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New York City Papers of James G. Bennett

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1844-1849 Articles

James Gordon Bennett as "Jim Crow" -- Vanity Fair

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Vol. X. - No. 138                         N. Y. C., May 17, 1844.                         3708


JOE SMITH'S POSITION. -- Joe Smith, the great Mormon Prophet, has also come out with a very remarkable and original document, defining his position in the approaching presidential contest. We give it in our paper of to-day, and a more curious and unique thing has probably not been published since the time of Mohamet, who used to issue his bullitins in something of the same style.

Joseph  Smith's  Position.

Born in a land of liberty, and breathing an air uncorrupted with the sirocco of barbarous climes, I ever feel a double anxiety for the happiness of all men, both in time and in eternity.

My cogitations, like Daniel's, have for a long time troubled me; when I viewed the condition of men throughout the world, and more especially in this boasted realm, where the Declaration of Independence "holds these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness;" but at the same time some two or three millions of people are held as slaves for life, because the spirit in them is covered with a darker skin than ours; and hundreds of our kindred for an infraction, or supposed infraction, of some over-wise statute, have to be incarcerated in dungeons of gloom, or penitentiaries, while the dualist, the debauchee, and the defaulter for millions, and other criminals, take the uppermost rooms at feasts, or, like the bird of passage, find a more congenial clime by flight.

The wisdom which ought to characterize the freest, wisest, and most noble nation of the nineteenth century, should, like the sun in his meridian splendor, warm every object beneath its rays; and the main efforts of her officers, who are nothing more nor less than the servants of the people, ought to be directed to ameliorate the condition of all, black or white, bond or free; for the best of books says, "God hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on the face of the earth."

Our common country presents to all men the same advantages, the same facilities, the same prospects, the same honors, and the same rewards; and without hypocrisy, the Constitution, when it says, "WE THE PEOPLE of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure the domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America," meant just what it said without reference to color or condition, ad infinitum.

The aspirations and expectations of a virtuous people, environed with so wise, so liberal, so deep, so broad, and so high a charter of equal rights as appears in said Constitution, ought to be treated by those to whom the administration of the laws is entrusted with as much sanctity as the prayers of the Saints are treated in heaven, that love, confidence, and union, like the sun, moon, and stars, should bear witness,

(For ever singing as they shine,)
"The hand that made us is divine!"
Unity is power; and when I reflect on the importance of it to the stability of all governments, I am astounded at the silly moves of persons and parties to foment discord in order to ride into power on the current of popular excitement; nor am I less surprised at the stretches of power or restrictions of right which too often appear as acts of legislators to pave the way to some favorite political scheme as destitute of intrinsic merit as a wolf's heart is of the milk of human kindness. A Frenchman would say, "Prosque tout aimer richesses et pouvoir." (Almost all men like wealth and power.)

I must dwell on this subject longer than others; for nearly one hundred years ago that golden patriot, Benjamin Franklin, drew up a plan of union for the then colonies of Great Britain, that now are such an independent nation, which, among many wise provisions for obedient children under their father's more rugged hand, said this: -- "They have power to make laws, and lay and levy such general duties, imposts, or taxes as to them shall appear most equal and just, (considering the ability and other circumstances of the inhabitants in the several colonies,) and such as may be collected with the least inconvenience to the people, rather discouraging luxury than loading industry with unnecessary burdens." Great Britain surely lacked the laudable humanity and fostering clemency to grant such a just plan of union: but the sentiment remains, like the land that honored its birth, as a pattern for wise men to study the convenience of the people more than the comfort of the cabinet.

And one of the most noble fathers of our freedom and country's glory, great in peace, great in the estimation of the world, and great in the hearts of his countrymen, (the illustrious Washington,) said in his first inaugural address to Congress -- "I behold the surest pledges that as, on one side, no local prejudices or attachments, no separate views or party animosities will misdirect the comprehensive and equal eye which ought to watch over this great assemblage of communities and interests so, on another, that the foundation of our national policy will be laid in pure and immutable principles of private morality, and the pre-eminence of free government be exemplified by all the attributes which can win the affections of its citizens and command the respect of the world."

Verily, here shine the virtue and wisdom of a statesman in such lucid rays, that had every succeeding Congress followed the rich instruction in all their deliberations and enactments, for the benefit and convenience of the whole community and the communities of which it is composed, no sound of a rebellion in South Carolina, nor rupture in Rhode Island, no mob in Missouri expelling her citizens by Executive authority, corruption in the ballot-boxes, a border warfare between Ohio and Michigan, hard times and distress, outbreak upon outbreak in the principal cities, murder, robbery, and defalcation, scarcity of money, and a thousand other difficulties, would have torn asunder the bonds of the Union, destroyed the confidence of man with man, and left the great body of the people to mourn over misfortunes in poverty brought on by corrupt legislation in an hour of proud vanity for self-aggrandizement.

The great Washington, soon after the foregoing faithful admonition to the common welfare of this nation, further advised Congress that "among the many interesting objects which will engage your attention, that of providing for the common defense will merit particular regard. To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace." As the Italian would say -- "Buono aviso." (Good advice.)

The elder Adams, in his inaugural address, gives national pride such a grand turn of justification, that every honest citizen must look back upon the infancy of the United States with an approving smile, and rejoice that patriotism in their rulers, virtue in the people, and prosperity in the Union once crowded the expectations of hope, unveiled the sophistry of the hypocrite, and silenced the folly of foes. Mr. Adams said, "If national pride is ever justifiable or excusable, it is when it springs not from power or riches, grandeur or glory, but from conviction of national innocence, information, and benevolence."

There is no doubt such was actually the case with our young realm at the close of the last century. Peace, prosperity, and union filled the country with religious toleration, temporal enjoyment, and virtuous enterprise; and grandly, too, when the deadly winter of the "Stamp Act," the "Tea Act," and other close communion acts of Royalty had choked the growth of freedom of speech, liberty of the press, and liberty of conscience -- did light, liberty, and loyalty flourish like the cedars of God.

The respected and venerable Thomas Jefferson, in his inaugural address, made more than forty years ago, shows what a beautiful prospect an innocent, virtuous nation presents to the sage's eye, where there is space for enterprise, hands for industry, heads for heroes, and hearts for moral greatness. He said, "A rising nation spread over a wide and fruitful land, traversing all the seas with the rich productions of their industry, engaged in commerce with nations who feel power and forget right, advancing rapidly to destinies beyond the reach of mortal eye, -- when I contemplate these transcendent objects, and see the honor, the happiness, and the hopes of this beloved country committed to the issue and the auspices of this day, I shrink from the contemplation, and humble myself before the magnitude of the undertaking."

Such a prospect was truly soul-stirring to a good man. But "since the fathers have fallen asleep," wicked and designing men have unrobed the Government of its glory; and the people, if not in dust and ashes, or in sackcloth, have to lament in poverty her departed greatness, while demagogues build fires in the north and south, east and west, to keep up their spirits till it is better times. But year after year has left the people to hope, till the very name of Congress or State Legislature is as horrible to the sensitive friend of his country as the house of "Bluebeard" is to children, or "Crockford's" Hell of London to meek men.

When the people are secure and their rights properly respected, then the four main pillars of prosperity -- vis., agriculture, manufactures, navigation, and commerce, need the fostering care of Government, and in so goodly a country as ours, where the soil, the climate, the rivers, the lakes, and the sea coast, the productions, the timber, the minerals, and the inhabitants are so diversified, that a pleasing variety accommodates all tastes, trades, and calculations, it certainly is the highest point of supervision to protect the whole northern and southern, eastern and western, center and circumference of the realm, by a judicious tariff. It is an old saying and a true one, "If you wish to be respected, respect yourselves."

I will adopt in part the language of Mr. Madison's inaugural address, -- "To cherish peace and friendly intercourse with all nations, having correspondent dispositions; to maintain sincere neutrality towards belligerent nations; to prefer in all cases amicable discussion and reasonable accommodation of differences to a decision of them by an appeal to arms; to exclude foreign intrigues and foreign partialities, so degrading to all countries, and so baneful to free ones; to foster a spirit of independence too just to invade the rights of others, too proud to surrender our own, too liberal to indulge unworthy prejudices ourselves, and too elevated not to look down upon them in others; to hold the union of the States as the basis of their peace and happiness; to support the Constitution, which is the cement of the union, as well in its limitations as in its authorities; to respect the rights and authorities reserved to the States and to the people as equally incorporated with and essential to the success of the general system; to avoid the slightest interference with the rights of conscience or the functions of religion, so wisely exempted from civil jurisdiction; to preserve in their full energy the other salutary provisions in behalf of private and personal rights, and of the freedom of the press, -- so far as intention aids in the fulfillment of duty, are consummations too big with benefits not to captivate the energies of all honest men to achieve them, when they can be brought to pass by reciprocation, friendly alliances, wise legislation, and honorable treaties."

The Government has once flourished under the guidance of trusty servants; and the Hon. Mr. Monroe, in his day, while speaking of the Constitution, says, "Our commerce has been wisely regulated with foreign nations and between the States. New States have been admitted into our Union. Our Territory has been enlarged by fair and honorable treaty, and with great advantage to the original States; the States respectively protected by the national Government, under a mild paternal system against foreign dangers, and enjoying within their separate spheres, by a wise partition of power, a just proportion of the sovereignty, have improved their police, extended their settlements, and attained a strength and maturity which are the best proofs of wholesome laws well administered. And if we look to the conditions of individuals, what a proud spectacle does it exhibit! On whom has oppression fallen in any quarter of our Union? Who has been deprived of any right of person or property? -- Who restrained from offering his vows in the mode which he prefers to the Divine Author of his being? It is well known that all these blessings have been enjoyed in their fullest extent; and I add, with peculiar satisfaction, that there has been no example of a capital punishment being inflicted on any one for the crime of high treason." What a delightful picture of power, policy, and prosperity! Truly the wise man's proverb is just -- "Sedaukauh teromain goy, veh-kasade le-u-meem khah-maut." (Righteousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.)

But this is not all. The same honorable statesman, after having had about forty years' experience in the Government, under the full tide of successful experiment, gives the following commendatory assurance of the efficiency of the Magna Charta to answer its great end and aim -- to protect the people in their rights. "Such, then, is the happy Government under which we live; a Government adequate to every purpose for which the social compact is formed; a Government elective in all its branches, under which every citizen may by his merit obtain the highest trust recognized by the Constitution, which contains within it no cause of discord, none to put at variance one portion of the community with another; a Government which protects every citizen in the full enjoyment of his rights, and is able to protect the nation against injustice from foreign powers."

Again, the younger Adams, in the silver age of our country's advancement to fame, in his inaugural address (1825), thus candidly declares the majesty of the youthful republic in its increasing greatness; -- "The year of jubilee, since the first formation of our union, has just elapsed; that of the Declaration of Independence is at hand. The consummation of both was effected by this Constitution. Since that period, a population of four millions has multiplied to twelve. A territory, bounded by the Mississippi, has been extended from sea to sea. New States have been admitted to the Union, in numbers nearly equal to those of the first confederation. Treaties of peace, amity, and commerce have been concluded with the principal dominions of the earth. The people of other nations, the inhabitants of regions acquired, not by conquest, but by compact, have been united with us in the participation of our rights and duties, of our burdens and blessings. The forest has fallen by the ax of our woodsman. The soil has been made to teem by the tillage of our farmers. Our commerce has whitened every ocean. The dominion of man over physical nature has been extended by the invention of our artists. Liberty and law have marched hand in hand. All the purposes of human association have been accomplished as effectively as under any other Government on the globe, and at a cost little exceeding, in a whole generation, the expenditures of other nations in a single year."

In continuation of such noble sentiments, General Jackson, upon his ascension to the great chair of the chief magistracy, said, "As long as our Government is administered for the good of the people, and is regulated by their will, as long as it secures to us the rights of person and property, liberty of conscience, and of the press, it will be worth defending; and so long as it is worth defending, a patriotic militia will cover it with an impenetrable aegis."

General Jackson's administration may be denominated the acme of American glory, liberty, and prosperity; for the national debt, which in 1815, on account of the late war, was $125,000,000, and being lessened gradually, was paid up in his golden day, and preparations were made to distribute the surplus revenue among the several States; and that august patriot, to use his own words in his farewell address, retired, leaving "a great people prosperous and happy, in the full enjoyment of liberty and peace, honored and respected by every nation in the world."

At the age, then, of sixty years, our blooming Republic began to decline under the withering touch of Martin Van Buren! Disappointed ambition, thirst for power, pride, corruption, party spirit, faction, patronage, perquisites, fame, tangling alliances, priestcraft, and spiritual wickedness in high places, struck hands and revelled in midnight splendor.

Trouble, vexation, perplexity, and contention, mingled with hope, fear, and murmuring, rumbled through the Union and agitated the whole nation, as would an earthquake at the center of the earth, the world heaving the sea beyond the bounds and shaking the everlasting hills; so, in hopes of better times, while jealousy, hypocritical pretensions, and pompous ambition were luxuriating on the ill-gotten spoils of the people, they rose in their majesty like a tornado, and swept through the land, till General Harrison appeared as a star among the storm-clouds for better weather.

The calm came and the language of that venerable patriot, in his inaugural address, while descanting upon the merits of the Constitution and its framers, thus expressed himself; -- "There were in it features which appeared not to be in harmony with their ideas of a simple representative Democracy or Republic. And knowing the tendency of power to increase itself, particularly when executed by a single individual, predictions were made that, at no very remote period, the Government would terminate in virtual monarchy."

It would not become me to say that the fears of these patriots have been already realized. But as I sincerely believe that the tendency of measures and of men's opinions for some years past has been in that direction, it is, I conceive, strictly proper that I should take this occasion to repeat the assurances I have heretofore given of my determination to arrest the progress of that tendency, if it really exists, and restore the Government to its pristine health and vigor.

This good man died before he had the opportunity of applying one balm to ease the pain of our groaning country, and I am willing the nation should be the judge, whether General Harrison, in his exalted station, upon the eve of his entrance into the world of spirits, told the truth, or not, with acting President Tyler's three years of perplexity, and pseudo-Whig-Democrat reign to heal the breaches or show the wounds, secundum artem (according to art).

Subsequent events, all things considered, Van Buren's downfall, Harrison's exit, and Tyler's self-sufficient turn to the whole, go to show, as a Chaldean might exclaim -- "Beram etai elauh beshmayauh gauhah rauzeen." (Certainly there is a God in heaven to reveal secrets.)

No honest man can doubt for a moment but the glory of American Liberty is on the wane, and that calamity and confusion will sooner or later destroy the peace of the people. Speculators will urge a national bank as a savior of credit and comfort. A hireling pseudo-priesthood will plausibly push abolition doctrines and doings and "human rights" into Congress, and into every other place where conquest smells of fame, or opposition swells to popularity. Democracy, Whiggery, and cliquery will attract their elements and foment divisions among the people, to accomplish fancied schemes and accumulate power, while poverty, driven to despair, like hunger forcing its way through a wall, will break through the statutes of men to save life, and mend the breach of prison glooms.

A still higher grade of what the "nobility of nations" call "great men" will dally with all rights, in order to smuggle a fortune at "one fell swoop," mortgage Texas, possess Oregon, and claim all the unsettled regions of the world for hunting and trapping; and should an humble, honest man, red, black, or white, exhibit a better title, these gentry have only to clothe the judge with richer ermine, and spangle the lawyer's finger with finer rings, to have the judgment of his peers and the honor of his lords as a pattern of honesty, virtue, and humanity, while the motto hangs on his nation's escutcheon -- "Every man has his price!"

Now, O people! people! turn unto the Lord and live, and reform this nation. Frustrate the designs of wicked men. Reduce Congress at least two-thirds. Two Senators from a State and two members to a million of population will do more business than the army that now occupy the halls of the national Legislature. Pay them two dollars and their board per diem (except Sundays.) That is more than the farmer gets, and he lives honestly. Curtail the officers of Government in pay, number, and power; for the Philistine lords have shorn our nation of its goodly locks in the lap of Delilah.

Petition your State Legislatures to pardon every convict in their several penitentiaries, blessing them as they go, and saying to them, in the name of the Lord, Go thy way and sin no more.

Advise your legislators, when they make laws for larceny, burglary, or any felony, to make the penalty applicable to work upon roads, public works, or any place where the culprit can be taught more wisdom and more virtue, and become more enlightened. Rigor and seclusion will never do as much to reform the propensities of men as reason and friendship. Murder only can claim confinement or death. Let the penitentiaries be turned into seminaries of learning, where intelligence, like the angels of heaven, would banish such fragments of barbarism. Imprisonment for debt is a meaner practice than the savage tolerates, with all his ferocity. "Amor vincit emnia." (Love conquers all.)

Petition, also, ye goodly inhabitants of the slave States, your legislators to abolish slavery by the year 1850, or now, and save the abolitionist from reproach and ruin, infamy and shame.

Pray Congress to pay every man a reasonable price for his slaves out of the surplus revenue arising from the sale of public lands, and from the deduction of pay from the members of Congress.

Break off the shackles from the poor black man, and hire him to labor like other human beings; for "an hour of virtuous liberty on earth is worth a whole eternity of bondage." Abolish the practice in the army and navy of trying men by court-martial for desertion. If a soldier or marine runs away, send him his wages, with this instruction, that his country will never trust him again; he has forfeited his honor.

Make HONOR the standard with all men. Be sure that good is rendered for evil in all cases; and the whole nation, like a kingdom of kings and priests, will rise up in righteousness, and be respected as wise and worthy on earth, and as just and holy for heaven, by Jehovah, the author of perfection.

More economy in the national and state governments would make less taxes among the people; more equality through the cities, towns, and country, would make less distinction among the people; and more honesty and familiarity in societies would make less hypocrisy and flattery in all branches of the community; and open, frank, candid decorum to all men, in this boasted land of liberty, would beget esteem, confidence, union, and love; and the neighbor from any state or from any country, of whatever color, clime or tongue, could rejoice when he put his foot on the sacred soil of freedom, and exclaim, The very name of "American" is fraught with friendship. Oh, then, create confidence, restore freedom, break down slavery, banish imprisonment for debt, and be in love, fellowship and peace with all the world! Remember that honesty is not subject to law. The law was made for transgressors. Wherefore, a Dutchman might exclaim -- "Ein ehrlicher name ist besser als Reichthum." (A good name is better than riches.)

For the accommodation of the people of every state and territory, let Congress show their wisdom by granting a national bank, with branches in each State and Territory, where the capital stock shall be held by the nation for the Central Bank, and by the states and territories for the branches; and whose officers and directors shall be elected yearly by the people, with wages at the rate of two dollars per day for services; which several banks shall never issue any more bills than the amount of capital stock in her vaults and the interest.

The net gain of the Central bank shall be applied to the national revenue, and that of the branches to the state and territories' revenues. And the bills shall be par throughout the nation, which will mercifully cure that fatal disorder known in cities as brokerage, and leave the people's money in their own pockets.

Give every man his constitutional freedom and the president full power to send an army to suppress mobs, and the States authority to repeal and impugn that relic of folly which makes it necessary for the governor of a state to make the demand of the President for troops, in case of invasion or rebellion.

The governor himself may be a mobber; and instead of being punished, as he should be, for murder or treason, he may destroy the very lives, rights, and property he should protect. Like the good Samaritan, send every lawyer as soon as he repents and obeys the ordinances of heaven, to preach the Gospel to the destitute, without purse or scrip, pouring in the oil and the wine. A learned Priesthood is certainly more honorable than "an hireling clergy."

As to the contiguous territories to the United States, wisdom would direct no tangling alliance. Oregon belongs to this government honorably; and when we have the red man's consent, let the Union spread from the east to the west sea; and if Texas petitions Congress to be adopted among the sons of liberty, give her the right hand of fellowship, and refuse not the same friendly grip to Canada and Mexico. And when the right arm of freemen is stretched out in the character of a navy for the protection of rights, commerce, and honor, let the iron eyes of power watch from Maine to Mexico, and from California to Columbia. Thus may union be strengthened, and foreign speculation prevented from opposing broadside to broadside.

Seventy years have done much for this goodly land. They have burst the chains of oppression and monarchy, and multiplied its inhabitants from two to twenty millions, with a proportionate share of knowledge keen enough to circumnavigate the globe, draw the lightning from the clouds, and cope with all the crowned heads of the world.

Then why -- Oh, why will a once flourishing people not arise, phoenix-like over the cinders of Martin Van Buren's power, and over the sinking fragments and smoking ruins of other catamount politicians, and over the windfalls of Benton, Calhoun, Clay, Wright, and a caravan of other equally unfortunate law doctors, and cheerfully help to spread a plaster and bind up the burnt, bleeding wounds, of a sore but blessed country?

The southern people are hospitable and noble. They will help to rid so free a country of every vestige of slavery, whenever they are assured of an equivalent for their property. The country will be full of money and confidence when a National Bank of twenty millions, and a State Bank in every state, with a million or more, gives a tone to monetary matters, and makes a circulating medium as valuable in the purses of the whole community as in the coffers of a speculating banker or broker.

The people may have faults, but they should never be trifled with. I think Mr. Pitt's quotation in the British Parliament of Mr. Prior's couplet for the husband and wife, to apply to the course which the King and ministry of England should pursue to the then colonies of the now United States, might be a genuine rule of action for some of the breath-made men in high places to use towards the posterity of this noble, daring people; --

"Be to her faults a little blind;
Be to her virtues very kind."
We have had Democratic Presidents, Whig Presidents, a pseudo-Democratic Whig President, and now it is time to have a President of the United States; and let the people of the whole Union, like the inflexible Romans, whenever they find a promise made by a candidate that is not practised as an officer, hurl the miserable sycophant from his exaltation, as God did Nebuchadnezzar, to crop the grass of the field with a beast's heart among the cattle.

Mr. Van Buren said, in his inaugural address, that he went "into the Presidential chair the inflexible and uncompromising opponent of every attempt, on the part of Congress, to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia, against the wishes of the slave-holding States, and also with a determination equally decided to resist the slightest interference with it in the States where it exists."

Poor little Matty made this rhapsodical sweep with the fact before his eyes, that the State of New York, his native State, had abolished slavery without a struggle or a groan. Great God, how independent! From hence-forth slavery is tolerated where it exists, constitution or no constitution, people or no people, right or wrong: Vox Matti -- vox Diaboli ("the voice of Matty -- the voice of the Devil)." And peradventure, his great "sub-treasury" scheme was a piece of the same mind. But the man and his measures have such a striking resemblance to the anecdote of the Welshman and his cart-tongue, that when the Constitution was so long that it allowed slavery at the capitol of a free people, it could not be cut off; but when it was so short that it needed a sub-treasury to save the funds of the nation, it could be spliced! Oh, granny, granny, what a long tail our puss has got! As a Greek might say, Hysteron proteron, (the cart before the horse). But his mighty whisk through the great national fire, for the presidential chestnuts, burnt the locks of his glory with the blaze of his folly!

In the United States the people are the government, and their united voice is the only sovereign that should rule, the only power that should be obeyed, and the only gentlemen that should be honored at home and abroad, on the land and the sea. Wherefore, were I president of the United States, by the voice of a virtuous people, I would honor the old paths of the venerated fathers of freedom; I would walk in the tracks of the illustrious patriots who carried the ark of the Government upon their shoulders with an eye single to the glory of the people, and when that people petitioned to abolish slavery in the slave states, I would use all honorable means to have their prayers granted, and, give liberty to the captive by paying the Southern gentlemen a reasonable equivalent for his property, that the whole nation might be free indeed!

When the people petitioned for a National Bank, I would use my best endeavors to have their prayers answered, and establish one on national principles to save taxes, and make them the controllers of the ways and means. And when the people petitioned to possess the territory of Oregon or any other contiguous territory, I would lend the influence of a Chief Magistrate to grant so reasonable a request, that they might extend the mighty efforts and enterprise of a free people from the east to the west sea, and make the wilderness blossom as the rose. And when a neighboring realm petitioned to join the union of liberty's sons, my voice would be, Come -- yea, come, Texas; come Mexico, come Canada; and come all the world; let us be brethren, let us be one great family, and let there be a universal peace.

Abolish the cruel custom of prisons (except in certain cases), penitentiaries, court-martials for desertion; and let reason and friendship reign over the ruins of ignorance and barbarity; yea, I would, as the universal friend of man, open the prisons, open the eyes, open the ears, and open the hearts of all people, to behold and enjoy freedom -- unadulterated freedom; and God who once cleansed the violence of the earth with flood, whose Son laid down His life for the salvation of all His Father gave him out of the world, and who has promised that He will come and purify the world again with fire in the last days, should be supplicated by me for the good of all people.

With the highest esteem, I am a friend of virtue and the people,
                       JOSEPH SMITH.
NAUVOO, ILLINOIS, Feb. 7, 1844.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. X. - No. 144                         N. Y. C., May 23, 1844.                         3714


MORMON MOVEMENTS -- We have received an extra containing the latest intelligence from Nauvoo. It seems that the "blessed city" is growing rapidly and daily receiving great accessions to its population. The other day seventy souls were added to the number of inhabitants -- many of them having a good deal of property, and all fleeing from a sinful world.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. X. - No. 160                         N. Y. C., June 9, 1844.                         3730.


GREAT ANTI-MORMON MOVEMENT IN THE HOLY CITY OF NAUVOO -- The great Prophet Joe Smith with all his tremendous power, finds it impossible to repress the spirit of rebellion. A portion of his subjects have clubbed together to oppose the "monarchy," and repeal the charter of the holy city. For this purpose they have started a newspaper and view all sorts of vengeance on Joe, who appears to take the matter very colly.

In the meantime the Prophet is hard at work, oreparing for a fierce struggle for the Presidency, with Captain Tyler. Indeed this fight promises to be as bitterly contested as that between Polk and Dallas. But there is a difference. Polk and Dallas are fighting for the largest vote -- the Prophet and the Captain are fighting for the purpose of seeing which will get the smallest vote. The victor in this funny contest is to be rewarded with a leather medal.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. X. - No. 163                         N. Y. C., June 12, 1844.                         3733


Great Mass Meeting of the Mormons at Military Hall -- Response of the Mormonites to the Nomination of Joe Smith -- Curious Prophecy of one of the Apostles, consigning Washington, the Capital and White House to the Lower Regions -- Awful Murders in Missouri -- Van Buren -- Henry Clay -- Polk and Tyler rag-tag and bobtail annihilated.

We have had a considerable share of excitement during the past six weeks in relation to the Presidential contest. The Whigs, the Democrats, the Tylerites, have all had their turn on the arena. We have had the Annual Conventions of Fourierites, Methodists, Episcopalians, Bible Societies, Tract Societies, Millerites, and a Meeting of "Darkies" in Leonard street -- all have come out in due course, but the greatest event of the season took place last evening at "Military Hall," Bowery, which throws all the Meetings and Conventions of the last month far into shade: and bids fair completely to eclipse even the famous "Tylerite dinner."

At 2 o'clock, pursuant to requisition, a meeting of the Mormonites of New York took place at the above hall for the purpose of responding to the "Nauvoo" nomination of their great Prophet, Joe Smith. Some twenty-seven men and seven Mormonesses were assembled at the hour appointed. The ladies had all passed the Rubicon, but seemed to take a lively interest in the proceedings. The Apostles looked grave as mustard pots, but resolute in their purpose of carrying their candidate through. There were placed in the centre of the room one three legged table, with the four chairs, one pulpit, and six gas lights. A brother Mormon stood conspicuously in the front seat, and wore a long beard, being an attested copy of the Prophet's. He was dressed in a military frock coat, and seemed the presiding spirit at the meeting. At half past 8 o'clock, another Mormoness arrived, with a grown girl about six years of age, and took her place near our reporter. On seeing him taking his stenographic notes, she remarked that she know it was the "sacred writing," and asked him "where he had learned?" Our reporter replied he had taken instructions from the great Prophet at Nauvoo; to which she replied "she knew it from the 'sacred characters' in which he had been writing," and was on the point of giving him a sisterly embrace, from which he ungallantly made his escape. A number of copies of the "PROPHET," published by the board of Control of the Society for the Diffusion of Truth, every Saturday morning at No. 7 Spruce street, New York, at one dollar per annum -- E. J. Bevin, printer," were distributed on the table. The articles in it discuss forcibly the Prophet's pretensions to the Presidential chair, and continues: --

"Would to God that our citizens, one and all, would take the same stand, and we would then select officers for the good of the country, and not for the especial advancement of a faction. Would we could invoke the spirit that animated those who bled for the privilege which our citizens as a body seem not to appreciate and let it rest on their descendants -- we would then have no occasion to record the delinquency of men high in authority, as it is very often our painful duty now -- but men would be selected with a view to the best interests of the country.

At 9 o'clock a small accession to the numbers present located themselves on the vacant seats, when

George T. Leach was nominated chairman pro tem., and W. H. Myers was appointed secretary.

Garret D. Newell was nominated president pro tem., upon which,

The Rev. Barney [sic] Pratt, one of the twelve apostles of Nauvoo, came forward and said that the meeting was convened for political purposes, and such a purpose as would be acceptable to God. It was high time that the people of the Union and the land awoke from their lethargy -- as the people had been living in slavery for the last ten years. They had seen negroes hung without judge or jury -- white men hung without trial -- Catholic churches sacked and burned down -- convents demolished, and 15,000 latter day saints driven from their homes and murdered -- and this done under the highest authority in the land at Missouri -- the Governor of Missouri was a murderer -- so was the Legislature -- so was their military, who plundered them of $240,000 worth of horses, cattle, and property. Van Buren refused to aid them, and so did the country -- and all had failed; in this state of things they should look to themselves. The halls of Congress were dripping with blood, and the whole national legislature were a pack of murderers, for they connived at the foul murders committed at Missouri, and gave no redress -- they had all been guilty of shedding innocent blood. The constitution guaranteed the free exercise of religion; but it was a mockery, as the State of Missouri was backed up by a pack of robbers -- murder, treason, rebellion, robbery, and plunder could be laid at their door. He charged these upon them and upon the editors of the press who also connived at the murder. Harry Clay was also a murderer, as well as Van Buren, for he too, in 1839, denied them any assistance. Joe Smith had even addressed a letter to Harry Clay and his reply was that he would not pledge himself. The Constitution was trampled under foot and they were governed worse than in the days of Nero, by the political jugglers of the country. He would sooner be a Quaker, and not vote at all, than vote for such men as Clay or Van Buren. He proposed then that General Joe Smith be the candidate for the next presidency -- (Tremendous cheers, mingled with hisses and cries of "shut up.") He would vote for any candidate that is in favor of the free exercise of religious principles. He would even go in for perfect liberty to the man that would worship a toad. -- (Loud, vociferous, tremendous applause, and cheers.) He prophesied that Washington would soon be a place of security for the cormorant, the bittern, the owl and the bat -- that it would soon be dripping with blood and that the words, "Mene mene, teke Iupharsin" would be written on the ruin. The mummery of the 4th July in America was a mere farce -- a name, as liberty was dead, and he felt proud that there was left a monument at Boston -- to tell the passing stranger that liberty once dwelt in the land; but its name had only survived -- the grave stone was upon it, as it was dead. (Loud, vociferous, and tremendous applause.) Harry Clay was in favor of slavery, and was an enemy to the free exercise of religious principles. He was tooth and nail against any species of religious oppression, whether against the Catholic, the Mormon, the Heathen, or the Jew, and to remedy these grievances, he would vote for and nominate Joe Smith, the "Mormon Prophet," as a candidate for the next Presidency. (Loud and prolonged cheers.)

The following delegation were then nominated to represent the twelve Apostles, and meet at Utica for further action, on the 23d August next: --

Dr. Doremns, F. J. Bevens, John Leech, Leeler Lane, Nathaniel B. James. _____ Watkins, John Swakum, and Samuel Leaver.

Rev. Orson Pratt, another Apostle, then came forward and addressed the meeting detailing the course of action pursued by Congress towards the Mormonites in relation to their application for redress, on the subject of what he termed the Missouri Murders.

A Mr. J. B. Meynell then rose and spoke at some length on the claims of his Excellency General Smith to the Presidency.

After Mr. Meynell concluded, a motion was made to adjourn, but the Chairman begged before the motion was put to say a few words on the subject of the meeting. Just as he commenced, however, some evil disposed loafer began to play tricks on the gas pipe leading to the room, and the meeting broke up in a very unceremonious manner, obliging the worthy chairman to postpone his speech till a more favorable opportunity. And thus terminated the first great mass meeting for the elevation of the great Prophet of the West to the Presidency. It is very evident that the contest between the Mormons and the Tylerites will be a tough one, and it is hard to say who will gain the leather medal.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. X. - No. 170                         N. Y. C., June 19, 1844.                         3770.


GEN. JOE-SMITH AND HIS ENEMIES -- Doings in the Holy City. -- But a short time since the rumors that were afloat concerning this part of creation, represented Gen. Joe Smith as having got into trouble, as beleaguered on all sides by a combination of the disaffected, determined on eclipsing the glory and fair fame of the Prophet. Joe is a match for them yet; his star is still in the ascendant, for instead of being a convicted culprit, he has with great dexterity turned the tables upon his accusers -- obtained his discharge -- returned in triumph to his functions, and procured an order of the High Council of the city of Nauvoo, cutting off for apostacy, Blakesley, Higbee, Ivans, and Cowles, the principals in the late flare up.

The Prophet's case came before the Municipal Court of Nauvoo, upon a return to a writ of habeas corpus, upon petition of Smith, setting forth that he was in custody by virtue of a writ of capeas ad respondendum, issued at the instance of one Francis M. Higbee; that the proceedings against him are illegal; the warrant informal; that the plea is deficient because based upon a charge unknown to law. Joe further states that the whole case was originated in spite and malice , and a desire to place him on the hands of his enemies, and concludes with praying for the benefit of the writ, that the whole matter may be investigated according to law and justice.

The result of the whole is, that Higbee not appearing to show cause against the petition, and numerous witnesses being examined, all corroborating the allegation set forth by defendant, and numerous learned discourses from Joe and his counsel, wherein he flagellates with the weapons of invective and retaliation the aforesaid apostates and renegades -- the result is, that the Prophet is discharged "to go thence without delay," and T. M. Higbee sentenced to pay the cost.

"The Times and Seasons," the Mormon organ published at Nauvoo, is crowing lustily over the brightening prospects of the faithful. It says the saints continue to swell the goodly company in flocks from the uttermost parts of the earth; the temple is being built with admirable celerity; that the Prophet's face is set as a flint against all forms of iniquity, and that the Lord has trapped his enemies in their own pit, and that the glad tidings of salvation are going forth to all the earth, beginning at (not Jerusalem,) but Nauvoo.

The same paper contains "Joe's last," in the form of an epistle to all the world and part of the next, on the government and policy of the United States. It seems as intended to "define his position," after the manner of the great men, more especially candidates for the Presidency, of which he is one. It is pretty long and has many curious and racy passages, of which the following is a fair specimen.

"We have had democratic Presidents; whig Presidents, a pseudo democratic whig President, and now it is time to have a President of the United States; and let the people of the whole Union, like the inflexible Romans, whenever they find a promise made by a candidate that is not practised as an officer, hurl the miserable sycophant from his exalted station, as God did Nebuchadnezzar, to crop the grass of the field with a beast's heart among the cattle."

The idea of transforming Presidents into quadrupeds is original; we fear that power would be dangerous in the hands of either whig or democrat, and we opine that all respectable horses would kick out the bill, every judicious ass bray for a repeal of the naturalization laws, and that oxen in general would not swallow such an invasion of their constitutional rights -- if Presidents are as bad as Joe says they are.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. X. - No. 177                         N. Y. C., June 26, 1844.                         3777.


Great Excitement at Nauvoo -- Destruction of the
Printing Establishment of the Nauvoo Expositor.

                             On Board Steamer "Osprey,"
                                         June 12, 1844.
Mr. Editor: -- In behalf of the Publishers of the "Nauvoo Expositor," and for the purpose of informing the public, I hasten to lay before your readers and the community generally, the particulars of one of the most unparalleled outrages ever perpetrated in the country.

On Monday evening, last, a company consisting of some two or three hundred of the Nauvoo Legion, assisted by as many volunteers, armed with muskets, swords, pistols, Bowie-knives, &c., marched up in the front of the office of the "Expositor" -- entered the building by opening the door with a sledge-hammer, and destroyed the press and all the materials, by throwing them into the street and setting the whole on fire.

This took place between the hours of 7 and 10 P. M. The particulars are as follows: -- A large and respectable portion of the citizens having become fully convinced by the most conclusive testimony, and their own observation, that the character of Joe Smith, in connection with many of the Mormon leaders had become so base and corrupt, that longer countenance would be crime, They early in April last, resolved themselves into a new Society, styled the "Reformed Mormon Church," and appointed William Law their President. The old church party felt very uneasy about the establishment of this new party, and commenced a tirade of abuse and slander against the characters and persons of those who had heretofore stood in high estimation, simply because they dared to think for themselves, and express their honest opinions.

The new party, having no organ through which to speak, being denied the privilege of publishing any thing against Joe (however true it might be) had the only alternative left, to establish a Press of their own, or else, quietly submit to the foul and false assertions which were heaped upon them by wholesale, as often as the "Nauvoo Neighbor" made its appearance.

For the purpose, then, of establishing a free and independent press in Nauvoo, through which they might advocate equal rights to every citizen, and whereby all might speak for themselves, a company of several gentlemen (some of whom were members of the new church, and some of no church,) formed themselves into a committee to publish the "Nauvoo Expositor," the first number of which appeared on the 7th inst., as proposed by the prospectus. The next day an extra session of the City Council was called for the purpose of adopting means and measures to bring our youthful paper to an immediate and untimely fate. The "Expositor" was eagerly sought on all hands -- some had the audacity to read it in the public street, while others, -- poor, pitiable creatures, would conceal it in their pocket, and repair to some private corner, and there peruse it. In the Council various opinions were expressed as to the modus operandi of suppressing our odious paper, whose only offence was, telling the truth, and exposing to public gaze the iniquities of those who were governing us with a heart of steel and a rod of iron. Some suggested the propriety of passing an ordinance in relation to libels, but Joe and Hiram (Joe's brother) raved and swore away with a vengeance, declaring it a nuisance, which should be demolished on the spot, together with the property of all concerned with its publication, if they made any resistance or defence. One liberal councilman thought they should notify, but this was objected to, the ordinance was passed, the orders given, and troops presented themselves, as full of fight as old Joe is of folly.

The excitement here became tremendous. Surrounded on all sides by a ruthless and merciless gang of ruffians, and being few in number ourselves, we knew not what to do. Our feelings were too deeply wounded for utterance -- already insulted beyond endurance, we must now submit to the forfeiture of our rights to the mercy of a mob, and that under sanction of law. We concluded to make no resistance. When they marshaled their troops before the office, F. M. Higbee and myself, in behalf of the publishers forbade their entering the premises or laying hands on the press. They paid no regard to his commands, but marched up stairs, broke open the door, entered the office, and demolished the press -- threw out the tables, stands, desks, &c., and scattered the type in all directions. After clearing out of the office, they piled up the combustible materials, and set fire and burnt them to ashes, while the multitude made the air ring with their hideous yells.

This constitutes the history of this disgraceful and most outrageous affair. We have given a simple statement of the facts as they took place, without the aid of fancy or fiction, and shall conclude this sketch by stating to the public that this is but a specimen of the unjustice that is meted out to those whose ambition soars higher than to obey the dictum of such a tyrannical wretch as Joe Smith -- a man notorious for villainy -- a man whose crimes are too dark to be recorded, whose character is stained with deeds that would blacken the bottomless pit. We mean all we say, in relation to this monster. Facts have recently been developed which fully substantiate the position. It is a fact too well known to be disputed or denied, that Joe did employ Rockwell and others to shoot ex-Governor Boggs, of Missouri, and by J. H. Jackson's statement, tried to hire him to go to Missouri and rescue Rockwell and perpetrate the same diabolical deed, if he had an opportunity. Dr. R. D. Foster has made affidavit also, which is now on file, that he offered him $300 to pay his expenses in going to Missouri and shooting Boggs, stating, "it was the will of God, and must be done," and would reward him handsomely.

It is a lamentable fact, that he has ensnared scores of credulous and superstitious females (both married and single,) in his seductive met, under pretence of Divine authority, thereby involving families and individuals in disgrace and infamy, and after gratifying his most hellish lust, has, to clear himself, thrown down the lie upon them, adding the blackest insult to the foulest injury.

It is a fact, generally known, that he has been prominently engaged in the manufacture of bogus money and counterfeiting.

It is a fact, he now stands indicted before the Hancock Circuit Court, for perjury, fornication and adultery.

It is a fact that he has used his office and assumed power of the City Charter, in protecting and shielding fugitives from justice, charged with high misdemeanors.

It is a fact that he lives upon the spoils of his dupes in splendor, while thousands are in a state of starvation. And last, though not least, it is an act that has capped the climax of his outrages by authorizing the destruction of a public press. Not satisfied with personal injury, he resorts to open contempt and violation of one of the most sacred features of American institutions -- the liberty of the press.

We repeat it, history affords no parallel to the iniquities and enormities of this tyrant who, dressed in a little brief authority, perpetrates deeds at which Heaven weeps and human nature falls back ashamed of her own depravity.

In this our situation -- robbed of our property -- stripped of our rights, and outraged on every hand, we present our case before a free and enlightened public, leaving it with them to say how long we shall be subjected to a sacrifice of our nearest and dearest rights at the shrine of unhallowed ambition.     Respectfully, &c.,
                                      CHARLES A. FOSTER.

MORMON DISCLOSURES. -- Another of Joe Smith's tools has been "confessing," in the Warsaw Signal. He signs himself J. H. Jackson, and we give below a part of his published epistle: --

By degrees, I entwined myself completely into his (Joe's) confidence. I seemed ready to perform whatever I was commanded, and to the world, kept up the appearance that I was in reality what I seemed to be. I succeeded in my object -- every plot, every plan, every secret movement of the villainous system by which Joe deludes and strips his followers, was made known to me; and before God I say, that a more detestable miscreant treads not the earth. Steeped in blood and crime, guilty, by his own admission, of almost every act of wickedness that the machinations of hell can suggest to mortal man, he stands before the world, not only as the vicegerent of the Devil, but even as the rival of his Satantic Majesty.

But the limits of this communication will not allow me to particularize; suffice it to say, that Joe disclosed to me, while in his confidence, that he did send O. P Rockwell to Missouri, to assassinate Governor Biggs. He stated, too, the particulars. I was sent on the mission to liberate him, after he had been taken. I know all the facts in relation to this affair, and will soon disclose them to the world. After Rockwell had returned, Joe offered me $3000, if I would do what Rockwell had failed to do, to wit: take the life of Boggs; I consented; I visited Missouri, for the purpose of keeping up appearances with him, and on my return excused myself for not having done, what I would have shrunk with horror from doing, by telling him that Boggs was not at home.

A RUNAWAY SAINT. -- We copy from the defunct, at present Nauvoo Expositor, the following advertisement. The Right Reverend gentleman spoken of is one of Joe Smith's bosom companions and confidential counsellors -- no less a personage the he who was sometime since detected in passing counterfeit money in the Holy City, after having brightened it with an application of salaratus:

One Cent Reward. -- Whereas, my husband the Right Reverend W. H. Harrison Sagers, Esq., has left my bed and board without cause or provocation. This is to notify the public not to harbor or trust him on my account, as I will pay no debts of his contracting. More anon.
                         Lucinda Sagers.

The following is from the Warsaw Signal of Wednesday: --

FURTHER PARTICULARS FROM NAUVOO. -- We have conversed with a gentleman of undoubted veracity, who was in Nauvoo and present in the council room, at the time the ordinance to destroy the Expositor press was under consideration; and from him we received the following items from the speeches of Joe and Hyrum Smith.

Joe became very much excited in the course of his speech, and appeared wrathy at his own followers, because of their not entering into his schemes with sufficient zeal. In giving vent to his feelings he used the following language: "If you (the people of Nauvoo,) will not stick by me, and wade to your knees in blood for my sale, you may go to hell and be damned, I will go and build another City!!!"

Hyrum directed his fireagainst the Press, and in relation to the editor of this paper, he made use of the following language: "We had better send a message to long-nosed Sharp, that if he does not look out he might be visited with a pinch of snuff, that will make him sneeze." At this burst of oratory, the Council were convulsed with laughter.

In relation to our press, he said, "If any person would go to Warsaw boldly, in daylight, and break the press of the Signal Office with a sledge hammer, he would bear him out in it, if it cost him his farm. He could only be taken with a warrant at any rate, and what good will that do?"

These extracts will show, the Rulers of Nauvoo, have doffed their saintly robes, and have come out in their true characters of hellish fiends. Yes! Hiram, Joe, &c., are as truly Devils, as though they had served an apprenticeship of half eternity in the Infernal Pit.

Note: Charles A. Foster evidently sent out multiple copies of his June 12, 1844 "letter to the editor," addressing each copy to a different newspaper known to give in-depth coverage to news of the Mormons. The same correspondence (slightly edited and shortened) may be found in the June 27, 1844 issue of the Sangamo Journal. Thomas Sharp, editor of the Warsaw Signal, to whom the original of this communication was first handed, used the news as a pretext for his infamous call to arms of June 12, 1844: "Citizens ARISE, ONE AND ALL!!! -- Can you stand by, and suffer such INFERNAL DEVILS!! to ROB men of their property and RIGHTS, without avenging them. We have no time for comment, every man will make his own. Let it be made with POWDER AND BALL!!"


Vol. X. - No. 178                       N. Y. C., Thurs., June 27, 1844.                       3778.


                               City of Nauvoo, May 15, 1844.

We take pleasure in an announcing to the saints abroad that Nauvoo continues to flourish, and the little one has become a thousand. Quite a number of splendid houses are being erected, and the Temple is rapidly progressing; insomuch that there is one expectation, that before next winter closes in upon us, the topstone will have been raised, and the building inclosed.

The saints continue to flock together from all parts of this wide spread continent, and from the islands of the sea. Three ships' company have arrived this spring from England, and are now rejoicing in the truths of the everlasting gospel. -- The prophet is in good health and spirits, and unwearied in his anxiety and labors to instruct the saints in the things of God and the mysteries of the kingdom of Jesus Christ. Indeed, we may truly say that those who come to scoff, remain to pray. Many have come here filled with prejudice and strange anticipations, but have been convinced that report is false with her thousand tongues, and have almost invariably left a testimony behind them. Instead of finding Mr. Smith the cunning, crafty and illiterate character that he had been represented to be, they have found in him the gentleman and scholar; frank, open, generous, and brave. But it is his immediate connexions and associates alone, that can appreciate his virtues and his talents. While his face is set as a flint against iniquity from every quarter, while the cries of the oppressed ever reaches his heart, and his hand is ever ready to alleviate the suffering of the needy.

A few artless villains can always be found who are watching for his downfall or death, but the Lord has generally caused them to fall into their own pit, and no weapon formed against him has prospered. One or two disaffected individuals have made an attempt to spread dissension, but it is like a tale that is nearly told, and will soon be forgotten. It was first represented as a monster calculated to scatter desolation around, but we are credibly informed by a person who attended their first meeting that there was much difficulty in raising a committee of seven, for there was some objection to Father _____, but as none could be found to fill the vacuum, he constituted one of the seven stars.


                        City of Nauvoo, Illinois.
                        Third day, Regular Term, May 8, 1844.

Before Alderman N. K. Whitney, acting Chief Justice; and Aldermen Daniel H. Wells, William Marks, Orson Spencer, George W. Harris, Gustavus Hills, George A. Smith and Samuel Bennet, associate justices, presiding.

Ex-Parte, Joseph Smith, Sen., On Habeas Corpus. Messrs. Siles & Rigdon, counsel for Smith.

This case came before the Court upon a return to a writ of habeas corpus, which was issued by this court on the 6th of May, instant, upon petition of Joseph Smith, Sen. as follows:


To the Honorable Municipal Court in and for the city of Nauvoo: --

The undersigned, your petitioner, most respectfully represents that he is an inhabitant of the said city; your petitioner further represents that he is under arrest in said city, and is now in the custody of one John D. Parker, deputy sheriff of the county of Hancock, and the state of Illinois; that the said Parker holds your petitioner by virtue of a writ of "capias ad respondendom," issued by the clerk of the circuit court, of the county of Hancock, and the state of Illinois, at the instance of one Francis M. Higbee, of said county, requiring your petitioner to answer the said Francis M. Higbee, "of a plea of the case," damage five thousand dollars; your petitioner further represents that the proceedings against him are illegal; that the said warrant of arrest is unformal, and not of that character which the law recognises [recognizes] as valid, that the said writ is wanting and deficient in the plea therein contained; that the charge or complaint which your petitioner is therein required to answer, is not known to the law.

Your petitioner further avers that the said writ does not disclose in any way or manner whatever, any cause of action, which matter your petitioner most respectfully submits for your consideration; together with a copy of the said warrant of arrest which is hereunto attached.

Your petitioner further states that this proceeding has been instituted against him without any just or legal cause; and further that the said Francis M. Higbee, is actuated by no other motive than a desire to persecute and harass your petitioner, for the base purpose of gratifying feelings of revenge, which, without any cause, the said Francis M. Higbee has for a long time been fostering and cherishing.

Your petitioner further states that he is not guilty of the charge preferred against him, or of any act against him, by which the said Francis M. Higbee could have any charge, claim or demand, whatever against your petitioner.

Your petitioner further states, that he verily believes that another object the said F. M. Higbee had in instituting the proceeding, was, and is, to throw your petitioner into the hands of his enemies, that he might the better carry out a conspiracy which has for some time been brewing against the life of your petitioner.

Your petitioner further states that the suit which has been instituted against him has been instituted through malice, private pique, and corruption.

Your petitioner would therefore most respectfully ask your honorable body, to grant him the benefit of the writ of habeas corpus, that the whole matter may be thoroughly investigated, and such order made, as the law and justice demands in the same premises, and your petitioner will ever pray.
                                  JOSEPH SMITH, Sen.
Nauvoo May, 6, 1844.

State of Illinois, City of Nauvoo, Sct. --
The people of the state of Illinois: To the Marshal of said city -- Greeting.

Whereas, application has been made before the Municipal Court of said city, that the body of one Joseph Smith, Senior, of the said city of Nauvoo, is in the custody of John D. Parker, Deputy sheriff of Hancock county, state aforesaid:

These are therefore to command the said John D. Parker, of the county aforesaid, to safely have the body of said Joseph Smith, Senior, of the city aforesaid, in his custody detained, as it is said, together with the day and cause of his caption and detention, by whatsoever name the said Joseph Smith, Senior may be known or called before the Municipal court, of said city forthwith, to abide such order as the said court shall make in this behalf, and further, if the said John D. Parker, or other person or persons, having said Joseph Smith, Senior, of said city of Nauvoo, in custody, shall refuse or neglect to comply with the provisions of this writ, you the marshall of said city, or other person, authorized to serve the same, are hereby required to arrest the person or persons refusing or neglecting to comply as aforesaid, and bring him or them together with the person or persons in his or their custody, forthwith before the Municipal court, aforesaid, to be dealt with according to law; and herein fail not and bring this writ with you.

Witness, Willard Richards, Clerk of the Municipal court at Nauvoo, this 6th day of May, in the year of our Lord, one thousand eight hundred and forty-four.
                                  WILLARD RICHARDS,
                                        Clerk, M. C., C. N.

I hold the within named Joseph Smith, Senior, under arrest, by virtue of a capias ad respondendum.

Hancock Circuit Court, To May Term, A. D.. 1844. -- Francis M. Higbee, vs. Joseph Smith. -- The day of his caption, May 6th, 1844. To damage, five thousand dollars.
                                  WM. BACKENSTOS, S. H. C.
                                  By J. D. Parker, D. S.

State of Illinois, Hancock County, ss. -- The People of the State of Illinois: To the sheriff of said county -- Greeting.

We command you that you take Joseph Smith, if he be found within your county, and him safely keep, so that you have his body before the circuit court of said county of Hancock, on the first day of the next term thereof, to be holden at the court house in Carthage on the third Monday in the month of May, instant, to answer Francis M. Higbee, of a plea of the case; damage, the sum of five thousand dollars as he says; and you have then there this writ, and make due return thereon, in what manner you execute the same.

Witness, J. B. Backenstos, Clerk of said circuit court, at Carthage, this first day of May, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty-four.
    {Seal.}     J. B. BACKENSTOS, Clerk,
               By D. E. Head, Deputy.

The sheriff is directed to hold the within named defendant to bail in the sum of five thousand dollars.         J. B. BACKENSTOS, Clerk,
                       By D. E. Head, Deputy.

This is a true copy of the original, now in the possession of William B. Backenstos, sheriff of Hancock county.       By J. D. PARKER, Deputy.

STATE OF ILLINOIS, Hancock County,
      City of Nauvoo.
To Mr. Francis M. Higbee --

Sir -- You will please take notice that Joseph Smith, Senior, has petitioned for a writ of habeas corpus, from the Municipal Court of said city, praying that he may be liberated from the custody of John D. Parker, Deputy sheriff of Hancock county, by whom he is held in custody on a capias ad respondendum, issued by the circuit court of Hancock county, on the first day of May, instant, to answer Francis M. Higbee, on a plea of the case, &c.; which writ is granted, and you will have the opportunity to appear before the Municipal court, at 10 o'clock, A. M., on the 7th of May, instant, at the Mayor's Council Chamber, in said city, and show cause why said Joseph Smith, Senior, should not be liberated on said habeas corpus.

Witness my hand and seal of Court, this sixth day of May, 1844.
{Seal}       WILLARD RICHARDS, Clerk, M. C., C. N.

The above trial is deferred until Wednesday, the 8th instant, 10 o'clock, A. M.
                  W. RICHARDS, Clerk.

I have served the within, by reading to the named Francis M. Higbee.
                  John D. Parker, Constable.

Mr. Higbee did not appear either by himself or counsel.

Mr. J. P. Stiles then said that the petition and papers have been read in your hearing; it is a petition for an habeas corpus on the grounds-lst; the insufficiency of the writ, and other causes assigned. The insufficiency of the writ is sufficient to discharge the prisoner, it is the privilege and option of this court, if the writ is invalid. It is the privilege of the prisoner to have all the matters investigated, in order to prove that the prosecutor is joined with other persons in a conspiracy to take away Mr. Smith's life. Although it is competent for the court to discharge on account of the insufficiency of the writ, yet we want an examination into the matters, in order that all may be understood. All warrants should disclose the crimes known to the court, so that the prisoner might know what answer to make; the prisoner might have had to lay in jail six months, because he knows nothing what he is charged with in the writ; it might be that he is charged with debt; that he had to pay Francis M. Higbee the sum of five thousand dollars, or any thing: there is no action specified; is it meant for trespass, for mal-treating, beating, or slander, or what other crime, so that the damage of five thousand dollars might be known for what it is. The, writ is void for want of substance and form, all who are familiar with law; common sense, or justice, must know that it is indefinite; no charge defined. If we are not released here, we shall be released in circuit court, on account of the insufficiency, but we are now willing to investigate the merits of the case. We know nothing but from information from other sources, and we want this court to determine whether we are held to any charge to Francis M. Higbee; we have given him notice to attend here; if he has any cause to keep him here, I propose to bring in the testimony of the prisoner, he has averred certain facts; he is ready to make oath of it if your honor require it; there is no ordinance against the prisoner taking his oath; it is within the province of the court to do so, it is the privilege of the court in any case to hear the plaintiff in any cause; law is founded on justice; there can no iniquity arise from any thing in this matter.

Sidney Rigdon said, it has been truly stated that this court has nothing before it on which it can act, there is a prisoner brought into court who was in custody within the province of your honor; those papers have been read but they disclose no crime, no guilt; there are no merits to try, they present no meritorious cause of action, they do not present the prisoner's guilt in any form whatever; what are the merits? Shall we try him for horse stealing, burglary, arson or what? You shall hear the merits if you can find them out, then the court has power to try; is it burglary, arson or something else? What is the point to try? Those papers know no crime, there is no merits, no existence of anything, it is an ignus fatuus, a will-o'wisp; to arrest somebody for doing nothing; to have the privilege of trying a law suit about nothing; the court never says Francis M. Higbee ever preferred any thing, if there can any merits be hatched up, we will try it.

J. Smith was satisfied that this thing can be brought to trial it appears I am a prisoner, and by the authority of the circuit court. I petitioned this court for a hearing I am a prisoner, and aver that it is a malicious prosecution, and a wicked conspiracy, got up by men for the purpose of harassing me, and decoying me into their hands. I want to show that this man has joined a set of men, who have entered into a conspiracy to take away my life. After hearing the case, you have power to punish, imprison, or fine, or anything you please, you have the right to punish the offender, if I am a criminal you have a right to punish me, and send me to the circuit court, but if I am as innocent as the angels of heaven, you have power to send the prosecutor to trial if crime is proved against him. They have no merit in their cause, I want to show up their conspiracy, that these men are working their basest corruption, they have lifted up their hands against innocence; you have power to hear the petitioner on his oath. I will show you a precedent. Look at the federal court of this district; the case was made out by affidavit, which I swore to before the court. The habeas corpus is granted on the testimony of the petitioner, it is the law in Blackstone, that where no other matter is in existence, and the prisoner swears he is innocent, and his character for truth is supported by good testimony he must be discharged, and then goes away as free as the proud eagle. If I have the privilege of testimony under oath, to the facts that they make slander of, then they cannot do anything with it. Suppose that I am an eye witness to the crime of adultery, or any other crime, and know verily for myself, that the man is guilty of adultry [adultery], or other crime, and I speak of it, the man may sue me for damages although I know the man to be guilty, but if I swear in a court, he cannot hurt me. If I have the privilege of giving testimony under oath, they can never do any thing with me, but if you discharge me on the insufficiency of the writ; they can prosecute me again and again, but if you give me a fair hearing they cannot prosecute me again; I want the oath to go to the world; I must make statements of facts in order to defend myself. I must tell the story in its true light, under oath; then I can be forever set free; may I not have the privilege of being protected by the law? The peace of myself, my family, my happiness, and the happiness of this city depend upon it.

The court allowed him to proceed with the case.

Mr. Stiles said -- This is a malicious prosecution, and we have averred that it is malicious, and have a right to prove it. There is an insufficiency in the writ, the writ did not show that any crime had been committed, and we can show that we are not guilty of any plea in the case; there is no charge or case against us; the whole matter is corrupt, and malicious and wicked.

Joseph Smith sworn -- Said, I must commence when Francis M. Higbee was foaming against me, and the Municipal Court, in my house.-Francis M. Higbee said he was grieved at me, and I was grieved at him. I was willing on my part to settle all difficulties, and he promised if I would go before the City Council and tell them he would drop every thing against me forever. I have never mentioned the name of Francis M. Higbee disrespectfully from that time to this; but have been entirely silent about him; If any one has said that I have spoken disrespectfully since then, they have lied: and he cannot have any cause whatever. I want to testify to this court of what occurred a long time before John C. Bennet left this city. I was called on to visit Francis M. Higbee; I went and found him on a bed on the floor.

(Here follows testimony which is too indelicate for the public eye or ear; and we would here remark, that so revolting, corrupt, and disgusting has been the conduct of most of this clique, that we feel to dread having any thing to do with the publication of their trials; we will not however offend the public eye or ear with a repetition of the foulness of their crimes any more.)

Bennet said Higbee pointed out the spot where he had seduced a girl, and that he had seduced another. I did not believe it, I felt hurt, and labored with Higbee about it; he swore with uplifted hands, that he had lied about the matter. I went and told the girl's parents, when Higbee and Bennet made affidavits and both perjured themselves, they swore false about me so as to blind the family. I brought Francis M. Higbee before Brigham Young, Hyrum Smith and others; Bennet was present, when they both acknowledged that they had done these things, and asked us to forgive them. I got vexed, my feelings had been hurt; Higbee has been guilty of adulterous communication, perjury, &c.; which I am able to prove by men who heard them confess it. I also preferred charges against Bennet, the same charges which I am now telling; and he got up and told them it was the truth, when he pleaded for his life, and begged to be forgiven; this was his own statement before sixty or seventy men; he said the charges were true against him and Higbee. I have been endeavoring to throw out shafts to defend myself, because they were corrupt, and I knew they were determined to ruin me; he has told the public that he was determined to ruin me; he has told the public that he was determined to prosecute me, because I slandered him, although I tell nothing but the truth. Since the settlement of our difficulties, I have not mentioned his name disrespectfully; he wants to bind up my hands in the circuit court, and make me pay heavy damages for telling the truth. In relation to the conspiracy, I have not heard Francis M. Higbee say he would take away my life; but Chauncy Higbee, Charles A. Foster and Dr. Foster said they would shoot me; and the only offence [offense] against me is telling the truth. I did say that Dr. Foster did steal a raw hide, I have seen him steal a number of times; these are the things that they now want to ruin me for; for telling the truth. When riding in the stage, I have seen him put his hand in a woman's bosom, and he also lifted up her clothes. I know that they are wicked, malicious, adulterous, bad characters; I say it under oath; I can tell all the particulars from first to last.

Brigham Young, sworn, With regard to Francis M. Higbee, at the time that is spoken of, I stopped opposite Mr. Laws' store, we had been conversing with Dr. Bennet when I came into the room, Francis Higbee rather recoiled and wished to withdraw; he went out and sat upon a pile of wood. He said it is all true, I am sorry for it, I wish it had never happened. I understood Bennet who related some of the circumstances, he cried and begged of us to forgive him, and said if he could be permitted to stay in the city as a private individual he should be happy; that was about what he said; its true, I am sorry for it I wish it had never been so; as we came up, Dr. Bennet, Mr. Higbee, and Mr. Smith, had been talking about it, I have not mentioned it before, I knew of the whole affair, it was on the 4th of July, or a few days after-it was shortly after I came from England. I was in the City Council when Mr. Higbee said all was settled.

Cross-examined. -- I have heard Dr. Bennet say all these things were facts; he acknowledged that Higbee has the _____ and that he had doctored him, he acknowledged that, and a great deal more. I will make one statement in our conversation with Dr. Bennet. I told Dr. Bennet that one charge was seducing young women, and leading young men into difficulty -- he admitted it -- if he had let young men and women alone it would have been better for him.

Sidney Rigdon, sworn, In relation to the matters before the court I am unacquainted with I was sick at the time but I have heard it talked of back and fro.

Cross-examined. -- I recollect Joseph Smith came to me with a complaint against Higbee and Bennet, and made affidavit that it was true; I have the affidavit in my house. I went to see Higbee on last Saturday, I found him at Mr. Morrisons-he was waiting for a steam boat-I endeavored to prevail on him to relinquish his undertaking; he said I have no character in Nauvoo, for I have none to lose, I tried to convince him that he had character and might be looked upon with respect, but he flatly contradicted me, and said he had none, and that was the reason why he persecuted Joseph Smith-as he had no character, he did not care what he did-he had nothing to loose by it-that is the substance of our conversation.

Hyrum Smith sworn. -- I recollect a settlement of difficulties between Francis M. Higbee and my brother Joseph, about which some of the court may recollect. I recollect Dr. Bennet asking forgiveness of the lodge when there was about sixty present-Francis M. Higbee acknowledged that it was the truth, that he was sorry, and had been a thousand times; he acknowledged his connection with the woman on the hill; I did think he was with Dr. Bennet at the time, the statement of Bennet was, that he was guilty, he was sorry and asked forgiveness, he said he had seduced six or seven, he acknowledged it, and said if he was forgiven, he would not be guilty any more. Francis said he knew it was true, he was sorry and had been a hundred times; the very things we had challenged him with, he acknowledged. I told Francis that it had better be settled he said, Joseph had accused him-if his character was gone all was gone, he said he would settle it and they went into the room, he did not deny any charge, he said he was sorry, that he wanted it buried, and it was agreed to do so. Francis did not say any thing about his sickness, but Dr. Bennet made those observations to him that he had doctored him in the time of his sickness.

Cross-examined. -- I asked Francis if he did not tell Dr. Bennet that he had seduced a girl, he replied, I told Dr. Bennet that I did seduce her, but I tell you that I never did it; I told him so for my own notion of things; I do not recollect of him saying [that he had got a bad disorder with the French Girl] he said he should not have been seduced, if it had not been by Dr. Bennet, when charged with them, Francis said they were true; that they were alledged [alleged] a hundred times; he said "I will alter, I will save my character." I have never heard from brother Joseph any thing about his character, Joseph did not accuse him of any thing before the police; he said Francis had better take care, Francis was a little dissatisfied, but that difference was settled; I was present; he said he would not receive any thing again from abroad; he would not take any steps by hearsay, he would come to him and tell him, there were several present when this took place.

Porter Rockwell sworn-he recollected the conversation but not very distinctly, but he did recollect that Francis M. Higbee acknowledged to Joseph Smith that he was guilty of the charges preferred against him.

Court adjourned for one hour and a half. Court met.

Mr. Wheelock, sworn: -- with regard to this case I know nothing, but through a circumstance occurring at Nashville. Elder Blakesly came to my house to preach, he preached and was upholding the authorities of the Church very much, he came over here and apostatized the same day; I then came over and went to see him, I asked him why he had changed his mind so quick? he said he had seen affidavits of the guilt of Mr. Smith, he told me Mr. Higbee was going about to the different conferences. I told him I thought he had better send some one else, his conduct was not the best and I know of circumstances that were not right. Once I was a mate on a Steam Boat, and Higbee was clerk, we had not much cabin; we had some females on board; I and another had given up our room to some ladies for the night; it was my watch, and I went into the cabin for my Buffalo Robe, about one o'clock in the night, when I saw him leaning over the berth where one of the ladies slept; this was in the night-and he had no business there, no gentleman had any right there; I gave up my berth to the ladies; I felt indignant at such conduct, his conduct towards the lady passengers was unbecoming, and particularly in one who professes so much virtue as he now does.

Joel S. Miles, sworn: -- I have seen Francis M. Higbee go into rooms with females, but what their intentions were I did not know, I might have seen him two or three times; I think he has done that which is not right, I should judge from conversations with him, that was the case: I might recollect twenty times, he has frequently told me things of that kind, it is a private case to be sure-he has told me, that he had commenced an action against Joseph Smith for slander; I met Francis today, I asked him about the fuss, when he said that he had got Mr. Smith up for slander; he said he should not come here-but did not say why, I recollect the time that he was sick, when Dr. Bennet attended him, I went to see him nearly every day, I understood Mr. Higbee to say that he was prosecuting Mr. Smith for slander; that he was up before the Municipal Court, he told me he supposed I was wanted to prove that he was a thief, whoremaster, and every thing else.

H. J. Sherwood, sworn;-I have several times had conversations with Higbee; I recollect that near two years ago there was a fuss about John C. Bennet's spiritual wife system before the High Council. I recollect a French woman coming up from Warsaw, and that Francis M. Higbee had medical assistance * * * * * Dr. Bennet attended him, Joseph Smith administered unto him but it was irksome; Higbee assented that it was so, he did not contradict it, he promised to reform -- he would do better, he would do so no more.

Heber C. Kimball, sworn -- I think it is near two years: I had some conversation with Francis M. Higbee, he expressed himself indignant at some things; he expressed himself that he was sorry, he would live a new life, he never would say a word against President Joseph Smith; he had an inclination to write that what he published was false. I exhorted him to go and recall what he had said. I afterwards saw him in Cincinnati, when he promised by every thing sacred that he would come home, reform, and then go and publish this doctrine, for it was true; he said he had taken a course that was wrong towards President Smith, and was sorry for it. He said he would study at Cincinnati, for his character was ruined here. When we were in Quincy, we went over to Missouri, and exhorted him to alter his conduct. The last time I conversed with him, he said, "if I had taken your council, I should now have been a man looked on with respect; he said he was not connected with the people that opposed President Smith and never would." -- he much regretted the course he had taken.

After hearing the foregoing evidence in support of said petition, it is considered and ordained by the court; 1st, That the said Joseph Smith, Senior, be discharged from the said arrest and imprisonment, complained of in said petition, on the illegality of the writ, upon which he was arrested, as well as upon the writ of the case, and that he go hence without day. Secondly, Francis M. Higbee's character having been so fully shown, as infamous, the court is convinced that this suit was instituted through malice, private pique and corruption; and ought not to be countenanced; and it is ordained by the court that said Francis M. Higbee pay the costs...


By yesterday's western mail we received the following additional particulars from Nauvoo and vicinity.

(From the St. Louis Reporter, June 17.)

At the latest dates from the Upper Mississippi, it appears that the people of Northern Illinois were arming against the Mormons, and that there would probably be a serious collision between the two parties.

(From the St. Louis Democrat, June 17.)

We have received a communication from F. M. Higbee, one of the publishers of the Expositor, in relation to the recent outrage at Nauvoo, from which we extract the following paragraphs: --

With regard to the press: immediately after its destruction, I was three different times advised to make my escape, or I would be scalped. I still persisted, when one of my friends stated they would come the Lovejoy game over me, and to clear forthwith -- a gentleman, I think from New York, who introduced himself to me upon that occasion. I complied with the request, secreted myself, and remained hid until the 11th instant, 12 o'clock [P. M.], when I escaped, by dressing in disguise, unhurt.

It is expected Joe will, after tearing Foster's barn down, which he declared a nuisance, tear down Law's mill, which cost some $15,000, and from thence they anticipate going to Warsaw, 18 miles below, and tearing down the press from which the Signal issues. We think if Joe does not look out there will be a quietus served on him. Blood, no doubt, will be spilt. Desperate excitement in the country.

The excitement among the citizens of Warsaw, Ill., consequent upon the recent outrage at Nauvoo, and also upon threats made by Joe Smith and his satellites to destroy the printing office of the Warsaw Signal, and to assassinate its editor, was at the last accounts, on the increase. A meeting was held on the 14th, and an address adopted, which evinces a determination to oppose the Mormons at all hazards. The citizens had armed themselves and organized patroles in various parts of the town. Every Mormon in and about Warsaw has been ordered to leave without delay. A mass meeting of the citizens of Hancock county was held on the 13th, the proceedings of which are published in the Warsaw Signal, and from which we copy the following:

"Whereas, the officer charged with the execution of a writ against Joseph Smith and others, for riot in the county of Hancock, which said writ said officer has served upon said Smith and others; and whereas said Smith and others refuse to obey the mandate of said writ; and whereas in the opinion of this meeting, it is impossible for said officer so raise a posse of sufficient strength to execute said writ; and whereas it is the opinion of this meeting that the riot is still progressing and that violence is meditated and determined on, it is the opinion of this meeting that the circumstances of the case require the interposition of executive Power. Therefore --

Resolved, that a deputation of two discreet men be sent to Springfield to solicit such interposition.

Resolved, that said deputation be furnished with a certified copy of the resolution, and be authorized to obtain evidence, by affidavits and otherwise, in regard to the violence which has already been committed, and is still further meditated.

On motion of A. Sympson, Esq., the suggestion of Mr. Bagby, appointing places of encampment, was adopted -- to-wit., Warsaw, Carthage, Green Plains, Spilman's landing, Chili and La Harpe.

On motion, O. C. Skinner and Walter Bagby, Esqs., were appointed a committee to bear the resolutions adopted by this meeting to his Excellency the Governor, requiring his executive interposition.

FRIDAY, 8 o'clock, P. M. -- We are informed by a gentleman direct from Carthage that the citizens are ordered to assemble at their various places of rendezvous, on Wednesday next.

A gentleman from Nauvoo, who arrived in Carthage to-day, reports that about 100 persons, including nearly all Joe's enemies in Nauvoo, have left the city, with their moveables -- being in fear of their lives.

Preparations are making throughout the country, for the coming contest.

(From the Cincinnati Gazette, June 22.)

A slip from Warsaw, Illinois, gives the proceedings of the citizens of that place on the 12th instant, relating to the violent destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor establishment, and a threat to destroy the Warsaw Signal, and to assassinate its editor. The meeting regards these acts of violence and threats such as should command the services of every good citizen to put an immediate stop to the mad career of the Prophet Smith. They declare their readiness to defend the Warsaw Press, and in case any citizen, in consequence of any attack being deprived of life, to take terrible vengeance. "They hold themselves ready to co-operate with other citizens to utterly exterminate the wicked and abominable leaders." They raised a committee to notify all persons in the township suspected of being tools of the Prophet, to "leave immediately on pain of instant vengeance, and recommend a like step in other townships, pledging assistance, &c. That all Mormons should be driven into Nauvoo from the surrounding settlements, the Prophet and his adherents then demanded, and if not surrendered, that a war of extermination be waged, if necessary, for the defence of the people, to the entire destruction of the Prophet and his adherents, and to this end that every citizen arm himself. The Nauvoo City Council to imprison any officer arresting any citizen of Nauvoo engaged in destroying the Expositor Press; to take him out of the city for trial. A mass meeting has been called to assemble at Carthage. The streets of Warsaw are patrolled. The excitement in the country is immense. A public meeting to consider on this subject has been called in St. Louis. In addition, we learn that the captain of the Warsaw Cadets left for Quincy to procure a stand of arms, to be placed in the hands of the citizens of Warsaw. Unless the proper authorities take measures to check up or moderate this excitement, terrible consequences may ensue.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. X. - No. 182.                       N. Y. C., Mon., July 1, 1844.                       3782.


Our readers have already noticed by our accounts from Nauvoo, that Jo Smith and the Mormons are again getting into exceedingly hot water. Jo has declared the city under martial law, and is preparing to defend himself against the enemy which is organizing against him at Warsaw and other places. There is every prospect now of a civil war, in which blood will be shed. As Smith is determined to run himself for the Presidency, he asks no favor of either of the great political parties of the day, and there is reason to apprehend that he and his party may suffer entire extermination from the State of Illinois. One thing may be regarded as certain, that Jo will never surrender peaceably -- he will fight to the death.

We now propose to exhibit the causes which have led to this most curious and extraordinary excitement.

First, in relation to the schism among the Mormons themselves. On the 7th June, the Laws, Higbees and others, issued a new paper at Nauvoo under the title of the "Nauvoo Expositor." From this paper we shall now give some extracts, which taken in connextion with what we have already published, will explain the whole of this very curious affair.

We commence with the preamble of the Seceders from the Church at Nauvoo. Showing that these Seceders are good and true Mormons, who claim to be the true Mormon church.

"As for our acquaintance with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, we know no man or set of men, can be more thoroughly acquainted with its rise, its organization, and its history, than we have every reason to believe we are. We all verily believe, and many of us know of a surety, that the religion of the Latter Day Saints, as originally taught by Joseph Smith, which is contained in the Old and New Testaments, Book of Covenants, and Book of Mormon, is verily true; and that the pure principles set forth in those books, are the immutable and eternal principles of Heaven, and speaks a language which, when spoken in truth and virtue, sinks deep into the heart of every honest man. Its precepts are invigorating, and in every sense of the word, tend to dignify and ennoble man's conceptions of God and his atributes. It speaks a language which is heard amidst the roar of Artillery, as well as in the silence of midnight: it speaks a language understood by the incarcerated spirit, as well as he who is unfettered and free; yet to those who will not see, it is dark, mysterious, and secret as the grave."

The Seceders determine to expose Jo Smith's various principles and abominable practices.

"We are earnestly seeking to explode the vicious principles of Joseph Smith, and those who practice the same abominations and whoredoms; which we verily know are not accordant and consonant with the principles of Jesus Christ and the Apostles; and for that purpose, and with that end in view, with an eye single to the glory of God, we have dared to gird on the armor, and with God at our head, we most solemnly and sincerely declare that the sword of truth shall not depart from the thigh, nor the buckler from the arm, until we can enjoy those glorious privileges which nature's God and our country's laws have guaranteed to us -- freedom of speech, the liberty of the press, and the right to worship God as seemeth us good. We are aware, however, that we are hazarding every earthly blessing, particularly property, and probably life itself, in striking this blow at tyranny and oppression; yet notwithstanding, we most solemnly declare that no man, or set of men combined, shall, with impunity, violate obligations as sacred as many which have been violated, unless reason, justice and virtue have become ashamed and sought the haunts of the grave, though our lives be the forfeiture."

Jo thinks Hell is quite an agreeable place. He proposes to convert it into Heaven.

"Joseph has stateed that if he had sinned, and was guilty of the charges we would charge him with, he would not make acknowledgment, but would rather be damned; for it would detract from his dignity, and would consequently ruin and prove the overthrow of the Church. We would ask him on the other hand, if the overthrow of the Church was not inevitable, to which he often replies, that we would all go to Hell together, and convert it into a heaven, by casting the Devil out; and says he, Hell is by no means the place this world of fools suppose it to be, but on the contrary, it is quite an agreeable place; to which we would now reply, he can enjoy it if he is determined not to desist from his evil ways; but as for us, and ours, we will serve the Lord our God!"

Next follows a history of the spiritual arts and wiles by which this great prophet accomplished the seduction of the fair sisterhood:

"It is a notorious fact, that many females in foreign climes, and in countries to us unknown, even in the most distant regions of the eastern hemisphere, have been induced, by the sound of the gospel, to forsake friends, and embark upon a voyage across waters that lie stretched over the greater portion of the globe, as they supposed, to glorify God, that they might thereby stand acquitted in the great day of God Almighty. But what is taught them on their arrival at this place? They are visited by some of the Strikers, -- for we know not what else to call them -- and are requested to hold on and be faithful, for there are great blessings awaiting the righteous; and that God has great mysteries in store for those who love the Lord, and cling to brother Joseph. They are also notified that brother Joseph will see them soon, and reveal the mysteries of Heaven to their full understanding, which seldom fails to inspire them with new confidence in the Prophet, as well as a great anxiety to know what God has laid up in store for them, in return for the great sacrifice of father and mother, of gold and silver, which they gladly left far behind, that they might be gathered into the fold, and numbered among the chosen of God. They are visited again, and what is the result? They are requested to meet brother Joseph, or some of the Twelve, at some insulated point, or at some particularly described place on the bank of the Mississippi, or at some room, which wears upon its front -- Positively no admittance. The harmless, inoffensive, and unsuspecting creatures, are so devoted to the Prophet, and the cause of Jesus Christ, that they do not dream of the deep-laid and fatal scheme which prostrates happiness, and renders death itself desirable, but they meet him, expecting to receive through him a blessing, and learn the will of the Lord concerning them, and what awaits the faithful follower of Joseph, the Apostle and Prophet of God, when in the stead thereof, they are told, after having been sworn in one of the most solemn manners, to never divulge what is revealed to them, with a penalty of death attached, that God Almighty has revealed it to him, that she should be his (Joseph's) spiritual wife; for it was right anciently, and God will tolerate it again -- but we must keep those pleasures and blessings from the world, for until there is a change in the government, we will endanger ourselves by practicing it -- but we can enjoy the blessings of Jacob, David, and others, as well as to be deprived of them, if we do not expose ourselves to the law of the land. She is thunder-struck, faints, recovers, and refuses. The Prophet damns her if she rejects. She thinks of the great sacrifice, and of the many thousand miles she has traveled over sea and land, that she might save her soul from pending ruin, and replies, God's will be done, and not mine. The Prophet and his devotees in this way are gratified. The next step to avoid public exposition from the common course of things, they are sent away for a time, until all is well; after which they return, as from a long visit. Those whom no power or influence could seduce, except that which is wielded by some individual feigning to be a God, must realize the remarks of an able writer, when he says, "if woman's feelings are turned to ministers of sorrow, where shall she look for consolation?" Her lot is to be wooed and won; her heart is like some fortress that has been captured, sacked abandoned, and left desolate. With her, the desire of the heart has failed -- the great charm of existence is at an end; she neglects all the cheerful exercises of life, which gladen the spirits, quicken the pulses, and send the tide of life in healthful currents through the veins. Her rest is broken. The sweet refreshment of sleep is poisoned by melancholy dreams; dry sorrow drinks her blood, until her enfeebled frame sinks under the slightest external injury. Look for her after a little while, and you find friendship weeping over her untimely grave; and wondering that one who but so recently glowed with all the radiance of health and beauty, should so speedily be brought down to darkness and despair, you will be told of some wintry chill, of some casual indisposition that laid her low! But no one knows of the mental malady that previously sapped her strength, and made her so easy a pray to the spoiler. She is like some tender tree, the pride and beauty of the grove -- graceful in its form, bright in its foliage, but with the worm praying at its heart; we find it withered when it should be most luxuriant. We see it drooping its branches to the earth, and shedding leaf by leaf until wasted and perished away, it falls in the stillness of the forest; and as we muse over the beautiful ruin, we strive in vain to recollect the blast or thunder-bolt that could have smitten it with decay. But no one knows the cause except the foul fiend who perpetrated the diabolical deed.

Our hearts have mourned and bled at the wretched and miserable condition of females in this place; many orphans have been the victims of misery and wretchedness, through the influence that has been exerted over them, under the cloak of religion and afterwards, in consequence of that jealous disposition which predominates over the minds of some, have been turned upon a wide world, fatherless and motherless, destitute of friends and fortune; and robbed of that which nothing but death can restore."

The seceders next proceed to state how they were cut off from the Church without trial, or being permitted to be heard in their defence.

On Thursday evening, the 18th of April, there was a council called, unknown to the Church, which tried, condemned, and cut off brothers Wm. Law, Wilson Law, and sister Law, (Wm's. wife,) brother R. D. Foster, and one brother Smith, with whom we are unacquainted; which we contend is contrary to the book of Doctrine and Covenants, for our law condemnest no man until he is heard. We abhor and protest against any council or tribunal in this Church, which will not suffer the accused to stand in its midst and plead their own cause. They were not notified, neither did they dream of any such thing being done."

Here follow some 15 or 20 resolutions of the seceders, among which are the following:

Joe Smith's plurality of Gods, and of wives, and other curious matters.

Resolved, 2d, Inasmuch as we have for years borne with the individual follies and iniquities of Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith, and many other official characters in the Church of Jesus Christ, (conceiving it a duty incumbent upon us so to bear,) and having labored with them repeatedly with all Christian love, meekness and humility, yet to no effect, feel as if forbearance has ceased to be a virtue, and hope of reformation vain; and inasmuch as they have introduced false and damnable doctrines into the Church, such as a plurality of Gods above the God of this universe, and his liability to fall with all his creations; the plurality of wives, for time and eternity, the doctrine of unconditional sealing up to eternal life, against all crimes except that of sheding innocent blood, by a perversion of their priestly authority, and thereby forfeiting the holy priesthood, according to the word of Jesus: "If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch and is withered, and men gather them and cast them into the fire, and they are burned," St. John, xv. 6. "Whosoever transgresseth and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God, he that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, hath both the Father and the Son; if there come any unto you and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed, for he that bideth him God speed is a partaker of his evil deeds;" we therefore are constrained to denounce them as apostates from the pure and holy doctrines of Jesus Christ.

The seceders still further tread on Jo's toes in the matter of revelling, dancing, drinking, theatres, &c.

Resolved 7th, That we discountenance and disapprobate the attendance at houses of revelling and dancing; dram-shops and theatres; verily believing they have a tendency to lead from paths of virtue and holiness, to those of vice and debauchery.

Jo's management in financial matters -- Curious and extraordinary developments.

Resolved 8th, That we look upon the pure and holy doctrines set forth in the Scriptures of Divine truth, as being the immutable doctrines of salvation; and he who abideth in them shall be saved, and he who abideth not in them can not inherit the Kingdom of Heaven.

Resolved 9th, That we consider the gathering in hasted, and by sacrifice, to be contrary to the will of God; and that it has been taught by Joseph Smith and others for the purpose of enabling them to sell property at most exhorbitant prices, not regarding the welfare of the Church, but through their covetousness reducing those who had the means to give employment to the poor, to the necessity of seeking labor for themselves; and thus the wealth which is brought into the place is swallowed up by the one great throat, from whence there is no return, which if it had been economically disbursed amongst the whole would have rendered all comfortable.

Resolved 10th, That notwithstanding our extensive acquaintance with the financial affairs of the Church, we do not know of any property which in reality belongs to the Church (except the Temple) and we therefore consider the injunction laid upon the saints compelling them to purchase property of the Trustee in trust for the Church, is a deception practiced upon them: and that we look upon the sending of special agents abroad to collect funds for the Temple and other purposes as a humbug practiced upon the saints by Joseph and others, to aggrandize themselves, as we do not believe that the monies and property so collected, have been applied as the donors expected, but have been used for speculative purposes, by Joseph, to gull the saints the better on their arrival at Nauvoo, by buying the lands in the vicinity and selling again to them at tenfold advance; and further that we verily believe the appropriations said to have been subscribed by shares for the building of the Nauvoo House to have been used by J. Smith and Lyman Wight, for other purposes, as out of the mass of stock already taken, the building is far from being finished even to the base.

Resolved 11th, That we consider all secret societies, and combinations under penal oaths and obligations, (professing to be organized for religious purposes,) to be anti-Christian, hypocritical and corrupt.

Here follow several affidavits in relation to Joe Smith's revelation authorizing certain privileged men to have more wives than one. Joe probably draws on heaven for such revelations as he desires to receive: --

AFFIDAVITS. -- I hereby certify that Hyrum Smith did, (in his office,) read to me a certain written document, which he said was a revelation from God, he said that he was with Joseph when it was received. He afterwards gave me the document to read, and I took it to my house, and read it, and showed it to my wife, and returned it next day. The revelation (so called) authorized certain men to have more wives than one at a time, in this world and in the world to come. It said this was the law, and commanded Joseph to enter into the law. And also that he should administer to others. Several other items were in the revelation, supporting the above doctrines.
                            WM. LAW.

State of Illinois, Hancock County,   I Robert D. Foster, certify that the above certificate was sworn to before me, as true in substance, this fourth day of May A.D. 1844.
                            ROBERT D. FOSTER, J.P.

I certify that I read the revelation referred to in the above affidavit of my husband, it sustained in strong terms the doctrine of more wives than one at a time, in this world, and in the next, it authorized some to have to the number of ten, and set forth that those women who would not allow their husbands to have more wives than one who should be under condemnation before God.
                            JANE LAW.

Sworn and subscribed before me this fourth day of May, A. D. 1844.
                            ROBERT D. FOSTER, J. P.

To all whom it may concern:
  Forasmuch as the public mind hath been much agitated by a course of procedure in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, by a number of persons declaring against certain doctrines and practices therein, (among whom I am one,) it is but meet that I should give my reasons, at least in part, as a cause that hath led me to declare myself. In the latter part of the summer, 1843, the Patriarch, Hyrum Smith, did in the High Council, of which I was a member, introduce what he said was a revelation given through the Prophet; that the said Hyrum Smith did essay to read the said revelation in the said Council, that according to his reading there was contained the following doctrines; 1st, the sealing up of persons to eternal life, against all sins, save that of sheding innocent blood or of consenting thereto; 2d, the doctrine of a plurality of wives, or marrying virgins; that "David and Solomon had many wives, yet in this they sinned not save in the matter of Uriah." This revelation with other evidence, that the aforesaid heresies were taught and practiced in the Church; determined me to leave the office of first counsellor to the president of the Church at Nauvoo, inasmuch as I dared not to teach or administer such laws. And further deponent saith not.   AUSTIN COWLES.

State of Illinois, Hancock County, ss. To all whom it may concern I hereby certify that the above certificate was sworn and subscribed before me, this fourth day of May, 1844.     ROBERT D. FOSTER, J.P.

The foregoing extracts, with much more off of the same cloth, were published in the first number of the Expositor, which was in fact the first and also the last number published. For the publication so exasperated the Prophet Joe, that he immediately drew on heaven for another revelation, which directed him to proclaim the "Expositor a nuisance." and "to destroy the press" and "pi the type." The revelation was obeyed to the letter, as we have already published.

We shall look with much curiousity and interest to further developments and doings at Nauvoo.

Still Later from Nauvoo and Vicinity.

(From the St. Louis Paper, June 21.)

The Die Vernon left Nauvoo on the 18th inst.; things appeared to be quiet. Her officers put us in possession of another extra from the Warsaw Signal, issued on the 18th inst., the day before the one fixed for the rendezvous of the forces that were to assist in arresting Joe Smith and others concerned in the late destruction of the printing establishment of the Expositor.

(From Warsaw Signal, Extra, June 18.)

Our town for the last week has been in a constant state of excitement. Business has been almost entirely suspended; and every able bodied man is under arms and almost constantly in drill. Never did we see exhibited a more determined spirit. An injured and insulted community suffering under their long born grievances, are determined by an appeal to arms, as a last resort, to redress wrongs that have become insupportable. On Monday last, about 150 men mustered, in this place, under the command of Gen. Knox. The attention paid by every man, and the anxiety manifested to acquire knowledge of military movements, is a full guarantee for the good conduct of our men in the coming emergency. In Carthage and Green Plains the citizens are all in arms and as far as we can hear, throughout the country, every man is ready for the conflict. We have assurances that our neighbors in Missouri and Iowa will aid us. In Clark Co., Missouri, we understand that many are holding themselves in readiness to march so soon as wanted. From Rushville we have just learned by express that 300 men have enlisted for the struggle. McDonough county is all alive and ready for the word of command. From Keosaqua, Iowa, we have just received intelligence, by a resident of that place, that the citizens are in arms in our behalf, and only wait our call. From Keokuk and the river towns we learn that all are arming. Gen. Stapp of this Brigade, is requested to call out the Militia, and hold themselves in readiness. Joe is evidently much alarmed, but he has gone too far to back out. He must toe the mark or run. Compromise is out of the question. The delegates sent to the Governor have not yet returned. If they fail to procure his interference a day will be set forthwith, for a general rally as a posse, to assist the officers of justice. As soon as this is done, we will issue a handbill giving notice of the fact. Our friends in surrounding communities who desire to aid us, will please hold themselves in readiness for this general order. When the word is given, every thing depends on promptness. Capt. Grover last week obtained from Quincy 59 muskets. Men and arms are promised from St. Louis, and every thing betokens prosperity to our enterprise. To our friends at a distance we say, come! We are too weak in this county, without aid to effect our object. Come! you will be doing your God and your country service, in aiding us to rid earth of a most Heaven daring wretch.

6 o'clock, P. M. -- B. W. Mathews, who was sent last Sunday to St. Louis, has just returned by the Die Vernon. He has succeeded in procuring cannon; and has brought up a good supply of ammunition. Mr. Simpson and Mr. Thompson, have just returned from their trip to Missouri, and report all right and ready. A gentleman who conversed with Governor Ford last week, reports that his excellency said, that he would do all he could in case Jo again defied the laws, to bring him to justice. This was before the news of our present difficulties reached them. We expect a six pounder to-morrow night from Quincy.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. X. - No. ?                       N. Y. C., Sat., July 6, 1844.                        ?

Important from Nauvoo -- Flight of Joe Smith

We have important news from the west, in a Mormon point of view. It appears that Joe Smith and his council, instead of fighting have fled.

On the 23d all was quiet at Nauvoo, and martial law suspended. On the day previous at Warsaw, the Governor had issued a requisition for Joe and the principals of those engaged in the destruction of the "Expositor" press, to appear before the civil authorities at a certain hour on the 23d, to answer to the charges. Joe promised to obey, but when the hour arrived, he did not make his appearance. Word was soon brought that his Holiness and the City Council had left for parts unknown. It was ascertained, however, that the ferry-boat had run over to Montrose several times during the night, and it was supposed that they had passed over to take up their abode in Iowa Territory. Stands of arms were found in a grocery in Montrose the following morning, which had been carried over during the night. The Governor had ordered out ten thousand men.

This flight will, probably, close the difficulties in that vicinity for the present.

Per contra to the above, it is stated in several of the western papers, that an express arrived at Warsaw on the evening of the 23d, stating that four of the leaders who destroyed the Press had yielded, and that Joe would do the same the next morning. Troops were still concentrating at Carthage. The better opinion seemed to be that the Mormon difficulties were over.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. X. - No. ?                       N. Y. C., Sun., July 7, 1844.                        ?

Latest of Nauvoo -- Actual Surrender of Joe Smith
Funny Scenes, &c. &c.

According to St. Louis papers of the 28th ult., Joe Smith has actually surrendered himself a prisoner to Gov. Ford, of Illinois. What he will do or what will be done with him, remains to be seen. The excitement against him was very great; at Carthage, it was hard work to keep the people off him. A correspondent of the St. Louis Republican speaks of a scene which occurred at Carthage on the 25th ult. thus: --

"A serious difficulty like to have occured this morning, and which has somewhat disturbed the harmony that has existed. When Joe arrived last night, a great crowd was at Hamilton's, anxious to see him. The Governor requested them to leave, and that he would gratify them with a sight of Joe this morning. Accordingly, this morning, the Governor and Gen. Deming, with Joseph and Hiram, passed in front of the McDonough line; Deming introducing Joe and H. as General Joseph and Hiram Smith, the Carthage Greys accompanying them by orders of the General. By the time they got round the Greys conceived that they had been appointed as an escort to honor Joe, which insulted them much; and as soon as Joe got to Hamilton's, they marched past the house, raising a shout of hisses and groans which made Joe faint. The word went round as soon as they reached their camp, that they were to be put under arrest, and their arms taken from them, for this insult to His Holiness. Their blood was up in a moment, their muskets charged with ball; and they declared that they would die before they would give up their arms. The excitement in the camp was intense for a few minutes, and until the Governor was sent for. He addressed them, stating that they were acting in the capacity of guards to Joe, and not as an escort; and that if an order for their arrest had been issued, it should be instantly countermanded. They applauded him, and quiet was restored; but it has created a feeling of dissatisfaction in the minds of the McDonough troops, who would have been directed to arrest them. The Governor is, I think, firm, but desposed to be prudent and, as is proper for him to do nothing contrary to law. The Warsaw forces arrived here a couple of hours ago, and are now returning, rather dissatisfied with the prospect of a fracas. It will be mostly those who volunteer of the troops, who will go to Nauvoo. It is, I think, the design to provoke, if possible, the Mormons there into some act of imprudence that might justify an attack, and the destruction of some property, as a lesson to them. This, I think, will be the result. How far it may be carried, who knows?

Smith and his Council started for Carthage on Monday 24th ult., arrived there at midnight, and were to be examined on the 25th. Joe will be set free on his giving bail; but it is said a body of 200 horse troop mean to follow him until they kill him."

In consequence of the present excitement attending the Mormon outrages, and in connection with the above news, we give the following as a piece of history for future ages.

(From Nauvoo Neighbor, June 12.)

An Ordinance Concerning Libels, and for Other Purposes. -- Whereas the saints in all ages of the world, have suffered persecution and death, by wicked and corrupt men under the garb of a more holy appearance of religion; and whereas the church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints from the moment that its first "truth sprang out of the earth" till now, has been persecuted with, death, destruction, and extermination; and whereas men, to fulfil the scriptures, that a man's enemies are they of his own household, have turned traitors in the church and combined and leagued with the most corrupt scoundrels and villains that disgrace the earth unhung, for the heaven daring and damnable purpose of revenge on account of disappointed projects of speculation, fraud and unlawful designs, to rob and plunder mankind with impunity, and whereas such wicked and corrupt men have greatly facilitated their unlawful designs; horrid intentions and murderous plans by polluting, degrading and converting the blessings and utility of the press, to the sin-smoking and blood-stained ruin of innocent communities, by publishing lies, false statements; coloring the truth, slandering men, women, children, societies, and countries, by polishing the characters of black-legs, highwaymen and murderers, as virtuous; and where as a horrid, bloody, secret plan, upheld, sanctioned, and largely patronized by men, in Nauvoo and out of it, who boast that all they want for the word "go," to exterminate or ruin the Latter day Saints, is, for them to do "one" unlawful act, and the work shall be done, is now fostered, cherished, and maturing in Nauvoo, by men too, who helped to obtain the very charter they would break; and some of them drew up and voted for the very ordinances they are striving to use as a "scare crow" to frighten the surrounding country in rebellion, mobbing and war; and whereas, while the blood of our brethren, from wells, holes, and naked prairies, and the ravishment of female virtue, from Missouri, and the smoke from the altars of infamy, prostituted by J. C. Bennett, and continued in the full tide of experiment and disgraceful damnation, by the very self-called fragment of a body of degraded men that have got up a press in Nauvoo, to destroy the charter of the city; to destroy Mormonism, men, women, and children, as Missouri did, by force of arms; by fostering laws that emanate from corruption, and betray with a kiss: wherefore to honot the State of Illinois, and those patriots, who gave the charter, and for the benefit, convenience, health, and happiness of said city:

Sec. 1. Be it ordained by the City Council of the city of Nauvoo, That if any person or persons shall write or publish, in said city, any false statement, or libel any of the citizens, for the purpose of exciting the public mind against the chartered privileges, peace, and good order of said city, or shall slander, (according to the definition of slander, or libel by Blackstone or Kent, or the act in the statute of Illinois,) any portion of the inhabitants of said city, or bribe any portion of the citizens of said city, for malicious purposes; or in any manner or form excite the prejudice of the community against any portion of the citizens of said city, for evil purposes, he, she, upon conviction before the Mayor, or Municipal Court, shall be fined in any sum not exceeding five hundred dollars, or imprisioned six months, or both, at the discretion of said Mayor or Court.

Sec. 2. Be it further ordained, That nothing in the foregoing section shall be so construed as to interfere with the right of any person to be tried by a jury of his vicinage; with the freedom of speech or the liberty of the press, according to the most liberal meaning of the constitution, the dignity of freemen, the voice of truth, and rules of virtue.

Sec. 3. And be it further ordained, That this ordinance shall be in force from and after its passage.

Passed, June 10, 1844.
                                     GEO. W. HARRIS, Pres't. pro tem.
   W. Richards, Recorder.

This curious and remarkable ordinance which caused the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor, and the subjoined extract from Governor Ford's proclamation, were the means of bringing Joe Smith to what he now is -- a prisoner in the hands of Gov. F.

(From the St. Louis Republican, June 25.)

In his address to the Mayor and City Council of Nauvoo, after reciting the facts, the Governor uses the following deprecatory, expostulating and threatening language:

I now express to you my opinion, that your conduct in destroying the press was a very gross outrage upon the laws and liberties of the people. It may have been full of libels, but this did not authorise you to destroy it. There are many newspapers in this State which have been wrongfully abusing me for more than a year; and yet such is my regard for the liberties of the press, and the rights of a free people, in a republican government, that I would shed the last drop of my blood to protect those presses from any illegal violence. You have violated the constitution in at least four particulars. You have violated that part of it which declares that the printing presses shall be free, being responsible for the abuse thereof, and thus the truth may be given in evidence. This article of the constitution contemplates that the proprietors of a libellous press may be sued for private damage, or may be indicted criminally, and that upon trial they should have a right to give the truth in evidence. In this case the proprietors have no notice of the proceeding.

*   *   *   *   *   *

You have also assumed to yourselves more power than you are entitled to in relation to writs of habeas corpus under your charter. I know that you have been told by lawyers, for the purpose of gaining your favor. that you have this power to any extent. In this they have deceived you for their own base purposes. Your charter supposes that you may pass ordinances, a breach of which will result in the imprisonment of the offender. -- For the purpose of giving more speedy relief to such persons, it was given to the Municipal Court of Nauvoo to issue writ of habeas corpus in all cases arising under the ordinances of the city. It was never supposed by the legislature, -- nor can the language of your charter be tortured to mean that a jurisdiction was intended to be conferred, which should apply to all cases of imprisonment under the general laws of the State, or of the United States, as well as the city ordinances.

It has also been reserved to you to make the discovery that a newspaper charged to be scurrillous or libellous may be legally abated or removed, as a nuisance. In no other State, county, city, town or territory in the United States, has ever such a thing been thought of before. -- Such an act, at this day, would not be tolerated even in England.

The result of my deliberations on this subject is, that I will have to require you and all persons in Nauvoo, accused or sued, to submit in all cases implicitly to the process of the Courts, and to interpose no onstacles to an arrest, either by warrant or habeas corpus or otherwise; and that all the people of the city of Nauvoo shall make and continue the most complete submission to the laws of the State, and the precepts of the Courts and Justices of the Peace.

In the particular case now under consideration, I require any and all of you who are or shall be accused, to submit yourselves to be arrested by the same constable, by virtue of the same warrant, and be tried before the same magistrate, whose authority has heretofore been resisted. Nothing short of this can vindicate the dignity of violated law, and allay the just excitement of the people.

*   *   *   *   *   *

You know the excitement of the public mind -- do not tempt it too far. A very little matter may do a very great injury, and if you are disposed to continue the causes of excitement, and render force necessary to cause submission, I would say, that your city was built, as it were, upon kegs of powder, which a very little spark may explode.

It is my intention to do all I can to preserve the peace, and even if obligated to call the militia, to prosecute the war so as not to involve the innocent, and comprehend all in the same punishment. But excitement is a matter which grows very fast upon men when assembled. [These] affairs, I much fear, may assume a revolutionary character, and the men may disregard the authority of their officers.

I tell you plainly, that if ever such submission is not made, as I have indicated, I will be obliged to call out the militia, and if a few thousands will not be sufficient, many thousands will be.

*   *   *   *   *   *

If the individuals accused cannot be found when required by the Constable, it will be considered by me as equivalent to a refusal to be arrested, and the militia will be ordered accordingly.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. X. - No. 188.                      N. Y. C., Mon., July 8, 1844.                       3788.

The Murder of Joe Smith, the Mormon Prophet.

We received by the afternoon mail yesterday, and issued immediately, in an extra, the intelligence which we give in another column, of the murder of Joe Smith and his brother. This shocking piece of news, we have every reason to believe, is authentic. It excited a great deal of interest in the city.

We certainly have been expecting for some time past the receipt of some such intelligence from the Mormon country. The irrepressible excitement amongst the people of that district, was, it was easy to foresee, soon to result in bloodshed and murder. This occurrence discovers in a very striking manner, the utter impotency of the law, in controlling the passions of an infuriated mob, and, with the recent catastrophe in Philadelphia before our eyes, we of this region cannot very consistently lecture the people of the West on their preference for Lynch law of the most sanguinary description.

The death of the modern Mahomet will seal the fate of Mormonism. They cannot get another Joe Smith. The holy city must tumble into ruins, and the "latter day saints" have indeed come to the latter day. Mormonism from the beginning was a sad delusion, and the violence and folly which had begun to characterize the movements of the Prophet leave little room for sympathy in any quarter for its fate, bloody and revolting as it has been.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. X. - No. 190.                       N. Y. C., Wed., July 10, 1844.                        3790.


FURTHER FROM THE MORMONS. -- By the western mail we have received the following additional information relative to the murder of Jo and Hiram Smith.

(From the St. Louis Era, June 29, P. M.)

By the Hannibal Journal and Warsaw Signal we learn that Joe and Hiram Smith were murdered in jail, and that great disturbances were apprehended in consequence of that act. The killing of these men is attributed to an attempt at rescue. Under the circumstances this tale is not probale. The consternation among the Mormons was so great that it is not probable that they would make such an attempt after they were disarmed, and when they knew that the jail was surrounded by a military force. It is still more improbable that Joe and Hiram drew pistols and attempted to fire on the citizens when they were still in jail, and it is even very improbable that they were permitted to retain arms after they were imprisoned. The probability is that there was such a deep and determined hostility in the minds of the surrounding inhabitants against the Mormons, that they were determined to kill Joe at all events, and that they were ready to seize on any outbreak or imprudent act on the part of the Mormons as a pretext for carrying their designs into execution. In the excitement that prevailed, it is probable that any little disturbance would be called an attempt at rescue.

(From the Quincy Whig Extra, June 28.)

On Friday morning last, just before sunrise, our citizens were aroused from their slumbers, by the ringing of the bells of the city. The cause of the commotion was the astounding news that had just come down from Hancock, viz: of the attempt on the part of the Mormons to rescue Joe Smith from jail in Carthage and of the killing of Joe Smith, Hyrum Smith, and Joe's Secretary, Wm. Richards, and of the great peril of Governor Ford, and the handful of troops now in Nauvoo! An immense crowd had collected at the Court House, with Dr. Ralston in the chair. Wm. H. Roosevelt, Esq., being present, was called upon to give a statement of recent occurrences in Hancock. The gentleman seemed to be laboring under great excitement, but gave a tolerable well connected account of the events of the last few days in Carthage and vicinity. It appears that Joe Smith, Hyrum Smith, and a number of other Mormon leaders were in Jail at Carthage, confined on certain offences against the laws of the State. The "Carthage Greys," a volunteer company, were placed as a guard around the jail.

From passengers and officers of the Dove, we learn that, on yesterday, a messenger from Governor Ford arrived at Rushville, calling on the militia to march speedily to Carthage to resist an attack apprehended from the Mormons. He stated that about 4 o'clock on the 27th, a mob of two hundred men, armed, painted, and disguised, came to Carthage, demanded the key of the jail and took out Joe Smith, Hyrum Smith, and Wm. Richards, and shot them forthwith. They were fearful that the Mormons would retaliate this murder, by burning Carthage and Warsaw. Several hundred of the militia were about to march for Schuyler county when the Dove left. The governor's message arrived at Rushville about 12 o'clock. Those who came down on the boat consider this news as authentic. If true, it is both alarming and disgraceful. It was cruel and cowardly to murder the unarmed prisoners when they had surrendered themselves, and were in the custody of the laws; the word of the Governor and the faith of the Saints were pledged to ptotect them from mobs, and to procure them a fair trial.

An extra from the Alton Telegraph contains letters from G. T. M. Davis, from which we learn that the two Smiths, Richards, and also Phelps, a Mormon, were killed by the mob at Carthage. Three citizens of Hancock county were wounded in the attack on the jail; their names were Mills, Gallagher, and Voorhees. Mr. Davis apprehended great violence, and feared an indiscriminate extermination of the Mormon population. He was endeavoring to allay it, and Gov. Ford was trying to restrain the Mormons and the populace.

LATEST ACCOUNT FROM NAUVOO. -- The Mendota left Nauvoo yesterday at 4 o'clock. The Captain says he staid at Nauvoo several hours and talked with a number of the Mormons; that while there a body of Mormons came in bearing the dead bodies of Joe Smith and Hyram Smith. Mr. Phelps was not killed, but was in Nauvoo when the Mendota left, making a speech to the Mormons, and advising them to peace. No Mormons were killed except Joe and Hyram Smith. The Mormons all expressed a determination to keep the peace, and not to resort to arms except in necessary self-defence. They state that at Carthage the Mormons were confined; that about fifty or one hundred men disguised, suddenly rushed on the jail house, that the guard fired on them and wounded three of them; that the men in disguise fired into the jail and killed Hyram Smith before the door was opened. Joe Smith had a revolving pistol, and fired it two or three times without effect, but was himself soon killed by the assailants; that Taylor, the editor of the Nauvoo Neighbor, was in jail, and was shot through the thigh, but not seriously injured. Richards was not injured. After the assault the disguised mob retreated, and it was not even known who they were. The guard consisted of fifty men, left by the Governor, of whom eight or ten were on duty when the attack was made on the jail house.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. X. - No. 192                       N. Y. C., July 12, 1844.                        whole 3790.


THE MORMON MASSACRE. -- Accounts confirmatory of the fact that Joe Smith and his brother were actually massacred -- murdered in cold blood, continue to reach us from the West. There can be no doubt that political feeling entered largely into the popular excitement in that region against the Mormons. It was feared by the Whigs that the Nauvoo people would give material aid to Polk. This affords another and most melancholy illustration of the pernicious, demoralizing, brutalizing influence of the party presses, which are daily inflaming the passions of the people by the vilest and most incendiary tirades against their respective opponents.

Besides, Nauvoo was very favorably situated, and from its natural advantages combined with those created by the Prophet, under his singular government, was very rapidly increasing in population and trade, which excited the jealousy and envy of the people of Warsaw, a business place a little below Nauvoo. The people of Carthage, also, another trading village or town in the interior, were stimulated by the same feelings to oppose the Mormons. These feelings of enmity arising from accursed envy and avarice, were constantly inflamed by a blackguard paper in Warsaw called the "Signal."

The conduct of the people of Illinois and Missouri towards the Mormons has been brutal and detestable in the extreme, and discovering the same spirit that burned the witches at Salem and the Convent at Boston.

This Weekly Herald contains an admirably executed -- faithful likeness of the Mormon chief, Joe Smith, who was recently massacred in cold blood by the mob at Carthage, Illinois. It represents the Prophet in his military uniform, as commander-in-chief of the Nauvoo Legion. This portrait will be accompanied with a full and complete account of the arrest of the Prophet, and all the circumstances connected with the murder.

This altogether will be the most splendid specimen of an illustrated paper ever published in this country.

Note: The second of the above two items was published in the Herald on either July 11 or 12, 1844. The text is taken from the July 13th issue of The Prophet.


Vol. X. - No. 193                       N. Y. C., July 13, 1844.                        whole 3791.


This morning at 9 o'clock we will issue the most magnificent illustrated weekly paper ever published in this country. It will contain the most ample details of the deplorable scenes in Philadelphia and also of the massacre of the Mormon Prophet...

THE NEW MORMON PROPHET. -- There is a great deal of speculation already about who is to assume the mantle of Joe Smith. It seems that Sidney Rigdon is likely to be the next Caliph of Nauvoo.

Note: This morning edition of the Herald did not include the Smith engraving. The Weekly Herald, which was published on the same day, did carry the print. The Weekly Herald was published mostly for the benefit of out-of-state subscribers.


Vol. ? - No. ?                       N. Y. C., Saturday, July 13, 1844.                        ?


(article and graphics under construction)

Note: The image of Smith published in the Aug. 31, 1844 issue of the Illustrated London Times, appears to be the same as that exhibited in the Weekly Herald.


Vol. X. - No. 196.                       N. Y. C., July 16, 1844.                        whole 3796.

Mormon  Account  of  the  Murder of

(From the Nauvoo Neighbor, June 30.)

On Monday the 24th inst., after Gov. Ford had sent word, that those eighteen persons demanded on a warrant, among whom were Joseph Smith and Hyrum Smith, should be protected, by the militia of the State, they in company with some ten or twelve others, started for Carthage...

see original article

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. X. - No. 197.                       N. Y. C., July 17, 1844.                        whole 3797.


Having visited Nauvoo and its vicinity in person, for the purpose of getting at the true state of affairs among the Mormons and their neighbors, we are enabled to give the latest as well as the most correct intelligence. Nauvoo reposes in a state of quietude and tranquility most remarkable. During some thirty hours that we passed in the 'Holy City,' we heard but one solitary intemperate expression, and the man who uttered it was instantly checked, and made silent by more prudent spirits around him. Elders Adams and Lyne, accompanied by others, left the city on Tuesday last, their object being to call home the absent Apostles and members of the Council of Seventy. Upon the return of these, there will take place a solemn deliberation of the Twelve Apostles, who will appoint a successor to the lost Prophet, and their appointment will then be acted upon, either to be ratified or rejected by the Council of Seventy.

The walls of the Temple are little more than half up to the designated height, and all work ceased upon them during the recent troubles; but, at the public meeting on Monday afternoon, the people were notified by Elder Phelps, now one of the most active and influential men among them, that labor should commence again the next day. He told the men not to neglect their families; to be ebergetic in seeing them provided for first, and then hasten to work upon the temple. The system upon which this temple has been building, is the exaction of labor every tenth day from every man who cannot purchase his exemption from the task with money. It will be, if ever finished, a very imposing looking edifice. It stands in a high and commanding position, a prominent object, riveting the stranger's eye at once; and, upon near inspection, the style of architecture is found to be more than commonly attractive, from its singularity. It is like nothing else; and, unless we may be allowed to designate it as the Mormonic order, it certainly has no name at all. The stone is of excellent quality, quarried in the neighborhood, and very good mechanics have been at work upon it.

The massive caps of the columns are already carved from huge blocks, showing a gigantic round human face like the broad full moon. The columns are made to rest upon crescent moons, sculptured on the face of the stone, resting with the horns down, with a profile of eyes, nose, and mouth upon the inner curve. What idea this is meant to convey we could not learn, though the impression is irresistible that the church is built up upon moonshine. The utmost harmony and peace, at least as far as was allowed to appear to the eye of a stranger, prevailed throughout Nauvoo. At Warsaw, and all about the adjoining district, a very different state of things is fully apparent. The people are boiling over with excited feeling. We arrived at Warsaw on our return. We found the inhabitants laboring under such a state of feeling as is quite evident can never be changed. In reply to the deputation from Gov. Ford, we were told that a committee had already left Warsaw to wait upon the Governor, with the deliberate expression, that either one or the other of the antagonistical parties must abandon the county. We stopped at Quincy on Thursday evening, and saw the Governor. We frankly laid before him the charges we had heard made against him, both by Mormons and Anti-Mormons, all of which he combatted with fair and intelligent statements. The Macdonough soldiers, about whose dismisal the Mormons are most indignant, were disbanded, merely from the simple fact, that there was no sustenance for them in the power of the Governor, or the people of the place. Governor Ford depended upon the ussurances of protection for the prisoners, given by the Carthage Greys, and the guard around the door of the jail. The point most interesting, may be the manner of the murder, and, without partiality, we can here give the straight-forward truth. At the request of their own counsel, the prisoners were placed in an upper apartment of the jail, instead of the cells. This is another point upon which the Mormons feel sure, they believing, or pretending to believe, that the Smiths were so placed, with design to give the assassins more facility in accomplishing their work. The first alarm in Carthage, was a cry from the vicinity of the jail, "The Mormons! the Mormons! they have come to rescue the prisoners!" It is clear from all respresentations, that such was the instantaneous impression. The Carthage Greys were under arms, and immediately commenced quick march for the jail. First was heard a solitary shot, followed by the quick and continuous reports of a revolving pistol. (these latter are known and admitted to have been fired by the Prophet,) and then came a volley of fire-arms, succeeded by Joseph Smith tumbling head foremost from a window of the jail. The whole time of action, from the first cry of "The Mormons! the Mormons!" until the Carthage Greys, on approaching the scene, discovered a band of men disappearing as fast as they could run, was scarcely ten minutes. This has been all represented fully at Quincy, though many still, whether from honest impression, or fixed design, it is difficult, and perhaps, useless to speak, assume to impugn the integrity of the Greys. There is such a whirlpool of conflicting interests involving this business, that an impartial mind is completely astonished at the manner in which first high principles may be lost sight of, in the petty differences of party. All men, from one end of the Union to the other, must condemn, most emphatically, the outbreak at Carthage. It was wrong; it was unjustified by any law; it was a demonstration, bound to be regretted deeply by all good citizens, living under this free government. Still, let us do the people of Hancock county, Illinois fair justice. -- St. Louis Reveille,July 6

We have received Quincy papers containing a long correspondence between Gov. Ford and the committee of safety of Hancock county. The committee enter into a history of the conduct of the Mormons in Missouri and Illinois, and represent them in black colors; they speak of the repeated and successful attempts to set the law at defiance by means of their Nauvoo charter, and state that in criminal and civil proceedings the other citizens have no chance in contests with the Mormons. They say that the Sheriff and Clerk of the courts are in the Mormon interest, and that having the majority of the county, after the next election they will have all the offices of the county in their hands. They state that there can be no compromise; that either the Mormons must leave the county, or they will be compelled to do so. They say that it is utterly impossible for both parties to remain in the same county, and they call on Gov. Ford to exercise his power and influence to effect the removal of the Mormons.

Gov. Ford writes a long and ill-natured letter in which he reproaches the people of Hancock county with great meanness and bad faith in the murder of Joe Smith, and wells upon the enormity of the crime, and the disgraceful circumstances under which it was perpetrated. He says that the murder of Joe Smith, after he had pledged him protection, has deprived him of all moral or persuasive influence with the Mormons, and that he has no legal or constitutional power to remove them by force. He expresses his determination to keep the peace, and act in strict conformity to the law. He exonerates a large portion of the people of Hancock county from censure, but is very severe upon another portion.

Joe Smith is said to have left in his possession a will, or revelation, appointing a successor. Thus his priestly superstition is attempted to be perpetuated. The absirdities of Mormonism ought to die with the impostor, but the ignorance and superstition of mankind is so great, that they yield blind obedience to religious leaders, and become fanatics of the worst kind. Bigotry makes fools of sensible men, and a religious demagogue acquires a despotic influence over his infatuated followers, and induces them to believe the greatest possible absurdities. -- Religious leaders induce their deluded followers to disregard the evidence of their own senses, the dictates of reason and common sense, and to act in such a manner as to bring ruin on themselves and others.

FROM WARSAW. -- All was quiet at Warsaw on the 4th; the troops had been disbanded, and there were no persons under arms. At Quincy the excitement had subsided, and no signs of war or military preparations were to be seen. Gov. Ford was still at that place. What he was doing or what he intended to do, no one, it seems, could tell. Foster, one of the publishers of the Expositor, was on a visit to his Excellency. -- He went to Nauvoo two or three days since on board the steamer Menona, for the purpose of seeing to some property which he is the owner of. -- During his stay there he was compelled to keep on board the boat, as the most bitter threats of personal violence were made by the Mormons against him. They told him in plain terms that on the boat he was safe from harm, but should he attempt to set his foot upon the soil of the Holy City, that moment would be his last. He returned on board the Menona to Quincy, for the purpose of obtaining an interview with the Governor, who, he said, had promised to assist him in settling his business in Nauvoo. His property there is said to have cost between ten and fifteen thousand dollars. -- St. Louis Era, July 6.

(Correspondence of the Herald.)

                                                              St. Louis, July 10, 1844.
The recent murder of Jo Smith, the Mormon Prophet, under such aggravated circumstances, forces the question upon the mind of every thinking individual, whether the death of the odtensible leader of the Mormons, is to be the signal of their dispersion or ruin, and whether suffering such persecution, they will increase so wonderfully in numbers and power, as they have done. This, thought, apparently but of little consequence, is still to every friend of liberty a monentous question.

Religious fanaticism and enthusiasm in every age has been a stepping stone to power, when rightly directed by a master mind. Witness the examples of Mehomet and Cromwell. These illustrations may be objected to by some, on account of the ignorance and superstition of those ages, and the comparative enlightenment of our own; but this thought, seemingly an insurmountable bar to the propigation of any new religion, is in reality the principal cause of the success of Mormonism. The greatest enemy of Mahometanism, was the superstition of those ages and to any other than a person of enthusiastic and perserving disposition, would have been impossinle to overcome it, when after the most laborious effort, he turned the current of that superstition; his work was done. Their idolatry and veneration centered on him, and a religion was founded which is destined to endure till the end of time. Smith had none of these evils to overcome; the generality of men have at the present time no superstitions to conflict with Mormonism. Their god is mammon, and if it can be shown them that their interest would be promoted by the change, they become the zealous converts of any system, however ridiculous or disasterous. Among the Mormons. however, there is but few of this class; the greater portion of them are of the middle class of people. Industrious, and really honest in their belief, they are the exact kind of people to form a religion, and they will do it.

Converts are flocking there from all parts of the world, mainly composed of farmers and manufacturers, and are fast becoming powerful and wealthy. If the advisers of Smith, the real Mormon leaders, could have restrained him in his life of violence and debauchery, he would not have provoked the anger of his adherents, nor aroused a spirit of persecution among his lawless neighbors, which finally caused his death,

We must all regret to see the majesty of the law violated as it was in the case of Smith; but still, as far as the progress of Mormonism is concerned, the death of the ostensible leader was most desirable.

Smith was a man of great obstinancy and some considerable talent, but of violent passions and extremely dissolute. It was in one of his crazy freaks that the destruction of the press was resolved upon, and all the arguments and entreaties of his advisers were repulsed; the lamentable consequences that they prophesied, ensued; a spirit of persecution was raised against the innocent Mormons, and Smith was basely murdered. It is to be hoped that assassins will now desist from any more treasonable commotions, or the consequences will be terrible.

It is absurd, after all the examples of history, to attempt to crush any religion, however ridiculous, by force; its tendency will inevitably be favorable to the interests of any system, whatever may be the object of it. We boast of our freedom and religious toleration, but in our actions we lamentably falisfy our promises. The Mormon Prophet was murdered under the safe guidance of a Governor of Illinois, the murder deeply staining his character, among those who are conversant with the facts of the case. If the murder of Smith was intended to subvert Mormonism, the assassins have deeply erred. Under the guidance of leaders, who are determined to submit to the laws, Mormonism is destined to flourish and yet become the religion of the land.   S. L. R.

MORMON CONVENTION. -- We learn that a number of Mormons assembled in Baltimore on Saturday, agreeably to appointment, and decided on account of the death of their leader, Joe Smith, to make no movement on the Presidential question.

Note: The Herald's reprint from the St. Louis Reveille was edited by Mr. Bennett, to remove about 10% of the original report.


Go to section on Solomon Spalding

Vol. X.                                  N. Y. C., Sunday, Aug. 25, 1844.                                  No. 236.

(For the New York Herald.)

(Enter Devil with a bundle of hand bills, which he is in the act of pasting.)


All the liars, swindlers, thieves, robbers, incendiaries, murderers, cheats, adulterers, harlots, blackguards, gamblers, bogus makers, idlers, busy bodies, pickpockets, vagabonds, filthy persons, hireling clergy, and their followers, and all other infidels and rebellious, disorderly persons, for a crusade against Joe Smith and the Mormons. Be quick, be quick, I say or our cause will be ruined and our kingdom overthrown by that d----d fool of an imposter and his associates, for even now all earth and hell is in a stew.

(Joe Smith happens to be passing and hails his Majesty.)

Good morning, Mr. Devil. How now, you seem to be much engaged; what news have you got there?

Devil (slipping his bills into his pocket with a low bow) -- O! good morning Mr. Smith; hope you are well sir. Why -- I -- I was just out on a little business in my line; or, finally, to be candid I was contriving a fair and honorable warfare against you and your impositions, wherein piety is outraged and religion greatly hindered in its useful course. For, to be bold, sir, (and I despise anything underhanded), I must tell you to your face that you have made more trouble than all the ministers, or people of my whole dominion, have for ages past.

Smith -- Trouble! what trouble have I caused your Majesty? I certainly have endeavored to treat you, and all other persons, in a friendly manner, even my worst enemies; and I always aim to fulfil the Mormon creed, and that is, to mind my own business exclusively. Why should this trouble you, Mr. Devil?

Devil -- Ah, your own business, indeed. I know not what you may consider your business, it is so very complicated; but I know what you have done and what you are aiming to do. You have disturbed the quiet of Christendom, overthrown churches and societies, you have dared to call into question the truth and usefulness of old and established creeds, which have stood the test of ages; and have even caused tens of thousands to come out in open rebellion, not only against wholesome creeds, established forms, and doctrines, well approved and orthodox, but against some of the most pious, learned, exemplary and honorable clergy, whom both myself and all the world love, honor and esteem, and this is not all. But you are causing many persons to think who never thought before, and you would fain put the whole world a thinking and then where will true religion and piety be? Alas! they will have no place among men, for if men keep such a terrible thinking and reasoning as they begin to do, since you commenced your business, as you call it, they never will continue to uphold the good old way in which they have jogged along in peace for so many ages; and thus, Mr. Smith, you will overthrow my kingdom, and leave me not a foot of ground on earth, and this is the very thing you aim at. But I, sir, have the boldness to oppose you by all the lawful means which I have in my power.

Smith -- Really, Mr. Devil, your Majesty has of late become very pious; I think some of your Christian brethren have greatly misrepresented you. It is generally reported by them that you are opposed to religion. But --

Devil -- It is false; there is not a more religious and pious being in the world than myself, nor a being more liberal minded. I am decidedly in favor of all creeds, systems and forms of Christianity, of whatever name and nature; so long as they leave out that abominable doctrine which caused me so much trouble in former times, and which, after slumbering for ages, you have again revived; I mean the doctrine of direct communication with God, by new revelation. This is hateful, it is impious, it is directly opposed to all the divisions and branches of the Christian church; I never could bear it. And for this very cause I helped to bring to condign punishment all the prophets and apostles of old, for while they were suffered to live with this gift of revelation, they were always exposing and slandering me, and all other good pious men in exposing our deeds and purposes, which they called wicked, but we considered as the height of zeal and piety; and when we killed them for these crimes of dreaming, prophesying, and vision-seeing they raised the cry of persecution, and so with you miserable, deluded Mormons.

Smith -- Then, your most Christian Majesty is in favor of all other religions but this one, are you?

Devil -- Certainly, I am fond of praying, singing, church building, bell ringing, going to meeting, preaching, and withal, I have quite a missionary zeal. I like, also, long faces, long prayers, long robes, and learned sermons; nothing suits me better than to see people who have been for a whole week opposing their neighbor, grinding the face of the poor, walking in pride and folly, and serving me with all their heart, I say nothing suits me better, Mr. Smith, than to see these people go to meeting on Sundays with a long religious face on, and to see them pay a portion of their ill-gotten gains for the support of a priest, while he and his hearers with doleful groans and awful faces, saying: "Lord, we have left undone the things we ought to have done, and done the things we ought not;" and then when service is ended, see them turn again to their wickedness and pursue it greedily all the week, and the next Sabbath repeat the same things. Now, be candid, Mr. Smith; do you not see that these, and all others, who have a form and deny the power, are my good Christian children, and that their religion is a help to my cause?

Smith -- Certainly, your reasoning is clear and obvious as to these hypocrites, but you would not be pleased with people getting converted either at camp meeting, or somewhere else, and then putting their trust in that conversion, and in free grace to save them -- would you not be opposed to this?

Devil -- Why should I have any objection to that kind of religion, Mr. Smith? I care not how much they get converted, nor how much they cry Lord, Lord, nor how much they trust to free grace to save them, so long as they do not do the works that their God has commanded them; I am sure of them at last, for you know all men are to be judged according to their deeds. What does their good old Bible say? Does it not say, "not every one that saith Lord, Lord, shall enter into my kingdom, but he that doeth the will of my father which is in heaven." No, no, Mr. Smith, I am not an enemy to religion, and especially to the modern forms of christianity, so long as they deny the power, they are a help to my cause; see how much discord, division, hatred, envy, strife, lying, contention, blindness, and even error and bloodshed has been produced as the effect of these very systems. By these means I gain millions to my dominion, while at the same time we enjoy the credit of being pious christians; but you, Mr. Smith, you are my enemy, my open and avowed enemy, you have even dared in a sacriligious manner to tear the veil from all these fine systems, and to commence an open attack upon my kingdom, and this even when I had almost all christendom, together with the clergy and gentlemen of the press, in my favor. How dare you venture thus to commence a revolution, without reserve, and without aid or succor, and in the midst of innumerable hosts of my subjects?

Smith -- Why sir, in the first place, I knew that I had the truth on my side, and that your systems and forms of christianity were so manifestly corrupt, that one had only to lift the veil from your fooleries on one side, and to present plain and reasonable truth on the other, and the eyes of the people could at once distinguish the difference so clearly that, except they chose darkness rather than light, they would leave your ranks and come over to truth. For instance, what is easier than to show from the history of the past, that a religion of direct revelation was the only system ever instituted by the Lord, and the only one calculated to benefit mankind? What is easier than to show that this system saved the church from flood, famine, flames, war, division, bondage, doubt and darkness, many times, and that it is the legitimate way and manner of God's government of his own peculiar people in all ages and dispensations.

Devil -- To be candid with you, Mr. Smith, I must own that what you have now said, neither myself nor my most able ministers have been able to gainsay by any argument or fact. But then you must recollect that tradition and custom, together with fashion and popular clamor, have in all ages had more effect than plain fact and sound reason. Hence, you see, we are yet safe so long as we continue to cry from press and pulpit, and in Sunday schools, that all these things are done away and no longer needed. In this way, though God may speak, they will not hear; angels may minister, and they will not believe; visions may reveal, and they will not be enlightened; prophets may lift their voice, and their warnings pass unheeded; so you see we still have them as safe as we had the people in olden time. God can communicate no message to them which will be examined or heard with any degree of credence or candor. So for all the good they get from God, all communication being cut off, they might as well be without a God. Thus you see I have full influence and control of the multitude by a means far more effectual than argument or reason, and I even teach them that it is a sin to reason, think or investigate, as it would disturb the even tenor of their pious breathings and devout groans and responses. Smith, you must be extremely ignorant of human nature, as well as of the history of the past, to presume that reason and truth would have much effect with the multitude. Why, sir, look how effectually we warded off the truth at Ephesus, when Paul attempted to address them in the theatre. Strange that with all these examples before you, you should venture to raise the hue and cry which has been so oft defeated, and this with no better weapons on your side than reason and truth. Indeed, you touch my christian spirit of forbearance that you have escaped so far without a grid-iron; but take care for the future, I may not always be so mild.

Smith -- But why is your majesty so highly excited against me and my plans of operation, seeing that you consider that you have the multitude perfectly safe; and why so enraged and so fearful of the consequences of my course, and the effect of my weapons, while at the same time you profess to despise them as weak and powerless. Alas, it is too true that you have the multitude safe to all appearance at present, and that truth can seldom reach them; why not then be content and leave me to pursue my calling in peace? I can hardly hope to win to the cause of truth any but the few who think, and these have ever been troublesome to your cause.
Devil -- True, but then you are, in spite of all my efforts, and that of my fellows, daily thinning our ranks by adding to the number of those who think, and such a thinking is kept up that we are often exposed in some of our most prominent places, and are placed in an awkward predicament, and who knows what defeat, disgrace, and dishonor may befall the pious cause if you are suffered to continue your rebellious course.

Smith -- But, Mr. Devil, why, with all these other advantages on your side, do you resort to such mean, weak, and silly fabrications as the Spaulding Story. You profess to be a gentlemen, a christian and a clergyman, and you ought, for your own sake, and for the sake of your cause, to keep up outward appearances of honor and fairness. And now, Mr. Devil, tell the truth for once; you know perfectly well that your Spaulding story, in which you represent me as an impostor, in connection with Sidney Rigdon, and that we were engaged in palming Solomon Spaulding's romance upon the world as the Book of Mormon, is a lie, a base fabrication, without a shadow of truth and you know that I found the Original Records of the Nephites, and I translated and published the Book of Mormon from them, without ever having heard of the existence of Spaulding, or his romance, or of Sidney Rigdon either. Now, Mr. Devil, this was a mean, disgraceful, and underhanded trick in you, and one of which you have reason to be ashamed.

Devil -- Well, Mr. Smith, to be candid, I acknowledge that what you say is true, and that it was not the most honorable cause in the world. But it was you who commenced the war, by publishing that terrible book which we readily recognized as a complete expose of all our false and corrupt christianity, not even keeping back that fact that we had continued during the dark ages, to rob the Scriptures of their plainness, and we feel the utmost alarm and excitement, and without much reflection, in the height of passion, we called a hasty council of the Clergy and Editors, and other rascals in Painesville, Ohio, and thinking that almost any means was lawful in war, we invented the Spaulding Story, and fathered it upon the poor printer, Howe of Painesville, although Dr. Hulbert (thanks to my aid) was its real author. But mark, Mr. Smith, mark one thing, we had not a face so hard, nor a conscience so abandoned, as to publish this Spaulding story at the first as a positive fact; we only published it as a conjecture, a mere probability, and this you know we had a right to do; without once thinking of the amount of evil it would eventually accomplish. But, sir, it was some of my unfortunate clergymen, who more reckless, hardened and unprincipled than myself, have ventured to add to each edition of this story, till at last, without my aid or consent, they have set it down for a positive fact, that Solomon Spaulding, Sidney Rigdon, and yourself, have made up the Book of Mormon out of a romance. Now, Mr. Smith, I am glad of this interview with you, as it gives me the opportunity of clearing up my character. I acknowledge with shame that I was guilty of a mean act in helping to hatch up and publish the Spaulding Story as a probability, and that I associated with rascals far beneath my dignity either as a sovereign prince or a religious minister, or even as an old honorable and experienced Devil, and for this I beg your pardon. But, really, I must deny the charge of having assisted in making the addition which has appeared in the later editions of that story, in which my power probabilities and mean conjectures are set down for positive facts. No, Mr. Smith, I had no hand in a trick so low and mean; I despise it as the work of priests and editors alone, without my aid or suggestion; and I don't believe that even the meanest young devils in our dominion would have stooped to such an act.

Smith -- Well I must give your majesty some credit for once at least, if what you say is true, but how can you justify your conduct in dishonoring yourself so far as to stoop to the level of the hireling clergy and their followers, in still making use of this humbug story (which you affect to despise), in order to still blind the eyes of the people in regard to the origin of the Book of Mormon?

Devil -- O! Mr. Smith, it does take so readily among the pious of all sects, that it seems a pity to spoil the fun, and I cannot resist the temptation of carrying out the joke, now it is so well rooted in their minds. And you can't think how we devils shake our sides with laughter when we get up in the gallery in some fine church, put on our long face, and assist in singing, and in the devout responses; this done, the Spaulding Story is gravely told from the pulpit, while the pious old clergyman wears a face as long as that of Balaam's beast. All is swallowed down for solid truth by the gaping multitude, while we hang our heads behind the screen and laugh and wink at each other in silence, as any thing overheard would disturb their worship; and as bad as I am, I never wish to disturb those popular modes of worship, which decency requires us to respect. So, you see, Mr. Smith, we have our fun to ourselves at your expense; but after all we do not mean any hurt by it, although I must acknowledge, upon the whole, it serves our purpose.

Smith -- Well, we will drop this subject, as I want to inquire about some of your other stories which have had an extensive circulation by means of your editors and priests. For instance, there is the story of my attempting to walk on the water and getting drowned; the numerous stories of my attempting to raise the dead, as a mere trick of imposition, and getting detected in it; and the stories of my attempting to appear as an angel, and getting caught and exposed in the same; and, besides this, you have me killed by some means, every little while. Now, you old hypocrite, you know that none of these things ever happened, or any circumstance out of which to make them; and that so far from this I deny the principle of man's working miracles, either real or pretended, as a proof of his mission, and contend that miracles, if wrought at all, were wrought for benevolent purposes, and without being designed to convince the unbeliever. Why, then, do you resort to such silly stories in your opposition to me, seeing that you have many other advantages? Not that I would complain of such weak opposition, as if it were calculated to hinder my progress, but rather to mention it as something well calculated to injure your own cause, by betraying your weakness, folly and meanness.

Devil (laughing) -- Hah, hah, hah, eh, eh, O! Mr. Smith; I just put out these stories for a joke, in order to have my own fun, and without the more distant idea, that any being on earth would be so silly as to give any credence to them; but judge my surprise and joy when I found priests, editors, and people so ready to catch at every thing against their common enemy, as they call you, that these jocose stories of ours, actually took in their credulous cranium for grave truths, and were passed about by them, and sought after and swallowed by the multitude as greedily as a young robin swallows a worm when it is dropped into its mouth, which is stretched at full width, while its eyes are closed. So you see Mr. Smith, that without meaning any particular harm to you, I have my fun, and am besides so unexpectedly fortunate as to reap great advantage from circumstances where I had neither expected nor calculated. So I hope you will at least bear my folly, nor set down aught in malice where no malice was intended. -- You know we devils are poor, miserable creatures at best, and were it not for our fun, and our gambling, and our religious experiences, we would have nothing to kill time.

Smith -- Well, well. I see plainly you will have to creep out some how or other, rather than bear the disgrace and stigma which your conduct would seem to deserve. But forgetting the past, let me enquire what course you intend to pursue in future, and whether this warfare between you and me will still be prosecuted? And if so, what course do you intend to pursue hereafter? You know my course. I have long since taken the field at the head of a mere handful of brave patriots, who are true as the pole stars, and firm as the rock of Gibralter. They laugh at and despise your silly stories, and with nothing but a few plain simple weapons of truth and reason, aided by revelation, we boldly make war upon your whole dominion, and will never quit the field, dead or alive, till we win the battle, and deprive you of every foot of ground you possess. This is our purpose, and although your enemy, I am bold and generous enough to declare it. So you see I am not, for taking any unwary advantage, notwithstanding all your pious tricks upon me and the public.

Devil -- Mr. Smith, I am too much of the gentleman not to admire your generous frankness and your boldness, and too much of a christian not to appreciate your honesty; but, as you commenced this war, and I only acted at first on the defensive, with the pure motive of defending my kingdom, I think this ought in some degree at least to excuse the means I have made use of. And that you may have no reason to complain in future, I will now frankly open to you the place of my future campaign. Here (pulling out his bundle of hand bills) is what I was doing this morning, when by chance we met; and by the reading of which you will see my course. Heretofore I have endeavored to throw contempt upon your course, in hopes to smother it and to keep it under, as something beneath the notice of us well-informed christians. For this cause I have generally caused it to be represented that you were a very ignorant, silly man, and that your followers were made up of the unthinking, and vulgar, and not worthy of notice. But the fact is, you have made such rapid strides, and have poured forth such a torrent of intelligence, and gathered such a host of talented and thinking men around you, that I can no longer conceal these facts under a bushel of burning lies, and therefore I now change my purpose and my manner of attack. I shall endeavor to magnify you and your success from this time forward, and to make you appear as much larger than the reality, as you have heretofore fallen short. If my former course has excited contempt, and caused you to be despised, and thus kept you out of notice, my future course will be to excite jealousy, fear and alarm, till all the world is ready to arise and crush you, as though you were a legion of Sampsons, commanded by Bonaparte. This, I think, will be more successful in putting you down, than the ignoble course I have heretofore taken -- so prepare for the worst.

Smith -- I care as little for your magnifying powers, as I have heretofore done for you contempt; in fact, I will endeavor to go ahead to that degree, that what you will say in regard to my great influence and power, though intended by you for falsehood, shall prove to be true, and by so doing I shall be prepared to receive those whom you may excite against me, and to give them so warm a reception, that they will never discover your intended falsehood, but will find all your representations of my greatness to be a reality -- so do your worst. I defy you!

Devil -- Well, time will determine whether the earth is to be governed by a profit [sic - prophet?], and under the sway of truth, or whether myself, and my christian friends will still prevail. But remember Smith, remember, I beseech you, for your own good, beware what you are doing. I have the Priests and Editors, with a few exceptions, under my control, together with wealth, popularity and honor. Count well the cost before you again plunge into this warfare. Good bye, Mr. Smith, I must be away to raise my recruits and prepare for a campaign.

Smith -- Good bye to your Majesty.

(They both touch hats and turn away.)

Devil -- (Recollecting himself and suddenly turning back) O! say, Mr. Smith, one word more, if you please, (in low and confidential tone, with his mouth to his ear) -- after all, what is the use of parting enemies; the fact is, you go in for the wheat, and I for the tares. Both must be harvested; are we not fellow laborers? I can make no use of the wheat, nor you of the tares, even if we had them; we each claim our own, I for the burning, you for the barn. Come, then, give the poor old Devil his due, and let's be friends.

Smith -- Agreed; I neither want yours, nor you mine -- a man free from prejudice will give the Devil his due. Come, here is the right hand of fellowship, you to the tares, and I to the wheat. -- (they shake hands cordially.)

Devil -- Well, Mr. Smith, we have talked a long while, and are agreed at last -- you are a noble and generous fellow; and would not bring a railing accusation against even a poor old Devil, nor cheat him one cent. Come, it is a warm day, and I feel as though it is my treat. Let us go down to Mammy Brewer's cellar and take something to drink.

Smith -- Agreed, Mr. Devil, you appear very generous now.

(They enter the cellar together.)

Devil -- Good morning, Mrs. Brewer; I make you acquainted with my good friend, Mr. Smith, the prophet. (The landlady smiling and looking a little surprised,) why, Mr. Devil, is that you; sit down, you're tired; but you don't say that this is Mr. Smith, your enemy? -- I am quite surprised. What will you have, gentlemen, for if you can drink together, I think all the world ought to be friends.

Devil -- As we are both temperance men, and ministers, I think perhaps a glass of spruce beer apiece will be all right -- what say you Mr. Smith.

Smith -- As you please, your majesty.

(They now take the beer.)

Devil -- (Holding up his glass) -- Come, Mr. Smith, your good health, I propose we each offer a toast.

Smith -- Well, proceed.

Devil -- Here's to my good friend, Joe Smith; may all sorts of illluck befall him, and may he never be suffered to enter my kingdom, either in time or eternity, for he would almost make me forget that I am a devil, and make a gentleman of me, while he gently overthrows my government, at the same time that he wins my friendship.

Smith -- Here's to his satanic majesty; may he be driven from the earth, and be forced to put to sea in a stone canoe with an iron paddle, and may the canoe sink, and a shark swallow the canoe and its royal freight, and an alligator swallow the shark, and may the alligator be bound in the northwest corner of hell, the door be locked, and the key lost, and a blind man hunting for it.

(Exit Devil, Prophet, and all.)

Note 1: The above text was taken from the original Herald publication -- see also a reprint in the Aug. 31, 1844 issue of the New York City LDS paper, The Prophet.

Note 2: In Chapter 42 of his posthumously published Autobiography, Apostle Parley P. Pratt writes: "In the spring [of 1844] I went to Boston as a missionary... Visiting North Bridge, a short distance from Boston, and having a day's leisure, I wrote a dialogue entitled 'Joe Smith and the Devil,' which was afterwards published in the New York Herald, and in various papers in America and Europe. It was finally published and republished in pamphlet form, and had a wide circulation; few persons knowing or mistrusting who was the author." Thus it appears that Pratt wrote his "Joe Smith and the Devil" satire in April or May of 1844 and saw it published in the New York Herald shortly after his hearing of Smith's death at Nauvoo.

Note 3: By having this fictional piece published, Apostle Pratt furnished the Mormon leader, Joseph Smith, with an opportunity to deny the truthfulness of the Solomon Spalding claims for Book of Mormon authorship. Although Smith reportedly denied these authorship claims in public, on one or more occasions, no published text of any such denial has survived. In fact, the topic appears to have been one that Smith avoided addressing in his public speeches and private correspondence.


Vol. X. - No. ?                       N. Y. C., September 2, 1844.                        whole. 3844.

(Correspondence of the Herald.)

                                                             Carthage. Aug 11th, 1844.

The Mormons and their Leader -- His Crimes, Character, and Massacre --
Pleas in Palliation -- Anti-Mormon Defence.

Dear Sir: -- Since I had the pleasure of seeing you, last winter, in your sanctum sanctorum, from whence editorial genius spreads its brightening rays and illumines the civilized world, I have been playing the cosmopolitan, but at last returned to the country of Joe Smith notoriety in time to witness the scenes -- the glorious and inglorious achievements of the Mormon war in Hancock county -- and as many uninformed correspondents have written for the eastern papers, whose statements are erroneous, in many particulars, in relation to the causes of the death of the Smiths's at Carthage, while also many editors are severely rebuking the old citizens of Hancock county, a portion of whom are supposed to be among the perpetrators of the offence, leaving the impression upon the public mind that they are a vindictive set of cut throats, and guilty of one of the foulest murders recorded in the annals of crime. I will relate to you a few facts, being a few of the prominent causes which induced the old citizens of the surrounding country to arise in their indignation and strike the blow which cut off the head of an evil, which to them, and to every freeman within the sphere of its baneful influence, had become intolerable.

First, sir, let me promise that I shall not attempt to justify the course of the perpetrators, but to palliate their conduct by allowing the circumstances by which they were surrounded. I know, sir, that the spirit of mobocracy which results in the infliction of summary vengeance or justice is dangerous in its tendency; that it generally rushes beyond the convictions of the community; that it disarms men of reason; that it unbridles and gives free exercise to the baser passions of our nature; but I have been unwillingly convinced of one lamentable fact -- that, on the border settlements of our free republic, beyond the influence of a high degree of virtue and refinement, such as exist in older settlements in a new country, where so many bankrupts, in honor and character, are found, who are willing to foster and cherish crime, a case has arose where the slow, uncertain and obstructed operation of the law was not adequate to redress the grievances of an injured and an oppressed community -- where the old and honored citizens of the country must either yield as slaves and bow submissive to the will of a despotic, pretended Prophet of the Lord, or grasp the sword of retributive justice, and execute the decree which emanates from the heart of every patriot.

You, doubtless, are acquainted with the past history of the Mormons -- how the impostor Joe Smith commenced his pretended divine mission in the State of New York, where he was known as a lazy, idle, thick-headed boy; that he gathered around him a few loafers there, and soon became so obnoxious to the inhabitants there, that they employed means to rid the State of his presence; that from there he went to Kirtland, Ohio, and in a few years gathered a considerable number of proselytes; that he there commenced his swindling operations on quite an extensive scale, at a time when the banking system was popular; he successfully demonstrated the proposition that paper currency was unsafe, after committing outrages there which the good citizens of Ohio were not disposed to submit to. They gave him a few stripes, which induced him to pick up and lead his motley crew to the Western borders of the State of Missouri; there he carried on such a series of aggressions which brought on a bloody war, and resulted in the total extermination of the Mormons. From there they fled to the hospitable shores of Illinois. Upon their arrival here, they sang the plaintive song of persecutions and oppression for their religious opinions, and being in a state of abject poverty, the citizens of Illinois contributed liberally for their relief, and established for them a home in their midst. The legislature granted them a charter for their city, expecting from their professions that they would be a valuable acquisition to our young population, little thinking that they were cherishing a viper that would sting them the moment he was warmed into life and power.

Let us enquire what has been the situation of the old citizens, the kind entertainment of a band of strangers; and what the conduct of Joe Smith and his followers, the recipients of not only kindness and hospitality, but even honors, from the hands of their new neighbors. They, the Mormons, instead of adopting the principles of action comporting with their professions of christianity, have outraged every principle of christian religion. Joe Smith, assuming the character of a religious reformer, was practically, a popular blasphemer, who often shocked the moral sense of the christian with his heaven-daring declarations of his intimacy with Deity. Charges were preferred against him and many of his followers, of being guilty of almost every crime known to our laws, both moral and municipal, and those charges are susceptible of the most indubitable proof. Credible witnesses can be had who lived in Nauvoo, some who were in the confidence of Smith, to whom he would make admissions and solicit their aid in the destruction of female virtue, and in swindling his deluded victims out of their property, under pretence that it was the Lord's will they should yield to the wants and desires of God's Holy Prophet, or jeopardize their eternal salvation. Other persons in the city who are unconnected with the Mormon church, have been close observers of Smith's conduct during the existence of the city of Nauvoo, who are acquainted with a chain of circumstances which fixes guilt of the deepest dye upon him as unerringly as though the knowledge had been derived through the medium of the senses. Still the apologists of the Mormons appear to think the charges against the Mormons are amply disproved by the senseless declaration of a few itinerant news-gatherers, who seem to think they are the cause of the world preserving its proper equilibrium, by their attending to the business of others and reporting upon the state of the public mind in the different quarters of the globe -- they come to Nauvoo, anxious to ascertain for themselves the facts in relation to the Mormons; they of course would go to the source of Mormon truth, Joe Smith. He immediately sees they are strangers, and shrewdly suspects their business; he treats them politely, takes them in his carriage, shows them the curiosities of the city, the exhibition of industry among the citizens; speaks of his persecutors; says the true church always was persecuted; appeals to God that he is innocent of crime and free from all unrighteousness. The stranger, if he does not go down to the water to be baptized, he goes away satisfied that the poor Mormons are an injured people, and those who are opposed to them are maddened by the demon of prejudice. Of course, those astute philosophers, to become satisfied of the truth of the charges made against Smith and his adherents, would expect them to confess their crimes to them and practise their iniquities at noon-day, in the presence of strangers. I hope some of the insinuations of the East will note those gentlemen benefactors of the age, and reward them with a leather medal a-piece.

The citizens in the immediate neighborhood of the Mormons are not destitute of intelligence. It is to them the people must look for correct information in relation to their own difficulties' either they or the Mormons must tell the tale. It is a question of veracity between them -- that question can be settled by viewing the circumstances. The old citizens of Hancock have always heretofore enjoyed an enviable reputation. How does the case stand with the Mormons? let their past history answer. Can it be possible that a large portion of the people of New York, Ohio, Missouri and Illinois, are unworthy the appellation of American citizens, and that Joe Smith was a true prophet, and a paragon of excellence? The historian of our country may answer the question.

The question will be asked, why was not the Smiths punished by law? I am obliged to answer briefly, as my sheet is nearly full. Joe Smith had the power and the will to defeat entirely the ends of justice in Hancock. He could have a Mormon jury -- he would have Mormon witnesses, who were bound by the severest penalties to deliver him from danger, if required, the commission of perjury, or murder -- he could then with impunity, as he did do, imprison men to gratify his malice -- attack and beat men in the street, for daring to do their duty -- virtually disfranchise the old citizens of the county, and abuse and vilify them if they dared to say word against him. He slandered and libeled the character of those in Nauvoo, who established a press to defend themselves, which press was destroyed by Smith's order; he refused to be brought to justice for the offence, for which reason the militia of the State had to be called out at an expense of some $20,000; the people after draining the cup of endurance to the very dregs, arose in their indignation and struck home to the traitor's heart.
                                                                         The Spirit of the Nauvoo Expositor.

The Mormons and their Adversaries.

On our first page will be found a lengthy and elaborate communication from the country of the Mormons, to which we give an insertion, not because we are at all inclined to approve or endorse the views therein set forth, but because it is evidently written by a man, who from his contiguity to the scenes of the late tragical events -- from his personal familiarity with both parties, and his possession of strong feelings on the subject, is just such a man as is well calculated to present the opinions of one party, and the one who really most wants an advocate -- under the most favorable aspect. Although sundry lame, discursive, and skulking attempts have been, from time to time made to palliate the atrocious massacre of the Mormon leaders, it is not within our recollection that another such bold attempt as that of our correspondent has yet been made to outrage common sense, and common decency, by a gratuitous justification of cold-blooded murder.

If these, however, were merely the opinion of an individual, they might be left to that obscurity which is their most legitimate sphere. Were they to be looked upon as the expression of the feelings of an injured man, we could afford to look over the one and pity the other; but since there is good reason to believe that they are those of a faction, whose mouth-piece our correspondent is -- since there is good ground for concluding that, however extravagant, fallacious, and absurd are his pleas in justification of the acts alluded to, they find an echo among the Mormon persecutors in Illinois; they are not altogether unworthy of a moment's confutation. One would think, indeed, that the public press had spoken in terms too plain in condemnation of persecution under any pretext, to permit of any attempt to give it a favorable, yet false covering; but it seems that those who are bold and reckless enough to mock at law, and condemn the properly constituted authorities, have not yet had that lucid interval in their madness, which betimes affords the diseased mind the capacity to look dispassionately on the true state of the case. It is truly a lamentable feature in society in that part of the country, that men, who, though not making the decent profession of regret for the powers that be, and the reverence due to justice, are quite ready and adroit enough to appeal to it so far as they imagine it can be made subservient to promote their designs. The twaddle of our correspondent is worthy of the famous Justice Shallow himself. Were we disposed to argue with such an expert disputant, we could well afford to grant all his premises. Whatever he may think to the contrary, the facts of Joe Smith's persecutions in New York, in Ohio, in Illinois -- of his being a deluded fanatic, and, if he please, a man of licentious conduct -- all these have little to do with the case. It would be of much more utility to his cause, to show that these precedents for persecution were sound, reasonable, and defensible. It would be a much more legitimate task, and one to which it is obvious our learned correspondent has not yet devoted his attention -- to ascertain whether an appeal to violence is excusable in any case, even in order to punish the heterodoxy of a false prophet. But judging from the length of his letter, he must be more partial to writing than to reading; for, had his information been at all better than those who act up to the spirit of saying that "history is an old almanac," he would have been able to recall not a few occurrences similar to that of the sacrifice of the Smith's -- cases in which the principal actors were no less certain, that, because they made the love of God, and the love of truth their pretext, they did his service in consigning their fellow creatures to the Moloch of persecution, to the rack, to the gibbet, to the dungeon and to the flame. "heated seven times hotter than it was to be heated;" and all that because they dared to use their inalienable right of private judgment; because that according to their consciences they departed from the path trodden by the multitude. What was the pretext fir putting Daniel in the lions' den, for consigning John Huss and Jerome of Prague to the flames? Why were piled the faggots for Servetus...

But our correspondent makes false representations. Joe Smith, he says, refused to submit to a legal decision. What a short memory he must have. Where was the victim to mobocracy when he fell covered with wounds? Who constituted his body-guard on that occasion? Why, he was a voluntary prisoner in the common jail; he was in the hands of the officers of justice. Yes, this man of violence, this advocate of carnal strife (as rumor says), at a moment when he was capable of making a desperate and perhaps not an unsuccessful resistance, dismissed his followers, disarmed his legions, and took the alternative of appealing to the law and to the testimony rather than saturate his holy city with blood. We are not -- we do not wish to be -- the defenders of the follies, the faults, or the crimes -- if such there be -- of the Mormon Prophet; but we will no more join in the hue and cry against the unfortunate dead. We know too well the truth of the saying, that "the evil men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones" -- to view with any degree of approval, or even indifference, the base attempt of a lawless band to cover their retreat from the scene of their sanguinary misdeeds, by a cloud of vilification and defamation of the dead. We might well wonder, truly, at the pertinacity in malice which prompts men to kill their victim, and follow it up by writing his epitaph in the dark characters of slander, did we not know that the assassins of the Smiths have method in their madness, and a motive for their guilty indecency. They are beginning to suspect that the law may yet assert its majesty; and a diversion in public opinion -- frequently too powerful -- might be made a very convenient ally in the season of retributive visitation. No wonder then they seek to place on trial the memory of the departed, instead of themselves. But it is a little too late in the day for that; they are already tried, weighed, and found wanting; and they may yet find that even the redoubtable County of Hancock, in the State of Illinois, is not beyond the pole of punishment, although it may be of salvation.

Note 1: Presumably Editor James Gordon Bennett wrote the above piece, and did not entrust the task to one of his copy writers. Like most newspapermen who watched the Mormon social phenomenon from a distance, the Herald editor was unable to fully understand the exasperation of the Saints' neighbors in each place members of the sect "gathered" in large numbers. While Bennett has a great deal to say about the evils of "mobocracry" and "persecution," -- and rightly so -- he shows no comprehension of what the "old settlers" of the frontier settlements experienced as the LDS hordes accumulated around them in ever increasing numbers, seemingly acting above and beyond the limits of the laws constraining the actions and recourse of the original inhabitants.

Note 2: Leaving aside Bennett's strange fascination with the Nauvoo Mormons, as well as the fact that the Smith brothers were clearly slain by deplorable means, entirely outside of the law, it is difficult to account for Bennett's seeming steadfast support for Smith and his religion. At times Bennett probably knowingly overstates his case -- as when he suggests that the Smith brothers were in Carthage jail of their own choice. The fact that Joseph Smith was temporarily a less than willing detainee of the criminal justice system, "appealing to the law" (?), when he was assassinated, in no way argues against the assertion that he had many times escaped apprehension and trial by illegal or highly questionable means. Joseph consented to make himself available, in the hearing at Carthage, upon the charge of riot; he probably did not expect to subsequently face the more serious (and explosive) indictment for treason against the State of Illinois. Had he the ready means to have escaped that legal menace, it is unlikely he would have still been in the jail when the murderous mob arrived. In fact, there is evidence to show that Smith intended to use force, or the immediate threat of force, to gain his freedom from the jail. There is much historical evidence to demonstrate that the top Mormon leaders felt themselves to be above the secular law of the land, whether in Ohio, Missouri or Illinois. Of course, the modern reader should also keep in mind that editor Bennett was a seller of newspapers first, and a champion of human rights only after he had seen to his own business. It cannot always be assumed that even he himself felt he was taking the proper moral high ground in each and every controversy Bennett exposed or promoted in the pages of his newspaper.


Vol. X. - No. 247                       N. Y. C., September 5, 1844.                        whole 3847.

Wonderful Discloures respecting Mormonism.


Before visiting Nauvoo, I had heard much of the famous city, and the character of the inhabitants. Such was the contrariness of reports afloat, that it seemed difficult to form any settled opinion concerning the Prophet or his followers. Where I had been, however, the opinion seemed to prevail, that they were a pack of abandoned scoundrels, leagued together for the basest of purposes.

(See Joseph H. Jackson's 1844 pamphlet for remainder of text)

EXTRADINORARY DISCLOSURES OF MORMONISM. -- We received yesterday, by mail from Nauvoo, Illinois, and publish a portion on the first page of this day's paper, of a very extraordinary narrative, by a person by the name of Jackson, of the state of society in the Mormon country. A number of affidavits are affixed to this remarkable document, giving it an air of credibility, but we really cannot believe the one half of the revelations, unless corroborated by additional authority. However, even admitting this to be an exaggerated narrative, there is every reason to believe that the revelations of iniquity and villainy which it contains, have to a considerable extent but too substantial foundation in truth. Still this presents not the shadow of justification of the barbarous and cold-blooded massacre of the Mormon leaders, after they had given themselves to the authorities, and awaited the action of the tribunals of the country.

The narrative will doubtless obtain full credence in Illinois, and shows the terrible state of society existing there at present, the two parties being ready to believe anything of each other, however grossly exaggerated. In such a lamentable condition of affairs, we should not be surprised to hear soon of some terrible fresh outbreak of popular violence.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. X. - No. 249                       N. Y. C., September 7, 1844.                        whole 3849.

Wonderful Discloures respecting Mormonism.



Adventures and Experience




Disclosing the Depths of Mormon Villainy.


When we got within a half mile of Montrose, Richardson who had previously, by fair promises, induced Karnes to give up the halter of his horse, which he had held in his hand during most of the journey, put spurs and ran into the town...

(See Joseph H. Jackson's 1844 pamphlet for remainder of text)

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. X. - No. 253.                       N. Y. C., September 12, 1844.                        whole 3853


We have received intelligence from Nauvoo, the capital of the Mormon country, which is rather interesting, as developing the present political and religious condition of that people -- their future prospects and the probable destination of their votes this fall.

The most important document, which we publish, we take from their journal, and is the epistle of "the Twelve," as it is called, signed by the chief of the apostles. It appears by this document that the Mormons have no further election or selection of a prophet as head of the church -- that the succession of Joe Smith is given to a band of twelve men, whom they call the apostles, who are appointed to preach to the Mormon people throughout Europe and America. These religious enthusiasts appear to go to work with a great deal of coolness and calculation, and it is interesting to observe with what pertinacity they adhere to the practice by which the original christain church was established in the Roman Empire. From the position of political parties in the Roman Empire, the christian sects were enabled in a period of two or three centuries to wield the balance of power between the contending imperial factions, and afterwards to give their religion and faith to the Empire itself. The early christians also declared themselves an exclusive sect or party, both social and political. They acted against all the Pagan sects and religions which prevailed at that time. So do the Mormons in the present day declare themselves against the christian sects. And from the singular position of political parties in this country, and the recurrence, at the end of every four years, of a general election, the Mormons may be destined to wield an influence of which few may at present dream. It will be seen that they take a very quiet but deliberate position with respect to the Presidential contest, and according to the indications we have seen, it would appear that they are going for Polk and the Democracy. In this case, they may decide the result in the State of Illinois, and most likely, if it should be close throughout the country, may be the means of determining who will be President.

In this curious position of things, the Mormons occupy precisely the same ground, and may accomplish similar results as the early Christians.

We also annex a reply to the recent singular document which we published, signed by one Jackson, developing the morals of Joe Smith and his associates. This reply is signed by one "Elder Adams," and his disclosures respecting Jackson take away all credibility from the statements of that individual. On the whole, we suppose that the Mormons are just like all other people -- they have their virtues and their vices -- and are neither so good as they themselves allege, nor so bad as their enemies and persecutors represent them.


view original source

(From the Nauvoo Neighbor.)


view original source

The Mormons.

To the Editor of the Herald: --
  Sir: --

Having observed a long communication in your valuable paper last week, signed by the notorious "Joseph H. Jackson," and believing you are ignorant of his true character, and feeling it a sacred duty that I owe my God, and the age in which I live, to unmask a cold-blooded villain, is the only apology I make for forcing myself upon your notice. First I ask who devised the plan to murder Joseph Smith? Joseph H. Jackson concocted the plan and was the ring-leader in carrying it into execution, and boasted of it publicly at Fort Madison in the presence of many witnesses, only three days after the perpetration of the horrible deed. Captain Anderson, of the steamboat Osprey, can testify to the truth of this, saying nothing about the cloak Jackson took as his own at Galena, and his numerous other villainies, let them pass; all men know that, a man who would murder another in cold blood, would tell a hundred lies to screen himself from the merited indignation of public opinion. -- As to the communication, Jackson did not write it, as he is too great a blockhead to put six lines together correctly. It may be asked why Jackson should come out against Mr. Smith? Let the world hear the reason -- Jackson came to Nauvoo, having heard that the Mormons were a bad people, and thinking they were just the people to aid him in his villainies. In this he was disappointed. He proposed his plans to Mr. Smith and others, who reproved him severely, and threatened him with exposure should he ever mention these things to them. After this rebuke, with the spirit of hell in his breast, he found some half apostates, such as the Laws, Fosters and Higbys, and a few others, who joined him in his bogus and counterfeit money-making business, and he aided them in their hellish plan to assassinate Joseph and Hyrum Smith; that is, if we believe his words, coupled with the strong combination of circumstances against him -- for the testimony against him is as "strong as proof of holy writ." As to the lies, slanders, and contradictions contained in the article, I am willing every man should judge. But, Oh! Americans -- can you put confidence in the words of an assassin or liar? If you can, then you may believe the tale of Joseph H. Jackson. As to the affidavits he has annexed to his communication, I think when two hundred men can be found to disguise themselves and murder two innocent men for a difference of opinion -- and this when their faith, in common with their fellow citizens, was pledged by the Governor for their protection -- I think, I say, it would not be a difficult matter to find men to add the crime of perjury to that of murder. I am aware I lay myself open to the law for what I have said above, but I stand ready to prove all I have here said, and more, when called upon.

      With sentiments of esteem, I am, sir,
            Your obedient servant,
                            G. J. ADAMS.

Note: Joseph H. Jackson published a second anti-Mormon pamphlet, in 1845, entitled Adventures & Experiences... Mormon Villainy Practiced at Nauvoo. Elder Adams says that Jackson did not compose the text of his narrative, but there is little reason to suspect that he was not the voice behind the prose, edited by one of the more literate Illinois anti-Mormons. Since the 1844 pamphlet came from the press of Thomas Sharp's Warsaw Signal, it is not improbable that Sharp assisted in editing the narrative. Elder Adams' charge, that the "Laws, Fosters and Higbys" conspired in a "hellish plan to assassinate Joseph and Hyrum Smith," appears to be without foundation. It is strange that the Herald editor allowed such serious criminal charges to be published in his paper, without further comment and without any apparent effort to obtain supporting evidence from Adams. Editor Bennett is quick to dismiss the many and detailed allegations set forth by Joseph H. Jackson, after reading Adams' letter, but he allows Adams to make equally unsupported allegations. Adams was subsequently excommunicated from Brigham Young's Mormon fold and, among the LDS who settled in Utah, at least, his word was not considered trustworthy.


Vol. X. - No. 257                       N. Y. C., September 15, 1844.                        whole 3857.


MORMON LECTURE. -- There is to be a grand display of Mormon talent to-day, at 3 o'clock, at the National Hall, Canal street. Elder Adams is to shine forth on the subject of "Restoration of all things," and Elder Wm. Smith, the only surviving brother of the Mormon Prophet, will assist in the services. Me. T. A. Lyne is to deliver some of his most celebrated sacred readings.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. X. - No. 258                       N. Y. C., September 16, 1844.                        whole 3858.

Mormon Lecture on the Restitution of all Things.

Yesterday there was a display of Mormom talent on this subject at the National Hall, Canal street, by elder G. J. Adams. The service was commenced by Elder W. Smith, the only surviving brother of the Mormon prophet, offering up prayer; this was succeeded by Mr. T. A. Lyne reading the 26th chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, in a somewhat novel style. Elder Adams then proceeded to address those assembled, taking for his text verses 20 and 21 of Acts III, I Cor v. 21, and the Revekation of John, c. 21, v. 4 & 5. The gentleman then proceeded to treat on the immortality of the soul, the fall of man, the curse of the earth, the plan of redemption, the reign of peace over the earth, &c. &c. &c., to which he broached some truly original ideas, and contended that the millennium was to exist on this earth, and that hell, fire and brimstone, was only to frighten old women of the present day to follow the steps of a hireling and hypocritical priesthood, who were ten times worse than the Pharisees of old, who taught doctrines they knew were repugnant to truth for their own sordid interest and aggrandizement; and that it was not until the people opened their eyes to this fact, could the reign of the Lord commence. The gentleman, in the course of his argument, proceeded to show that man only consisted of body and soul, or spirit, not, as generally thought, body, soul, and spirit; and went to show the materiality of body and the eternity of spirit, while the former minbgled with the dyst from whence it came, and the latter returned to him who gave it; and future punishment was all moonshine. and that all spirits would enjoy eternal happiness sooner or later, and that new heavens and new earth would be the final inheritance of the saints. The gentleman then proceeded to say that he had been for a long time trying to get a place to preach in this city without success, and could only get the present for that evening, and hoped that all had got the worth of their money, which was charged to cover expenses; but hoped that in a short time he would be able to get other accomodations, and give lectures on the doctrines of the Mormons, and show that they were the only true religionists.

The gentleman having concluded his address, proceeded in company with Elder Smith to confirm two females by the laying on of hands, to what they termed the true church. The parties in question appeared to be about 18 and 20 years of age, and of an interesting appearance. Afterwards, Elder Smith offered up prayer, and the assemblage was dismissed.

There were not more than from 50 to 70 persons present during the service, so that the price of admission, 12 1/2 cents, would not cover the expense of rent of room, printing, &c. There might have been a larger audience if the admission had been free. Certainly, the novelity of the subject and delivery would have commanded it.

Note: Why Apostle William Smith is here represented as playing an inferior role to Elder G. J. Adams is not explained. No doubt Adams, an experienced stage actor, was able to give a more commanding delivery of the Mormon message, but Smith may have remained in the shadows for reasons other than preaching style. He did not then return to Nauvoo to press his claim upon the office of LDS Patriarch, nor to offer personal comfort to his bereaved mother and siblings, following the assassination of his two older brothers. Had William been in Nauvoo before the time that Sidney Rigdon attempted to gain control of the LDS Church, the Smith family might well have united behind him and offered the two remaining Smith brothers, Samuel and William, as the natural new leaders of the Mormon movement. Instead, William remained in the East for months, and during that time he was not especially cooperative with the ruling hierarchy in Illinois.


Vol. X. - No. 261.                      N. Y. C., Saturday, Sept. 21, 1844.                       whole 3861.


THE SPLIT IN THE MORMON CAMP. -- The following notice appears in the Nauvoo Neighbor of the 4th inst.: -- "Notice. -- Fellowship was last evening withsrawn from Elders Rigdon, James Emmet, and Zachariah Wilson, by the Counsel of the Twelve, and on Sunday next the matter will be laid before the church for their action."

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. X. - No. 267.                      N. Y. C., Friday, Sept. 27, 1844.                       whole 3867.

(From the Nauvoo Times and Seasons of Sept. 2.)

Morman  Movements.

Great excitement prevails throughout the world to know "who shall be the successor of Joseph Smith?"

In reply, we say, be patient, a little, till the proper time comes, and we will tell you all. "Great wheels move slow." At present, we can say that a special conference of the church was held in Nauvoo on the 8th ult., and it was carried without a dissenting voice, that the "Twelve" should preside over the whole church, and when any alteration in the presidency shall be required, seasonable notice will be given; and the elders abroad, will best exhibit their wisdom to all men, by remaining silent on those things they are ignorant of. Bishops Whitney and Miller have been appointed trustees, to manage the financial concerns of the church, and will soon enter on the duties of their calling.

SPECIAL MEETING. -- On the 8th of August, at a special meeting of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, convened at the stand in the city of Nauvoo, President Brigham Young called the audience to order, and arranged the several quorums according to their standing, and the rules of the church. The meeting had been previously called, as stated, to choose a guardian, or trustee for said church....

(view original source for remainder of text)

==> The Twelve would invite the brethren abroad, in obedience to the commandments of the Lord, to gather to Nauvoo, with their means to help build up the city, and complete the Temple, which is now going forward faster than it has at any time since it commenced. Beware of the speculations about the prophet! Believe no tales on the subject: Time will tell who are the friends of Joseph Smith, who laid down his life for his brethren. We have no new commandments, but beseech the brethren to honor and obey the old ones. For wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together. More in the next.     BRIGHAM YOUNG, President of the Twelve.
    September 2, 1844


(view view original source for poem text)

MORMON NEWS. -- The last Nauvoo Neighbor says that the hand of fellowship has been withdrawn from Elders Rigdon, James Emmit, and Zachariah Wilson. The Warsaw Signal says it was rumored that on Saturday, nineteen of the leading Mormons were ejected from the church, among them John A. Forge and Emma Smith. The Temple is still going ahead, the third tier of windows being ready to receive their caps. -- Above them, is to be a belt of coarse stone, and then six feet of plain cut stone work will finish the walls.

The Signal says that twenty-five Mormon families have left Bear Creek, taking with them several horses, valued at $700, and many head of cattle, which they had stolen; they had gone to Nauvoo. The Mormons were also leaving Morley's settlement.

Serious dissensions are said to exist in the church -- Rigdon has about four hundred followers, who admit his claim to the leadership, and deny the right of the Twelve to govern -- of this number are Edward Hawley and Robert Price. -- St. Louis Republican.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. X. - No. 270.                      N. Y. C., Monday, Sept. 30, 1844.                       whole 3870.


INTERESTING FROM THE MORMONS. -- According to all accounts, there is a very serious split among the Mormons, and the church is quarrelling seriously among themselves. Sidney Rigdon has been cut off. The following is his curious trial from the Nauvoo Neighbor.

TRIAL OF ELDER RIGDON - On Sunday the 8th inst., Elder Sidney Rigdon was tried for unchristian-like conduct. Fellowship had been previously withdrawn from him by the quorum of the Twelve and he notified to attend and make his defence on the above day. The oldest bishop of the church, at the head of twelve high priests, according to the doctrine and covenants of said church, acted as the tribunal, while the other quorums in order, and between six and seven thousand members, with the Twelve presiding, patiently investigated the matter for five or six hours. Elder Rigdon and his party held a private meeting in the morning, and sent word to the stand that he should not attend the trial or pay any attention to it.

After the meeting was opened by singing and prayer, Elder Young proceeded to lay the specifications against Elder Rigdon before the church both verbally and written, which plainly exposed a secret plan to divide the church, by false prophecy and false pretences; blessing the church and people while on the stand before them. but secretly cursing the authorities, and the present course of the church, and many other matters derogatory to men of God. Elder Hyde followed as testimony and fully substantiated the charges, and made some very excellent remarks, quoting the trial of the two women for the child before King Solomon, wherein Rigdon said divide the child; but the "Twelve" like the true mother, exclaimed don't divide the child: -- let it live.

He was followed by Elder P. P. Pratt as testimony, confirmatory of the same facts, and adding some new items. He was very pointed and plain giving a detailed account of Elder Rigdon's course since he came from Pittsburg and before, having known him before he was a Mormon. Elder Amasa Lyman supported the previous witnesses, and gave some new items, and closed by saying that Sidney Rigdon has prophesied falsely in Kirtland, in 1832, lost his license, and was suspended three months.

Elder Phelps made a few remarks, and read a revelation concerning Sidney Rigdon, given in 1833, in which it seems he was "to bow down under the yoke like unto an ass that croucheth under his burthen, but would yet rejoice on account of him that putteth forth his hand and lifteth him up out of deep mire," &c.

Elder Kimball continued the testimony, setting his face against Sidney Rigdon's impunity and false revelations declaring them par with Gladden Bishop's, adding that Joseph Smith shook him off last fall, but through the mercy of brother Hyrum, the saints agreed to try him a spell longer.

Elder Young again proceeded and summed up the testimony and refered the matter to the council.

Elder Marks rose and said he felt it his duty to speak in favor of Elder Rigdon; he was patiently listened to some time, but he produced nothing to prove him clear of the charges or show his innocence.

Elder Young replied with great force and spirit.

Elder Taylor (the editor of this paper) laid the matter open in a masterly manner, and was listened to with great attention. After a few remarks from some others, Bishop Whitney, in a very candid manner gave his decision that Elder Sidney Rigdon be cut off from the church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, and the twelve high priests, sanctioned the decision by a unanimous vote. The congregation, also (excepting some few whom Sidney had ordained to be prophets, priests, and kings among the Gentiles) sanctioned these proceedings by a unanimous vote.

Fellowship was then withdrawn from his followers, especially Samuel James, Jared Carter, Samuel Bennett, Leonard Soby, George Morey, Joseph H. Newton, and John A. Forgeus, were cut off from the church.

Elder Marks was called upon for his views, &c., and he said he was willing to go by the decision of the church.

Note 1: The prominent role played by Bishop N. K. Whitney and elders Pratt and Hyde in these proceedings indicates the sentiment among the Mormon leaders that Rigdon's apostasy had begun long before his reaction to the tragic events of 1844. All three men were faithful early Rigdonites, prior to their becoming Mormons. If men such as these early associates of his could truthfully testify to Sidney Rigdon's religious perfidy, then Rigdon must have demonstrated substantial moral flaws throughout his ten year career as the second highest leader of the LDS Church. This sobering thought does little to reinforce certain LDS claims, alleging that Rigdon was fully honest and sincere in his 1830 profession of a wonderful spiritual experience, leading to conversion and baptism into the Mormon movement -- let alone to his claim that of knowing nothing of Joseph Smith, the "golden plates," or the "Mormonites," prior to that 1830 conversion.

Note 2: According to W. W. Phelps, the "revelation" of God, concerning the problematic character of Sidney Rigdon, was first written down at Kirtland on Nov. 19, 1833, at about the same time that ex-Mormon D. P. Hurlbut was accusing Rigdon, in the public press, of having revamped Solomon Spalding's writings into the text of the Book of Mormon, and immediately before Joseph received word of the Mormons being expelled from Jackson county, Missouri. The text of Joseph Smith's "revelation" was first published in the Oct. 1, 1844 issue of the Nauvoo Times and Seasons. The document was extracted from Smith's 1832-34 Journal, where it hardly has the appearance of a divine communication -- at least not that portion of it recorded in Smith's own hand. A supplement, added by Oliver Cowdery, perhaps as much as a month later, gives the journal entry its holy writ coloring. The Smith entry reads: " heart is somewhat sorrowful, but [I] feel to trust in the Lord, the God of Jacob. I have learned in my travels that man is treacherous and selfish, but few excepted. -- Brother Sidney is a man whom I love, but he is not capable of that pure and steadfast love for those who are his benefactors, as should possess the breast of a President of the Church of Christ. This, with some other little things, such as a selfish[ness] and independence of mind, which too often manifest destroys the confidence of those who would lay down their lives for him -- But notwithstanding these things, he is a very great and good man; a man of great power of words, and can gain the friendship of his hearers very quickly. He is a man whom God will uphold, if he will continue faithful to his calling. O God, grant that he may, for the Lord's sake. Amen."


Vol. X. - No. 277.                      N. Y. C., Mon., October 7, 1844.                       whole 3877.


RUMORS OF A MORMON WAR. -- By the steamer Lebanon which arrived this morning from the Illinois river, we learn that when she left Beardstown yesterday, the military ordered out by Governor Ford were still there, waiting his arrival and reinforcements under his command from the vicinity of Jacksonville. As the Lebanon passed down, a number of soldiers had assembled at Well's Landing, who were also waiting for further orders. The movements of this great Commander-in-Chief appear to be characterized by the same tardiness for which they were so peculiarly distinguished during the first Mormon Punic war. Nauvoo would be ransacked and pillaged before this renowned military chieftain could get his army together and in motion. His proclamation, we understand, called for a general rendezvous of all the forces destined for the protection of the Mormons on the 24th inst. Yesterday was the 24th, but we find his army scattered along the banks of the Illinois, not knowing whether he would come or whether they are to look for another. This grand war and protection demonstration has not been equaled since the days of the Crusades. It is indeed a campaign of surprise if not of reprisal, for it has taken the citizens of Warsaw by surprise, and we opine that the Mormons are equally as much confounded to know what all this fuss about fighting means. Our last accounts by a boat which arrived this morning, state things in the two belligerent cities, to be in a state of the utmost peace and quietude. Gov. Ford will run his State further into debt, and then retire covered with laurels gained in planning and conducting one of the smallest military campaigns, for a little political effect, which has distinguished this or any other age. -- St. Louis Era, Sept. 25.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. X. - No. 278.                      N. Y. C., Tues., October 8, 1844.                       whole 3878.


THE MORMON WAR. -- We learn that Gov. Ford and his troops have reached Carthage. The purpose of the Governor in ordering out the troops seems to be a determination to bring the murderers of Joe and Hyrum Smith to trial. The reasons assigned by the Governor's friends for ordering out the troops in the first instance was a "wolf hunt," advertised by a portion of the people of Hancock county to come off on the 26th and 27th inst. This hunt, it was believed by the Governor, was a pretext to get the people assembled, aroused, and then to make an attack on the Mormons at Nauvoo, or some other Mormon settlement. From all we can learn, we suppose that the wolf hunt was abandoned after the orders of the Governor were issued. The Governor was at Carthage. Writs were issued and placed in the hands of the sheriff, for the arrest of Thomas C. Sharp, editor of the Warsaw Signal, and for Col. Williams, of the same place, both charged with participating in the murder of the Smiths. -- The sheriff came to Warsaw and attempted to arrest Sharp, but he refused to surrender himself, and in this resolution was sustained by the people of Warsaw. The sheriff returned and reported his inability to arrest him, when three hundred of the troops were ordered to march to Warsaw. The troops had not arrived at Warsaw before the Osprey left, but Sharp and Williams had escaped to the Missouri side of the river, and, we presume, will not be taken. -- St. Louis Republican, Sept. 28.

Note: The above reprint edits out about 10% of the original text, as first printed in the St. Louis Republican.


Vol. X. - No. 281.                      N. Y. C., October 11, 1844.                       ?


MORMON WAR. -- A gentleman who came down the river informs us that the Deputy Sheriff of Hancock county came to Warsaw with a writ to arrest Mr. Sharpe and Col. Williams; the writ commanded him to take them to Nauvoo for examination. They told him that they would go before any Justice of the Peace in Carthage or Warsaw, or any Justice of Hancock county, who was not a Mormon, but that they would die before they would go in Nauvoo, or put themselves in the power of the Mormons. The Sheriff returned to Nauvoo, and came back with positive directions to seize them and take them to Nauvoo, but before he returned, Sharpe and Williams had disappeared and could not be found. He also informs us that it was reported that Gov. Ford was in Nauvoo with troops. This is probably not the case. On the same day a letter was received from Carthage informing the people that Gov. Ford had ordered three hundred troops to be at Warsaw that night for the purpose of aiding in arresting citizens of that place. It is probable that the military movement of Governor Ford will give rise to many unfounded rumors, and that it may precipitate a bloody collision between the Mormons and the citizens of Hancock county. Gov. Ford's great love for the Mormons may yet be the means of their expulsion and extermination.

The officers of the Osprey state that there was a report at Warsaw that a writ had been issued to arrest Mr. Sharpe, the editor of the Warsaw Signal, and Col. Williams; that the Sheriff had gone to Warsaw to execute the writ, but could not find Sharpe, and that it was said that he had gone over to Missouri. The Sheriff was elected by the Mormons, and was in the Mormon interest. It is said that the citizens of Warsaw and Hancock will not submit to be tried by Mormons, nor by officers and courts which are under Mormon control. More news may be expected from this quarter. -- St. Louis New Era, Sept. 27.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. X. - No. 282.                      N. Y. C., October 12, 1844.                       ?


THE MORMONS. -- A letter in the St. Louis New Era states that. at Nauvoo, on the night of the 28th ult., while the guard was being relieved, at the camp of the Governor, one of the Springfield Cadets was accidently shot in consequence of a false alarm purposely given to try the men; he died instantly. His name is Norris. Next day Gov. Ford's troops marched to Warsaw, and are now encamped there. They number 420 men. -- Report says that there are 70 writs out, and that rewards are offered for Sharpe, Williams and Jackson.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. X. - No. 283.                      N. Y. C., October 13, 1844.                       ?


MORMON AFFAIRS. -- The St. Louis Republican of October 2, brings a report that Sharp, the editor of the Warsaw Signal, and Col. Williams, were prisoners in the hands of Gov. Ford. Whether they had given themselves up or had been seized at Warsaw, was not known. One of the Springfield cadets, named Norris, was instantly killed, while the guard at the camp of the Governor was being relieved, on the night of the 28th; he was shot in consequence of a false alarm purposely given to try the men. Ford's troops were scattered about in the neighborhood of Warsaw. Many of the persons who were apprehensive of arrest, had crossed the river to Churchville. It was said that seventy writs had been issued against individuals.

The Boreas arrived yesterday afternoon from the upper Mississippi. At the time she passed Warsaw, all was quiet, and nobody seemed to know any thing about Governor Ford's movements or intentions.

Our informants were told at Quincy, that Sharp, the editor of the Signal, and Col. Williams were prisoners, in the hands of the Governor; whether they had hgiven themselves up or had been taken to Warsaw we could not with certainty learn. -- St. Louis Republican, Oct. 2.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. X. - No. 284.                      N. Y. C., Mon., October 14, 1844.                       ?


                                        Boston, Oct. __, 1844.
Dear Sir: --

Mormonism is again flourishing, and the disciples of this fanatical creed fully expected that the dissolution of the world would transpire last night. "A celebrated ruling elder" by the name of Adams, occasionally holds forth. He is a shrewd disciple of Father Miller... The Mormons are still assembled in their Hall in Howard street. Their are some hundreds of them. One of them has just announced that a messenger has just arrived from Heaven to say the Messiah will be with them...

Note: It appears that the Herald's correspondent in Boston mixed up the preaching of the Mormons and the Millerites in that place. Although the two movements shared some similarities, even the casual observer should have been able to differentiate between disciples of the two sects.


Vol. X. - No. 286.                      N. Y. C., Wed., October 16, 1844.                       ?


THE MORMON WAR. -- The following letter was received yesterday, but too late for insertion: --

                                                Steamboat Galena, Sept. 30th.
Mr. Editor: -- Well, the farce is ended, and Governor Ford's army is disbanded. As was expected, the whole affair has ended in smoke, and every man is convinced that the Governor has been humbugged, except himself. He, for appearance sake, still raves and swears that he has no doubt but that there was to have been a bloody wolf hunt in Hancock; but as this appears to be his only consolation, it would be cruel to deprive him of it.

The Quincy and Springfield companies are on board the Galena, on their way home, and Messrs. Sharp and Williams are in company, on their way to Quincy to stand their examination before Judge Thomas. The mode and manner of their surrender forms a rich chapter in the history of the Mormon War. This morning, Gen. John J. Hardin and Maj. E. D. Baker were deputed by Governor Ford to cross the river and propose terms to Messrs. Sharp, Williams and Jackson. Those terms were, that they should surrender themselves to be examined before Judge Thomas, at Quincy -- the Governor to be instruct the prosecuting attorney to admit pro confessio that the presumption was not great, and waive all objections against the prisoners being bailed in case the Judge should consider the evidence sufficient for their commitment. Also, it was further stipulated, that if the bonds were forfeited at the next term of the Court, the forfeiture should be set aside on appearance at the spring term. These terms, which were more favorable than were asked, were acceded to. Messrs. Sharp and Williams (Jackson being sick) went across the river, walked into the camp at their leisure, were arrested, and are now proceeding to Quincy; being treated with great respectably the troops and officers. Neither appears to have any fear of consequences, but are very cheerful.

By the steamer Boreas, we learn that Messrs.. Sharpe and Williams returned to Warsaw, by the Boreas, on her upward trip, last Tuesday. Judge Thomas, of Quincy, not recognizing sufficient authority to warrant his action in the case, declined having any thing to do with it, and so these gentlemen, who had conditionally surrendered to Gov. Ford, found themselves at liberty to return home unmolested. The Smith-killers intend to hold a grand barbecue at Warsaw, having secured Ford for a roast! -- St. Louis Reveille, Oct. 6.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. X. - No. 287.                      N. Y. C., Thurs, October 17, 1844.                       ?


MILLERISM AND MORMONISM. -- While Mormonism absorbs the public attention on the banks of the Mississippi -- Millerism is beginning to attract a good deal of laughable and pitiable attention the banks of the Hudson. The Millerites are mow determined to have an end to the world at once, and from a number of documents issued by these amiable fanatics, which we have received, it seems to us that the "last day" is positively set down for the twenty-second of this month, although possibly it may be on the twenty-third. In the meantime, the excitement and fanaticism are increasing to a fearful extent, and some of the strangest scenes ever recorded in the annals of superstitious enthusiasm are daily taking place. Of these we may give an account hereafter. Millerism, however, has not the elements of vitality possessed by Mormonism. Its period cannot be protracted beyond the twenty-second of the present month, when these deluded people will be brought to their senses. But Mormonism has a singular spirit of conquest and life that may yet surprise the world.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. X. - No. ?                         N. Y. C., Tuesday, November 8, 1844.                         ?

Meeting of the Mormons last evening.

Agreeable to an announcement in the papers, Elder Winchester, one of Sidney Rigdon's men, addressed a meeting of the Mormons of this city, last evening, in their hall, corner of Hudson and Canal streets. The attendance was very slim, only about thirty persons being present, two-thirds of whom were females.

After a long rambling, and rather incoherent narration, descriptive of the early part of Joe Smith's carrer at Nauvoo, the Elder went on to speak of a "vision" which Joe had ten days before his death. He and Cole [sic] went out, he said, to the prairie to call on the name of the Lord, and then Joe beheld in vision the tragical scene in which he was soon to take a part at Carthage jail. From that moment Joe was an altered man -- he lost all spirit, and as the elder said, "his countenance fell" from that moment. The Elder went on to argue that Joe's death was ordained of the Lord, on account of Joe's transgressions, that he did not apostatize, but he "wrought abominations," and was therefore deemed unfit to direct "The Kingdom," and share in its triumphs. The transgression was in introducing the "spiritual wife system." On this subject it was expected that the Elder would have gone into the details and expose it fully. But he contented himself with a general denunciation of it -- said that it was universally prevalent at Nauvoo -- and that it was to free "the Church" from that evil, that Sidney Rigdon had taken a separate stand. Elder Winchester called on the faithful to come out and separate themselves at once from their corrupt brethren at Nauvoo, which was, he said, doomed to destruction, and was fast falling into decay on account of its iniquities.

Altogether the Elder's speech was rather tame, and did not present any point of novelty or especial interest. It is quite evident that the death of Joe Smith has given a fatal blow to this delusion.

Note: The above article was apparently printed in the Herald on Nov. 8th. The text was taken from its reprint in the Nov. 16, 1844 issue of the LDS New York paper The Prophet, See the Nov. 27, 1844 issue of the Warsaw Signal for a shortened version of the text. Winchester gave his initial speech on the 7th -- Rigdon arrived a few days later, by way of Philadelphia, to head up a special "conference" of the Saints, held in New York City on Nov. 13th.


Vol. X. - No. ?                         N. Y. C., Monday, November 18, 1844.                         ?


... [Sidney Rigdon is] a tall, stout, elderly, gentleman looking man apparently about sixty years of age, hollow mouthed, having lost his front teeth. His delivery is rather indistinct and low, very rapid, at other times quite as loud, raising his voice to the highest pitch. He is evidently a person of but limited education... very disjointed in his manner, so as almost to defy knowing what particular object his subject had reference to. He used his left hand as if he was pumping violently, every now and then assisting with the right, and hitting the deck so violently with one or both as to make every thing on it spring upwards to a considerable height, and keeping those near him from napping if inclined...

Note: According to some comments published in the Nov. 16, 1844 LDS New York paper The Prophet, Rigdon and Winchester held "a conference" in the city on Wednesday the 13th. Evidently Rigdon remained in New York City, giving lectures, until about the 16th.


Vol. XI. - No. ?                           N. Y. C., May 28, 1845.                            ?


AFFAIRS OF THE MORMONS. -- We find the following in several of our Western exchange papers. -- There appears to be an increasing excitement against the Mormons in the vicinity of the city of Joseph.

Sooner or later, unless the authorities interfere, a bloody tragedy will be enacted among the Mormons. -- The people who reside in the vicinity of Nauvoo, are evidently much exasperated against the followers of Joe Smith, and thus stories are constantly circulated -- many of them, we incline to the opinion, without foundation -- of murders and other outrages committed by the Mormons. Already more than once, threats of assassination have been held out, and the following, from a recent number of the Frankfort (Ky.) Commonwealth, indicates the degree of apprehension that exists among the threatened:

His Excellency, Governor Owsley, has received a memorial from the "Quorum of Twelve" and the Trustees of the "Church of Jesus Christ, of Latter Day Saints," despatched from Nauvoo by a special messenger, in which the Mormons appeal most earnestly to his Excellency to interfere, and by his "personal influence and official rank" shield them from threatened dispersion and destruction. They implore the Governor to "convene a special session of the Legislature" and "furnish them an asylum" from oppression. They conclude their memorial by a general prayer to the Governor to "lend his immediate aid to quell the violence of mobocracy, and to exert his influence to establish them, as a people, in their civil and religious rights, where they now are, or in some part of the United States, or some place remote therefrom."

We understand the Governor to be decidedly in favor of "some place remote therefrom," and that he declines for the present issuing a proclamation for a special session of the Legislature, to provide the Mormons with an "Asylum" in Kentucky.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XI. - No. ?                           N. Y. C., June ?, 1845.                            ?

Trouble in the Holy City.

It is rumored that Bill Smith is making trouble for the Twelve, in Nauvoo, and will either compel them to quietly surrender their power, or else he will throw himself in open rebellion. In consequence of the sickness and death of his wife, Smith has been comparatively quiet since his arrival in the city; but there has been many points in which he has disagreed with the heads of the church, which has led to coldness, if not hostility. When Smith was on his way to this city, he openly declared that the Twelve should reinstate Elder Brannan, editor of the New York Prophet, who has been recently disfellowshipped, and said that if they were not willing he would compel them. By the last Neighbor we perceive that he has succeeded, for Brigham has issued a circulart announcing that Brannan is restored; but it is done with evident reluctance. -- It is gosipped about that Smith will in a decent time marry Emma, widow of his brother, the Prophet. She is known to be hostile to the Twelve, and will lend her influence for their overthrow. If this union is effected, we shall look for a complete revolution in the Holy City during the course of the summer. We do not know that such a change would at all alleviate the condition of the old settlers, but Bill Smith has some virtues which would render him less objectionable than the present rulers. He is generous, liberal and candid. -- Warsaw Signal.

Note: Brigham Young announced Elder Brannan's reinstatement in the May 28, 1845 issue of the Nauvoo Neighbor. Evidently the above article was published in the next (June 4th) issue of the Warsaw Signal. From there the "Trouble in the Holy City" piece was reprinted in a late June number of the New York Herald. The text presented above was taken from a subsequent reprint in the July 5th issue of the New York Messenger.


Vol. XI. - No. ?                           N. Y. C., Sept. ?, 1845.                            ?


... The recent outbreaks in Illinois should lead the independent press throughout the country, and all good citizens, to a united and vigorous effort against the spirit of disorganization and rebellion. Let all attempts to persecute the Mormons, or any class of people, be at once crushed with indignant rebuke...

(under construction)

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. XI. - No. 339.                           N. Y. C., Oct. ?, 1845.                            whole 1191


The recent popular outbreaks -- the awful deeds of violence and blood -- which are daily perpetrated in Illinois, are disgraceful in the extreme. When we look at this state of things in Illinois, in conjunction with anti-rentism in this State, the conduct of the anti-abolition mob in Kentucky, and various outbursts here and every where, one would suppose that our government and the state of society amongst us were going backward. But it is not so. These local diseases correct themselves, and are inevitable in a free country, under a popular form of government. There may be some slight injustice to individual rights in all these ebullitions and explosions in particular localities, but they have a general effect on the great masses of the people, which is of a salutary character, and so they work their own cure in process of time. This is seen already in the anti-rent districts. Reaction has begun. The friends of law and order have been alarmed and aroused. The absurd doctrines of Greeley and his compatriots, about the rights of property, are now scouted by many who formerly were half inclined to swallow them. Throughout all the anti-rent region, the Tribune, and all such incendiary and revolutionary prints, are execrated by the intelligent and orderly classes.

The recent outbreak in Illinois should lead the independent press throughout the country, and all good citizens, to a united and vigorous effort against the spirit of disorganization and rebellion. Let all these attempts to persecute the Mormons, or any class of people, be at once crushed, and covered with indignant rebuke.

Notes: (forthcoming)


Vol. ?                                   N. Y. C., Sunday,  July 8, 1849.                                  No. ?


Arrest of the Confidence Man. -- For the last few months a man has been traveling about the city, known as the “Confidence Man,” that is, he would go up to a perfect stranger in the street, and being a man of genteel appearance, would easily command an interview. Upon this interview he would say after some little conversation, “have you confidence in me to trust me with your watch until to-morrow;” the stranger at this novel request, supposing him to be some old acquaintance not at that moment recollected, allows him to take the watch, thus placing “confidence” in the honesty of the stranger, who walks off laughing and the other supposing it to be a joke allows him so to do. In this way many have been duped, and the last that we recollect was a Mr. Thomas McDonald, of No. 276 Madison street, who, on the 12th of May last, was met by this “Confidence Man” in William Street, who, in the manner as above described, took from him a gold lever watch valued at $110; and yesterday, singularly enough, Mr. McDonald was passing along Liberty street, when who should he meet but the “Confidence Man” who had stolen his watch. Officer Swayse, of the Third Ward, being near at hand, took the accused into custody on the charge made by Mr. McDonald. The accused at first refused to go with the officer; but after finding the officer determined to take him, he walked along for a short distance, when he showed desperate fight, and it was not until the officer had tied his hands together that he was able to convey him to the police office. On the prisoner being taken before Justice McGrath, he was recognized as an old offender by the name of Wm. Thompson, and is said to be a graduate of the college at Sing Sing. The magistrate committed him to prison for a further hearing. It will be well for all those persons who have been defrauded by the “Confidence Man” to call at the police court Tombs and take a view of him.

Note: In a follow-up article, the Herald reported, on July 9th: "The Confidence Man. -- The man arrested on Saturday... is known to the police authorities by the name of Samuel Williams, alias Thompson, alias Thomas... is evidently an old rogue..." The man's use of such multiple alias identities appears to have provided author Herman Melville with the basic plot idea for his 1857 novel, The Confidence Man: His Masquerade. See the Herald of July 14th for additional notes.


Vol. XV. No. 28.                           N. Y. C., Saturday,  July 14, 1849.                            Whole 326.

"The  Confidence  Man"  on  a  large  Scale.

During the last week or ten days, the public have been entertained by the police reports with several amusing descriptions of transactions of a certain financial genius who rejoices in the soubriquet of the "Confidence Man." It appears that the personage who has earned this euphonious and winning designation, has been in the habit of exercising his powers of moral suasion to exert almost equal to that attained by Father Matthew himself. Accosting a well-dressed gentleman in the street, the "Confidence Man," in a familiar manner, and with an easy nonchalance, worthy of Chesterfield, would playfully put the inquiry -- "Are you really disposed to put any confidence in me?" This interrogatory, thus put, generally met an affirmative answer. After all, there is a great deal of "the milk of human kindness" even in the inhabitants of great cities, and he must be a very obdurate sinner who can resist a really scientific appeal to his vanity. "Well, then," continues the "Confidence Man," just lend me your watch till to-morrow!" The victim, already in the snare of the fowler, complies, with a grin; and, jokingly receiving one of Tobias' best, the "Confidence Man" disappears around the next corner. To-morrow comes, but not with it the watch, or the charmer; and Mr. "Done Brown" finally awakes to a sense of his folly, when he tells his sad story, amid the suppressed titterings of hard-hearted policemen, in the office of Mr. Justice McGrath, at the Tombs. Fate, however, is hard. It may be true that fortune favors the brave; but sometimes, "with malicious joy," she puts the bravest in limbo. The "Confidence Man," at present occupies a very small apartment in Centre street.

But while lamenting the sudden withdrawal of this distinguished "operator" from the active business of "the street," we cannot exclaim with the Moor -- "Othello's occupation's gone!" As you saunter through some of those fashionable streets and squares which ornament the upper part of this magnificent city, you cannot fail to be struck by the splendor of some of the palazzos which meet the eye in all directions....

After all, the mystery may be readily solved. Those palazzos, with all their costly furniture, and all their luxurious means of living, and all their splendid equipages, have been the product of the same genius in their proprietors, which has made the "Confidence Man" immortal and a prisoner at "the Tombs." His genius has been employed on a small scale in Broadway. Theirs has been employed in Wall street. That's all the difference. He has obtained half a dozen watches. They have pocketed half a million dollars. He is a swindler. They are exemplars of honesty. He is a rogue. They are financiers. He is collared by the police. They are cherished by society. He eats the fare of a prison. They enjoy the luxeries of a palace. He is a mean, beggarly, timid, narrow-minded wretch, who has not a soul above a chronometer. They are respectable, princely, bold, high-soaring "operators," who are to be satisfied only with the plunder of a whole community.

How is it done? What is the secret? What is the machinery? How does it happen that the "Confidence Man," with his genius, address, tact, and skill, sleeps at "the Tombs," instead of reposing on softest down in the fashionable fabourgs of the metropolis of the Union? Listen. He struck too low! Miserable wretch! He should have gone to Albany and obtained a charter for a new railroad company. He should have issued a flaming prospectus of another grand scheme of internal improvement. He should have entered his own name as a stockholder, to the amount of one hundred thiusand dollars. He should have called to his aid a few chosen associates. He should have quietly got rid of his stock; but on the faith of it get a controlling share of the management of the concern. He should have involved the company in debt, by a corrupt and profligate expenditure of the capital subscribed in good faith by poor men and men of moderate means. He should have negotiated a loan, and taken it himself, at his own rates. He should have secured himself by the capital of the concern. He should have run the company into all sorts of difficulty. He should have depreciated the stock by every means in his power. He should have brought the stockholders to bankruptcy. He should have sold out the whole concern, and got all into his own hands, in payment of his "bonds." He should have drawn, during all the time occupied by this process of "confidence," a munificent salary; and, choosing the proper, appropriate, exact nick of time, he should have retired to a life of virtuous ease, the possessor of a clear conscious, and one million of dollars!

All of this the "Confidence Man" did not do. Afflicted with obstinate blindness, his steps would not take hold pn the paths that lead to Wall street and a palace. Let him rot, then, in "the Tombs," while the "Confidence Man on a large scale" fattens, in his palace, on the blood and sweat of the green ones of the land! Let him eat the mouldy crust and drink the turbid water of the prison; while the real "Confidence Man" lazily mumbles the choicest dainties and quaffs the regal the regal wine of Burgundy!... Long life to the real "Confidence Man!" -- the "Confidence Man" of Wall street -- the "Confidence Man" of the palace up town -- the "Confidence Man" who battens and fattens on the plunder coming from the poor man and the man of moderate means! As for the "Confidence Man" of "the Tombd." he is a cheat, a humbug, a delusion, a sham, a mockery! Let him rot!

Note 1: Contemporary news reports identify the "Confidence Man of the Tombs" as "an old convict, William Thompson" (see the Herald for July 8, 1849. An article in an 1849 issue of The Pennsylvanian stated: "The 'confidence man' had seen the people of this country listening to the proposals of a candidate for the Presidency, who obtained their votes by a system still more unblushingly fraudulent than by which he obtains watches; and he thought he would try it upon some of the verdant denizens of New York."

Note 2: For a detailed account of how the Herald's reports on William Thompson helped inspire a notable work of 19th century fiction, see Michael S. Reynolds' 1971 paper "The Prototype for Melville's Confidence-Man" in Publications of the Modern Language Association 86:5.

Note 3: For a literary linkage of the 1849 New York "Confidence Man" with Herman Melville, Joseph Smith, Jr. and early Mormonism, see: Cecilia K. Farr's 1989 paper "The Philosopher and the Brass Plate: Melville's Quarrel with Mormonism in The Confidence Man," in American Transcendental Quarterly 3:4, as well as Richard D. Rust's 2008 paper "'I Love All Men Who Dive': Herman Melville and Joseph Smith" in Reid L. Neilson and Terryl L. Givens (eds.) Joseph Smith, Jr.: Reappraisals After Two Centuries.

Note 4: A web-paper entitled "Joseph Smith, 19th Century Con Man?" is available on-line at

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