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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 Nauvoo. 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, sliall 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 commis. sioner'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, haring 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 exe
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 Stale 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.
583 answer the charge for “ abating the Nauvoo Expositor," a mittimus was issued on the evening of the 25th, and the two Smiths were committed to jail on a charge of treason, “ until delivered by due course of law.” On the morning of the 26th, another interview was had between the Governor and the accused, and both parties seemed to be satisfied. Instead of being confined in the cells, the two Smiths, at the instance of their friends, were put into the debtor's room of the prison, and a guard assigned for its, as well as their security. During this time their friends, as usual, had access to them in jail, by permission of the gov
On the same day, (June 26,) they were taken before the magis. trate who had committed them to prison, and further proceedings, on the complaint for treason, were postponed until the 29th. On the morning of the 27th, Governor Ford discharged a part of the troops under his command, and proceeded with a portion of the residue, a single company only, to Nauvoo ; leaving the jail, the prisoners, and some two or three of their friends, guarded by seven or eight men, and a company of about sixty militia, the Carthage Grays, a few yards distant in reserve.
About six o'clock in the afternoon of the 27th, during the absence of Governor Ford, the guard stationed at the prison were overpowered by an armed mob in disguise; the jail broken and entered, and the two Smyths, (Joseph and Hyrum,) without any pretence of right or authority whatever, were wantonly slain. Having effected their object, all of which was accomplished in a few minutes, they immediately dispersed.*
The Mormons, who appear to have ascribed the outrage to persons from Missouri,t were prevailed upon to continue quiet, and no farther outbreak occurred, until those troubles began which have so lately ended in their expulsion from Nauvoo. I
In June of this year occurred a rise of the Mississippi, which caused vast suffering and extensive damage. Many towns were entirely under water.
May Sth.—On this day the first observations of consequence were made at the Cincinnati Observatory; they were upon the Transit of Mercury. This Observatory, one of the first in the world in respect to the power of its Equatorial, is entirely the
* Brown, 487.
# The account of the Mormons in Illinois we take entirely from Brown. A trustworthy and full history of Mormonism up to the destruction of Nauvoo, is much to be desired.
+ See the letter of Richards and others (leading Mormons) in Brown, 489.
result of the energy, perseverance, and patience, of one man, Olmsted M. Mitchell. Mr. Mitchell, then a Professor in the Circinnati College, in the spring of 1842 delivered in Cincinnat a course of lectures upon Astronomy, in order to see if the subject could be made popular.-He perfectly succeeded. About May 1st of that year he began to ask the citizens of Cincinnati to contribute toward the purchase of a Great Equatorial Telescope to be mounted in or near that city. During the same month, through his exertions, a Society was organized whose object it was to found an Observatory and prosecute Astronomical researches. This Society soon took into consideration the best mode of procuring a first rate Instrument, and upon deliberation, authorized Professor Mitchell to go to Europe and obtain one. He left Cincinnati for this object on the 11th of June, 1842. Having visited London and Paris, Mr. M. determined that his mission could be satisfactorily accomplished only by going to Munich, where Frauenhofer had established his celebrated manufactory of achromatic refracting lenses. At that place Mr. M. made his contract, and returning to England stayed for awhile as an operative in the Greenwich Observatory, in order to learn the detail of observation, and thence returned to the United States.
In November 1843 the Corner Stone of the Cincinnati Obseryatory was laid by John Quincy Adams, and an address was deliv. ered by that venerable statesman and student. The building, however, was not really commenced until the following May, and was then carried forward only by the energy and untiring perseverance of Mr. Mitchell, who at the same time planned, directed, contracted, raised, or rather made funds, acted as paymaster, advised the mechanics, and labored by their side. In April, 1815, the Observatory building was finished. Meantime the Telescope had been paid for, mostly by the single subscriptions of men laboring to support their families;- its cost being $10,000. It was received at Cincinnati in the spring of 1845, and was mounted about the close of April; every arrangement having been made by the projector and executor of the whole plan.
This we note, as the First Observatory ever erected by “The People” in modern times.
383 Brown, John, representative from Ky. 312. 313
8 Bryant's station attacked,
249 to 252
44 Burk, the historian,
4 Butler, General,
358. 369 and note
496 to 50
554 Carondelet, or Vide poche, history of, 181
130 Campaign of 1812 in N.W. blunders in, 527
88 Campbell, Col. in 1812,
to 565. 567. 568
345 Cessions of land to Union, 225 to 228. 230. 258.
32 Celeron places medals along the Ohio, 51 and note
sell a portion of their claim, 107-note
195 to 198
464 Chillicothe, Indian town on Scioto, 131. 462--nota
80. 99 Clark, George Rogers, his account of
381. 382, 386 his steps in Kentucky, 1776,
procures powder, 1776,