(Newspapers of Missouri)

Saint Louis, Missouri

Missouri  Republican
1845-1849 Articles

The Great Fire at Saint Louis, Missouri -- 1849

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Articles Index  |  1840-50s St. Louis Newspapers

(this page under construction -- please e-mail 1845-49 articles for inclusion here)

Vol. XXIV.                 St. Louis, March ?, 1845.                 No. ?


THE MORMONS. -- We learn from Hancock county, Illinois, that considerable apprehension exists of further difficulties with the Mormons. It appears that the Sheriff of the county on last Friday evening arrested at a ball an individual named Elliott, who had been taken up and tried at Nauvoo a short time since, charged with being concerned in the murder of the Smiths, but had escaped from his custody before committing him to prison. Elliott had made an application for a writ of habeas corpus, and it is supposed he will be liberated.

Two individuals were arrested in Nauvoo a few days ago -- one for perjury in the case of Elliott, and the other upon a requisition of the Governor of Iowa -- both of whom were rescued from the hands of the officers in Nauvoo. These two cases have combined to create some bad feeling, and many suppose it may lead to the enactment of the scenes of last summer.

Note: The above article appeared in the Republican during the first part of March, 1845.


Vol. XXIV.                 St. Louis, April ?, 1845.                 No. ?


A NEW PROPHET. -- It is rumored that Orson Hyde is to become the prophet and head of the Mormon church. It is not said by what process he is to derive his authority. J. B. Backenstos, the Mormon representative in the last Legislature, from Hanock county, Ill., has been waited upon by the citizens of Carthage, and notified to leave the county within a week. In the event of his refusal, they promise him a visit not of so pacific a character. The cause of this proceeding, on the part of the citizens, was an attack made by Backenstos upon the old citizens in a speech delivered in the Legislature.

Note: The rumors saying that Apostle Orson Hyde was "to become the prophet and head of the Mormon church" may have originated in St. Louis. Following his journey eastward (shadowing Sidney Rigdon at least as far as Ohio) in the later part of 1844, Hyde returned westward to St. Louis and took up temporary residence there for a few months. Perhaps Hyde's presence in St. Louis was required to hold together the LDS congregation there, after several of its members followed its former Branch President, Elder William Small, back to Pittsburgh to join the standard of Sidney Rigdon. While Hyde may have appeared to be the leader of the Mormons to the people in St.Louis, he remained loyal to Brigham Young and made no moves to elevate himself in "Brigham's Quorum." In fact, when the basis for seniority in that leadership group was changed from age to number of continuous years in office, Hyde allowed himself to be demoted within the apostolic ranks -- to the point that he might never aspire to become its leader.


Vol. XXIV.                 St. Louis, May 27, 1845.                 No. ?


[at the Carthage trial for the Smith murders, there is a] deep and intense anxiety [pervading all those in attendance at the trial]... Everybody almost attending court comes armed to the teeth, and frequently, muskets and rifles will be seen taken out of wagons with as much deliberation as if they were attending a militia muster instead of attending a court of justice. This is a bad state of things, but extraordinary cases demand extraordinary remedies....

This decision [on jury selection] is considered a great victory by the defendants, inasmuch as it takes the power out of the hands of the present officers of the county (who are all Mormons, or what is called 'Jacks') of selecting a jury to suit their own purposes, and it will also be used as a precedent by the anti-Mormons hereafter, to quash the Mormon juries that may be summoned, and it will tend considerably to curb the Mormon power of controlling the courts of the county... (under construction)

Note 1: A paraphrase of this same Republican report, printed in another paper, reads: "...the Circuit Court of Hancock County commenced the trial of the persons indicted for the murder of Joe Smith and Hirum Smith, in June last. The individuals indicted are J. C. Davis, late Senator of said county, T. C. Sharpe, editor of the Warsaw Signal; Mark Aldrich, W. N. Grove, and Col. Levi Williams. Three others were indicted but did not make their appearance at the trial. A considerable array of legal talent is displayed for the defence. Owing to peculiar difficulties in attaining a jury, the trial was postponed for a few days. Great excitement prevails. Everybody that attends court comes armed to the teeth. The Mormons are said to had expressed a determination to take revenge, in case the defendants should not be convicted..."

Note 2: This case was properly titled: "People v. Levi Williams." The five major defendants were Levi Williams, Thomas C. Sharp, Mark Aldrich, Jacob C. Davis, and William N. Grover all stood to acknowledge their presence. Four other indicted defendants were, John Wills, William Voras, William Gallaher and Mr. Allen.


Vol. XXIV.                 St. Louis, May 31, 1845.                 No. ?


[at the Carthage trial for the Smith murders] The testimony on the part of the State has been very lame, and that of the witnesses so very contradictory, and the fact that improper influences have been brought to bear upon them, so very apparent, that it is not within the bounds of probability that the jury will hesitate for one moment in honorably acquitting the prisoners.... [Mr. Daniels]... most important on the part of the State, has been proven to have acknowledged that he was to get $500 from the Mormons and $300 from Gov. Ford, for testifying in the case.... (under construction)

Note: This issue of the Republican also reports that the Illinois grand jury at Carthage refused to bring witnesses to justice for instances of known perjury at this trial.


Vol. XXIV.                 St. Louis, Sunday, June 2, 1845.                 No. ?

(more on the Carthage Trial -- under construction)

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XXIV.                     St. Louis, Friday, June 7, 1845.                     No. ?


[Josiah Lamborn, Esq., at the Carthage trial] managed the prosecution with much ability, and must have convinced all parties -- especially the Mormons -- that everything was done that it was possible to accomplish by a faithful and indefatigable discharge of his duty to the state.... Mr. Warren also made a speech in a vein and a manner which is peculiarly his own....

[Plaintiffs Davis & did not accept the State's offer to drop charges against them because they expected to be acquitted] ... etc.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XXIV.                 St. Louis, June ?, 1845.                 No. ?

Conviction of the Hodges -- Murder in Nauvoo -- Murder in Carthage.

WARSAW, Ills., June 24th, 1845.       

Messrs. Editors. -- To-day the Court for the trial of the persons indicted for the murder if Hyrum Smith commenced. Nothing was done in the case. A circumstance, however, occurred, which has filled this community with gloom. The reports which have justvreached me from Carthage are these: That a slight altercation occurred between Minor R. Deming, sheriff of this county, and Dr. S. Marshall, which resulted in the death of the latter, by a pistol shot fired by the sheriff.

Dr. Marshall was a man who stood high in the community -- distinguished for his peaceable disposition and correct deportment in all his intercourse with his fellow men -- and has filled some of the most important offices in the county; and his death has naturally created great excitement, and the person by whose hands he has fallen having rendered himself already very obnoxious to the people of the county by his course, I should not be at all surprised if it led to other and more important results.

We have reports from Burlington, Iowa, that two of the Hodges, indicted for the murder of the Germans, in Lee county, have been convicted, and sentenced to be hung on the 15th day of July next. The stage sriver from Nauvoo, this morning, reports that another of the brothers of the Hodges was murdered in the streets of Nauvoo, the previous evening, having been stabbed in four places by an unknown hand -- whether he was concerned with his brothers in the murder in Lee county, and this was an act of revenge, I am unable to say, but presume it grew out of this transaction....

Note: The above article appeared in the Republican near the end of June, 1845.


Vol. XXIV.                St. Louis, Wednesday, July 1, 1845.                No. ?


FROM NAUVOO. -- All was quiet at Nauvoo on the 26th ult. The slaying of the Smiths appears to have been a wanton and unprovoked murder, and was so pronounced by Gov. Ford, who is now using his best efforts to dfetect the murderers, so that they may be dealt with according to law.

Note: The above text is taken from a reprint in the July 24, 1844 issue of the Palmyra Wayne Sentinel; cf: New York Messenger for July 27th.


Vol. XXIV.                St. Louis, Friday, July 3, 1845.                No. ?


... All our information tends to fix upon the people concerned in the death of the Smiths, the odium of perfidious, black-hearted, cowardly murder -- so warlike as to be without any justification -- so inhuman and treacherous, as to find no parallel in savage life, under any circumstances -- Gov. Ford declares his intention to seek out the murderers, and he owes it to his own honor and that of the State whose faith was most greatly violated, never to cease his exertions for this purpose. The Mormons, it will be seen, were quiet, and not disposed to commit any acts of aggression: their enemies, on the other hand, were evidently disposed to push them to extremities, and to force them to leave the State. This feeling may be be checked by the alacrity with which Gov. Ford's orders were being executed, but it will be some time before peace and order can be restored -- the degrace [sic] of past acts cannot be wiped out.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XXIV.                St. Louis, Tuesday, Sept. 16, 1845.                No. ?


MORE TROUBLE WITH THE MORMONS. -- Our correspondent at Warsaw sent us by the La Clede, which arrived this morning, the following account of serious out-breaks between the Mormons and their opponents in Hancock county;

WARSAW, 11th September, 1845.
                  10 o'clock, A. M.

Messers. Editors: On Tuesday morning last (9th inst.,) an attack was made on a school house in Rocky Run Precinct, by some persons unknown, but supposed to be Mormons, in which there was at the time of the attack a convention of Anti-Mormons, or old settlers of the county. The door and windows of the house were completely riddled by the shot fired by the assailants. The attacking party approached under cover of the wood and bushes, and fired one round and fled. No persons were injured, but many were, I presume, much frightened at the sudden and unexpected [assault]. The old settlers in that section of the county armed themselves for defence, and if they are backed by their friends in other parts of the county, blood will flow. By a messenger just in, who came to purchase lead, powder, flints, &c., I learn that four buildings were burned down last night, and one man shot, and very badly wounded, but not mortally. Yesterday thirteen wagons loaded with furniture, were seen wending their way to the City of Refuge, (Nauvoo.)

Note: The Republican of the 16th probably carried more articles on the Mormons than the above letter from Warsaw, Illinois to St. Louis. The text is taken from a reprint in the Oct. 1, 1845 issue of the Windsor Vermont Chronicle and a partial reprint published in the Oct. 4, 1845 issue of the New York Messenger.


Vol. XXIV.                St. Louis, Wednesday, Sept. 17, 1845.                No. ?


THE CIVIL WAR IN ILLINOIS. -- We have already given to our readers such information from the seat of civil war and commotion in Adams and Hancock counties, Illinois, as we have been able to obtain. A long letter in the Quincy Daily Courier of Monday last, confirms all that has been published in regard to the pretended origin of the difficulties -- the firing upon a meeting of anti-Mormons near Lima, assembled to consult upon measures to protect their property from the depredations of the Mormons. That such an attack was made, without injury to any one, is admitted to be true, but, while the anti-Mormon party charge it upon the Mormons, the latter allege that it was a trick of the former, to secure a pretext for the depredations they are now making.

The meeting, at all events broke up in a hurry, escaping out of doors and windows, and some of them leaving their hats behind them. On Wednesday and Thursday, after brief warning to the occupants, the burning of the dwellings of the Mormons commenced. On Friday, other houses were fired. In the course of that day, a committee of Mormons, with a flag of truce, entered Lima, to treat with their enemies. Captain Newton volunteered to introduce them to some citizens of Hancock county, and did so. They met in council -- Edson Whitney, Joel Catlin, and Samuel Fleming, representing the anti-Mormons, informing them at the same time that they were not authorized by the public to do any thing, but acted on their own responsibility. -- Thry were ready, however, to receive any proposition tending to allay the excitement. The following proposition was then submitted:

ADAMS COUNTY, Sept. 12, 1845.      

"We, the undersigned, a Committee appointed by the Morly and Hancock settlements, (a branch of the Mormon church.) Whereas, as they seeming to be some difficulty between said body and the anti-Mormons, we, as representatives of said body, wish to make some propositions so as to make peace. We wish to sell our deeded lands as well also as our improvements, as low as it could be reasonably expected -- reserving to ourselves the crops now on the premises -- and will take in exchange, working cattle, beef cattle, cows, sheep, horses, wagons and harness, store goods, and any available property and give possession as soon as our crops can be taken off, and receive pay for the same, the whole of which may be purchased from the undersigned, acting as committee, or from the respective owners.

Mr. Whitmer remarked to the committee that he believed their petition would be unsatisfactory in the particular that if he had to buy out a bad neighbor to get rid of him, he would like to know what distance he would remove from him. The committee replied they would not agree to leave Hancock, nor would they say in what part of that county they would again settle. It is useless, perhaps, to add that the interview amounted to nothing and the work of destruction commenced again that evening. On (today) Saturday, several more buildings were burned. In passing along a road about three quarters of a mile distant, almost three o'clock, I saw the smoke and flames of two rising upon the air. On arriving at Lima I ascertained the buildings were situated about a mile and a half from that place. Many men were collected in groups in the streets, and the doors and windows of the houses were filled with women and children looking in silent despair upon the work of the destroying element. Where the work of destruction will stop, God only knows. The feeling is deep and intense, and the excitement continually spreading. Up to Friday morning, as near as I could ascertain, twenty-three buildings were burned. During last night and today, the number is [probably swelled] to thirty, or perhaps more. The party engaged in the work go undisguised, in broad day light, and [the torch]. So far no one has been injured, nor has any property, I was told, been destroyed but the houses except by accident. Sparks from some of the buildings fell upon a few grain stacks, which ignited and were consumed.

The party which first commenced the work of destruction does not amount to more than twenty or thirty. What the number is now cannot be ascertained. The anti-Mormons not engaged in the burning are collecting and preparing to act upon the defensive. I understand a meeting of anti-Mormons was to be held at Carthage to-day. What it will amount to time will determine. The Mormons are encamped about three miles from where the scene of destruction first commenced. Their numbers on Friday was variously estimated from one to three hundred, but an hour's time may greatly swell their ranks. Both parties are well armed, and all the anti-Mormons with whom I conversed expressed the belief that the work of destruction could not be stayed until the Mormons were driven into Nauvoo. Time will either confirm or negative this belief.

Meanwhile, we have from Nauvoo the following proclamation of the Sheriff of Hancock county:


To the Citizens of Hancock County. -- Whereas a mob of from one to two hundred men, [-----], having gathered themselves together in the south west part of Hancock county, and are at [this] time destroying the dwellings and other buildings, [stacks] of grain and other property, of a [portion] of our citizens, in the most inhuman manner, compelling defenceless children and women to leave their sick beds and exposing them to the rays of the parching sun, there to lay and suffer without the aid or assistance of a friendly hand to minister to their wants, in their suffering condition.

The rioters spare not the widow nor the orphan, and while I am writing this proclamation, the smoke is rising to the clouds and the flames are devouring four buildings which have just been set on fire by the rioters. Thousands of dollars worth of property has already been consumed[an end to] settlement of about sixty or seventy families laid waste, the inhabitants thereof are fired upon, narrowly escaping with their lives, and forced to flee nefore the ravages of the mob.

By the revised laws of our State under the criminal code, sixth division, 59 section, page 184, the crime of arson is defined as follows, "Every person who shall wilfully and maliciously burn or cause to be burned, any dwelling house, kitchen, utility shop, barn, stable, store house, &c., &c., shall be deemed guilty of arson, and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by imprisonment in the penitentiary for a term of not less than one year, nor more than ten years, and should the life or lives of any person be lost in consequence of any such [offense aforesaid]. such offender shall be guilty of murder, and shall be indicted and punished accordingly."

And whereas, thr Laws of the State make it my duty as a peace officer of this county to suppress all [riots, mobs], &c., &c., and all other crimes

Therefore, I, J. B. Backenstos, sheriff of the county of Hancock, and state of Illinois in the name of the people of said state and by the authority vested in me in virtue of my office, hereby solemnly command the said rioters and other peace breakers to desist forthwith, disperse, and go to their homes, under the penalty of the laws; and I hereby call upon the law abiding citizens, as a [---- -------] of Hancock county to give their united aid in suppressing the [rioters], and maintain the supremacy of the law.

J. H. Backenstos, Sheriff of Hancock, co., Ill.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XXIV.                St. Louis, Saturday, Sept. 20, 1845.                No. ?


WARSAW, Sept, 17, 1845.      

... [There is] from the twelve Mormon Elders, who govern the Church, a proposal to remove from Nauvoo and Hancock county next spring, provided the Anti-Mormons cease hostilities immediately... [account of ruined homsteads of the Mormons]... [I hurried to the scene and witnessed a] state of excitement of which it is very hard to give a just description. [the anti-Mormons watched as the forces of Backenstos and those of Levi Williams confronted each other, but no fight occurred]... There is no such thing in the Mormon dictionary as the word courage...

A mile or so further on, I witnessed the process of destroying the homes. The Anti-Mormons, as the best means of driving the Mormons away, have resolved to burn down all their dwellings, but at the same time manifest a proper anxeity tot to inflict injury upon the sick, and not to destroy any moveable property, or any of the grain or crops. In this they are careful, and I believe, where the contrary has been the case, it has been accidental. On arriving at a place called Stringtown -- a number of Mormon residences being built along the road, each having attached to it a small farm -- in the lane in front of one of these buildings were about twenty armed men, on horseback, drawn up. Within, the family, consisting of the parent and a number of faughters and sons, from about eighteen years down, assisted and urged on by two or three of the armed posse, were carrying and throwing out every moveable thing. The family were working with great assiduity and industry, and it was painful beyond conception, to witness them toiling thus to prepare their own house for the sacrifice. Still, they did it with more composure than I could have commanded. Except the mother and one or two of the youngest children, the rest worked with even a forced appearance of pleasure, and would reply, or laugh with seeming freedom, to the jests and and jokes of the men who urged on the work. At length every thing was removed, even to the flooring plank -- a fire was then kindled in one corner, by the aid of the clap-boards and other dry combustibles, and in ten minutes, the flames danced over the labor of months. In this way, the party served six or seven buildings, of the number, a handsome frame house. As I passed one place, a solitary female, apparently past the meridian of life, was walking alone, with mournful steps and downcast eyes, around the smoking heap which constituted the ruins of her home! I suppose that it was her only shelter. The sight might have dtawn pity from sterner material than I can boast of. One man who was burnt out had twelve in family; his house, of hewed logs, had been recently put up, and a smile of joy and triumph for a moment lit up the faces of his family, at the suggestion that the logs being green, would not burn; but it was only momentary, for soon it was all in a blaze.

Mr. Backenstos, the sheriff of Hancock county, has issued a second proclamation, in which he gives the following account in which Mr. Worrel came to his death:

"After parting with the gentleman who escorted me (from Warsaw) I travelled about a mile and a half, when I discovered an armed body of some twenty men on the Warsaw and Carthage road, two or three miles eastward of me, and going towards Warsaw. I watched them, and on discovering that four men, mounted, left the main body, apparently to strike a point in advance of me, with all the speed of their horses, I put the whip to my horse. As I was travelling in a buggy, they taking the nearer cut, evidently gained on me. The chase lasted for two miles, when I overtook three men with teams. I informed them that armed men were pursuing me to take my life. I summoned them as a posse to aid me in resisting them. I dismounted and took a position in the road, with pistols in hand. I commanded the mobbers to stop, when one of them held his musket in a shooting attitude, whereupon one of my posse fired, and, it is believed, took effect on one of the lawless banditti. We remained and stood our ground, prepared for the worst, for about ten minutes. The mobbers, retreating some little distance, made no further assault. I then made my way for the city of Nauvoo, where I am at this time."

(under construction)

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. ?                       St. Louis, Sunday, Sept. 21, 1845.                       No. ?


                                                    Warsaw, Sept. 18, 1845.

In my last letter of yesterday, I did not allude to the death of one of the anti-Mormons, named Samuel McBratney, as the fact was not ascertained until late in the night. McBratney was with the party engaged in burning houses on Bear Creek, and fled with the rest, but he and Mr. Lindsey, who was wounded, were on worse horses than the others, and in the rear of the company. The Mormons fired upon them when at the bottom of the hill, and consequently I did not see or hear the fire. It was not believed in the camp of Col. Williams, nor in Warsaw, that McBratney was missing until in the night. The fact having been ascertained about 11 o'clock at night, a party of men went out from Col. Williams' camp to search for him. They found him in the prairie, dead, lying on his back, his arms and legs spread out. When he was brought to town, I went to see the body, and never saw such a person more mangled. He had been shot in the shoulder, the ball passing out at the side, and through his arm to the skin; another ball entered the hip. There were three or four deep sabre cuts over the head, and seven or eight deep stabs in the neck and chest. I am at a loss for a motive for thus mangling the body, for the shots he had received were sufficient to have secured his arrest, and must have disabled him from making any resistance after he fell from his horse. The body was intered the next morning without any parade, but his death added much to the excitement.

I have said that a proposition from the Twelve Elders of the Mormon church at Nauvoo, was received in Warsaw yesterday afternoon. I insert a copy of it, that the reader may the better understand the objectios which the citizens entertained to acting upon it.

To Col. Levi Williams, and the Mob party, of whom he is the supposed leader, who have been, and are still engaged in burning the houses and property of the peaceable citizens of Hancock county --

We, the undersigned, a committee of the citizens of the city of Nauvoo, have selected a committee of five, viz: P. Haws, Andw. H. Perkins, Andw. H. Derby, David D. Yarsley, and Solomon Hancocke, who will be the bearers of this, to confer with you, and inform you that it is our intention to leave Nauvoo and the county next spring, provided, that yourselves and all others will cease all hostile operations, so as to give us the short but necessary time for our journey; and we want you to return us an answer in writing by our said committee, whether you will cease your destructive operations, and vexatious law suits, and give us the opportunity of carrying out our designs peacefully.

Brigham Young,
John E. Page,
Geo. D. Smith,
T. P. Pratte,
Orson Spenser,
Samuel Best,
Nauvoo, Sept. 16, 1845.
Amasa Lyman,
Willard Richards,
Charles C. Rich,
Isaac Morley,
John Taylor,
Heber C. Kimball.

This communication, instead of being conveyed by the committee, as it purports to be, was brought to Warsaw by an individual, not a member of the committee; and although it is dated on the 16th, it was not delivered until the evening of the 17th. The citizens and the men in Williams' camp. appeared to be well pleased with the terms of the compromise proposal, but were unwilling to act under it. The caption of the communication is "to the mob party and those engaged in burning the houses and property of peaceable citizens." Now, many of the most influencial men in the anti-Mormon party, who strongly desire the removal of the Mormons from the county, have throughout opposed the burning of houses, and were, therefore, unwilling to make the admission that they were the persons to whom the communication was addressed. To act under it, they conceived, involved this admission. Believing that there was a possibility of effecting a compromise, and staying the further destruction of life and property, I consented to go to Nauvoo, and endeavored to induce the Twelve so to change or alter the address of their communication, that the citizens might feel free to act under it.

I left Warsaw about eleven A. M., and reached Nauvoo about three that evening. Nothing of comment occurred on the way up. About eight miles out, I was hailed, and stopped by the picket guard of the city, and I was also stopped as I was about entering the city by another guard; but in each instance they were very civil, and, after being informed that I was going to Nauvoo on business with the Twelve, they offered no further resistance. I saw but few persons in the streets of Nauvoo. Mr. Backenstos, the Sheriff, had left an hour before my arrival, with a body of troops for the vicinity of Warsaw. The work upon the Temple and Hotel is suspended for the present, and everything was quiet and peaceable, except the occasional appearance of armed men; generally with a gun and knife.

I met the Council of Twelve at Mr. Taylor's, and laid before them the purpose of my visit. I endeavored to explain to them the position in which the phraseology of of the proposition placed those anti-Mormons who had not been engaged in the burning or destruction of property, and assured them, if they would so change of modify the address -- if they would direct it to individuals, or to the anti-Mormons, or to those opposing the Mormons, or in any way which would not involve a direct charge of crime, that their proposal would be acted upon, abd a committee appointed immediately to confer with them. I urged that if their proposition was made in good faith; they could not object to the modification, as that did not affect the terms of compromise. After a long and desultory discussion, they declined making any change or modification, and I left the meeting. My inference from what was said in the meeting was, that the events of the preceding day, the flight of the Anties, and the confidence expressed by Mr. Backenstos in his third proclamation, that he could succeed in arresting the burners, had produced a decided change in their feelings from what they were when the proposition was written. Considerable anxiety was manifested to withdraw the proposition altogether, and repeated declarations were made of their ability and determination to maintain their position, and to punish those who have destroyed their property. They frequently declared that, if the law failed to furnish them protection and redress, they had the power, and would exercise it, to protect themselves, and retaliate on those who had injured them. They certainly can bring into the field a large body of well armed men, but I fear they lack the essential of a good soldier, viz: courage. I was acompanied on the trip by a warm anti-Mormon -- a discreet young man -- Mr. Brown; and to show the manner in which things are viewed by persons here, I may here state a conversation which occurred with Mr. B. A Mormon, who had been burned out, gave him a description of the manner of proceeding, "Two clerks," said he, "came out from Warsaw and invited me to empty my house, then set fire to it, doing up the whole thing just as politely as if they had been selling me a bill of $50 worth of goods."

This is a pretty fair description of the way things were done, and the truth is, that there were not many personally engaged in the destruction of property. Those who are, reason that thus: They say that the Mormons and old citizens cannot live together, and that the burning down of their residences is the most emphatic, as well as the easiest way to show them that they must leave. The season and the crops, they say, are favorable for them to go, and they may as well be convinced now as at any other time, of the necessity of their going. This is the reasoning of the Fire and Sword party.

I remained in Nauvoo all night, during which time Mr. Backenstos sent in a requisition for six hundred more men. About sun rise on Friday morning the alarm gun -- a large cannon stationed on the hill near the Temple -- was fired, and before we left the city the people were flocking in. I was informed by a prominent Mormon, Mr. Babbit, that they would send out to Backenstos that day about three hundred artillery men and an equal number of foot or infantry. I am disposed to believe the numbers were greatly exaggerated, for Backenstos' party, which left the evening I arrived in Nauvoo, was represented as six hundred strong, when in fact he had not two hundred with him. There is much sickness in the country. Each party is about equally afflicted with it, and from this cause neither party can muster its full force. I was frequently told, that the object of this great force was to visit Warsaw and arrest the citizens who were engaged in the depredations.

I returned to Warsaw, having effected nothing as far as a compromise was concerned. Upon the spread of the intelligence of the number of men under the command of Backenstos, mist of the citizens who thought they were implicated, and their families, crossed the Mississippi, to the towns of Alexendria and Churchville, where, I believe, they will await assistance from the anti-Mormons of other parts of the county, and from Missouri. I am well satisfied that the Anties have no disposition to give up the contest; in fact, many of them have gone too far now to retreat. I learned that they have invited Col. Allen, of Monticello, to take the command, and they were expecting assistance from the vicinity of Carthage, and from several of the adjoining counties. At the same time, the Mormons say that assistance has been proffered them from several counties and from parts of Iowa. My own opinion is that both sides will receive less assistance than they expect.

On Friday, Backenstos had two encampments in the vicinity of Warsaw. One, which I understood to be under the command of Mr. [Moteum], was in the vicinity of the place of action of Wednesday, near the Green Plains. The other, under Mr. [Millet], was encamped on a branch of Charm Creek, about eight miles above Warsaw. His whole firce, from the best information I could gather, was from two hundred and fifty to four hundred, though it was represented to me at Nauvoo as being much stronger. During Friday, Backenstos sent a written communication to Col. Williams, in which he requires the Colonel, and the leaders of the mob, to come in and submit to the laws, and to be dealt with accordingly; to give up the arms in their possession, belonging to the State, and a piece of cannon, which he said they had obtained by fraud. He gave them until twelve o'clock of Saturday to reply, and if they failed, he promised to put every man engaged in the outrage "to the sword." I am at a loss to understand what the sheriff means by this threat of putting men "to the sword," which he frequently uses in his proclamations. He must catch a man before he can put him to the sword, and I, therefore, take it that he means to retailiate on them, probably by burning their property, or something of that kind.

No reply, I understood would be made by Col. Williams to this communication, nor could it be said, when I left Warsaw, about one o'clock in the night of Friday, what course they would pursue.

Note: The above article may have actually appeared in the Daily Missouri Republican on the 22nd, however, an extract published in the Oct. 4, 1845 issue of New York Messenger is citied as having appeared on "Sept. 21." No copy of either issue has been located to confirm the date.


Vol. XXIV.                St. Louis, Monday, Sept. 22?, 1845.                No. ?


WARSAW, Saturday Evening,     
9 o'clock, Sept. 20, 1845.     
According to promise, I hasten to lay before you all that has transpired since you left Hancock, last evening. You will recollect that at the time the Sheriff, with his "Mormon possee," had encamped some twelve miles from this place, and sent an express for those who had been engaged in the late disturbances to surrender themselves, together with the State arms. That proposition, of course, was rejected, and the Sheriff was left to take his own course. After despatching his messengers to Warsaw, he started for Carthage, with some 300 men, where they arrived about sunset, and ordered supper at one of the hotels, on the credit of the County, which they at length succeeded in getting. This, probably, is the strongest evidence which you have had that the credit of Hancock was sufficiently good to buy even one man's supper. However, they succeeded in arresting two men, and put them under guard. But some others, of whom they were more particularly in pursuit, succeeded in getting out of the way. The two persons arrested, I understand, have had nothing to do with the destruction of property, for which they are seeking redress. That, however, I am inclined to think, matters very little with the Sheriff and his posse, from some remarks which were made in this town to-day. From Carthage, they marched to this place in two detached parties, coming in by different routes. One of the parties, numbering about 350, on horseback and in wagons, arrived about five o'clock this evening, headed by the Sheriff. They came to a halt for a short time, but did not dismount, with the exception of the Sheriff. He made some enquiries for certain individuals who have rendered themselves somewhat obnoxious to the Mormons, and for some State arms, belonging to the Warsaw Rifle Company. But being told that they were all at Fort Refuge, across the river, orders were given to march, which was obeyed, to the very great satisfaction of what few women and children there are left in town. For never did a party who have been on a three-years' "cruise to the Mountains," look more like savages, than did this "law and order" party of Saints. Orders were given to march back towards the prairie until they came to water, and there encamp. After this party had been gone about an hour, another party of horsemen, of about 130, rode into town, headed by one of the Brethren and E. A. Bedell, (who, you will recollect, was recently very politely "invited to leave town." This party drove to the river, watered their horses and left town immediately, to join their comrades in camp. Thus has ended another day in Mormon war. No. 7.

Note: The above article may have actually appeared in the Republican on the 23rd.


Vol. XXIV.                St. Louis, Wednesday, Sept. 24, 1845.                No. ?


WARSAW, September 23, 1845.     
Tuesday, 10 o'clock, A. M.     

Sheriff Backenstos has issued another proclamation, which I enclose, containing the usual amount of falsehoods, which marked his proclamations Nos. 1, 2 and 3. I have learned that Governor Chambers, of Iowa, has ordered one brigade to be in readiness to defend the citizens of Iowa from Mormon aggression. On Monday, McDonough county sent down four delegates, to ascertain the true situation of affairs in this county, and request also the anti-Mormons to send two delegates to McDonough, to meet two delegates from Nauvoo, for the purpose of forming a treaty of peace between the belligerents of Hancock county. The delegates from McDonough say, that the Mormons must and shall leave. I sincerely hope that some arrangements will be entered into, to accomplish their quiet and peaceful removal, and that peace may again be restored. Should this not be the result of the deliberations of the delegates, the anti-Mormons are prepared to take the field with a respectable force, and will not rest until one or the other of the parties are expelled from the county.

The Mormons have commenced their thieving operations on a larger scale. About one hundred and fifty head of cattle have been stolen from the old settlers, by the roving band of Mormons that are now prowling over the county. B. F. Marsh, who resides about five miles east of Warsaw, lost, on Sunday night, thirty-one head of fine Durham cattle. All kinds of loose property have been taken. I have been informed that Joshua Cole, of Mechanicsville, left home one day last week, armed with a rifle, pistols and bowie knife, to repair to Warsaw, for the purpose of joining the anti-Mormon forces, and has not been heard from since. It is believed that he has been killed by the party under Backenstos.

The citizens who left Warsaw to seek protection in Missouri, have returned to their homes and I hope that this will be the last time that they will have occasion to evacuate their town.

As soon as I hear from McDonough, I will advise you what has been done by the delegates, and of the determination of the citizens generally.

Seven o'clock P. M. -- I have opened this for the purpose of informing you, that Maj. General McCallen, of the 5th Division Illinois Militia, has ordered out the 3d brigate, under Brig. Gen. W. H. Stapp, and directed Gen. Sapp to proceed forthwith to Hancock county, to protect the lives and property of the citizens, now exposed to a lawless band of Mormons, who are patrolling the county under the command of J. B. Backenstos, Sheriff, and who, under color of law, is endeavoring to oppress and destroy all such persons as he considers opposed to him and to Mormon tyranny and aggression. Gen. McCallen has advised Col. Williams of the calling out of the 3d brigade, and requests Col. Williams to inform him how efforts stand in the county. Col. Williams has issued his orders this evening, calling out the 4th brigade, he being senious Colonel, and directed the brigade to rendezvous at Warsaw and Carthage, and has advised Maj. Gen. McCallen of this step, and requesting him to sanction this order, which will be done without doubt. Expresses are hourly arriving, which state that the Mormon posse are making a clean sweep in this county. Gaurds are stationed at all the crossroads, and no person is allowed to pass without a strict search of their persons, and are told that if they made it known their lives will be the forfeit. The whole county is in a blaze, and nothing but the expulsion of the Mormons will allay the excitement. News of the most cheering kind is pouring in, and if the Anties stand fast, all will be well.

A young gentleman has just arrived from Keokuk and requests, that the citizens of Keokuck were raising a company of men to drive the Mormons from Sugar Creek settlement in Lee county, Iowa. Also, that the citizens of Fort Madison were determined to prevent the return of the Mormons who had left Augusta, Iowa Territory, for the purpose of aiding their brethren in Hancock county.

Note: The above article may have actually appeared in the Republican of Sept. 25th.


Vol. XXIV.                St. Louis, Friday, Sept. 26, 1845.                No. ?

(Sept. 22 meeting at Quincy decides to make the Mormons leave Illinois
under construction)


Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XXIV.                St. Louis, Saturday, Sept. 27, 1845.                No. ?


WARSAW, Sept. 25, 1845..     

Below I send you a memorandum of each depredation as have been committed by the Mormons within eight or ten miles of Warsaw, that have come to my knowledge:

Frances Kerns, who removed from his house with his family, has had all his loose property consisting of beds, bedding, cooking and farming utensils, 15 bee stands, 18 head of cattle, about 100 bushels thrashed wheat, and two stacks of oats stolen. His corn field was entered by twelve or fifteen waggons from Nauvoo, gathered and taken to that city. On the 21st instant, at night, B. F. Marsh, Rodolphus Chandler, and Robert Ayres, had sixty-eight head of cattle stolen; they were followed by Mr. Denny, who saw them driving on the Nauvoo road. He thinks there were from 100 to 150 in the drove. About forty head belonging to inhabitants of Warsaw, that range in the neighborhood, cannot be found. While Randolphus Chandler was in Warsaw, on the 22d inst, in day time, fourteen persons, one of which was recognized as a Mormon, named Winters, entered his house and stole everything moveable therefrom and drove away about 25 head of sheep. He has now nothing left but his house and land, with a sick family to provide for.

Thomas J. Raylor has had 15 head of cattle driven away; Matthew Gray, near Montibello, eight head of cattle and two of horses, stolen from his stable last night. John Wills, who is sick, and has been confined to his bed three weeks, has had all his cattle driven away and his bee gum stolen.

Edward Daw, William Fleming, Thomas Crawford, Cyrus Felt, have had cattle taken from them, but I cannot ascertain the definite number. All the cattle that were in the habit of ranging in the prairie between Warsaw and Carthage, Colonel Samuel Chandler informs me, that from his house, he has been in the habit of seeing more than 500 head of cattle, now hardly one is to be seen.

The above persons are now in the county -- more than half of the old citizensd have forsaken their [houses], leaving their property behind, and their loss cannot be correctly ascertained until they return. About Carthage, the county seat. the depredations are as numerous as about Warsaw. The posse, who are on horse, and are encamped in the court house, steal possessions for themselves and horses.They took some of Hamilton's, the tavern keeper's cattle, from his boys as they were driving them up. Hamilton went to Backenstos, the Mormon Sheriff, who has command of the posse, to have them returned. Instead of this, Backenstos told him to shoot the damned rascals. He would not have the cattle returned, although repeatedly asked. Today, I understood about 200 Mormons, a part of the posse have gone to St. Mary's twelve miles east of Carthage. It seems that portion of the courts must be made to suffer the calamities that have befallen us in the western part.

It is my opinion, that in ten days from this time, unless an army is marched forthwith into Hancock, the farmers pn the county will be utterly ruined by the loss of their property -- every hour brings reports of some new depredations.
                                    In haste yours. ...

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XXIV.                St. Louis, Monday, Sept. 29, 1845.                No. ?


                                               WARSAW, ILLINOIS, Sept. 29th, 1846.

Since my last letter I have spent a week in Nauvoo, and can attest the truth of the remarks of another of your correspondents, in regard to the desolate appearance of the city.

I arrived there on Monday evening of last week. On Tuesday morning I took a stroll through a portion of the now deserted streets, and for miles, I may safely say, I passed nothing but tenantless houses; some of them closed and barred, and others with doors wide open, as if left in haste. All along the city, for miles, wherever I went, might be seen on the doors, or on the walls, some notice that the tenement was for sale, or for rent. Every thing indicates that Mormonism is for ever extinct in Illinois. As a people they are completely subdued. Not one, in my opinion, will ever try to regain a foothold in Hancock. They are selling their little property at very low rates, indeed, almost giving it away -- for the sake of raising means to take them away. Horses, cows, oxen, and wagons, are in great demand. Many design to join the expedition, which has gone in advance, to the wilderness of the Far West, while many others have already left for points up and down the river.

There are many instances of individual distress and suffering, and how could it be otherwise in a case like this? Many, doubtless, have left the city with nothing to live upon a day in advance. Many have crossed the river, who were entirely destitute of the means of sustaining their families before, and who now have added to their former miseries the want of a house to live in, or a roof to shelter them from the 'peltings of the pitiless storm.' Many have nothing left them in the wide world but the little hut which they tenanted in the city, and the small patch of ground upon which it stands, and for which, probably, they will not he able to realize the sum of twenty dollars. I was present myself at the sale of two lots of ground, with a log house and a few fruit trees on each, for one of which the purchaser paid a horse, and for the other a cow, and the holders seemed glad to get away with so much. Low as this, doubtless, seemed to them, who had probably paid $200 or $300 each; yet the purchaser had better kept his horse and cow. If all the lots in Nauvoo could be bought at the same rate, I would consider them dearly paid for.

During my stay I took several occasions to look at the city and surrounding country from the top of the Temple. It is, indeed, a grand and imposing scene, and presents the most magnificent view to be found any where on the banks of the Mississippi. There is but one point on the river that exceeds it in beauty, in my opinion, and that is Rock Island. Ten years .ago, when all that part of the city which lies east of the Temple was covered with forest trees, and little patches of oak and other timber dotted the flat part of the city nearest the river bank, and the little town of Commerce, with its five or six houses huddled together on the bank, it presented a very different aspect from what it does at present. Then it presented nature in all her loveliness: the placid and broad current of the Mississippi, its islands and sand bars -- the far-reaching prairies of Iowa -- the bold bluff which runs in semi-circular form around the town of Montrose (then Fort Des Moines), with here and there a wreath of ascending smoke, to tell the habitation of some settler -- that is the picture it presented ten or twelve years ago. But now how changed is the scene! What a mutation it has undergone! And yet, it is now a thousand times more desolate. The only thing I noticed which had undergone no change since I was familiar with it in 1836 and '7, was Cutler's Grave. It was enclosed with a stone wall, and stood about half a mile from the river near the road which descended the hill from where the Temple now stands -- and there it is yet, standing in the midst of all this desolation, looking the same as it did ere the hand of man had wrought all this change around it. George Y. Cutler was one of the earliest settlers in Hancock County, and one of its first county commissioners -- dying, he was buried at this spot.

I took occasion to ascertain as near as possible the number of houses in the city. From my position on the Temple, I could count a large portion of the city; and from actual count, and estimate based upon count, I think there are at least two thousand houses in the city proper, and in the suburbs five hundred more -- making in all two thousand five hundred houses. About one-half of these are mere shanties, built some of logs, some of poles plastered over, and some framed. Of the remaining portion -- say twelve hundred houses -- all are tolerably fit residences, and one-half are good brick or frame houses. There are probably five hundred brick houses in the city, most of which are good buildings, and some are elegant and handsomely finished residences, such as would adorn any city.

Of these two thousand five hundred houses, I think about one-twelfth are tenanted -- some by Mormons who have not yet got away, the remainder by Anti-Mormons, new or old settlers, who have been permitted to stay.

Col. Geddes, of Fountain Green, in this county, was left in command of a small force, when the army was disbanded, and has been in command during the past week. He has now returned to his home, leaving twenty or thirty men at the Temple, under command of Major McAuley and Mr. Brattle. A small force will probably remain in the city as long as the Mormons remain on the other side of the river.

No event of importance has transpired during the week. A certain Dr. Oliver Dresser, who hails from Maine, and who was somewhat conspicuous in the late difficulties, as a friend and companion of Pickett's, ventured over on Wednesday from the other side. He was taken into custody and kept in the Temple till morning, and then marched to the river in double quick time, between two files of men, while he took passage for Iowa. A few other scenes of similar character, to some of which the ceremony of dipping was added, is all that occurred during the week, of an exciting character.

Several cases of deep distress, mostly lone widows and orphans, came to my knowledge during my stay. In all of these aid was freely given. One of these cases is a peculiar one. During the preparations previous to the fight, one of the horsemen of the city, while riding through the street, was thrown from his horse, and his gun discharged, the ball from which entered the body of a Mrs. Haywood, who was in the door at the time. The lady was badly wounded, but not killed; and was unable to be removed from the city, at the time the posse entered.

Her husband being a rabid Mormon, ran over the river, leaving her and a young child on this side, where she fell under the notice of the Anti-Mormons. Provision was immediately made for her support -- medical aid procured, and every care and attention bestowed which was in the power of the commander or his men. She is now doing well, and will, in a few days, be removed to some place in the interior until she will be able to go to her friends in Vermont -- as she has decided not to follow her husband into the wilderness. What renders her case more pitiable is, that he has possession of her three children, all under ten years old, and is making use of them to induce her to alter her determination. She never was a Mormons but in that confidence which woman only repose, in the object of her regard, she followed him to Nauvoo. Since that time, her confidence has been shaken, and she has now determined never to cross the Mississippi, to swell the tide of war which Mormonism is destined to carry in its train. This accident, which she doubtless regarded as a most unfortunate one, I regard as one of the most fortunate circumstances of her life. It has been the means of separating an interesting woman from a brutal and fanatical husband who would else have dragged her into the far wilderness to suffer unutterable woes.
                        "Yours, etc.,
                                                T. G.

Note: The initials "T. G." stand for "Thomas Gregg," the editor of the Warsaw Message during the early 1840s. Mr. Gregge reproduced this latter on pp. 369-74 of his 1890 book, The Prophet of Palmyra.


Vol. XXIV.                St. Louis, Friday October 2, 1845.                No. ?


We have a letter from Churchville, opposite Warsaw, dated the 30th, giving the proceedings of a meeting held by the citizens of Clark county, which we have not room for this morning. We give the following extract:

"We have intelligence from Carthage up to two o'clock today (30th.) Gen. Hardin with 300 men left Carthage before daylight this morning fr Nauvoo. He has invited all who have lost property to accompany him. I understand many have have gone, but do not believe much will be recovered.

Finch's store, at La Harpe, was robbed last Saturday night. His clerk, named Samuel, a son-in-law of Colson, the Mormon County Commissioner, during Finch's absence, packed the goods, ammounting to $1500 -- charged them to himself and took them to Nauvoo. Fearing the consequences, Colson went to Nauvoo, found them and had them taken back to La Harpe. I have this information from Mr. Key, who has just returned from Warren county.

Mr. Key attended the meetings at Monmouth, [Quawka], and McQueen;s mills, He says the meetings were very large and expressed their determination to make the Mormons leave forthwith. They have the confidence in [Mo--------] precinct. Many of our citizens ventured into Warsaw while Captain Morgan's company was there, but when they left, crossed again to Missouri.     Yours respectfully."

Note: The above article may have actually appeared in the Republican of Oct. 3rd.


Vol. XXIV.                 St. Louis, Friday, February 13, 1846.                 No. ?


We gather from several articles in the Warsaw Signal, and other quarters, that a portion, if not the whole, of the Mormons intend soon to commence their pilgrimage for California. That they should begin their journey so early in the season -- before the winter has terminated, and long before grass shall appear, upon which to subsist their cattle and horses -- is hazardous, and likely to be attended with severe trials and much suffering. But it is stated that from ten to twelve hundred have already crossed the river from Nauvoo, and are encamped on Sugar Creek, Iowa, seven miles distant. Among them were the Twelve, the High Council, all the principal men of the church, and about one hundred females. They were several days and nights in getting across the river. It is said to be the plan of the leaders to send this company forward as a pioneer corps. They are to proceed about five hundred miles westward, where they are to halt, build a village, and put in a spring crop. They are to remain there until those who follow in the spring reach them -- when another pioneer company will start for a point five hundred miles still further west, where they will stop, build a village, and put in a fall crop. The company remaining behind will, in the spring, move on to this second station; and in this manner they hope to accomplish the long journey which is in contemplation. Many of those who now go as pioneers, are to return, so soon as their crop is in, for their families. There is a spice of romance about this arrangement for their journey -- an apparent indifference to the sufferings which they must undergo -- a confidence in the plans and orders of their church leaders -- which must attract some portion of the public sympathy, even though it be undeserved. Their future journeyings will be observed with interest.

It is said in the Signal, that the Twelve crossed the river on Sunday night, apparently apprehensive of some visitation from officers who might interfere with their departure. They left behind them, as agents for the sale of the remaining property, A. Babbitt, Fulmer, and Heywood, formerly of Quincy

Maj. Warren, who has been in command of the Illinois Militia stationed during the winter in Hancock county, has issued an address to the citizens of that county. In this address, he says:

"That he has learned with much regret, that a body of men, some twelve in number, have assumed the authority, of notifying a number of families, to make preparation to leave the county by the first of May next, on pain of being burned out, and this, too, as they said, upon the authority of Gov. Ford. Looking forward, as I now do, to the consummation in good faith, of the compromise effected last fall by Gen. Hardin, Majors Douglass, McDougall and myself, and believing as I do, that it is the duty of all good citizens and lovers of good order to abide by that compromise, and to avoid all causes of excitement, I feel it my duty to declare, that all persons engaged in notifying citizens at this time to leave, are violators of the peace, amenable to the law of the land, and thus they ought to be punished to the utmost extent of the law. The declaration that they were authorized to give such notice by Gov. Ford is false and slanderous. And I hereby pledge myself, and the force under my command, to move at a moment's warning, to put down all violence and breaches of the peace, and to assist in the execution of all proper legal process, let it come from what party it may, either Mormon or Anti-Mormon; and further, advise all good citizens (if aggressions are made upon their persons or property, when there is no chance to procure the assistance of the Volunteers) to defend their persons and property with powder and lead."

The Signal also condemns any attempt to interfere with the compromise between the two parties in that county.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XXIV.                 St. Louis, Thursday, February 19, 1846.                 No. ?


We have information, that from one thousand to fifteen hundred Mormons are encamped at Montrose, Iowa, preparatory to their march westward. -- Some dount is thrown over their destination and many believe that they will not go to Oregon or California, but stop after proceeding six or eight hundred miles into the Indian country. It was originally intended that none but young men should compose the advance company, but as soon as they commenced preparations for crossing, they were joined by a large number from the country, and by many who were not detained by their families, or the condition of their affairs. The Mormons in Nauvoo appear to manifest less disposition to move, and fears were beginning to be entertained by the anties, that they would not go at all, especially as they were making no preparations to do so.

Our informant thinks it very probable that the party assembled at Montrose, from their number and manner of living, will exhaust their stock of provisions before they commence their march, or so reduce it as not to leave a sufficiency for their support until they reach their destination and raise a crop. In the event of beginning their march upon too short an allowance, there must be great suffering in the party.

It is believed that the Twelve are anxious to commence the march early, as they feel very insecure in their present position. The new prophet, Strang, of Wisconsin, is making many converts, especially among the men of substance -- those who have property and standing -- and do not like to endure the toils and privations of a trip to the wilderness.

Major Warren still maintains his guard of fifty men, but entertains the belief that, as the spring advances it may become necessary to increase the number. The recent indiscreet action of some of the anti-Mormons in going round and warning families to leave, would seem to justify this apprehension.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XXIV.                  St. Louis, Thursday, April 16, 1846.                  No. 4880.


THE TEMPLE AT NAUVOO. -- We are gratified to learn that there is a prospect of converting the Temple, recently erected at Nauvoo by the Mormons, to a useful and most charitable purpose. A wealthy gentleman from the south arrived here a few days since, en route to purchase the Temple, if it can be bought for a reasonable price. His object, we understand, is to convert the Temple into an asylum for destitute widows and females, and to purchase lands and town lots, and endow it out of the rents of them. The author of this liberal proposition, we understand, is a bachelor, far advanced in life.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XXIV.                  St. Louis, Wednesday, April 22, 1846.                  No. 4880.


Mormon Difficulties in Hancock county, Ill. -- Major Warren, who has been in command during the past winter, of the State troops, to keep order in the county, has addressed the following letter to the Eagle, printed at Nauvoo:

                                          Carthage, April 16, 1846.
Wm. E. Matlack, Esq. -- Will you permit me through the medium of your paper to announce to the citizens of Hancock, that I have been directed by His Excellency, Governor Ford, to disband the force under my command, on the first of May, proximo.

It seems to be the understanding of the Executive and the State at large, that the term stipulated for the removal of the Mormons will expire on that day, and I indulge a hope that the understanding so general may not be disappointed.

The removal of the entire Mormon population has been looked forward to, as an event that could alone restore peace and quiet to this portion of our State; and for the peace of the inhabitants and the honor of the State, public expectation must be gratified.

            With great respect, I am, &c.,
                                        W. B. Warren. Major.
                                            Com'd. Ill. Vol.

The editor of the Eagle, who is a most violent and rabid Locofoco, and thinks every other man and party must be actuated by the same despicable purposes, which he himself feels, rails out against this order of Governor Ford, most violently, and proposes, although we do not suppose he believes it, to make it appear as a Whig movement, and that the Governor is guided by the advice of Whigs, &c. All this is but the effusion of a weak and imbecile brain incapable of a noble or correct thought.

According to the Eagle's statement, about 5,000 Mormons have left, some for Wisconsin, some for other States, some for Council Bluffs by the Missouri river and the remainder with the camp of Israel. There are many who, it is represented, are unable to get away for the want of means, but will go if sufficient time is given to make the necessary provisions. The editor of the Eagle regards the withdrawal of the troops as the signal for commencing the reign of Terror. In this we think he does the citizens injustice.

[a wealthy individual is on his way to Nauvoo to buy the Temple, but negotiation thus far had not been entirely successful. Although agreement had been reached concerning most of the properties (some 100 lots including the Masonic Hall and arsenal), the Trustees were unwilling to sell the Temple, but were willing to lease it.]

CAMP OF ISRAEL. -- This is the name which the [advance] company of Mormons have assumed, [The] latest accounts from them state that they had crossed the head waters of the Chairton, about [---] miles from Nauvoo. They were travelling very slow, and their stock was much reduced for [the] want of food. We shall not be surprised to hear of great suffering among them before they will stop in the valley of the Sweet Water and raise a [camp].

Note: The bottom two news items reproduced here may have actually been published in the Republican of the 23rd. No copy of the paper has been located to confirm their date.


Vol. XXIV.                  St. Louis, Tuesday, April 28, 1846.                  No. 4883.


The Mormons. -- An extra from the office of the Nauvoo Eagle, printed on Saturday morning, contains the proceedings of a meeting of citizens who have recently purchased property in Nauvoo and the surrounding country, held on the previous evening, and at which Servetus Tuffts presided, and James Clark and W. E. Clifford acted as Vice Presidents, and Wm. Picket as Secretary.

A committee of five persons, appointed for that purpose, reported a preamble and resolutions, which are said to have been unanimously adopted. They are evidently intended to secure future time for the removal of the Mormons, but we are apprehensive that this delay will not be granted, unless with stronger guarantees than are here offered...[remainder illegible]

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XXIV.                  St. Louis, Tuesday, May 4, 1846.                  No. 4889.


                                                    Springfield, April 22, 1846.

Dear Sir: I received your favor of the 18th inst., last evening, but not time enough to answer it by return mail. There seems to be a strange misunderstanding of my late order for disbanding the troops, both by Major Warren and the editor of the Eagle. I had thought that by this time, my opinions and wishes in regard to Hancock matters, were well known; and I did not expect to be compelled to restate them every three weeks for the purpose of being misunderstood. You request a candid statement from me of my views in relation to disbanding the troops. I have no objection to do so once more; and then, I hope, I will have done with it.

1. I do not believe that there is any constitutional power in the Executive to drive out or exile any citizen. The exercise of such a power has always appeared to be a clear usurpation of illegal authority; and constitutes the officer who does the act, for the time being, a dictator, a king, and a tyrant.

2. I have never proposed to use the power of the State to vex or harness the Mormons, only so far as was necessary to compel them (like other citizens ought) to obey the laws.

3. I am well convinced that it is for the best interests of the Mormons to remove to some place out of the reach of all neighbors, with whom, it seems, wherever they go, they are bound to quarrel. It has seemed clear to me that they can never enjoy peace in Illinois. But, you may say, why not wish the Anti-Mormons to leave the State; and permit the Mormons to remain? My dear sir, you know as well as I do that it is not left to my choice; that five-sixths of the people of this State are Anti-Mormons, and such, a removal would depopulate the State. But you may say that you only mean the Anti-Mormons of Hancock county. But would the removal of the Anti-Mormons of Hancock county restore peace? I am positively certain that it would not. It would only multiply your enemies. It would bring into immediate requisition the Anti-Mormons of Pike, Adams, Brown, Marquette, Schuyler, McDonough, Warren, Henderson, Knox, and several other counties. The people of these counties would expect to have the same difficulties with the Mormons if Hancock were given to them, that all the other neighbors of the Mormons have had from the first commencement of the Mormon name. Some Mormons would steal from them, the thieves would be traced to Nauvoo, where, in nine cases out of ten, they could not be found, of if found, could not be arrested without the aid of a military force. This would result in arousing all the surrounding counties, and you would find that you would only begin to have enemies when the Anti-Mormons of Hancock left the county. For this reason, and for the further reasons that I look upon it as a fixed fact that the Mormons and Anti-Mormons cannot, or rather will not, by any possible means live together in peace; that government cannot exist in that county whilst the two parties remain; that nothing but wars, murders, robberies, arsons, and larcenies, above the civil law to prevent, or punish, is to be looked for while they do remain; that the State will have continually to be at the expense of making ineffectual efforts to prevent such a state of things, or suffer disgrace for inaction, whilst they do remain; and above all, the democratic doctrine, that the interest of the majorities should be consulted in preference to the interests of the minorities, all decide me to wish for the removal of the Mormons beyond the limits of the State, to some place where they wikk have no neighbors to quarrel with; and where, if any place on earth, they may expect to enjoy peace, and the fruits of their labor.

4. You are all mistaken in supposing that there ever was any kind of contract between the State and the Mormons that the latter were to remove. The contract was between the Mormon and Anti-Mormon parties. Gen. Hardin, Judge Douglass, Maj. Warren, and Mr. Attorney General McDougall, made no contract with the Mormons. It is true that they corresponded with the Mormons on the subject, and also with the Anti-Mormons. But they made no contract for themselves, for me, or for the State. They only acted as mediators between the two parties to bring them to an agreement. I have myself never been a party to such an agreement, further than after it was made between the Mormon and Anti-Mormon parties, through the intervention of the four gentlemen above named in Hancock; I so far ratified it as to act on it, or rather to do nothing against it, not because I believed the agreement had any legal or binding obligation, except in honor, but because I believed the arrangement was a convenient and fortunate mode of ending the Hancock difficulties, without bloodshed or war.

As the agreement was binding only in honor, I do not know that I have a right to be its interpreter. But in my individual capacity, I can say with truth, that I understand from the letter of the Twelve in High Council to Gen. Hardin, Judge Douglass, Maj. Warren, and Mr. McDouygall, that the Mormons then had four companies of one thousand each organized, and were then organizing six additional companies, of a like number each, (making ten thousand,) preparatory to a removal, as soon as the grass would gross, and the water run, this spring. I certainly did not understand that all the Mormons would be compelled to leave at once. It was stated in the letter of the twelve, that the poor could not go immediately, and many might be prevented from going by a failure to sell their property. But it was estimated that ten thousand would be ready to go, whether they succeeded in selling their property or not.

5. Something near this number, I think, are bound in honor, to leave this spring. And although I tell you that they are not legally bound, and that there is no legal power in the State to compel them to go, yet, I apprehend, with certainty, that the neighboring counties will undertake of their own authority to hold the Mormons to a specific performance of their agreement; and I do know that the executive power will be utterly without force to withstand them. It is well enough to speak plain and not mince matters. Then, no one knows better than you do, how outrageously the Mormons are hated all over the State, by all such persons as would be looked to for the material of an army to defend them. I have tried to raise such a force twice, and it must be confessed that on both occasions it was found impossible to accomplish half that was intended. I have been blamed by some because the force carried over on these occasions, were supposed not to have acted as efficiently in behalf of the Mormons as it was believed they might have done. But every one of those gentlemen who are loudest in their censure, were the very men who hung back and would not volunteer their precious services. To some of them I offered high command. But it was refused. Such as these have sinister motives for their censure; and will never be found demonstrating their sincerity, by their actions. If the Mormons were attacked, and I should stand by and do nothing for their protection, these persons would raise a great clamor about the inaction and want of efficiency of the Governor. But let me call for volunteers, and these patriots are missing. They can talk, but fighting belongs to another trade. I tell you plainly, that the people of Illinois will not fight for the Mormons. There is no party who will do it. The Governor, whoever he may be, cannot raise a force to fight for them. But you say you can defend yourselves and you ask to be advised on this subject. I shall neither advise the anti-Mormons to make war on you, nor how they are to carry it on. Nor will I advise the Mormons how they are to defend themselves. This is more than I know. I shall do nothing to discourage the removal of the ten thousand; and I will hold it to be my legal duty to protect those who remain, who are supposed to be poor, if I had the power. I cannot promise you that I will be seconded by a willing people, as to have the power to do so. I have always supposed, and believed with a good deal of certainity, that if ten thousand Mormons would leave this spring, in fact if all would go who can, it would be conclusive that the balance would follow as soon as they get able; that if the leaders and great body of the Mormon people remove, the fact will clearly indicate that Nauvoo and Hancock county are no longer to be the gathering place of the sect. The increase in other countries will go to the new State. The leaders will have a direct interest in getting them here; just as much as they had an interest in getting them to Nauvoo in the first instance. They will have the same interest in getting the remaining Mormons in Nauvoo to remove as fast as they get able to do so. By this means the anti-Mormon party would be certain that the Mormons could never increase here, and would certainly decrease; and in a very short time, indeed, they would all go. It seemed to me that this view of the subject would strike all reasonable men, who being certain of eventual relief, would be willing to extend a little indulgence to the poor and unfortunate; and I did not believe that much of a force could be raised to drive them out. I had no idea, nor have I yet any idea, that the mob party, so called, will be able to make any headway against the miserable beings who would temporarily be left behind, in case the agreement of last fall were executed in good faith, on the part of the Mormons.

6. Now as to disbanding the troops under command of Major Warren. You know that they have been kept there last fall and winter and two months of the spring, at great expense to the State. Originally, the parties requested only that this force might be kept up "until grass grew and water run." I have not been able to find out whether any where near ten thousand of the Mormons intended to leave or not. I see by the anti-Mormon accounts that they do not expect it; and they are making preparations to drive them out. But since my disbanding order to Major Warren, I see that they did not intend to act until about the tenth of June. The Anties of Hancock, take the ground *or some of them,) that you shall go, so that it appeared to me if the Anties of Hancock intended to be as good as their word, war was inevitable. Come it must any how; in this state of the case, it seemed to me that keeping the militia there longer, would only delay the war about six weeks. It appeared to me that if war was obliged to come, why the sooner the better. And the less expense there would be in keeping a small force there without the power, and as your Mormon friends have often assured me, without the will to prevent it. I do not know any thing about their willingness, but certain it is they would not have the power to prevent an outbreak. What, are fifty men to suppress the rising of hundreds; perhaps thousands? I have received letters from Mr. Backenstos and Mr. Owen. This long letter must be the answer to all. I have written this answer very hastily and imperfectly. I will be satisfied, however, if I have made myself understood. With a view of being thoroughly understood, I have made one copy of this letter for you, and one for the Signal. I desire it to be published in both the papers in the county. It is not written, nor do I wish it to be published, with the wish or hope that it may please any one; but simply, to make my position universally understood.
                                  I am, very respectfully,
                                        Your obedient servant,
                                                       THOMAS FORD.
A. W. Babbitt, Esq., Nauvoo, Ill.

P. S. Major Warren writes me that both parties are dissatisfied with my order, and the Eagle seems to think that the order will stop emigration. If I could be satisfied of this, I would continue the troops a few weeks longer.
                                                       THOMAS FORD.

Note: The above communication was preceded by another letter, written from Gov. Ford to Babbitt, on May 13, 1845. No doubt there was additional correspondence between the two men, but not all of it was published.


Vol. XXIV.                  St. Louis, Thursday, May 6, 1846.                  No. 4892.


The Mormons. -- The Hancock Eagle, of Friday last, contains a number of articles in relation to the flight of the Mormons from that section of Illinois.

The Eagle thinks that a delay of six months -- as suggested in Gov. Ford's letter -- will enable thousands of Mormons to remove in peace from the State, leaving a small number to be removed by force.

The principal Mormons remaining in Nauvoo have resolved to advise and instruct all members of that church throughout the State, on no consideration again to cast a vote in the State. According to the church records, there are six thousand Mormons in the State, without the county of Hancock. Many are known as Mormons who make no public profession of that religion. These resolutions, it is said, will appear in an official form in a few days.

The gentleman to whom we referred a few days since as having made propositions for the purchase of the Temple, and other property at Nauvoo, has gone to Galena. He was to return, in a few days, when it is said, he will have an opportunity of purchasing the Temple at a very low price.

The organization of the Mormon Church requires the assent of the "Twelve" as well as that of the Congregation, before a measure of the kind can be acted on. A messenger has been despatched to the camp to arrange these preliminaries, and in a few days the Trustees will be ready to negotiate. If sold at all, it will be disposed of at what may be considered as a great sacrifice, and the chief inducement which the Mormons have in thus parting with it, is to raise an immediate fund for the removal of their poor.

Discretionary power has been vested in Major Warren, by Gov. Ford, to disband his entire force, or to retain a portion of them in service with a view to the maintenance of the law, and as a corps of observation. Major W. was expected to take the latter course, and to take up his quarters in Nauvoo this week.

Great numbers of strangers are visiting Nauvoo, and as soon as the Mormons disappear it is expected that the place will take a fresh start. A vast amount of real estate -- good houses, building lots, factories of different kinds, farms, &c. -- are offered for sale.

About thirty houses have been sold since Monday, together with at least double the number of lots, upon some of which it is contemplated to erect stores and dwellings as soon as the Mormons shall have left. Materials can now be had in such abundance, and at so low a price, that some prefer erecting buildings to suit their own convenience.

Some fifteen or twenty farms have been sold during the week, at prices that bear no comparison to their value. Many are so anxious to sell that they but await the best offer, and trust more to the liberality of the purchaser than to what their property is really worth.

It is suggested that the new citizens will transform the name of the town into Templeton.

The New Camp. -- Up to twelve A. M., yesterday, two hundred and sixty-two wagons had crossed at the upper ferry, on their way to the new camp ground. Four flat boats are kept constantly exployed, and we noticed early this morning some eight or ten wagons waiting to cross. The above account is given us by one of the boatmen, but we think, with him, that humbers have passed over on the horse-boat at the lower ferry.

A Heavy Business. -- Almost every shop and many of the public buildings in Nauvoo, have been converted into wagon manufactures and several of them work a double set of hands night and day..

Thinning Off. -- We learn that over fifty additional teams will cross to-day, and perhaps an equal number to-morrow, for the purpose of joining the new camp.

The arrest of Rockwell is noticed. No attempt at rescue was made, although surrounded by hundreds of persons and not well guarded. He was in bed at the time of the arrest, and the owner of the house at first refused to give him up, but Nackenstos threatened the house, and he was given up. -- Our last accounts left him at Quincy.

The steamer Prairie Bird made her last trip from St. Louis to Nauvoo in twenty-four hours.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XXIV.                 St. Louis, Thurs. May 13, 1846.                 No. 3898.


Nauvoo and the Mormons. -- A few days ago, to satisfy ourselves of the actual state of affairs at Nauvoo, and to ascertain whether the Mormons were really disposed to leave the country, in conformity with their agreement last fall, we spent last Friday, Saturday and a portion of Sunday, in the city and surrounding country.

The city and the country presents a very altered appearance since last fall. Then, the fields were covered with, or the barns contained, the crops of the season. Now, there are no crops, either growing or being planted. In many instances, the fences have been destroyed, houses have been deserted, and the whole aspect of the country is one of extreme desolation and desertion. At nearly every dwelling, where the owners have not sold out and moved off, preparations were making to go. Nearly every work-shop in the city had been converted into a wagon maker's shop. Even the unfinished portion of the Temple is thus used, and every mechanic appears to be employed in making, repairing or finishing wagons, or other articles necessary for the trip. Generally, they are providing themselves with light wagons, with strong, wide bodies, covered with cotton cloth -- in some instances painted, but mostly white. These are to be met with in every direction, and contribute greatly to the singular and mournful appearance of the country.

They appear to be going to neighborhoods, or companies, of four to six and ten wagons, and some of them are tolerably well provided with teams and provisions, but a very large portion present the appearance of being illy provided for so long a trip. Many of them are going with poor teams, and an amount of provisions insufficient for their subsistence for two months, if so long. Indeed the stock of provisions for the whole company, so far as one may judge from appearance, cannot sustain the crowd until the fall, much less support them through the coming winter. If they should fail to make a good crop the year at the stopping place, it cannot be otherwise than that many of them, especially the women and children, and the aged and decrepid, must be sorely pressed by starvation, if many of them do not literally perish from famine on the plains. They take with them their milch cows and their teams, being chiefly oxen. These will furnish food in the last resort. But, even with this resource, they have a very scantly supply. Of those whose condition is calculated to arouse sympathy, are a number of women, many of whom have large families of children, inadequately provided with provisions, &c., and without the assistance or protection of any male person. How they expect to get through the journey, we cannot conceive. The Church may give them some protection and assistance, but in all the preliminary preparations, and in setting out on the journey, these women seemed to rely upon themselves and their children, when they happened to be of an age to render any aid whatever.

In the midst of this scene, in which there is presented an abandonment of their homes, the breaking up of the social relations, a sacrifice of property, and inability to procure the necessary equipments and provisions -- with an indefinite journey before them, a journey of months, probably years through the plains and over mountains, occupied by Indians, and destitute of the assistance which might be expected in a civilized country -- the spectator cannot fail to be struck with the lightness of heart, apparent cheerfulness, and sanguine hopes with which families bid adieu to their friends, and set out on their journey. Occasionally, the reverse of this is met with, but the great mass go forth, sustained and cheered by the promises of their leaders, and, strange as it may seem, a most devout conviction of the truth of their religion, and the rewards which they are to receive from heaven for their preset sacrifice. No sect of religious enthusiasts were ever more firmly convinced of the entire truth of their creed than these people. Their trials and privations they regard as a species of martyrdom, which they must [not] shrink from, and for which they will be spiritually and temporally rewarded in due season. Their enthusiasm, or fanaticism, is stimulated by songs and hymns, in which their men, women and children join, and containing allusions to their persecutions; and the names of Oregon and California, and the hopes that await them, are mingled with their religious belief and expectations.

As a stranger passes through he will find himself frequently beset, mostly by women and children, with inquiries, "do you wish to purchase a house and lot?" "Do you wish to buy a farm?" And thereupon, if any disposition is signified, he will be pressed and entreated to go and examine, and all the advantages, cheapness, &c., will be fully explained. The frequency and earnestness manifested everywhere, in the city and country, indicate the great anxiety which they entertain to get off. They are effecting some sales, but, from the sacrifices they are making, one would suppose the number and amount of transfers would be greater than they are. In the city, houses and lots are selling at from two to five and ten hundred dollars, which must have cost the owners double that sum. They are willing to sell for cash, or ixen and cattle, or to exchange for such articles of merchandise as they can barter or carry away with them. In most cases they can give good titles. The number of purchasers is not in proportion to the property in market, nor near as large as was anticipated, from the profitable speculations which they offer, and the kind of property which they are willing to receive in payment. Farmers in other sections, it appears to us, would make profitable investments by exchanging their surplus stock for houses and lots in Nauvoo, or for farms. Much of the property is held by individuals in their own names and right. This is conveyed by them. The property of the church, which is large, and of many individuals who have already removed, is held by three trustees, viz: Almon W. Babbitt, Joseph L. Haywood and Jogn S. Fullmer. The trustees say that they have sold a considerable amount, and report a sale of a number of lots lying on the river, with certain water privileges, to a company from Pennsylvania, who contemplate the erection of extensive manufactories -- the motive power to be the water of the Mississippi, in its passage over the head of the Lower Rapids. The practicability of the proposed plan we are unable to determine. By a unanimous vote of the members of the Church, at a meeting held in the Temple on Sunday, the 3d inst., and a subsequent approval by the Council of Twelve, and the Priests, Elders and members, at the encampment, authority has been given to the Trustees to sell the Temple itself. Their original purpose was to lease it for a term of years, for some religious or literary purpose. Now they propose to sell it, and thus cut off the last and only motive which could exist to induce them to stay at Nauvoo, or to return to it at any future time. The Temple is a stupendous building, of which we will give, hereafter, a more particular description. It appears by the books of the Church, that they have spent in its erection, in money and the labor of the members, upwards of a million of dollars; but it is possible that such a building, by contract, could be built for about $400,000. They offer to sell it for $200,000, though it is supposed that it might be purchased for less. So far as room and conveniences are requisite, it would answer well for a college or an asylum.

The members of the Church are not at peace even among themselves. A number, including Mrs. EMMA SMITH, the widow of JOE SMITH, and his brother, deny the jurisdiction, and complain greatly of the conduct of the Council of Twelve -- who have assumed and exercised the supreme authority since the death of the Prophet. This party, we believe, recognize the spiritual power of the new Prophet, STRANG, of Voree, Wisconsin Territory, and look forward to the time when a son of JOE, a lad of twelve or fourteen years, shall assume the position in the Church which his father occupied. This party do not contemplate removing with the other, but most of them will either join STRANG, in Wisconsin Territory, or go to other parties.

They are crossing the river every day from Nauvoo, and a large number crosses at Madison. Bad roads and high waters have detained them. It is difficult to arrive at the number who have crossed and are on the way. The first party, which crossed the river in February, have progressed as far as the east fork of Grand river, about 800 miles west of Nauvoo, within the Territory of Iowa. This party are styled the Camp of Israel. and have with them the Council of Twelve and most of the leading men of the Church. From the best information we could obtain, this Camp includes about 3000 souls. Between the Camp and the Mississippi river, there is said to be about 1800 wagons. Major Warren, who, on Friday last, visited the Camps within ten miles of Montrose, estimates the number of teams at about one thousand. Allowing five or six souls to a wagon -- and the estimate is a reasonable one -- it would give about seven thousand persons between the Mississippi and Grand river.

The first party have selected a temporary resting place on the east fork of Grand river, in the edge of a grove, which is free of underbrush. The soil is said to be very rich, and easily broken up and cultivated. Here they will enclose a large field -- almost twenty-three hubdred acres -- and leave that portion of their people who are not prepared to travel further, to plant and cultivate a crop, which is to be gathered for the subsistence of those who come on late in the season. Another portion of the camp will move two or three hundred miles further on, and select a second site, and put in a crop of buckwheat, and such roots and plants as grow rapidly, and will mature late in the season. After sowing this, those having provisions to subsist themselves through the winter, and teams sufficiently strong, will move further westward, or cross the mountains, if practicable. A body of several hundred, having been sent forward, with instructions to push directly across the mountains, and explore the territories of Oregon, California and Vancouver's Island, and upon their report it will depend where the Church will be re-established. This party, it is believed, have crossed the Missouri about sixty miles above St. Josephs, and are already some distance on the road to Oregon. From the camp on Grand river -- says a letter from the Twelve to the Church at Nauvoo -- the trading men have sent out into Platte and the adjoining counties, to exchange whatever they can spare for oxen, sows and provisions. They complain, however, that the price of every thing is high.

In and about Nauvoo, and throughout Hancock county, there is every indication that the citizens, or anti-Mormons, with few exceptions, are satisfied that the Mormons are going, and are disposed to let them get off without further difficulty. There are, however, some few turbulent spirits in the county -- for these broils have not been without their effects on the morals of individuals -- and particularly some young men, who are willing, at any sacrifice, to keep up the excitement. A few nights ago, a Mr. Rea was dragged from his bed by four or five persons, stripped, and most severely beaten, but whether it was the act of the Anti-Mormons, or of one of the divisions of the Mormon church, we understood from the officers, was doubtful. The doors of other individuals have been placarded with notices to leave, &c., and on Saturday evening last, a number of persons assembled at [Pontosuc], reported at about one hundred and fifty, who are said to have been under much excitement, and resolved to visit Nauvoo on the 16th inst. and burn down the houses and drive out all those who had not already left. These proceedings were universally condemned by the more intelligent and respectable portion of the Anti-Mormon party, and the movement appeared to excite no uneasiness on the part of Major W. B. Warren, who has the command of the State troops stationed in the county for the past seven months. Maj. Warren is well satisfied that a large majority of the Mormons will leave as soon as they can dispose of their property. He has dismissed all his company except ten or twelve, two of whom are stationed at Carthage, and the remainder are with him at Nauvoo. He has established regulations by which he will hereafter ascertain, weekly, the number of teams and persons crossing the river, so that the public will be able to determine how fast the Mormons are leaving, The Major, for nearly eight months, has been stationed in Hancock county, at Carthage, in the command of a company of fifty men, to keep the peace and enforce the law. We learned from all parties, that during the entire time he has faithfully discharged his duties without partiality or favor, and at this time possesses the confidence and respect of both sides. To have gone through so much excitement and jaundiced jealousy, and escaped without serious charges, evinces no small degree of talent and circumspection. We learned that he had sent out invitations to mant of the leading Anti-Mormons to meet him in Nauvoo on Monday last, (some of them have not been there for many years,) and satisfy themselves of the true state of affairs. This was a prudent course, for the result must be a conviction that their enemies are going as fast as they can. He will remain in Nauvoo until about the first of June.

Our article is already too long, and we must defer the remainder until to-morrow.

Note 1: This report was to have been continued in the May 14th issue of the Republican, but see the notice there, under the heading "Mormon Difficulties." It is uncertain whether the remainder of the report was ever published in that paper.

Note 2: Compare the above article to reports in the Peoria Democratic Press, during the middle of May, 1846.


Vol. XXIV.                     St. Louis, Friday, May 14, 1846.                     No. ?


Mormon Difficulties. We intended to have continued our remarks upon the condition of the Mormons in Hancock county to-day, but other engagements have prevented it, for the present.

Yesterday evening, we received the following proclamation, issued by Major Warren, the Commander of the State forces in Hancock county. From the language of the proclamation, we presume that it has been issued because of the outrage recently committed upon Mr. Rea, which we mentioned yesterday, and the meeting at [Pontoosus], which we also noticed. We received the proclamation in an extra from the Hancock Eagle, and think, with him, that it is fortunate that the Major remains in the command of the State forces. With his [nobleness], decision courage, and the means which he has at his command, or which he can call to his assistance, we believe no serious outbreak can occur, if it should, the perpetrators will hardly escape with impunity.

The movers in this matter, be they whom they may, certainly either do not understand the real position of affairs at Nauvoo, or they must be actuated by the worst of motives. The most violent Anti-Mormon, it seems to us, could not desire to see the Mormons remove faster than they are doing. It must be apparent to every one who will look carefully into the condition of the Mormons, that there are many who cannot go until they have disposed of their property, and secured the means wherewith... [remainder of article missing]

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XXIV.                     St. Louis, Monday, May 17, 1846.                     No. ?


[Colonel Kerarey says about 2000 Mormons crossed the Missouri at St. Joseph]... "with munitions of war, including a train of artillery, but thinks that they have no hostile intentions towards us, unless it be Gov. Boggs, whom he desires me to caution to be on the alert.... [remainder of article missing]

Note: This article may have actually appeared in the May 18th issue of the Republican.


Vol. XXIV.                     St. Louis, May ? 1846.                     No. ?


                                                Weston, May 17, 1846.
I have at a good deal of trouble, visited the camp of the Oregon and California emigrants above this, and found them pushing forward with all possible expedition. They have been crossing the Missouri river, at as many different points as there are ferries between here and the Bluffs, but the largest body crossed at Iowa Point, Elizabethtown, and St. Joseph. I found it impossible to ascertain the number of individuals, as no account was kept at any ferry, except the number of wagons. They have all passed the Agency of the Iowa and Sioux [sic - Sac & Fox?] villages, except forty-two wagons which have crossed at the mouth of the Nishnebotna, the roads from all the ferries leading by and to this point, except the above. Many, if not all the wagons which were to cross at the Bluffs, came down to the Nishnebotna, partly to avoid the numerous small streams which empty into the Nebraska on the north bank, and partly to avoid the Sioux, Pawnee and other Indians who are about to make war on each other....

There was no election of officers, no systematic combination, no meeting even to adopt anything in common, and the road from the Iowa village to the Pawnee (village) is strung with them like some great thoroughfare in the States; their numbers and supplies of all kinds having inspired them with a confidence of security. The road which they go, is said to be very good, being as well supplied with timber and water as any route on the prairie, without any stream to impede them until they reach the Nebraska. The weather has been as favorable as could be expected at this season of the year, and the grass on the prairie has been good for two weeks past. They commenced leaving about the first of the month, and continued passing the Iowa Agency daily until about the 10th....

One hundred and seventy-four wagons have passed the Agency (including those which crossed at Iowa Point); forty-two crossed above at the Nishnebotna, and there are forty still to cross at St. Joseph. This will give two hundred and fifty-six wagons, exclusive of any which may have crossed at the Bluffs; all that have passed the Agency were ox teams, with generally four yoke of oxen to each team, and the emigration from the upper country consists principally of families, and many of them large; allowing five to a wagon -- and all with whom I conversed thought this a fair estimate -- about 1300 souls have left these points....They are all as well provided as the nature of the journey will admit of; the quantity of loose stock is very great, probably double the number in the teams; including work oxen, at least 5000 head have gone out.

Of the one hundred and seventy-four wagons which passed the Agency twelve were supposed to be Mormons, with a large lot of loose stock, which it was believed they intended to herd on the prairie and fatten, until the main body came up. This, however, is only conjecture. A good deal of excitement has prevailed on this frontier and amongst the emigrants, by reports that large bodies of Mormons, well armed, were on their way, but I can hear of none except the above, and it is now believed they will cross at the Bluffs, if they go at all....

Note: The above article was published in the Republican about May 20, 1846.


Vol. XXIV.                     St. Louis, May ? 1846.                     No. ?


MORMONS. -- The persons appointed for the purpose, by Maj. Warren, have reported that the number of Mormons who left Nauvoo during the week ending on the 4th inst., may be set at thirteen hundred and fifty souls. The ferry at Nauvoo was kept running day and night, crossing thirty-five times in twenty-four hours; at Fort Madison about thirty-five trips were made in a day; some were crossing at Nashville, and some going by the river. The number of "new settlers," is estimated at two hundred heads of families. Three-fourths of the improved property on the "flats," has changed hands, on the hill the proportion of sales is not so great. Very few farms remain to be sold. The Hancock Eagle makes the total number of teams now on the opposite side of the river about fourteen hundred. They are designed to accomodate from seven to eight thousand persons. Some of them have pushed forward to the Des Moines river, and some are encamped on Sugar creek, but the slopes of the hills and the prairie opposite Nauvoo, are still ditted with clusters of tents and wagons. The Eagle thinks that twelve thousand have left the State, and that, in a few weeks, it may be announced that "the Mormons have left the State."

Note: The above article was published in the Republican about May 28, 1846.


Vol. XXIV.                 St. Louis, June 15, 1846.                 No. ?


[a man in Fort Madison, Iowa], expressed no hesitation in saying that the Nauvoo Temple must be destroyed, and he had powder ready for that purpose....

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XXIV.                 St. Louis, Tuesday, July 15, 1846.                 No. ?


Late from the Mormon Camp: -- The Hancock Eagle, of Friday last, notices the arrival there of Mr. S. Chamberlain, who left the most distant camp of the Mormons at Council Bluffs on the 26th ult, and on his route passed the whole line of Mormon emigrants. He says that the advance company of the Mormons, with whom were the Twelve, had a train of one thousand wagons, and were encamped on the east bank of the Missouri River, in the neighborhood of the Council Bluffs. They were employed in the construction of boats, for the purpose of crossing the river

The second company had encamped temporarily at station No. 2, which has been christened Mount Pisgah. They mustered about three thousand strong, and were recruiting their cattle preparatory to a fresh start. A third company had halted for a similar purpose at Garden Grove, on the head waters of Grand River, where they have put in about 2000 acres of corn for the benefit of the people in general. Between Garden Grove and the Mississippi River, Mr. Chamberlain counted over one thousand wagons en route to join the main bodies in advance.

The whole number of teams attached to the Mormon expedition, is about three thousand seven hundred, and it is estimated that each team will average at least three persons, and perhaps four. The whole number of souls now on the road may be set down in round numbers at twelve thousand. From two to three thousand have disappeared from Nauvoo in various directions. Many have left for Council Bluffs by the way of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers?others have dispersed to parts unknown; and about eight hundred or less still remain in Illinois. This comprises the entire Mormon population that once flourished in

Hancock county. In their palmy days they probably numbered between fifteen and sixteen thousand souls, most of whom are now scattered upon the prairies, bound for the Pacific slope of the American continent.

Mr. Chamberlain reports that previously to his leaving, four United states military officers had arrived at the Mount Pisgah camp, for the purpose of enlisting five hundred Mormons for the Santa Fe campaign. They were referred to Headquarters at Council Bluffs, for which place they immediately set out. It was supposed that the force would be enrolled without delay. If so, it will furnish Col. Kearney with a regiment of well disciplined soldiers who are already prepared to march.

Mr. Chamberlain represents the health of the traveling Mormons as good, considering the exposure to which they have been subjected. They are carrying on a small trade in provisions with the settlers in the county, with whom they mingle on the most friendly terms

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XXIV.                 St. Louis, Monday, July 19, 1846.                 No. ?


FROM NAUVOO: -- On Wednesday night the entire crop raised this year by Mr. B. F. Marsh, consisting of stacked wheat principally, was consumed, also, the barn and its contents, belonging to a widow lady some two or three miles south of Warsaw. The prisoners taken by the New Citizens on account of the alleged riot of Saturday last -- seventeen in number -- are still in custody. Each party holds prisoners as hostages; the antis have only five -- each demand an exchange. I can hardly tell where the matter will end now. The coming election, if passed off quietly, it was thought would be the end of the Hancock troubles, but the present state of things indicate[s] different results. The New Citizens lack concert of action, and their identification with the Mormons, under the seeming pretence of protecting life and property, has created an ill feeling against them in the county that it will be difficult to allay. Common cause with the Mormons, made by the New Citizens, can produce no good feeling towards them here.

Note: The above article may have possibly been published in the July 21st issue of the Republican.


Vol. XXV.                 St. Louis, Saturday, August 8, 1846.                 No. 3962.


Correspondence of the Rochester Daily Democrat.

                                           Fox Lake, Dodge Co., W. T., July 8, 1846.

We hear a great deal said now-a-days about the Mormons, and the new Mormon prophets, and perhaps your readers would be interested with a description of Strang, the person who claims to be the successor of Joe Smith, and who is now building in this Territory a new Mormon city, and collecting a good many followers about him.

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

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

He teaches a little different doctrine from the old Mormon faith, in some respects, and disapproves of their practice of theft, counterfeiting, and spiritual wives, &c., and says they should not feel themselves exempt from our laws because they are God's elect, but should strictly obey them.

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

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

        Yours, &c.         MONROE.

Note: Compare this article on J. J. Strang with the one published about him by the Cleveland Herald, about a year earlier.


Vol. XXV.                 St. Louis, Friday, August 21, 1846.                 No. ?


An express from Gen. Kearney's camp, at Bent's Fort, arrived at Fort Leavenworth on the 14th instant... The five hundred Mormon Infantry, under the command of Lt. Col. Allen, were progressing rapidly. They made thirty-eight miles in two days. It is believed they would reach Bent's Fort nearly as soon as Col. Price's Regiment, and quite as soon as the purpose of their enlistment required.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XXV.                 St. Louis, Monday, September 14, 1846.                 No. 3993.


The Mormons. -- The last St. Joseph Gazette contains the following "notice." In publishing it, the Gazette says it has heard some complaint against a few of the Mormons in the town, yet it has every reason to believe that if they conduct themselves as good citizens they will not be molested:


The Mormons now in St. Joseph, may do well to leave as early as possible, as there is considerable excitement now existing against them -- and to save trouble I advise them to seek some other home.
                               SAM'L. C. HALL.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XXV.                 St. Louis, Tuesday, September 15, 1846.                 No. 3994.


The Nauvoo Difficulties - War between the Mormons and Anti-Mormons. -- The following letter from our correspondent, at the scene of difficulties, between the Mormons and Anties, gives quite a different version of the affair from that brought on Sunday morning by the Ocean Wave.

In addition to the information furnished by our correspondent, who, thus far, has not been in Nauvoo, we have much information from Mr. Parker, of this city, who was at Nauvoo during the engagement, and who has favored us with several documents which he procured from Mr. Wood, the Mayor of Quincy. Mr. Parker witnessed the fights from the dome of the Temple, and his statements, as to the Mormon side of the conflict, may be relied upon.

                               Carthage, Ill., Sept. 12, 1846.

Gentlemen: I sent you yesterday, via Warsaw, a brief and meagre account of the proceedings yesterday at the seat of war.

At 12 o'clock, P. M., the Anti-Mormon army took up its line of march towards Nauvoo. There were fofty-two platoons of footmen averaging nine in each platoon, one hundred horsemen, and seventy-five artillery men, besides from one hundred and fifty to two hundred in wagons, making, including officers, upwards of eight hundred men. From an eminence which I ocupied in the prairie, the dusplay was quite militarie and imposing. They approached to within two miles of the temple; they were fired upon at their advance and flank guards by the Mormons, from a corn-field. The fire was returned by the Anties, first with small arms, and afterwards a cannon, charged with grape shot, was discharged into the field. Squads of Mormons were afterwards seen at various points, and were successfully driven by the fire of the cannon, until the Anties halted within a mile of the Temple. The Mormons occasionally fired a cannon, but without effect. The only artillery of the Mormons are some cannons they manufactured themselves out of the shafts of steamboats, which poorly answer the purpose they were intended for, and will give the Anties great advantage over them, as they have first rate six-pounders. I do not know certainly whether any blood was spilled yesterday or not -- the Anties claim to have killed several. They fired six pound balls into some houses where Mormons were stationed; one went entirely through a brick house. On the side of the Anties none were killed or wounded. The cannonading lasted three hours, during which time fifty-six guns were fired, about sixteen of which were fired by the Mormons. [remainder of letter and news article missing]

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XXV.                 St. Louis, Thursday, September 24, 1846.                 No. ?


... [a well has been discovered] under the portico of the Temple... and situated in a room to which there was no entrance except by an opening made in the floor [above].... [most of text missing]

Notes: (forthcoming)


By Charless & Pasehall.]          St. Louis, November ?, 1846.          [Vol. ? - No. ?.


                                              NAUVOO, Oct. 31, 1846.

Our little force arrived in this place on the 28th inst., since which time I have seen and conversed freely with all parties. About thirty of the new citizens who were driven away have returned, and are now in this place. -- None of the Mormons have come back, nor will they be encouraged to do so. The expelled citizens are men who own a good deal of property here, which was purchased last spring and summer, and they have signified to me that if they can be permitted to remove to their homes that they will make no complaint of the injuries which they have received. They ask the arrest and punishment of no one, and are determined to go about their business, for the future, without attempting to molest those who expelled them, either by words or acts.

The other party, the Anti-Mormons, insist that every thing is peaceable and quiet in the county, and that there is no use for a military force here; at the same time the leaders declare boldly that none of the new citizens who were expelled shall ever come back; or if they do they shall be again expelled as soon as they do come back. -- This seems to indicate a great inconsistency in their professions; for it is obvious that if peace and quiet reigned, if law has been restored, as they say, and, really, if there be no use for a military force here, as they allege, any of the new citizens could come back without danger of molestation. It seems to us to be the height of folly and inconsistency to talk about peace and order having been restored, when it is openly professed that a very large number of new citizens will be kept out by force, contrary to law. The Anti-Mormons justify themselves in driving out the Mormons upon the ground of a high necessity, above law, because the Mormons were powerful and could not be dealt with by law; but it really does not appear to me that they could have the same justification in continuing to drive out, and keep out, the new citizens; because they are few in number, without either physical or political power to do harm. If permitted to come back they can neither control the elections, the courts, nor the administration of justice.

In the conference which I had with the Anti-Mormons yesterday, it was evident that they did not apprehend any danger from the new citizens. The new citizens have been expelled by a revolutionary power, which, for a time, set aside government, and the leaders have a pride of opinion on the subject. They dislike to see their work undone, and their decrees reversed.

I have been personally treated with great respect and kindness by the Anti-Mormons in this county, and I believe firmly that the whole matter could be settled in a very short time if it were not for this pride of opinion on the part of leaders, and no evident disposition of politicians to keep up the Anti-Mormon party for political purposes. There are some persons who are fearful that now the Mormons have been driven off the party will die of its own accord, and leave them without support for office hereafter. I am satisfied that many persons are riding the Anti-Mormon question as a mere hobby, and it is such persons principally who keep alive these troubles. There was a meeting of the Anti-Mormons here last night; but they could not get more than fifty or sixty persons to attend. Several persons attempted to make inflammatory speeches, but they could not work themselves up into a passion. They, however, passed resolutions to expel the new citizens who have returned and appointed a Committee to wait on me and make their intentions known.

I have declined receiving committees, and shall not receive this one. It seems to me that it is time that all self-constituted authority should cease here; and while I decline to acknowledge any political organizations among them, I am at all times pleased to see the people, and hear their views either collectively or as individuals. The Anti-Mormons take one position, which as Governor, I cannot admit, which is this -- that the people of this country have a right to manage this matter as they please; and that neither the people nor governor of the State have any right to interfere with them in the exercise of their pretended sovereignty. As long as they maintain this position, it is very evident that the authority of the State is denied, and that a necessity exists for asserting, authoritatively, the power of the State. Anarchy has existed so long that I fear it will be some time before all persons will fully comprehend their true relations to the State at large.

It is my belief that a great majority of the people are sincerely desirous of returning to a state of peace and order, but the leaders desire this state of things only upon condition that their self-constituted authority shall not be interfered with by the State. They say that peace exists, and will continue to exist as long as the expelled citizens remain away. This is undoubtedly true. As long as only one party is permitted to live in the county, there is no one to quarrel with; but every effort of the expelled citizens to come back and assert their legal rights, breeds a new disturbance. It will be for the public to decide which party is the cause of these new disturbances -- the new citizens who want to come back to their property, and enjoy their own, according to law and the guarantee of the constitution; or those who, without law, keep them out by mere force. I am mortified to know that it is thought that such a question as this will bear argument in a civilized government, where it is pretended law governs all.

I have just been waited on by some gentlemen, who stated that they were a committee of the Anti-Mormon meeting last night. I have declined to receive as a committee, because I have judged it to be inexpedient to acknowledge any self-constituted authority here. The gentleman then informed [me] that they wished to confer with me as individuals, and make known to me that they desired to purchase out the expelled new citizens, upon condition that they will remove from the county; and they wanted me to inform them. This I declined doing, as I am determined, as Governor, to have nothing to do with any compromises between the parties; nor will I undertake to guarantee any arrangement that may be made. I have taken the ground that I represent the authority of government, and that alone. I referred them to the other party, and expressed a desire, which I sincerely feel, that the parties themselves will come to some satisfactory agreement; in which case, we will all return to our homes, rejoicing that this long quarrel has been at last permanently settled.

No man has been arrested for former disturbances, because no one has obtained any warrant for that purpose. There are many persons here who might easily be arrested, if those who have been injured thought proper to make complaints against them. But as yet no such complaints have been made, and, I am led to believe, will not be. It is thought by the expelled new citizens that arrests and prosecutions will not result in any good; they may serve to keep up the excitement and hatred of the parties, without resulting in the punishment of the guilty, or in obtaining satisfaction for the injured. Without such complaints should be made and pressed on me, I am disposed to an obviation of all former transactions, and only look to future conduct, of which I will probably, if very outrageous, assume jurisdiction under military law.

I have no fear that any force can be raised which can successfully oppose me; but if such a thing should happen, I have the promise of any number of volunteers I may choose to call for; and if new disturbances shall be raised, those who may be the authors of it will find that the people do not look upon this matter as a Mormon War, I am, most respectfully,
                                              Your obd't servant,   THOMAS FORD.

Note: The above letter was published in the Republican at the beginning of 1846. The original issue has not yet been located for confirmation of the text (taken from a reprint in a New York paper).


Vol. XXVI.                 St. Louis, Wednesday, February 24, 1847.                 No. 43.


COL. COOKE'S MORMON COMMAND. -- A letter has been received from Col. Cooke, who is in command of the battalion of Mormons on their route to California, dated the 20th of November last. They were then 300 miles from Santa Fe. They had encountered some difficulties, but were getting along well, and expected to reach the Pacific in a much shorter time than originally contemplated. Col. Cooke did not intend to take the route directed by Gen. Kearney, but would pass near Yonas and Fonteras, making the distance much shorter to the Pacific. He had more provisions than were necessary, having then 88 days' supply on hand, and regreted being encumbered with such a quantity.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XXVI.                 St. Louis, Tuesday, March 9, 1847.                 No. 54.


THE CALIFORNIA EXPEDITION. -- We were favored yesterday with the perusual of a letter written by an officer in the command of Col. Cooke, who is at the head of the Mormon battalion on its way to California. This letter is dated on the 24th of November, at Las Playas, Sonora... The health of the command is good... the latest intelligence from that quarter.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XXVI.                 St. Louis, Tuesday, March 23, 1847.                 No. 66.


The St. Joseph Gazette of the 15th inst., states that there was a prospect of a serious difficulty between the Indians and the Mormons, who are located in their territory. The old charge is made against the Mormons, of depredations on Indian property, and they are required to make reparation, and to leave immediately. The Mormons are not disposed to accede to these terms, and a collision is like to ensue.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XXVI.                 St. Louis, June ?, 1847.                 No. ?


THE MORMON TEMPLE. -- This celebrated ediface has been sold to a committee of the Catholic church for $75,000. This community have also purchased other property at Nauvoo. The building is to be appropriated to educational purposes, connected with the church into whose hands it has passed. The contract requires only the sanction of the Bishop to complete it. The last of the Mormons in Nauvoo, consisting of thirty or forty families under charge of Daniel H. Wells, have left Nauvoo, to join the California expedition. Babbit & Co. still remain at Nauvoo, to close up the affairs of the Mormons. -- These facts are stated in the Warsaw Signal.

Note: The above article appeared in the Republican near the end of June. A copy of the papsr has yet to be located for confirmation of the date.


Vol. XXVI.                 St. Louis, Tuesday, July 28, 1847.                 No. ?


Several attempts have been made to sell the Temple at Nauvoo, but the proprietors have never been able to prove up a good title. The Catholics would have bought it recently, had not this defect been in the way.

Notes: See also: Burlington Hawkeye, Aug. 5, 1847 and Warsaw Signal, 7 Aug. 7, 1847


Vol. XXVI.                 St. Louis, September ?, 1847.                 No. ?


TTHE MORMONS. -- A passenger in the Lake of the Woods, from Upper Missouri, informs us that the Mormons are in a flourishing condition, in their new location on the fine lands of the Pottawotomie purchase, on both sides of the river, above Council Bluffs. They have planted immense fields of corn -- to the extent, it is estimated, of 30,000 acres -- and other grain, and produce. They have built, also, a town, called "Winter Quarters," which already contains a population of some seven thousand souls. This town is entirely picketed in. It is represented, that the Mormons are on friendly terms with the Indians, and rarely molest them, although they are accused of occasionally stealing cattle.

Immense herds of Buffalo were seen on the plains, and crossing the Missouri, at the mouth of a stream called Stillwater.

Note: The above article appeared in the Republican near the middle of September. A copy of the papsr has yet to be located for confirmation of the date.


Vol. XXVI.                 St. Louis, Mo., October 28, 1847.                 No. ?


LATER FROM THE SALT LAKE. -- Mormon Location, &c. -- We yesterday saw a person direct from Council Bluffs, who states that on the day he left, a rumor [sic] came in, who was sent on in advance by the Mormon "Twelve," who were on the route back from the Salt Lake. They sent a small party to the Bluffs twenty days in advance of the main returning party, in order to have fresh teams, provisions, &c. sent them, as they did not intend to burthen themselves with a full outfit back.

Our informant says that the Mormons have located their grand gathering place about half way between the Utah and Salt Lake... They are in the midst of the Blackfeet, Utah and Crow tribes of Indians, who are said to be peaceable, and favor this settlement.

The main body of emigrating Mormons, which started from the Bluffs in June last, had advanced about two hundred miles beyond the South Pass, by the latter end of July, and were passed at Green River at that time. They had got on without difficulty to that point, and were passing on to their location.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XXVI.                 St. Louis, December 4, 1847.                 No. ?

Interesting from Salt Lake.


Mr. Thomas Forsyth, a well known mountain man, arrived in this city about the last of September, and Fort Bridger, one hundred and ten miles this side, about the 1st of October; crossed over the Plains to the head waters of the Arkansas, and came in by Bent's Fort and the Santa Fe trail....

Throughout the distance Mr. F. had pleasant weather. When he left the Salt Lake settlement, the most of the emigrants, including all the early trains, had gone forward to California. Of this number was Gen. Wilson, as Indian Agent, and his party. A number of emigrants, however, expected to pass the winter at Salt Lake and Fort Bridger. Mr. F. informs us that the Mormons have discovered a route occupying only some twenty or thirty days to cross the desert and Sierra Nevada, on which there is abundance of wood and water at every stage, and easy of crossing. Parties of Mormons had made the whole distance from the Sacramento to Salt Lake, with packed mules in fifteen days. Major Stansberry, of the U. S. Topographical Corps, with his party, had arrived in the Great Basin. It was understood that under orders of the United States government, he would make a survey of the Lost Lake and the various streams traversing the Great Basin. His mission was not favorably regarded by the settlers.

The Mormons raised fine crops this past season -- an abundance of wheat and other grains, potatoes, turnips, &c., more than they could consume; but the influx of emigrants was furnishing a ready market for all their surplus, at high prices. Money was plenty in the Basin, and to this may be added the fact, that the Mormons have established a mint of their own, at which a large amount of the Califrnia gold dust has been coined. They have issued coin of various denominations, to the amount of $20 pieces.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XXVI.                 St. Louis, December ?, 1847.                 No. ?


Whatever has reference to the movements of this strange and infatuated people seems to be sought for with curiosity, at least if from no better motive. Driven from the home which they had selected in Illinois, they have been wandering in several directions, but the heads of the church have turned their faces towards California, seeking there some immunity from the persecution which attended their career in the United States; but even there, we fear, there is no good will towards them. In California, certainly, they are already looked upon with suspicion, and this suspicion may soon take the shape of bitter persecution, if those who oppose them should obtain the mastery in that country. But our purpose now, is to give information of the progress of the colony which is to be located at the "Great Salt Lake City."

We had a conversation, yesterday, with Mr. Little, who has just arrived from the place we have named. The gentleman left our borders in March last, proceded to the Great Salt Lake, and is now on his return, having left the future home of the Mormons, late in August. We learb from him, that the country selected for the habitation of the Mormons, is about twenty miles east from the Great Salt Lake. In company with others, he explored the valley, and he represents that they found a range of some eighty miles in length, and perhaps ten to twenty miles in width. The preparations for the reception of the advancing copany of Mormons, were not, we should infer, very extensive. A field of about one hundred acres of ground had been planted with corn, potatoes, turnips, and other edibles, but as the rain seldom fell there, they had to resort to the uncertain and laborious process of irrigation. They had engaged in the erection of a stockade, to protect the colony from the attacks of the Indians, covering some ten acres of ground, within which from a hundred and sixty to two hundred dwellings were to be erected. How this is to be done, is at best very uncertain. There is very little woodland in or near the Valley, and this is the greatest difficulty which the colonists have to encounter, both as a means of erecting their houses and for fuel. In time, seeds may be planted and forests grown, but this is a very uncertain dependence. Some parts of the valley have a very fertile appearance, but others, again, are exceedingly poor, and cannot be made to produce any thing. About forty miles from the place selected for the Mormon city, is the homestead of a farmer, whose name we have foregotten, who has peach trees growing, and a garden producing a good many of the vegetables common to this country; with a fine stock of goats, horses, and cattle; but, save this habitation, none other is to be found in that quarter.

On his return route, Mr. Little, who holds, we believe, some high office in the Mormon Church, met the Mormon emigrants in detached parties. He does not speak of their condition very flatteringly, though, with sanguine hopes, they were still moving on to their destination. Many of the heads of the families there, it will be remembered, [were] taken up to fill the California Battalion and are still in California, and the women and children left to get along as they best could. In many cases, little boys were found driving the teams, barefoot, and the advanced parties were reduced to some extremity for the want of food. Two hundred of the oxen used in their teams had died after leaving Independence Rock, from eating some poisonous substance and exhaustion, and they were compelled to get along by using cows in their stead. All were, it is feared, stinted for provisions, and even after their arrival, unless game could be procured by their hunters, there is room to apprehend suffering from starvation -- Mr. Little representing at the same time, that in and around the Salt Lake Valley, very little game was to be found. On the whole, we are fearful that most distressing accounts will be received from this people, by the first arrivals next spring.

Mr. Little met with a good many adventures with the Indians, involving much risk, but as he escaped unharmed, it is hardly necessary to detail them. He has no grear love for any portion of California which he has visited, or of which, in his wanderings, he has had accounts from others; and it is the tenor of his advice to all persons not to set their faces in the direction of California.

Note: The above article appeared in the Republican near the middle of December. A copy of the paper has yet to be located for confirmation of the date.


Vol. XXVII.                 St. Louis, March ?, 1848.                 No. ?


ENGLISH MORMON EMIGRANTS. -- We learn from a reliable source, that several thousand English families, members of the Mormon Church, will arrive at New Orleans during this Spring, on their way to join the settlement formed in the Great Salt Lake Valley. An agent of the Mormon Church has been sent to New Orleans to provide passages for the immigrants on boats to this city, to engage transportation for them up the Missouri to the present encampment of the Mormons on the Missouri river, called "Winter Quarters." This encampment is on lands owned by the Omaha Indians, and in the immediate vicinity of Council Bluffs. From that point, or the vicinity, they expect every spring to send all who are prepared to migrate to the Valley of the Salt Lake.

It is calculated that from eight to ten thousand souls, from England alone, will join the emigrating party this season. In addition, several other large parties are expected from other quarters of Europe. -- At one time it was the intention of the elders of the Church to send these immigrants by vessels to Chagres, and thence across the continent to the Pacific, and by vessels to California; but since they have located their city, in the Great Salt Lake Valley, and determined to build their church there, they have instructed their disciples to take the overland route from the head of navigation on the Missouri. Those coming from beyond the seas will, as far as practicable, take vessels for New Orleans, and thence by boats reach the general rendezvous on the Missouri.

A deputation of the elders now in this city are having printed a large edition of a guide to the route from their present encampment on the Missouri, to their new city near the salt lake. It is a very complete and minute work. They have measured the entire route with great accuracy, and noticed all the points and peculiarities along it. They have given the latitude, longitude, and altitude of all the important points, and noticed all the places where wood, water and grass can be obtained. In fact, we have not at any time seen a more accurate work, or one so well calculated to assist the traveller on his way. In other respects, it is interesting as a scientific topographical survey of a large portion of the salt lake basin.

A party of several thousands will leave the encampment at "Winter Quarters" this Spring, as early as the grass on the plains will permit. It is estimated that there are now upward of twelve thousand souls in the vicinity of this encampment. At least half of these Mormons will set out for their new residence this Spring, and their places will be supplied by the new comers.

Note: The above article appeared in the Republican near the beginning of March. The text is taken from a reprint in the Mar. 17, 1848 issue of the New York Journal of Commerce. See also the Quincy Whig of March 15th for the same article.


Vol. XXVII.                 St. Louis, May ?, 1848.                 No. ?


Letters have been received in this city, by persons connected with the Mormon colony at the City of the Salt Lake, dated in the latter part of the December. -- They represent the situation of the [-------] as a comfortable one. They had not been molested by the Indians, many of them were in the habit of visiting the city. An inclosed square formed of continuous dwellings, facing inwards, intended for the defense of the [------] material, has been erected as well as other buildings for the saints, comprising some three thousand souls. Up to the time of writing, only two deaths had occurred in the colony. Last Fall, they sowed about three thousand acres of wheat, and they intended, besides, to put in a spring crop of about six thousand acres more. If their crops should prove good, they will have grain to spare to the emigrants to California, taking the Salt Lake route. They had erected two saw mills and a grist mill, and were industriously employed. Good potatoes were selling at ten dollars per bushel, peas fifty cents per pound, and other things at about the same rates.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XXVII.                 St. Louis, September ?, 1848.                 No. ?


THE TEMPLE AT NAUVOO. -- We are pleased to learn, that an arrangement has been made with the trustees, or those having charge of the Mormon temple at Nauvoo, by which that splendid edifice is to be devoted to useful purposes. It has been leased for a term of fifteen years, and is to be at once converted into a college building and to be occupied for that purpose. The institution is to be under the patronage of the Home Mission Society, and immediate steps will be taken to put it into operation. A better location cannot be found in the western country for such an institution, and it will, if properly conducted, receive the patronage of all the States bordering upon the Mississippi.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XXVII.                 St. Louis, September 21, 1848.                 No. ?

  (proclamation by Orson Hyde -- under construction)


Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XXVII.                 St. Louis, Wednesday, October 4, 1848.                 No. ?


Elder Orson Hyde, one of the Twelve Apostles of the Mormon Church, left here yesterday for Council Bluffs, on board the steamer Martha. We learn that he carries up printing materials and that upon his arrival it is his intention to commence the publication of a newspaper on the frontier, devoted to the support and propagation of the Mormon faith and doctrines

Note: The paper here referred to was Orson Hyde's Frontier Guardian which he commenced publishing at Kanesville (Council Bluffs), Iowa in mid-1849.


Vol. ?                       St. Louis, Monday, October 1, 1849.                       No. ?


It has been already announced that the people residing in the valley of the Great Salt Lake, had instituted for themselves a form of government, which is to be submitted to Congress at its next session. We have been permitted to look at certified copies of the Constitution thus established, and of the proceedings of the Legislature under it, and of the reasons which led to these movements. The new state is quaintly styled the THE STATE OF DESERET, which implies, according to the Mormon history and interpretation, the "Honey Bee," and is significant of Industry and the kindred virtues. It is scarcely necessary to say to our readers, that the population of this new State is composed altogether of persons professing the Mormon faith, of whom the number is rapidly increasing every year; that being the State to which all their emigration is tending. In these proceedings, as everything else, the peculiarities of this people are preserved, though we cannot see that this will offer any good bar to their application for admission into the Union.

In one respect at least, the Convention which formed the Constitution for the new State, has set a good example. They were employed only one week in action upon it, and we do not see but what it is as good an one as some of our States have been able to form after months of deliberation. We proceed to give some of its main features...

Not a word is said in the Constitution about slavery or the Wilmot Proviso, such things not having entered into the imaginations of the law-givers as important for their welfare. The Constitution will be pressed upon Congress, and if ratified, two new Senators and a Representative will soon appear in that body from the State of Deseret -- a State which was without a settled inhabitant four years ago, and which is some twenty-five hundred miles from the seat of the Federal Government.

Notes: (forthcoming)

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