(Newspapers of Illinois)

Warsaw, Hancock County, Illinois

Warsaw  Signal
1846-47 Articles

1846 Mormon Exodus Across the Mississippi  (old engraving)

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Vol. 2                           Warsaw, Illinois, January 28, 1846.                           No. 45.


We learn that on Monday last a very serious row occurred in Nauvoo, between the followers of the Twelve and those of the Wisconsin Prophet.

As our readers are already informed, the new Prophet has made considerable inroads into the church at Nauvoo. Lately he claimed a new Revelation in relation to the succession, and sent some Messengers to the Holy City to read it to the people. This they attempted on Monday last, but were surrounded by a mob who attempted to drive them from the City. Whereupon a row ensued, in which clubs were used freely. The Twelvites gained the victory and drove their opponents from the ground. We look with anxiety for further particulars.

FIRST MORMON EXPEDITION. -- We learn that the first expedition of the Saints, for the Rocky Mountains, will take up the line of march in about three weeks. This first company will consist of about fifty men, with a sufficient number of teams, drawn by good horses, to convey the farming utensils, provender, &c., they may need. They will load with grain, at the last settlement and push their horses thro' as fast as possible, until they reach the base of the Mountains; which they say they can do by the time grass is fairly up. Here they will halt and commence farming operations. They will put in as large a crop as possible and remain until the summer emigrants come up. The object of this expedition, is to raise something for the summer emigrants to recruit on, while on their journey.

Note: The Strangite missionaries who caused the "serious row" in Nauvoo were Elders Moses Smith and his companion. They evidently secured permission to conduct a preaching service in the unfinished Nauvoo Temple on Jan. 26, 1846, but their message was not well received by the majority of the city's Mormons and their leaders.


Vol. 2                           Warsaw, Illinois, February 4, 1846.                           No. 46.


THE ROW IN NAUVOO . -- We stated, last week, that there had been a row, in Nauvoo, growing out of an attempt of the followers of the new Wisconsin Prophet, Strang, to read one of his recent revelations. This turns out to be incorrect. There were some threats and a good deal of excitement, which caused the followers of the new Prophet to absquatulate without coming to blows.

THE NEW PROPHET. -- We learn that the New Wisconsin Prophet, whose name is James J. Strang, is making considerable inroads into the ranks of the Twelve, especially without the limits of the Holy City. He has established himself, in Racine County, Wisconsin, at a place he calls Voree, to which he invites all his followers. Here he has started a paper, called the Voree Herald, the first number of which we have had the privilege of perusing. It contains a letter, purporting to have been written by Joe Smith, dated at Nauvoo June 17th, 1844, ten days before his death, and directed to the said Strang. In this letter Joe foretells his approaching doom, and in view of his death appoints the said Strang his successor as Prophet, Seer and Revelator. By virtue of the authority, Strang claims to be the successor of Joe, and says the Twelve should be subservient to hin.

Being Prophet, Seer and Revelator, Strang says the spirit of the Lord directed him where he could find some plates, which would complete what Joe had left undone. These plates he is now translating. The new Prophet is receiving revelations and seems to have his church in full blast.

The Mormons, living in the county, are many of them joining the standard of Strang and are leaving for Voree. Every day his cause is gaining new converts amongst the Saints, and the prospect is he will take off a considerable body.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. 2                           Warsaw, Illinois, February 11, 1846.                           No. 47.


The New York Sun contains the following letter from Emma Smith, widow of the Prophet, in which she denies the authenticity of the letter, published, some time since, by the Sun and which we copied into our columns.

We are of opinion that Emma wrote the first letter, but was compelled to write the second one denying the first, by threats of violence. We connot conceive what earthly object any person, either friend or foe, could have in committing such a forgery, for they must have known exposure was inevitable. Be it as it may, we are satisfied that if Emma was not the authoress some person, intimately acquainted with her views and sentiment, was. Since the publication of the letter we have heard some facts which lead us inevitably to this conclusion.

                                                            NAUVOO, Dec. 30, 1845.
To the editor of the N. Y. Sun: --

  Sir, -- I wish to inform you, and the public through your paper, that the letter published Tuesday morning, Dec. 9th, is a forgery, the whole of it; and I hope that this notice will put a stop to all such communications.   EMMA SMITH.

==> We learn that some demogogues are about starting a paper in Nauvoo, to be called Democratic. Lamborn, Backenstos, Babbitt, & Co., are at the head of this movement.

O. P. ROCKWELL STABBED. -- Our readers were informed, some weeks since, the O. P. Rockwell had taken the wife of Amos Davis to himself. Davis seemed to take this trespass on his rights very quietly, and it was generally supposed that resentment was not in him. After living with Rockwell some time, Mrs. Davis desired to return to her husband, but we have not heard whether he received her. However, Rockwell and Davis quarreled last week about the matter, and the latter drew a spear from his cane & stabbed the former in the side. Rockwell's wound is not serious, he having pushed the spear aside from the spot where it was aimed.

Note: The exact date of the appearance of Emma's ltter of denial, in The Sun remains undetermined. Probably her Dec. 30th communication was printed in that newspaper at the end of the first week in January, 1845. Her denial was also published in the Jan. 15, 1845 issue of the Nauvoo Times and Seasons.


Vol. 2                       Warsaw, Illinois, Wednesday, February 18, 1846.                      No. 48.


Our latest information from Nauvoo is up to Sunday morning last.

The Twelve, who had left the city the week before, on account of a rumor that the Deputy U. S. Marshal was on his way to the city, having ascertained that the rumor was false, have all returned. -- The Saints, however were still crossing the river, notwithstanding the snow had fallen on Saturday, to the depth of six inches. Some few, our informants state, were crossing back. There have already crossed about 300 waggons and about 1500 persons -- most of whom, are encamped on Sugar creek about seven miles back from the river. So soon as they are ready for the march, the Twelve (all except Page) will join them.

Page has revolted from the Government of his brethren and declares them usurpers. He is opposed to emigrating and insists that there is no authority for the present movement.

The Strangites in Nauvoo are taking advantage of the unsettled state of the Mormons to create dissentions amongst them. They have now a Pamphlet in press at Keokuk, the object of which is to turn the tide of emigration towards Wisconsin. -- These efforts, together with those of apostle Page, are likely to create considerable division.

The Mormons who start in the advance party are said to be well loaded with provisions. They also take a large number of cattle along, on which they can subsist so soon as grass is up.

Their course, it is said, will be directly up the Des Moines to the Indian Country, and from thence to the Missouri.


The Saints have endeavored to keep the ceremony of the endowment perfectly quiet; but some of them have let the cat out of the bag and disclosed all. We have the story from two different sources, and as both correspond, we give it credit, although persons abroad, not acquainted with Mormonism, will be loath to believe that so much depravity as is evinced as in the invention of this ceremony can exist, and that men and women can be found who consider the obscene rites sacred.

There must always be two candidates, a male and a female presented for the endowment at once. These must pay one dollar each as a fee. If a male cannot find a female to take the endowment with him, the heads of the church provide one, and vice versa. The candidates are first taken into a room together, where they are stripped of all their clothing and are made to wash each other from head to foot. They are then separated and put into different rooms, where they are oiled -- with perfumed sweet oil, by one of the functionaries of the church. They then pass into another room still separate, where one of the Twelve pronounces a blessing upon them and gives them extensive powers and privileges -- such as a plurality of wives to the male, and other similar blessings to the female. The ceremony being ended, the candidates are brought together, still in a state of nudity, into a room where they are allowed to remain together, alone, as long as they see proper. They are then invested with their robes to take their departure.

The really deluded amongst the Saints consider this ceremony as sacred and intended as a trial of their virtue. But it was invented by the Twelve, evidently for the purpose of an opportunity for gratifying their brutal lusts.


We received last week a letter post marked "Cincinnati," containing a copy of a Benedictorial Blessing sent by Wm. Smith, Patriarch of the Church, to Heber C. Kimball, one of the Twelve apostles. There is no question of the genuineness of the production -- it comes from a source that no one will doubt the authority of. We are requested to publish it as a "copy;" of course, we must give it verbatim et literatim. Here it is:


The Benedictorial Blessing of Wm. Smith the Patriarch on the head of H. C. Kimball the Herald of Grace and Prince of Darkness.

Cincinnati, Ohio, Jan. the 14, 1846.         
My Dear Mr. Kimball,
I take the liberty to inform you Mr. K., that you and your whole concatenation of 12 Mormon apostles (so called) are cut off the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and consined [sic] to the flames of your own hellish lusts and passions to go into the wilderness -- so repent ye, repent ye, you damnable wretch, is the voice of one crying in the wilderness:Why will you die?

One word more then I am done (Here follows a sentence about sister Noon that won't do to print)  After you have seduced say one dozen sisters a week and sealed up several more to P. P. Pratt, B. Young and others, just please say no more of crime and seduction. Never dare to open your mouth again or mouth my name you infamous scamp with a heart full of adultry [sic] and black with sin and then talk of me. Once more you lie that I was colleged with a mob to destroy the Saints because I speak against your [tyranny] and abuse, your high hypocracy [sic] and ruination of innocent females under a cloak of religion to God, stealing and robbing the gentiles to build up your false an surreptitious claims to the Priesthood and then call it the celestial law and holy endowments of the saints and even excepting your own brethren and rob them of their property and their wives and in the dark hours of night plotting against those that are even your friends & thus sanction murder and commit hoardoms [sic], then charge me with sin and a design with a mob you heaven-daring sinner -- open your skul cap and shut it again least [sic] your tongue rot in your head. God allmighty curse you for your lies and all such holy lying scoundrels as you are is my prayer -- Amen.
W. M. SMITH.         

Proof carefully compared with copy and found literally correct.

Note: See also the letter penned by "Emeline" in the Signal of April 15th.


Vol. 2                           Warsaw, Illinois, February 25, 1846.                           No. 49.


The New York Tribune contains a letter from Orson Hyde in relation to Mormon matters in general, and to the charge made against the Saints of hostile designs against our Government, in particular. We extract from it the following:

The letter purporting to be written by Mrs. Emma Smith, and published in "The Sun," renouncing the religion of her husband, is a hoax and a base forgery; notwithstanding its genuineness was vouched for by Gen. James Arlington Bennet. There are many things in the letters of that gentleman that are extravagently wild, foreign from our designs, and some things that are false. Hus productions have evinced an extravagance and vanity time will never render him elligible to a very high station in the Mormon Church, should he think to aspire after it.

We design to go and settle in some distant valley, and let the Lord fight our battles and redress our wrongs. None need fear that we shall ever take part against America. We do not intend to do it. But it is our faith that God will do all things right; and should our services be required, we should not like to back out from the service of our country. We wish our country no wrong. But our prayer is, that truth may be exalted, mercy flourish, and justice be established throughout the earth.

Respectfully, your obedient serv't.,
                                                        ORSON HYDE.
Let the Saints tell it and they are the most patriotic, peaceable and well disposed people on the face of the Earth. We are, however, none the less disposed to believe, notwithstanding Orson's affirmations to the contrary, that in the Western wilds, the Saints will be more troublesome than useful. Still we say let them go, for it is better to have an enemy beyond our frontier, than in the heart of our country.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. II.                           Warsaw, Illinois, March 4, 1846.                           No. 50.


We have received the Voree Herald, No. 2, edited by James J. Strang, who claime to be the successor to Joe Smith as President of the Mormon Church. Strang was once a Lawyer in the western part of New York, but not being very successful in his profession, he determined to change his business -- thinking no doubt that if as great a fool as Joe Smith could gull mankind into the belief that he was a Prophet he would stand, at least, some chance of making a fortune by the same means -- Strang, accordingly procurred a revelation, disclosing the fact that certain plates were deposited under a certain tree -- Joe, it will be recollected, when in search for his plates went alone; but Strang determined to be a little smarter than this, and, therefore, took witnesses along, so that the proof woulf rest on other testimony than his own. The following certificate discloses what they did and saw.

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

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

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

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

In fine, we found an alphabetic and pictorial record, carefully cased up, buried deep in the earth, covered with a flat stone, with an oak tree one foot in diameter growing over it, with every evidence that the sense can give that it has lain there as long as that tree has been growing. Strang took no part in the digging, but kept entirely away from before the first blow was struck till after the plates were taken out of the case; and the sole inducement to our digging was our faith in his statement as a Prophet of the Lord that a record would thus and there be found.


After reading the above, we were forced to confess this is a pretty decently got up humbug. One of three conclusions is inevitable: either the witnesses lie, or Strang deposited the plates under the tree some time since so that all trace of his work was obliterated, or else James J. Strang is a Prophet, or wizzard.

But return to the Voree Herald. -- Strang is evidently a better scholar and a more refined man than any of the prominent men amongst the Saints, whose writings we have ever seen. He handles the Twelve without gloves and proves, incontestibly, by the Book of Doctrines and Covenants, that they are usurpers. He is evidently a man of some talent and of quick discernment; well calculated to give currency and plausibility to a humbug.

He invites all his followers to come to Voree, the city of peace, where doubtlessly, he will soon collect a sufficient crowd, to enable him to drive a flourishing business.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. II.                           Warsaw, Illinois, March 11, 1846.                           No. 50 [sic].


It was thought that the Mormons who were encamped on Sugar Creek, in Iowa, during the recent severe weather, would suffer much from cold and exposure; but it appears that they were well sheltered by a large tent, and had a good band of music, plenty of young girls, and passed the tme very agreeably. Every one who was heard to complain or murmer was immediately sent back to Nauvoo and informed that they should not go to the Land of Promise, until they could learn to put up with hardships without grumbling. This was a wise step, as it kept disaffection from spreading in the camp.

The Saints who started in this expedition provided themselves well with young females. Indeed a gentleman who recently visited Nauvoo informs us that many men left their wives in Nauvoo and took with them young girls.

THE PATRIARCH Bill Smith passed up the river on Saturday Morning last. He was in fine spirits, and seemed to think, now the Twelve are gone, that he can shine in Nauvoo. He says he is in favor of the Saints leaving the City and scattering over the country, but not of emigrating or settling in a body at one spot. He did not seem hostile to Strang, it may therefoe be that he will yet become the Patriarch of Strang's Church.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. II.                           Warsaw, Illinois, March 18, 1846.                           No. 51.


Our readers in this vicinity are all aware of the fact that the Jacks are now making a tremendous effort to retain a portion of the Mormon population in the county, for the sake of their votes. They well know that if the Mormons all leave, and an honest population takes their place, they have no further hope of being able to retain the control of the county; hence they spare no pains and scruple at no means, however base, to accomplish their object.

In the last State Register, which is in the interest of the Jacks, is a communication prefaced by an editorial, the object of which is to create the impression that whigs, and the whigs only, desire to drive out the remnant of Mormons...

PATRIARCH BILL SMITH is, we learn, flourshing in Nauvoo. At first they prohibited him from speaking, but finally he obtained a hearing and has since been going it to his own satisfaction

A FRACUS IN THE MORMON CAMP. -- We learn that on the day previous to the departure of the Saints from their encampment, on Sugar Creek in Iowa, Brigham Young gave a great feast to the head men of the Church. They were served with all the luxuries that could be procured while their poor followers were compelled to appease their hunger with parched corn and corn bread. This partiality so incensed some of Brigham's body guard that they determined to have revenge. Accordingly they broke up his carriage and cut to pieces his harness. -- Brigham, on learning what had been done and who were engaged in the act, had the culprits tied and severely whipped. This they bore with Saintly submission, afterwards all things jogged on in harmony.

APOSTLE PAGE who was cut off from his brethren has joined the Strangites; his place amongst the twelve has been supplied by the appointment of Luke Johnson recently from Kirtland, Ohio.

RETURNED. -- Some of the party who left with the Mormon expedition have returned and report that their brethren had robbed them, and then sent them back.

THE STRANGITES are making great headway, in Nauvoo. It is estimated that they will start, nearly as large a company for Wisconsin in May as the Twelveites will for California.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. II.                           Warsaw, Illinois, March 25, 1846.                           No. 52.


The Mormon Expedition is now encamped about ten miles from Keosauqua Iowa, and about fifty miles from Nauvoo. From their encampment empty wagons are daily returning to Nauvoo and some persons have returned on foot. The notorious O. P. Rockwell and Jack Redding have returned. On their way being asked why they came back, they said they were after some scalps.

The Mormons have now been encamped at Keosuqua several days. Their men hire themselves out to the farmers and they seem disposed to remain for some time. There is some mystery in this movement, and much curiosity to know what it means. We suspect that the secret lies here. When the Twelve arrived at Keosauqua they learned that Bill Smith had returned and was figuring largely in Nauvoo. They also learned that the Strangites had gained considerable strength after they left. They therefore, determined to halt and send back empty wagons for more provisions and also sent back their bullies, Rockwell and Redding to frighten certain obnixious persons out of Nauvoo.

In the mean time a revelation, by Orson Hyde, has been published, in which he denounces Strangism in the strongest manner. It is evident that Smith and Strang are giving the Twelve much trouble and if accounts from Nauvoo can be credited, will soon contend for the mastery in the Holy City.

Many of the teams that return from the camp cross over to the Island, instead of going to the City. This looks suspicious, for this Island is the theatre of more villainy than the City itself.

There have been a large number of births in the Mormon camp. The children nearly all died or were put to death. They were buried under brush heaps near the camp.

BACKENSTOS A MORMON. -- We understand that Wm. Backenstos, brother of J. B. Backenstos, stated last week, in Carthage, that his brother J. B. had been baptised by the Mormons. This corresponds with a statement we heard, some time since, which came from some Mormons, who alleged that they saw Backenstos baptized. It was, however, done privately and the reason given by him for desiring it kept secret was that if it were publicly known that he was a Mormon, he could not have so much influence with the politicians to procure their favors. As his own brother endorses this statement we take for granted it is true.

Note 1: For the text of Apostle Orson Hyde's "revelation" concerning the claims of J. J. Strang, see the notes appended to articles in the April, 1846 issue of the Voree Herald.

Note 2: William (John Wilhelm) Backenstos, brother of J. B. Backenstos, married Clara Marilla Wasson (1823-1905) on Oct. 3, 1843 at Nauvoo, with Joseph Smith, Jr. officiating. Clara was the daughter of Benjamin Wasson (or Wassen) and Elizabeth Hale, the sister of Emma Hale Smith. Clara was evidently a member of the Church at Nauvoo. Her brother, Lorenzo D. Wasson (1818-1857) was also a member. All of these persons, with the exception of J. B. Backenstos, were very likely connected with William Smith's splinter group, in Lee Co., Illinois, during the early 1850s. John B. Wasson, a cousin of Clara and Lorenzo was baptized a member of the RLDS Church, in San Francisco, in 1884.


Vol. III.                           Warsaw, Illinois, April 1, 1846.                           No. 1.


VOREE HERALD. -- Wehave received the Voree Herald, No. 3 published by Strang, the Wisconsin Prophet. He appears to be flourishing and has the prospect ahead, so he says, of collecting a large crowd at Voree during the ensuing year. We extract the following items from this number.

While the ferry boat at Nauvoo was crossing the Mississippi with a company of the apostates just starting to the wilderness, the Temple was discovered to be on fire. Brigham Young cooly remarked "let is burn, the city is full of Devils. I wish they were all burnt out." So poisonous is blighted ambition and defeated usurpation. He knew that that Temple had been a rallying point of strength to him and dreaded its passing into other hands. He rejoiced in the ruin of what he could not rule.

What sort of shepherd is Brigham Young? The kind that shears the flock in the winter and runs away with the fleece, taking a few of the fatest for mutton on the journey.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. III.                           Warsaw, Illinois, April 8, 1846.                           No. 2

                For the Warsaw Signal.


Mr. Sharp:
    Dear Sir: -- In consequence of the desire which I have for the welfare of all my Fellow Citizens, of whatever sect or party, I feel it to be my duty to reveal to the public some few things which I know and most assuredly believe. Whilst doing this, I wish it distinctly born in mind, that I am not influenced by any party or by personal malice towards any one, and that my close intimacy with the Smith family, in consequence of my connexion with it by marriage, has given me a favorable opportunity to become acquainted with the genius of Mormonism and the secret intentions of the leader[s], of the several parties, into which that people is at present split.

Wm. Smith, brother of the late Mormon Prophet, informs me, that he has returned here for the purpose of gathering together, with all such of the Mormons as are willing to be guided by his counsel, and remove immediately out of the state. In this project I think Mr. Smith will be seconded by a majority of the more honest part of that community and is portentous of prosperity, from the fact that Wm. Smith, has always opposed the measures which have led to their present unhappy situation. He furthermore intends by right of his Patriarchal office over that portion of the Mormons which are or can be recognized as the church formerly organized by his brother, to adopt such measures, according to law, as will secure to the real church all real estate and other property which rightfully belongs to said church.

It is evident to me, from the signs of the time, that Brigham Young has concocted some hellish scheme for the entire ruin of Hancock County; for a majority of his followers are sanguine in the belief that the time is at hand, alluded to by the Book of Mormon, which speaks of the seed of Jacob being amongst the Gentiles as a lion amongst a flock of sheep, which they say refers to the return of themselves and the Indians to take vengeance. -- Furthermore, a Brighamite of high standing with his master, being influenced towards me by feeling of personal friendship, warned me not to stay in this county through the summer on peril of my life. I readily took his meaning, on account of the common sentiment and intentions of that particular branch of the Mormons towards Hancock County.

I wish the public to be fully apprised of what I believe to be the grand intention of Young in leaving a permanent agency in Nauvoo this summer, on pretence of transacting church business, together with a printing press which is actually under the control of the Mormons, though superintended by a hired Gentile for the purpose of apology. It is that horse thieves and assassins may have a lair out of which they may prowl at pleasure, through the country, and, after accomplishing their hellish purposes, make their escape through a regular line of posts located for that purpose without the possibility of detection or capture. Now sir, if the above options should appear reasonable to you, as I believe they are correct, give them an insertion in your paper, that all may judge in regard to what is best to be done.
                                Very Respectfully,
                                          W. J. SALISBURY.

Note 1: Wilkins Jenkins Salisbury (1809-1853) was apparently a boyhood friend of William Smith. He became a Mormon in western New York in 1830 and was present at the April 6th organization of the Church. Salisbury was married to Catherine (or Katherine) Smith (1813-1900), the sister of Joseph Smith, Jr., at Fayette, New York, on Jan. 8, 1831. Some sources give the date as "Jun. 8," but the New York Mormons had by then already arrived in Ohio. Joseph Smith III names the officiating minister as the Rev. Sidney Rigdon: "Sidney Rigdon was not known to the Smith family, until he came to [sic - from?] Kirtland; that soon after his coming he performed the ceremony of marriage for Mr. Jenkins Salisbury and herself." President Smith's quotation from his aunt makes it sound as though the couple were not married until after they came to Kirtland. Since Ohio marriage records indicate that the proper documentation was filed for such an event, ostensibly occuring in Geauga Co., on June 8th, it is possible that Sidney Rigdon, an ordained minister in that state, simply submitted the necessary paperwork to make the union legal there.

Note 2: W. J. Salisbury was not baptized a Mormon until after he arrived in Kirtland from New York. Thereafter he was a luke-warm Saint, at best. He was a participant in the Zion's Camp march to Missouri and was briefly a member of the LDS First Quorum of Seventy. He was excommunicated in 1836 but remained married to Catherine and continued to live in close proximity to the Mormons in Missouri and Illinois. Lucy Mack Smith speaks of him renting land in Illinois in connection with her sons Samuel and Don Carlos. He was an associated of William Smith and by 1845 Salisbury had a connection of some kind with the Mormon brigands, Bill Hickman and Jack Redden; this connection probably ended when William Smith broke his own ties with that group. "W. J." and "Catherine" Salisbury, along with Mrs. Salisbury's sister and her husband, "Arthur" and "Lucy Milliken," apparently signed Lucy Mack Smith's May 11, 1846 "Testimony" saying they were "satisfied that Joseph appointed James J. Strang" his successor in the leadership of the Mormon Church; however, the sisters later repudiated the published "certification." For more on the sisters' later years, see the Jan. 25, 1954 issue of the RLDS Saints' Herald, as well as Kyle R. Walker's 2002 article, "Katherine Smith Salisbury and Lucy Smith Milliken's Attitudes..."

Note 3: W. J. Salisbury died at Plymouth, Hancock Co., Illinois, on Nov. 27, 1853, leaving Mrs. Salisbury a widow. She and some of her children eventually joined the RLDS Church. The lady provided various accounts of her past, published in the years 1881, 1894, and 1895. For more on her reported 1830 "miraculous" pregnancy, see notes attached to an article in the May 17, 1831 issue of the Painesville Geauga Gazette.


Vol. III.                           Warsaw, Illinois, April 15, 1846.                           No. 3.


The latest news from the Mormon Expedition, now on its way to the West, is that they were encamped on the Chariton river. The leaders had sent word back to Nauvoo, advising their followers not to remain any longer to sell their furniture, &c., but to bring it on, as they could trade it to the settlers on the route, for provisions and provender.

We also learn, from a reliable source, that Bill Sith, Patriarch, &c., has gone over bag and baggage, to the Strang Dynasty.

We learn that there is considerable stealing going on in Nauvoo. When a Strangite loses anything in that way, he charges it to the Twelve party -- and vice versa. "Dog eat dog," seems to be the order of the day now. In this business the Gentiles can look on with perfect composure.

==> The following is a copy of a letter with the omission of the name of the Post Office and the sender, from a source entitled to credit. We publish it, in order that our readers may be informed of the subject matter -- merely adding that we have before received intimations to the same effect.

                                                                  _____________, April 4, 1846.
Mr. Sharp: -- Dear Sir: -- I take this opportunity to inform you that I have been informed that O. P. Rockwell, in connection with Jack Redding and others, intend, before they leave this country, to slay you and some others. My advice to you is to look out.
                                Yours, &c., ________


For the Warsaw Signal.                    
Mr. Sharp: --  Dear Sir: -- I discover by your paper, in what you have published in regard to the Mormon endowments, given of late in the temple, that you have been wrongly informed at least, so far as actual experience has taught me in the orgies of an afternoon, in that (as I have been taught to believe) most holy building. In revealing what I am about to do, I have no lashing of conscience; notwithstanding I took upon myself, during the laughable farce, several oaths and obligations of a serious character, not to reveal the secrets of the priesthood -- had they been given me by anything other than assumed authority, and vile, corrupt, licentious libertines, taking upon themselves the livery of Heaven, and essaying to represent the characters of our God and Savior -- knowing these characters as I did previously to be the most debased wretches upon earth, the whole farce appeared to me to be nothing less than fearful blasphemy.

I went into this pretended holy operation, in company with 14 others, all sisters in the Mormon church, and with most of whom I was well acquainted. They were, in the main, women of good character, and appeared sincere in their respective devotions. We were first received past the Guard into a private room on the north side of the Temple -- this was the room of preparation of purification. -- We were divested of all our apparel, and in a state of perfect nudity were washed from head to foot, -- a blanket was then thrown about our persons, and then commencing at the head we were anointed from head to foot with sweet oil scented (I think) with lavender. We were then clothed in white robes. All this was done by sisters in the church -- none others were present -- it is false to say that men and women are admitted together in an indecent manner. We were then conducted into a room called the Garden of Eden; here we found several of our brethren robed in white also, and apparently in a soporific state. We were presented before them and a voice from the Lord awoke them from sleep. After a considerable ceremony, which I do not recollect much of, we were left by the Lord and soon a very dandy-like fellow appeared with a black cap on; that had a long tail attached to it; he appeared very familiar -- and by his very insinuating and friendly manner induced some of our sisters to eat of the "forbidden fruit." Soon after the voice of the Lord appeared again in the garden; we all appeared frightened, and both men and women huddled together into the corner of the room, as if in the act of hiding. The fellow in the black cap presents himself before the Lord and engages in a controversy, boasting of what he had done. The Lord pronounces a curse upon him -- he gets down upon his belly and crawls off. At this period of the holy ceremony, I could not suppress my risible passions; for this fellow acted his part well -- undoubtedly his part being the part of a Devil -- was the most natural. We were then presented with aprons, which we put on about this time, a sword was shook at us through the partition of the room, which was to guard the Tree of Life. After considerable ceremony, which I do not recollect, we were passed into another room, which was dark and was dreary. This was called the Terrestrial Kingdom; immediately the dandy in the black cap made his appearance; at first he appeared very sly -- peeping about, and when he found the Lord was not present, he became very familiar and persuasive. Said he, 'here we are, all together, and all good fellows well met. Some Methodists, some Presbyterians, some Baptists, some Quakers some Mormons, and some Strangites, &c. &c. Come let us drink together.' In this way he tempted us, and we partook with him. After a considerable parade and ceremony, we passed into another room, or Celestial Kingdom. Here I saw some of the Twelve, and particularly Brigham Young, with a white crown upon his head, and as I have since been told, representing God himself. We passed this room without much ceremony into another. I have forgotten what it represented; not much of interest transpired here, & we were conducted back and put in possession of our clothing -- all save sister ______; she had a very fine alpaca dress stolen during her absence, and has never been able to recover it.

In the different apartments of this singular farce, we took ourselves oaths and obligations not to reveal the secrets of the priesthood. I do not consider them binding; as I have had ample and repeated opportunity to prove the administrators of these obligations as corrupt as the Devil in Hell. In one place I was presented with a new name, which I was not to reveal to any living creature, save the man to whom I should be sealed for eternity. By this name I am to be called in eternity, or after the resurrection. This name was _____; and from all that I can gather, all the females had the same name given them, but we are not allowed to reveal it to each other, under no less penalty than to have our throats cut from ear to ear, our hearts torn out, &c., &c. I have forgotten a part of the penalties. In one place something was spoken to me which I do not recollect -- the meaning was "marrow in the bone;" the token was a firm hold of the hand, pressing the finger nails firmly into the wrist of the right hand. I have since been told by a brother, that there was a mystical meaning in this, that will hereafter be revealed to me.

Now, sir, this is the substance of the Mormon endowment -- and the Mormon who says it is not true, is a liar, and the truth is not in him! I have been a member of this farce of Priestcraft for the last six years; the first four years I suspected nothing but what I was in the right of all holy things. The last two years I have been doubtful, seeing the abandoned conduct of the priests; but I toiled on, expecting something would be revealed in the endowments of the Temple that would strengthen my faith, and qualify me for heavenly purposes. For this I have toiled by night and by day; for this I have worked my fingers to the quick, to gain something from my scanty allowance, to assist in the completion of that building, the motto of which was the to be "HOLINESS TO THE LORD," and illumined by the Shekina of heaven. Imagine then my disappointment in the blasphemous farce I saw acted before me, and by men who have at repeated trials, attempted to seduce me into the lowest degradation and ruin. But thanks to my Heavenly Protector! I have been enabled to withstand the shock, and hope and trust I shall outlive this disgrace of once being associated with such a set of heartless scoundrels. I hope, sir, for the good of community, you will give my "revelation" a place in your columns, for in the presence of high heaven, I pronounce every word of it truth, and nothing but truth.
Yours,                           EMELINE.

We are assured that the article from "Emeline" contains a true and faithful account of the blasphemous farce, which has been for some time carried on in Nauvoo, under the name of the holy endowment -- practices such as only can be found among the most debased people on the globe -- Esquimaux or Hottentots. -- And it will be perceived that the statement differs only in some particulars, from those heretofore published in this paper. This discrepency can easily be accounted for by the fact, that while the former statements have come mainly from second or third persons, in a broken and disconnected form, that of Emeline is from a bona fide participator and recipient of the spiritual blessings.

Note 1: The "Emeline" letter was written in response to an article published in the Feb. 18, 1846 issue of the Signal, in which it was stated that Mormons going through the endowment in the Nauvoo Temple, did so "in a state of nudity" all through the latter part of the ritual. See also I. M. Van Dusen's 1847 pamphlet A Dialogue Between Adam and Eve, The Lord and the Devil.

Note 2: Editor Thomas C. Sharp's mention of William Smith's affiliation with the Strangites was evidently the first publication of that important development in Mormondom. The reasons behind William's decision were probably several. He knew that the Saints' days in Nauvoo were numbered and he needed to form an alliance with one group or another, in order to secure the necessary resources and support whereby the extended Smith family could move elsewhere. He may have also felt some apprehension for his own safety, with gunmen like Elders Rockwell and Redden roaming Hancock County at will. Some writers have given the credit for William's "conversion" to the missionary efforts of Strangites like Moses Smith, or to doctrines enunciated in J. J. Strang's letters to Lucy and Emma Smith. Some or all of these factors may have played a part in William coming to the decision he did and at the time he did. At any rate, he soon left the chaotic and dangerous river city to investigate circumstances and possibilities in Voree, Wisconsin.


Vol. III.                           Warsaw, Illinois, April 29, 1846.                           No. 5.


Our readers will recollect that a few weeks since we stated that Wm. Backenstos had asserted in Carthage, that J. B., his brother, had been baptized by the Mormons. This we did, on the authority of a letter received by us from a gentleman in Carthage, who had heard the remark. Soon after the appearance of of our paper, we received the following letter from Mr. Backenstos:

                                                 Nauvoo, March 27, 1846.
T. C. Sharp, Esq.

Sir: You in your paper of the 25th instant, in an article headed 'Backenstos a Mormon,' say that I stated last week, that J. B. Backenstos had been baptized by the Mormons. In relation to that statementm it is false. U never made such a statement, neither do I know of his being baptized.

Please publish this in your next.
          Yours, &c.,           Wm. Backenstos.

This letter we should have published in our next, had it not been for the fact that we saw Mr. Backenstos before it appeared, when the following scene took plce. He was standing in front of Gould & Mellen's store, & a considerable crowd was collected around him. We accosted him, and stated that we had received a letter from him in the last mail. 'Yes, I wrote you one,' was the reply. 'Well,' said we, 'there's a lie out somewhere, for we have a letter from a gentleman of veracity, who states you did say J. B. had been baptized as a Mormon.' 'No,' said Backenstos, 'I did not say he HAD been baptizedm but by G--d, I believe it!" --

'Well,' said we, 'we will publish your letter, and add this last remark as an appendix.' 'No,' replied he, 'I guess you had better not publish it at all.' 'Just as you say,' said we. 'Then, don't publish it,' was the rejoinder. [further documention of the claims follows]

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. III.                           Warsaw, Illinois, May 6, 1846.                           No. 6.


We learn that this notorious cut throat was arrested on Friday morning last, in Nauvoo, on the charge of murdering F. A. Worrel. The warrant was issued in Carthage on the affidavit of Dr. Watson, who heard Rockwell make confessions sufficient for his conviction, and five of the Hancock Guard were sent down to Nauvoo to execute it.

A correspondent furnishes us with the following particulars of the arrest.

"The Troops went to Backenstos' house and a little before day Backenstos and C. Higbee went with them to the house where they supposed Rockwell had gone to roost, having watched him till late in the evening. They searched the house from bottom to top without success; they then searched a second house without finding him; but by accident, as it were, they found out that he was in a certain three story Brick house, some distance from where they were then searching.

They repaired thither immediately, Backenstos leading the way. On arriving at the house Backenstos rapped at the door. The owner of the house Mr. Sanders, enquired who was there; to which Backenstos replied that it was his "friend Backenstos the Sheriff." The door being opened, Backenstos told him that the troops were there for the purpose of arresting Rockwell; that they were determined to take him dead or alive. S. told him Rockwell was not there, Backenstos said he knew better and that he had better go up and bring him down and save farther trouble. The Landlord then ran up stairs and returned in a short time saying that Rockwell, would not be taken. Rockwell, it seems, was up in the upper storey. The stairs that led to his room were narrow and winding, just wide enough to admit one person at a time. -- The troops waited and consulted about three hours as to the best means of getting him.

Rockwell put his head out of a window, two horse pistols were leveled at it immediately; but in the twinkling of an eye he drew it in again. Backenstos ventured to the foot of his stairs. Rockwell ordered him to stop, which he did. They all then went below and some one of them told the man of the house to take out his family and a few of his valuable goods, as they were going to shut the doors and burn the house down. He endeavored to argue the case; but the troops would not hear to it. He then went above and prevailed on Rockwell to give himself up, which he did. Rockwell had with him 2 fifteen shooters, 2 six shooters, a brace of single shooters and a Bowie knife.

The troops started this morning with him for Quincy having waived an examination and desired to be committed."

It appears that Rockwell after his last return to the Holy city, hearing that Governor Ford had disbanded the Guard, charged around more violently than he had ever done before, He yelled about the city a la Indian -- swore the Governor had dismissed Major Warren and given him command in Hancock, and he intended now to go it on the loud. So violent and boisterous was he, that many of the Saints became alarmed least he would commit some act of violence which would arouse the surrounding country.

After his arrest on the charge of murder he was taken on the charge of counterfeiting and passing counterfeit money.

It will be recalled that last fall O. P. Rockwell was J. B. Backenstos' right hand man. It now appears that Backenstos has turned against him; probably he began to fear that Rockwell's indiscretion might ruin his prospects.


We have received the Voree Herald No. 4.. It is enlarged and gives evidence in its columns that the new Prophet is flourishing.

We notice the minutes of the late Conference in Voree, at which a High Council was organized to try the Twelve, on charges of conspiracy to overthrow the order of the Church, Ysurpation, Tyrannous Administration, Teaching False Doctrine, and Blasphemy, on hearing it was considered that they should be cut off from the Church.

The present number contains letters from Apostle Page and Wm. Smith in which they give in their adherence to Strangism.

Notes (forthcoming)


Vol. III.                           Warsaw, Illinois, May 13, 1846.                           No. 7.


We learn by a letter from Quincy, that Rockwell appears to be very melancholy, and complains bitterly that his friends have all forsaken him.

We observe that the Hancock Eagle of the 1st inst., gives to Backenstos the whole credit of making the arrest, & states that Rockwell made no objection or opposition. This differs very materially from all other statements we have heard

Rockwell will be brought to Carthage next week, and if an indictment is found against him, will probably be tried at the approaching term of Court.

Strang gives the following advice to his followers in Hancock:


(read original article in Voree paper)

Notes (forthcoming)


Vol. III.                           Warsaw, Illinois, May 20, 1846.                           No. 8.


==> The Western Expositor states that ex-Governor Boggs, of Missouri, is about starting for California. It will be unfortunate for the Saints if he happens to arrive there before they do.

FOR CALIFORNIA. -- This Spring it appears that the whole tide of Western emigration has turned for California. A correspondent of the St. Louis Reveille, states that but one wagon has arrived at Independence, bound for Oregon, while hundreds are on their way to California. -- We think the Saints had better go to Oregon.

Notes (forthcoming)


Vol. III.                           Warsaw, Illinois, May 27, 1846.                           No. 9.


For Hancock County commenced its session on Monday of last week, & closed on Saturday Morning. Considerable business was despatched during the week. -- The terrible forebodings of the Hancock Eagle were not realized -- as no event occurred to mar the general tranquility.

An indictment was found against O. P. Rockwell, for the murder of Franklin A. Worrell, in September last; and a change of venue has been taken to Jo Daviess county for trial.

The prisoner was brought up from the Quincy Jail, on Monday, by officer Pitman, and confined in the Carthage Jail until his case was disposed of, when he was again taken to Quincy.

Other indictments were found -- one against Wm. Backenstos (the former Sheriff [sic]) for Perjury -- another for Swindling, and one against Gen. W. Stigall for passing counterfeit money.

O. P. Rockwell passed up yesterday on board the Tempest, bound for Galena, in charge of Mr. Pitman, Sheriff of Adams county.

Notes (forthcoming)


Vol. III.                           Warsaw, Illinois, June 17, 1846.                           No. 12.


The report that the Mormons had attacked a body of California emigrants on the plains, and killed Gov. Boggs and others, turns out, as we expected it would, to be a hoax.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. III.                           Warsaw, Illinois, June 24, 1846.                           No. 13.


(under construction)

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. III.                           Warsaw, Illinois, July 1, 1846.                           No. 14.


THE CITY OF NAUVOO has become a "town." The Eagle states that an Election of Trustees for the 'Town of Nauvoo,' took place on the 25th instant -- and resulted in the choice of Messrs. Clifford, Bidemon, Jones, Morrill and Clapp.

THE MANSION HOUSE, NAUVOO. -- We have heard this popular Hotel lightly spoken of, by some of our citizens, and its obliging and accomodating host -- Dr. Abram Can Tuyl -- recommended to the travelling public. Will our friends who visit Nauvoo, call on the Doctor and see "if these things are so?"

Note: Editor Sharp's euphemisms, in mentioning the Nauvoo Mansion House, amount to his calling the place a brothel, or a nest for unsanctioned liaisons. At the time, Emma Smith and her family were away from the scene of turmoil. She shortly thereafter returned, evicted the disreputable Van Tuyl, and married the Mr. Bidemon listed in the "Town of Nauvoo" item.


Vol. III.                           Warsaw, Illinois, July 7, 1846.                           No. 15.


MORMONS. -- There is a report that Col. Kearney has despatched an officer to enlist the Mormons as infantry. This is scarcely possible, but if so when enlisted they should be placed under the immediate command of the notorious Backenstos. The could then elect Orrin P. Rockwell as Lieutenant, and some other men of similar stamp to other offices. Has it yet been ascertained how many persons recommended the appointment of Backenstos as Captain and who they were. -- New Era.

THE MORMONS ON THE FRONTIER. -- We learn, by a gentleman just from the Indian country, that the conduct of the Mormons in intermarrying with the Indians and otherwise intermingling with them has aroused the suspicions of the Government agent, and he has reported the matter to the Department at Washington.

Great hostility exists against the Saints in that region, and it is said if they do not leave soon, efforts will be made to drive them away.

Last week, it is stated that a Mormon stole a yoke of oxen from one of the settlers on the New Purchase. The owner pursued and overtook the thief, with the oxen attached to his wagon, which he endeavored to disengage, but the Saint opposed him -- pushing him twice away -- The latter, becoming exasperated, hurled an iron wedge at the head of the Mormon -- killing him instantly.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. III.                           Warsaw, Illinois, July 14, 1846.                           No. 16.


The leaders of the Mormons were at Council Bluffs. About one thousand wagons, belonging to Mormons, had arrived there, and they were waiting for the remainder to come up, when they intended to proceed to Great Pawnee Island, on the Platte, and there encamp for the winter. They had already commenced crossing the Missouri at the Bluffs. Messrs. Vasquez & Bridger, from Fort Hall, on Green river, one of the extreme western posts in the mountains, arrived at Fort John before Mr. Papin and his party left, and reported all quiet in that country.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. III.                           Warsaw, Illinois, July 21, 1846.                           No. 17.


MORMONS ON THE FRONTIER. -- We learn that about two thousand Mormons have settled on the disputed tract between Missouri and Iowa, and have put in a crop of two thousand acres. This settlement is about one hundred miles west of this place.

The Saints have built houses sufficient to accommodate the whole company, and from appearances it would seem that they designed to remain.

There is a great scarcity of provisions amongst them, but those of them who wish to work can find amongst the neighboring farmers plenty of employment to get good wages.

The people, in the neighborhood are divided in their feelings towards the saints. They as a matter of course tell all manner of absurd stories about their persecutions in Hancock County, and these together with their sufferings have gained for them some sympathy amongst some of the people; but there is another class who look on them with distrust and desire them to get away as soon as possible.

We stated that Col. Kearney has succeeded in raising five hundred infantry in the Mormon camp at Council Bluffs. So soon as the companies were formed the church held a meeting and voted to furnish each company with four spiritual women. This story comes from Nauvoo, and if it is not true Matlack will, certainly not accuse us of having concocted it.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. III.                           Warsaw, Illinois, July 28, 1846.                           No. 18.


TRUE PORTRAIT. -- A correspondent of the Pittsburgh Chronicle, writing from Savanah, Mo., on the Western frontier, in speaking of the Mormons, says:

"I wonder if you have a correct idea of a Mormon? If you have not, just imagine a man possessing all the qualities of a murderer, robber, swindler, libertine and fanatic and you will have a Mormon. I used to think they were rather abused and ill-treated, but now I think they richly inherited all the bad treatment they ever got.

Those numerous hordes of Mormons that started this spring for Oregon, have stopped among the Indians some distance above here, and are putting in a crop this summer. It is thought, and pretty well known for certain, that they are tampering with the Indians to engage them against the whites. It is thought as soon as they can induce the Indians to join their clans, their nefarious design is to commit depredations on our frontiers, especially since the war in the South has drawn from along here the most active of its defenders."

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. III.                           Warsaw, Illinois, August 11, 1846.                           No. 20.


By the officers of the steamer Balloon, which arrived at St. Joseph, on Saturday, we learn that the main body of Mormons, bound for Oregon, consisting of twenty-one hundred wagons, had arrived at Council Bluffs, and were engaged in cultivating the extensive fields of corn and other grain that had been planted by those who preceeded them. They were, doubtless, becoming weary of travelling, and reports began to prevail, that prophecy had proclaimed that to be the land of promise. -- Missouri Republican.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. III.                           Warsaw, Illinois, August 18, 1846.                           No. 21.


(view original article from Voree paper)

From the Rochester Daily Democrat.


Fox Lake, Dodge Co., W. T.. July 8:  We hear a great deal said now-a-days about the Mormons, and the new Mormon prophets, and perhaps your readers would be interested with a description of Strang, the person who claims to be the successor of Joe Smith, and who is now building in the territory a new Mormon city, and collecting a good many followers about him.

Being at Southport last February I fell in with him there, and heard him preach and had an interview with him, from which I learned that he was formerly a lawyer in Chautauqua or Cattaraugus county, N. Y., and removed to Illinois several years ago to take charge, as contractor, engineer or something of the kind, of a portion of the Illinois Canal; but as its construction was soon suspended, he sought other employment, and for that purpose went to Nauvoo where he became acquainted with Joe Smith. At that time, he was a most inveterate unbeliever and opposer of the Mormon faith, and being quite familiar with the bible, he contended with Smith for a considerable time, but was at last converted to the faith; and a short time before Smith's death was ordained and baptized by him to be a prophet of the Lord, and sent to Wisconsin to select a suitable place for a new Mormon city, as a branch of Nauvoo. While Strang was executing his mission Smith was killed, thus leaving Strang as his successor, as he had ordained no other prophets. While here, he pretends to have had a vision and a revelation direct from God, confirming his authority as a prophet, and directing him where to establish the new city, and pointing out to him a certain tree, under which were buried three brass plates on which was written the history of a people who had inhabited this country many years ago, and were true believers, bit had passed away, to be revived again in the person of the Latter Day Saints, or Mormons. He says he was commanded to take with him "faithful witnesses," and go to the spot indicated and dig up the said brass plates, and as none were faithful but Mormons he took three or four of them with him, who dug up the plates, while he stood by a little distance from them, and all testify that the plates must have been there a long time, as they examined very carefully and found no indications of the earth having been recently removed, and that Strang did not throw them in while they were digging, and moreover, that he could not have put them there, as they were enclosed in an earthen box, about three feet from the surface of the ground, under a large tree whose roots were interwoven about it and had never been disturbed, and that on taking said earthen box, which was covered over with a flat stone, out into the open air, the whole crumbled and fell to pieces, except the plates, which were very black. They consist of three small pieces of brass about two and a half inches wide, and about the thickness of a piece of tin, fastened together at one corner by a ring passing through them. One of them is covered on both sides [with] writing, and the other two on one side only, and having on the other side, one of them a representation of Christ and other devices, and the other a landscape representation of Gardner's prairie, the spot where the plates were found, and the site of the new city. It is near the line between Racine and Walworth counties, twenty five miles west of Southport and Racine, and near the village of Burlington.

The writing on the plates resembles a mixture of Hebrew and short hand or stenography, and is unintelligible of course to man or beast, though Strang claims to be able to translate it. The location of the new city is a very suitable one, having a tolerable water power, I believe, on White River, a small but very pretty stream -- and is in the heart of the country. It is called Voree. I am informed that there are now something like a thousand Mormons congregated there, and the number is increasing -- many of them coming from Nauvoo. The greater portion of the Mormons deny Strang's authority, and prefer going to California with The Twelve. -- Strang says that if they persist in going to California, they will never reach there, but that their bones will bleach on the plains.

In person, Strang is rather below the ordinary size, very plainly dressed, red face, bold prominent forehead, large eyes and mouth and cheek bones; in fact I may as easily describe him by saying he is a diminutive, ill favored, insignificant looking man; but possesses considerable talent, great shrewdness, an earnest, energetic manner, is very loquacious, speaks very fast and loud when preaching -- When preaching, he appears like a man trying with all his might to convince others that he had something very important to tell them, and that it was absolutely necessary that they should believe it. -- He is perfectly familiar with the Bible, and very persevering in his efforts to convince others of the truth of peculiar passages.

On the whole, I should think him well calculated to make converts and get together a large body of people and control them, as he possesses talent, energy and shrewdness, is very pertinacious in argument, and has ready wit. They appear to be honest, inoffensive people, but it is feared by many that we shall have trouble with the, when they get strong, as they have had in Illinois.
        Yours. &c.               MONROE.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. III.                           Warsaw, Illinois, August 25, 1846.                           No. 22.


MORMON RECRUITS. A gentleman, direct from Fort Leavenworth, informs us that the rumor given out through some of the city papers yesterday, that about one thousand Mormons were collected at the forst in hopes of being enlisted into Gen. Kearney's command was not correct. The larger portion of the Mormons says our informant, who were encamped on the Missouri river, at Bellview, have moved up the river, intending to reach, if possible, before the fall sets in, the general encampment at Big Island, on the Platte river. A small number of men had come down to the fort to procure shoes and clothing from the suttlers and other traders, and as soon as their purchases were complete, would rejoin the Mormon camp.

The enlistment of large numbers of vagabond Mormons into the army on the terms reported, is nothing more than a contribution from the U. S. Government to keep these fanatics embodied and to pay their expenses to the Pacific. They will render no service to the Government but when they arrive, will again set political hierarchy, inconsistent with a proper submission to the laws of the State. -- New Era.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. III.                           Warsaw, Illinois, November 14, 1846.                           No. 27.


(view original article from Springfield paper)

MORMON AFFAIRS. -- Gov. Ford still appears to be cutting a ridiculous figure in Hancock county. He finds every thing peaceable, and is surprised that he cannot scare up an enemy. The Anti-Mormons have volunteered their assistance to put down the violators of the laws, if he can find them; but, unfortunately, he can find no person that opposes him, and no enemy to fight, unless he makes enemies by his foolish course, He made a speech to the people of Carthage, which consisted of reduced thunder. He will probably march and countermarch in the prairies of Hancock county, and finally come to the conclusion that it is worse than a wolf hunt, and then he will march in royal state back to Springfield. He has been heroic when heroism was not needed, but very backward and deficient when energy was required. -- New Era.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. III.                           Warsaw, Illinois, December 5, 1846.                           No. 30.


VOREE HERALD. -- By the October No. of this paper, which has just come to hand, we learn that Dr. John C. Bennett, George J. Adams and John Greenhow, (formerly of Nauvoo) have joined the dynasty of Strang, and are engaged in carrying forward the work, with Bill Smith and John E. Page, who joined sometime since

The Herald charges that Brigham Young instigated two Indians to murder Col. Dunham. Can any one tell anything about this murder? If we ever heard of it, it has escaped our recollection. Who can read all these charges of crime and rascality, which the several clans of Mormons are making against each other, without coming to the conclusion, that Mormonism in its inception and progress, is but another name for scoundrelism?

The Herald in reference to the sale of the Temple by the Brighamites, has the following: "We have no fears about their selling the Temple; as any title given by them could be of no value whatever."

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. III.                           Warsaw, Illinois, January 9, 1847.                           No. 35.


We see by the Register, that Elder Wm. Smith, "brother to the martyred prophet, and one of the Twelve Apostles of the prophet James J. Strang, the true successor of Joseph Smith, Jr.," was to lecture in the Peoria Court House, on the 27th ultimo.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. III.                           Warsaw, Illinois, January 16, 1847.                           No. 36.


ZION'S REVEILLE. -- Keemle and Field, of St. Louis, may as well 'hang up their drum' now; a new competitor has entered the field, which is bound to 'take the rag off the bush.' By the last mail, we received a new paper, called the 'Zion's Reveille,' edited by the redoubtable John Green-horn, who formerly figured at Nauvoo. It is the organ of the Strangite branch of the C.J.C.L.D.S., and hails from the celebrated city (that is to be) of Voree in [Wisconsin]. It is certainly altogether ahead of the St. Louis drummers -- can quote more Latin, use more big words, and utter more nonsense generally. We notice with pleasure that our friend, the editor, has risen in the world, since he left these parts, having reached the high and exalted post of President of the H. P. Q. Doctor J. C. Bennett figures largely at Voree, as usual.

We have one caution to give these Reveillers -- that is, to take care, lest, insread of being drum-mers, they may be the drum-ed.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. III.                           Warsaw, Illinois, January 23, 1847.                           No. 37.


We are in the regular receipt of a paper from the City of Voree, in Wiskonsan [sic], the place where the Strangite branch of the Mormon Church has located, and are again building up a Zion. The paper is called 'Zion's Reveille,' and is to be devoted to drumming up the Saints of the true fold, and drumming down the apostate Brighamites, Rigdonites, &c. It professes to be edited by John Greenhow, but its principal articles are evidently written by Dr. John C. Bennett, who seems to be second in command.

We intend to keep our readers advised of what is doing up there; and for this purpose we make a few extracts from the number before us.

By the following it will be seen that young Joseph Smith has been appointed to the First Presidency:

THE FIRST PRESIDENCY. -- Young Joseph Smith, (eldest son of the martyred prophet) has been appointed one of the first presidents of the church, by revelation, in the place of his uncle Hyram, and William Marks has been appointed his coadjutor, in like manner. The first presidency now consists of James J. Strang (in place of Joseph Smith martyred;) (George J. Adams, (in place of Sidney Rigdon, apostatized,) and Joseph Smith, (in place of Hyram Smith, martyred;) William Smith, the only surviving brother of Joseph and Hyrum, is the chief Patriarch, and as the Patriarch of the whole church has always held a seat in the councils of the first Presidency as coadjutor, that high prerogative will be freely accorded to him, by virtue of his patriarchate.

The following eulogy on John E. Page could come from no one else than Bennett. The 'eloquent' gentleman is well recollected in these parts.

JOHN E. PAGE. -- We never speak of this man but with reverence and the most profound respect, He is a venerable president of the college of apostles, and has grown gray in the faithful service of the church. No man has done more for the cause than he, and we hope soon to see him again in the field, that his giant intellect and towering eloquence, may be brought to bear against the abominations of the wicked and rebellious of the earth. His name is of itself a tower of strength, and we feel proud to associate with such a noble spirit. We hope the church will soon relieve him from all pecuniary embarrassments as to enable him to take apostolic charge, and execute the prerogatives which pertain to that high ecclesiastical functionary.

The head quarters of this 'stake of Zion,' it would seem, are to be removed to Big Beaver Island in Lake Michigan.

VOREE. -- The Pseudos have stealthily reported that Voree is to be abandoned for the Big Beaver Island enterprise, or the Indian mission, than which nothing is more untrue. Voree is to be built up as one of the stakes of Zion, according to, & in fulfillment of, revelation; though the seat of the Indian mission, (Big Beaver Island in Lake Michigan,) is to be the great corner stake of Zion, according to another revelation. The one will not at all interfere with the other. The brethren abroad should be very careful how they give credence to the fabrications of the apostate heretical pseudos, in and out of Voree. Zion's Reveille and the Star in the East, will give the only correct information, and every faithful member of the church should take both papers.

The member of the Twelve, named in the following paragraph, we rather think will be recollected by a certain in Iowa, as the man who published a pamphlet urging the claims of Pres. Strang, and then set out for Voree, forgetting to pay the bill -- a part of the business which was afterwards performed by a Gentile who had become his security.

INDIAN MISSION. -- B. C. Ellsworth, one of the twelve, is directed to proceed immediately to the consummation of his instructions. He will find his commission with full powers, at Oswego, N. Y. His services thus far have been most acceptable, and he will be noticed more fully in our next.

We observe that Daniel Avery, of horse-thief notoriety, is also there, aiding with his peculiar talent, to extend the dominions of this modern 'Zion.'

Letter writers and correspondents of papers abroad, have already commenced the work of 'aiding and abetting' these miscreants, just as they did in the early days of Nauvoo. Letters containing the most fulsome panegyrics, and the most outrageous distortions of the truth, find their way into respectable Journals, and in this way grossly mislead the public mind. The conductors of many of these Journals have no idea of the amount of mischief they are causing, by the dissemination of these pitiful falsehoods; while others care not, so that they can make a dime or two by their publication.

In the correspondence of the Cincinnati Commercial, we find a long letter, (evidently written by Bennett himself, or one of his minions) from which we make the following extracts:

Those who follow the new prophet are usually denominated Strangites, and embrace in their number most of the talented. well disposed, honest, law abiding, and devout portion of the church. There are a few of what are called Brighamite Mormons, at Voree, who adhere to the emigrating camp, who have recently given some striking proofs of their thieving propensities, to the great annoyance of the citizens. It is supposed they were sent there to bring odium on Strang's adherents. Prophet Strang, an attorney and counsellor at law by profession, is a small man, about 32 years of age, light complexion, high forehead, intellectual, fluent in speech, of great suavity of manners, companionable, and in a word, what we would call a first rate clever fellow. His extraordinary governing powers are easily accounted for by the fact that the latter day saints believe in him. As to whether he is a true or false Prophet I will only say "there are various opinions about thatr." Their former Pontiff whom I saw in Nauvoo, in the palmy days of his military glory as Joab, General in Israel, is with Strang. The Mormons used to call him their 42 pounder. He has filled many high and responsible situations with signal ability; and is a man of great prowess and energy of character.

In view of all these matters, we have a prediction to make, and we ask the readers to mark it -- particularly those editors who have regarded the doings of the people of Hancock with such holy horror. It is this -- That in five years time the Mormons will be driven from Wiskonsan, root and branch! Mark it! We do not claim to be a prophet or the son of a prophet, but can see, in the fool-hardy career of these miserable dupes and knaves, and the action of other citizens towards them, an inevitable tendency to such a result.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. III.                           Warsaw, Illinois, January 30, 1847.                           No. 38.


President Strang's Revelation re-locating the head-quarters of the Kingdom, is published in the last 'Reveille.' It is about equal to those promulgated by Joe Smith, at Nauvoo, and plants the 'stake' very miraculously, through the agency of a big Indian, on an island in Lake Nichigan. It is very evident that the fool-killer is grossly neglecting his duty.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. III.                           Warsaw, Illinois, February 6, 1847.                           No. 39.


Gen. James Arlington Bennett. the other great Bennett, has joined the Strangites at Voree. The fool!

Note: This report appears to have been erroneous -- there is no evidence that James A. Bennett of Long Island, New York, ever joined the Mormons at Voree or at Beaver Island.


Vol. III.                           Warsaw, Illinois, February 13, 1847.                           No. 40.


Seem to have rather a hard time. It would seem by 'Zion's Reveille," that schism and apostacy, and anathemas and wrangling, are the order of the day there; and that President Strang, and [John] C. Bennett, and JohnGreenhow, and Daniel Avery, have their hands full, in keeoing the brethren within the ranks. -- The prophet raves -- the doctor puffs and blows -- and John writes muddled editorials; but all to no purpose -- the mulish Saints will run after other prophets and leaders, in spite of all their efforts. It seems that David Whitmer, one of the original five who swore to Joe's plates, has now set up for a prophet at Kirtland, and is drawing off some of the elect -- among others, Wm. E. N'Lellin, of Hinkle Church, in Iowa. One Collin Pemberton of Chicago, comes out in a handbill, denouncing Strang and his confederates; and Strang returns the compliment in the usual saintly style. They succeed admirably in proving each other villains. One half of the trouble would fully effect the purpose. The people of Wiskonsan [sic] cannot do better than give full credence to all parties, in this particular.

QUERIES. -- Just out of curiosity, we have a few questions to propound to Dr. Bennett:

Do you believe James J. Strang to be a true Prophet of the Lord, and that he is, as such, the regular successor of Joseph Smith?

This answered, then answer the following: Did you, or did you not, ever authorize the publication of a certain statement, that you never had been a Mormon; but joined them only for the sake of being better able to expose their rascality?

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. III.                           Warsaw, Illinois, March 13, 1847.                           No. 44.


We received a few days since, a copy of 'The Friend,' a medium quarto journal, published at Honolulu, on the island of Oahu, one of the Sandwich Islands, -- dated July 1, 1846... the leading article in the paper is a notice of the arrival, on the 26th June of the ship Brooklyn, 136 days from New York, with a company of emigrating Mormons on board, bound for California, and under the charge of S. Brannan, formerly editor of the 'N. Y. Messenger.' There is a long editorial, giving a history of the sect -- the finding of the plates -- the origin of the Book of Mormon -- belief -- present condition and prospective plans -- derived, of course, from the leader of the expedition. It also furnishes the Islanders with a history of the miraculous death of the Prophet -- an account of that terrible streak of light, that struck so many people dumbfounded, &c., -- derived from that very authentic work, the 'Book of Daniels!; which, it seems, has become a standard work.

Capt. Richardson, master of the Brooklyn, testifies to the good character of the emigrants; says that they lived peaceably with one another and were uniformly quiet and orderly. Neither captain or editor gives any account of Thefts being committed on board or ashore -- which strikes us as very remarkable; though it may be accounted for by the fact, that these emigrants were from the sea-noard, and had never been at Nauvoo, to become initiated into the true practices of the Church.

ZION'S REVEILLE, (the drummer for the Saints at Voree,) comes to us weekly laden with the learned logic and [lpre] of John E. Page, its present editor. Not a word in it, however, about John C. Bennett. What has become of him?

"As for President Strang, he carries with him, in all his deportment and proceedings, all that evidence of his divine calling that President Joseph Smith ever did." -- Zion's Reveille.

Ah! Joe could curse and swear and blaspheme, and cheat, and lie -- besides many other things enumerated in the Decalogue. Can Strang do all this? Verily then, let no man henceforth deny his heavenly calling.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. III.                           Warsaw, Illinois, May 8, 1847.                           No. 52.


...A newspaper has been started at Yerba Buena, by S. Brannan, the leader of the Mormons, who is said to have been bro't up by Joe Smith himself, and is consequently well qualified to unfold and impress the tenets of his sect...

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. IV.                           Warsaw, Illinois, June 12, 1847.                           No. 5.



We learn from a gentleman who came from Nauvoo on Wednesday, that the Mormon Temple was that day sold to a committee of the Catholic Church for the sum of $75,000; and that the purchasers had also brought some considerable other property in the city. The contract for the Temple, however, was so far incomplete, as to require the ratification of the Bishop. It is understood the building is to be appropriated to Educational purposes connected with the Church into whose hands it has passed.

We think the Temple sold well -- considering that 'sister Emma' and the young Smiths are supposed to have an interest in it, and that 'President Strang,' Doctor Bennett, Bill Smith, and their coadhutors, may yet turn out to be the real 'Simon Pure' believers and propagators of the faith.

It is also stated that the last remnant of Mormonism, consisting of thirty or forty families, under charge of Daniel H. Welles, had left Nauvoo, to join the California expedition. Babbit & Co. still remain, however, as agents for the Church.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. 4.                           Warsaw, Illinois, September 11, 1847.                           No. 17.


In the last 'Reveille,' of the Strang dy-NASTY, at Voree, we find the following:

It becomes our painful duty to give public notice that William Smith, the Patriarch has been sometime since suspended pending a trial on charge of gross immorality.
Bill seems to be a 'Saint' and a 'Sinner' by turns with great regularity -- dividing service as nearly as possible between the Devil and the Devil's Vicegerent.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. 4.                           Warsaw, Illinois, October 2, 1847.                           No. 20.


We noticed some time since, that the Patriarch Bill Smith, and the Prophet Strang, had quarreled and kicked each other overboard. We learn by an article in the Quincy Whig, that Bill has issued a Pronunciamento and a Proclamation to the brethren -- in which he claims to be the true Church himself, and that the new 'Stake of Zion' is to be located at Palestine, Lee Co., Illinois, some where on Rock River. They are published in the Ottawa Free Trader.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. 4.                           Warsaw, Illinois, October 16, 1847.                           No. 22.


The Strang-Mormon paper at Voree -- 'Zion's Drummer,' -- has been enlarged -- doubled in size, from 6 by 9 to a 12 by 9 -- and changed to the 'Gospel Herald,' (Heavem save the Gospel!) and is now a very interesting paper -- to its editor.

The last No. contains a discussion between its learned editor, John E. Page, and some one who calls himself a Roman Catholic, in which the editor thinks, the chair Pontifical is knocked completely from under Pope Pius and the tiara from his brow. All these old fashioned religions had better steer clear of this modern reformer. Have mercy! -- have mercy!

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. 4.                           Warsaw, Illinois, December 11, 1847.                           No. 30.


The St. Louis Republican contains some interesting items of intelligence from the Mormon Colony, now on their way to California. It is derived from a Mr. Little, who had just arrived from the "Great Salt Lake City," the place pitched upon for the new settlement of these people -- and which place he left in August last.

From Mr. Little's statements it would appear that the Mormons must have suffered much from various causes, during their travel westward, and that there is little prospect of their sufferings being at an end -- such is the barren and inhospitable state of the country in which they are intending to pass the winter.

When Mr. Little left, they had engaged in the erection of a stockade fort, to cover some ten acres, as a protection against the Indians -- and within this fort all the dwellings were to be erected. Wood was very scarce in the valley, and the soil, for the most part, exceedingly poor, though small portions of it are fertile. The Republican apprehends that very distressing accounts will be received from the colony in the spring.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. 4.                           Warsaw, Illinois, December 25, 1847.                           No. 32.


THE GOSPEL HERALD. -- We still continue to receive the Gospel Herald from Voree, Wiskonsan, the promised land of the Strangites. We shouldn't know its contents for Gospel -- but as it is a new kind -- 'the Gospel according to the apostle Strang' -- that is not to [be] wondered at.

Notes: (forthcoming)

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