Volume 6 Chapter 2


Movements of Apostles in the East—The Nauvoo Mansion—Rockwell Acquitted—Special Conference at Nauvoo—Discourse of the Prophet on the Demise of James Adams.


[Page 31]

The Drought of 1843.

Sunday, September 10, 1843.—Cold, and considerable rain. Kindled a fire in the office for the first time this fall. This is the first rain of any consequence since the first of June. There have been occasional—say three or four slight showers, but not enough to wet the potato hills, and the vegetables in the gardens have generally stopped growing, on account of the drought. Even corn is seriously injured,—much of it by a worm in the ear. Early potatoes are scarcely worth digging.

Monday, 11.—Early in the morning a petition was presented to me, as Lieut.-General, to devise means to get the public arms of the State for the Legion; whereupon I appointed William W. Phelps, Henry Miller, and Hosea Stout a committee to wait on Governor Ford on the subject.

Election for probate justice; weather cold; people cold. Greenleaf received most of the votes in Nauvoo—say seven hundred votes.

Six, P.M., I met with my Brother Hyrum, William Law, Newel K. Whitney, and Willard Richards in my private room, where we had a season of prayer for Brother Law’s little daughter, who was sick, and Emma, who was somewhat better.

Tuesday, 12.—Rainy day.

[Page 32]

Woodruff in a Train Wreck.

Elder Woodruff left Boston for Portland by railroad and while passing through Chester woods, the engine was thrown off the tracks, and with the baggage cars smashed to pieces. Several of the passenger cars mounted the ruins, but none of the passengers were injured, except two very slightly. The engineer, however, was killed instantaneously. Elder Woodruff, with most of the passengers, remained all night in the woods, and found it very cold.

Wednesday, 13.—I attended a lecture at the Grove, by Mr. John Finch, a Socialist, from England, and said a few words in reply.

The following article appears [this day] in the Neighbor, copied from The New Haven, Conn., Herald.

Nauvoo and Joseph Smith.

A gentleman of this town, (New Haven, Conn.) of undoubted veracity, who has lately spent several weeks at Nauvoo and among the Mormons, informs us that the general impression abroad in regard to that place and people is very erroneous. During his residence there he became quite familiar with their manners, principles, and habits, and says there is not a more industrious, moral, and well-ordered town in the country. Society is as much diversified there as it is here, the Mormons constituting about two-thirds of the population, while all religious sects are as freely tolerated as in any other part of the State. He was at the late trial and acquittal of Joseph Smith, and says that the charges against him were of the most frivolous and unsubstantial nature. He [Joseph Smith] is an agreeable man in conversation, is respected by those who know him, and is ‘as much sinned against as sinning.’ He only claims the privilege of exercising and enjoying his own religion,—a privilege which he and his followers cheerfully award to others. They invite immigrants to come among them, and receive those who design to enter into the Mormon community with great attention and kindness. Houses are prepared for their reception, to which they are conducted on their arrival by a committee appointed for that purpose, whose next business is to attend to their immediate wants and see them comfortably situated. Education is by no means neglected, proper schools and teachers being provided, and temperance reigns throughout. It has now about 15,000 to 18,000 inhabitants, and promises to become a place of extensive business, four or five steamboats stopping there every day. The gentleman remarked to us that he wished he could speak as well of his own native town as he could of Nauvoo. This is news to us, as no doubt it will be to many; but no one who knows him can doubt the integrity of our informant.

[Page 33]

The Prophet on Socialism.

Thursday, 14.—I attended a second lecture on Socialism, by Mr. Finch; and after he got through, I made a few remarks, alluding to Sidney Rigdon and Alexander Campbell getting up a community at Kirtland, and of the big fish there eating up all the little fish. I said I did not believe the doctrine.

Mr. Finch replied in a few minutes, and said—”I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness. I am the spiritual Prophet—Mr. Smith the temporal.”

Elder John Taylor replied to the lecture at some length.

Friday, 15.—I put up a sign,

“Nauvoo Mansion.”

“Nauvoo Mansion” Made a Hotel.

In consequence of my house being constantly crowded with strangers and other persons wishing to see me, of who had business in the city, I found myself unable to support as much company free of charge, which I have done from the foundation of the Church. My house has been a home and resting-place for thousands, and my family many times obliged to do without food, after having fed all they had to visitors; and I could have continued the same liberal course, had it not been for the cruel and untiring persecution of my relentless enemies. I have been reduced to the necessity of opening “The Mansion” as a hotel. I have provided the best table accommodations in the city; and the Mansion, being large and convenient, renders travelers more comfortable than any other place on the Upper Mississippi. I have erected a large and commodious brick stable, and it is capable of accommodating seventy-five horses at one time, and storing the requisite amount of forage, and is unsurpassed by any similar establishment in the State.

There was an officers’ drill in Nauvoo.

[Page 34]

Rhoda Ann, daughter of Willard and Jenetta Richards, was born at fifteen minutes to three, P.M., in Nauvoo.

Legion Parade and Inspection.

Saturday, 16.—General parade of the Nauvoo Legion near my farm. Went in company with my staff to the muster, was met by an escort, and arrived before the Legion about noon. I was received and saluted with military honors. The Legion was dismissed at about one, P.M., for two hours, and I rode home to dinner. I returned about twenty minutes after three, attended the review, and with my staff inspected the Legion; after which, I took my post and gave orders.

After the inspection, I made a speech to the Legion on their increasing prosperity, and requested the officers to increase the Legion in numbers.

I was highly gratified with the officers and soldiers, and I felt extremely well myself.

About sundown the Legion was dismissed. I rode home with my staff, highly delighted with the day’s performance, and well paid for my services.

Sunday, 17.—I was at meeting; and while Elder Almon W. Babbitt was preaching, I took my post as Mayor outside the assembly to keep order and set an example to the other officers.

After preaching, I gave some instructions about order in the congregation, men among women, and women among men, horses in the assembly, and men and boys on the stand who do not belong there, &c.

In the evening Mr. Blodgett, a Unitarian minister, preached. I was gratified with his sermon in general, but differed in opinion on some points, on which I freely expressed myself to his great satisfaction,—viz., on persecution making the work spread, like rooting up a flower garden or kicking back the sun!

Monday, 18.—I received a letter from Governor Ford as follows:—

[Page 35]

Letter of Governor Ford to the Prophet.

Springfield, September 13, 1843.

Dear Sir:—In answer to your letter, I have the honor to reply, that I will consider it my duty to prevent the invasion of this State, if in my power, by any persons elsewhere for any hostile purposes whatever.

From information in my possession, I am of opinion that there is but little danger of any such invasion. It is altogether more likely that some other mode of annoyance will be adopted. My enemies here, I think, are endeavoring to put something of the kind on foot.

I am, most respectfully,

Your obedient servant,

Thomas Ford.

I attended a council at my old house.

Conference in Nova Scotia.

A conference was held at Preston, Halifax County, Nova Scotia. 1 Elder, 1 Teacher, 1 Deacon, and 14 members were represented. Robert Dixon, president; J. Jermen, clerk.

David Greenleaf was elected probate judge for the county of Hancock, by a majority of 598 votes.

Tuesday, 19.—I directed Brother Phelps to answer the letter recently received from the Governor, and to enclose a copy of the resolutions passed at the meeting of the mobocracy at Carthage; which he did.

Wrote a letter to J. B. Backenstos.

A portion of the Twelve were present at a general muster of the independent companies of Boston. Saw a sham battle, in which thirty-five brass cannon were discharged seven times. One party was commanded by the Governor of Mass., and the other by the officer next in rank.

Wednesday, 20.—Visited my farm, accompanied by my Brother Hyrum.

The Neighbor has the following:—

Porter Rockwell.

A few short months ago, it was heralded through this State that Porter Rockwell was the individual who attempted to murder ex-Governor Boggs, of Missouri. It was confidently stated that Joseph Smith was accessory before the fact. The thing was swallowed as a precious morsel by the enemies of Mormonism. It was iterated and reiterated by the public journals, and the general expression of a certain class was that Mr. Smith ought to be hung; there was no doubt of his guilt; he was one of the most inhuman, diabolical, dangerous, and malignant persons in the universe; and when a requisition was made for him by the Governor of Missouri, it was considered worse than “arson” or “treason” that he should be acquitted by the legal authorities of this State, under habeas corpus; and afterwards, when Porter Rockwell was taken, it was exultingly stated that they had got the scoundrel, and that he would now receive the due demerit of his crime. How stands the matter when it is investigated—investigated by a Missouri court? The following will show:—

[Page 36]

The last Independence Expositor says:—”Orin Porter Rockwell, the Mormon confined in our county jail, some time since, for the attempted assassination of ex-Governor Boggs, was indicted by our last grand jury for escaping from our county jail some time since, and sent to Clay county for trial. Owing, however, to some informality in the proceedings, he was remanded to this county again for trial. There was not sufficient proof adduced against him to predicate an indictment for shooting ex-Governor Boggs, and the grand jury therefore did not indict him for that offense.”—[St. Louis New Era.]

It appears, then, after all the bluster, the hue-and-cry about Mormon outrages, Mormon intrigue, “blood,” “arson,” and “murder,” that “there was not sufficient proof adduced against him to predicate an indictment for shooting ex-Governor Boggs, and the grand jury therefore did not indict him for that offense.” This speaks for itself: it needs no comment. We are glad, for the sake of suffering innocence, that Mr. Rockwell stands clear in the eyes of the law. Thus it seems that after exerting all their malice and hellish rage to implicate the innocent, they can find no proof against him. But yet he must be again incarcerated, without proof, for another hearing. This is Missouri justice. If he was guilty of breaking jail, why not try and punish him for that before that court? Where is the necessity of remanding him to another county for another hearing? It is evident that they wish to immolate him, and, by offering him as a sacrifice, glut their thirst for innocent blood.

Pacific Island Mission.

I answered Governor Ford’s letter received on the 18th. Elder Brigham Young instructed Elder Addison Pratt to go and engage a passage for himself and Elders Noah Rogers, Knowlton F. Hanks, and B. F. Grouard, as missionaries to the Pacific Islands, although they had not one-tenth of the means on hand to pay their passage.

[Page 37]

In the evening, Elders Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Orson Pratt, Wilford Woodruff, George A. Smith, and John E. Page visited Mr. O. S. Fowler, the phrenologist, who examined their heads and gave their phrenological charts.

Thursday, 21.—Made affidavit with Willard Richards and William Clayton to Auditor of State v. Walter Bagby.

About eleven, A.M., called with my Brother Samuel H. to see about getting a copy of his blessing, and wished Doctor Richards much joy in his new daughter.

About noon, went on board the Maid of Iowa, with William Clayton, clerk of the boat.

One, P.M., the thermometer stood at 100 deg. in the shade.

Friday, 22.—The Twelve visited the Navy Yard and Harbor of Boston, the Mississippi steamship, the ropewalk, the Bunker-hill monument, the State-house, and the State’s prison. In the evening they addressed the Saints in Boylston Hall.

Elder Addison Pratt, accompanied by Elder Philip B. Lewis engaged a passage to the Society Islands at $100 each for himself, Noah Rogers, Knowlton F. Hanks, and B. F. Grouard.

Saturday, 23.—Elder Stephen Markham returned from Dixon, the trial of Reynolds and Wilson being postponed till May next.

Report from the Pinery.

Bishop George Miller returned from the Pinery. He reports the water in Black River so low that they could not get their raft into the Mississippi.

I had an interview with Elder Orson Spencer, from whom I borrowed $75 for the Temple.

Stewardship vs. Common Stock.

Sunday, 24.—I preached on the stand about one hour on the 2nd chapter of Acts, designing to show the folly of common stock. In Nauvoo every one is steward over his own. After preaching, I called upon the brethren to draw stone for the Temple, and gave notice for a special conference for the 6th of October next. Adjourned the meeting about one, P.M., on account of the prospect of rain. Judge McBride and a lawyer from Missouri were present at the meeting.

[Page 38]

Monday, 25.—Wet day. At home. Held a conversation with the Missouri lawyer.

Tuesday, 26—Held Mayor’s Court, and tried the case of “Dana v. Leeches.” No cause of action. Called at the store about six, P.M., and directed the clerk to issue papers in the case of “Medagh v. Hovey.”

Wednesday, 27.—The Neighbor of this date has the following editorial:—

Concerning Horse Thieves.

We find that the Quincy Whig has some very righteous remarks to make concerning the Mormons, emanating from the purest principles of patriotism. (?) The editor has had some “private conversation” with some individual or individuals about certain charges brought against the Mormons, particulary that of screening horse thieves.

We think that the Whig has not done itself much credit in advocating the principles contained in those resolutions. We leave that, however, for a discerning public to judge.

Concerning the horse thieves, however, the informant of the Whig would have shown himself a better friend to society to have given information to the proper authorities, and had these pests of society brought to condign punishment. And the editor of that paper would have proved himself more patriotic by telling us who these people are that are screened in our midst, than dealing thus in generals and stabbing in the dark.

Come, Mr. Whig, out with it, and let us know who it is that is found transgressing. Who knows but that, far fallen as we are, there yet may be virtue enough left to prosecute a horse thief! We have tried this more than once, and prosecuted them as far as Carthage; but no sooner do they arrive in the jail there than we lose all track of them. The lock of the door is so slippery, that it lets them all out. We presume, however, that it is on account of the honesty of the people. (?) We are pleased to find that the Whig is in the secret!

Mr. Ivins, of this city, had a horse stolen last week, and we frequently have occurrences of the kind. Will the editor of that paper be so kind as to ask his informant who the thieves are, and where they live, and give us the desired information? and we shall esteem it a peculiar favor.

[Page 39]

I was at home all day, and gave Brother Phelps the privilege of occupying the small house near the store.

Meeting of a Special Council.

Thursday, 28.—At half-past eleven, A.M., a council convened over the store, consisting of myself, my brother Hyrum, Uncle John Smith, Newel K. Whitney, George Miller, Willard Richards, John Taylor, Amasa Lyman, John M. Bernhisel, and Lucien Woodworth; and at seven in the evening we met in the front upper room of the Mansion, with William Law and William Marks. By the common consent and unanimous voice of the council, I was chosen president of the special council.

The president led in prayer that his days might be prolonged until his mission on the earth is accomplished, have dominion over his enemies, all their households be blessed, and all the Church and the world.

Friday, 29.—Elder Brigham Young started from Boston for Nauvoo. The Twelve were now scattered among the branches in the Eastern States.

Saturday, 30.—Rainy, and strong west wind.

Elders Young and Woodruff stayed at Elder Forster’s, in New York.

Sunday, October 1, 1843.—I copy the following from the Times and Seasons of this date:—

Who shall be our Next President?

This question we frequently hear asked, and it is a question of no small importance to the Latter-day Saints.

We, as a people, have labored and are still laboring under great injustice from the hands of a neighboring state. The Latter-day Saints have had their property destroyed, and their houses made desolate by the hands of the Missourians; murders have been committed with impunity, and many, in consequence of oppression, barbarism, and cruelty, have slept the sleep of death. They [the Saints] have been obliged to flee from their possessions into a distant land, in the chilling frosts of winter, robbed, spoiled, desolate, houseless, and homeless, without any just pretext or shadow of law, without having violated the laws of that state, or the United States; and have had to wander as exiles in a strange land, without as yet being able to obtain any redress for their grievances.

[Page 40]

We have hitherto adopted every legal measure. First, we petitioned the State of Missouri, but in vain. We have memorialized Congress, but they have turned a deaf ear to our supplication, and referred us again to the State and justice of Missouri. Doubtless many of the members of that honorable body were not sufficiently informed of the enormity and extent of the crimes of our persecutors, nor of the indelible stain which our national escutcheon has received through their inhuman daring. They have been allowed to revel in blood and luxuriate in the miseries of the oppressed, and no man has laid it to heart.

The fact is that gentlemen of respectability and refinement, who live in a civilized society, find it difficult to believe that such enormities could be practiced in a Republican government. But our wrong cannot slumber. Such tyranny and oppression must not be passed over in silence. Our injuries, though past, are not forgotten by us; they still rankle in our bosoms, and the blood of the innocent yet cries for justice; and as American citizens we have appealed and shall still continue to appeal to the legally-constituted authorities of the land for redress, in the hopes that justice, which has long slumbered, may be aroused in our defense; that the spirit which burned in the bosoms of the patriots of ’76 may fire the souls of their descendants; and though slow, that their indignation may yet be aroused at the injustice of the oppressor; and that they may yet mete out justice to our adversaries, and step forward in the defense of the innocent.

We shall ask no one to commit themselves on our account. We want no steps taken but what are legal, constitutional and honorable. But we are American citizens; and as American citizens we have rights in common with all that live under the folds of the “star-spangled banner.” Our rights have been trampled upon by lawless miscreants. We have been robbed of our liberties by mobocratic influence, and all those honorable ties that ought to govern and characterize Columbia’s sons have been trampled in the dust. Still we are American Citizens; and as American citizens we claim the privilege of being heard in the councils of our nation. We have been wronged, abused, robbed, and banished; and we seek redress. Such crimes can not slumber in Republican America. The cause of common humanity would revolt at it, and Republicanism would hide its head in disgust.

We make these remarks for the purpose of drawing the attention of our brethren to this subject, both at home and abroad, that we may fix upon the man who will be the most likely to render us assistance in obtaining redress for our grievances; and not only give our own votes, but use our influence to obtain others; and if the voice of suffering innocence will not sufficiently arouse the rulers of our nation to investigate our case, perhaps a vote of from fifty to one hundred thousand may rouse them from their lethargy.

[Page 41]

We shall fix upon the man of our choice, and notify our friends duly.

I published the following in the same number of the Times and Seasons:

The Appointment of a Mission to Russia.

To all the Saints and honourable men of the earth to whom the Lord has given liberally of this world’s goods, greeting:

Our worthy Brother, Elder George J. Adams, has been appointed by the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at Nauvoo to present to them the importance, as well as the things connected with his mission to Russia, to introduce the fullness of the Gospel to the people of that vast empire, and also to which is attached some of the most important things concerning the advancement and building up of the kingdom of God in the last days, which cannot be explained at this time. But as the mission is attended with much expense, all those who feel disposed to bestow according as God has blessed them shall receive the blessings of Israel’s God, and tenfold shall be added unto them, as well as the prayers of the Saints of God.

With sentiments of high esteem, we subscribe ourselves your friends and brethren in the now and everlasting covenant,

Joseph Smith,

Hyrum Smith.

Presidents of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 1

I attended meeting this morning, and adjourned it in consequence of the cold and rain. The afternoon being more pleasant, the people assembled, and were addressed by Elders Marks, Charles C. Rich and Bishop Jacob Foutz.

Council met in the evening same as on Thursday previous.

Monday, 2.—At home.

Movement of Apostles in the East.

Tuesday, 3.—Elders Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Orson Hyde, George A. Smith, Wilford Woodruff, and Jedediah M. Grant spent the day in visiting the Saints in Philadelphia. In the evening they partook of an oyster supper, on the invitation of Mr. Jeffreys.

[Page 42]

The brethren assembled with their wives, to the number of about one hundred couple, and dined at the Mansion as an opening to the house. A very pleasant day, and all things passed off well.

The following is extracted from the Neighbor of this date.

Pleasure Party and Dinner at the Nauvoo Mansion.

General Joseph Smith, the proprietor of said house, provided a luxurious feast for a pleasure party; and all having partaken of the luxuries of a well-spread board, the cloth was removed, and a committee appointed to draft resolutions suitable to the occasion. They adjourned for a few moments and returned, when Robert D. Foster was appointed chairman.

The object of the meeting was then briefly stated by the chairman; after which a hymn was sung, and prayer by Elder Taylor. The chairman then arose and made some appropriate remarks for the occasion, touching upon the rise and progress of the city, the varied scenes through which the Saints had to pass, the persecutions and abuses the Prophets had to undergo, &c., &c. After which he read the following resolutions and toast, which were unanimously adopted:—

Resolved, 1st. That a vote of thanks be presented to General Joseph Smith and lady, through the medium of the Nauvoo Neighbor, for the very bountiful feast by them provided, for the accommodation of this party of more than one hundred couple at their Mansion.

Resolved, 2nd. General Joseph Smith, whether we view him as a Prophet at the head of the Church, a General at the head of the Legion, a Mayor at the head of the City Council, or as a landlord at the head of his table, if he has equals, he has no superiors.

Resolved, 3rd. Nauvoo, the great emporium of the West, the center of all centers, a city of three years’ growth, a population of 15,000 souls congregated from the four quarters of the globe, embracing the intelligence of all nations, with industry, frugality, economy, virtue, and brotherly love, unsurpassed by any age in the world,—a suitable home for the Saints.

Resolved, 4th. Nauvoo Legion, a well disciplined and faithful band of invincibles, ready at all times to defend their country with this motto, “Vive la Republique.”

Resolved, 5th. Nauvoo Charter, like the laws of the Medes and Persians, an unalterable decree by a patriotic band of wise legislators for the protection of the innocent.

Resolved, 6th. Thomas Ford, Governor of Illinois, fearless and faithful in the discharge of all official duties,—long may he live, and blessings attend his administration.

[Page 43]

Colonel Francis M. Higbee was then called to the stand, who addressed the audience in a very spirited and appropriate manner for the day.

Professor Orson Spencer was then called, who arose, and in his usual easy and eloquent manner highly entertained the company for nearly half-an-hour.

The next called was Elder John Taylor, who alone was capable of putting on the top stone of the entertainment. His address was highly interesting, combining, like a Lacoon, a volume in every gesture.

General Smith then arose, and, in a very touching and suitable manner, tendered his thanks to the company for the encomiums and honors conferred on him. He recited the many woes through which he had passed, the persecutions which he had suffered, and the love he had for the brethren and citizens of Nauvoo. He tendered his gratitude for the pleasing prospects that surrounded him to the great Giver of all good. He said he thought that his case was similar to that of old Job’s—that after he had suffered and drank the very dregs of affliction, the Lord had remembered him in mercy, and was about to bless him abundantly.

After he had done, Mrs. Emma Smith presented her thanks, through the chair, to the company present; after which, a motion was made and carried, to adjourn, whereupon the company were called to their feet. Benediction by Elder Taylor, and the party retired with the most perfect satisfaction and good humor as was ever witnessed on such occasions.

Robert D. Foster, Chairman.

In the evening Mr. William Backenstos and Clara M. Wasson were married at the Mansion. I solemnized the marriage in presence of a select party.

Wednesday, 4.—I extract the following from the Neighbor of this date:—


With respect to the Carthage meeting, I take upon myself to deny the charges in toto, and challenge them to the proof. If we harbor horse-thieves among us, as is basely asserted, let the man that has lost his horse publish his name and the name of the villain, or how he knows him to be a Mormon, and where he is harbored, that we may have something more than vague assertions. They well know that no such proof can be produced, but that the charges had their birth in the minds of one or two heartless scoundrels thirsting for revenge for their late disappointments. The whole of the charges are a tissue of falsehoods got up with the idea of intimidating a peaceable body of citizens. But, sir, we set such designing knaves at defiance and laugh at their threats, treating them with utter contempt, but ever ready to abide by the truth.

[Page 44]

John Greenhow.

Elder Reuben Hedlock wrote the following letter:—

Elder Reuben Hedlock to the First Presidency.

Liverpool, October 4, 1843.

To the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, greeting:

Dear and Much Esteemed Brethren,—I hasten to inform you of my arrival in Liverpool on the 30th day of September, in company with Elders John Cairns, James Sloan and wife, James Houston, and William G. Jermon. We left six of the Twelve in the city of New York, the 2nd day of September, and came on board of the ship Columbus. Our passage money was five dollars. We had a very hard passage. We were very much crowded in the steerage. There were 236 persons—Dutch, Irish, English and Scotch, and as dirty as any I ever saw. We were not much sick; the weather was cold. Had it been otherwise, we should have suffered more. A steamer leaves for New York today, and I thought I would announce to you my arrival by this opportunity, and such information as I was in possession of up to this date. There is a ship to sail on the 14th instant, by which I shall write you again.

I found Elders Hyrum Clark, Thomas Ward, and Amos Fielding in Liverpool, and they were well; and as far as I was informed by them, the Church is in a good state and on the increase; it numbers somewhere between eight and nine thousand members. There is a great want of laborers in the vineyard. Many of the first Elders have left this for Nauvoo, leaving their places vacant. I presented to the Presidency here your decision relative to the printing. Elders Ward and Fielding received it, and manifested a desire to abide by it. Elder Fielding wept when I showed him your decision concerning him and his coming to Nauvoo by the first ship to see you face to face. The brethren say here that he has been too hasty in some things, and has given some an offense; but I do not as yet know anything derogatory to his character that I could say aught against him. I shall write you all the particulars as fast as I come in possession of them. As regards the printing in this land, we shall stop it after the next number is published. In it we wish to publish the news from Nauvoo for the benefit of the Saints, and to announce our arrival in this country.

Permit me here to give you my opinion as regards the printing in this land, and I will cheerfully abide your advice notwithstanding. After we stop the Star, we shall have during the shipping season to advertise and give general information in the emigration business to the Saints scattered abroad. I think it would be best to republish the Times and Seasons for the benefit of the Church. The duties on books are £2-10s. per hundredweight; and there are now 1,600Stars circulated here at the present, and the demands of our publications are on the increase. The duties would almost reprint the Times and Seasons, and then we could do our advertising on the last page, if thought advisable. We could afford it as cheap as the present Star, and pay you something for the privilege of publishing, as well as to pay it to the crown. I have not yet learned the amount of funds remaining here subject to your order. I have not had much time as yet to inquire into those matters, in consequence of the multitude of business in unloading our freight from shipboard.

[Page 45]

The brethren that came with me wish to say to those whom it may concern, that they are well, and will in a few days leave for their fields of labor.

I shall write to you once a month, no preventing Providence, and should be glad to have you write to me as often, and give me your advice and counsel relating to those things you, in your wisdom, may think beneficial to the Saints and emigration in this land.

I wish Elder Taylor would forward to me the amount of the number that will make the volume of the Times and Seasonscomplete by the first opportunity. By so doing I can sell the 200 volumes to advantage. I will try to forward to him what I can obtain for the Times and Seasons already here. If it should be thought wisdom to reprint the Times and Seasonshere, I wish Brother Taylor would be particular to send, so that we could obtain them, if possible. I am informed by Elder Ward that they have not received any intelligence from you since last February.

I wish you would write me your mind concerning the printing immediately on the receipt of this sheet, so that our communication with the Saints in England may not be stopped long.

I am, as ever, your humble servant in the bonds of the new and everlasting covenant,

Reuben Hedlock.

The Prophet’s visit with Justin Butterfield.

I was at the mansion preparing some legal papers.—Justin Butterfield, Esq., U. S. Attorney for Illinois, arrived this afternoon; and I spent the rest of the day in riding and chatting with him.

Council of the quorum [special council, see p. 39] met and adjourned to Sunday evening; my Brother Hyrum’s child being sick.

[Page 46]

The quorum of the Twelve started from Philadelphia for Pittsburgh.

Thursday, 5.—This morning I rode out with Esquire Butterfield to the farm.

Instructions Respecting Plurality of Wives.

In the afternoon, rode to the prairie to show some of the brethren some land. Evening, at home, and walked up and down the streets with my scribe. Gave instructions to try those persons who were preaching, teaching, or practicing the doctrine of plurality of wives: for, according to the law, I hold the keys of this power in the last days; for there is never but one on earth at a time on whom the power and its keys are conferred; and I have constantly said no man shall have but one wife at a time, unless the Lord directs otherwise.

Friday, 6.—I attended special conference; but as few people were out, in consequence of the weather proving unfavorable, the organization of the conference was adjourned until to morrow, or the first pleasant day.

The Prophet’s Dissatisfaction with Sidney Rigdon.

After giving notice that President Rigdon’s case would be considered, &c., I walked towards home, and gave instructions to my scribe to cause all the papers relating to my land-claims in the Half Breed Tract in Iowa, to be placed in the hands of Esquire Butterfield.

Saturday, 7.—I attended conference.

Sunday, 8.—Slight frost last night. Conference convened in the morning; but, as it rained, adjourned till Monday at ten, A.M.

Prayer-meeting at my house in the evening. Quorum present; also, in addition, Sisters Adams, Elizabeth Ann Whitney, my aunt Clarissa Smith, and my mother.

My brother Hyrum and his wife were blessed, ordained and anointed.

The Twelve arrived at Pittsburgh at ten, A.M., and again left by the steamer Raritan, at eleven, A.M., en route for Nauvoo.

[Page 47]

Monday, 9.—Attended conference, and preached a funeral sermon on the death of General James Adams; a brief synopsis of which, as reported by Dr. Willard Richards, will be found in the minutes below.

I here insert the conference minutes.

Minutes of A Special Conference.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in Special Conference, held in the City of Nauvoo, commencing on the 6th of October, 1843.

Friday, October 6, ten o’clock, A.M.

The weather proving unfavorable, the organization of the Conference was postponed until the next day at ten o’clock, A.M.

Saturday, ten o’clock, A.M.

Conference assembled and proceeded to business.

President Joseph Smith was called to the chair, and Gustavus Hills was chosen clerk.

Singing by the choir, and prayer by Elder Almon W. Babbitt.

The president stated the items of business to be brought before the conference to be—

1st. The case and standing of Elder Sidney Rigdon, Counselor in the First Presidency,

2nd. The further progress of the Temple; after which, any miscellaneous business.

Elder Sidney Rigdon addressed the conference on the subject of his situation and circumstances among the Saints.

President Joseph Smith addressed the conference, inviting an expression of any charges or complaints which the conference had to make. He stated his dissatisfaction with Elder Sidney Rigdon as a Counselor, not having received any material benefit from his labors of counsels since their escape from Missouri. Several complaints were then brought forward in reference to his management in the post office; a supposed correspondence and connection with John C. Bennett, with Ex-Governor Carlin, and with the Missourians, of a treacherous character; also his leaguing with dishonest persons in endeavoring to defraud the innocent.

President Joseph Smith related to the conference the detention of a document from Justin Butterfield, Esq., which was designed for the benefit of himself, (President Smith,) but was not handed over for some three or four weeks, greatly to his disadvantage; also, an indirect testimony from Missouri, through the mother of Orrin P. Rockwell, that said Rigdon and others had given information, by letter, of President Smith’s visit to Dixon, advising them to proceed to that place and arrest him there. He stated that, in consequence of these and other circumstances, and Elder Rigdon’s unprofitableness to him as a Counselor, he did not wish to retain him in that station, unless those difficulties could be removed; but desired his salvation, and expressed his willingness that he should retain a place among the Saints.

[Page 48]

Elder Almon W. Babbitt suggested the propriety of limiting the complaints and proofs to circumstances that had transpired since the last conference.

President Joseph Smith replied, and showed the legality and propriety of a thorough investigation, without such limitation.

Elder Sidney Rigdon pleaded, concerning the document from Justin Butterfield, Esq., that he received it in answer to some inquiries which he [Rigdon] had transmitted to him [Butterfield]; that he [Rigdon] received it at a time when he was sick, and unable to examine it; did not know that it was designed for the perusal and benefit of President Joseph Smith; that he had, consequently, ordered it to be laid aside, where it remained until inquired for by Joseph Smith. He had never written to Missouri concerning the visit of Joseph Smith to Dixon, and knew of no other person having done so. That, concerning certain rumors of belligerent operations under Governor Carlin’s administration, he had related them, not to alarm or disturb any one; but that he had the rumors from good authorities, and supposed them well founded. That he had never received but one communication from John C. Bennett, and that of a business character, except one addressed to him conjointly with Elder Orson Pratt, which he handed over to President Smith. That he had never written any letters to John C. Bennett.

The weather becoming inclement, conference adjourned until Sunday, ten o’clock, A.M.

Sunday, 8th, ten o’clock, A.M.

Conference assembled agreeably to adjournment.

Singing by the choir, and prayer by Elder William W. Phelps.

Elder Sidney Rigdon resumed his plea of defense. He related the circumstances of his reception in the city of Quincy, after his escape from Missouri,—the cause of his delay in not going to the city of Washington, on an express to which he had been appointed: and closed with a moving appeal to President Joseph Smith, concerning their former friendship, associations, and sufferings; and expressed his willingness to resign his place, though with sorrowful and indescribable feelings. During this address, the sympathies of the congregation were highly excited.

Elder Almon W. Babbitt related a conversation he had had with Esquire Johnson, in which he exonerated Elder Sidney Rigdon from the charge or suspicion of having had a treacherous correspondence with ex-Governor Carlin.

[Page 49]

President Joseph Smith arose and explained to the congregation the supposed treacherous correspondence with ex-Governor Carlin, and expressed entire lack of confidence in his integrity and steadfastness, judging from their past intercourse.

Patriarch Hyrum Smith followed with appropriate and impressive remarks on the attributes of mercy in God, as that by which He influences, controls and conquers; and the propriety and importance of the Saints exercising the same attribute towards their fellows, and especially towards their aged companion and fellow-servant in the cause of truth and righteousness.

Elder Almon W. Babbitt and President William Law followed with remarks in defense of Elder Sidney Rigdon.

On motion by President William Marks, and seconded by Patriarch Hyrum Smith, conference voted that Elder Sidney Rigdon be permitted to retain his station as Counselor in the First Presidency.

President Joseph Smith arose and said, “I have thrown him off my shoulders, and you have again put him on me. You may carry him, but I will not.” 2

Singing. Prayer by Elder William Law.

Conference adjourned for one hour.

Three, P.M.

Conference assembled; but in consequence of the inclemency of the weather, business was postponed until Monday, ten o’clock, A.M.

Monday, ten o’clock, A.M.

Conference assembled, and resumed business.

Singing by the choir. Prayer by Elder Alpheus Cutler.

The business pertaining to the Temple was then announced by the President as next in order.

Elder Alpheus Cutler, on the part of the Temple Committee, represented the work of the Temple to be retarded for want of team work and provisions—also of iron, steel, blasting powder, and clothing,—giving as his opinion that the walls could easily be completed next season, if these embarrassments were removed, and the brethren would come forward to sustain them in the work with the means that were in their hands.

Elder Reynolds Cahoon followed, seconding the remarks of Elder Cutler, and setting forth the importance of the Saints using their utmost exertions to fulfill the revelation concerning the Temple, earnestly exhorting the Saints here and abroad to roll in the necessary means into the hands of the Trustee, that the work may advance with rapidity.

[Page 50]

President Hyrum Smith followed with pertinent remarks on the importance of the work—the ease with which it might be advanced to its completion,—that it had already become a monument for the people abroad to gaze on with astonishment. He concluded with some advice to parents to restrain their children from vice and folly, and employ them in some business of profit to themselves, to the Temple, or elsewhere.

On motion by Elder William Law, and seconded by President Hyrum Smith, conference voted that we, as a conference and individuals, will use all the means, exertions, and influence in our power to sustain the Temple Committee in advancing the work of the Temple.

Conference adjourned for one hour.

Two o’clock, P.M.

Conference re-assembled, and listened with profound attention to an impressive discourse from President Joseph Smith, commemorative of the decease of James Adams, Esq., late of this city, and an honorable, worthy, useful and esteemed member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The Prophet’s Remarks on the Demise of James Adams.

All men know that they must die. And it is important that we should understand the reasons and causes of our exposure to the vicissitudes of life and of death, and the designs and purposes of God in our coming into the world, our sufferings here, and our departure hence. What is the object of our coming into existence, then dying and falling away, to be here no more? It is but reasonable to suppose that God would reveal something in reference to the matter, and it is a subject we ought to study more than any other. We ought to study it day and night, for the world is ignorant in reference to their true condition and relation. If we have any claim on our Heavenly Father for anything, it is for knowledge on this important subject. Could we read and comprehend all that has been written from the days of Adam, on the relation of man to God and angels in a future state, we should know very little about it. Reading the experience of others, or the revelation given to them, can never give us a comprehensive view of our condition and true relation to God. Knowledge of these things can only be obtained by experience through the ordinances of God set forth for that purpose. Could you gaze into heaven five minutes, you would know more than you would by reading all that ever was written on the subject.

We are only capable of comprehending that certain things exist, which we may acquire by certain fixed principles. If men would acquire salvation, they have got to be subject, before they leave this world, to certain rules and principles, which were fixed by an unalterable decree before the world was.

[Page 51]

The disappointment of hopes and expectations at the resurrection would be indescribably dreadful.

The organization of the spiritual and heavenly worlds, and of spiritual and heavenly beings, was agreeable to the most perfect order and harmony: their limits and bounds were fixed irrevocably, and voluntarily subscribed to in their heavenly estate by themselves, and were by our first parents subscribed to upon the earth. Hence the importance of embracing and subscribing to principles of eternal truth by all men upon the earth that expect eternal life.

I assure the Saints that truth, in reference to these matters, can and may be known through the revelations of God in the way of His ordinances, and in answer to prayer. The Hebrew Church “came unto the spirits of just men made perfect, and unto an innumerable company of angels, unto God the Father of all, and to Jesus Christ, the Mediator of the new covenant.” What did they learn by coming of the spirits of just men made perfect? Is it written? No. What they learned has not been and could not have been written. What object was gained by this communication with the spirits of the just? It was the established order of the kingdom of God: the keys of power and knowledge were with them to communicate to the Saints. Hence the importance of understanding the distinction between the spirits of the just and angels.

Spirits can only be revealed in flaming fire or glory. Angels have advanced further, their light and glory being tabernacled; and hence they appear in bodily shape. The spirits of just men are made ministering servants to those who are sealed unto life eternal, and it is through them that the sealing power comes down.

Patriarch Adams is now one of the spirits of the just men made perfect; and, if revealed now, must be revealed in fire; and the glory could not be endured. Jesus showed Himself to His disciples, and they thought it was His spirit, and they were afraid to approach His spirit. Angels have advanced higher in knowledge and power than spirits.

Concerning Brother James Adams, it should appear strange that so good and so great a man was hated. The deceased ought never to have had an enemy. But so it was. Wherever light shone, it stirred up darkness. Truth and error, good and evil cannot be reconciled. Judge Adams had some enemies, but such a man ought not to have had one. I saw him first at Springfield, when on my way from Missouri to Washington. He sought me out when a stranger, took me to his home, encouraged and cheered me, and gave me money. He has been a most intimate friend. I anointed him to the patriarchal power—to receive the keys of knowledge and power, by revelation to himself. He has had revelations concerning his departure, and has gone to a more important work. When men are prepared, they are better off to go hence. Brother Adams has gone to open up a more effectual door for the dead. The spirits of the just are exalted to a greater and more glorious work; hence they are blessed in their departure to the world of spirits. Enveloped in flaming fire, they are not far from us, and know and understand our thoughts, feelings, and motions, and are often pained therewith.

[Page 52]

Flesh and blood cannot go there; but flesh and bones, quickened by the Spirit of God, can.

If we would be sober and watch in fasting and prayer, God would turn away sickness from our midst.

Hasten the work in the Temple, renew your exertions to forward all the work of the last days, and walk before the Lord in soberness and righteousness. Let the Elders and Saints do away with lightmindedness, and be sober.

Such is a faint outline of the discourse of President Joseph Smith, which was delivered with his usual feeling and pathos, and was listened to with the most profound and eager attention by the multitude, who hung upon his instructions, anxious to learn and pursue the path of eternal life.

After singing by the choir, and prayer by the President, Conference adjourned sine die, with the benediction of the President.

Joseph Smith, President.

Gustavus Hills, Clerk.

Pacific Island Mission Embarks.

The missionaries to the Society Islands went on board the ship Timoleon, Captain Plasket, at New Bedford, and got under way. Elder Philip B. Lewis donated $300 towards their passage and fitout. Elder Knowlton F. Hanks’ health was very poor.

Share This With Someone

Share This With Someone



1. The fact that Sidney Rigdon and Wm. Law did not sign this document as in the First Presidency, should be noted.

2. This paragraph in Italics appears as footnote in the Ms. History.