Movements in Hancock County, Carthage, Nauvoo, Warsaw and Quincy, for the Maintenance of Peace Following the Martyrdom: List of the Names of Those Who Were in the Mob Assembled to Slay the Prophet
“Saturday, June 29th, 1844.—About noon, General H. Swazey, of Iowa, called at Nauvoo and offered assistance to the people.
The following article from Governor Ford, was published in the Times and Seasons:—
Governor Ford to the People of the State of Illinois
‘I desire to make a brief, but true statement of the recent disgraceful affair at Carthage, in regard to the Smiths, so far as circumstances have come to my knowledge.
The Smiths, Joseph and Hyrum, have been assassinated in jail, by whom it is not known, but will be ascertained. I pledged myself for their safety, and upon the assurance of that pledge they surrendered as prisoners. The Mormons surrendered the public arms in their possession, and the Nauvoo Legion submitted to the command of Captain Singleton, of Brown county, deputed for that purpose by me.
All these things were required to satisfy the old citizens of Hancock that the Mormons were peaceably disposed, and to allay jealousy and excitement in their minds.
It appears, however, that the compliance of the Mormons with every requisition made upon them, failed of that purpose. The pledge of security to the Smiths was not given upon my individual responsibility. Before I gave it, I obtained a pledge of honor by a unanimous vote from the officers and men under my command, to sustain me in performing it. If the assassination of the Smiths was committed by any portion of these, they have added treachery to murder, and have done all they could to disgrace the state, and sully the public honor.
On the morning of the day the deed was committed, we had proposed to march the army under my command into Nauvoo. I had, however, discovered on the evening before, that nothing but utter destruction of the city would satisfy a portion of the troops; and that if we marched into the city, pretexts would not be wanting for commencing hostilities. The Mormons had done everything required, or which ought to have been required of them. Offensive operations on our part would have been as unjust and disgraceful as they would have been impolitic in the present critical season of the year, the harvest and the crops. For these reasons I decided, in a council of officers to disband the army, except three companies, two of which were reserved as a guard for the jail.
With the other company I marched into Nauvoo, to address the inhabitants there, and tell them what they might expect in case they designedly or imprudently provoked a war. I performed this duty as I think plainly and emphatically, and then set out to return to Carthage.
When I had marched about three miles, a messenger informed me of the occurrences at Carthage. I hastened on to that place. The guard, it is said, did their duty, but were overpowered. Many of the inhabitants of Carthage had fled with their families. Others were preparing to go. I apprehended danger to the settlements from the sudden fury and passion of the Mormons, and sanctioned their movements in this respect.
General Deming volunteered to remain with a few troops to observe the progress of events, to defend property against small numbers, and with orders to retreat if menaced by a superior force. I decided to proceed immediately to Quincy, to prepare a force sufficient to suppress disorders, in case it should ensue from the foregoing transactions, or from any other cause. I have hopes that the Mormons will make no further difficulties. In this I may be mistaken. The other party may not be satisfied. They may recommence aggression.
I am determined to preserve the peace against all breakers of the same, at all hazards. I think present circumstances warrant the precaution of having a competent force at my disposal, in readiness to march at a moment’s warning. My position at Quincy will enable me to get the earliest intelligence, and to communicate orders with great celerity.
I have decided to issue the following general orders:
Governor Ford’s General Orders to the Militia in the Western Counties of Illinois
June 29, 1844.
It is ordered that the commandants of regiments in the counties of Adams, Marquette, Pike, Brown, Schuyler, Morgan, Scott, Cass, Fulton and McDonough, and the regiments composing General Stapp’s brigade, will call their respective regiments and battalions together immediately upon the receipt of this order, and proceed by voluntary enlistment to enroll as many men as can be armed in their respective regiments. They will make arrangements for a campaign of twelve days, and will provide themselves with arms, ammunition and provisions accordingly, and hold themselves in readiness immediately to march upon the receipt of further orders.
The independent companies of riflemen, infantry, cavalry, and artillery in the above-named counties, and in the county of Sangamon will hold themselves in readiness in like manner.[Signed] Thomas Ford,
Governor and Commander-in-Chief.’
Movement of Quincy Troops to Warsaw.
Saturday, 29, 1 p.m.—Mayor Wood and ex-Mayor Conyers, from Quincy, arrived from the governor’s headquarters, and said 244 troops from Quincy had arrived in Warsaw to protect the innocent, and they had come to ascertain the feelings of the people, and adopt measures to allay excitement.
We copy the following letter from Sheriff J. B. Backenstos:—
Roll of Carthage Greys and Officers June 27th, A. D, 1844.
Robert F. Smith, Captain.
F. A. Worrell,
S. O. Williams, Lieutenants.
M. Barnes, Jun.,
Guard at the Jail, June 27, 1844.
F. A. Worrell, officer of the guard. Joseph Hawley, lives in Carthage, Illinois.
Franklin Rhodes. Anthony Barkman, lives in Carthage, Illinois.
Levi Street, lives near Mendon, Adams county, Illinois. Clabourn Wilson, lives in Carthage, Illinois.
Balance of [Company of] Greys.
Edwin Baldwin, lives near Carthage, Ill.
James D. Barnes, ” ”
Frederick Loring, in ”
Leyrand Doolittle, ” ”
Marvin Hamilton, lives in Carthage, Ill.
Ebenezer Rand, ” ”
John W. Maith, ” ”
Thomas Griffith, ” ”
Lewis C. Stevenson, ” ”
Noah M. Reckard, ” ”
Eli H. Williams, ” ”
H. T. Wilson, ” ”
Albert Thompson, ” ”
Walter Bagby, left the country, gone to Louisiana, and died.
George C. Waggoner, lives 2 1/2 miles north of Carthage.
Crocket Wilson, lives 8 miles east of Carthage.
Thomas J. Dale, 5 ” ”
Richard Dale, 5 ” ”
The Carthage Greys never numbered more than about thirty, rank and file; during the June mob war, several joined for the time only, who reside at other places, and whose names are unknown to me. The Carthage Greys were nearly to a man parties in the June massacre.
Captain Weir’s company of about sixty men.
Captain J. C. Davis’ company of about sixty men.
Captain Wm. N. Grover’s company of about sixty men.
Captain Mark Aldrich’s company of about sixty men, comprising the entire settlement in and about Warsaw and Green Plains, with the exception of the Walkers, Gillhams, Paytons, Bledsors, Gallahers, Byrrs, Kimballs, Worthens, Summervilles, and Bedells, and the Mormon families who resided in that part of the county at that time.
Those active in the massacre at Carthage—supplied by Sheriff J. B. Backenstos
The leaders of the Hancock mob, and those who took an active part in the massacre of Joseph and Hyrum Smith are—
Thomas C. Sharp, Warsaw Signal, Illinois, editor.
Colonel Levi Williams, Green Plains, Illinois, farmer.
William N. Grover, Warsaw, Illinois, lawyer.
Jacob C. Davis, Warsaw, Illinois, lawyer.
Mark Aldrich, Warsaw, Illinois, no business.
Henry Stephens, Warsaw, Illinois, lawyer.
George Rockwell, Warsaw, Illinois, druggist.
James H. Wood, Warsaw, Illinois, blacksmith.
Calvin Cole, Warsaw, Illinois, tavernkeeper.
William B. Chipley, Warsaw, Illinois, doctor.
————Hays, Warsaw, Illinois, doctor.
J. D. Mellen, Warsaw, Illinois, merchant.
E. W. Gould, Warsaw, Illinois, merchant.
Samuel Fleming, Warsaw, Illinois, constable.
John Montague, Warsaw, Illinois, no business.
Jas. Gregg, Warsaw, Illinois, no business.
J. C. Elliot, Warsaw, Illinois, no business.
Lyman Prentiss, Warsaw, Illinois, no business.
D. W. Matthews, now St. Louis, Missouri, merchant.
J. B. Matthews, now St. Louis, Missouri, merchant.
Trueman Hosford, Warsaw, Illinois, farmer.
Four of the Chittendens, Warsaw, Illinois, different occupations.
J. W. Athey, Warsaw, Illinois, no business.
Onias C. Skinner, now of Quincy, Illinois, lawyer.
Calvin A. Warren, Quincy, Illinois, lawyer.
George W. Thatcher, Carthage, Illinois, county clerk.
James W. Brattle, Carthage, Illinois, land shark.
Alexander Sympson, Carthage, Illinois, land shark.
Jason H. Sherman, Carthage, Illinois, lawyer.
Michael Reckard, one-half mile west of Carthage, Illinois, farmer.
Thomas Morrison, Carthage, Illinois, lawyer.
E. S. Freeman, Carthage, Illinois, blacksmith.
Thomas L. Barnes, Carthage, Illinois, quack doctor.
John Wilson, Carthage, Illinois, tavernkeeper.
Edward Jones, 5 miles north of Carthage, farmer.
Captain James E. Dunn, Augusta, Illinois, tavernkeeper.
Joel Catlin, Augusta, Illinois, farmer, etc.
William D. Abernethy, Augusta, Illinois, farmer, etc.
Erastus Austin, constable, etc.
Reuben Graves, St. Mary’s, Illinois, farmer.
Henry Garnett, St. Mary’s, Illinois, farmer.
F. J. Bartlett, St. Mary’s, Illinois, miller.
Valentine Wilson, St. Mary’s, Illinois, farmer.
Sylvester M. Bartlett, editor of the Quincy Whig.
Major W. B. Warren, a damned villain.
Colonel————Gettis, Fountain Green, Illinois, farmer.
Matthews McClaughny, Fountain Green, Illinois, farmer.
Nickerson Wright, Fountain Green, Illinois, farmer.
John McAuley, Camp Creek Precinct, Illinois, one of the worst men in Hancock.
William H. Rollason, Pontusuc, Illinois.
John M. Finch, Pontusuc, Illinois.
Francis M. Higbee, Pontusuc, Illinois.
————Douglass, Pontusuc, Illinois, schoolmaster.
George Backman, one of the Durfee murderers. 1
————Moss or Morse, one of the Durfee murderers.
Jacob Beck, one of the Durfee murderers.
Backman lives in Carthage, Moss or Morse, and Jacob Beck have left the country, but expect to return.
The foregoing is a pretty large list; there are others of the smaller fry which I deem unworthy of notice, inasmuch as they were led on through the influence of the leaders, and whiskey. I most cheerfully give you any information in my power in reference to this matter; the only thing that I regret about is, that these things I am fearful will be put off so long that I will not live to see or hear of the awful vengeance which will in the end overtake the Hancock assassins. I have long been of the opinion that forbearance is no longer a virtue, let the guilty be made to answer for their crimes. Let justice be done, and all will be well.
The bloodhounds are still determined on taking my life; I can hear from them every once in a while. I will have to be exceedingly careful this summer, or they will have my scalp. They still act upon the principle that had it not been for me in September last, Worrell and McBradney would not have been killed, and the city of Nauvoo burned to the ground. They want to hold me responsible for everything that was done to put them down in their mob doings last year.
In reference to my correspondence with the governor, I will say that I received but two letters from him during the difficulty, neither of which were received until after the arrival of General Hardin and the [state] government troops.
In my communications to Governor Ford, in relation to the riots in Hancock county, I made but one request of him, and that was, that no troops ought to be brought into Hancock county; that I had sufficient power within the limits of the county to suppress any further riots, and prevent any more burning.
I am certain that the letters which I received from the governor were either left in your hands, or in the hands of some one in your office at Nauvoo; at least I have not got them now. I recollect that you desired to get them for future use, and am sorry that I cannot forward them to you. You will find in my Proclamations 2 the historical part of the last mob war in Hancock.’
The following list is from the pen of Dr. Willard Richards:—
List of the Mob at Carthage According to Willard Richards
‘William Law, Wm. A. Rollason,
Wilson Law, Wm. H. J. Marr,
Robert D. Foster, S. M. Marr,
Charles A. Foster, Sylvester Emmons,
Francis M. Higbee, Alexander Sympson,
Chauncey L. Higbee, John Eagle,
Joseph H. Jackson, Henry O. Norton,
John M. Finch, Augustine Spencer.
The foregoing have been aided and abetted by—Charles Ivins and family, P. T. Rolfe, N. J. Higbee.
William Cook, and Sarah, his wife, formerly Sarah Crooks, of Manchester.’
Sunday, 30.—The governor wrote to General Deming, as follows:—
Communication of Governor Ford to General Deming
‘Headquarters. Quincy, June 30, 1844.
Sir.—It is my present opinion that the Mormons will not commit any outbreak, and that no further alarm need be apprehended. I regret to learn that the party in Hancock, who are in favor of violent measures have circulated a thousand false rumors of danger, for the purpose of getting men together without my authority, hoping that when assembled, they may be ready to join in their violent councils. This is a fraud upon the country, and must not be endured.
I am afraid that the people of Hancock are fast depriving themselves of the sympathy of their fellow citizens, and of the world. I strictly order and enjoin on you that you permit no attack on Nauvoo or any of the people there without my authority. I think it would be best to disband your forces, unless it should be necessary to retain them to suppress violence on either side: of this you must be the judge at present.
I direct that you immediately order all persons from Missouri and Iowa to leave the camp and return to their respective homes without delay.
I direct, also, that you cause all mutinous persons, and all persons who advise tumultuous proceedings to be arrested; and that you take energetic measures to stop the practice of spreading false reports put in circulation to inflame the public mind.[Signed] Thomas Ford, Commander-in-Chief.
To Brigadier-General Deming, Carthage, Ill.’
A few of the brethren met in council, and agreed to send Brother George J. Adams to bear the news of the massacre to the Twelve.
Elder Willard Richards wrote the following, and sent it by George J. Adams:—
Willard Richards to Brigham Young—Nauvoo Affairs, Including the Martyrdom
‘Nauvoo, Sunday, June 30, 1844,
Beloved Brother Brigham Young,—For the first moment we have had the opportunity, by request of such brethren of the council as we could call, we write to inform you of the situation of affairs in Nauvoo and elsewhere.
On the 24th inst., Joseph, Hyrum, and thirteen others went to Carthage, and gave themselves up to Robert F. Smith, a justice of the peace, on charge of riot, for destroying the Nauvoo Expositor press and apparatus.
25th. Were exhibited by Governor Ford to the troops assembled, like elephants,—gave bonds for appearance at court, were arrested on charge of treason, and committed to jail without examination.
26th. Brought out to the courthouse contrary to law, for examination,—returned to jail till witnesses could be procured.
27th. A little before 6 p.m. the jail was forced by an armed, disguised mob, of from 150 to 200; the guard was frustrated, Hyrum shot in the nose and throat and two other places, only saying, ‘I am a dead man’. Elder Taylor received four balls in left leg and left wrist and hand. Joseph received four bullets, one in right collar bone, one in right breast, and two others in his back, he leaped from the east window of the front room, and was dead in an instant. I remained unharmed. The bodies were removed to Nauvoo on the 28th, and buried on the 29th. Elder Taylor remains at Hamilton’s Tavern yet; we heard today he is better.
Elder George J. Adams is deputed to convey this to you, together with today’s Extra Nauvoo Neighbor, and other papers giving particulars which you may rely on.
The effect of this hellish butchery was like the bursting of a tornado on Carthage and Warsaw; those villages were without inhabitants, as in an instant they ran for their lives, lest the Mormons should burn and kill them suddenly—’the wicked flee when no man pursueth’.
The excitement has been great, but the indignation more terrible: a reaction is taking place, and men of influence are coming from abroad to learn the facts, and going away satisfied that the Mormons are not the aggressors.
You now know our situation, and the request of the council is, that the Twelve return to Nauvoo. The lives of twelve more are threatened with deadly threats. It has been suggested by the council, that if the Twelve approved, President Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, George A. Smith, Wilford Woodruff and Orson Pratt return immediately; and William Smith, whose life is threatened, with all the Smiths, John E. Page, Lyman Wight, Parley P. Pratt and Orson Hyde spend a little time in publishing the news in the eastern cities, and getting as many in the church as possible. This is for you to decide.
The saints have borne this trial with great fortitude and forbearance. They must keep cool at present. We have pledged our faith not to prosecute the murderers at present, but leave it to Governor Ford; if he fails, time enough for us by and by; vengeance is in the heavens. We have been in close quarters some time,—money and provisions are scarce. Will the eastern brethren contribute to our relief?
Governor Ford has taken away the state arms from the Legion. Your families are well, for aught I know. Sister Hyde has gone to Kirtland, I suppose. I have not been able to get any means for myself or anybody else.
The council consider it best for all the traveling elders to stop preaching politics—preach the gospel with double energy, and bring as many to the knowledge of the truth as possible.
The great event of 1844, so long anticipated, has arrived, without a parallel since the birth of Adam.
Jackson [W. H.] and his gang will try to waylay you coming up the river, if not before: look out for yourselves.
A little while since Parley wrote to Hyrum about Elder George J. Adams’ proceedings and teachings in Boston. I heard Joseph tell Hyrum to let Adams alone, let Adams go back there and make all things right, that Parley had misapprehended some things, and acted in the matter rather injudiciously.
The saints have entered into covenants of peace with the governor and government officers, not to avenge the blood of the martyrs, but leave it with the executive, who had pledged the faith of the state for their safe-keeping. The elders cannot be too careful in all the world, to keep from saying anything to irritate and vex the governor, etc., for at present we must conciliate: it is for our salvation. The governor has appeared to act with honest intentions; we bring no charge against him—will wait patiently his proceedings in the matter. Let the elders keep cool, vengeance rests in heaven.—Yours as ever,
Peace Council at Nauvoo.
A council was held by the brethren, at which Messrs. Wood and Conyers from Quincy were present, also Colonel Richardson, lawyer, from Rushville. The council again expressed their determination to preserve the peace in the city, and requested those gentlemen to use their influence to allay the excitement abroad, which they promised to do.
Colonel Richardson agreed to use all his influence to stay all illegal writs, and all writs for the present.
General Dunham requested a guard might be sent to Golden’s Point, to protect the people there from the mob.
Father John Smith was present, and spoke of the destruction of crops by the McDonough troops.
We extract from Elder Woodruff’s Journal:—
Excerpts from Wilford Woodruff’s Journal—The Twelve in Boston
‘The Boston branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and many elders from various parts, met in conference in Franklin Hall, Boston, on the 29th day of June, 1844.
Present: a majority of the Quorum of the Twelve, viz., President Brigham Young, presiding; Elders Heber C. Kimball, Orson Hyde, Orson Pratt, William Smith, Wilford Woodruff, and Lyman Wight.
Conference opened by prayer.
Elder Orson Hyde occupied the forenoon in an interesting manner.
Elders Young, Kimball, and Wight severally addressed the meeting in the afternoon, much to the edification of the people.
Resolved that James H. Glines and Wm. Henderson be ordained elders: they were ordained under the hands of Elders Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball.
Conference adjourned till Sunday morning.
The Twelve met in council in the evening.
30th. 10 a.m. Conference met pursuant to adjournment.
Elder Orson Pratt addressed the meeting, and ably removed the objections generally urged against new revelation.
In the afternoon, Elder Lyman Wight preached on the immortality of the body and the spirit, and also the principle of charity, connecting it with baptism for the dead.
In the evening, Elder Wilford Woodruff preached from the words of Jesus: ‘Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.’
The house was full through the day and evening, and much instruction was given during the conference by those who spoke.’
A. Jonas and Col. Fellows at Nauvoo—Their Instructions.
Monday, July 1.—A. Jonas and Colonel Fellows arrived in Nauvoo, with a message from the governor to the city council. We copy their instructions:—
The Governor’s Instructions
‘Colonel Fellows and Captain Jones are requested to proceed by the first boat to Nauvoo, and ascertain what is the feeling, disposition, and determination of the people there, in reference to the late disturbances; ascertain whether any of them propose in any manner to avenge themselves, whether any threats have been used, and what is proposed generally to be done by them.
They are also requested to return to Warsaw and make similar inquiries there; ascertain how far false rumors have been put afloat for the purpose of raising forces; what is the purpose of the militia assembled, whether any attack is intended on Nauvoo.
Ascertain also, whether any person from Missouri or Iowa intends to take part in the matter, and in my name forbid any such interference, without my request, on pain of being demanded for punishment.[Signed] Thomas Ford.
June 30th, 1844.’
They wrote as follows:—
Commissioners’ Note to the Nauvoo City Council
‘Nauvoo, July 1, 1844.
To the City Council of Nauvoo:
Gentlemen,—With this you will receive a copy of instructions from Governor Ford to us. You will understand from them what we desire from you in action on your part, as the only authorities of your city now known to the country, of such a character as will pacify the public mind and satisfy the governor of your determination to sustain the supremacy of the laws, which will, we are sure, be gratifying to him, and as much so to
Yours respectfully,[Signed] Hart Fellows,
We copy from the Times and Seasons:—
Resolutions of the City Council of Nauvoo
‘At a meeting of the city council, held in the council room, in the city of Nauvoo, on the first day of July, 1844, having received instructions from Governor Ford, through the agency of A. Jonas, Esq., and Colonel Fellows, it was unanimously
Resolved, For the purpose of insuring peace, and promoting the welfare of the county of Hancock and surrounding country, that we will rigidly sustain the laws and the governor of the state, so long as they, and he, sustain us in all our constitutional rights.
Resolved, secondly, That to carry the foregoing resolutions into complete effect, that inasmuch as the governor has taken from us the public arms, that we solicit of him to do the same with all the rest of the public arms of the state.
Resolved, thirdly, To further secure the peace, friendship and happiness of the people, and allay the excitement that now exists, we will reprobate private revenge on the assassinators of General Joseph Smith and General Hyrum Smith by any of the Latter-day Saints. That instead of ‘an appeal to arms’, we appeal to the majesty of the law, and will be content with whatever judgment it shall award and should the law fail, we leave the matter with God.
Resolved, unanimously, That this city council pledge themselves for the city of Nauvoo, that no aggressions by the citizens of said city shall be made on the citizens of the surrounding country, but we invite them, as friends and neighbors, to use the Savior’s golden rule, and ‘do unto others as they would have others do unto them,’ and we will do likewise.
Resolved, lastly, That we highly approve of the present public pacific course of the governor to allay excitement and restore peace among the citizens of the country; and while he does so, and will use his influence to stop all vexatious proceedings in law, until confidence is restored, so that the citizens of Nauvoo can go to Carthage, or any other place, for trial, without exposing themselves to the violence of assassins, we will uphold him, and the law, by all honorable means.[Signed] George W. Harris, President pro tem.
Willard Richards, Recorder.”
‘A Jonas. Esq., and Colonel Fellows:—
Messrs.,—In reply to your communication to the city council of the city of Nauvoo, on behalf of His Excellency Governor Ford, I have been instructed by the council to communicate the foregoing resolutions which I respectfully solicit for your consideration, and at the same time would inform you that a public meeting of our citizens will take place at the stand, east of the Temple, at 4 p.m., and solicit your attendance.
Most respectfully, your obedient servant,[Signed] W. Richards.’
Action of the City Council—Expressions of Appreciation
‘At a meeting of a large portion of the citizens of Nauvoo, convened at the stand, in the afternoon of July 1, 1844, after hearing the above instructions and resolutions of the city council read, and being addressed by A. Jonas, Esq., and others, the meeting responded to the same with a hearty Amen!
The citizens then passed a vote of thanks to the governor’s agents for their kindly interference in favor of peace among the citizens of Hancock county and elsewhere around us.
They also passed a vote of thanks to Messrs. Woods and Reid, the counsel for the Generals Smith, for their great exertions to have even-handed justice meted to the Latter-day Saints, and they also passed a vote of thanks to Messrs. Chambers and Field, the former one of the editors of the Missouri Republican, and the latter, one of the editors of the Reveille, of St. Louis, for their honorable course of coming to Nauvoo for facts, instead of spreading rumors concerning the Latter-day Saints.
Mr. Chambers made a very appropriate speech, containing innuendos for the benefit of our citizens, that appeared as the wise man said, ‘like apples of gold in pictures of silver’.
They also passed a vote of thanks to Messrs. Wood and Conyers, mayor and ex-mayor of Quincy, for their friendly disposition in establishing peace in this region, and we are happy to say that all appears to be peace at Nauvoo.’
Address to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints—A Word of Consolation
‘Deeply impressed for the welfare of all, while mourning the great loss of President Joseph Smith, our ‘Prophet and Seer’, and President Hyrum Smith, our ‘Patriarch’, we have considered the occasion demanded of us a word of consolation.
As has been the case in all ages, these saints have fallen martyrs for the truth’s sake, and their escape from the persecution of a wicked world, in blood to bliss, only strengthens our faith, and confirms our religion as pure and holy.
We, therefore, as servants of the Most High God, having the Bible, Book of Mormon, and the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, together with thousands of witnesses, for Jesus Christ, would beseech the Latter-day Saints, in Nauvoo and elsewhere, to hold fast to the faith that has been delivered to them in the last days, abiding in the perfect law of the gospel.
Be peaceable, quiet citizens, doing the works of righteousness, and as soon as the Twelve and other authorities can assemble, or a majority of them, the onward course to the great gathering of Israel, and the final consummation of the dispensation of the fullness of times will be pointed out, so that the murder of Abel, the assassination of hundreds, the righteous blood of all the holy Prophets, from Abel to Joseph, sprinkled with the best blood of the Son of God, as the crimson sign of remission, only carries conviction to the bosoms of all intelligent beings, that the cause is just and will continue; and blessed are they that hold out faithful to the end, while apostates, consenting to the shedding of innocent blood, have no forgiveness in this world nor in the world to come.
Union is peace, brethren, and eternal life is the greatest gift of God. Rejoice, then, that you are found worthy to live and die for God. Men may kill the body, but they cannot hurt the soul, and wisdom shall be justified of her children. Amen.
1. The Durfee murder occurred at Green Plains in Hancock county, Illinois, during the renewal of mob violence in the latter part of 1845 (See Jenson’s Chronology, November, 1845 also Comprehensive History of the Church,Century 1, vol. 2, ch. 67). B. H. R.