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Vol. XIX.                 Quincy   Illinois  Wednesday,  August 17, 1870.               No. 117.


"LIFE IN UTAH: or the Mysteries and Crimes of Mormonism, being an expose of their secret rites and ceremonies, with a full an authentic history of Polygamy and the Mormon sect, from its origin to the present time;" by J. H. Beadle, editor of the Salt Lake Reporter. Published by the National Publishing Company, St. Louis, Mo.

The attention which Mr. Beadle's letters on Mormonism, written from Utah to the "Cincinnati Commercial," attracted throughout the country, justifies us in predicting that this new work from his pen will command a large and rapid sale. Of all the writers who have yet touched upon this theme, Mr. Beadle is, perhaps, the best prepared for the task. His long residence among the Mormons, and his position as editor of the "Salt Lake Reporter," have given him a familiarity with the subject, which it is impossible for any mere transient visitor to acquire. We are therefore justified in placing more than usual confidence in his statement, which he supports, by an overwhelming array of testimony from both Mormon and Gentile sources.

It may be said with truth, that the curiosity of the public with regard to the state of affairs in Utah, was never so great as at present. Mr. Beadle's book will amply satisfy the most curious. He traces the history of Mormonism from the birth of its Prophet and founder, down to the present day, and shows how completely the Mormon Leaders have duped their followers; how they are kept in a state of treasonable hostility to the Union; and how the Territory has been made a scene of constant strife and blood shed. The work goes deep into the mysteries of this strange religion, and lays bare its horrible licentiousness. It abounds in records of the vilest and most terrible occurrences, which make it read more like a romance than a veritable history.

Coming before us at a time when the General Government is making a determined effort to restore order and morality in Utah, we find it a most welcome and useful work. It is far more thrilling than the majority of sensational books with which the country is flooded, and is calculated to do much good by giving the public a candid and impartial statement of a question which bids fair to cause no little trouble. The books are only sold by subscription, and agents are wanted in every county.

Note: John Hanson Beadle, journalist and author, was born in Liberty township, Parke County, Indiana, Mar. 14, 1840, son of James Ward and Elizabeth (Bright) Beadle. As a youth of twenty-one he enlisted in the 31st Indiana infantry for the Civil War, serving as a private until 1862, when he was discharged for disability. He then entered the State University of Michigan, where he studied law in addition to his regular subjects, and was graduated in 1867. He was admitted to the bar, but afer practicing in Evansville, Indiana for one year, abandoned that profession for the career of a journalist. His first newspaper work was done [in 1868-69] for the Cincinnnati Commercial following which he spent eight years in the far West, the first year as editor of the Salt Lake Reporter. His Life in Utah, Western Wilds and the Men Who Redeem Them, and The Undeveloped West are the results of his experiences in the western states. In the latter years of his life he wrote editorials and historical and political articles for the American Press Association.... He died in Washington, D.C., Jan. 15, 1897. -- National Cyclopaedia of American Biography 27, pp. 344-345.


Vol. XXII.                 Quincy   Illinois  Thursday,  July 17, 1873.               No. 82.

Trouble in the Young Family.

Salt Lake, July 16 -- Announcement is made in the Journal that Ann Eliza Webb Young, the seventeenth wife of Brigham Young, has forever left him, carrying off some furniture and her personal effects. Brigham will endeavor to replevin the goods. Mrs. Young is at the Walker House, and three leading lawyers are about to institute a suit for divorce and alimony. Great revelations are expected concerning the domestic life of the prophet. Mrs. Young is enjoying the sympathies of Gentile ladies, and polygamous Mormons are a great deal disturbed about it.

Note: The same issue carried a somewhat earlier report from Utah, saying that "Mrs. Young No. 17" had left Brigham's "bed and board," and was talking of "a divorce with alimony." The account also says that "the much married Brigham" was "in trepidation lest her example may cause a general revolt in his harem."


The  Quincy  Daily  Whig.
Vol. XXVI.                 Quincy   Illinois  Tuesday,  January 11, 1876.               No. 240.


A Narrative of the Killing of
the Mormon Prophet.

The Scene and Events of the
Assassination at Nauvoo.

Gov. Ford Making Fashionable Calls
in Quincy at the Time.

(Lancaster, Pa., Intelligencer.)

Half a century ago there lived in New York State, in the vicinity of Palmyra, where Joseph Smith first became known to fame, a young man named B. W. Richmond, who afterward studied medicine and acquired the title of doctor. He formed Joseph's acquaintance there, and was familiar with the circumstances attending his self-announcement as a prophet. In later years he saw him in Ohio, and observed his course with interest. Still later he met him in Nauvoo, and was an accidental witness to the scenes incident to and consequent upon his tragic death at the hands of the Illinois mob. Ten years afterward, partly in compliance with a request of the Prophet, made just prior to his assassination, Richmond wrote a full account of the affair, intending to publish it in book form. Various causes delayed the publication, and in 1864, twenty years after the occurrence of the events which he had committed to writing, Dr. Richmond died, leaving the manuscript in the hands of his widow, Mrs. Lucinda Richmond, now residing in McGregor, Ia., by whom it has been carefully treasured until the present time. The manuscript is not only interesting as a novel, and thrilling as a tragedy, but it is a reliable chronicle of one of the most singular and startling events in the history of the nation.

Richmond says there can be little doubt that the common masses of Mormons regarded Smith as a prophet. The leaders and wise heads could not have looked upon his inspiration as very deep, but they knew full well that their machinery was calculated to succeed. That Smith could have regarded himself as inspired in the usual sense of the term is more than doubtful; that success had planted in his mind, which was intuitive rather than logical, the belief that he was born for some great end is certain; that his death, in its way and manner, has done much to stamp him as a martyr among his friends is equally true.

The causes which led to the assassination of the Smiths were various. The Mormons, after their expulsion from Missouri, were looked upon by the people of Illinois as an outraged and persecuted people, and were received with open arms to such shelter as they could afford them, without inquiry as to what the consequences might be of receiving into their midst a people who differed so widely from them in religious belief. The sagacious Mormon leaders selected a site for a city in Hancock County, on the Mississippi River, and from the sad wreck of their Missouri expulsion had begun, with almost incredible energy, the construction of all sorts of buildings, from the stately brick edifice to the humble slab hut. The site bore the name of Commerce, and lay in a horse shoe bend of the Mississippi, that noble stream making almost a circuit around the cape.

The Mormons gave their city the name of Nauvoo. The city and the colony increased in such numbers that in a few months the older residents found, instead of a few persecuted strangers, thousands of Mormons in their midst who professed a new religion, and whose avarice had been increased by outrage, poverty and disappointment. The masses of the Mormons were sober and industrious, but there were some among them who, oppressed by want, or actuated by innate cussedness, stole grain, horses and cattle from the people of the surrounding country. This led to frequent law suits, but seldom to conviction or punishment. Combined with this was another fact which bore more heavily on the Mormons than their own acts. Horse thieves from all parts of the country flocked thither and plied their profession on the credit of the saints. In numerous instances cattle were shot by political enemies of the saints and the slaughter was charged to their account.

But converts flocked in from all quarters and at the end of the first year of settlement much had been done to repair the losses in Missouri. The Legislature incorporated the city, the people were organized into a military force called the Nauvoo Legion, and Joe Smith was not only a prophet of the Lord and preacher of the saints, but brigadier general and commander of the legion. The Mormons made their votes tell in local and State elections, and twice turned the State in favor of Democracy by casting a solid vote for the candidates of that party. This enraged the opposition, and efforts were made, and proved readily successful, to inflame against the saints the jealousy of other religious sects. Several papers advocated the necessity of driving the Mormons in a body beyond the Rocky Mountains, and the feeling became so great that candidates for the President, were interrogated as to their views on the subject. Several powerful men seceded from the church, including John C. Bennett, major-general of the legion and quartermaster-general of the State. These were aided in their plots against Smith by two brothers named Higbee, reckless adventurers from Cincinnati, two brothers named Foster, Englishmen by birth; and two brothers named Wilson and William Law, Canadian rebels and refugees, all determined men, and resolved to overthrow the Mormon power. These men founded a newspaper called the Expositor, the first number of which contained a violent assault on Joe Smith.

The City Council, composed of Mormons was convened and declared the paper a nuisance. Accordingly the Mayor issued an order for its abatement. Green, the city marshal, and a dozen men, went to the office of the Expositor, removed the press, pied the type into the street, destroyed the issue of the paper and a number of handbills, and returned the order to the Mayor with an endorsement setting forth their acts. A full account of the affair was given to the public through the columns of the Nauvoo Neighbor, the Mormon paper. The Higbees, Laws and Fosters fled into the country and published the outrage to the world, alleging that a mob of a thousand men had assembled with yells and threats of death to all who hindered them, and had demolished the press, destroyed the building and burned other property belonging to the Fosters. Each party sent a message to Gov. Ford with a statement of the case. Smith, a justice of the peace at Carthage, the county seat of Hancock County, issued warrants for the arrest of the press destroyers. Some of them escaped through writs of habeas corpus obtained from the municipal court of Nauvoo, and refused to be again arrested.

The Warsaw Signal of June 11, 1844 contained an incendiary appeal to arms, declaring that the prophet had proclaimed war and placed Nauvoo under martial law; that a day would be set for a general rally to assist the officers of justice in arresting Smith; that troops were promised from Missouri and Iowa; that muskets had been received from Quincy, and men and arms were ready in St. Louis. The paper summoned every one to the field, adding: "You will be doing God and your country a service in aiding us to rid earth of a most heaven-daring wretch."

Thus, before Gov. Ford had arrived in Carthage a war was virtually proclaimed against the Mormons. On hearing of the military preparations Joe Smith ordered the legion under arms, and declared the city under martial law. On this declaration was subsequently based the charge of high treason on which he was arrested. In the same speech Joe declared that God had set up his standard in Heaven, and the powers of the earth would bow before it. Nevertheless the moment the Governor arrived in Carthage the Mormon troops were disbanded. Joe and Hyrum went to Carthage to surrender themselves. On their way they met Capt. Dunn, with an order for the State arms in possession of the saints, and they turned around and went back with him to the city. It was at this juncture that Dr. Richmond reached Nauvoo, and went to the Nauvoo House.
He says: "As I entered the hall I saw a large, well-dressed individual seated on a trunk at the further end of the hall, quietly smoking a cigar, who was pointed out to me as Joseph Smith. He was over six feet tall, of heavy build, with broad shoulders light hair and complexion, light blue eyes, long nose, a retreating forehead, large brain and short neck. The impression on me was a mingled one. He was easy in his manners, and seemed sure of an acquittal if he could get a fair hearing. Presently he mounted a beautiful chestnut horse, and with this brother and others rode up Main street to Masonic Hall, where the State arms were delivered up. Hyrum Smith was even taller than the prophet, slim built, with light hair and blue eyes, and impressed me as being a quiet, well-disposed man. The Prophet was quietly talking while the arms were being thrown into the wagon. He told Capt. Dunn that his boys would do nothing wrong, that they were good boys, and as he turned his horse toward Carthage he waived his hand to his friends and said: "You are good boys; farewell, if I never see you again." It was midnight when the Smiths reached Carthage. A thousand men were encamped there. "Death to the Prophet" was the watchword. Gov. Ford was a man of small stature, with dark hair and complexion. He seemed to be without energy or courage. While the Prophet and his brother were undergoing at Carthage the mockery of an examination on a charge of riot. Gov. Ford visited Nauvoo with an escort of sixty men and in a timid address showed that he believed himself unable to control the mob which was thirsting for Mormon blood. The wives of Joseph and Hyrum set on foot a petition praying that the Governor would protect the defenseless women and children of the city from violence). It was signed by large numbers of women, and was received by Ford with respect, and even with emotion, Joseph's wife presenting it in person accompanying it with a brief history of their troubles and a statement of their apprehensions."
She is described as large and well built with dark hair and hazel eyes, and a finely formed head. She was the daughter of a Baptist [sic] clergyman, living on the Susquehannah, was naturally intelligent, and in her strange and eventful career had learned much of human nature.

Before the Governor left Carthage the Smiths were held to trial for riot, and lodged in jail. On the morning before their commitment, they were arrested on a charge of high treason, of which no one, however, believed them guilty. The Smiths were escorted to jail by the Carthage Greys, their most bitter enemies, and the rest of the troops, over a thousand men, were disbanded within a few rods of the prison. About 6 o'clock p. m., about 200 armed men, disguised with red, black and blue paint, surrounded the Carthage jail, which was guarded by five or six Greys, the rest being half a mile distant. The guards fired their guns at the mob, but as the weapons were only loaded with wads, nobody was hurt. Quickly disarming the sentinels, the mob rushed up the stairs leading to the second floor, where the prisoners were confined. The door of their room had not even a latch, and Hyrum Smith, on seeing the approach of the bloodthirsty crew, sprang to it, closed it, and held it. Instantly a volley of balls went crashing through the thin protection into the room, one of them striking Hyrum under the eye, near the nose, and entering the brain. He reeled backward, exclaiming, "Oh, God! I am a dead man!" and at this instant another ball entered under his chin, and plunged upward into the brain. He fell backwards at full length and was dead. While he was falling, a ball struck his knee, passing through the right leg, and out at the thigh. Another struck his right side, shattered the crystal of his watch and entered his body. Some friends had given Joe Smith a revolver, and when his brother fell, the mob having pushed the door held by himself, Dr. Richards and Taylor partially open, he passed the muzzle into the opening and fired three shots into the crowd, the fourth cap missing fire. They were then forced back from the door, and retreated across the room, Smith and Taylor making for a window. Taylor put one foot out, and receiving four balls in it, fell back into the room, and crept under a bed. As Joseph Smith's head protruding from the window, two balls from the outside mob pierced his chest, one near the throat, and the other lower down, passing through the lungs. He was also fired upon from the rear by those inside, one ball entering his back, and another his thigh. He reeled forward, the blood spurting from his wounds at every heart-stroke, plunged from the window among the mob outside, and was dead when he struck the ground. No violence was offered to his person after death.

The next day the corpses were put into boxes of rough oak boards, covered with prairie hay and a horse blanket, and carried to Nauvoo. Meanwhile Gov. Ford had endorsed an order to the Nauvoo Legion to defend their city until help could be sent them, and had sent a letter to Mrs. Emma Smith by Dr. Richards, advising quiet and patience, and in twenty minutes thereafter was hurrying over the prairie to Quincy. Three days later he was making fashionable calls in that place.

Intelligence of the murder of the Smiths reached Nauvoo early on the morning after the assassination, and fell with terrible effect on the entire community. Dr. Richmond repaired to the tavern to witness the scene. The wife of Joseph was seated in a chair in a small room, weeping and wailing bitterly in a loud and unrestrained voice her face covered with her hands. The Rev. Mr. Green entered the room, and as the cries of the weeping woman reached his ears he burst forth into tones of manly grief, and trembling in every nerve, exclaimed: "Oh, sister Emma, God bless you!" Then clasping her head in his hands he uttered a long and fervent prayer. The first words the poor woman uttered were: "Why, O, God, am I thus afflicted? Why am I a widow and my children orphans? Thou knowest I have always trusted in thy law." Mr. Green rejoined to her that this affliction would be to her a crown of life. "My husband was my crown," she answered. In the next room the aged mother of Joseph and Hyrum asked with a gaze of wild despair why they had shot her dear children. Her eyes were dry, and her anguish seemed too deep for tears. The bodies were received by the officers of the Legion and a vast concourse of citizens. They were laid out in the dining-room. Six times the Prophet's wife attempted to approach the corpse of her husband, and six times she swooned away. Hyrum 's wife, with her four orphans, next entered the room and nearly fell, but succeeded in reaching her husband's body. She kissed the pale lips and face, and brushed back the hair. Her grief seemed to consume her, and she lost all power of utterance. In about ten minutes Mrs. Emma Smith, the Prophet's wife again was helped into the room, and sank upon the corpse of her husband. "Joseph, Joseph," she said, "are you dead? Have the assassins shot you?"

Her children gathered around the weeping mother and murmured father. The next day the people viewed the bodies of the brothers. Thousands passed in at one door and out at the other, tracking their feet in the Prophet's blood. The sun went down in a cloudless field of blue, as the multitude of not less than 10,000 persons began to move off in every direction. The rooms were cleared by the select followers of the Prophet, and the bodies were put into coffins and concealed in a small closet opening from the dining hall. Two rough outside coffins had been prepared, into which the bodies were apparently to be put, but instead of that the outside coffins received bags of sand. The families of the Smiths had resolved, on burying the bodies secretly, and concealing the fact from all but twelve chosen friends. The coffins containing the bodies remained secreted in the closet. While the boxes and bags of sand were carried in solemn procession to the city cemetery, followed by a vast concourse. At midnight the corpses were taken from the closet into the dining-room, to be conveyed to two graves which had been prepared for their reception. The orders were about to be given when the labors of all were arrested by a clap of thunder which shook the air and made the earth quake. The day had been intensely hot; the evening was calm and warm; the stars gleamed brightly, and no signs of a storm appeared. At about 10 o'clock a cloud, black and jagged, rose on the western horizon, and rode slowly across the sky, until it hung directly over the City of the Saints. Presently, at 12 o'clock, while the men had the coffins in their hands, this crashing peal was heard. The coffins were hastily deposited on the floor. The company became pale, appalled by death, darkness and thunder. Two lighter peals followed the grand explosion, the cloud retired toward the horizon, and in an hour no signs of it were to be seen.

It was resolved to deposit the bodies of the prophets in a cave in a secluded part of the city's bounds, and there they were hidden. This was on the night of June 29.

Joseph Smith's career was measured by sixteen years, and yet he had organized a powerful church, built cities and temples, carried on war, been a Presidential candidate, and at his death was an extensive merchant, a hotel keeper, had nearly 1,000 acres of land under his cultivation, was commander of the Legion, mayor of Nauvoo, and first president of the church.

Note 1: This article was reprinted in the weekly Whig of the 13th. A longer version of this article was published (with only a short editorial comment, crediting it to the Chicago Times), in the Salt Lake City Deseret Evening News of Nov. 27, 1875. See Newell and Avery's 1994 Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith, chapter 13, as well as Warren A. Jennings' 2001 BYU Studies article, "The Lynching of an American Prophet."

Note 2: Only one section of the short version article quotes Richmond directly. Another quote was given in some of the longer versions: "I was at the time ... staying with this man as a guest and old friend, and became possessed of the facts now stated through him. I made an earnest appeal through him, to be permitted to aid in carrying the bodies, at midnight, to their final resting place, but as I was a total stranger to all but him, they refused, on the ground that it would be a breach of the regulations, to which they had agreed to adhere." --- the remaining, unsourced statements given in the original Chicago Times article may or may not accurately reproduce Richards' manuscript. For example, the article states that the boxes containing the Smith brothers' bodies at Carthage were made of oak, while the Hamilton family at Carthage preserved the historical detail of the boxes being constructed out of pine boards.


Vol. XXIX.                 Quincy   Illinois  Tuesday,  February 11, 1879.               No. 305.


In speaking of the early days in Illinois, Gen. Shields said the Mormons gave Douglas a great deal of trouble at the time that Nauvoo was their headquarters. Just at this time Joe Smith had a revelation commanding the Mormons to vote the Whig ticket; and, as they were a formidable element in the vote of the State, Douglas and himself called upon Smith to talk the matter over. Douglas was so convincing in his arguments that Smith was converted to his views, but said as he had one revelation it would not do to have another. He said, however, that if they would call upon Rigney [sic - Hyrum?] Smith, his brother, he could probably accomplish what they wanted. Rigney Smith was accordingly consulted, and at the next convocation of the temple he had a later revelation, which directed the Mormons to vote the Democratic ticket. When Joe Smith was questioned on the subject, he replied that, as Rigney's revelation was later than his, they must follow that. The result was a sweeping Democratic victory in that portion of the State. -- Washington Dispatch to St. Louis Globe-Democrat.

Note: Compare the above story with the account given on pp. 318-19 of Thomas Ford's History of Illinois: "A great meeting was called of several thousand Mormons on Saturday before the election. Hiram Smith, patriarch in the Mormon Church, and brother to the prophet, appeared in this great assembly, and there solemnly announced to the people, that God had revealed to him that the Mormons must support Mr. Hoge, the democratic candidate... the next day... Joe Smith himself appeared before the assembly. He there stated that 'he himself was in favor of Mr. Walker, and intended to vote for him... [but] that he had heard his brother Hiram had received a revelation from the Lord on the subject... Hiram was a man of truth; he had known brother Hiram intimately ever since he was a boy, and he had never known him to tell a lie, If brother Hiram said he had received such a revelation, he had no. doubt it was a fact.'"


Vol. XXX.                         Quincy,  Illinois,  Tuesday,  July 26, 1881.                      No. 184.

[North American Review.]

Joe Smith was born in Rutland, Vt., about the time that Wingate, the combined forger and religious charlatan, made a sensation there. He removed, when a youth, to Palmyra, N. Y., and there Rigdon found him.

Smith was full of magnetism, full of warm blood, a hearty, generous fellow -- from the description, an original, untutored Jim Fisk. After proper training, Smith became the prophet and Rigdon the insporation behind him, putting cunning words in the mouth of the boor.

At last Smith, finding how pleasant it was to play prophet, and flattered by the devotion paid him, drew away from the cold Rigdon. For one of his sensual nature, it was but natural to conclude that is celestial plural marriages were good, it was a grevous waste of time to wait for death to snacrify them; that real women were greatly to be preferred to doubtful and unsubstantial ghosts, and that the right thing was to be sealed to those in the flesh. So he had a revelation; polygamy became a part of the Mormon religion, and Joe Smith a little Mohammed.

Followers began to flock rapidly around Smith. Probably without being conscious of the fact, he had made animalism the key-stone in the arch of his creed, and given to his church all the adhesiveness which cements Christian creeds, and in addition all the fascination which, to sensual nature, clings to Mohammedanism.

Thenceforth the institution thrived until it became so much of a nuisance, and took on attributes of such menace to free government, that in a paroxysm of rage the mob killed Smith. Though his life had been full of irregularities, in the hearts of his followers his death made him a martyred prophet who had died for his people, and ever since he has been held by them, as one to be reverenced next to the Nazarene.

Note 1: The above excerpt was taken from page 280 of the North American Review for March of 1881. The preceeding paragraph in C. C. Goodwin's article in that issue reads thusly: "How has this [Mormon] power waxed so strong? To answer the question a brief review is necessary. There is no doubt that the original Mormon creed was evolved from the crafty brain of Sidney Rigdon. Rigdon was born and reared in the region of the Whisky Insurrection in Pennsylvania. The first shot in that early rebellion was fired but a few rods from Rigdon’s father’s house. The man who was afterward Rigdon’s pastor was a leader with Mike Fink and his brother outlaws, and was taken to Philadelphia in irons. Rigdon was expelled from the First Baptist Church in Pittsburgh, in 1823, for heresy. He was then teaching “Common Stock” (communism), and afterward drifted naturally into Mormonism, for he was steeped with incendiarism before he was born. Greedy of power, with a subtle knowledge of lower human nature, he rightly judged that the best way to attain the object of his ambition was to place a chain of superstition around the necks of men. So he worked out the details of a new church. Among other things which his new religious code contained was the provision for sealing to the dead for eternity, that lost souls might still be saved through the grace of celestial marriage with those yet in the flesh who had been saved through conversion to the Mormon faith. But Rigdon had little magnetism; moreover, he had some education; for him to state in scholarly language what purported to be a revelation from on high would be to defeat his own purpose. He required an assistant, and searched until he found the subject that he required in a hoodlum and tramp who was going around the country with a “peep” stone, telling fortunes. This was Joe Smith...."

Note 2: The writer's linking of Sidney Rigdon's "pastor" (Rev. John Clark) with Mike Fink in the 1791-94 "Whiskey Rebellion" (centered in Washington Co., Pennsylvania) appears to be fanciful and was perhaps drawn from some fictional account penned by a member of General John Neville's family. Neville was a Pennsylvania inspector of the federal excise tax on whiskey-making at the time -- who served also as a commander of troops charged with putting down the rebellion. His grandson, Morgan Neville, was the early 1820s editor of the Pittsburg Gazette, as well as the author of the 1829 folklore account "Mike Fink, the Last of the Boatmen." For Rev. John Clark's role in the turmoil surrounding the rebellion, see Henry C. McCook's The Latimers: A Tale of the Western Insurrection of 1794 (Philadelphia: 1897).


The Quincy Daily Whig
Vol. XXXI.                 Quincy   Illinois  Tuesday,  September 26, 1882.               No. 160.


About a week ago the eastern wing of the old Nauvoo House was torn down. The building was commenced by the prophet Smith, who laid the corner stone. It was built in 1841. The Nauvoo Independent says the corner stone was in the foundation in the southeast corner and in the center of it was a square cut chest, about 10x14 inches and eight inches deep, covered with a stone lid, which fitted closely in a groove or shoulder at teh top, and cemented around the edge with lead that had been melted and poured in the seam. On removing the lid, which was done with some difficulty, the chest was found to be filled witha number of written and printed documents, most of them mouldy and more or less decayed. There was one pamphlet, however, written by some saint, narrating his worldly and spiritual experience, as near as we could glean it at a glance, which was in a good state of preservation. There were also a bible and a book of Mormon, which, when dried, will be in a condition to be read, as are also some of the written documents that were resurrected. There were also found several American coins -- a half-dollar, quarter, dime, two half-dimes and a copper cent; nearly all of them bearing the date of 1840.

Note: This initial report of the 1882 discovery at the Nauvoo House does not mention the important fact, that among the artifacts contained in the corner stone time capsule was the original "dictated" manuscript of the Book of Mormon (a few pages of which were later obtained and preserved by the LDS Church in Utah).


Vol. XXXIII.                 Quincy   Illinois  Tuesday,  May 25, 1883.               No. 31.


The Town Where Joe Smith Took Refuge
and Made Known His Revelations.

The History of the Mysterious Plates Upon Which
the Book of Mormon is Founded...

Special Correspondence of The Quincy Herald.

Nauvoo, which at one time claimed 26,000 inhabitants, now barely reaches 1,400. So far as advancement is considered, there has been little since the days of the Mormons. It is here that Smith and his followers sought to be free from what they deemed persecution.

It is supposed by some that the so-called prophet was not sincere in his teachings, but that his ambition to be a leader prompted him to start in those ideas of religious foolishness which so sadly played havoc with the citizens of Hancock county and the history of Mormonism in these parts. He first began to tamper with mysterious things in his home near Palmyra, N. Y. Here he claims to have been thrice visited by the revealing angel of God, who posted him as to where there were buried some plates upon which were graven the tenets of a new creed, which was the creed of creeds. Acording to him the plates were found and he began his play of foolishness upon a credulous public. Previous to this the Rev. Solomon Spaulding had written a romance of which the spirit of the Book of Mormon is nearly an exact copy, and that Smith and one Sidney Rigdon had found it in the printers' hands, taken a copy of it and diverted it to its present use. Parties in Palmyra, who claim to know, make assurances that Rev Spaulding was a Presbyterian, and that he did not write such a book, and that this version is true. Another theory is that Smith and his co-workers concocted the entire affair and gave it to the people as a true thing, revealed from God to his prophet.

This book of Spaulding's is entitled "Manuscript Found," and its ideas are laid down in a romance the same as the story of Smith and the revelation. It was this that gave him the idea of a new creed; a play upon the popular credulity of the times.

It is said that Smith himself was ignorant and unlettered, but he drew about him a few men of greater ability and through their crude efforts were accomplished, to [a] certain degree. The Book of Mormon is said by Smith and Rigdon, his chief apostle, to be written in the Reformed Egyptian language, as copied from the golden plates. Most of their movements were made and directed by a professed revelation from Heaven, by their "prophet, seer and revelator."

They landed in Nauvoo, or rather in Commerce City, now the northern part of Nauvoo, in the winter of 1838-9. Commerce had then been laid out a few months [previous] by a company of Eastern speculators. Nauvoo, it is supposed, was named by Smith in a revelation, and was taken from the Hebrew "Nauvauh," meaning beautiful city. Revelations continued to be received from time to time, as the occasion seemed to demand, and were promulgated through their organ at this place, "The Times and Seasons.

As to Smith's history, we learn that his idea of the thing is, that he was born in Sharon, Windsor county, Vt., Dec. 23, 1805. In 1823 the Lord made this big revelation to him (Sept. 21). He says, in a certain treatise, that the revealing angel told him that the plates contained an abridgment of the records of the ancient prophets, that had existed on this continent. On SEpt. 22, 1827, the angel delivered into his hands the records and Joseph Smith became "prophet."

These records had the appearance of gold, were six or eight inches in size, and nearly as thick as tin, and were engraved in peculiar characters, said by the prophet to be "Reformed Egyptian." They were bound in one volume like a book, opening in "legalfold," with three rings or clasps, at the top, which served for binding, the entire lot making a book perhaps six inches thick. It bore many marks of antiquity... With the plates was found a curious instrument, called by the ancients "Urim and Thummim," made of two transparent stones, set in the rim of a bow fastened to a breastplate. Through this medium was translated the record, by "gift and power of God." This testimony which the prophet gave is corroborated and signed, and is prefixed to all authorized editions of the Book of Mormon.

During the winter of 1840-41 the Legislature granted to the inhabitants three charters, embodied in one, namely: To charter and organize "The City of Nauvoo," "The University of Nauvoo," and "The Nauvoo Legion." Dr. John C. Bennett, a deep-dyed villain, was the first mayor. Smith was lieutenant general and Bennet major general of the Legion. James Kelly, "A. M.," "an alumnus of Trinity College, Dublin," was chancellor of the University.

About the first important thing the Mormons did was a step toward the building of a temple. The corner stone of this building was laid on April 6th, 1841, in presence of an immense audience. The Legion, six hundred strong, appeared in full dress. Early in 1844 [sic - 1846?] the work was completed, being mostly built by tithes and revelations. The latter being through the prophet or his brother, Hyrum, in the following manner: If a farmer had, say fifty or sixty head of fine cattle, the Lord would reveal to either of them the lamentable fact that these were worth several hundred dollars, and that without them the temple could not be finished. The next night the "Danites" in their white robes and blood colored helmets would ride out in battle array and take the cattle as revealed, and strange to say, the Lord never "revealed" on any person that belonged to the church. Nauvoo was then what might be termed a Theocracy. When two candidates came upon the field for public favor, the one who had the most money could buy a revelation from the Heavens, that he was the Lord's favorite and thus secure the coveted position, for as Nauvoo went so went the county.

June 1844 -- From this time the Mormons became odious to the people. They oppressed those that were not of their belief, stole their horses and butchered their beeves. Preparations began to be made all over the county to drive them out of the state. Gov. Thos. Ford came to Nauvoo, and mobilizd his army of state militia.

Things ran just as Smith had decreed until the people in general got tired of it. Theft, highway robberies, murder, arson and sundry other crimes and depredations were committed upon all who were not of the faith, until it was no longer safe to to live here. Joseph and Hyrum Smith were arrested on charge of treason, but as neither party were ready for trial, they were taken to the Carthage jail for safe keeping. The military were all disbanded about five miles south of Nauvoo, and instructed to go home, excepting the Carthage Greys, who were kept on duty in their city as a prison guard. Instead of going home the disbanded troops straggled towards Carthage and entered that village, where they were met by a mob from Warsaw, made an attack upon the county jail, killed the Smith brothers, and dispersed to their homes. This was on the 27th day of June, 1844. Nauvoo and Warsaw form the base of a triangle, and Carthage the other point, all about eighteen miles distant from each other. During the night the news reached Nauvoo, and this triangle was the scene of strange and desperate acts. The disbanded militia were again recalled and stationed at different points in the triangle. Houses were burned, cattle killed and as much devilment committed as could not be prevented. For some time the entire county was the scene of the wildest confusion.

At the May term of the Circuit Court there were sixty names presented to the grand jury for indictment for the killing of Joseph Smith, and the same names also for the killing of Hyrum Smith, thus making two cases against them. On the firts vote of the jury none were indicted; hence a portion of the names were stricken from the list and another vote taken, and so on until only nine names remained, who were accordingly indicted. Among these were Judge Thos. C. Sharp, then editor of the Warsaw Signal, now of the Carthage Gazette, and William N. Grover, Esq., of Warsaw, James H. Rahlston, of Quincy, and Josiah Lambron, of Jacksonville, appeared for the people. The defendants engaged some of the best counsel in the State. Among them were the late Hon. O. H. Browning, Wm. A. Richardson, Hon. Calvin A. Warren, Hon. Archibald Williams, O. C. Skinner and Thomas Morrison. The trial began May 19, 1845, and on the 30th the case was given to the jury. After several hours of deliberation they returned a verdict of "Not guilty." These indictments were brought on the evidence of two men, one by the name of Daniels, the other Brackenbury, and a woman calling herself Miss Graham. On reading the instructions to the jury, Judge Richard M. Young instructed them to disregard the evidence of these folks, as they were neither competent not reputable. At the close of the trial the defendants were required to give bond for their appearance at the June term, to answer for the killing of Hyrum Smith. When the case was called the counsel for the State did not appear, hence defendants were discharged and the case "stricken."

Judge Sharp still lives, and no man in the county has a much better reputation or more friends.

Mr. Grover is a prominent attorney of Warsaw, and well and favorably known. Both of these gentlemen stand well in their profession, and a respected. They are men, and can well be proud of their "Mormon record."

Shortly after the June term of court a party of Mormons committed a series of depredations across the river, in Lee county, Iowa. This gave rise to more of similar acts: a gang was organized with head-quarters at Nauvoo, who deemed the purpose of their creation to be to commit all sorts of crimes and deeds that a lawless band of heathen could concoct. Both sides of the Mississippi, from Quincy to Burlington, suffered from their visits; cattle were driven away and sold, hogs killed, barns burned; dwellings were burned to the ground in the presence of their helpless owners; children tortured and women brutally whipped. This lawless state of affairs went on unmolested until the defenceless Gentile doubted the majesty and security of the law, and many a man sold his all for a mere pittance and sought more congenial quarters.

On October 1st, 1845, there met at the court house in Carthage, the convention of counties. The chairmen of the Adams county delegation were Hon. I. W. Morris and William Ross; Warren -- Gen. Jas. McCallen; Knox -- Alva Wheeler; McDonough -- John Kirk; Schuyler -- George Robinson. IN all there were sixty delegates, nine counties represented, Hancock being neutral in the matter. On motion of the Hon. O. H. Browning, of Quincy, a committee was appointed to express the feeling of the people on the Mormon question and suggest a remedy for relief. A set of resolutions was hence drawn, settimg forth the measure of the enormity of the outrages committed by Mormons, and, as the only means of redress for the wronngs committed, they recommended that the Mormons be expelled from the State. These passed. The president of the church was duly notified of the decision of the convention. They were to leave by the 1st of August of the following year. The exodus began on the 10th of February. About fifty families crossed the river on the ice and went into Iowa. This was increased from time to time, the most timid leaving first. August came and all had not left. The first days found about six or eight hundred men encamped about three miles from the temple. These were increased by the arrival of more from time to time, and they occasionally had a "tilt" with the invincible "Nauvoo Legion" until October 12, when they began to move upon the city. On the 15th they encountered, at the city's edge a detachment of the Legion, and the war began. For nearly two hours the "invincible" Legion held ground, but now the artillery began to play upon them from the southwest, scattering them in wild and chaotic profusion. The white flag floated from the towers of the city and the victory of law over municipal despotism was complete. The city had capitulated; treaties were now drawn up, suffering the vanquished to remain until they could pack their goods and dispose of their property. They were to leave unmolested, leaving several families to dispose of the remainingh goods and chattels. To this day there remain still a few families here. The temple when complete, cost over $1,000,000. One of the grandest affairs in connection with it was the monster baptismal font, consisting of a huge stone basin, mounted upon the backs of twelve stone oxen, carved life size, standing nearly eight feet high.

The Mormons had also built a large wto story frame house, 129x50, to be used as a hotel, and also residence for the prophet and his wives. It was opened October 3, 1843. This was used as a hotel while a more commodious one could be built. The site selected for the new one was on an eminence on the banks of the river, about 100 feet from the water's edge. It was to be in two wings, each 125 feet in length and five stories high, and to contain about ninety rooms. The work of the foundation was begun in 1843, and steadily advanced until the news of the death of the Smiths in '44. Not a single stone was laid after this; hammer, chizel, brush and plane were instantly dropped to avenge the death of their leader. The building, as it there stood, fell into the hands of Mrs. Smith, the widow of the "prophet, seer and revelator," as trustee in trust, and sold to otehr parties, deed to be given when the building was completed; then sold under a decree of judgment, then under a trust deed to Major L. C. Bidaman, who afterwards married the prophet's widow. The south end was then completed as a residence and the north end left as a resort for bats, hooting owls and hissing serpents. The south end has been fitted up nicely and is now used by the Major as a residence. In answer to our enquiry as to his age, he blushingly told us that if he lived to see the 30th of February he would be ninety-nine years old. We noted it on our journal. "Got that down?" said he. We spoke affirmatively. "Well," said he, "just write under that, that the 30th of February never comes." We gave up the ghost. We found him a jolly old man, and from the fact that he was born in 1807, we put his age down at 76 years. He is yet hale and hearty, and thinks he has yet quite a while to abide. His wife, the prophet's widow, died some time in April, 1879, about seventy-five years of age. He was again married in 1881. Asa we look over the points laid down, we contrast what has been, with what is. Nauvoo, once a flourishing city, with as before stated 26,000 inhabitants, now is a village of about 1,400. The fine temple, supposed to have cost over $1,000,000 burnt, the walls torn down and used to construct residences, barns, pavements, etc. A fine hotel, half built, left to the mercy of the elements and time's destroying power; the prophet's residence, and the pride of the city, now a dilapidated concern scarce inhabitable; and the substantial residence of that human fiend, "Bishop" John D. Lee, razed to the earth, not a vestage remaining; the magnificent arsenel, now a Christian Academy, for the education of young ladies, in charge of the Sisters of the Benedictine order; the large and commodious residence of the noted Heber C. Kimball, a mass of ruins; all that once bore traces of advancement and prosperity is no more. What business is now here thrives in its way. The community is a wealthy one but lacks enterprise.

Everything that once savored of Mormonism is fast disappearing. The basement of what was intended to be "The Mansion" is now filled with growth of brush and trees of over thirty years standing; in fact all that once was thrift and enterprise is a mass of ruin, over which the hand of oblivion is rapidly spreading its pall. In a short time all that was once known of Mormonism in thee parts will be forgotten, and a future generation will ask, "Who were the Mormons?"

Joseph Smith, Jr., who is the head of the re-organized church at Plano, Ill., is well known to the writer, and is respected by all who know him. Some of what might be called the flagrant errors of his father he has left out of his creed. He says he does not know that his father practised or taught the soctrine of polygamy or spiritual wifery, but that it is for those who bring the charge, to substantiate it.   W. B. R.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XXXIII.                 Quincy   Illinois  Sunday,  November 11, 1883.               No. 176.



... [During the early 1840s] a most singular strife and result occured in the Galena district. This district ran like a tape string all along the western border of the State from Hancock County down to Joe Daviess, taking in all the river counties, and generally the one county that lay immediately back. Leaving out the large Mormon vote of Hancock County, which had always gone solid, just as Joe Smith, the Mormon prophet directed, the district was undoubtedly Whig. With the idea of securing this very insecure factor, the Whigs nominated Cyrus Walker, of McDonough county, who had been for some years Joe Smith's lawyer in all important matters, and they naturally supposed that this made their candidate's "calling and election sure." Walker was also perfectly commendable to the regular Whigs. He had high character, eminent ability as a lawyer, and was extensively acquainted. His qualities were solid, not shining; his appearance was unimposing, and as a speaker very unattractive. His nomination was cordially made and acquiesced in by his party, and his election was expected. The democratic party experienced some difficulty in making their nomination, but it finally fell upon Josdeph P. Hoge, of Galena.... He was quite an accomplished lawyer, fastidious, almost "dandyfied" in his habits... The district was effectually canvassed, but the result was produced by a dream. Joe Smith, who held the scales, shortly before the election called together his disciples and announced to them that he had received a revelation from Heaven in a dream, which directed that he should support Walker for Congress. So much Joe was compelled to do from personal and professional considerations, and this gave a very roseate tinge to Me. Walker's political sky. But Joe and others well knew that it was much more important, as a matter of permanent business, to keep on the warm side of the Democratic party, which then dominated the State, than it was to be personally grateful, even if under Divine orders so to be. Therefore, immediately afterward Hiram Smith, the brother of Joe... had his dream, which revealed the "very latest" news from Heaven -- this being an order to have the vote of the "Latter day Saints," as the Mormons styled themselves, given to Hoge. This last special order was obeyed almost to a man. The result was that while Walker came down to Hancock county, nearly 800 votes ahead, there the entire Mormon vote was "plumped" against him, electing Hoge by about 600 majority. Joe Smith almost alone of the "Saints" voting for Walker....

Notes: (forthcoming)


The Quincy Daily Whig
Vol. XXXIII.                 Quincy   Illinois  Saturday,  August 30, 1884.               No. 132.


A True History of Joe Smith's
Remarkable Piece of Jugglery.

(St. Louis Spectator)

How many people know anything about the origin of the Mormon religion, or rather, of the Book of Mormon, which is its authority? I knew precious little about it until this week, when I accidently fell in with Mr. Clark Braden, who has recently given the subject a most searching investigation. His story shows of what stuff a religion may be made. The Mormons number probably 800,000. They are divided into many sects, but the principal are the polygamous Brighamites in Utah and the non-polygamous Josephites scattered in various places. The story may be given in a few words. The Book of Mormon was written by an old broken down Presbyterian clergyman named Solomon Spaulding. Spaulding was born in Connecticut in 1761. He graduated at Dartmouth college, and settled as minister for a Congregational church. He made a sad failure at preaching, and went into business with his brother in New York state, did not succeed, and started up an iron foundry in a town in northern Ohio. He soon failed in that venture and became very much discouraged. His wife supported the family by taking boarders, and he spent his time writing, though what did not then appear. He afterwards rewrote the entire book, adding a third part. This is the origin of the manuscript.

Now, what became of it? Spaulding made arrangements to have it printed in Pittsburg. After a part of it had been set up, the whole manuscript was stolen by a tanner named Sidney Rigdon, who was in the habit of loafing around the printing office. Rigdon kept it concealed for some years, until he fell in with Joseph Smith, who evolved the plan of producing it. Smith belonged to a not over reputable family living near Palmyra, N. Y. They lived in a house and supported themselves by hunting and fishing and other means suspected to be more questionable. Joseph, one day, found a remarkably clear crystal, shaped much like a child's foot, and he declared it was a "peep-stone," in which he could read the future and discover stolen goods, strayed cattle, etc., and on several occasions was so successful in predicting the locality of goods and cattle that he soon came to have considerable reputation. He then extended his field of operations by divining where treasure was buried and under his directions a great many diggings were made, unsuccessfully however. These diggings extended over a large area, some fifty miles or more, around Palmyra, and some of them may be seen now. He fell in with Sidney Rigdon, who told him of the manuscript. Smith soon devised a scheme for producing it under proper surroundings. The alleged book of copper [sic] plates was found under divine guidance, on which characters of reformed Efyptian were graven. The book was accompanied by a pair of spectacles of wonderous power, which enabled Smith to translate the remarkable characters. This he did from behind a screen, while an amanuensis took down his words. The Book of Mormon was printed in 1830, at Palmyra, N. Y., a farmer, Martin Harris, putting up the cash to pay the printer. Thus Solomon Spaulding's manuscript found its way into print with such additions and alterations as Smith chose to make for his own benefit.

A book will soon be published by the Christian Publishing company giving all the investigations of Mr. Braden and the complete chain of evidence establishing the authenticity of his story. A manuscript of the Book of Mormon is still in existence in the possession of Mr. Whitmer, of Richmond, Mo., and the compositor who set up most of the book at Palmyra, fifty years ago, is still living, Mr. J. H. Gilbert. Mr. Braden is now trying to arrange that Mr. Gilbert shall see this manuscript to say whether it is the copy from which the book was originally set up.

Note: The above report was published in the St. Louis Spectator, about the middle of August, 1884. The article was also reprinted, several weeks later, in the Oct. 8, 1884 issue of the Albert Lea, Minnesota Freeborn County Standard.


The Quincy Weekly Whig.
Vol. XLIX.                       Quincy, Illinois, Thursday, April 15, 1886                     No. 4.


The Old Carthage Hotel
Dismantled and Torn Down.

Modern Improvements Render
Necessary the Destruction
of the Building.


The Whilom Shelter of Abraham Lincoln
and Stephen A. Douglass -- The Floor
on Which Rested the Dead Bodies of
the Mormon Prophets Manufactured
Into Canes and Sent to Utah -- The Old
House the Scene of Many Stirring
Events in Early Mormon History.

(Special Correspondence of The Whig.)

Carthage, Ill., April 9. -- During the past few days, the citizens of Carthage have witnessed the partial destruction of an old land-mark. Within almost a stone's throw of the principal business part of the city stands the wreck of the once-famous wayside inn. The workman's axe has played sad havoc with the old pile, and now its aged and crumbling walls stand bare and helpless to public view, telling in their mute informity of happier days, -- yeat days of sadness, and of stirring events in the country's history....

As the county settled up, this hostelry became more famous. With the advent of the Mormons into Hancock county in 1849-40, it became the rendezvous of many people of note. Among its frequent guests during the Mormon period were Joseph and Hiram Smith, Brigham Young, William Taylor, Dr. John C. Bennett and other dignitaries of the church. Smith came quite often, having more or less business in court. He is said to have always carried himself with great dignity, courting no attention; yet, when drawn into conversation, impressing his hearers with the idea that he was a man of great power and authority among his people. No one ever doubted this, and hence the prophet had none to dispute his assertions. Many incidents are told concerning Smith and his actions, when here and at different parts of the country. It is not the purpose of this article to open any old sores on this subject, believing that an impartial history of Smith and the Mormons has never been written. There can be no doubt that the prophet and his apostles did considerable proselyting throughout the county, and it was generally when upon such missions that they sought the hospitality of the old tavern....

Upon the afternoon of June 27th, 1844, a wild cry rang through the streets of the little village, "A mob has broken into the jail and murdered the Smiths." Hardly had the news passed from one pallid lip to another, than the terrible denizens of Carthage began to flee for their lives. Stores were left open, houses were deserted, and all roads leading from the city were filled with panic-stricken people hurrying to distant points of safety. But virtually one family remained in the town.The old hotel was not deserted. Artois Hamilton bade his two sons, John and William R., go round the square and lock every business house whose doors had been left open by their terrified proprietors. He, with the aid of servants, brought the frightfully riddled bodies of Joseph and Hiram Smith from the jail to his own home. William [sic - John?] Taylor, who was also in the jail at the time, and who had been fearfully wounded, was conveyed to the hotel and received medical attention. With his own hands Mr. Hamilton made coffins for the two dead brothers, while other kindly attendants prepared the bleeding bodies for their final rest. All that night these martyrs to a mysterious and peculiar faith lay shrouded in their rough, pine boxes in the bar-room of that old inn. Those who watched beside them could not place a pin's fee upon their lives. The air was full of rumors. The Legion of Nauvoo, a splendidly drilled and equipped body of men, over 1,000 strong, were reported to have begun a rapid march upon the defenseless town of Carthage. None would be spared by the furious Mormons, much less those who held in keeping all that was mortal of the prophet and their king.

The morning of June 28 dawned upon a silent village. Dead was everything, and the deathlike silence of the streets seemed well in keeping with the dead-room at the hotel. About noon that morning a squad of men were seen advancing from the timber north of Carthage. They approached cautiously, and it is said bore a flag of truce upon a staff. These were Mormon emissaries from Nauvoo. They had come to claim the bodies of their dead, and bear them back in peace to the new Zion.

Apprehending trouble in case these people attempted to return with the bodies, Mr. Hamilton advised them to return, assuring them that he would speedily follow with the remains. This he did. Procuring a wagon, Mr. Hamilton, in company only with his son John, started to Nauvoo with the remains of Joseph and Hiram Smith. At the limits of the city they were met by a detachment of the Nauvoo Legion and escorted into the place. As the mournful cortege passed through the principal thoroughfares of the city, a wild, wailing moan went up from thousands of men, women and children who had gathered in the streets and byways to greet the mournful return of their great prophet.

Amidst the sobs and cries of the stricken multitude, Mr. Hamilton related to them briefly the circumstances of the great tragedy. This done, the people slowly dispersed to their own homes....

Artois Hamilton was a peacemaker and a constant arbitrator between Mormons and Gentiles who at times stopped with him. During the trial of those charged with the killing of the Smiths, the old hotel was crowded with sympathizers on both sides. Upon more than one occasion did he, by his rare presence of mind and sturdy courage, prevent outbreaks and serious riots. Everybody went armed to the teeth. One blow would have lighted the fires of war and bloodshed that would have swept over the country like a whirlwind.

Mr. Hamilton gave up his hotel in the fall of 1851, some time after the cholera scourge. It then passed into the hands of his brother S. C. Hamilton, who was its proprietor continuously from that time until within the past few years, when it ceased to be known as the Carthage hotel, existing as such only in the past. It never lost its popularity, and was always headquarters, even in later years, for the traveling public.

Many a gay dance and merry party have occurred under its friendly roof. Gray-haired sires and matrons of to-day recall with pleasure their "first dance" at the old Carthage hotel.

During the work of removing and tearing down the building, relic hunters were busy. Old musty papers, printed scores of years ago, queer books, pamphlets, and the like were unearthed. A plank from the floor in the room upon which the bodies of the Smiths lay has been manufactured into canes and sent to Utah, where they will doubtless find a ready sale among the enthusiasts of the new Zion in the new land. But the old Carthage hotel has done its work. What few remnants yet stand of this historic pile will return to dust ere long, or fall to flames. Upon its site will be erected a handsome dwelling by one of our citizens....

Note 1: The above report evidently marks the initial journalistic foray of Isham Gaylord Davidson (1860-1956), outside of the columns of the Carthage Republican. "Gay" was born in Hancock County, Illinois in 1860, and so was about 26 when he compiled this article. He worked for several years as that paper's local editor, but the managing editor (his father, James M. Davidson) was not overly interested in re-telling the Mormon history of Hancock County, and so Gay sought other publication outlets for his fascination with pioneer times. The young journalist's Carthage-based correspondence, poems and (rarely) actual news items, ended up in the pages of Chicago's major papers, as well as in those of a number of small town sheets. His writing style was detailed, literate and highly readable, but generally suffered from factual errors. Gay Davidson was less an historian than a roving reporter who conducted interviews with old-timers and accepted their accounts without always bothering to check the purported facts. He eventually left the newspaper buisness altogether and became an executive in an insurance company.

Note 2: According to his son William, Mr. Hamilton "had boxes (not coffins) made out of pine boards, in which they were taken to Nauvoo the next day." No doubt the "boxes" were quickly constructed from materials lying about the hotel grounds -- See the Dallas City Review of Jan. 29, 1903. In an 1898 letter to Samuel H. B. Smith, William provided a similar description: "I got home just at sunrise next morning. Soon after Samuel H. Smith and three others came in a wagon -- and in a short time the body of Joseph was put in their wagon. and the body of Hiram in Father’s, and he and mybrother John D. went to Nauvoo with them -- returning late at night. Soon after the killing of the Smiths Father had the bodies brought to our house. and rough pine coffins made in which they were placed. 'Those boards have furnished material for thousands of walking Canes'..." It is unlikely that very many of the much prized "coffin wood canes" later displayed in Utah came from the "pine boards" mentioned by William Hamilton. The brothers' burial coffins were made of oak -- a material more suitable for gentlemen's dress canes -- and it is probable that most (if not all) of the Utah heirloom canes came from scraps of oak left over from the burial coffins' fabrication. See "Story of the Cane" in the Deseret News of Oct. 20, 1948.


The Quincy Daily Whig
Vol. XXXVI.                 Quincy   Illinois  Wednesday,  February 1, 1888.               No. 273.


A citizen of Metamora, Ill., writes to the Chicago Inter-Ocean to correct an accepted account of the origin of the "Second Book of Mormon." The writer shows that the discovery of the tablets was a huge hoax. In his own words, the facts are as follows:

"Some time before the demise of Joseph Smith, the Mormon leader, one John Fugate, who then lived in or near Quincy, Ill., conceived a little plan by which to startle the natives. He obtained two large copper plates of a blacksmith (whom, of course, he had to let in on the secret) and they thereon engraved, by the use of wax and acid, some signs and symbols. The plates were mostly covered, I think, with a writing very similar to the Egyptian hieroglyphics, and around on the margin were figures of the sun, crowns, the crucifixion, and other such signs of similar character. And then with paint, or acid, and iron filings they covered them with a very good imitation of rust. They then bound them together with a rusty wire, went to the woods and buried them between two huge flat stones, and deep down in an old Indian mound. They covered them up carefully, replaced the sod and dirt and awaited developments."

The letter then goes on to explain that the plates were dug up during a religious gathering in town, and Joseph Smith proclaimed them to be connected with the Mormon religion, and set about to have them translated; and that for this purpose they, or copies and descriptions of them, were sent all over the old world to prominent hieroglyphists for translation. Of course the problem came back unsolved, and many letters were written to Mr. Fugate concerning the same. Undaunted, however, Smith put on his magic spectacles and proceeded to translate from them the second book of Mormon. Mr. Fugate subsequently told the whole story, and was compelled for personal safety to leave the vicinity of the Mormon settlement. He died at Camp Point three years ago, but his wife and family are still alive. His oldest son, Dr. J. T. Fugate, of Urbana, is said to be in possession of all the facts in the case, with documentary proof of the truth of this statement.

Note 1: The original report was, that on April 23, 1843, some residents dug into a large Indian mound near Kinderhook, Pike, Co., about 65 miles south of Nauvoo, Illinois. They allegedly discovered human bones, traces of ancient fires, and six small, bell-shaped plates, made of brass. The correspondent of the Chicago Inter Ocean mistakenly sets the hoax at Quincy, instead of Kinderhook -- he also calls the hoax originator "John" Fugate, when his actual name was "Wilbur" Fugate (see Fugate's own 1879 letter to James T. Cobb at the Salt Lake Tribune for an early admission of his fraud. The admission of Dr. W. P. Harris, another participant in the hoax, was published in the Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society in 1912). --- See also the text accompanying the plate facsimiles in the June, 1843 broadside published by the Nauvoo Neighbor, as well as Rev. R. B. Neal's "The Champion Hoaxer Hoaxed," in the June, 1909 number of his Sword of Laban.

Note 2: On Sept. 3, 1856, the Salt Lake City Deseret News published the following sentences, as a part of its serialization of "The History of Joseph Smith": "I insert fac similes of the six brass plates found near Kinderhook, in Pike county, Illinois, on April 23, by Mr. R. Wiley and others, while excavating a large mound. They found a skeleton about six feet from the surface of the earth, which must have stood nine feet high. The plates were found on the breast of the skeleton, and were covered on both sides by ancient characters.... I have translated a portion of them, and find they contain a history of the person with whom they were found. He was a descendant of Ham,through the loins of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and that he received his kingdom from the ruler of heaven and earth" (cf. LDS HC 5:374-375). Smith wrote very little of his published history and this entry is evidently copied by its editors from the Nauvoo Journal of William Clayton.


The Quincy Daily Whig
Vol. XXXVI.                 Quincy   Illinois  Wednesday,  January 18, 1888.               No. 261.



The House in Which the Followers of
Joseph Smith Worship the God of
Mormon -- lnteresting Description
of the Building -- ln Earlier Days.

After several attempts to settle in various parts of the state of New York. The first real colony of the Mormons drifted into Kirtland They were guided thither by Sidney Rigdon, who was the most wonderful preacher of their early days. The arrival of several hundred Mormons in this little village was an event of no mean importance, even in the days when immigration was so rapidly seeking the favored spot of the west -- the northern part of Ohio. And yet, in those days of rapid development, the building of such a temple as that of the Mormons was a wonder. Even at this day a building of such size would be a severe tax upon villages that are tenfold the size of Kirtland. But the Mormons who built it gave cheerfully each one his tenth to the labor, materials, or money for the four years from 1832 to 1836, the entire cost being estimated at $40,000.

The size upcin the ground is 80 feet by 60, and the eastern gable runs up into a square tower surmounted by a domed belfry to the height of 125 feet. Two lofty stories above a low basement are covered by a shingled roof pierced with dormer, windows. Large Gothic windows of the Henry VIII shape are filled with 7 by 9 glass and afford relief to the solid walls of stone and stucco that have so well survived the ravages of quite half a century, though the iron rust streaking the exterior, the moss grown shingles, the wasps' nests under the eaves, and the two immense chimneys, already tottering to their fall, give evidence of approaching ruin. At least this was the case until a very few years ago, when the building was partially renovated and put into a much more habitable shape.

Directly under the pediment is this inscription in golden letters upon a block of white marble: "House of the Lord, Built by the Church of Christ, 1834." The original inscription had the words "of the Latter Day Saints" in place of the words "of Christ." A small plot is railed off by a light fence passing through which we stand upon the broad stone steps that lead to the solid green doors, paneled in old fashioned, shapes, and opening into a vestibule which extends across the entire front. At either end of the vestibule is a semi-circular stairway and the floor above is cut away from the wall far enough to allow the light to enter from above, thus giving the effect of the cabin of a steamer. The temple register room is at the right under the stairway. Here is a very interesting record of visitors to the place. On the blank wall parallel with the front is the "Ladies' Entrance" at the right, and the "GentIemen's Entrance" at the left. The following inscriptions decorate the wall between the doors: "Laus Deo," "Crux Mihi Ancora," "Magna Veritas et Prevalebit."

As we enter the main auditorium we notice that it does not extend to the two stories, as is usual with New England meeting houses. On the contrary, the ceiling is high, and so only one story has been used. This allows the story above to be used for other purposes to be described hereafter. And yet, as one enters the room the columns of carved wood give the effect of a gallery. The columns, however, are simply contrivances to give effect to the arch in the center of the ceiling. The columns were also of considerable use for the working of windlasses, etc. At the time when large curtains were let down to separate the men from the women, and again to separate the larger from the smaller of each sex not only could the andience be halved and quartered in this way, but even the pews were supplied with benches that could be moved from one side to the other, so that the whole audience might face directly about at very short notice. The object of this was that they might change their mode of worship, and turn from one cluster of pulpits at one end of the room to another cluster of pulpits at the other end. The clusters of pulpits are in each instance three tiers, with three in a tier. Therefore, the room is well supplied with pulpits, there being nine in each end.

At the eastern end of the room the cluster of pulpits is devoted to the Aaronic priesthood, which also included the Levitical priesthood and administered the temporal affairs of the church. Each of the three pulpits in the upper tier ha.s upon the front the letters "B. P. A.," meaning Bishop Presiding over Aaronic Priesthood. The middle tier has the letters "P. A. P.," Presiding Aaronic Priest. The lower tier has "P. A. T.," Presiding Aaronic Teacher. A smaller pulpit below, is labeled "P. A. D;" Presiding Aaronic Doorkeeper. The pulpits against the western and are built up against an outer window, with alternate panes of red and white glaass in the arched transom. These pulpits were occupied by the spiritual leaders, or the Melchisedec priesthood, Joe Smith's seat being in the highest tier. This tier of pulpits is marked "M.,P. C.," Melchisedec President of Counselors; the middle tier is marked "M. P. H. P.,"Melchisedec Presiding High Priest; the lower tier is marked "M. H., P.," Melchisedec High Priest: As simple desk below served for the Melchisedec Presiding Elder; The letters are in red curtain cord. The desk itself like alI the pulpits above is covered with green calico.

In the earlier days it was arranged that curtains from above could be dropped between the different tiers of the priesthood, but also so arranged that while those of one degree might shut themselves away from the audience "for consultation," they could not hide themselves from their superiors in ecclesiastical rank. In the earlier days also rich velvet upholstery set off the carved work of the pulpits, and golden letters shone from spots which are now simply marked by black paint. The gilt moldings which formerly ornamented the plain white finish of the woodwork were first taken away by the vandals and then entirely removed by the faithful. Upon the walls may be read the mottoes: "No Cross, no Crown," "The Lord Reigneth; Let His People Rejoice," Great is Our Lord and of Great Power," while from the window over the Melchisedic pulpits is the text, "Holiness to the Lord."

The whole auditorium will comfortably hold 600 people. but it WIl.9 often packed so full that relays of worshipers came and went during a single service. The high pews in the corner were for the best singers in Israel. In one of these pews, the natives assert, an insane woman was in the habit of rising and tooting on a horn whenever the sentiments of the officiating minister did not meet with her approval. Smith was in the habit of announcing from his lofty pulpit: "The truth is good enough without dressing up, but Brother Rigdon will now proceed to dress it up."

The second story, directly over the anditorium is a smaIler room, with low ceilings and pulpits that are not so pretentious. This room was used as a school of the prophets, where Latin and Hebrew were taught. Marks of the desks remain, but the desks themselves have long since been carried away and the halI has been used for an Odd Fellows' lodge and far various social purposes. --   Cor. New York Times.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XL.                 Quincy   Illinois  Friday,  November 8, 1889.               No. 138.

The Adventists of 1844.

It is painful to think of the jeers and sneers endured by the poor, sad eyed Adventists when they returned to their homes. Hundreds of them lost all heart and hope, law suits multiplied, and not a few found their way to the poorhouse and insane asylum. It is equally painful and more surprising to learn that even in New England their later meetings were in danger of brickbats and ancient eggs. And yet believers grew and multiplied, the regular Adventists looking on the "Millerite" performance as a mere fiasco with which they had nothing to do. Alexander Campbell, the eminent reformer, was deeply imbued with Adventist ideas, and named his new journal the Millennial Harbinger, indicating his faith that the last days were at hand. Joe Smith and Sidney Rigdon began their new church as Millenarians, and that of Brigham Young and the Pratts retranslated Smith's prophecies to make them mean that the end, not of the world but of the United States government, was at hand. --   J. H. Beadle.

Notes: (forthcoming)

Vol. VII.                     Quincy, Illinois,  Monday,  September 8, 1890.                   No. 208.


Joseph Smith's Murder in the Carthage
Jail by a Furious Mob.

A Bloody Chapter in the History of
Illinois Now Told for the First Time
Fully and Fairly -- A Curious

It is doubtless true that Joseph Smith was born in Sharon, Windsor County, Vt., December 23, 1805. He was called the founder of Mormonism, yet he had able assistance in the creation of this new religion. History says that Smith was of illiterate parentage; that he himself grew up to an ignorant and vicious manhood, spending his days in idleness. He was regarded as a "dreamer." Much of his time was devoted to roaming the woods seeking for buried treasure. Doubtless his mind had been early poisoned by the vile literature that even to this day has not become extinct. But other minds, less ignorant, but no more active, conceived a plot to give the world a new religion -- one that was destined to find many supporters -- a religion that exists to-day in spite of fully three-score years of persecution. Sidney Rlgdon was a man of good education. A Presbyterian minister named Spaulding, who now lies buried at Decatur, Illinois, [sic!], is said to have written an ingenious religious romance, the original manuscript of which fell into Rigdon's hands. This worthy resolved to make good use of the story. Taking Smith and possibly a few others into his confidence, Rigdon revealed his plan to found a new religion.

The romance in question and in brief told about several nations of people who resided between the Isthmus of Darien and the extremities of North America. These nations were at war, and finally the great battle of Cumorah was fought at a spot where Palmyra, New York is now located. The contending hosts were the Lamanites, who were the heathen of this country, and the Nephites, who were the christians. The battle resulted in great slaughter; in fact, the nation of Nephites was destroyed, with the exception of a few, among them Mormon and his son, Maroni. They were righteous men. God directed them to make a record of all those important events upon golden plates and bury them in the earth to be discovered and translated at a future age.

Smith had little difficulty in unearthing in the forests near Palmyra some wonderful plates, which, however, not being gold, but copper or brass served as well for the hieroglyphics were there. These, through the power of inspiration, Joseph Smith deciphered, and from them "The Book of Mormon" is said to have originated. Other historians claim that the book was written by others, so that there is no certainty as to what its actual origin was. It matters little, however, in the light of the fact that there is a "Book of Mormon." Smith and his co-workers had little difficulty in securing a large and devoted following. Mormonism spread rapidly over the eastern and New England states. Proselyting then, as now, was openly and zealously carried on.

In 1838 and possibly earlier, Smith, with his constantly augmenting band of followers, came West. Settlements were formed at Kirtlaud, Ohio, and a town called Independence was quickly established in Missouri. In both places the Mormons thrived. In fact, wherever they went their patient industry and wonderful economy were proverbial. But, as charged, the crookedness of Smith and his fellows concerning business affairs brought down upon the Mormons severe punishment and continued persecution. Smith himself was tarred and feathered, while many of the saints were thrown into the river to drown, many of them barely escaping with their lives. It was a pitiful and woe stricken band of Mormons that landed on the beautiful banks of the Mississippi river in Hanocock County, Ill., about the years 1839-40. The sympathy of the people, however, and the glorious land into which they had come, cheered their drooping hearts. True to their instincts, the faithful Mormons set to work to build a city that should have no rival in the west. In the meantime Joseph Smith announced that this was to be the final resting place of the pilgrims. This was to be the new Zion. Nauvoo -- "pleasant land" -- was to have a temple unsurpassed in beauty and grandeur. Although Smith never lived to see the temple completed, nor was it ever wholly completed, yet he did live to see himself surrounded with a worshiping band of nearly 20,000 devoted people, whose services and tithes were at his command.

The state legislature had granted three charters to the Mormons, by which the city of Nauvoo was organized, with Joseph Smith as mayor, a "military legion," and a university. In fact, Smith and his apostles had a little kingdom of their own and the charters gave them more license than the law really allowed. This was the means of destroying Smith and driving his people into the wilderness.

The city was built up rapidly. The temple was erected at a great cost, estimated in round numbers at $1,000,000. This sum is thought to be excessive, but few people doubt that so great a sum of money was raised for the purpose. Whether all of it went into the temple or not is a mooted question. Other buildings for public use were erected notably the Masonic hall, tithing house, mansion house, and houses of the apostles....

Tithing was faithfully carried on. One-tenth of all goods, profits, or time, was given by these faithful people to the church. The city flourished and grew, converts were pouring in from all quarters of the globe, and Nauvoo promised to seen rival some of the larger cities of the country. In addition to all this the "Nauvoo legation" [sic] was formed. It was a splendidly drilled military organization, the arms having been furnished by the state. The "Danites," or "Sons of Dan," made famous in history through Joaquin Miller's romance, was a secret organization of trusted men who acted as a body guard for Smith, and are also said to have avenged many real or fancied wrongs done to Smith or his apostles.

During all this time the Mormons held the balance of power politically in the county and they were earnestly courted. However, they showered their favors upon the whigs and democrats with exasperating irregularity. The Gentile world outside of Nauvoo, especially the people at large in Hancock county, professed to regard the Mormons with great distrust, if not fear. The days were new and scoundrels of all classes swarmed through the country. Horse-stealing was too common to provoke comment. Cattle were driven away almost in herds and honest farmers began to fear for their personal safety. Much of this outlawry was directly charged to the Mormons. It is not now believed that they were guilty of half that was charged against them, if guilty at all. The Mormons were noted for their thrift. Envy may have had more to do with their persecutions than anything else. Joseph Smith was a bad and dangerous man. This is conceded in all fairness. There can be little doubt that he was preparing to introduce polygamy at Nauvoo upon an extensive scale. He traveled over the country, boldly proselyting, and some ugly stories are told of his conduct.

The Higbies, C. L. and Francis, published one issue of a paper called the Nauvoo Expositor, June 7, 1844. It contained stinging criticisms of Smith and his methods, and on the whole was a highly objectionable sheet to the saints. Smith ordered the type and presses destroyed and the debris thrown into the river. The order was at once obeyed. Smith and his brother Hiram, Dr. [sic] Taylor and Willard Richards, apostles, were arrested and brought to the old stone jail in Carthage. They were not treated as ordinary prisoners, but were given quarters in the debtor's room, a large apartment in the second story. A guard of local militia called the "Carthage Grays" was thrown around the jail to protect the prisoners from mob violence. This guard gracefully gave way to a mob of masked men on the afternoon of June 7, 1844, who proceeded to shoot Joseph and Hiram Smith, and badly wound Dr. [sic] Taylor, late head of the Mormon church at Utah. No sooner had the people of Carthage learned of the massacre than they began to flee the city in apparant confusion. Many merchants left their store doors open. It is doubtful if a hundred people remained in the place. The bodies of the Smiths bade fair to lay where they fell until a pioneer inn-keeper, named Artois Hamilton, heard of the tragedy and immediately had the corpses removed to the hostlery, where he hung between life and death for some weeks. That night the bullet-ridden bodies of the prophets rested on rude pine boards in the bar room of the old hotel, the same bar room or office which was destined to shelter Abraham Lincoln, Stephen A. Douglas, and other noted men.

The next day old man Hamilton placed the bodies in rude pine coffins, and conveyed them in a farm wagon to Nauvoo. He was met at the city limits by a vast crowd of weeping men, women and children, to whom he gave a detailed account of the tragedy. He left the bodies with some church dignitaries and returned to Carthage. The bodies were subsequently buried near the old mansion house, but in a short time, for fear of vandals, were exhumed and doubtless sent to Utah.

The people of Carthage, learning that the Mormons had no idea of avenging the death of their leaders, returned to their ho,es in a few days.

The struggle for supremacy among the Mormon leaders then began, complicating their troubles greatly. Lawlessness and crime seemed to be on the increase, and the anti-Mormon sentiment was growing day by day. A large number of Mormons had left Nauvoo soon after the massacre and many more were preparing to go.

The city of Nauvoo capitulated in October, 1845, after a severe battle with the anti-Mormons, in which several were wounded on both sides, as stated. Hardly had the fleeing Mormons crossed the river to the Iowa shore when the torch was applied to many buildings. Powder mines that had been laid in the streets were exploded and the town was fire-gutted. The temple and most of the public buildings were spared.

The sufferings of the fleeing Mormons on the bleak Iowa prairies werepitiable in the extreme. They had taken what household goods they could carry with them, yet many were suffering from insufficient clothing and some died from exposure. This hegira in itself is a dark page in the county's history. Deserted of its large population, scarred by fire and flood, Nauvoo was a sorry shadow of itself. Then vandals on the night of Nov. 18, 1840 [sic], burned the beautiful temple.

Another epoch in the city's history was the advent in 1848 of Cabet, with his colony of Icarian communists. Their colony was a failure, however, and most of the people moved away. Nauvoo of to-day is a pleasant, thriving little town, famous for its vineyards. No trace of the magnificent temple may be seen. A barn-yard occupies the site, and the deep, narrow well, used to supply the baptismal font, is still in good order. The water is deliciously pure and cool. The old mansion-house, Joseph Smith's old house, Brigham Young's residence, and other buildings of interest still remaining at Nauvoo. Time has not dealt gently with them, however, and a few more years will see them no more.

As previously stated, the temple was a magnificent structure, built of sandstone. It had a large seating capacity. From the base of the temple to the dome was a distance of 210 feet. This structure could be seen for many miles. The most wonderful part of the entire structure was the baptismal font. It was carved from a solid block of light colored stone or marble and rested on the backs of twelve oxen. Vandalism seemed to run rife in Nauvoo after the Mormons departed. The temple was desecrated shamefully, and its ultimate destruction shows the degree of spite to which the enemies of these people ventured.

Scores of people visit Carthage and Nauvoo in a year to look upon the scenes of these early days. Many a noted man or woman in the literary walks of life pays a visit to the shrine of the martyred prophets, and they journey on to the old Mormon capital to wander through her quaint streets and gaze upon the historic relics of other days.

The writer has treated this subject with all needful length. A volume containing rumors and old women's tales about Mormon days in Hancock county could easily be written. There can be little doubt that Nauvoo in the Mormon reign was a wonderful city. Joseph Smith was the leader. It is claimed that he caused underground passages to be constructed from the temple basement to a seculded nook on the river bank. Was it for the purpose of escape in sudden danger or to convey booty within the city gates? But the judgment of many of the most bitter enemies of the Mormons is softened in the light of fifty years gone by. They were cruel days. But saints and gentiles acted unwisely. It might have been otherwise, and had it been, Nauvoo would now be one of the chief cities of the West. -- Gay Davidson in Chicago Times.

Note 1: "Gay" Davidson's Chicago Times article (here copied into the columns of the Journal) has not yet been properly identified, but a portion of its contents can be matched with the Buffalo Illustrated Express of Mar, 19, 1893, which reproduced much of the original Times article, re-worked to coincide with the opening of the Salt Lake City LDS Temple that year. Evidently "Gay" Davidson supplied the updated copy.

Note 2: The newspaper's typesetter may have produced the article's faulty spelling of "Nauvoo legation." Mr. Davidson's Apr. 15, 1886 Quincy Whig article spells it correctly. See the Journal of Sept. 13th for some useful criticism of Davidson's occasionally inaccurate historical reporting.


Vol. VIII.                     Quincy, Illinois,  Saturday,  September 13, 1890.                   No. 3.

[Mendenhall's] Version of the Tragedy of
Nauvoo as Opposed to That of
Mr. Davidson.


"Whoop--ee, -- what a whopper!"

This is what an old citizen of Hancock county would say after reading Gay Davidson's article in The Journal of the 8th inst., and which was copied from the Chicago Times."

Mr. Davidson should be better posted in the history of the county in which he was born and raised.

The article referred to is headed "MORMONS AT NAUVOO."

First -- The Mormons were driven out of Missouri in the fall and winter of 1839 and not '40, and crossed the river at Quincy and wintered there instead of in Hancock county, as Mr. Davidson has it. In the spring of 1840 the leaders, Smith and Rigdon, came to Commerce in Hancock county, and purchased a large tract of land and started a town for the saints to dwell in, giving it the euphonious name of Nauvoo. Some of the Gentiles calling it "Nor-voo" and others "Na-vo."

Next Mr. Davidson states that the Mormons capitulated in October, 1845, to the "anties," as the good old citizens of Hancock and adjoining counties were called. Away off again, Mr. Davidson! Let us state the facts as they occurred. Joseph and Hyram Smith were killed on the 27 day of June, 1844, at about 3 o'clock p.m.

As soon as some order was restored after the first excitement had subsided, the Mormon settlements, or outposts, throughout the county were called to Nauvoo. After a long consultation by the leaders, the edict went forth that the temple must be completed. It was pushed to the utmost and during the year 1845 the outside was finished. The large ground floor, the basement, the two large side rooms, and the endowment rooms immediately under the roof, were also completed. The latter, or endowment rooms, is where the faithful saints held high carnival.

By this time the Mormons had become insolent, troublesome, and generally defied the law. The citizens were aroused and demanded that they should leave the state at once and forever. The state troops were called into requisition to enforce the agreement, as the saints had promised to leave as soon as grass grew and water run, in the spring of 1846.

On the part of the Mormons, the agreement was only partly fulfilled. the main body started for Salt Lake, but there was left behind a refuse lot, too poor to get away, and the consequence was, they committed all manner of depredations, such as stealing, thieving and robbing.

Writs of civil service issued from our courts of justice were of no avail and were duly scofed at by them when in the officers' bonds.

Thomas Carlin was then the chief police officer of the county, as the office of sheriff was vacant.

This man Carlin, getting advice from the best legal attorneys, issued a call for every able-bodied man in the county to turn out, armed and equipped, as a posse cometatus to enforce the service of writs and uphold the majesty of the law.

The force de posse amounted to over 1,500 men, all well armed, and was first put under command of Gen. Singleton, and finally under command of Thomas Brockmann, better known as "Copper Bottom" among the old citizens.

After a four weeks' campaign in drilling and getting ammunition, the posse marched to Nauvoo, arriving there from Carthage where they had been camped. On the 11th of September, 1846, in the evening, they had quite a skirmish with the Mormon pickets, or outposts. After deploying from the main road to avoid powder plots, the sheriff's posse went into camp.

Next day, the 12th of September, the battle was fought, and at the time proved to be a drawn battle, as the ammunition of the posse had given out.

Mr. Davidson says the battle was fought and the powder plots exploded in October, 1845 -- a very bad mistake in his record, as there was not one powder plot exoloded in the campaign.

The writer hereof was one of the sheriff's posse and carried a musket during the war and was honorably discharged. We saw these infernal machines taken out of the ground.

After the battle a committee of prominent citizens came up from Quincy and commenced negotiations for peace. It was successful, the posse taking possession of Nauvoo, a surrender of the arms by the Mormons to the sheriff, and every Mormon to cross the river instanter.

The burning of the temple occurred on the nonth day of October, 1848, and not November 18, 1849, as Davidson states.

The men who burned it were not vandals, as Davidson has it, but upright and honorable men. It was done to break up the nest of law-breakers that still harbored about Nauvoo, the temple being a nest-egg for them.
                                              B. MENDENHALL.
Dallas City, Illinois, September 12.

Note 1: Benoni B. Mendenhall (1827-1907) of Dallas City had personal knowledge of events during the "Mormon War" in Illinois. In August of 1846, he signed on as a volunteer under "Special Constable" Thomas Carlin (not the former Governor Carlin), in the anti-Mormon effort to expel the Mormons from Hancock County. Benoni was a Freemason and subsequently became a local leader in that group -- see his report regarding "Freemasonry Among the Mormons" on p. 71 of A. C. Stevens' 1907 Cyclopaedia of Fraternities.

Note 2: Mr. Mendenhall mentions that the "Mormons at Nauvoo" writer "was born and raised" in Hancock County, Illinois -- but that observation was not precisely true for Isham Gaylord Davidson (1860-1956) who was born along the Illinois River in the Mason county-seat of Havana. Gay's father, James M. Davidson, moved his family to Hancock County (a distance of about 20 miles) in 1863, when he took over the Carthage Republican. Evidently Mr. Mendenhall forgot that the Davidsons were not a local family and had little knowledge of what had gone on in Hancock during the 1840s. In fact, the elder Davidson may have discouraged his young son Guy from developing much of an interest in days gone by, when the Mormons had been a dominant presence in the region. One of Davidson's biographers reported: "Upon assuming charge of the Republican, Mr. Davidson soon learned he had no easy task before him... the county had not fully recovered from the Mormon war. There were a number of people who, while not holding to the Mormon faith and not sympathizing with their religious belief, yet felt the Mormons had not been fairly treated; others saw in the decadence of the city of Nauvoo, the failure of what they believed would be a great city composed of thousands of happy and industrious people. Carefully considering the whole question Mr. Davidson decided that as the 'Mormon war' was over, it need no longer be a matter for editorial discussion."


Vol. XLI.                 Quincy   Illinois  Sunday,  October 5, 1890.               No. 107.


Woodruff Has Been Talking With Young and Smith in the Spirit

Salt Lake, October 4. -- The Mormon semi-annual conference was opened today by George Q. Cannon.

Elder Roberts spoke of the revelation to come from President Woodruff and said 1890 would rank as an epoch in the history of the church.

President Woodruff then came forward and said the Lord wouldn't reveal the time but he had talked twice recently with Joseph Smith in the spirit and the purport of it was that the bridegroom was about to mate a bride. He also talked behind the veil with Brigham Young and was encouraged greatly.

Apostle Richards said the Kingdom was to advance more rapidly than ever, but the Son of Man wand his angels would not come on the earth until Jerusalem is rebuilt. The Saints should study the scriptures more and then the young men would see visions and old men dream dreams.

Apostle Thatcher advised the Saints to prepare for 1891. They had prospered greatly of late and that made him fearful. What we need is persecution and plenty of it. He expressed full belief in Woodfuff's conversation with Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. The time is coming when this country will engage in strife between labor and capital, and the Mormon question will be forgotten for a time. Then the people would flee from all parts of the land to Utah and the Mormons would welcome them and would establish here a true republican government with democratic principles.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. IX.                     Quincy, Illinois,  Saturday,  September 12, 1891.                   No. 2.


Its Old Stone Jail -- The Room in Which
Joseph and Hyrum Smith Were
Killed -- The Manner of Their
Death Recounted.

"We have three things that stand out in Carthage," said Editor Davidson to your humble servent Thursday; "three important things or institutions that we like to show to those who visit Carthage. They are the old Carthage jail, the Carthage college and the Carthage Republican.

The singular modesty of the man is shown in his naming the Republican last. But we have always known that editors were modest.

We saw the old Carthage jail, inside and out, thanks to the untiring kindness of Bro. Davidson. The old jail that we have heard about and read about, and pictured in our mind's eye for thirty-five years at least. The old stone jail in which Joseph and Hyrum Smith were so cruelly and wantonly murdered by a lawless mob....

Of all things in Carthage, we had heard most about this old stone jail. Of all things In Carthage we most wished to see this same old jail.

The Carthage jail is a rare old historic structure. One of the rarest, probably, the state. People come to Carthage from all parts of the Union to see the old stone jail. We wonder if it will be preserved. They tell us so in Carthage. We hope that it will. It will stand a long time if fire; or the destroying hand of man do not wreck It. It would be a great wrong to the future to let that old building be destroyed. What would we give now, if the grand old temple were standing in Nauvoo? What a rare old relic that would be! The man that fired that temple should have been shot. It was burned in 1848.

In spite of all that we had heard, and read about the old jail, we didn't picture it aright. Then, is it worth while for as to try to tell our readers what it looks like?

It is a stone structure about 26x36 feet in size, two stories high. There is a low attic in the peak. The stone is a snuff-colored brown, and very plainly shows the effect of the weather upon it. It has all the outward marks and signs of an old building. The blocks of stone are from ten to twenty inches thick, and from one to three feet long. The walls are three feet thick -- 2 feet 11 inches to be exact. The stone has been colored by exposure to the weather. That is plain to be seen. The heavy door and window cops are made of a lighter stone. They look like long-worn limestone. The blocks of stone in the building are roughly put, and are seamed with age....

The old door and window casings are still there; and most of the old doors also. The iron bars, of course, have been removed. The puttied-up holes that the bars were taken from, are plain to be seen.

The stairway, goes up a little back from and in front of the front door. The one big cell in the jail was at the north end up stairs. (Bear in mind that this building was the jail and the jailer's residence.) The Mormon prisoners were not confined in the barred cell. If they had been it is doubtful if the mob could have killed them. They were detained in the front room, up stairs, and were under guard. There were four prisoners, the two Smiths, John Taylor, afterward President Taylor. and Mr. Richardson [sic], as we remember the name.

The Smiths stood charged with the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor, a paper that had charged Joseph Smith and other Mormon leaders with polygamy, and of being guilty of seducing women to their use by religious claims. Foster and Law were the publishers of the Expositor and when their office was destroyed they took refuge in Carthage, where they obtained warrants against Joseph and Hyrum Smith and others. The warrant was served on Joseph Smith, but he refused to obey, and the constable who served it was driven frm Nauvoo. The county authorities called out the militia to enforce the law; the Mormons armed themselves, and a civil war seemed impending, when the governor of the state persuaded the two Smiths to surrender themselves and stand trial, promising them protection. A guard was stationed around the jail, but the presumption now is that the guard was in sympathy with the attacking mob. The 27th day of June 1844, a mob of men with blackened faces and with coats turned inside out, slealthily approached near to the jail under cover of an adjacent grove. Emerging from the grove the mob rushed toward the jail. The guard made no show of resistence. Members of the mob ran up stairs and tried to push in the door to the room in which the prisoners were confined. The four men inside held the door fast. A rifle bullet from one side of the mob pierced the door and entered Hyrum Smith's head. He died almost instantly. When Hyrum fell Joseph opened the door and began to shoot into the mob with an old "pepper-box," the only weapon of defense the four prisoners had. He emptied his pistol, and the mob came on again. He ran to the east window, probably intendingto jump from it, but he was shot twice while he was partly out of the window, and he fell to the ground and expired.

The bloody work was done, and the mob disappeared as suddenly as it had come. The mob was at the jail but a very few minutes.

When the door was thrown open by Smith, Taylor crawled under the bed and Richardson hid behind the door. Taylor was wounded.

The hole made through the door by the bullet that killed Hyrum, though filled with putty, is plain to be seen. The other bullet holes in the wall are covered with paper.

Whatever Smith's crimes were he was entitled to a trial. He voluntarily surrendered, on a guaranty of protection, to stand trial, and was wantonly and needlessly murdered. There was plenty of law here to deal with Mormonism, as events proved. There was no excuse for the Carthage murders. This is the way we have always felt about it. The Mormons were naturally an industrious, virtuous (polygamy aside), honest, peaceable people. This is the testimony of unprejudiced persons. Scalawags flocked to their camp and laid their crimes upon the Mormons. The war upon them, it has always seemed to us, was a needless one. If they had been let alone ten years more they would have given Nauvoo such a start that it could never have gone back, and to-day there would doubtless be a half million people there, and the crime of polygamy would long, long since have been blotted out. The fight on the Mormons was a ruinous blow to the material prosperity of Hancock county. At the time of the attack on the Mormons the population of Nauvoo was 15,000; it was then the largest city in the state by a considerable.

As the story comes to us in Carthage, Frank Worrell, one of the guards at the jail [sic - militia?] was killed by the mob. At all events, Worrell was killed there. He was a son of old Mrs. Elizabeth Leobrick, who died here in Quincy within the past year, and was an own uncle of Mrs. Ferdinand Reed.

Joseph Smith was a man of fine personal appearance and of marked ability. He was doubtless Brigham Young's superior in every way. He was smart enough to evolve and establidh a religious cult that will long outlive us and our children.

It is said, on good authority, that Joseph Smith acknowledged the mistake of polygamy before his death. It certainly was a mistake, religious and political. It was an effort to re-establish an old social as well as religious custom of the bible. It was setting up something in the nineteenth century that had been long since outgrown.

Polygamy has cursed the Mormons from Joseph Smith's time until now. It cost Joseph Smith his life. Smith claimed that he received the revelation authorizing and sanctioning polygamy July 12, 1843. But the revelation was not openly proclaimed. It was at first quietly whispered about that he had received this revelation, and much scandal was caused thereby. The imputation was strenuously denied in public. and in 1845 [sic - 1835?] the heads of the church deemed it prudent to put forth a denial in the following words: "Inasmuch as the Church of Christ has been reproached with the crimes of fornication and polygamy, we declare that we believe that one man should have but one wife, and one woman but one husband; except in case of death, when either is at liberty to marry again."

It was not until 1852 that the Mormon leaders admitted the truth concerning the revelation authorizing polygamy, and boldly avowed and defended polygamy on the strength of that revelation. But polygamy is dead substantially. The tail may wiggle for a time or two, but the serpent's head is crushed.

Note: This article was partially reprinted in the Journal of Sept. 9, 1898.


Vol. IX.                     Quincy, Illinois,  Friday,  November 20, 1891.                   No. 71.


Thomas Gregg Writes of Personal
Experiences of Fifty-Five years Ago
-- He Edits the First Paper
Published in Lee and
Hancock Counties.

His High Ideals -- Exciting Incidents of
the Mormon Era.

The following letter to the editor of the Keokuk Gate City is very interesting.

Yours of the twelfth is at hand asking me to furnish you for publication in connection with the fifty-fifth anniversary of my wedded life, some biographical sketch of my experiences in the West, and especially of Mormon times. You ask of me a hard duty, and not only hard to fulfill, but one I do not care to undertake. My "career" has no feature to commend it to notice but age -- the length of time through which I have ascended and descended the tripod. Hence, you may see why I take no pleasure in recounting them. Yet now that my career in that line is closed, I can look back and say with a clear conscience that I never issued a sheet that I did not believe tended to enlighten, improve and instruct its narrow world of readers.

My career as a typo began about seventy years ago, when the types were inked by means of "nigger-heads" and as editor here at Carthage in the year 1836, when the Carthagenian was sent over the praries. It was loaned by a local company and it was a failure -- whether owing to the hard times or the incapacity of its manager is not for me to say. Next press, types, editor and all were taken to your county, and at Fort Des Moines (then in Wisconsin territory) the Western Adventurer was issued. So you see these were the first papers in Hancock and Lee counties. The Adventurer was not only the first in Lee county, but the third, if not the second, in what is now the grand state of Iowa, and a pioneer in all that great region westward to the Golden Gate and Puget sound. How many occupy the field now you can guess better than I.

One or both of these papers was contemporary with Judge Young's Bounty Land Register, at Quincy; with Simeon Francis' Sangamo Journal, at Springfield; with "Long John" Wentworth's Democrat, at Chicago; with Samuel S. Davis' Peoria Register; with Elijah P. Lovejoy's Observer, in Alton, and they antedated Banhache's Alton Telegraph, John S. Wright and J. Ambrose Wright's Prairie Farmer, and all the papers in the now rising cities of Northern Illinois and Iowa, excepting Galena and Dubuque, including Keokuk. In those days the people in the northwest depended for their news mainly on St. Louis and New York papers -- the foreign variety, "thirty," "forty" and "sixty" days from Europe.

In that day the noted and gifted Chas. Hammond conducted the Cincinnati _Gazette, and George D. Prentice wielded a sharp cimeter for the Louisville Journal, and that trio of poets and genial writer, Gallagher, Shreve and Perkins conducted the Cincannati Mirror and the Western Monthly Magazine. Then Drs. Drake and McDowell held sway in the medical colleges and Dr, Lyman Beecher in the institution on Walnut Hills. It was in that winter, 1835-6, that Salmon P. Chase made his noted speech in the fugitive slave case, which I was permitted to hear -- a speech which gave him a national reputation.

Of my "ventures" here in the West, the least said the better. They have been too many, and have been conspicuous only as failures, in a pecuniary sense, though in reviewing them I am fain to believe their fate should have been otherwise.

As a citizen of Hancock county through the Mormon period, though of course anti-Mormon, I always believed with the more moderate position, that it was better to suffer all the ills that Mormonism might bring upon the community than to resort to violence and expulsion -- banishment being a punishment unknown to our laws. An incident of these "times that tried men's souls," and our soles, too, may be worthy of mention, though it concerned my wife more than myself. That year (1844) in which the prophet, Smith, was killed I was employed on the Upper Mississippian at Rock Island, leaving Mrs. Greeg and our daughter of two years with our brother-in-law, Mr. Rand, at Carthage. Of course, the murder of Smith in the jail produced a profound sensation among the citizens, and all who could, in imitation of Gov. Ford, "got out" as quick as possible. Mr. Rand could procure nothing better than a cart and horse to convey his family and mine to a place of safety. Starting at dark they traveled east over muddy roads and late at night sought shelter with a farmer. In the morning finding themselves alive and the town not overrun with Mormon avengers they found their way back to their deserted homes to find the prophet and his brother lying dead at Hamilton's hotel.

This incident, with the killing of my brother-in-law, Franklin A. Worrell, in 1845, were matters that came nearest home to me during the turbulent events of the Mormon era.

You refer to the fifty-fifth year of my wedded life, which has just ended. True, my better half and I have been permitted to enjoy life together longer than falls the lot of most couples. We have had a reasonable share of life's blessings, and do not complain, though dark shadows have sometimes crossed our path. Of her I should have first written. The daughter of a Vermont Congregational clergyman -- Rev. John Lawton, who came West in 1834, bringing her with him, and settled in Carthage -- I found her teaching school in the log cabin court house in that village. Since then she has been to me, in all my career, more than I have been to her, ever faithful, ever loving, ever willingly sharing with me good or ill fortune; and now sits besides me.
                        Yours, etc.
                                                        THOMAS GREGG.
Hamilton, Ill., Nov. 16, 1891.

Note 1: In an all too brief consideration of his own editorial efforts, Gregg remarks "the least said the better." But, oddly enough, he does not even venture a passing mention of his early relationship with the Warsaw Signal, his own 1842-43 influential work on the Warsaw Message, his 1846 "Historical Chart of the County of Hancock," nor his 1880 History of Hancock County. He had just recently published his Prophet of Palmyra, which also went unmentioned in the 1891 letter. For a more informative reprise of Gregg's career, see the St. Louis Republic of Sept. 30, 1888.

Note 2: Gregg alludes to a family relationship with Franklin A. Worrell (1820-1845), by way of their respective wives, but fails to mention the names of the two Lawton sisters: Sarah D. (1807-1897) who married Mr. Gregg on Nov. 10, 1836 at Carthage; and Ann Elizabeth W. who married Mr. Worrell on Feb. 22, 1844 at Carthage.


Vol. IX.                     Quincy, Illinois,  Friday,  July 8, 1892.                   No. 271.

Some Curious Doctrines and
Tenets of the Mormons.

EDITOR JOURNAL: There was a very remakable trait in the members of the Mormon church. I speak more particularly of the common masses of that peculiar organization. It was this: whenever a new doctrine -- or most generally it was called a revelation -- was promulgated by the heads of the church, it was received with great avidity by members and stored up in their minds as facts beyond contradiction.

For instance, it was given out from their pulpits and rostrums, that when the temple was completed all those that were faithful to the Mormon church would see the Savior, and it was enjoined on the faithful ones to be present when the temple was dedicated and beheld the Savior.

Then, the doctrine, promulgnted and strenuously taught, baptizing the living for the dead, was another singular feature of their faith. For instance, a memher of the church in good standing, who had a relative, no matter how distant, who had died in his or her sins, could be brought out of punishment, or purgatory, by a faithful Mormon member being baptized for the dead relative.

The writer hereof has, on several occasions, seen one living member baptized nine times for as many dead relatives, thereby transferring their souls at once from punishment to happiness. There is one thing the faithful ones could never be accused of, and that is lukewarmness, as they cling to their doctrines with a tenacity worthy at imitation in any church.

In regard to the gold plates that entered so largely into the early history of the church, the true Mormon, when asked if these gold plates had ever been seen by anyone, would aver that if Joseph Smith would bring the plates out and lay them on a table in the presence of the Gentiles, they would be invisible to the profane.

Again in 1844, when the two great poIitical parties -- then whig and democrat -- had put their respective candidates in the field, the Mormons nominated Joseph Smith for president and Sidney Rigdon for vice-president. And you could not insult a Mormon quicker than to say they could not be elected. They were just as sure of their election as that the sun would continue to rise in the east and set in the west.

Vain delusion! Jo Smith ended his eventful life on the 27th day of June, more than four months before the presidential election took place that year.

It was frequently preached by their ministers that the use or medicine was contrary to the teachings of the scriptures, and should be entirely ignored -- that when sickness occurred they should immediately send for the elders of the church, and the laying on of hands and anointing with oil should be -- nay, must be substituted instead thereof.

And in severe or extreme cases of sickness, when the laying on of hands failed to produce a cure, they were to be taken to the river or creek and baptized, which was considered a sure remedy in all cases.

There was a decree sent out by the leaders while they sojourned in Nauvoo, that all converts to the Mormon faith must come to the "city of the saints" as they were wont to call it. They must come together and build up Zion as there the gathering of the saints should be in the latter days.   B. MENDENHALL.
Dallas City, Ill., July 6.

Note: See also Benoni B. Mendenhall's reply to Gay Davidson, in the Quincy Journal of Sept. 18, 1890.


Vol. X.                     Quincy, Illinois,  Thursday,  August 17, 1893.                   No. 217.



Fifty Relatives of the Venerable Mrs. Katherine Salisbury,
of Hancock County, Celebrate the Eightieth
Anniversary of Her Birthday --
A Highly Esteemed Woman.

Mrs. Katherine Salisbury, the eldest sister of Joseph Smith, the Mormon prophet, lives on her own farm three miles from the village of Fountain Green, in Hancock county, Illinois.

Mrs. Salisbury is now over 80 years old, but she enjoys good health for her age and bids fair to live many years yet.

She was 89 years old on the 28th of last month, and her sons, their wives, her grandchildren and great-grandchildren; gathered as usual on the date of the anniversary to do homage to their venerable and highly esteemed relative. From a private letter written to the writer by one who attended the gathering mentioned, the following extracts are taken. The writer of the letter is the husband of a niece of Mrs. Salisbury:


"When we arrived at Aunt Katherine's home, three miles from Fountain Green, we found assembled there her sons, daughters·in-law and her grand-children and great grandchildren, to the number of fifty, gathered to celebrate the eightieth anniverary of Aunt Katherine's birthday.

"She lives on her own farm with her youngest son Frederick and his wife Josephine, who are kind and genial hosts, and at noon we were treated to an elegant, bountiful repast, to be found only on occasions like this.

"The day was delightfully spent with music, singing and talking over times gone by Mrs. Salisbury has a good memory, and interests one deeply with her talk of historical events of the past.

"At 5 o'clock, we were served with ice cream, cake, fruit, etc., and at 6 o'clock we departed, wishing that Aunt Katherine might live to be a hundred years old and that we might have the pleasure of attending each future celebration.


"Mrs. Salisbury was born at Lebanon, New Hampshire. She was married June 8, 1830, at Kirtland, Ohio, to the late Wilkins J. Salisbury, who has been dead for forty years.

"Her husband was a blacksmith by trade. They came to Illinois in 1839. She lived in Illinois within 30 miles of her brother, Joseph Smith. She is his eldest sister.

"She has three sons Iiying, namely: Soloman, Don and Frederick Salisbury. Her health is good for one of her age."

One of Mrs. Salisbury's grandsons lives in Quincy. He was during recent years a member for a time of our police force.

Note: See also Gay Davidson's interview with Mrs. Salisbury, as published in the Carthage Republican of May 16, 1894.


The Quincy Morning Whig.
Vol. LV.                         Quincy   Illinois  Wednesday,  April 11, 1894.                       No. 319.


Judge Sharp Breathes His Last at Carthage Yesterday.

(Special to the Morning Whig.)

Carthage, Ill., April 10. -- Judge Thomas Coke Sharp, editor and proprietor of The Carthage Gazette, died at his home in this city last night from paralysis, from which he has suffered for the past three years. Judge Sharp, next to the late Thomas Gregg, of Hamilton, was the pioneer journalist of Hancock county, and one of the oldest newspaper men in the west. He was born in Mt. Holly, N. Y., Sept. 25, 1818, and was therefore 76 years old. His father was the noted Methodist minister, Rev. Solomon Sharp, of the Philadelphia conference. Thomas, after a term in Dickinson college, entered a law school at Carlisle, Pa., and was admitted to the Cumberland county bar, April 14, 1840. He came to Quincy, Ill., Aug. 11, 1810, and opened a law office, but located at Warsaw, in this county, in September of that year. In May, 1840, Judge Sharp purchased The Western World, then published at Warsaw by D. N. White, formerly of The Pittsburg Gazette, and in May, 1841, changed the name to The Warsaw Signal. The Mormons having come to Nauvoo and Hancock county, and some of their methods being objectionable to Judge Sharp, he opposed Joseph Smith and other Mormon leaders through his paper, the controversy between The Signal, Sharp's paper, and The Times & Seasons, Joseph Smith's organ, becoming violently bitter and attracting wide attention. After a brief suspension of The Warsaw Signal, Judge Sharp again revived the paper, and was prominently identified with Mormon affairs until after that people had left Illinois in 1846. Judge Sharp was one of several men indicted and tried for the murder of Joseph and Hyrum Smith at the old stone jail in Carthage on June 27, 1844, but the jury promptly returned a verdict of acquittal. Judge Sharp was a member of the constitutional convention of 1847; was elected mayor of Warsaw in 1852, 1858 and 1859. He started The New Era, a union paper at Warsaw in 18[54]. Judge Sharp left the democratic party in 1854, and in 1856 made the congressional race in the old Fifth district to succeed Col. Richardson, but was defeated, the district being heavily democratic. In 1865 Judge Sharp was elected county judge of Hancock county. He removed his family to Carthage. After holding that office four years he formed a law partnership with the late Henry W. Draper. In 1869 he purchased The Carthage Gazette, and with the exception of possibly a year, has been its editor and proprietor ever since. The paper is now conducted by his son, Will O. Sharp, who, with the widow, his second wife, an adopted daughter, and two other children, survive. The funeral services will be held to-day.

Note 1: See also Gay Davidson's article on Illinois pioneer editors Sharp, Gregg and Davidson, in the St. Louis Republic of Sept. 30, 1888.

Note 2: The following time-line may help clear up confusion over the interaction of Gregg and Sharp, in relationship to the Warsaw Signal: May 13, 1840: D. N. White established his Western World at Warsaw --- May 12, 1841: T. C. Sharp and partner purchased the Western World and renamed it the Warsaw Signal --- Oct. 1, 1842: Sharp sold the Signal back to its original owner --- Jan. 7, 1843: Thomas Gregg's Western Message replaced the defunct Signal --- Feb. 14, 1844: Sharp regained ownership of the Message press and re-established the Warsaw Signal -- Dec. 1846: Sharp relinquished editorship of the Signal to Thomas Gregg --- Sharp stayed on as an associate editor and Gregg subsequently became the paper's publisher --- Oct 2, 1847: Gregg became sole editor --- 1853 (fall?): Gregg left the paper --- Mar. 1853: Sharp returned to publish it as the Warsaw Weekly Express --- early 1850s: James McKee established a rival paper called the Warsaw Commercial Journal --- April 20, 1855: McKee's paper re-named Journal of the People --- 1855: McKee merged his Journal with the Express to create the Warsaw Express and Journal --- 1855: paper's name was shortened to Warsaw Express --- last preserved issues: April 1856 (may have continued past that date) Thomas C. Sharp eventually returned to the Hancock County newspaper publishing business in 1869 with his purchase of the Carthage Gazette.


The Quincy Morning Whig.
Vol. LV.                         Quincy   Illinois  Sunday,  June 24, 1894.                       No. 382.


Massacre of Joe Smith in the Old Carthage Jail.


Story of the Tragedy as Told by Mrs.
Catherine Salisbury, Sister of the Prophet
Joseph and Hyrum Smith Buried at
Nauvoo -- Speculation Over the Outcome
of the Grape Crop.

(Special Correspondence of The Whig.)

NAUVOO, Ill., June 23. -- The train leaves you standing on the depot platform at Montrose, Ia, and presently a friendly skiff, or mayhap the ferry in due, provides a means of crossing the broad Mississippi river to this ancient and certainly historic town. You land at the riverside where begin the "flats," that stretch of low, sandy ground at the foot of Nauvoo proper, where the major portion of the mormons resided in the palmy days now more than a half century ago. A hack takes the traveler up the winding and steep hillto the business center of Nauvoo. As you approach this city from, the opposite shore the imposing spire of St. Paul and Peter Catholic church rise against the sky of the high bluff, and as the building stands not far from the spot that marked the Mormon temple. Many visitors forget that tbe templehas long since been destroyed, and wonder if this really large structure not the famous temple.

Fifty years ago next Wednesday, June 27, this ancient city, then indeed a city, having fully 15,000 inhabitants, was thrown into the greatest excitement by the news received along towards nightfall that Joseph and Hiram Smith, the prophets, had been murdered in the old stone jail at Carthage, and that Dr. [sic] Taylor, now dead, but after the tragedy president of the Mormon church in Utah, had been terribly wounded, the assailants being a mob of men from the vicinity of Warsaw. One would have thought that such news would have stirred the populace to deeds of violence against the Gentiles of the neighboring town of Carthage. Indeed there stood ready to call of arms over a thousand splendidly equiped and drilled soldiers, known as the "Nauvoo Legion," who could have sacked the scene of the tragedy with little effort. But instead of being wrought to fury by the murder, the people were seemingly absolutely humbled and crushed. It is doubtless true that a number of armed men left Nauvoo upon receipt of the news of the massacre, but they halted in the timber some distance this side of Carthage where a consultation was held. Many of these men were members of "The Sons of Dan," or "The Danites," that terrible organization whose members knew no fear, and whose aim solely was to execute the commands given them by Joseph Smith and others in authority. But their chief leader now lay dead, and to other leaders they were no so closely bound but that the wiser counsel of cooler heads might not be of avail. Wiser counsel did prevail, and no assault upon Carthage was made. The inhabitants of that village were even then fleeing terror stricken to the prairies and the fastness of the timbered country eastward. That 27th day of June, 1844, was a day in the history of the state, that seems to grow more historic as the years roll away. There will be no forgetting the anniversary next Wednesday in the homes of Utah Mormons, and few people here will fail to recall the fiftieth anniversary of a tragedy that made both Nauvoo and Carthage world famed.

But there are few here to-day who can tell from actual experience of the exciting days of 1844 and later on. Of course many pioneers remember those times, but of those who were active participants the number is pitifully small. A number of the leading landmarks still stand. On the leading street still stands the little old house where Chauncy L. (afterwards judge) and Francis Higbee printed the first and only copy of "The Nauvoo Expositor," which, assailing Smith and his coharts so bitterly, was by Smith's order suppressed, the type "pied" and the press broken up and cast into the river. And later on, when Cabet, the French communist, had come to Nauvoo with his little band of Icarians and started a community, this little house served again as a printing office, and herein were published tracts and an Icarian newspaper.

The suppression and destruction of The Expositor office was the last straw. Smith was arrested by the civil authorities of Hancock county, and, in company with this brother Hyrum, Dr. [sic] Taylor and a Mr. Richards, were taken to Carthage about two days before the murder. In this connection the testimony of an important living witness may be of interest. Mrs. Catherine Salisbury, now lives with her son, Fred Salisbury, a farmer near Fountain Green, in this county. She is 82 years old and is remarkably bright and active. During the recent conference of the Mormon church at Lamoni, Ia., she was present and received much respectful attention. She was in Nauvoo a few days previous to the arrest; Joseph preached what proved to be his farewell sermon. Mother Salisbury says "He preached to an immense crowd in the open air, for no house would hold the people. His sermon was prophetic, or rather its conclusion was, for as he finished he turned to several of the church dignitaries who were seated on the platform behind him and told them that there were among them those who had conspired to deliver him up to the enemy. I bid brothers Joseph and Hyrum good bye that Saturday evening, June 23d, 1844. Joseph took both my hands in his very tenderly and said, 'Sister Catherine, I will come down to Plymouth to visit you just as soon a sthis trouble blows over. Good bye and God bless you.' Hyrum shook my hand and said good bye very pathetically. I then lived with my husband at Plymouth, in this county. The boys were always good to me, and whenever they had any extra religious services at Nauvoo would send for me. That picture which you have in your hand represents Joseph and Hyrum as they appeared the day they bid me good bye. They stood facing each other a portion of the time, and were dressed in the peculiar costume which the picture shows. I never saw them again in life. There was a heavy price set on Brother Joseph's head by the Missourians, so that they did not bury the bodies publicly, but the story that their bodies were never buried at Nauvoo but were sent to Salt Lake is only an idle fallacy. The bodies were buried in the family lot near the old Mansion house."

At this juncture Mother Salisbury's son Fred spoke up, saying: "When Aunt Emma died at Nauvoo several years ago six of her nephews, including myself, actd as pall-bearers, and we buried her by the side of the dust of her first husband, Joseph, the martyr. There can be no sort of doubt that the bodies of both Joseph and Hyrum were buried in the brick vault near the Mansion house soon after the massacre and were never removed."

Notwithstanding these statements there are many people who do not believe that the murdered Smiths were ever buried at Nauvoo at all. Judge George Edmunds, of Carthage, doubtless knows what final disposition was made of the bodies. The correspondent has neevr asked the judge to tell where the bodies were buried, because he knew it was an idle question to ask. It matters little now, a half century past.

Not a vestige of the temple remains save the well, now the centre of a stable lot, that once supplied the huge baptismal font. The old Masonic hall, Mansion house, Joseph and Hyrum Smith residences, tithing house, arsenal and some historic private residences still stand. The building formerly occupied by Cabet and his Icarians as a school, and which is erected out of the stone of the dismantled temple, is now a combined drug store and dwelling house. The stone is of a beautiuful drak gray.

Referring once more to Mrs. Salisbury, whom the correspondent had the pleasure of interviewing recently at her rural hime near Fountain Green, it will be seen at a glance that she strongly resembles, not her famous brother, but his son, the present Joseph Smith, now president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, at Lamoni, Ia. She is above the usual height and weight, and her complexion is a delicate peachy color that indicates good blood and breeding. She exhibited a number of photographs of her illustrious relatives, among them one William Smith, her brother, who was sent to the Illinois legislature in the 40's by the Mormon vote. She has also a photograph of "Aunt Emma," Joseph Smith's first wife, later the wife of Maj. L. C. Bidamon, of Nauvoo and with whom she lived in "the New Mansion house," for many years, until after his death and to her own demise, which was only a few years ago. Mrs. Salisbury says she has been interviewed by newspaper men and authors, but that none of them had ever done her or her family justice in their published stories. "We are ashamed of nothing connected with the history of Joseph Smith and his church. We have nothing to conceal, and only ask for a just representation." Among her reliques is a history of Joseph Smith by his mother, Lucy Smith, who lived at Nauvoo some years prior to her death.

Nauvoo will ever be the Mecca of curious people who desire to view the spot where the Mormons reared a great city. So also will the old jail at Carthage be visited by many curious people each year. A wagon load of Mormons visited that ancient structure a few days ago, and continued their journey to this city round whose history cluster so many memories.

The people of this city are just now engaged in speculating upon the probable outcome of their grape crop. Nauvoo is one of the most extensive grape and berry growing localities in the west. There are a large number of wine cellars in the place, filled with huge casks of wine of many moons' vintage. The strawberry yield was not so large as expected and the season is over. There is not much hope for a great yield of blackberries. The great hope is that the grape crop will equal that of last year, at which no less than 1,560,000 bushels of grapes were shipped away.
GAY DAVIDSON.         

Note 1: The above article was reprinted in the Quincy Weekly Whig of Thursday, June 28th. Part of the content greatly resembles another of Isham Gaylord Davidson's articles: "A Sister of the Prophet," published in his father's Carthage Republican on May 16, 1894. The Whig article shares even more of an overlap with another version of the Salisbury interview, as published in the June 24, 1894 issue of the Salt Lake Tribune.

Note 2: Some of the photographs that Gay Davidson reported seeing in Mrs. Salisbury's possession were evidently displayed by Illinois State Senator Orville F. Berry in his 1906 address to the Illinois State Historical Society for the year. He then said: "There resided in this county, until her death, Catherine Smith Salisbury, sister of the prophet. The writer knew her personally, has been in her house many times and has grown up from boyhood days with her sons and grandsons, and the world would be wonderfully well off if all women were as good as Catherine Smith Salisbury." (Illinois State Register Jan. 25, 1906).

Note 3: A brief list of Isham Gaylord Davidson articles on Mormon topics: (under construction)

Note 4: For more on this topic see Kyle R. Walker's "Katharine Smith Salisbury: Sister to the Prophet," Mormon Historical Studies III:2 (fall 2002)


The Quincy Weekly Whig.
Vol. LVIII.                       Quincy, Illinois, Thursday, January 30, 1896                     No. 31.



Sketch of "The Vale of Deseret" -- An, Old
Story, Related by One of Her Gentile Pioneers --
A Great Problem Solved and a Great
Commonwealth. Transformed.

(Special Correspondence.)

Salt Lake City, Jan 1. -- Utah is one of us. After the longest territorial childhood in our history, 45 years, the commonwealth founded by the exiles from Nauvoo by presidential proclamation becomes the forty-flfth state in the sisterhood. Nine times have the denizens in the vale of Deseret knocked at Uncle Sam's door before hearing the welcome ''Come in!" and in the meantime 18 states have entered, every one of which was behind Utah at the start. Salt Lake City had 5,000 inhabitants when Yerba Buena was startled by the gold discovery and began its rapid transformation into San Francisco; the site of Denver was a sagebrush desert 11 years after Brigham Young and the 148 Mormon pioneers located Temple block; the Indians owned all of Kansas, save the military reserves, when the gray granite foundations of the great Mormon temple were just obovd ground, while settled Iowa was but 40 miles wide, Minnesota was a Sioux hunting ground, all west of it and north of the Kaw was unorganized territory, Arizona was but a narrow desert strip, and Oklahoma had not been dreamed of. Children born of English parents in Salt Lake City have long been grandmothers, and a native of that city, son of a Manxman and Mormon president, is soon to be Utah's first senator. But what a strange, wild history lies between, and in those 45 years how many blunders and follies wore committed as well as acts of her oism and sublime self sacrifice!

A Look Backward.

Oh, snatch some portion of those acts from fate,
Historic muse, and to the world relate.
I shall not write the history, of course. The world knows it, for there have been something over 800 books written about the Mormons. But there are many side facts, with the reality, of history and all the glow of romance, which should bo set down to impress young Americans as to the wonderful growth of our west and the power of pur institutions to solve a great problem and transform a great commonwealth. The superstitious might find strange suggestions in the odd numbers -- 45 years of territorial life to become the forty-flfth state, 9 applications to secure admission, 18 other new states coming In ahead, and 8 territories claiming to be fit for admission. Equally suggestive is the anomalous fact that when the original Utah was split down the middle and the western half of the Great Basin was rushed into the Union as the state of Nevada our most farseeing statesmen expected that It would grow, rapidly, and, by successive additions, be able to absorb and control Mormon Utah, whereas, in fact, it is the only American commonwealth which is declining in wealth and population. On the eastern side of tho Great Basin many mountain streams, fed all summer by the immense icebergs and snowdrifts in the Wasatch mountains, create broad, fertile valleys among tho foothills and run far out into the basin before being lost in "sinks" and salt marshes. On the western side the few streams scarcely issue from the hills before they are lost in the loose red earth, and scientists have declared that if the Ohio river were turned into the northwest corner of the Great Basin not a drop of it would reach the Colorado, so drying is the air and so absorbing the earth. With our present knowledge it is not possible to see how Nevada can sustain itself as a state.

When the 12 apostles and 2,000 Mormon pioneers crossed the Mississippi on the ice in February, 1840, and started on their hard journey, there were not, save in Texas, 20,000 white Americans in all the country west of the Council Bluffs meridian. All the preceding winter every available room in Nauvoo, even the great temple, had been turned into a workshop. Green timber had been boiled in brine hasten its seasoning.

Twelve thousand wagons were ready when the first party started, and others followed as rapidly as they could be organized until, by the 1st of May, 16,000 Mormons were on the way. The advance parties suffered terribly. "All night says a woman who made the journey, "the wagons came trundling into camp with half frozen children screaming with cold or crying for food, and the same the next day and the next, the whole line of march. The open sky and bare ground for women and children in February are things only to be endured when human nature is put to the rack of necessity, and many mother hastily burled her dead child the wayside, only regretting she could not lie down with it herself and be at peace."

Mormon Enterprise.

By this early start, however, they reached the Missouri in time to break sod and plant crops, and their camp was soon spread on both sides above and below the present Omaha and as far west as Columbus Neb. There they were visited, by Colonel Thomas L. Kane of the United States army, and at his suggestion Brigham Young raised the famous Mormon battalion of 600 men for tho Mexican war. They marched in the Kearny and Doniphan expedition and, from the lower Rio Grando across the desert and mountains to San Diego. Major John D. Lee, afterward notorious for his part in the Mountain meadow massacre, told me while was at his retreat on the Colorado in 1872 how he and Major Howard Egan went with the battalion to Santa Fe and received there the bounty, and first payment amounting to 520,000, which Lee and Egan took back to Brigham Young to used in outfitting for the journey to Utah. The battalion was put in the command of Colonel Philip St. George Cooke, and long afterward tho Mormons used to tell with a glow of pride that his attachment to these soldiers was so great that when he entered Salt Lake City in 1858 with the United States army he rode with his head uncovered. A company of 540 pioneers had already been sent around from Now York under Colonel Samuel Brannan. They reached Yerba Buena in time to aid the revolution against Mexican rule, and, the discovery of gold following soon, Brannan remained and became a very wealthy man, while the Mormons scattered and worked their way through to Utah. Nor should the world forgot that it was a Mormon laborer, James W. Marshall, who, while working in Captain Sutter's mill race, picked up that golden nugget which electrified the world and revolutionized our national politics and commerce. The Mormon settlement in Utah was due to Governor Thomas L. Ford, John C. Fremont and Bill Smith. The last named represented the Mormon county of Hancock in the Illinois legislature when the official report of Fremont' s first expedition was received by the governor. The latter called Smith's attention to the description of fertile valleys on the east side of the Great Basin and said, "Tell your brother that there is a place where your people can found a commonwealth after their own religious pattern, and no mob will molest them for centuries." The governor had already had a deal of trouble in keeping the peace between Mormons and old settlers in Hancock county, but nothing compared with what he was soon to have. The prophet Joseph Smith soon gave out to the people that their final location was to be in the heart of the Rooky mountains, and missionaries were sent ahead to convert the Indians, but Joseph and his brother Hyrum were killed by a mob the next summer, and the great Mormon exodus was organized and led by Joseph's successor, Brigham Young. He and 148 companions reached the valley July 24, 1847, the day since celebrated with great eclat as Pioneers' day. I have seen Salt Lake City deserted and quie t as on the Sabbath day; when all the population who could travel went to a great natural amphitheater in the Wasatch on the 23d, pitched their tents and had religious services that night and devoted all the next day to feasting and merriment.

When Brigham Young Was a Lion.

It was on that day in 1857 when all the people were gathered about Big Cottonwood lake, 24 miles from the city and 10,000 feet above sea level, when the music was loud and the dancing at its merriest , Brigham leading the head cotillon with his favorite wife, Emeline Free, when Elder A. O. Smoot rode into the assemblage, having come from the Missouri river as fast as his strength would bear, and announced that President Buchanan had sent a new set of officials for Utah, and that with them was a great army now rapidly nearing Utah. Many, a time have I sat by cabin fires in remote villages of Utah and beard old men and women tell how the people rose as one man, and how Brigham was then truly the lion of the Lord. He took the stand and said: "God has granted my wish, and the devil has taken me at my word. I said the day we reached Utah that if the minions of hell would leave me ten years I'd be ready for them. They have taken me at my word, and they will see that I am ready." He promptly ordered out; the militia, issued proclamations, and the so-called Mormon war began. It was during the three years beginning with 1855 that most of those acts were committed which anti-Mormon writers refer to as the "church murders." The first year, the crop failed, and tho next winter the people had to dig thistle roots and segoes for food. A spirit of wild fanaticism followed and a fearful period, known as the "reformation," during which the "blood atonement" doctrine was preached and occasionally enforced. The same year 2,000 Mormons started from the frontier in August to travel to Utah with handcarts. Winter came early while they wore in the heart of the Rocky mountains; 800 of them died, and many more suffered the loss of an eye or a limb or otherwise by cold and hunger. In the meanwhile a mob had driven the United States judges and other officials out of the territory, and gentiles and dissenting Mormons fled in every direction. The army came late in 1857 and was barred out till the next summer, but its location in the territory proved the beginning of Mormon prosperity.

Mines were opened in adjacent territories, and the Mormons had a good market for their surplus at famine prices. Our civil war came on, a hard winter closed the Missouri river, Indians dominated all other routes, and flour in Montana rose to $110 per barrel. The Mormons literally coined money. During one peculiarly hard winter some 4,000 miners came to winter in the city, and I have heard old Mormons and merchants estimate that their average expenditures there were $5,000 per day for four months. After the war came the Union Pacific railroad, and when I crossed the plains, although the terminus of the road was near Cheyenne, the Mormon settlements were in a highly prosperous condition by reason of freighting and furnishing supplies to the advance working parties. I recall some specimen prices. At the wayside ranches we paid $1 a day for the plainest board, each man sleeping on the ground in his own blankets; cigars and drinks were 25 cents each and ordinary staples about 2 1/2 times as high as in New York city. Per contra, the finest peaches that ever grew could be had for 20 cents per peck and mountain trout for the catching.

A Great State.

A dumb war followed between the United States officials and the Mormons till in 1882 congress passed the Edmunds act, and the final assault on polygamy began Its origin, according to the Mormons, was in a revelation to Joseph Smith given July 12, 1843, but it was not openly avowed by the church till September 1852. In 1863 the first law of congress against it was enacted; it was strengthened in 1874 by the Poland act, but it was not till the commission was appointed under the Edmunds act that anything practical was done. The Mormons yielded gracefully, and now the only use of the Edmunds act is for the prosecution of negroes in Washington who are living according to the old law of the plantation instead of the statutes.

During all these late years mines have been opened and railroads built and great flocks of blooded sheep bred in the mountain pastures and gentile churches built and gentile influence established, and now the once Mormon commonwealth comes into the Union with 84,970 square miles, 200,000 people and politics based on the interests of silver, lead and wool. Long may she wave. And as one of her gentile pioneers, who edited a paper here when pistols and clubs were in order and had considerable of his blood spilt for an editorial indiscretion, I think I may say with out egotism, "Welcome, sweet sister, and all the more welcome because of your wonderful transformation.''  J. B. PARKE.

Note 1: In a July 2, 1897 article, sub-titled "Remarkable Genius of the Late J. H. Beadle," the Maysville Kentucky Evening Bulletin stated: "While Mr. [John H.] Beadle's earlier literary work was done for individual newspapers and magazines or appeared in bookform, for the last 15 years of his life he wrote almost constantly for a great newspaper syndicate, of which this paper is a member. While as a rule he wrote over his own name, he contributed much over the signature J. B. Parke."

Note 2: While the above report of Governor Ford's recommendation to William Smith (to inform his prophet-brother of Fremont's discoveries in the west) is interesting, it should be remembered that news reports of the expedition were widely circulated at an early date and that Mormon leaders could have learned about the possibilities for a Great Basin settlement from sources other than Governor Ford. As Klaus J. Hansen mentions, in his 1970 Quest for Empire: "Throughout the spring and summer of 1845, the Council of Fifty discussed the future site of the kingdom of God, making careful studies of as much of the western travel literature as was available at the time, especially of the reports of John C. Fremont." Months before that time some Mormons were already contemplating a westward migration: for example, very shortly after Joseph Smith's assassination, a visitor at Nauvoo witnessed this popular manifestation: "There was a female prophet... [who] related the prodigy she had seen the night after Joseph was shot. She saw him on a white horse, large and grand, and galloping in different directions across the heavens. -- He drew his sword and pointed it threateningly toward Illinois. Next she saw him and his brother leading the Mormon armies westward with their wagons, horses, cattle, women and children. Oh, it was a grand sight! Many of the deceased saints whom she recognized mingled with the host that rolled far off westward."


Vol. XIV.                     Quincy, Illinois,  Friday,  September 10, 1897.                   No. 311.

"Book of Mormon."

The "Book of Mormon" has been proved to be a literary plagiarism, being a feree paraphrase of a romance written by the Rev. Solomon Spalding, in 1816, the manuscript of which came into the possession of Joseph Smith, and he, sitting behind a curtain, dictated it to Oliver Cowdery, who seated out of sight of the reader, wrote the matter as it was given him. Smith pretended that the book was discovered by him by revelation and dug up from the side of a hill not far from Palmyra, in the county of Ontario, N. Y. The claim was made by Smith that the writing on the plates was engraved in "reformed Egyptian," which he was unable to read until magic spectacles, which he called his Urim and Thummim, were given to him, enabling him to read and translate into English. The spectacles and the metal plates have disappeared, and the story of the dictation makes tolerably clear the manner in which the "Book of Mormon" had its origin.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XV.                     Quincy, Illinois,  Friday,  September 9, 1898.                   No. 306.


The City, Its People, and Its Fair -- A Growing Town,
a Neighborly People, an Interesting Fair --
The 'Quincy Delegation.'

Its Size and Quality, and What Was Done to It at
Carthage -- An Absent Editor.

The Old Carthage Jail -- 'Tis a Rare Old Relic --
Notes About One Thing and Another.

What a day was yesterday! From nature's marvelous workshop can come no day more perfect, no day more charming. For several days nature had been at work preparing the conditions for yesterday. The recent electrical storms had purified the air and cooled it. The rains had laid the dust, so that yesterday we had no dust, but fresh, bracing air, a comfortable temperature, a friendly sunshine.'Twas a perfect day for work for rest, or recreation -- for living. Such a day was yesterday.

About 160 citizens of Quincy spent this day in the prosperous, pretty city of Carthage. And we must use these adjectives if we would tell the truth of Carthage. It is certainly a beautiful and a prosperous town. But, oh, how it has changed since we last saw it, September 10, 1891! The town has been largely rebuilt since then. Not far from one-half the town has been built since 1890. Not all, but nearly all the best buildings in Carthage have been built during the present decade. The change in Carthage is to us marked and surprising. The residences are far ahead of anything that we had expected to see within the last four or five years -- handsome and costly residences have been built by Mayor M. P. Berry, Judge J. B. Risse, N. J. Helfrich; A. F. Helm, Senator O. F. Berry, J. G. Van Zile, George W. Payne, A. W. O'Harra, Wm. D. Hart, E. G. Quinby C. W. Taylor, F. W. Merrill, John Norton, John M. Owens and others whose names we failed to get.

The building boom In Carthage began in 1890, and since then from fifteen to twenty new residences hare been put up there yearly. A local building and loan association has been instrumental in helping to build many of the smaller and more inexpensive residences. The fine homes have been built, of course, by the wealthy residents of the city.

The business portion of the city has also been greatly improved; since we saw it. Carthage is not at all the town it was in 1890.

Carthage has a fine sewer system, an excellent and extended water system, including fire protection, and is well lighted by electricity. And this fall they are going to begin to pave the city. Doesn't this surprise, you? -- you people who have not been in Carthage since 1890? And Is not this enough about Carthage

The fair grounds contain about forty acres -- one-third of which is a broken beautifully shaded pork. About the best thing on the grounds is the abundance of cool and delicious water. It comes from a well 280 feet deep. The water rises to about fifty feet from the top and pump from it as they will, with their Steam pump, they cannot lower the water in the well more than eleven feet. The water is piped all over the grounds.

There Is a good show in the Carthage fair -- a good show of poultry, of horses of cattle, of hogs, of sheep, and of agricultural products. The art department which is the ladies' department, is well filled with beautiful and dainty work. It is a first-class county fair all through. There is no doubt of it: The fair will be handled more in detail by another writer. I cannot close this short article without this paragraph. In spite of the perfect day, in spite of the generous hospitality of the good people of Carthage, in spite of all the pleasant surroundings and associations, a touch of sadness came to this writer. When I was in Carthage in September seven years ago a brother took me by the hand in the morning -- and from that time on until we said good-by at night, we were together. All day long he went around with me. At noon he took me to his comfortable home and loving family to dinner. In the afternoon we took in the fair together. That good-by, said at night, as we parted, was the last one. Some months after that my brother quit his editorial sanctum for a seat in heaven -- for what sort of a place would heaven be if such generous men as Editor Davidson were not there? I missed him yesterday, even more than I thought I should. Carthage will never seem to me just like the same Carthage that it was when my brother Davidson was there and was one of Its living, moving, generous, vital forces.


Yesterday was Quincy Day at Carthage. To-day is Carthage Day in the Quincy Journal.

The fields of corn in the vicinity of Stillwell are stripped and as dead as death. The recent hailstorm did it.

Truman Plantz was present yesterday. Looks as if he knew every one in Hancock county, and as if everyone knew him.

The political candidates were thick. Your friend Col. Marsh was the recourse, and all the legislative candidates from that senatorial district,

We learned something in Carthage yesterday. If you wish to get Capt. Knolls' attention In Carthage you've got to call him Aleo. Captain doesn't catch him. But if you sing out "Aleo!" he will hear you too quick, no matter how big a crowd he's in.

We wonder how many of Quincy's excursionists visited the old Carthage jail yesterday? -- the jail whore Joseph and Hyrum Smith were killed. What a history that jail has. We have something to say of this jail elsewhere in to-day's Journal.

The homes in Carthage were thrown wide open to the Quincy people yesterday. The Carthaginians were only sorry that there were not more to entertain. At the home of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Cherrill, where the writer had the good fortune to be, some twelve or fifteen were most generously and delightfully entertained.

We are sorry that Mr. Seeley becomes so boisterous when he goes away from home. We telephoned Mr. Dunn, of New York, about it, yesterday, and he told us to look after him and he would make all right with us the next time he came to Quincy. Everything that Mr. Seeley and Mr. Bradford take seems to go to their heads.

There is no "midway" at Carthage as there was at Macomb. We saw only two "attractions "on the grounds, one of them Miss Ella Ewing, the Missouri giantess and the other a little girl of 8 covered all over with long hair. Both are genuine attractions. The little girl is a strange looking sight indeed -- but not a pleasing one. It' s a sad one.

John B. Graham, the president of the Hancock Fair Association, is the right man in the right place. He is a farmer born and bred, and he knows how to make people welcome without making his hospitality burdensome. In his place a man of sense of judgment, of discretion and of tact is needed. And surely Mr. Graham has there in full.

Just such a delegation as went to Carthage yesterday should have gone to Edina -- for the people of Knox are among our best friends and most liberal patrons. Turn about is fair play, friends. When we receive so much, we should be willing to give back a trifle of our time and money. Our country friends appreciate these little, friendly courtesies.

Quincy should have sent a delegation of 500 to Carthage yesterday. These outings pay in every way. They pay in rest and recreation; they pay in the way of our people getting acquainted with one another; they pay in the way, of renewing old acquaintanceship and of making now friends and they pay in the way of trade. Our people can spend a half dozen days each fall. In no better way, than in visiting the surrounding county fairs. It is, indeed, time well spent.

Between about 12 and 1 o'clock yesterday, Mr. E. F. Bradford, of Quincy, was a silent man, though not, apparently, either a, quiet or a sad one. Several attempts were made by his friends to draw him into conversation, but nothing more than a monasyllable, now and then could be got from him. It was dinner hour at Mr. Ed Cherrill's -- and a most delicious dinner was before Mr. B. Later on his friends asked him why he maintained such dead silence for so long a time, "I was sawin' wood," he said -- whatever that may mean and then he fell to talking.

The Carthage college building is of brick, two stories, a basement and an attic high. It is a substantial, good-looking building. We went on to the roof of it. The view from the roof is very fine. Carthage, embowered in shade, lay beneath us, prettier than any picture that art can make. In the far off, distant West the blue hills of Missouri and Iowa barely rise into view. This side of those hills, and to the north, the east and the south, as far as the eye can see, lies the undulating earth dotted every where with fields and groves. It is a charming view. We do not know where else in Illinois its equal can be found. Of a truth we have not seen it.

We do not pretend to say that Quincy could not have sent out another delegation as large as that which left here yesterday for Carthage and just as good a one -- or that she could not have sent out still another just as large and just as good. But this we do say. So far as quality is concerned she could not have sent out a better delegation. Quality counts in everything -- even in dirt. Carthage will never entertain a better delegation from Quincy than that of yesterday; As Alec Shell said to his Carthage friends yesterday: "l am proud of the Quincy delegation. So far as I know there is not a person In It but that you can be glad to take into your homes."

We shall always think more of Elisha Hamilton, of this town, after this. We had the good fortune to fall into the hands of his Carthage brother yesterday -- and there must be some good in a man who has such a brother as Wm. B. Hamilton. They call him "William" in Carthage -- when they don't call him judge. But it is mostly "William," because they knew him by that name before he got his title. They call him William although he is 68 years old -- though he doesn't look it or act it -- for he is still one of the boys. Being called by one's first name comes from living a good while in one place. Mr. Hamilton has lived in Carthage quite a while -- 61 years. Carthage hadn't got on the map when little Willie Hamilton first moved in there -- for the map had not then been made. And Elisha Hamilton hadn't got on the map either: He hadn't been born then. A dozen little shanties at this time comprised the town. Mr. Hamilton was a very brother to us yesterday. He pulled a lively rig out of the livery stable, though the proprietor of the place told him that he couldn't have its and we "did" the town together handsomely. To Mr. Hamilton we are indebted for what we saw of Carthage, and for about all the information concerning the city which we obtained. He is proud of the town and likes to show it to his friends. Some day we hope to have the chance to retaliate on Wm. B. Hamilton for his off-hand, unpretentious kindnesses of yesterday.


We saw the old Carthage jail, inside and out, thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Browning. The old jail that we have read about, and read about, and pictured in our mind' s eye for forty years at least. The old stone jail in which Joseph and Hyrum Smith were so cruelly and wantonly murdered by a lawless mob.

Of all things in Carthage, we had heard most about this old stone jail. Of all things In Carthage we most wished to see this same old jail.

The Carthage jail is a rare old historic structure. One of the rarest, probably, the state. It is certainly the most noted jail in the state. People come to Carthage from all parts of the Union to see the old stone jail. We wonder if it will be preserved. They tell us so in Carthage. We hope that it will. It will stand a long time if fire; or the destroying hand of man do not wreck It. It would be a great wrong to the future to let that old building be destroyed. What would we give now, if the grand old temple were standing in Nauvoo? What a rare old relic that would be! The man that fired that temple should have been shot. It was burned in 1848.

In spite of all that we had heard, and read about the old jail, we didn't picture it aright. Then, is it worth while for as to try to tell our readers what it looks like?

It is a stone structure about 90x88 feet in size, two stories high. There is a low attic in the peak. The stone is a snuff-colored brown, and very plainly shows the effect of the weather upon it. It has all the outward marks and signs of an old building. The blocks of stone are from ten to twenty inches thick, and from one to three feet long. The walls are three feet thick -- two foot eleven inches to be exact. The stone has been colored by exposure to the weather. That is plain to be seen. The heavy door and window cops are made of a lighter stone. They look like long-worn limestone. The blocks of stone in the building are roughly put, and are seamed with age. The old door and window casings are still there; and most of the old doors also. The iron bars, of course, have been removed. The puttled-up holes that the bars were taken from, are plain to be seen.

The stairway, goes up a little back from and in front of the front door. The one big cell in the jail was at the north end up stairs. (Bear in mind that this building was the jail and the jailer's residence.) The Mormon prisoners were not confined in the barred cell. If they had been it is doubtful if the mob could have killed them. They were detained in the front room, up stairs, and were under guard. There were four prisoners the two Smiths, John Taylor, afterward President Taylor, and Mr. Richardson, as we remember the name.

The Smiths stood charged with the destruction of the Nauvoo Expository paper that had charged Joseph Smith and other Mormon leaders with polygamy, and of being guilty of seducing women to their use by religious claims. Foster and Law were the publishers of the Expositor and when their office was destroyed they took refuge in Carthage, where they obtained warrants against Joseph and Hyrum Smith and others. The warrant was served on Joseph Smith, but he refused obey, and the constable who served it was driven from Nauvoo. The county authorities, called out the militia to enforce the law; the Mormons armed themselves, and a civil war seemed impending, when the governor of the state persuaded the two Smiths to surrender themselves and stand trial, promising them protection. A guard was stationed around the jail, but the presumption now that the guard was in sympathy with the attacking mob.

The 27th day of June, 1841, a mob of men with blackened faces and with coats turned inside out, stealthily approached near to the jail under cover of the adjacent grove. Emerging, from the grove the mob rushed toward the jail with the speed of the wind. The guard made no show of resistance. Members of the mob ran up stairs and tried to push In the door to the room in which the prisoners were confined. The four men inside held the door fast. A rifle bullet from one of the mob pierced the door and entered Hyrum Smith 's head. He died almost instantly, When Hyrum fell Joseph opened the door and began to shoot Into the mob with an old "pepper-box" the only weapon of defense the four prisoners had. He emptied his pistol, and the mob came on again. He ran to the east window, probably intending to jump from it, but he was shot twice while he was partly out of the window, and he fell to the ground and died."

The bloody work was done, and the mob disappeared as suddenly as it had come. The mob was at the jail but a minute or two!

When the door was thrown open by Smith, Taylor crawled under the bed and Richardson hid behind the door. Taylor was wounded.

The hole made through the door by the bullet that killed Hyrum, though filled with putty, is plain to be seen. The other bullet holes in the wall are covered with paper.

Whatever Smith's crimes were he was entitled to a trial. He voluntarily surrendered, on a guaranty of protection, to stand trial, and was wantonly and needlessly murdered. There was plenty of law here to deal with Mormonism, as events proved. There was no excuse for the Carthage murders.

The fight on the Mormons was a ruinous blow to the material prosperity of Hancock county. At the time of the attack on the Mormons the population of Nauvoo was 15,000; it was then the largest city in the state by a considerable.

Perhaps we ought not to say it -- but the foregoing article was written by this writer for The Journal seven years ago [in 1891]. It was Editor Davidson who took us to the jail and got permission from Mr. and Mrs. Browning for us to thoroughly examine It. We wonder how many of our excursionists saw this rare old relic yesterday?

Notes: (forthcoming)


The Quincy Morning Whig.
Vol. LXI.                         Quincy   Illinois  Sunday,  August 13, 1899.                       No. 337.


Mrs. Catherine Salisbury Celebrated
Her 86th Birthday.

Mrs. Catherine Salisbury, a sister of the Mormon prophet, Joe Smith, who was killed at Carthage more than half a century ago, celebrated her 86th birthday at the home of her son near Fountain Green, Hancock county, last week. The Colchester Independent says of this venerable lady:

Mrs. Salisbury is a devout worshiper in the Mormon faith. Joseph and Hiram Smith, who were killed in the old Carthage jail during the Mormon troubles, June 27, 1844, were her brothers. She has been closely connected with the Mormon church and the making of its history up to the time of its removal from Nauvoo to Salt Lake City. She is the only survivor of the Smith family. She was born at Lebanon, N. H., July 28, 1813. With the Smith family she removed to New York state, and from there to Curtland [sic], O. With the Mormon following she came west to Independence, Mo., then to Quincy and on to Nauvoo, and since the church was removed to Utah she has resided constantly in Hancock county. She has three children living: Jenkins Salisbury of Burnside, Don Salisbury of near Carthage, and Fred Salisbury of near Fountain Green. The husband and three children are dead. Aunt Catherine has 28 grandchildren, 38 great grandchildren and 7 great great grandchildren, all living.

Note: The Colchester Independent was founded by H. H. Stevens and was published at Colchester, McDonough County, Illinois, between and 1880-1975. No index of its backfile articles has yet been compiled.


The Quincy Daily Whig
Vol. LXVI.                 Quincy   Illinois  Sunday,  February 24, 1901               No. 23.



Incidents of the Times When Plymouth Was       
        More Than One Half Mormon.

Temperance Crusade in the Fifties --
Underground Railway Station --
Spiva's Narrow Escape -- Rattlesnakes
and a Glass Eating Dog.


(By Staff Correspondent of the Whig.)

Plymouth, Ill., Feb. 23. -- This town was laid out in January, 1836. The work was done by four men. Two of them were from Plymouth, Comm., and this explains the origin of the town's name. The first building was erected by Sevier Tadlock and it was quickly followed by others, and in two of three years Plymouth was one of the most important trading points in all this part of the country. Like all country towns, Plymouth has a history, but there are few communities in the west that have gone through as many exciting sensational periods as this. It was almost in the heart of the Mormon settlement that caused so much terror and bloodshed in the early forties. It has passed through temperance crusades as interesting as those that have resulted in circumventing the joint keepers in southwestern Kansas, and there was a time in its very early history when the country hereabouts was the greatest producer of rattlesnakes of any in the United States. The town has passed through all of those experiences and thrived, and today it is one of the best little stations on the great Burlington system of railways.

Plymouth is the capital, or the principal town rather, of what has been known for more than seventy years as the Round Prairie Country. This prairie is about three miles across and was encircled almost all around by timber when the first settlers squatted on it. The first road that ever crossed the prairie was the old Mormon trail that reached the Mississippi at Quincy. The first settlers on the prairie were members of the Melton family, who came from Tennessee and landed here in 1831. The next year the Sapp and Manlove families came. The family of Brammel Sapp was the first to permanently locate here and the family remains one of the most prominent in the county. In 1832 and 1833 many families came in and located land and in a very short time the prairie began to blossom and produce.

In the early forties more than one-half the population of Plymouth was composed of Mormons. This was the home of William and Samuel Smith and Mrs. Saulsbury [sic - Salisbury?], brothers and sister of the prophet, Joseph Smith. William Smith conducted a hotel on the public square which was popularly known as the Mormon hotel, and Joseph, the prophet, was often there as a guest. It is related that the presence of the prophet was always the occasion of great merry making at the hotel, and that he often tripped the light fantastic with the good looking women of the sect until the early hours of the morning. The Mormons at Plymouth and on the Round Prairie were known as a hard set. Judging from accounts, they thought nothing of entering a Gentile's smokehouse late at night and relieving him of the bacon he had stored away. One of these Gentiles who had suffered much from Mormon depredations rigged up a trigger gun one day for intruders on his place. The same night the gun was exploded and the next day one of the most prominent followers of JooeSmith was limping about town with his legs full of shot wounds.

Nauvoo was the terrestrial paradise of the Mormons. Joe Smith's headquarters were there. One day some seceding Mormons decided to start a paper, and they started it. The columns of the paper were filled with things about the Mormons that the Gentiles had never suspected. The printing office was raided by Smith's followers, and when they got through with it there could not be found enough of it left to get out a ten-word hand-bill. This raid led to the killing of Prophet Joe Smith and his brother, Hiram, at Carthage, and the final ridding of the country of the sect. The killing occurred in 1844. I talked to a gentleman today who was present when the affair came off. Shortly after, in 1846, the Mormons began to emigrate, after having kept the county stricken for a long time. Plymouth and Round Prairie was relieved of them.

Note 1: Solomon J. Salisbury's "Reminiscences of an Octogenarian," in the Jan. 1922 Journal of History, provides the following relevant account: "I was born September 18, 1835, in Kirtland, Lake County, Ohio. The third child of Wilkins J. Salisbury, and Catherine Smith, his wife... our family moved to Plymouth, Hancock County, in the fall of 1838... We lived there till I was nine years old. Plymouth at that time had only twelve or fifteen families, they being mostly hunters and trappers settled along the creek. -- In the fall and winter of 1843 the [anti-Mormon] mob spirit began to rage. Then, when on June 27, 1844, the Smiths were killed, the mob spirit seemed to run riot. Many times I remember when we got up in the morning we would find written notices giving us twenty-four hours to leave the country, or they would burn or kill the outfit. Finally the pressure got so great we concluded to go. They were burning and mobbing the Mormons, as they call us, all over the country. In July or August of 1844, we moved from Plymouth."

Note 2: This information is copied from Susan Easton Black, et al., The Iowa Mormon Trail page 28: "Plymouth is located 40 miles southeast of Nauvoo... William Smith, Joseph Smith's brother and an apostle from 1835 to 1845, settled in Plymouth in 1839, where he farmed and kept a tavern (public house) after he was disfellowshipped from the Church. The Plymouth fire station, just north of the town square, now occupies the tavern site.... Catherine Smith Salisbury, sister of the Prophet, also lived here for a time before moving to Ramus [Webster]. Her husband, Wilkins, worked here as a blacksmith. -- Samuel H. Smith, another of the Prophet's brothers moved to Plymouth in the fall of 1842 to manage William's tavern, and the brothers lived under the same roof for a time. It was here that Joseph Smith stayed on December 27, 1842, as he was traveling to Springfield to stand trial..."

Note 3: E. Horton Young's 1876 History of Round Prairie and Plymouth offers these remarks on pages 64-65: "More than half the population of Plymouth, at one time, was Mormons -- probably 150 or more in number. Among them were two brothers of the prophet, William and Samuel Smith; also a sister of the Smiths, Mrs. Saulsbury [sic], and a brother-in-law of William Smith, G. D. Grant. --- William Smith succeeded [Sevier] Tadlock in the ownership of the hotel property -- the premises now occupied by M. D. Gillis -- which soon became known, in popular parlance, as the "Mormon Hotel." The prophet himself came down occasionally and stopped with his friends, and it is said by those who ought to know, that he sometimes manifested his love of worldly enjoyments by spending the night participating in the sports of a merry dancing party at the hotel. --- A considerable number of the Mormons who lived in Plymouth... the majority of them were considered a "hard set." There was a great deal of thieving done in a small way -- robbing hen-roosts, smoke-houses, etc. -- of which the Mormons got the credit..."

Note 4: W. R. von Wymetal published this undocumented story in his 1886 book: "My parents lived for a time at what was called 'Joseph Smith's Tavern,' in Plymouth, thirty-three miles from Nauvoo, and fifteen miles from Carthage. We children played hide and seek, one day, as we often did. We came, by chance, to an upper room, which Apostle Bill Smith, Joseph's brother, used as a bedroom when he was at the 'tavern.' While running about and trying to hide, we suddenly came upon a long, heavy sack, which we opened and found full of coined money silver and gold. At least, it looked so. We were very happy to become so rich. We little girls put lots of money in our small aprons... Father gave us a severe rebuke... [and] put it back in the sack and buried the sack: He said he would wait till Bill Smith and his comrades would ask him for the money. A few days after, Apostle Bill came to the 'tavern,' and with him came Zinc [sic - Jenk?] Salisbury and Luke Clayborn, both brothers-in-law of Bill. They searched for the money, and, not finding it, invited my father to go coon-hunting with them. My father divined that they wanted to punish him for the disappearance of the money, so he said to them: 'Why don't you tell me, honestly, that you wanted your money?' And so saying he showed them where he had buried the treasure. They took it, and threatened my father that they would kill him if he talked to anybody about it. There was great excitement in the country about this bogus money, and it finally became so intense that the authorities had to interfere. The officers found the machinery, with which the money was made, in Plymouth. Whenever Joseph Smith owed money he paid with this kind of coin."

Note 5: William V. Pooley's 1908 thesis, "The Settlement of Illinois from 1830 to 1850," relied on the New York Weekly Tribune of Jan. 5, 1846 for the jist of this statement: "The largest [Mormon] settlements outside of Nauvoo were ar LaHarpe, Plymouth, Macedonia, Green Plains and Montebello -- all in Hancock county..."   "Nauvoo harbored a nest of counterfeitors who operated in the surrounding country. Specie alone would be taken at the government land offices in payment for lands. These men would on occasions load their bogus coin into a wagon, cover it with light articles of merchandise to give the outfit the appearance of a peddler's wagon, and proceed into land districts where specie was in demand. There they would trade off their coin for paper money."


Vol. XXV.                     Quincy, Illinois,  Monday,  October 14, 1907                   No. 29.


The writer, who had never seen or heard Judge Ewing, went to the court house last Sunday afternoon to hear the celebrated exponent of Christian Science present his views to a Quncy audience....

The only argument which the judge made in support of the divine character of Christian Science was the cure of disease which is effected by its disciples. Surely this is an old argument used by hundreds of other systems which have had their day and passed away, or which still linger on the earth. The Mormons have made most of their converts by appealing to the wonderful cures which have been performed by invoking the divine spirit. That is the first argument one hears when he talks with a zealous Mormon out in Utah or elsewbere. Joseph Smith performed such cures. William Smith, a brother of Joseph, gave to the writer of this article, a long list of the cures which he had seen performed by his brother, the prophet. One was the case of a man, whom the doctors declared to be hopelessly insane. Joseph Smith was called, and by one sentence he restored the man to his natural mental condition, in which he remained for the rest of his life. At the great meetings of the Mormons, scores and hundreds have been seen going away claimlng that they had been cured of diseases from which they had suffered for years, which to them was the strongest possible evidence of the truth of the Mormon religion....

Notes: (forthcoming)

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