Volume 4 Chapter 24


Hotchkiss Land Purchase Troubles—Death’s Harvest, Oliver Granger, Robert B. Thompson—Important Action Relating to the Twelve—The Mission in Fox Island.


[Page 405]

The Founding of Warren.

Thursday, August 19, 1841.—Elders Young, Kimball and Richards went to Warsaw, and examined the town plat of Warren which is situated about a mile south of the village of Warsaw, and made some arrangements with the proprietors for building up the place.

The plat designed for the city of Warren is the school section, No. 16, and opposite the first permanent and good landing place on the Mississippi River below the falls; which is about two miles below the Warsaw landing, which is filling up with sand bars.

The brethren returned about eleven p.m., quite exhausted.

Sunday, 22.—I preached at the stand, on wars and desolations that await the nations.

Wednesday, 25.—I received the following letter:

Letter of Horace R. Hotchkiss to Joseph Smith—Land Affairs in Nauvoo.

Fair Haven, 24th July, 1841.

Rev. Joseph Smith:

Dear Sir:—I have this moment received a letter from Dr. Galland, dated yesterday, at New York, in which he states his intention of leaving for the west.

[Page 406]

It certainly was my expectation that I should again see him before his departure, and be able to make some arrangement with him respecting the interest due to myself, Mr. Tuttle and Mr. Gillet. In this I am disappointed, and considering that a proposition for effecting this object emanated from your brother Hyrum and the doctor, [Isaac Galland] to which no allusion has since been made by them or anybody else, I and Mr. Tuttle think that we have much reason to be dissatisfied at this silence and apparent neglect.

Now, all the transactions relating to Nauvoo have by me and my friends been entered into in the most perfect good faith, and will continue to be conducted on the most honorable principles.

Permit me to ask whether this is a proper return for the confidence we have bestowed, and for the indulgence we have extended?

If you have not already requested your brother Hyrum to call on me when he arrives east, will you write him immediately, and say that it is my urgent wish?

Relative to the Ivins note the Doctor has written me, and referred to Mr. William Smith at New Egypt, on whom I shall call next week.

Your obedient servant,

Horace R. Hotchkiss.

I wrote the following answer:

Letter of the Prophet to Horace R. Hotchkiss—Nauvoo Land Transactions.

Nauvoo, August 25, 1841.

To Horace R. Hotchkiss, Esq., New Haven, Connecticut:

Dear Sir:—Yours of the 24th ultimo came to hand this day, the contents of which I duly appreciate. I presume you are well aware of the difficulties that occurred before, and at the execution of the writings in regard to the land transaction between us, touching the annual payment of interest: if you have forgotten, I will here remind you, you verbally agreed on our refusal and hesitancy to execute the notes for the payment of the land, that you would not exact the payment of the interest that would accrue on them under five years, and that you would not coerce the payment even then; to all this you pledged your honor; and upon an after arrangement you verbally agreed to take land in some one of the Atlantic States, that would yield six per cent interest (to you) both for the principal and interest, and in view of that matter, I delegated my brother Hyrum and Dr. Isaac Galland to go east and negotiate for lands with our friends, and pay you off for the whole purchase that we made of you; but upon an interview with you, they learned that you were unwilling to enter into an arrangement according to the powers that I had delegated to them; that you would not receive any of the principal at all, but the interest alone, which we never considered ourselves in honor or in justice bound to pay under the expiration of five years. I presume you are no stranger to the part of the city plat we bought of you being a deathly sickly hole, and that we have not been able in consequence to realize any valuable consideration from it, although we have been keeping up appearances, and holding out inducements to encourage immigration, that we scarcely think justifiable in consequence of the mortality that almost invariably awaits those who come from far distant parts (and that with a view to enable us to meet our engagements), and now to be goaded by you, for a breach of good faith, and neglect and dishonorable conduct, seems to me to be almost beyond endurance.

[Page 407]

You are aware that we came from Missouri destitute of everything but physical force, had nothing but our energies and perseverance to rely upon to meet the payment of the extortionate sum that you exacted for the land we had of you. Have you no feelings of commiseration? Or is it your design to crush us with a ponderous load before we are able to walk? Or can you better dispose of the property than we are doing for your interest? If so, to the alternative.

I therefore propose, in order to avoid the perplexity and annoyance that has hitherto attended the transaction, that you come and take the premises, and make the best you can of it, or stand off and give us an opportunity that we may manage the concern, and enable ourselves by the management thereof to meet our engagements, as was originally contemplated.

We have taken a city plat at Warsaw (at the head of navigation for vessels of heavy tonnage) on the most advantageous terms: the proprietors waiting upon us for the payment of the plat, until we can realize the money from the sales, leaving to ourselves a large and liberal net profit. We have been making every exertion, and used all the means at our command to lay a foundation that will now begin to enable us to meet our pecuniary engagements, and no doubt in our minds to the entire satisfaction of all those concerned, if they will but exercise a small degree of patience, and stay a resort to coercive measures which would kill us in the germ, even before we can (by reason of the season) begin to bud and blossom in order to bring forth a plentiful yield of fruit.

I am, with considerations of high respect,

Your obedient servant,

Joseph Smith.

[Page 408]

Location and Character of the Hotchkiss Lands.

The Hotchkiss purchase, to which the foregoing letters relate includes all the land lying north of the White purchase to the river and thence on the river south, including the best steamboat landing, but is the most sickly part of Nauvoo.

Death of Oliver Granger.

Elder Oliver Granger died at Kirtland, Lake county, Ohio, aged forty-nine years. He was the son of Pierce and Clarissa Granger, born in the town of Phelps, Ontario county, New York, 7th February, 1794; received a common school education, was two years a member of the Methodist Church and was a licensed exhorter. On the 8th September, 1813, he married Lydia Dibble; in the year 1827, he in a great measure lost his sight by cold and exposure; he was sheriff of Ontario county, and colonel of the militia. He received the Gospel on reading the Book of Mormon, which he providentially obtained, and was baptized at Sodus, Wayne county, and ordained an Elder by Brigham and Joseph Young, they being the first Elders he saw, and immediately devoted his time to preaching and warning the people.

In the year 1833 he moved to Kirtland, and then took a mission to the east with Elder Samuel Newcomb; returned and was ordained a High Priest; took another mission in the spring of 1836 to New York with John P. Greene; and after his return built up a branch at Huntsburg, Geauga county, Ohio; also a branch at Perry, Richfield county, where he baptized Bradley Wilson and his seven sons and their wives. When the Church left Kirtland he was appointed to settle the Church business.

In June, 1838, he went to Far West, and returned in August of same year; in October he again started, taking his family; he went seventy miles into Missouri, and was driven back by the mob; in the spring of 1839 he went to Nauvoo; in 1840 removed to Kirtland with his family, where he remained until his death.

[Page 409]


He was a man of good business qualifications, but had been for many years nearly blind. His funeral was attended by a vast concourse of people from the neighboring towns, although there were but few Saints in the country.

Thursday, 26.

An Epistle of the Twelve Apostles to the Saints Scattered Abroad Among the Nations, Greeting.

Nauvoo, August 26, 1841.

Beloved Brethren:—You will perceive by the minutes of a conference, held in this city, on the 16th instant, that we have returned from a mission which was required of us by the Lord, and have now been called upon to assist in building up the stakes of Zion, and of planting the Saints upon the lot of their inheritance; and feeling as we do a humble reliance upon divine aid at all times, in our unremitting desire to be useful to our fellow men, and especially to the household of faith, that they may be prepared for the great things which God is about to reveal, and which speedily await this generation, we feel anxious to improve the earliest opportunity to make known unto you the mind of the Spirit concerning those things which require your more immediate attention.

It will be discovered, in the minutes before referred to, that we have already begun to select such individuals as have been with the Church and have had the opportunity of becoming acquainted with the principles thereof to some extent; and to designate certain towns and cities where they will locate themselves and build up churches, inasmuch as the people are willing to receive them. These generally will not take their departure from this to their several stations, until after the October conference, previous to which they will have the opportunity of receiving particular instructions in relation to their mission, and of becoming more perfectly acquainted with those principles which are necessary to be acted upon in order that they may become highly useful in helping to roll forth the kingdom of God in these last days.

All those Elders and Priests who are now in the vineyard, will communicate with us immediately, and inform us of their situations, designs, and all things relating to their ministry, and improve the earliest opportunity of repairing hither, where they will have the privilege of instruction from the First Presidency, and thereby understanding principle and doctrine, not to be learned elsewhere, and which is necessary for them to know, that they may become wise stewards in their Master’s house.

[Page 410]

We are engaged in a great work, and but little comparatively can be known of the magnitude thereof, of the revelations of heaven, and the order of the kingdom by the Saints, while they are scattered to the four winds; and this being well understood by the ancient prophets and apostles, was the reason why they so often spoke of the gathering in the last days, and as this is the place where the Elders are to receive instruction concerning their ministry, so as to become successful ministers of the dispensation of the fulness of times, so also this is the place where the brethren may receive such instructions as are necessary to constitute them a righteous and holy people, prepared for the reception of the Lord Jesus; therefore, we say to all Saints who desire to do the will of heaven, Arise, and tarry not, but come up hither to the places of gathering as speedily as possible, for the time is rapidly approaching when the Saints will have occasion to regret that they have so long neglected to assemble themselves together and stand in holy places, awaiting those tremendous events which are so rapidly approaching the nations of the earth.

It will be recollected that in a recent communication from the First Presidency, all places of gathering are discontinued, excepting Hancock county, Illinois, and Zarahemla, in Lee county, Iowa territory, opposite Nauvoo, and we would suggest to those coming up the Mississippi particularly, and all others who are disposed, to look at Warsaw, a beautifully located village about twenty miles below Nauvoo, consisting of about five hundred inhabitants, a steam flour and lumber mill; one mile below is a section already surveyed, on which the town of Warren is to be built, and every facility is now offered to the brethren, for the immediate erection of houses, the location being very desirable at the lowest point of the DesMoines rapids.

As we have been called upon to act as agents for the Church, it may be expected that some one or more of our quorum may be found at Nauvoo, Zarahemla, and Warren, ready to render every assistance in our power, towards the location of immigrants; and that we shall occasionally visit the other places of gathering, as necessity requires.

We recommend to the brethren in England to emigrate in the fall or winter; by so doing they will be likely to spare themselves much affliction in becoming accustomed to this climate.

Further communications may be expected from the Twelve.

Brigham Young,

Heber C. Kimball.

Orson Pratt,

Willard Richards,

John Taylor,

Geo. A. Smith.

[Page 411]

Death of Robert B. Thompson.

Friday, 27.—Elder Robert Blashel Thompson died at his residence in Nauvoo, in the 30th year of his age, in the full hope of a glorious resurrection. He was associate editor of the Times and Seasons, colonel in the Nauvoo Legion and had done much writing for myself and the Church.

The following synopsis of his life is from the pen of his widow:

Biography of Robert Blashel Thompson.

Robert Blashel Thompson was born October 1st, 1811, in Great Driffield, Yorkshire, England, was educated at Dunnington, in the same county. He united with the Methodists at an early age and preached what he believed to be the Gospel in connection with that sect for a number of years. Emigrated to Upper Canada in 1834. Embraced the Gospel there; being baptized and confirmed by Elder Parley P. Pratt in May, 1836. Was ordained an Elder by Elder John Taylor, at a conference held in Upper Canada, July 22nd, 1836. Removed to Kirtland in May, 1837, where he married Mercy Rachel Fielding, June 4th, 1837, and being appointed to take a mission to Upper Canada, he returned the same month, and commenced preaching in Churchville and the villages adjacent, baptized a considerable number, continued his labors there until he was called upon to remove to Missouri.

He arrived at Kirtland in March, and started from thence in company with Hyrum Smith and family, arrived in Far West June 3rd, where his daughter, Mary Jane, was born on the 14th of June. He remained there until November, when he, with many of the brethren had to flee into the wilderness to escape the fury of the mob, who swore they would kill every man who had been engaged in the Crooked River battle.

He stood near to Brother Patten when he [Patten] fell. With the rest of the brethren he suffered much from exposure and lack of food, He arrived at Quincy, I believe, in December, where he engaged as clerk in the court house, and remained there until the liberation of Joseph and Hyrum from prison; when the Saints settled in Commerce, he removed there, and was engaged as a scribe to Brother Joseph; he was also Church clerk.

When the Nauvoo Legion was formed, he received the office of colonel and also aid-de-camp. In May, 1841, he became associated with Don Carlos Smith in the editing of the Times and Seasons. On the 16th of August he was seized with the same disease of which Don Carlos had died on the 7th. The attachment between them was so strong, it seemed as though they could not long be separated. He died on the 27th, leaving one child; was interred in the burying ground on the 29th. By his special request no military procession was formed at his funeral.

[Page 412]

Saturday, 28.—At a conference held at Attica, New York, six branches, ten Elders, seven Priests, five Teachers, two Deacons and one hundred and forty-six members were represented.

Tuesday, 21.

Minutes of a Council Meeting of the Twelve Apostles at the House of Brigham Young, Nauvoo.

At a council of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles at the house of President Brigham Young, Nauvoo, August 31, 1841, for the purpose of taking into consideration the situation of the Church, it was resolved unanimously, that as we [the Twelve] have been called upon by the voice of the conference to attend to the business of the Church, assist the Trustee in Trust in his arduous duties, attend to the settling of immigrants, &c; we sensibly feel the great responsibility that is resting upon us, and will do all in our power to carry out the wishes of the Church, and prove ourselves worthy of the trust imposed in us by the brethren.

Resolved unanimously, that, so far as may be practicable, we will attend to the counseling and locating of immigrants in person, and at present we will appoint no agents for that purpose out of our own body.

Voted, that Elder Willard Richards be requested to locate himself for a season at Warsaw, or vicinity, for the purpose of selling lots on the town plat of Warren, counseling the brethren, and attending to such other business as may be necessary relating to the Church. The foregoing vote was taken after hearing a favorable report from Elders Young, Kimball, and Richards, of the quorum, for building the town called Warren, they having visited the location, accompanied by Mr. Mark Aldrich and other proprietors of the plat.

Resolved, unanimously, that we deeply feel for our beloved President Joseph Smith, and his father’s family, on account of the great losses they have sustained in property by the unparalleled persecutions in Missouri, as well as the other many persecutions they have sustained since the rise of the Church, which has brought them to their present destitute situation. Therefore, voted unanimously, that we for ourselves, and the Church we represent, approve of the proceedings of President Smith, so far as he has gone, in making over certain properties to his wife, children, and friends for their support, and that he continue to deed and make over certain portions of Church property which now exist, or which may be obtained by exchange, as in his wisdom he shall judge expedient, till his own, and his father’s household, shall have an inheritance secured to them in our midst, agreeably to the vote of the general conference of the Church held at Commerce in October, 1839.

[Page 413]

Resolved: that on account of the peculiar situation of the Church hitherto, it has been expedient and necessary, that the deeds, bonds, and properties of the Church should be, and have been taken and holden by committees of the Church, and private individuals; but that we now have a trustee-in-trust, viz., President Joseph Smith, appointed according to the laws of the land. Therefore, voted unanimously, that we advise the trustee-in-trust to gather up all deeds, bonds, and properties belonging to the Church, and which are now held either by committees or individuals, and take the same in his own name as trustee-in-trust for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as soon as such arrangements can be made consistently with his various and multiplied cares and business; and that we individually and collectively will use all diligence to render him every assistance possible to accomplish this desirable object.

Voted, that Elder Lorenzo D. Barnes proceed on his mission to England without delay.

Voted, that Elder Harrison Sagers proceed immediately on his mission to Jamaica, West Indies; and Elder Joseph Ball to South America, according to their appointment on the 16th, and that they accompany each other to New Orleans.

It was proposed, that Elder Simeon Carter go on a mission to Germany; but the vote being taken, it was decided that his mission be suspended for the present.

After much deliberation on the situation of the Church at home and abroad, temporarily and spiritually, and in view of the poverty and distress of many who had been robbed of all by unrelenting mobbers, and of others who have sacrificed all they possessed to assist those who had thus been robbed, and others who had borne the burden in the heat of the day; it was voted unanimously, that President Smith, as trustee-in-trust, be requested and instructed by this conference in behalf of the Church, to extend relief to such indigent suffering brethren, either by land or goods, as the properties of the Church will admit, and his wisdom shall judge expedient; so that no one shall be denied the privilege of remaining in our midst and enjoying the necessaries of life, who has been faithful in his duties to God and the Church.

Brigham Young, President.

Willard Richards, Clerk.

[Page 414]

Wednesday, Sept. 1.—The New York Sun contains an account of some singular phenomena; viz., a shower of flesh and blood, a pillar of smoke, and a shower of manna.

Thursday, 2.—The town of Cartago, on the isthmus of Darien, containing 10,000 inhabitants, destroyed by an earthquake.

Changes of Officers in the Legion.

Saturday, 4.—Colonel Charles C. Rich was elected brigadier-general of the second cohort, to fill the vacancy of General Don Carlos Smith, deceased, and Lieutenant-Colonel Titus Billings was elected colonel in the place of Colonel Rich, promoted, and Major John Scott was elected lieutenant-colonel in his place, and Captain Hosea Stout was elected major in his place.

Changes Among the Civil Officers of Nauvoo.

The City Council elected Brigham Young councilor in place of Don Carlos Smith, deceased; and John Taylor and Heber C. Kimball were elected regents of the University in place of Don Carlos Smith and Robert B. Thompson, deceased.

Orson Pratt was elected professor of mathematics in the University of the City of Nauvoo, and the degree of master of arts conferred on him by the chancellor and board of regents.

A committee was instructed to purchase two blocks for a burying ground; and the city recorder was instructed to procure a seal for the corporation.

Elder Orson Spencer arrived in the city.

The Prophet on Medicine.

Sunday, 5.—I preached to a large congregation at the stand, on the science and practice of medicine, desiring to persuade the Saints to trust in God when sick, and not in an arm of flesh, and live by faith and not by medicine, or poison; and when they were sick, and had called for the Elders to pray for them, and they were not healed, to use herbs and mild food.

A Shower of “Flesh.”

Tuesday, 7.—Another shower of flesh and blood is reported in the Boston papers to have fallen in Kensington. “There had been a drizzling rain during a great part of the day, until about 4 o’clock in the afternoon, when the rain stopped and the dark clouds began gradually to assume a brassy hue, until the whole heavens above seemed a sea of fire. The sky continued to grow more bright until about a quarter past five, when almost instantly it became of burnished red, and in a few moments it rained moderately a thick liquid of the appearance of blood, clothing fields and roads for two miles in circumference in a blood-stained garment. The bloody rain continued for about ten minutes, when it suddenly cleared away, and the atmosphere became so intensely cold that overcoats were needed.”

[Page 415]

Elder Willard Richards went to Warsaw, and located himself, for the purpose of counseling the Saints, and settling the town of Warren, and the day following made sale of three city lots.

British-Chinese War.

The war between England and China continues. The English have fitted out a new expedition to proceed against China with the utmost rigor, and his celestial majesty on the other hand has issued orders for the raising of a “grand army,” and the extermination of the English.

Wednesday, 8.—Wars and rumors of wars, earthquakes, tempests, pestilence, and great fires, connected with every kind of wickedness, distress and destruction of property are heard in almost every land and nation.

Sunday, 11.

Extracts from Legion Minutes.

The Legion was out for general parade, in conformity with a special act of the court martial, and was reviewed by Lieutenant-General Joseph Smith, who delivered a military speech to the troops in his usual energetic style. The official returns of the Legion show the aggregate to be 1,490 men.

Hosea Stout, Clerk.

[Page 416]

The Coming of Edward Hunter to Nauvoo.

Monday, 13.—Brother Edward Hunter, Sen, 1 of Chester county, Pennsylvania, visited Nauvoo, and invested $4,500 in town lots and farming land; paid me $2,000 in cash, and made arrangements to pay the balance in two months.

Received an invitation from Brigadier-General Ezekiel W. Swazey, and Colonel Amos B. Fuller, of the militia of Lee county, Iowa, to attend the military parade tomorrow, at Montrose, as visitor. Generals Hyrum Smith and John C. Bennett received a similar invitation.

Tuesday, 14.—Went over to Montrose, accompanied by Brothers Edward Hunter and William A. Gheen. I was very courteously received by General Swazey, the officers and militia.

Bitterness of D.W. Kilbourn.

Mr. D. W. Kilbourn attempted to get up an ill feeling by reading the following proclamation at noon, during the recess of exercise, to a considerable number of persons collected round his store, which I insert verbatim—

[Page 417]

Citizens of Iowa:—The laws of Iowa do not require you to muster under, or be reviewed by Joe Smith or General Bennett, and should they have the impudence to attempt it, it is hoped that every person having a proper respect for himself, will at once leave the ranks.

This, however, had no effect whatever on the people.

Myself and brother were not in military uniform, but were treated with every respect that visiting officers of our rank could be, through the entire day. At the dismissal of the military, I went to Mr. Kilbourn’s store, and desired to have some conversation with him, but was peremptorily ordered out of doors. This conduct greatly disgusted his few friends, who upbraided Kilbourn with his ungentlemanly conduct, and accompanied me to the ferry, where I left them, showing me every manifestation of friendship.

Tuesday, 21.—The ship Tyrean sailed from Liverpool to New Orleans, with 204 Saints, bound for Nauvoo.

Her British Majesty’s war steamer Madagascar, totally destroyed by fire in the Chinese seas, and fifty-seven lives lost.

Wednesday, 22.—The High Council of Nauvoo adopted the following preamble and resolution—

High Council Resolution.

Whereas this High Council in times past, had of necessity, and by the advice and instruction of the First Presidency, to transact business of a temporal nature for the Church, and thereby involve itself with debts and other temporal burdens which, under other circumstances would not have devolved upon it; and as the proper authorities to which such temporalities belong are now organized and acting in their proper places; therefore, be it

Resolved, that this High Council is prepared to transfer all debts and temporal business; and that all business of a temporal nature, be, and the same is in readiness to be transferred to the proper authorities.

Alpheus Cutler stated [to the council] that he was going to the pineries the ensuing winter, and nominated Elias Higbee, counselor pro tem.

[Page 418]

Lumber for the Temple.

A company of the brethren started for the pinery, some five or six hundred miles north, on the river, for the purpose of procuring lumber for the Temple and Nauvoo House.

The Jews in Smyrna are suffering great persecutions on account of their religion—”one was thrown into prison because a cat was missing”—say the journals.

Saturday 25.—Hyrum Smith, son of Hyrum and Jerusha Smith, died, aged seven years, four months, and twenty-eight days.

A conference was held at Vinal Haven, Fox Island; eight Elders, one Priest, two Teachers, one Deacon, and one hundred and forty members were represented, and the work is progressing.

I extract the following from Elder Wilford Woodruff’s journal—

The Work on Fox Island.

We left Manitou Island, Lake Michigan, at 4 o’clock p.m., on the steamer Chesapeake, which contained 300 passengers, six of whom were members of the Church; a large quantity of freight and coal, eighty cords of wood, eighty mules, besides pigs, chickens, geese, ducks, &c.

We continued our journey towards Chicago without any interruption, until half-past eleven p.m., when we were overtaken by a tremendous storm of wind and rain; it blew a hurricane, and the lake became as rough as it could be by the force of wind, and such a scene as quickly followed I never before witnessed in my travels, either by land or sea. The captain, officers, hands, and most of the passengers expected to go to the bottom of the lake. To have judged from outward appearances I should think there were twenty chances of being lost to one of being saved, yet I did not once expect to be lost, for I believed the Lord would by some means save me and my wife and child, who were with me, from a watery grave.

We were some forty miles from land when the gale struck us, and I was awakened from a sound sleep by the cry, “We are all lost.” The first thought that entered my mind was, “No, we shall not be lost.”

I immediately leaped out of my berth and went on to the upper deck. I saw we were in imminent danger of being wrecked; the bow of the boat was heavily laden, and frequently engulfed by the heavy waves that washed over her; there were judged to be fifty tons of water at a time on her bow; at one time her bow ran under water, and some thought she would never rise; the water set the mules and all the livestock afloat; washed away the partition; and the mules, pigs, chickens, ducks, and geese, were all hurled in one mass down into the steerage cabin, mixed pell mell with sixty Irish passengers, men, women, and children; at that moment the roaring of the wind, the rush of the waters, the peals of thunder, the flashes of lightning, the braying of asses, the squealing of pigs, the quacking of ducks, geese and chickens, the praying, swearing and screaming of men, women and children, created a confusion of sounds which rent the air, and sent a gloomy thrill through the heart.

[Page 419]

We immediately went to work, and helped all the passengers out of the water, and from among the beasts, upon the deck, so their lives were preserved, while all the fowls, pigs, and part of the mules were drowned or killed; many tons of water rushed through the boat, until the water stood nearly to the boilers; it drove the firemen from their places.

About this time when the boat was laboring against wind and tide one of the wheel chains broke, and the boat rolled over on to one side. I again heard the cry that “all was lost,” but about thirty of us caught hold of the two detached pieces of chain, and held them together until the engineer mended them with wire.

It took three strong men to manage the wheel; while the boat lay upon her side, it washed away a part of the state rooms; orders were given to clear the boat of everything that was movable; all the wood was fastened with stanchions, on the side that was down, the stanchions were knocked out by the passengers, and forty cords of wood tumbled into the sea at one surge; this caused the boat to right up, and we expected every moment our state room would be washed away. I left it three times with my wife and child, and stepped upon the main deck, expecting to see it washed away; and to add to the horror of the situation, we were wrapped in darkness, as all the lanterns were dashed to pieces.

The men at the wheel labored hard for five hours to turn the boat round, before they accomplished it, so that they could run before the storm. At length daylight appeared, and with it a cessation of the storm in a measure. We returned to Manitou Island at 4 o’clock, being twenty-fours hours out, mostly in the storm.

Thursday, 30.—The following is a copy of a statement of expenses consequent upon the arrest of Joseph Smith, upon demand from Governor Boggs, and sent to the deputy sheriff of Adams county, he having officiated June, 1841.

[Page 420]

Nauvoo, September 30, 1841.

The Deputy Sheriff of Adams County:

The following is a statement of my expenses, costs, and liabilities, consequent upon my arrest and trial while in your custody, to-wit—

To amount of fees in Esquires Ralston, Warren, and Co. ……… $250.00

To Esquires Little, Williams, Walker, and Browning ………… 100.00

To seven days for self, horse, and carriage, at $5.00 ………… 35.00

To money expended during that time, consequent upon the 60.00

To twelve witnesses, to-wit: Elias Higbee, John P. Greene, Amasa Lyman, Darwin Chase, Francis Higbee, Chauncy Higbee, Reynolds Cahoon, George W. Robinson, J. Younger, L. Woodworth, Vinson Knight, and Robert B. Thompson, four days each; their time, carriages, horses and expenses, at $5.00 each day. . . . 240.00

_________ $685.00

Dear Sir:—You will please take such measures as to put me in possession of the above amount, which is justly due me as above stated; to say nothing of false imprisonment and other expenses. This would have been presented earlier, but for the sickness and death of Robert B. Thompson, my clerk.

Receive my respects, &c.,

Joseph Smith.

Per John S. Fullmer.

Friday, October 1.—Among the interesting relics of antiquity which have been brought to light in these days, is the following sentence from the Courier des Etats Unis:

Sentence Rendered by Pontius Pilate, Acting Governor of Lower Galilee, Stating that Jesus of Nazareth shall Suffer Death on the Cross.

In the year seventeen of the Emperor Tiberius Caesar, and the 25th day of March, the city of the Holy Jerusalem, Anna and Caiaphas being priests, sacrificators of the people of God, Pontius Pilate, governor of Lower Galilee, sitting on the presidential chair of the Praetory, condemns Jesus of Nazareth to die on the cross between two thieves—the great and notorious evidence of the people saying—1. Jesus is a seducer. 2. He is seditious. 3. He is an enemy of the law. 4. He calls himself falsely the Son of God. 5. He calls himself falsely the King of Israel. 6. He entered into the temple, followed by a multitude bearing palm branches in their hands. Order the first centurion, Quills Cornelius, to lead him to the place of execution. Forbid to any person whomsoever, either poor or rich, to oppose the death of Jesus.

[Page 421]

The witnesses who signed the condemnation of Jesus are, viz.—1. Daniel Robani. 2. Raphel Robani. 3. Capet, a citizen. Jesus shall go out of the city of Jerusalem by the gate of Struenus.

The above sentence is engraved on a copper plate; on one side are written these words—”A similar plate is sent to each tribe.” It was found in an antique vase of white marble, while excavating in the ancient city of Aquilla, in the kingdom of Naples, in the year 1820, and was discovered by the Commissaries of Arts attached to the French armies. At the expedition of Naples, it was found enclosed in a box of ebony, in the Sacristy of the Chartrem. The vase in the Chapel of Caserta. The French translation was made by the members of the Commission of Arts. The original is in the Hebrew language. The Chartrem requested earnestly that the plate should not be taken away from them. The request was granted as a reward for the sacrifice they had made for the army. M. Denon, one of the Savans, caused a plate to be made of the same model, on which he had engraved the above sentence. At the sale of his collection of antiquities, &c., it was bought by Lord Howard for 2,890 francs. Its intrinsic value and interest are much greater.

A few years ago, there was found at Catskill, in New York, a shekel of Israel, of the time of our Savior. On one side was the representation of a palm leaf, on the other a picture of the temple, with the words underneath, “Holy Jerusalem,” in the Hebrew tongue.

Relics like these, properly authenticated, have about them an inexpressible sacredness. 2

Share This With Someone

Share This With Someone



1. Edward Hunter was the second son and seventh child of Edward and Hannah Hunter. He was born in Newtown Township, Delaware county, Pennsylvania. June 22, 1793. His paternal ancestors were from the north of England, and on his mother’s side he was of Welsh extraction. John Hunter, his great-grandfather, passed over to Ireand some time in the seventeenth century and served as a lieutenant of cavalry under William of Orange at the battle of the Boyne, where he was wounded. He afterwards came to America and settled in Delaware county, Pennsylvania, about twelve miles from Philadelphia. Edward Hunter, Esq., the Bishop’s father, was justice of the peace in Delaware county for forty years. On his mother’s side three generations back was Robert Owen of North Wales, a man of wealth and character, a firm sympathizer with Cromwell and the Protectorate, who on the restoration of Charles the Second, refused to take the oath of allegiance, and was imprisoned for five years. After his release he emigrated to America and purchased property near the “City of Brotherly Love.” Like the founder of that city, Robert Owen was a Quaker. His son George sat in the state legislature and held various positions of public trust (Whitney).

Edward Hunter finally settled in Chester county, Pennsylvania, where he purchased an extensive farm, and married Ann Standley, daughter of Jacob and Martha Standley. Here Mormonism found him in 1839, through the preaching of some of the Elders laboring in that vicinity, and Mr. Hunter extended to them the hospitality of his home. En route from Washington to Nauvoo, in the winter of 1839-40, the Prophet Joseph visited him, and for several days preached in the vicinity of the Hunter homestead. Other prominent Elders of the Church also visited the Hunter home, among them the Prophet’s brother, Hyrum. Finally on the 8th of October, 1841, Edward Hunter was baptized by Elder Orson Hyde, then on his way to Jerusalem. This brings the biography of the future Bishop of the Church up to the time of his first appearance in Nauvoo, on the 13th of September, 1841, and henceforth the events of his life will be closely interwoven in the history of the Church.

2. To the sentiment here expressed by the Prophet, no one will withhold his assent, but he will need to emphasize the phrase “properly authenticated,” because it is unquestionably the case that many alleged early Christian documents of the character of the above are spurious: and whether the above alleged formal sentence was really rendered by Pontius Pilate or not, may not be determined. As remarked by nearly all authorities upon this subject, it is probable that Pilate made an official report to Tiberius of both the condemnation and punishment of Jesus Christ. Rev. J. R. Beard, D. D., member of the Historico-Theological society of Liepzig, and author of the article “Pilate,” in Kitto’s Biblical Literature, says: “The voice of antiquity intimates that Pilate did make such a report; the words of Justin Martyr are: [second century] ‘That these things were so done you may know from the ‘Acts’ made in the time of Pontius Pilate.’ A similar passage is found a little further on in the same work [i.e. Justin’s apology]. Now when it is considered that Justin’s Apology was a set defense of Christianity, in the shape of an appeal to the heathen world through the persons of its highest functionaries, it must seem very unlikely that the words would have been used had no such document existed; and nearly as improbable that these ‘Acts’ [of Pilate] would have been referred to had they not been genuine.” Dr. Lardner, who has, perhaps, more fully discussed the subject than any other writer upon it, decides that, “It must be allowed by all that Pontius Pilate composed some memoirs concerning our Savior, and sent them to the emperor.” (See Lardner, Vol. 6, p. 610.) And yet this very author says that the Acts of Pontius Pilate, “and his letter to Tiberius which we now have, are not genuine, but manifestly spurious.”

In Smith’s Dictionary of the Bible, it is stated that “we learn from Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Eusebius and others, that Pilate made an official report to Tiberius of our Lord’s trial and condemnation, and in a homily ascribed to, though marked as spurious by his Benedictine editors, certain ‘acts’ or ‘comments’ of Pilate, are spoken of as well known documents in common circulation.” (Article Pilate.) Then the author of this article on Pilate—Rev. Henry Wright Phillott, student of Christ Church, Oxford, adds: “That he, (Pilate) made such a report is highly probable, and it may have been in existence in Chrysostom’s time; but the ‘Acts of Pilate,’ (Acta Pilati,) now extant in Greek, and two Latin epistles from him to the emperor, are certainly spurious;” and it is further said, “The number of extant ‘Acta Pilati,’ in various forms, is so large as to show that very early the demand created a supply of documents manifestly spurious, and we have no reason for looking on any one of those that remain as more authentic than the others.”

Whether or not the above document in the text, purported to be Pilate’s formal sentence of death upon Jesus is among the early Christian documents that are spurious, I am not able to determine by any works at my command, and the modification in the sentence of the Prophet above, which states, that “relics like these, property authenticated, have about them an inexpressible sacredness,” would rather indicate the existence of doubt in his own mind as to the absolute certainty of the above document being genuine; and I by no means consider that he commits himself to the genuineness of the document by publishing it in the annals of the Church. Such documents are only inexpressibly sacred if the authentication is beyond question; and he does not here discuss that question.