The Best of the Nauvoo Neighbor | BYU Studies

The Best of the Nauvoo Neighbor

The Best of the Nauvoo Neighbor

The Best of the Nauvoo Neighbor

Author Susan E. Black,

Published from May 1843 to October 1845, the Nauvoo Neighbor is a significant key to understanding the Latter-day Saint experience at the Mississippi River. Although not an official Church newspaper, the Neighbor was edited by Apostle John Taylor and played a significant role in the national discussion of Mormonism, the presidential election of 1844, and perceptions of the martyrdom of Joseph Smith. The paper printed an unrelenting defense of Mormonism against a backdrop of exaggerated reports and sensational claims that stemmed from Hancock County to newspapers in the East.

By 1843, what had once been a fledgling community of Mormon believers huddled near the Mississippi was a bustling metropolis. As such, the city of Nauvoo could support more than one LDS newspaper, especially a paper focused on local news. In addition to defending the faith, the Nauvoo Neighbor printed conference reports, epistles from the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, city ordinances, poetry, fiction, marriage and death notices, words of wisdom, and humorous anecdotes.

The 127 issues of the Neighbor also contain over 950 names that make a valuable genealogical database. The accompanying DVD includes not only full-color scans of each issue but also brief biographical sketches of the individuals mentioned in the Neighbor.