Account of Meeting, and JS, Discourse, , Hancock Co., IL, 18 June 1842. Featured version copied [ca. 18 June 1842] in Wilford Woodruff, Journal, vol. 4, Jan. 1841–Dec. 1842, p. ; handwriting of ; Wilford Woodruff, Journals and Papers, 1828–1898, CHL.
Wilford Woodruff, Journal, vol. 4, Jan. 1841–Dec. 1842; handwriting of ; 183 pages; Wilford Woodruff, Journals and Papers, CHL. Includes charts, drawings, redactions, and use marks.
This account appears in ’s fourth journal, which measures 6¼ × 4 × ⅞ inches (16 × 10 × 2 cm), with brown leather binding. The volume contains 124 leaves (248 pages) measuring 6 × 3¾ inches (15 × 10 cm), with an additional loose leaf of yellow paper that was folded and placed at the end of the journal. The outer edges of the leaves have a shell pattern with blue and red bodies and white veins. The front and back covers contain the remnants of a brass clasp that was presumably used to hold the book closed. Toward the top of the spine, the inscriptions “WW” and “1841–2” are written in black ink. A fragment of an old Church Historian’s Office sticker inscribed “184” and “18” remains near the bottom of the spine.
On an unknown date, the inside of the front cover of the journal was labeled by an unidentified scribe: “3 | January 1st 1841, | to | December 31, 1842,”. inscribed his journal in two parts on the first 182 pages, leaving two pages blank between the parts. The remainder of the volume is blank, except for three pages that Woodruff later used to record baptisms for the dead that he and his wife, Phebe Carter Woodruff, participated in during 1842 and 1844.
It is unclear when Woodruff donated the volume to the Church Historian’s Office (now CHL). and his assistants drew upon the volume for information as he wrote volume C-1 of the multivolume manuscript history of the church during 1845. and the Church Historian’s Office staff similarly drew upon the journals in writing an addendum for volume C-1 during 1854. Woodruff’s “Private Papers” were listed in a catalog record that was produced by the Church Historian’s Office in March 1858. A July 1858 inventory clarified that these papers included Woodruff’s journals. The journals likewise appeared in an inventory produced circa 1878. The volume’s inclusion in these inventories suggests continuous institutional custody.
“Index of Records and Journals in the Historian’s Office 1878,” , Historian’s Office, Catalogs and Inventories, 1846–1904, CHL.
Historian’s Office. Catalogs and Inventories, 1846–1904. CHL. CR 100 130.
On 18 June 1842, JS addressed a large audience at a general assembly near the construction site in , Illinois. The meeting was convened not long after leaders took disciplinary actions against and at a time when the city continued to expand to accommodate the influx of immigrants from Great Britain and the eastern .
In his remarks, JS spoke out publicly for the first time against ’s lies and immoral actions. The had withdrawn fellowship from Bennett in May, charging him with seducing women while claiming the church sanctioned such adulterous behavior, but that decision was not published until the 15 June issue of the Times and Seasons. Three days later, JS took the opportunity afforded by a large meeting to publicly expose Bennett and condemn his misconduct.
The citizens of also faced the problem of dealing with the city’s growing population of poor immigrants. At the 18 June meeting, JS admonished the city’s wealthy to give aid to the poor, and attendees made plans to further develop the Nauvoo Agricultural and Manufacturing Association, which was intended to promote farming, milling, and other basic economic endeavors that would help the poor. JS also directed , , and to form a committee to better manage the problems of immigration by actively helping immigrants as they arrived in the city.
In his journal, reported that “many thousands” were in attendance. If he followed his normal pattern of inscription, Woodruff likely first recorded notes during the meeting in a daybook, which is no longer extant, and then later copied them into his journal.
Bennett later claimed that he was excommunicated from the church at this 18 June meeting. However, his excommunication had apparently occurred earlier, in May 1842. Within days of this June meeting, he left Nauvoo for Springfield, Illinois. (Letter to James Sloan, 17 May 1842; John C. Bennett, Nauvoo, IL, 27 June 1842, Letter to the Editor, Sangamo Journal [Springfield, IL], 8 July 1842, ; [Nauvoo Masonic Lodge], Nauvoo, IL, to Abraham Jonas, [Columbus, IL], 21 June 1842, Letters pertaining to Freemasonry in Nauvoo, CHL.)
Sangamo Journal. Springfield, IL. 1831–1847.
Letters pertaining to Freemasonry in Nauvoo, 1842. CHL.
June 18th Saterday The Citizens of Both Male & female assembled near the for a general meeting many thousands were assembled Joseph the seer arose & spoke upon several subjects.
Among other subjects he spoke his mind in great plainness concerning the iniquity & wickedness of Gen , & exposed him before the public. He also prophesied in the Name of the Lord Concerning the merchants in the that if they with the rich did not open their hearts & contribute to the poor that they would be cursed by the hand of God & be cut off from the land of the living, The main part of the day was taken up upon the business of the agricultural & manufacturing society ie we have a Charter granted us by the Legislator of the for that purpose & the time has come for us to make use of that Charter it is divided into stock of $50. dollars each share, any person owning one share became a member of the society a stockholder, each share is entitled to one vote this is esstablished with a view of helping the poor arangments were entered into to commence operations immediately
Also Joseph commmanded the to organize the more according to the Law of Godthatis to require of those that come in to be setteled according to their council & also to appoint a committee to wait upon all who arive & make them welcome & council them what to do . & was the committee appointed to wait upon emigrants & settle them. [p. ]
The city’s inability to properly care for the poor had persisted for some time. As BishopGeorge Miller remembered, it was difficult to convince those with means to contribute to the poor during Nauvoo’s early years. The immigrating “poor had to be cared for, and labor created,” but the wealthier citizens “pretended to be too poor to barely feed themselves and nurse their speculations, which they were all more or less engaged in.” JS had previously taught on the evils of economic inequality and urged those with surplus to freely contribute to the temporal welfare of others. He had also recently organized the Female Relief Society of Nauvoo, which had relief for the poor as one of its central objectives. In discourses delivered in April and May 1842, JS singled out merchants for not giving liberally enough to the cause of the temple and stated that “the rich cannot be saved without cha[r]ity. giving to feed the poor.” (George Miller, St. James, MI, to “Dear Brother,” 26 June 1855, in Northern Islander [St. James, MI], 16 Aug. 1855, ; Letter to the Church in Caldwell Co., MO, 16 Dec. 1838; Minutes and Discourses, 17 Mar. 1842; Discourse, 28 Apr. 1842; JS, Journal, 24 Apr. 1842; Discourse, 1 May 1842.)
In February 1841, the Illinois state legislature approved the charter for the Agricultural and Manufacturing Association, incorporating the association and allowing stock sales to fund the endeavor. The association’s initial capital was set at $100,000, divided into 2,000 shares of $50 each. The charter stated that the association’s sole purpose was “the promotion of agriculture and husbandry in all its branches, and for the manufacture of flour, lumber, and such other useful articles as are necessary for the ordinary purposes of life.” JS, Sidney Rigdon, and William Law were appointed as commissioners to receive stock subscriptions to fund the association. However, the “stock, property and concerns” of the corporation were managed by twenty trustees who were annually elected from the group of stockholders. (“An Act to Incorporate the Nauvoo Agricultural and Manufacturing Association,” Times and Seasons, 15 Mar. 1841, 2:355–356.)
Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.
While in England, the apostles had begun helping converts immigrate to the United States. Seeking to reduce travel expenses by chartering ships, they appointed agent Amos Fielding to guide immigrants to Nauvoo. After most of the apostles returned to Nauvoo in the summer of 1841, JS called upon the apostles to stand in their “place next to the first presidency” and take on more administrative responsibilities in Nauvoo, overseeing such things as immigration and real estate transactions. At the same time that the apostles fulfilled their new responsibilities to welcome immigrants in Nauvoo, they appointed Hiram Clark to go to England and oversee emigration there. On 17 June 1842, just one day before the meeting featured here occurred, Heber C. Kimball wrote a letter to Parley P. Pratt lamenting that many immigrants to Nauvoo were disgruntled—some because the Saints “had no Housses fore them to go in when they got here. Some becaus we did not make more of them and invite them Home, and provide for them.” (Letter from Parley P. Pratt, 13 Mar. 1842; Times and Seasons, 16 May 1842, 3:790; “Epistle of the Twelve,” Millennial Star, Apr. 1841, 1:311; Discourse, 16 Aug. 1841; Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Minutes, 14 June 1842; Heber C. Kimball, Nauvoo, IL, to Parley P. Pratt, “Manchester or Liverpool,” England, 17 June 1842, Parley P. Pratt, Correspondence, CHL.)