Important Conference of the Church in England—Kidnapping of Brown and Boyce by Missourians—Action of the Citizens of Nauvoo.
Monday, July 6, 1840.
Conference of the Church in England.
A General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was held in the Carpenter’s Hall, Manchester, on the 6th day of July, 1840, it being the 1st day of the 4th month of the eleventh year of the Church, when the following officers of the traveling High Council were present, viz.: Elders Brigham Young, Parley P. Pratt, Wilford Woodruff, John Taylor, Willard Richards, Heber C. Kimball, and George A. Smith; other officers, viz.: High Priests 5, Elders 19, Priests 15, Teachers 11, and Deacons 3.
The meeting being called to order, a little after ten o’clock, by Elder William Clayton, it was moved by Elder Brigham Young, seconded by Elder Wilford Woodruff, that Elder Parley P. Pratt be chosen President of the conference, 1 which was carried unanimously. Elder William Clayton was chosen clerk. The meeting was opened by singing, and prayer by the President.
Elder Brigham Young then proceeded to prefer charges against Elder T. Green, viz., first, for giving way to a false spirit; second, for abusing a young female, by accusing her, in a public meeting, of things which he could not prove; and third, for abuse to the house and congregation at Duckinfield, June 28th, 1840. The president then proceeded to ask Elder Green whether he was guilty of these charges, or not. He immediately pleaded guilty. After Elder Young had made extended remarks to the meeting, touching the conduct of Elder Green, he proposed that Elder Green go to those characters where he had abused and insulted, and make confession to them as far as the offense extended, and then to be suspended from office for a season. The President then made remarks to the same effect, and put it to the vote of the meeting, viz., that Elder Green shall make confession, as stated above, and be suspended from office for a season. Carried.
The President then asked Elder Green if he was willing to make confession, he immediately agreed to do it the first opportunity. The meeting adjourned a little after twelve o’clock.
At two o’clock business commenced by singing and prayer, when the President called upon the officers to represent the different branches of the Church, which was done in the following order, viz.—
History of the Church Volume 4
After the officers had got through the representations, the President introduced the new hymn-book; and after suitable remarks had been made by him and Elders Young and Thomas Kington, the President asked the conference if they were satisfied with the labors of those who had made the selection, and if they received the book. The unanimous approbation of the meeting was immediately manifested.
By unanimous vote, Thomas Kington, Alfred Cordon, and Thomas Smith were ordained High Priests; John Albison, John Blezzard, William Berry, John Sanders, John Parkinson, James Worsley, and John Allen were ordained Elders; and Joseph Slinger, George Walker, John Smith, Robert Williams, William Black, John Melling, and John Swindlehurst were ordained Priests.
Elder Brigham Young then called upon those officers, whose circumstances would permit them to devote themselves entirely to the work of the ministry, and would volunteer so to do, to stand up—when the following names were taken, viz., of the traveling High Council, Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, Willard Richards, and George A. Smith; other officers, namely, William Clayton, Reuben Hedlock, Hiram Clark, Theodore Turley, Joseph Fielding, Thomas Richardson, Amos Fielding, John Parkinson, John Wych, John Needham, Henry Royle, John Blezzard, D. Wilding, Charles Price, Joseph Knowles, Wm. Kay, Samuel Heath, Wm. Parr, R. McBride, and James Morgan.
Moved by Elder Richards, seconded by Elder Kimball, that Elder Peter Melling be appointed to preside over the following branches of the Church, namely—Preston, Longton, Penwortham, North Meols, and Southport; carried.
Moved by Elder Kimball, seconded by Elder Young, that Elder Richard Withnall be appointed to preside over the branches of the Church at Whittle, Daubers Lane, Chorley, Hunter’s Hill, and Euxtonburgh; carried.
Moved by Elder Kimball, seconded by Elder Young, that Elder Thomas Smith be appointed to preside over the branches of the Church at Clitheroe, Chatburn, Downham, Chaighley, Grindleton, Whitmore, Burnley, Blackburn, Ribchester, and Thornley: carried.
Moved and seconded, that President Fielding and his counselors be set at liberty from the charge which they have sustained as a presidency, that they may have the privilege of more fully entering into the field of labor; and that their labors be accepted; carried.
Elders Young and Richards then proceeded to ordain those who had been nominated to their respective offices, after which the minutes were read and accepted.
The conference adjourned to the sixth of October next, to be held in the Carpenter’s Hall, Manchester, at 10 o’clock, a.m.
A council of Church Officers, held at Manchester, England.
Pursuant to previous notice, a general council of the Church officers was held in the council room at the Star office, Manchester, on the 7th day of July, 1840. The meeting being opened by prayer by Elder Kimball, Elder Young began to speak concerning those officers who had volunteered to devote themselves wholly to the ministry; when it was moved and seconded that Brothers William Kay and Thomas Richardson go to Herefordshire, to labor in that region with Elder Kington; carried.
Moved by Elder Kimball, seconded by Elder Young, that Brothers Hiram Clark and Joseph Knowles go with Elder Hedlock to Scotland: carried.
Moved by Elder Kimball, seconded by Elder Young, that Brother Joseph Fielding go to Bedford: carried.
Moved by Elder Richards, seconded by Elder Kimball, that Brothers Amos Fielding and John Wych go to Newcastle-upon-Tyne: carried.
Moved by Elder Kimball, seconded by Elder Woodruff, that Brother David Wilding go to Garway, Herefordshire: carried.
Moved by Elder Young, seconded by Elder Woodruff, that Brothers William Clayton and John Needham go to Birmingham: carried.
Moved by Elder Richards, seconded by Elder Young, that Brother Henry Royle go to Sheffield: carried.
Moved by Elder Clayton, seconded by Elder Young, that Brother John Albiston take charge of the following Branches of the Church, namely—Duckinfield, Hyde, Woolley Hill, Ashton, and Staley Bridge: carried.
Moved by Elder Pratt, seconded by Elder Woodruff, that Brother William Parr go to Sandbach and Congleton: carried.
Moved by Elder Richards, seconded by Elder Pratt, that Brother Heath continue his labors in Macclesfield: carried.
Moved by Elder Richards, seconded by Elder Woodruff, that Brother John Blezzard go to Cornshaw: carried.
Moved by Elder Kimball, seconded by Elder Richards, that Brother Robert McBride go to Lancaster: carried.
Moved by Elder Richards, seconded by Elder Woodruff, that Brother James Morgan abide in his own neighborhood to labor with Elder David Wilding: carried.
Moved by Elder Pratt, seconded by Elder Woodruff, that Brother Price give up his business, and labor under the advice of Elder Kington as the way opens: carried.
Moved by Elder Richards, seconded by Elder Kimball, that Brother William Black go to Lisburn, Ireland, as the way opens: carried.
Moved by Elder Richards, seconded by Elder Smith, that Brother John Parkinson have a roving commission, so long as he keeps busy, and doing good: carried.
After Elder Young had addressed the meeting upon several important items, the meeting dismissed by blessing from Elder Young.
Parley P. Pratt, President.
William Clayton, Clerk.
At this time Elders Orson Hyde and John E. Page were laboring in Ohio.
Extract from Elder Woodruff’s Letter to the Editor of the Millennial Star—Detailing Incidents of his Ministry.
I arrived at Froome’s Hill, Castle Froome, Herefordshire, on the 4th of March, and was kindly entertained for the night by Mr. John Benbow, who received my testimony, and opened his door for meeting; and on the evening following, the 5th of March, for the first time I preached the fullness of the Gospel in that place to a small congregation, who manifested much interest in what they heard, and desired to inquire further into those things; and on the evening following I met a large number at Mr. Benbow’s, and preached unto them the principles of the Gospel, namely, faith in Christ, repentance, and baptism for the remission of sins and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands; after which I administered the ordinance of baptism unto six persons, Mr. and Mrs. Benbow among the number. I also preached on Sunday the 8th and baptized seven, confirmed thirteen, and broke bread unto them. Several of those who were baptized were preachers of the order called the United Brethren.
The United Brethren formerly belonged to the Primitive Methodists, but had separated themselves from the body, and chose the name of the United Brethren. They had from forty to fifty preachers and about the same number of established places of meeting, including two chapels.
Mr. Thomas Kington was the superintendent of the church of the United Brethren, whose members numbered about four hundred in all, divided into small branches and scattered over an extent of country from fifteen to twenty miles. This people almost universally appeared willing to give heed to the exhortation of Solomon, to hear a matter before they judged or condemned. They opened their doors for me to preach, and searched the Scriptures daily to see if the things which I taught were true; and on finding that the word and spirit agreed and bore record of the truth of the fullness of the Everlasting Gospel, they embraced it with all their hearts, which has brought great joy and satisfaction to many souls in that region.
I continued preaching and baptizing daily; the congregations were large and generally attentive. I was soon privileged with an interview with Mr. Thomas Kington, the superintendent of the United Brethren, before whom I gave an account of the rise and progress of the Church of the Latter-day Saints, and bore testimony of the truth of the great work which God had set His hand to accomplish in these last days.
Mr. Kington received my testimony and sayings with candor; and carried the case before the Lord, made it a subject of prayer, and asked the Father in the name of Jesus Christ, if these things were true; and the Lord manifested the truth of it unto him, and he went forth and was baptized, he and all his household. I ordained him an Elder, and he went forth and began to preach the fullness of the Gospel.
I also baptized about forty preachers of the same order, and several others belonging unto other churches, and about one hundred and twenty members of the United Brethren, which opened about forty doors or preaching places, where the fullness of the Gospel would meet a welcome reception, and all this during the term of one month and five days.
On the 10th of April I took my departure from the Saints in Herefordshire and adjoining country, numbering about one hundred and sixty; whom I left rejoicing in the fullness of the Gospel, and hundreds of others who were ready to be baptized as soon as a proper time and opportunity arrived. I arrived in Preston on the 13th, by way of Worcester, Wolverhampton, Burslem, and Manchester, a distance of about one hundred and seventy miles, visiting the churches by the way.
On my arrival in Preston, I was blessed with the happy privilege of once more greeting my brethren of the Traveling High Council and other Elders, and of sitting with them on the 14th, 15th, and 16th of April in the first council and general conference which they had ever held, as a quorum, in a foreign nation. After spending several days together, (during which time much business of importance was transacted for the Church,) it became necessary for us again to separate in order to labor in different parts of the vineyard which were now open before us. I left Preston on the 17th, accompanied by Elder Brigham Young, and visited the churches by the way, until we arrived among the Saints in Herefordshire, who were anxiously looking for my return. In a few days we were joined in our labors by Elder Willard Richards. We took locations in different parts of this new field of labor, which extended through various places in Herefordshire, Worcestershire, and Gloucestershire.
We continued preaching, and baptizing, and administering in the ordinances of the Gospel daily, unto such as would receive our testimony, and obey the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Truth was mighty and prevailed; the work prospered, and multiplied on every hand, until several hundreds, including more than fifty preachers of various sects, were rejoicing in the fullness of the everlasting Gospel, and felt to praise God that they had lived to behold the day when the Lord had set His hand to prune His vineyard once more with a mighty pruning, and to establish the Gospel in its ancient purity again upon the face of the earth; and in many instances signs followed the believer, according to the promise of the Savior. The Spirit of God accompanied the preaching of the word to the hearts of men. Whole households, on hearing the word, have received it into good and honest hearts, and gone forth and received the ordinances of the Gospel; and frequently we have baptized from eight to twelve the first time of meeting with the people in new places, and preaching the word of God to them.
Elder Young labored with us about one month, during which time many were baptized, confirmed, and numbers ordained to preach the Gospel—and while the Saints were much edified, and their hearts made glad with the teaching and instruction by Elder Young, I also obtained much benefit myself by enjoying his society, sitting under his instruction, and sharing in his counsel.
As it became necessary for Elder Young to return to Manchester, to assist in preparing a collection of hymns, and other matters, he took the parting hand with us on the 20th of May; and Elders Richards and myself continued our labors in the vineyard, in connection with Elder Kington, who had given himself wholly to the work of the ministry.
The Lord still continued to bless our labors, and added daily unto the Church. New doors were opening on every hand; and multiplicity of calls constantly reached our ears, many of which we could not answer for the want of laborers. Notwithstanding there were about fifty ordained Elders and Priests in this part of the vineyard, yet there were equally as many places for preaching to be attended to upon the Sabbath day. Thus we continued our labors in this region until the time drew near for the general conference in Manchester on the 6th of July.
But before leaving the Saints, we considered it wisdom to set in order the church, and organize them into branches and conferences, that they might be properly represented before the general conference. Therefore we held two conferences with the Saints before we took our departure from them. The first was held at the Gadfield Elm Chapel, Worcestershire, on the 14th of June, at which time we organized twelve branches, and transacted such business as the occasion required. The Second conference was held at Stanley Hill, Herefordshire, on the 21st of June, twenty branches of the Church were organized. The minutes of the above-named conferences I present you for publication, if you think proper.
On the day following, Elder Richards and myself took our leave of the Saints at Froome’s Hill, Herefordshire; but before leaving we repaired to a pool three times to baptize and confirm numbers that came to us and requested these ordinances at our hands.
Elder Richards labored in this part of the vineyard about two months, during which time he traveled extensively, preached night and day, gave much instruction to the Saints generally, and had many souls as seals to his ministry. I received much benefit from the counsel which he gave in the organization of the churches, and it was manifest that he had passed through a profitable school of experience during the three years of his travels in England; and the interesting seasons we have enjoyed together during these two months, will not be easily erased from my memory.
It was with no ordinary fellings that we took our departure from the Saints in Herefordshire on this occasion; for, less than four months since, I proclaimed the fullness of the Gospel in this region for the first time; but now, we were leaving between five and six hundred Saints, who were rejoicing in the new and everlasting covenant, and hundreds of others who were wishing to hear and obey. I parted from Elder Richards at Birmingham, who went direct to Manchester, while I visited West Bromwich, and preached several times to a small branch of the Church which had been raised up in that place by Elder Turley, who baptized several while I was there. I also attended a conference on the 29th June, at Hanley, in the Staffordshire Potteries, in company with Elder George A. Smith and others, after which I arrived in Manchester.
Manchester, July 9, 1840.
Special Instructions for the High Councils.
Saturday, 11.—The High Council met at my office, when I taught them principles relating to their duty as a Council, and that they might be guided by the same in future, I ordered it to be recorded as follows: “That the Council should try no case without both parties being present, or having had an opportunity to be present; neither should they hear one person’s complaint before his case is brought up for trial; neither should they suffer the character of any one to be exposed before the High Council without the person being present and ready to defend him or herself; that the minds of the councilors be not prejudiced for or against any one whose case they may possibly have to act upon.”
The First Missionary for Australia.
William Barrett, aged 17, was ordained an Elder in Hanley, Staffordshire, England, by Elders George A. Smith and Alfred Cordon, and took leave for South Australia, being the first Elder who went on a mission to that country.
Sunday, 12—Elias Smith was appointed Bishop by the High Council of Iowa, in place of Alanson Ripley, removed to Nauvoo.
Kidnapping of Alanson Brown and Benjamin Boyce—Affidavit of Daniel H. Wells. 2
State Of Illinois, Hancock County.
This day personally appeared before the undersigned, an acting justice of the peace, in the aforesaid county, Alanson Brown, who, first being duly sworn according to law, deposes and says, that on the 7th day of July, A. D. 1840, and in the county of Hancock, in said state, William Allensworth, H. M. Woodyard, William Martin, John H. Owsley, John Bain, Light T. Tait, and Halsay White, in company with several other persons, to this affiant unknown, forcibly arrested this affiant, and one Benjamin Boyce, whilst affiant and said Boyce, were quietly pursuing their own lawful business; and that immediately after said arrest, the said Allensworth, Woodyard, Martin, Owsley, Bain, Tait, and White, did illegally and forcibly take, kidnap, and carry this affiant and said Boyce, bound with cords, from the said county of Hancock, in said state, on the day and year above set forth, in the county of Lewis, in the state of Missouri, without having established a claim for such a procedure, according to the laws of the United States.
Affiant states that in a short time after he was taken into the state of Missouri, he was put into a room with said Boyce, and there kept until about eleven o’clock the following night; when they were taken out of the room where they had been confined, into the woods, near at hand, by said Tait, a man by the name of Huner, and another by the name of Monday, and some others, whose name affiant did not learn; they previously placed a rope about the neck of the affiant; Huner and Monday then proceeded to hang the affiant, and did hang him for some time upon a tree, until affiant was nearly strangled, after which they let him down and loosened the rope. Shortly after this, affiant heard repeated blows, which others—belonging to the same gang of Huner—were inflicting upon Boyce, and he could hear also the cries of Boyce, under the pain arising from the blows; after which affiant and Boyce were taken back to the room where they had been confined, in which they found a man by the name of Rogers, and another by the name of Allred.
Affiant further states that he was kept in imprisonment by the persons heretofore named, and others to him unknown, until Friday evening next ensuing the Tuesday on which Boyce and himself were kidnapped, when he escaped out of their hands and returned into the state of Illinois. Affiant had learned that the name of the place in said county of Lewis, state of Missouri, to which he was taken from the state of Illinois, is called Tully, to which the said Allensworth, Woodyard, Martin, Owsley, Bain, Tait and White, have fled as fugitives from justice, and at which they are now to be found.
I hereby certify that the foregoing affidavit was this day subscribed and duly sworn to before me, by said Alanson Brown.
Daniel H. Wells.
Justice of the Peace, July 13, 1840.
Statement of James Allred.
State Of Illinois, Hancock County.
This day personally appeared before the undersigned, an acting Justice of the Peace, in and for said county, James Allred, a credible witness, who first being duly sworn according to law, deposes and says that William Allensworth, John H. Owsley, and William Martin, on the 7th day of July, 1840, within the limits of said county of Hancock, aided by several other persons, to this affiant unknown, forcibly arrested this affiant and one Noah Rogers, whilst the affiant and said Rogers were peaceably pursuing their own lawful business; and that the said Allensworth, Owsley and Martin, after said arrest, aided by sundry persons, to affiant unknown, did forcibly take, kidnap and carry this affiant and said Rogers from the said county of Hancock in the state of Illinois, on the day and year above mentioned into the state of Missouri, without having established a claim for such procedure according to the laws of the United States.
Affiant further states, that in a short time after he had been so taken into the state of Missouri, he was put into a room with said Rogers, and there kept until some time during the following night, when they were taken out of the room where they were confined, into the woods near by, and this affiant was bound by the persons conducting him, to a tree, he having been first forcibly stripped by them of every particle of clothing. Those having him in charge then told affiant that they would whip him; one of them, by the name of Monday, saying to this affiant, “G—d—n you, I’ll cut you to the hollow.” They, however, at last unbound the affiant without whipping him.
Affiant states that said Rogers was taken just beyond the place where affiant was bound with a rope around his neck, and he heard a great number of blows, which he then supposed, and has since learned were inflicted upon said Rogers, and heard him cry out several times as if in great agony; after which affiant, together with Rogers, was taken back and placed in the room from which they were taken, together with one Boyce and Brown, and detained until Monday next succeeding the day on which he was kidnapped; at which time he received from one of the company, who had imprisoned him, a passport, of which the following is a copy:—
“Tully, Missouri, July 12, 1840. The people of Tully, having taken up Mr. Allred, with some others, and having examined into the offenses committed, find nothing to justify his detention any longer, and have released him. By order of the committee.
“H. M. Woodward.”
And then this affiant was permitted to return home into the state of Illinois. This place in Missouri, to which affiant and said Rogers were taken, he has learned is called Tully, and is situated in of Lewis, and at which place the said Allensworth, Owsley and Martin are now living.
I hereby certify that the forgoing affidavit was this day subscribed, and duly sworn to before me, by the said James Allred.
Daniel H. Wells,
Justice of the Peace.
Action of the Citizens of Nauvoo in the Matter of the Kidnapping of Brown and Boyce by the Missourians.
At a meeting of the citizens of Nauvoo, Hancock county, Illinois, 13th July, 1840, Judge Elias Higbee was called to the chair, and Robert B. Thompson was appointed Secretary.
On motion a committee was appointed to report resolutions, expressive of the sense of this meeting, consisting of the following persons, to wit.—Isaac Galland, Robert B. Thompson, Sidney Rigdon, and Daniel H. Wells, who retired, and after a short absence, reported the following preamble and resolutions, which were unanimously adopted—
Report of the Committee on Resolutions.
Preamble—The committee appointed to express the sense of this meeting, in relation to the recent acts of abduction, and other deeds of cruelty and inhumanity committed upon our citizens by [some of] the citizens of the state of Missouri, beg leave respectfully to report:
That having under consideration the principal matters involve in the discharge of their duty, they have been forced to arrive at the following conclusions:
First—That the people of Missouri, not having sufficiently slacked their thirst for blood and plunder, are now disposed to pursue us with a repetition of the scenes of brutality which marked their whole course of conduct towards us during our unhappy residence among them.
Second—That notwithstanding they have already robbed us of our homes, murdered our families, stolen and carried away our property; and to complete the measure of their infamy as a state, their executive caused unoffending thousands to be banished from the state, without even the form of a trial, or the slightest evidence of crime; they are now sending their gangs of murdering banditti, and thieving brigands, to wreak further vengeance, and satisfy their insatiable cupidity in the state of Illinois, and that too before we have even had time to erect shelters for our families.
Third—That for the purpose of giving a semblance of justification to their most unhallowed conduct, the people of Missouri have again commenced concealing goods within the limits of our settlements, as they had done before in the state of Missouri, in order to raise a charge of stealing against our citizens, and under this guise they have within a few days kidnapped, and carried away, several honest and worthy citizens of this county.
Fourth—Under these circumstances the first duty and the only redress which seems to offer itself to our consideration is an appeal to the executive of the state of Illinois, for redress, and protection from further injuries, with a confident assurance that he, unlike the governor of Missouri, will extend the executive arm to protect from lawless outrage, unoffending citizens. Therefore,
Resolved 1st: That we view, with no ordinary feelings, the approaching danger as a necessary consequence following the lawless and outrageous conduct of the citizens of Missouri, in setting at defiance the laws of this, as well as of all other states in this Union, by forcing from their homes, and from the state, civil citizens of Illinois, and taking them into the state of Missouri, without any legal process whatever, and there inflicting upon them base cruelties in order to extort false confessions from them, to give a coloring to their (the Missourians’) iniquities, and screen themselves from the just indignation of an incensed public.
Resolved 2ndly: That while we deeply deplore the cause which has brought us together on this occasion, we cannot refrain from expressing our most unqualified disapprobation at the infringement of the laws of this state, as set forth in the above Preamble, and strongest indignation at the manner in which the people of Missouri treated those whom they had thus inhumanly taken from among us.
Resolved 3rdly: That inasmuch as we are conscious of our honest and upright intentions, and are at all times ready and willing to submit to the just requirements of the laws, we claim of the citizens and authorities of this state, protection from such unjust and, before, unheard of oppressions.
Resolved 4thly: That the forcible abduction of our citizens by the citizens of Missouri, is a violation of the laws regulating the federal compact, subversive to the rights of freemen, and contrary to our free institutions, and republican principles.
Resolved, 5thly: That the cruelties practiced upon our citizens, since their abduction, is disgraceful to humanity; the height of injustice and oppression, and would disgrace the annals of the most barbarous nations, in either ancient or modern times; and can only find its parallel in the “Auto da Fe”—the inquisitions in Spain.
Resolved, 6thly: That such unconstitutional and unhallowed proceedings on the part of the citizens of Missouri, ought to arouse every patriot to exertion and diligence to put a stop to such procedure, and use all constitutional means to bring the offenders to justice.
Resolved, 7thly: That we memorialize the Executive of this state, of the gross outrage which has been committed on our citizens; and pledge ourselves to aid him in such measures as may be deemed necessary to restore our citizens to freedom, and have satisfaction for the wrongs we have suffered.
Elias Higbee, Chairman,
R. B. Thompson, Secretary.
Memorial to Governor Carlin.
To his Excellency Governor Carlin:—The undersigned being a committee to draft a Memorial to your Excellency relative to the recent outrages, would respectfully represent; that after being driven from our homes, and pleasant places of abode, in the state of Missouri, by the authorities of said state, Illinois seemed to be the first shelter or asylum which presented itself to our view; that having left the state of Missouri, your memorialists found an asylum in the state of Illinois; and notwithstanding the false reports which were circulated to our prejudice, we were received with kindness by the noble hearted citizens of Illinois; who relieved our necessities, and bade us welcome; for which kindness we feel thankful.
That under your Excellency’s administration, we have had every encouragement given us, and have every reason, from the kindness and sympathy which you have ever manifested towards us in our sufferings, to feel confident that your aid will ever be offered to us in common with the rest of the citizens of the state. That feeling ourselves so happy and secure, and beginning again to enjoy the comforts of life, we are sorry to say that our quiet has been disturbed, our fears alarmed, and our families annoyed by the citizens of Missouri; who, with malice and hatred, which is characteristic of them, have unconstitutionally sent an armed force and abducted some of our friends, namely, James Allred, Noah Rogers, Alanson Brown, and one Boyce, and carried them into the state of Missouri, and treated them with the greatest barbarity and cruelty; even now their wives and children, as well as their friends, are alarmed for the safety of their lives.
Therefore we have felt it our duty to place the circumstances of this unheard-of outrage before you, and appeal to your Excellency for protection from such marauders, and take such measures as you may deem proper, that our friends may be again restored to the bosom of their families, and the offenders punished for their crimes.
We have the greatest confidence in your Excellency, that every constitutional means will be resorted to, to restore our friends to the society of their families, &c., that we, in common with other citizens of the state of Illinois, may enjoy all the rights and privileges of freemen.
Your memorialists have under all circumstances paid the greatest respect to the laws of the country, and if any should break the same, they have never felt a disposition to screen such from justice, but when under false pretenses, to gratify and satiate a revengeful disposition—for the citizens of another state, regardless of both the laws of God and man, to come and kidnap our friends, to carry off our citizens to cruelly treat our brethren; such offenders, we think, should be brought to an account, to be dealt with according to their merit or demerit; that we may enjoy the privileges guaranteed to us by the Constitution of the United States.
We therefore humbly pray that your Excellency will satisfy yourself of the gross outrage which has been committed on the citizens of the state, and with that energy which is so characteristic of your Excellency’s administration, take such steps as you may deem best calculated to repair the injuries which your memorialists have sustained; that you will vindicate the injured laws of the state.
In conclusion, we beg leave to assure your Excellency, that in the discharge of this, as well as every other constitutional movement, you may rely upon the hearty co-operation of your memorialists, who respectfully submit to your Excellency the accompanying Resolutions, which were passed at a large meeting held in this place on this day, and also the affidavit of one of those persons who was kidnapped, but fortunately has made his escape.
1. At the present time the above arrangement by which Elder Parley P. Pratt was chosen president of the conference, while Elder Brigham Young was his senior in the quorum of the Twelve Apostles, will seem somewhat out of order. Such procedure is recorded a number of times in the minutes of conferences and other gatherings in the early years of the Church’s history; it is therefore proper to say that in those days the right to presidency by reason of seniority of standing in quorums and councils was not as well settled as it is now. Presidency throughout the councils and quorums of the church is determined by well settled principles of seniority of ordination, and as soon as any of these organizations are called to order for business the president of the council or conference is determined by the seniority of standing in said organization without any formal action. In the above case the brethren may have been influenced by the fact that Elder Pratt was an older member of the church than President Young. Also, it appears in a subsequent paragraph that some charges were preferred by President Young against one of the Elders in the conference. This course may have been decided upon by the Apostles, who probably thought that it would not be best for the presiding officer over the conference to make such charges, hence Elder Pratt was chosen to preside and Elder Young left free to make the charges aforesaid.
His father was a descendant of Thomas Wells, the fourth governor of Connecticut, while his mother was descended from David Chapin, a veteran of the Revolution, who served under Washington, and was a descendant of one of the oldest and most distinguished families of New England. The father of Daniel H. Wells died when the son was but 12 years old, which threw upon him, at this early age, the care of his mother and younger sister. At the age of 16 he migrated with his mother and sister to Marietta, Ohio, where Daniel H. taught school during the winter, and in the spring moved to Illinois, settling at Commerce, where he made extensive purchases of land. One farm of eighty acres was in the very heart of what became the city of Nauvoo, in fact he platted his farm into city lots which he sold at very reasonable prices to the Saints. The Temple site was selected from the western range of blocks in this addition. In 1885 he married Eliza Robison, and a son was born to them a year later. Mr. Wells served a term as constable in the district in which Commerce was situated, and was now a justice of the peace and familiarly called “Squire Wells.” He was a stalwart Whig in politics; a man of high character and great courage.