was too full of ice for them to cross.* The people of Illinois, however, received the fugitives, when they reached the eastern shore, with open arms, and the saints entered upon a new, and yet more surprising series of adventures, than those they had already passed through.
The Mormons found their way from Missouri into the neighboring state, through the course of the year 1839, and missionaries were sent abroad to paint their sufferings, and ask relief for those who were thus persecuted because of their religious views; although their religious views appear to have had little or nothing to do with the opposition experienced by them in Missouri. After wandering for a time in uncertainty, the Saints fixed upon the site of Commerce, a village on the Mississippi, as the spot upon which to rest; and there, in the spring of 1840, began the city of Nau
To this city, the legislature of Illinois which met in the ensuing winter, proceeded to grant most extraordinary privileges. The size was to be indefinitely large ; and power was also given to buy property elsewhere : the city laws were not made void, if contrary to state laws, as is usual in such charters; and the powers bestowed upon the Mayor were enormous: a “Nauvoo Legion” was provided for, armed from the public arsenals, and the use of this corps was given to the Mayor, as far as he should need it, for city purposes: a University, an Agricultural Manufacturing Association, and a Hotel with a capital of one hundred and fifty thousand dollars, were also chartered. Under this extraordinary act, Joe Smith, who had escaped from Missouri, proceeded as Mayor, Commander of the Legion, Tavern-keeper, Prophet and Priest, to play what pranks he pleased. « On the 8th of December, 1843,” says Judge Brown,
An extra ordinance was passed by the city council of Nauvoo, for the extra case of Joseph Smith, by the first section of which it is enacted, “ That it shall be lawsul for any officer of the city, with or without process, to arrest any person who shall come to arrest Joseph Smith with process growing out of the Missouri difficulties; and the person so arrested, shall be tried by the municipal court upon testimony, and if found guilty, sentenced to the municipal prison for life.”
On the 17th of February, 1842, an ordinance was passed, entitled, “ An ordinance concerning marriages,” by the second section of which
See Greene, p. 40
Joe Smith killed.
a person is authorised to marry with, or without license. We have a statute, requiring a license in all cases, from the clerk of the commissioner's court.
On the 21st of November, 1843, an ordinance was passed by the city council, making it highly penal, even to one hundred dollars fine, and six month's imprisonment, for any officer to serve a process in the city of Nauvoo, “unless it be examined by, and receive the approval and signature of the mayor of said city, on the back of said process."
Under these proceedings, difficulties soon arose. Some of Smith's followers becoming opposed to him, had established a new paper, “ the Nauvoo Expositor.” This the Prophet, as president of the council, pronounced "a nuisance," and proceeded to abate it, or destroy it, by force. Those interested procured a writ from the proper court for the arrest of the leader, but the writ was not endorsed by the Mayor and could not be executed. Then arose the question—How long 'shall the laws of the State be thus set at defiance ?--and men through all the country round about vowed to see the warrants executed at the point of the bayonet. Two or three thousand men, some from Missouri and Ioway, being gathered against the city of the Saints, Governor Ford came forward as a pacificator. Of what followed, we give a description in the words of Judge Brown,
On Monday, the 24th of June, 1844, Lieutenant General Joseph Smith, (" the prophet,'') and General Hyrum Smith, his brother, having received assurances from Governor Ford of protection, - in company with some of their friends, left Nauvoo for Carthage, in order to surrender themselves up as prisoners, upon a process which had previously been issued, and was then in the hands of a public officer to be executed. About four miles from Carthage, they were met by Captain Dunn and a company of cavalry, on their way to Nauvoo, with an order from Governor Ford for the State arms in possession of the Nauvoo legion. Lieutenant General Smith having endorsed upon the order his admission of its service, and given his directions for their delivery, returned with Captain Dunn to Nauvoo, for the arms thus ordered by Governor Ford to be surrendered. The arms having been given up in obedience to the aforesaid order, both parties again started for Carthage, whither they arrived a little before twelve o'clock, at night. On the morning of the 25th, an interview took place between the Smiths and Governor Ford. Assurances of protection by the latter were repeated, and the two Smiths were surrendered into the custody of an officer. Bail having afterward been given for their appearance at court, to That is, the state of Illinois.
+ Brown's Illinois, 398.