A Chapter of Sundry Events at Various Places and Documents Following the Martyrdom: United States Press Comments on the Murder
Sundry Events and Activities.
“Thursday, July 4, 1844.—Elders Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball, with several other elders, visited the grand exhibition of fireworks on the Boston Common this evening. A great multitude were present.
Friday, 5.—Mr. Daniels started about 9 a.m. to go and see the governor, and tell him what he knew in relation to the massacre of the Generals Smith.
A raft of pine lumber arrived from the upper country.
Elders Young and Kimball took cars from Boston, and proceeded to Linn.
Saturday, 6.—General Deming and Mr. Robertson arrived in the city at 2 p.m. They expressed themselves abundantly satisfied with Dr. Richards’ proceedings and agreement at Carthage, and said they believed the governor would do all in his power to quell further outrages, and preserve the peace.
William Clayton took charge of the raft of lumber which arrived yesterday, as agent for the trustee.
William Clayton saw the governor’s reply to the letter from the Warsaw Committee of Safety, and recorded in his journal thus:—’The governor seems disposed to make the best of his situation, and try to restore the credit of the state by bringing the assassins to justice.’
A conference was held in Genessee, New York. Four branches were represented, containing 95 members, including 23 elders. Elder C. W. Wandell presided.
Sunday, 7.—Meeting at the stand.
Judge W. W. Phelps read Governor Ford’s letter in reply to the Warsaw Committee.
President Marks addressed the meeting.
Dr. Willard Richards advised some of the people to go out and harvest, and others who stay to go on with the Temple, and make work in the city.
R. D. Foster arrived in the city. His presence produced some excitement in consequence of the saints believing he was accessory to the murder of the Prophets.
The following was sent to General Deming:—
Letter to General Deming
Nauvoo, Sunday, July 7, 1844.
General Deming, Acting-Commander of the Forces of Hancock County.
Sir,—We are informed that Dr. R. D. Foster is in this city, and that he has an order from Governor Ford to call out Captain Dunn’s company of militia to guard him while here transacting business.
You must be aware, sir, at sight of such communication, the situation in which such an order of things must place this people, and of the difficulties which might grow out of such a course, and we earnestly desire your immediate action as agent of the governor for this county, to prevent any such occurrence.
We request General Deming to interfere in this matter. We request that no troops be quartered among us, for any such purpose, lest excitement arise between them and the citizens.
We desire that Dr. Foster’s business be transacted by agency, or some way, so that there may be no cause of contention or excitement in our midst. Nothing shall be wanted on our part to keep the peace; but without the cooperation of government, it would seem impossible to accomplish it.
We are, sir, most respectfully, your servants and the friends of peace,
W. W. Phelps,
John P. Greene.
P. S.—General Deming knows the threats which have been made by Dr. Foster, and the cause we have to fear his presence, as well as troops in such a case.’
Apostles at Salem, Mass.
Elder Kimball’s journal records a conference held this day at Salem. He preached in the forenoon, Elder Lyman Wight in the afternoon, and Elder Orson Pratt in the evening.
The conference went off well, the brethren realizing they had a good time.
A conference was held in the Presbyterian meetinghouse in Scarborough, Maine, which continued through the 6th and 7th. Elder Wilford Woodruff presided.
The conference was addressed, and business attended to by Elders Wilford Woodruff, M. Holmes, E. Tufts, and Samuel Parker.
Religious Riot at Philadelphia.
A large mob assembled in Philadelphia on the 6th, and gathered in front of St. Philip’s Church, with the intention of burning it, because of some difficulty existing between the Protestants and the Irish Catholics. The mob continued two days. The governor of the state called out 3,000 of the militia. There were 14 killed and 50 wounded during the riot.
Monday, 8.—About this time a letter was received from D. S. Hollister, reporting progress for the Baltimore convention to nominate candidates for the presidency.
Elders Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Orson Pratt, Lyman Wight, Erastus Snow, Daniel Spencer and J. L. Heywood, held three meetings in the concert hall, Salem. The house was full and the brethren felt well.
The following is extracted from the New York Tribune:—
The Troubles at Nauvoo
‘We begin almost to fear that the terrible scenes of cruelty, devastation of peaceful homes, and indiscriminate hunting down of men, women and children, which disgraced Missouri a few years since, during the expulsion of the Mormons from that state, are to be reenacted in Illinois.
The history of these deeds has never been, and probably never will be written; but enough of their atrocities has been heard from casual recitals of eye and ear witnesses to make the soul sicken with horror at their contemplation.
We are not the apologists of Joe Smith, or of the mummeries of Mormonism; we are ready to admit that the existence of that sect in the shape which it would seem Smith is bent on imparting to it, is fraught with danger, and should be looked to by the proper power; but in the name of common humanity, we stand up for the lives and security of helpless women and innocent children.
The executives of Illinois and Missouri have had loud and fair warning by the meetings in Carthage, Warsaw and St. Louis, of the dreadful scheme of arson and assassination that is going on to exterminate the Mormons; and if they permit the monstrous crime of the sacking of a city, the murder of men in cold blood, and the sacrifice of women and children to the demoniac fury of an inflamed mob, they will not, they cannot be held guiltless.
There are other means by which the course of the Mormons, if unlawful or destructive of the rights of others, can be restrained and punished; but, even if there be no immediate legal redress, are murder, rapine, desolation, the brand of civil war hurled among those who should be friends and neighbors—are these a suitable substitute for a little time and patience?
Let the citizens of Illinois look to their votes when next they approach the ballot box, and examine well for whom and for what principles they are cast, and they can restore the government of their state to hands that will remove their grievances and reassure them in their rights much more speedily than they can rebuild one log hut sacrificed to brutal war, or atone for the blood of a single human victim.’
Tuesday, 9.—Elders Willard Richards and John Taylor wrote as follows:—
Letter of Instruction and Information to the President of the British Mission
‘Nauvoo, Illinois, U. S.,
July 9th, 1844.
Elder Reuben Hedlock, Presiding Elder of the Church of Jesus Christ in England, and the Saints in the British Empire.
Beloved Brethren,—As Elder James Parsons is about to leave for England, we embrace this, as the first opportunity, to communicate to you one of the most signal events which has ever transpired in the history of the church.
It has been declared by all the former Prophets and Apostles, that God had reserved unto himself a peculiar people for the last days, who would not only be zealous in good works, but who should be purified as gold in the furnace seven times, and who would have to endure through faith and patience in all long-suffering, in meekness, forbearance, love, and every God-like virtue unto the end as good soldiers, and meet all the scorn, scoff, and derision and chiding, buffeting and persecution a wicked world could heap upon them, and even death itself, not counting their lives dear unto themselves, that they might obtain their inheritance in that kingdom of their heavenly Father, which Jesus, their elder brother, had gone to prepare for them.
It is in this period of time that we are permitted to live. It is at the dawning of that day of days in which our heavenly Father is about to usher in that glorious period when times and seasons shall be changed and earth renewed, when after rumors and commotions, turmoils, strife, confusion, blood and slaughter, the sword shall be beaten into ploughshares, and peace and truth triumphantly prevail o’er all the footstool of Jehovah. The day of these events has dawned, although to human view a cloud has overspread the horizon.
You are acquainted with the general history of the church to which we belong. From our lips and pens you have learned its rise and progress; you have heard of the persecution of the saints in Missouri, and their expulsion from thence, together with their kind reception by the citizens of Illinois, where we have been located for the last four years.
For some months past we have been troubled with the wicked proceedings of certain apostates in our midst, who have striven to overthrow the church and produce trouble and anguish in the mind of every virtuous being, but their designs having been frustrated by the wise and judicious management on the part of the Prophet and the saints.
These apostates, reckless of all consequences, made a deadly thrust at our overthrow, leaving the city suddenly, and, afterwards, by themselves or agents, fired their own buildings, doubtless thinking they would charge it upon the saints, and by that means excite a mob in the surrounding country, who would fall upon and burn the city, but in this they were disappointed, our vigilant police discovered and extinguished the flames.
Their next course was to arrest the Prophet, the Patriarch, and others, by legal process and false pretense, and take them to Carthage, the county seat, for investigation; but they gave themselves up to the requisition of the law, on the pledge of Governor Ford that they should be protected from all personal violence, and went voluntarily to Carthage, without even the attendance of the officer.
Considerable excitement prevailed in the neighborhood, to allay which they voluntarily gave bonds for their appearance at the next session of the circuit court. Their voluntary and noble conduct should have satisfied every mind, but certain individuals of the basest sort swore out a writ for treason against the Prophet Joseph and the Patriarch Hyrum Smith, and they were thrust into jail without trial, without examination, without any legal course or procedure, on the 25th of June, where they remained till the next day, when they were brought before the magistrate, that a day might be set for their examination.
They were immediately remanded to prison, where they remained until the 27th, when but few of their friends were permitted to see them.
Between five and six o’clock p.m., of that day, a company of 150 or 200 armed, disguised and painted men rushed upon the guard who were set to watch the prison door, overpowered them, rushed upstairs into the entry adjoining the room where Joseph Smith and Hyrum Smith were, and John Taylor and Willard Richards sitting with them to keep them company.
As soon as the mob arrived at the head of the stairs, they fired through the door and shot Hyrum in the face. He fell instantly, exclaiming, ‘I am a dead man’.
The mob instantly forced open the door with the points of the bayonets, and recommenced an indiscriminate discharge of firearms upon all in the room.
Mr. Taylor, in attempting to leap from the window, was shot and fell back in the chamber. Joseph, in attempting to leap from the same window, was shot, and fell on the outside, about 20 feet descent, when the mob gathered instantly round him and again shot him.
Joseph and Hyrum received each four balls, and were killed instantly. Elder Taylor received four balls in his left wrist and left leg—is doing well and is likely to recover.
Dr. Richards was marked on his left ear and cheek, otherwise remained unharmed. The whole scene occupied only two minutes, when the mob fled rapidly towards Warsaw.
The bodies of the murdered men were removed to Nauvoo on the 28th, and were buried on the 29th. This event has caused the deepest mourning among the saints, but they have not attempted to avenge the outrage.
The governor has promised that the whole treacherous proceedings shall be investigated according to law, and the saints have agreed to leave it with him, and with God to avenge their wrongs in this matter. There has been considerable excitement in the surrounding country, which is now in a great measure allayed. The action of the saints has been of the most pacific kind, remembering that God has said, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay’.
For further particulars we refer you to the statements of Messrs. Reid and Woods, and other statements in the Nauvoo Neighbor, which we send you with this; and now, beloved brethren, we say to you all, as we say to the saints here, be still and know that God reigns. This is one of those fiery trials that is to try the saints in the last days.
These servants of God have gone to heaven by fire—the fire of an ungodly mob. Like the Prophets of ancient days they lived as long as the world would receive them; and this is one furnace in which the saints were to be tried, to have their leaders cut off from their midst, and not be permitted to avenge their blood.
God has said, ‘Vengeance is mine; I have not called mine elders to fight their battles; I will fight their battles for them;’ and we know, assuredly, that he will do it in his own due time, and we have only to wait in patience and pray for the fulfillment of the promise.
This event is one of the most foul and damnable that ever disgraced the earth, having no parallel in time. Innocent men imprisoned without law, without justice, and murdered in cold blood in the enlightened nineteenth century, in an enlightened country in open daylight.
It will call down the wrath and indignation of all nations upon the perpetrators of the horrid deed, and will prove the truth of the saying, ‘The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church.’ They died for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ.
God has not left his church without witnesses; as in former days so shall it be in the latter days, when one falls another will arise to occupy a similar station. Our heavenly Father always has had a leader to his people, always will have, and the gates of hell can never prevail against the chosen of heaven.
The murder of Joseph will not stop the work; it will not stop the Temple; it will not stop the gathering; it will not stop the honest-in-heart from believing the truth and obeying it; but it is a proof of the revelations we have received from heaven through him. He has sealed his testimony with his blood. He was willing to die, and desired only to live for the sake of the brethren.
Two better men than Joseph and Hyrum Smith never lived. Two better men God never made. The memorial of their godly lives is embalmed, printed with indelible ink in the memory of every honest heart who knew their upright walk and conversation; but they are taken away by the hands of assassins, and of the foolish things of the earth God will raise up others to comfort and lead his people, and not one item of his word can fail.
Jerusalem must be rebuilt and Zion must be redeemed, the earth be cleansed from blood by fire, Jesus return to his own, and all who shall continue faithful unto the end shall rest in everlasting peace and blessedness.
We alone, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, are here at this time to write to you, the remaining ten are in the eastern states preaching the gospel, and we expect them soon to return; and as soon as God will, we will write you again.
Proceed onward with all your labors as though nothing had happened, only, preach Joseph martyred for his religion, instead of living, and God will pour out his Spirit upon you, and hasten his work from this time.
Believe not every spirit, but try the spirits; believe not every report, for every false rumor that men and demons can invent is set afloat to gull the world. What we have told you by letter and papers is true, but time will not permit to tell you every particular now.
Be humble, prayerful, watchful, and let not the adversary get any advantage of one of you, and may the choicest blessings of Israel’s God rest upon you and abide with you, that you may endure faithful in all tribulation and affliction, and be prepared to be gathered unto Mount Zion, and enter into celestial glory, is the earnest prayer of your brethren in the new and everlasting covenant. Amen.
P. S.—We would have said that while Joseph was on his way to Carthage, and on the prairie, he said to his friends around him, ‘I am going like a lamb to the slaughter, but my mind is calm as the summer’s morning, I have a conscience void of offense towards God and towards all men.’ Joseph also said to his friends, ‘I am going voluntarily to give myself up, and it shall be said of me that I was murdered in cold blood.’
Members of the Twelve in Boston.
Elders Brigham Young and Orson Pratt were at Boston when they first heard the rumors of the massacre of the Prophets, but did not believe the accounts were correct.
Elders Kimball and Wight were in Salem this morning, [July 9th] and heard of the death of the Prophets. Elder Kimball recorded he was unwilling to believe it, though it struck him to the heart. They took cars for Boston in the morning, where they stayed during the day. In the evening they proceeded to New York.
Elder Wilford Woodruff was in Portland, Maine, and ready to step on board of a steamer for Fox Islands, when he received the Boston Times newspaper, containing an account of the death of the Prophets. He immediately took cars and returned to Boston, stopping over night at Scarborough.
Wednesday, 10.—Elder Willard Richards, Patriarch John Smith, Elders Samuel H. Smith and W. W. Phelps, met in council in the council chamber.
Elder Willard Richards wrote as follows:—
Letter to A. Jonas—’All Peace at Nauvoo’
‘Nauvoo, July 10, 1844.
A. Jonas, Esq.
Dear Sir,—Yours of the 6th, per Mr. Meetze, is received, and I have only time to thank you for the information it contained, and all your endeavors for the promotion of truth and justice, and can still give you the fullest assurance that all is perfect peace at Nauvoo, calmly waiting the fulfillment of Governor Ford’s pledge to redeem the land from blood by legal process. You can do much to allay the excitement of the country in your travels, and the friends of peace will appreciate your labors.
Elder Parley P, Pratt arrived at Nauvoo.
Appeal of Nauvoo Ladies to Governor Ford.
A committee of nine ladies, among whom were Mrs. Hyrum Smith, Mrs. John Taylor, Mrs. Arthur Milliken and Mrs. W. W. Phelps, waited upon Mr. R. D. Foster, and told him they would not bear his taunts and insults any longer. They ordered him to leave the city forthwith, or he would be visited by a stronger force tomorrow. These ladies having good reason to believe that Foster was accessory to the murder of their relatives, the Prophets, took the liberty of pursuing this course towards him.
Mr. Hiram Kimball obligated himself that Foster should leave before morning, accordingly he got his team ready and took him out of the city that evening.
We copy from the Neighbor:—
Elder John Taylor and Items of the Martyr-Tragedy
‘Elder Taylor is recovering as fast as can be expected. His wounds are doing well.
The senior editor of this paper, Mr. Taylor, at the horrible assassination of Joseph and Hyrum Smith in Carthage jail, on the afternoon of the 27th day of June, received three wounds in his left thigh and knee, and one in his left wrist; besides which a fifth ball spent its force against his watch in his left vest pocket. This ball, but for the timely interference of this valuable watch, must have caused instant death, as it would have passed directly into his lungs. This watch, though dreadfully shattered, is a friend that points to the very moment when he stood between life and death, the hands pointing to 5 o’clock, 10 minutes and 26 seconds.
While upon this subject, Mr. Taylor and his friends wish, through this channel, to tender their thanks to Mr. Hamilton and family, and to all who assisted him in any manner during his stay at Carthage, while unable to be removed to his own home. Kindness, assistance, and the tender offices of humanity in such times of deep distress, give the noble mind a chance to appreciate help when it is needed, and to remember such friends in future. Nor should the assistance rendered to lay out the bodies of the Messrs. Smith, preparatory to their removal to Nauvoo, be forgotten. Though the people of Carthage, under the excitement of the moment, generally fled, yet those who did stay did all they could to forward the bodies, as well as to make Mr. Taylor as comfortable as the circumstances of the case would permit.
One thing further: In this awful tragedy, Dr. Willard Richards, equally exposed to the shower of bullets which were fired into the room at the door and windows, escaped unhurt, and while he would render thanksgiving and praise to his God for this signal preservation of his life, he would also return his grateful acknowledgments to the Messrs. Hamilton and others, who rendered all the assistance in their power in this awful hour of murder and woe at Carthage.’
Elders Brigham Young and Orson Pratt went from Boston to Lowell
Movements of Some of the Twelve—Boston, Philadelphia.
Elders Kimball, Wight and William Smith, proceeded by railway from New York to Philadelphia.
The Neighbor has the following notice:—
‘The Prophet’—A New L. D. S. Publication
‘A well disposed newspaper called The Prophet, was started in New York, in the month of May last. The ruptures of our neighbors, and the murder of our best friends, have prevented us from giving our readers timely notice. It is published by a society for the promotion of truth, and we must say that in a city so large as New York, if the people have virtue, holiness, and the kindred spirits which have ever won the affections of humanity, they will sustain the Prophet liberally. Nor should the country be less magnanimous: by comparing opinions, and proving contrarieties, truth manifests itself.’
Public Opinion on the Murder of Joseph and Hyrum Smith from Various Newspapers
We copy from the St. Louis Evening Gazette:—
‘Public opinion of the press on the assassination of Joseph and Hyrum Smith by a mob in the jail at Carthage, while under the sacred pledge of the state for the protection of their lives.
‘With reference to the recent bloody affair at Carthage, the O. S. Democrat says:—
‘From all the facts now before us, we regard these homicides as nothing else than murder in cold blood—murder against the plighted faith of the chief magistrate of Illinois—murder of a character so atrocious and so unjustifiable as to leave the blackest stain on all its perpetrators, their aiders, abettors, and defenders.’
The Republican pronounces the deed ‘unprovoked murder’.
The Reporter says:—’The conduct of the mob at Carthage cannot be justified’.
The Reveille says:—’Joe Smith has been ‘Lynched’ while under the protection of the Laws’.’
The New Era says:—’It was cruel and cowardly to murder the unarmed prisoners when they had surrendered themselves, and were in custody of the laws.’
In fact, the press of St. Louis denounces this bloody deed without a dissenting voice.’ 1
From the Lee County (Iowa) Democrat:
‘We also endorse the whole of the sentiments of the St. Louis press, and say it was a premeditated murder, and that the offenders ought to be ferreted out and dealt with according to the strict sense of the law.’
From the Illinois State Register:—
Joseph Smith, the Mormon Prophet, and His Brother, Hyrum, Murdered in Prison
‘The following particulars of the most disgraceful and cold-blooded murder ever committed in a Christian land, is copied from an extra from the office of the Quincy Herald. Rumors of the bloody deed reached this city several days ago, but were not believed until Tuesday evening, when there was no further room left for doubt. Next week we will have all the particulars. Every effort will be made to bring the assassins to punishment.’
From The Quincy Herald Extra of Saturday
‘Governor Ford arrived in this city this morning, much worn down by travel and fatigue, having left Carthage yesterday. It is now certain that only Joe and Hyrum Smith are killed, and they were murdered in cold blood.
It seems that while Governor Ford was absent from Carthage to Nauvoo, for the purpose of ascertaining satisfactorily the strength of the Mormon force, an excited mob assembled near Carthage, disfigured themselves by painting their faces, and made a rush upon the jail where Joe and his fellow prisoners were confined.
The guard placed by the governor to protect the jail were overpowered by superior numbers, the doors of the jail forced, and Joe and Hyrum both shot.
Hyrum was instantly killed by a ball, which passed through his head. Joe was in the act of raising the window, when he was shot both from without and within, and fell out of the window to the ground.
Richards, whom we supposed yesterday was dead, escaped unhurt. Mr. Taylor, the editor of the Nauvoo Neighbor, was in the room with the Smiths, and received three balls in his leg, and one in his arm. He is not considered dangerous. Three of the assailants were slightly wounded.
It will probably never be known who shot Joseph and Hyrum Smith, but their murder was a cold-blooded, cowardly act, which will consign the perpetrators, if discovered, to merited infamy and disgrace. They have broken their pledges to the governor, disgraced themselves and the state to which they belong. They have crimsoned their perfidy with blood.
The dead bodies of the Smiths were conveyed to Nauvoo, by order of the governor yesterday. It was supposed by many, that the Mormons on seeing them would break away from all restraints and commence a war of extermination.
But nothing of the kind occurred. They received their murdered friends in sorrow—laid down their arms and remained quiet. Colonel Singleton and his company of 60 men are still in Nauvoo, and the Mormons submitted to their authority.
The 300 that left our city yesterday on the Boreas are at present in Warsaw. A man was knocked down with a musket in Warsaw yesterday, for presuming to express disapprobation at the murder of the Smiths.’
From the Sangamon Journal:—
The Mormon Difficulties
‘Notwithstanding all the rumors which are afloat, we are unable to state anything very definite in relation to affairs at Nauvoo, or in the region round about that city.
It is certain that the governor has called out some of the neighboring militia; that bodies of armed men had collected without waiting a call from the governor; that the governor had accepted the services of militia at St. Louis under certain contingencies; that he had demanded of Smith the state arms at Nauvoo; that it had been reported that they were given up; that Smith and his council had given themselves up to be tried by our laws for alleged offenses.
Thus far our news seems to be certain. Rumor says further, that on Thursday of last week Joe Smith, Hyrum Smith and Dr. Richards were shot by a mob at Carthage.
We are incredulous in regard to the truth of this rumor. We cannot think, under the circumstances of the case, the excitement against these men among the anti-Mormons, Governor Ford would have received them as prisoners, to be tried under our laws, had pledged himself for their protection, and then placed them in a situation where they would be murdered. The rumor is too preposterous for belief. We wait with much anxiety to hear the truth on this subject; and this feeling is general in this community.’
From the Missouri Republican:—
The Murders at Carthage,—A letter from the editor, one from G. T. M. Davis, Esq., and a proclamation from Governor Ford, give all the information which we have been able to collect from the seat of civil commotion and murder in Illinois.
They were issued in an extra form yesterday morning, and are transferred to our columns today for the benefit of our numerous readers abroad.
All our information tends to fix upon the people concerned in the death of the Smiths, the odium of perfidious, black-hearted, cowardly murder—so wanton as to be without any justification—so inhuman and treacherous as to find no parallel in savage life under any circumstances.
Governor Ford declares his intention to seek out the murderers; and he owes it to his own honor and to that of the state, whose faith was most grossly violated, never to cease his exertions for this purpose.
The Mormons, it will be seen, were quiet, and not disposed to commit any acts of aggression; their enemies, on the other hand, were evidently disposed to push them to extremities, and to force them from the state.
This feeling may be checked by the alacrity with which Governor Ford’s orders were being executed, but it will be some time before peace and order can be restored—the disgrace of past acts cannot be wiped out.’
The following extract of a letter from a highly respectable gentleman to his friend in Nauvoo, we copy from theNauvoo Neighbor:—
‘Fair Haven, Ct. July 10, 1844.
I have, by the papers, within a day or two, been informed of the murder of Joseph and Hyrum Smith. This is an event which will be deeply lamented by all Mormons, and will appear, probably, to those who are not Mormons, as the final overthrow of their religious tenets.
I will, however, make the prediction that this diabolical butchery makes more Mormons than the friendship of half the inhabitants in Illinois could have done by their most devoted exertions.
The blood of saints is the seed of the church. It will be considered by an extensive portion of the world that the Smiths have suffered martyrdom for their religion, and their profoundest sympathies will be aroused in favor of those believing the same creed.
The inflammatory appeals to the bloodthirsty passions of the anti-Mormon populace will be universally condemned by the reflecting and moral part of every community, and thousands will now examine your tenets, who never thought of such a thing before.
Carthage and Warsaw will be denounced by the honorable, and the indelible disgrace with which they now stand covered, will cause them to be avoided by every person who has any regard to his personal safety.
It is now known here that the lazy speculators of Warsaw, and the still lazier office drones at Carthage, cared nothing for Joe Smith personally, or for his tenets either; but the prosperity of Nauvoo increasing as it did, beyond any former parallel, even in the western world, excited in their bosoms envy, hatred and all ungodliness.
This is the true secret of all their barbarous movements against Mormonism; and they supposed by destroying the Smiths they should extinguish their religion, disperse the Mormons, depopulating and desolating Nauvoo. Their folly and wickedness will produce a result exactly the reverse; Mormons will increase an hundredfold; they will, if possible, be more devoutly attached to their religion; will concentrate more closely together, for self-preservation, and their united industry will produce such a city at Nauvoo as does not exist west of the mountains.
From all accounts which have been published here, it does not appear that the slightest resistance was made to the execution of the law, and the inquiry is now made, what was all this clamor, excitement and military parade for?
The editor of the Warsaw Signal can answer the question; and if he had his deserts, it is probable no more unprincipled and inflammatory addresses to an infuriated mob would ever emanate from his pen. Not that I would wish any violence to him, but he should be tried by the laws of the state, and see how far his course renders him accountable for the murders which have been committed.
Nothing has ever given me greater gratification than the calm, dignified submission to the laws shown at Nauvoo since the death of the Smiths. This forbearance on your part is beyond all praise; let it continue. Give not the shadow of a pretext for another appeal to popular fury. The demons are foiled, and let them gnash their teeth in silence over their disappointment.
The increase of population at Nauvoo can no more be prevented than the Mississippi can be stopped in its course. Its triumph is inevitable, because the engine by which it is to be accomplished is irresistible.
What earthly power has ever yet stood before the overpowering energies of a religious creed? But when religion is protected by law, as your religion ought to be, and will soon be, in Illinois, then such advances will be made by the Mormons as have never been dreamed of by the greatest enthusiast.
The editor of the Neighbor adds:—
‘Upon this letter, let it be remembered that the writer is not a Mormon or a western man, but a citizen of Connecticut, loving law, liberty and life.’
From the Tompkins (N. Y.) Democrat, we extract the following:—
‘The report that a battle had been fought between the Mormons and anti-Mormons, in which some five hundred were slain, is all a hoax. Such vile statements only serve to give strength to the Prophet’s views. Indeed, we do not know which has the worst effect on the community, the doctrines of Smith or the ten thousand false rumors constantly put in circulation against him. One thing is certain, his name will survive when those who grossly misrepresent him have become blanks on the page of the future.’ ”
1. This denunciation by the St. Louis press “without a dissenting voice” is all the more worthy of note because it was in western Missouri—in which state St. Louis is situated—that the same kind of lawless assault upon the Church of the Latter-day Saints was made and the murder of many of its membership occurred but a few years before; and the like proceedings in Illinois might have been held up as a justification of the action of mobs in western Missouri against the saints. B. H. R.