JS, , and , Proclamation, , Hancock Co., IL, 15 Jan. 1841. Featured version published in “A Proclamation, to the Saints Scattered Abroad,” Times and Seasons, 15 Jan. 1841, –277. For more complete source information, see the source note for Letter to Isaac Galland, 22 Mar. 1839.
In the 15 January 1841 issue of the Times and Seasons, its editors published “A Proclamation, to the Saints Scattered Abroad,” which was signed by JS, , and —the of the . This proclamation encouraged the growing number of English converts to relocate to , Illinois. Members of the in had begun to organize the emigration of church members, some of whom had already arrived in Nauvoo. Although there was enthusiasm for the British mission’s success, church leaders were concerned about not having the resources to sustain Nauvoo’s rapidly growing population. The Twelve recommended pooling funds to enable more Saints to emigrate, which meant converts had very little means when they arrived in Nauvoo. On 15 December 1840, JS wrote the apostles, encouraging wealthier Latter-day Saints to emigrate before the impoverished.
In addition to encouraging immigration and recommending a policy for how Saints could best migrate to , the First Presidency commended the Saints for the growth of the church in the and “the Islands of the Sea,” referring specifically to proselytizing in Great Britain, Australia, and the East Indies. The proclamation reviewed the state of church members from the time of their expulsion from to the hospitable reception they were enjoying in . It also thanked several prominent men in , Illinois, and the Nauvoo area, including new converts , who had sold to the church his vast property holdings in the region, and , who had lobbied the Illinois state legislature for the Nauvoo city charter.
The proclamation announced that on 16 December 1840 the legislature had passed the charter, which authorized the new city to establish its own municipal council and court system, a local militia, and a municipal university. The proclamation also stated that construction of a in Nauvoo had commenced. It emphasized the great potential for agriculture and manufacturing that the city’s location on the afforded, even though there were still concerns about sickness along the river. Reiterating JS’s instructions in his 15 December 1840 letter to the apostles, the proclamation encouraged those capable of building infrastructure and businesses to immigrate to the area, which had been appointed as a gathering place for the Saints in October 1839, and to prepare the way for the poor who would follow.
The Times and Seasons referred to the proclamation as “a document of considerable interest to the church at large.” The editors expressed their support for its contents and their “hope that it will not only be received with pleasure, but that the instructions which are communicated, will be cheerfully attended to.” The proclamation, for which no manuscript copy is apparently extant, was republished in the March 1841 issue of the Latter-day Saints’ Millennial Star.
[t]ers appertaining to education from common schools up to the highest branches of a most liberal collegiate course. They will establish a regular system of education, and hand over the pupil from teacher to professor, until the regular gradation is consummated, and the education finished. This corporation contains all the powers and perogatives of any other college or university in this . The charters for the University and Legion are addenda to the city charter, making the whole perfect and complete.
Not only has the Lord given us favor in the eyes of the community, who are happy to see us in the enjoyment of all the rights and privileges of freemen, but we are happy to state that several of the principal men of , who have listened to the doctrines we promulge, have become obedient to the faith and are rejoicing in the same; among whom is , M. D., Quarter Master General of . We mention this gentleman first, because, that during our persecutions in , he became acquainted with the violence we were suffering, while in that , on account of our religion—his sympathies for us were aroused, and his indignation kindled against our persecutors for the cruelties practised upon us, and their flagrant violation of both the law and the constitution. Amidst their heated zeal to put down the truth, he addressed us a letter, tendering to us his assistence in delivering us out of the hands of our enemies, and restoring us again to our privileges, and only required at our hands to point out the way, and he would be forthcoming, with all the forces he could raise for that purpose—He has been one of the principal instruments, in effecting our safety and deliverance from the unjust persecutions and demands of the authorities of , and also in procuring the city charter—He is a man of enterprize, extensive acquirements, and of independant mind, and is calculated to be a great blessing to our community.
Dr. , also, who is one of our benefactors, having under his control, a large quantity of land in the immediate vicinity of our , and a considerable portion of the city plot opened both his heart and his hands, and “when we were strangers—took us in,” and bade us welcome to share with him in his abundance; leaving his dwelling house, the most splendid edifice in the vicinity, for our accommodation, and betook himself to a small, uncomfortable dwelling—He sold us his large estates, on very reasonable terms, and on long credit, so that we might have an opportunity of paying for them, without being distressed, and has since taken our lands in in payment for the whole amount, and has given us a clear and indisputable title for the same. And in addition to the first purchase, we have exchanged lands with him in to the amonnt of eighty thousand dollars. He is the honored instrument the Lord used, to prepare a home for us, when we were driven from our inheritances, having given him control of vast bodies of land, and prepared his heart to make the use of it the Lord intended he should. Being a man of extensive information, great talents, and high literary fame, he devoted all his powers and influence to give us a character.
After having thus exerted himself for our salvation and comfort, and formed an intimate acquaintance with many of our people, his mind became wrought up to the greatest feelings, being convinced that our persecutions, were like those of the ancient Saints, and after investigating the doctrines we proclaimed, he became convinced of the truth and of the necessity of obedience thereto, and to the great joy and satisfaction of the he yielded himself to the waters of , and became a partaker with us in our sufferings. “choosing rather to suffer afflictions with the people of God than enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.” In connexion with these, we would mention the names of Gen. , Judge of Probate, of , Dr. Green, of Shelby County, , M. D., a gentleman of great energy of character, late of , , of , , of Putnam County, Indiana, with many others of respectability and high standing in society, with nearly all the old settlers in our immediate neighborhood. We make mention of this, that the Saints may be en [p. 275]
The Nauvoo charter stated that the “Chancellor and Regents of the University of the City of Nauvoo . . . shall have full power to pass, ordain, establish and execute all such laws and ordinances as they may consider necessary for the welfare and prosperity of said University, its officers, and students; Provided, that the said laws and ordinances shall not be repugnant to the Constitution of the United States, or of this State.” (Act to Incorporate the City of Nauvoo, 16 Dec. 1840.)
This letter to JS is apparently not extant, but Bennett referred to it in several letters he wrote in July 1840. In his 25 July letter, he wrote: “The last time I wrote you was during the pendency of your difficulties with the Missourians. you are aware that at that time I held the office of ‘Brigadier General of the Invincible Dragoons’ of this state and proffered you my entire energies for your deliverance from a ruthless and savage, tho. cowardly foe; but the Lord came to your rescue and saved you with a powerful arm.” (Letter from John C. Bennett, 25 July 1840, underlining in original; see also Letters from John C. Bennett, 27 and 30 July 1840.)
An October 1840 general conference selected Bennett, JS, and Robert B. Thompson as a committee to draft the document that would become the Nauvoo charter. Additionally, Bennett was “appointed delegate to Springfield, to urge the passage of said bill through the legislature.” He subsequently lobbied in Springfield leading up to the November and December deliberations of the Twelfth Illinois General Assembly. (Minutes and Discourse, 3–5 Oct. 1840; Ford, History of Illinois, 263.)
Ford, Thomas. A History of Illinois, from Its Commencement as a State in 1818 to 1847. Containing a Full Account of the Black Hawk War, the Rise, Progress, and Fall of Mormonism, the Alton and Lovejoy Riots, and Other Important and Interesting Events. Chicago: S. C. Griggs; New York: Ivison and Phinney, 1854.
Galland sold his home and land on the Nauvoo peninsula on 30 April 1839. For a time after the sale, Sidney Rigdon and his family lived in Galland’s house. According to Rigdon’s son John Wickliff Rigdon, it was “a beautiful place on the banks of the river a stone house and nicely shaded with locus trees and considerable land lying back it on the flats.” (Hancock Co., IL, Deed Records, 1817–1917, vol. 12-G, p. 247, 30 Apr. 1839, microfilm 954,195, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL; Rigdon, “Life Story of Sidney Rigdon,” 158.)
U.S. and Canada Record Collection. FHL.
Rigdon, John Wickliff. “Life Story of Sidney Rigdon,” no date. CHL. MS 3451.
This passage refers to the sale of Galland’s land on the Nauvoo peninsula, for which he was to receive $18,000 over a twenty-year period. At the end of January 1841, churchagents responsible for buying and selling land in Nauvoo created a report noting that this amount had been paid in full, apparently through land exchanges, as noted here. (Hancock Co., IL, Deed Records, 1817–1917, vol. 12-G, p. 247, 30 Apr. 1839, microfilm 954,195, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL; Report of Agents, ca. 30 Jan. 1841.)
A reference to nearly eighteen thousand acres of the Half-Breed Tract that the Saints purchased from Galland. Contrary to this report, Galland sold the land for approximately $50,000. (Cook, “Isaac Galland,” 276.)
In 1837 and 1838, Galland was involved in publishing the Western Adventurer, a newspaper based in Montrose, Iowa Territory. Galland’s Iowa Emigrant, a guidebook on Iowa Territory’s history, landscape, and wildlife, was published in 1840 as Galland’s Iowa Emigrant: Containing a Map, and General Descriptions of Iowa Territory (Chillicothe, OH: William C. Jones, 1840). (Galland’s Iowa Emigrant, iii–iv.)
Galland, Isaac. Galland’s Iowa Emigrant: Containing a Map, and General Descriptions of Iowa Territory. Chillicothe, OH: Wm. C. Jones, 1840.
Knowlton was baptized—likely by John E. Page—near Carthage, Illinois, in early 1840. Page wrote, “Br. Knowlton is one of the first citizens of Hancock co. and ranks with the first class of scientific Farmers.” (Report, Times and Seasons, Feb. 1840, 1:61.)
Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.
Knight was baptized in 1839. Heber C. Kimball described him as a “verry eminet fasition [physician], a m[an] of great weth [wealth].” (Almon Babbitt, Pleasant Garden, IN, 18 Oct. 1839, Letter to the Editor, Times and Seasons, Dec. 1839, 1:27; Heber C. Kimball, Pleasant Garden, IN, to Vilate Murray Kimball, 24 Oct. 1839, photocopy, Heber C. Kimball, Correspondence, 1837–1864, CHL; Cady, Indiana Annual Register, 136.)
Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.
Heber C. Kimball Family Organization. Compilation of Heber C. Kimball Correspondence, 1983. Unpublished typescript. CHL.
Cady, C. W. The Indiana Annual Register and Pocket Manual, Revised and Corrected for the Year 1846. . . . Indianapolis: Samuel Turner, 1846.