JS, “Latter Day Saints,” pp. 404–410 in (ed.), He Pasa Ekklesia [The whole church]. An Original History of the Religious Denominations at Present Existing in the United States. Containing Authentic Accounts of Their Rise, Progress, Statistics and Doctrines. Written Expressly for the Work by Eminent Theological Professors, Ministers, and Lay-Members, of the Respective Denominations. Projected, Compiled and Arranged by I. Daniel Rupp, of Lancaster, Pa. Author of “Der Maertyrer Geschichte,” Etc. Etc.; Philadelphia: James Y. Humphreys; Harrisburg, PA: Clyde and Williams; printed by C. Sherman; 1844; i–viii, 9–734 pp. The copy used for transcription is held at CHL; includes redactions and archival marking.
The history is the twenty-second of forty-three chapters in the volume. It comprises seven pages that measure 9⅛ x 5⅝ inches (23 x 14 cm) within a book measuring 9½ x 6½ x 2 inches (24 x 17 x 5 cm). The copy used for transcription has apparently been in continuous church custody since its purchase in 1905.
This copy was purchased 21 June 1905 from a Salt Lake City bookstore for the Church Historian’s Office. The lower right corner of the inside front cover bears a sticker of the bookstore, “Shepard Book Company”, and the upper left corner bears a sticker of the “Historian’s Office Library”. Several “Historian’s Office” stamps are found throughout the book, including on the first page of the essay on the Latter-day Saints. A notation on the recto of the blank leaf preceding the title page indicates the day of purchase and a library number, “3493”, written in ink and later erased. “3493” corresponds to an entry made sometime after 1930 in an early Church Historian’s Office catalog book. (“Library Record,” book no. 3493.)
“Library Record for the Listing or Cataloguing of Books.” Historian’s Office, Library Accession Records, ca. 1890–ca. 1930. CHL. CR 100 429.
In July 1843, JS received a letter from Clyde, Williams & Co. of , Pennsylvania, announcing the planned publication of a volume of articles “written expressly for the Work, by distinguished Divines” from various religious denominations in the . The letter invited JS or “some other competent person” representing the Latter-day Saints to submit an “impartial account of the Rise and Progress, Faith and Practice” of the church. On behalf of JS, prepared a letter in reply, promising that an article would be “matured and forwarded in season to meet your anticipations.”
The resulting essay, published as “Latter Day Saints,” was a revised version of “Church History,” an overview of Latter-day Saint history and doctrine recently written in response to a similar request and published in the church newspaper. Taken as a whole, the revisions highlight JS’s emphasis on revelation, with a new opening paragraph explaining the revelatory foundations of the church and JS’s prophetic calling. The revised essay, composed in September 1843, also expanded on the achievements of the hardworking Latter-day Saints, noting the progress of , Illinois, during the eighteen months since the publication of “Church History.” Whereas the earlier version noted simply, “We have commenced to build a city called ‘Nauvoo’” and alluded only briefly to the city charter, the Nauvoo Legion, and the Saints’ missionary outreach, “Latter Day Saints” elaborated on these now-implemented plans. The Nauvoo Legion was growing in numbers, and the University of Nauvoo was to be a place “where all the arts and sciences will grow.” The newly begun received a descriptive paragraph of its own. While “Church History” emphasized the departure of missionaries to many parts of the world, the updated version announced that “thousands have already gathered with their kindred saints, to this the cornerstone of Zion.”
“Latter Day Saints” was written on behalf of JS and appeared under his name. JS approved of and may have collaborated on the content, but apparently it was who wrote the additions to “Church History.” Phelps’s handwriting appears in a three-page document containing drafts of passages that correspond to the changes to “Church History,” including both the initial paragraph of the revised text and the new section that precedes the concluding list of beliefs. The verso of the document’s second page reads, “Additions to an article in the Times & Seasons. Sent to Clyde Williams and Co. Publishe[r]s——September—1843.” In early April 1844, JS’s essay was published in the volume He Pasa Ekklesia [The whole church], edited by German-American author and translator . The text presented herein is a transcription of the published version, with notes indicating textual variations from Phelps’s draft and from “Church History.”
On 5 June 1844, JS wrote to acknowledging receipt of a copy of He Pasa Ekklesia: “I feel very thankful for so valueable a treasure. The design, the propriety, the wisdom of letting every sect tell its own story; and the elegant manner in which the work appears, have filled my breast with encomiums upon it, wishing you God’sspeed.” He continued, “I shall be pleased to furnish further information, at a proper time, and render you such service as the work, and vast extension of our church may demand for the benefit of truth, virtue, and holiness.” He then assured Rupp that “your work will be suitably noticed in our paper, for your benefit.” On 26 June, the day before JS was killed, the promised endorsement appeared in the Mormon-owned community newspaper, the Nauvoo Neighbor, noting that “every sect is its own witness” and declaring, “Such a work is actually worth its weight in gold. The author has our blessing for his success.”
JS per William W. Phelps, Nauvoo, IL, to Clyde, Williams & Co., Harrisburg, PA, 1 Aug. 1843, JS Collection, CHL. Volumes describing various religious denominations were not uncommon in this time period. In addition to John Hayward’s 1836 Religious Creeds and Statistics, Robert Baird published A View of Religion in America in Glasgow in 1842, with a revised edition, titled Religion in America, printed in the United States two years later and reprinted many times thereafter. Other examples are P. Douglas Gorrie, The Churches and Sects of the United States, (New York: Lewis Colby, 1850), and Joseph Belcher, The Religious Denominations in the United States, (Philadelphia: J. E. Potter, 1854). Rupp’s volume is distinctive in that it is a collection of essays written by representatives of the respective denominations.
Smith, Joseph. Collection, 1827–1846. CHL. MS 155.
The book was published in or shortly after April 1844, the date found in its preface. (Rupp, He Pasa Ekklesia, vi.)
Rupp, Israel Daniel, ed. He Pasa Ekklesia [The Whole Church]: An Original History of the Religious Denominations at Present Existing in the United States, Contains Authentic Accounts of Their Rise, Progress, Statistics and Doctrines. Written Expressly for the Work by Eminent Theological Professors, Ministers, and Lay-Members, of the Respective Denominations. Projected, Compiled and Arranged by I. Daniel Rupp, of Lancaster, Pa. Philadelphia: J. Y. Humphreys; Harrisburg: Clyde and Williams, 1844.
Many of our brethren removed to , where they continued until 1836 (three years); there was no violence offered, but there were threatenings of violence. But in the summer of 1836 these threatenings began to assume a more serious aspect; from threats, public meetings were called, resolutions were passed, vengeance and destruction were threatened, and affairs again assumed a fearful attitude; was a sufficient precedent, and as the authorities in that county did not interfere, they boasted that they would not in this; which on application to the authorities we found to be too true; and, after much violence, privation, and loss of property, we were again driven from our homes.
We next settled in and counties, where we made large and extensive settlements thinking to free ourselves from the power of oppression by settling in new counties, with a very few inhabitants in them; but here we were not allowed to live in peace; and in 1838 were again attacked by mobs; an exterminating order was issued by and under the sanction of law, an organized banditti ravaged the country, robbing us of our cattle, sheep, horses, hogs, &c.; many of our people were murdered in cold blood, the chastity of our women was violated, and we were forced to sign away our property at the point of the sword; and after enduring every indignity that could be heaped upon us by an inhuman, ungodly band of marauders,—from twelve to fifteen thousand souls, men, women, and children, were driven from their own firesides, and from lands for which they had warrantee deeds, to wander houseless, friendless, and homeless, (in the depth of winter,) as exiles on the earth, or to seek an asylum in a more genial clime, and among a less barbarous people.
Many sickened and died in consequence of the cold and hardships they had to endure, many wives were left widows, and children orphans and destitute.
It would take more time than I am able to devote to your service, at present, to describe the injustice, the wrongs, the murders, the bloodshed, thefts, misery and wo that have been committed upon our people by the barbarous, inhuman, and lawless proceedings of the State of . And I would refer you, and the readers of your history who may be desirous of further information on this topic, to the evidence taken on my recent trial before the Municipal Court of , on Saturday, July 1st, 1843, on a writ of , which is published in pamphlet form by Messrs. & , of this .
After being thus inhumanly expelled by the government and people from , we found an asylum and friends in the State of [p. 408]
Although some of the original settlers of Clay County were determined to see the Latter-day Saints leave the county, the conditions surrounding the Saints’ departure were markedly less violent than was the earlier episode in Jackson County. (See Parkin, “History of the Latter-day Saints in Clay County,” chap. 8.)
Parkin, Max H. “A History of the Latter-day Saints in Clay County, Missouri, from 1833 to 1837.” PhD diss., Brigham Young University, 1976.
“Church History” has “ranged through.” Boggs charged the state militia with restoring peace to northwest Missouri. If necessary, the governor ordered, the Mormons were to be “exterminated or driven from the state.” (Lilburn W. Boggs, Jefferson City, MO, to John B. Clark, Fayette, MO, 27 Oct. 1838, Mormon War Papers, MSA.)
About twenty Mormons were killed during the “Mormon War” in Missouri. (LeSueur, 1838 Mormon War in Missouri, 162–168; Baugh, “Call to Arms,” 238–240, 253–298.)
LeSueur, Stephen C. The 1838 Mormon War in Missouri. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1987.
Baugh, Alexander L. “A Call to Arms: The 1838 Mormon Defense of Northern Missouri.” PhD diss., Brigham Young University, 1996. Also available as A Call to Arms: The 1838 Mormon Defense of Northern Missouri, Dissertations in Latter-day Saint History (Provo, UT: Joseph Fielding Smith Institute for Latter-day Saint History; BYU Studies, 2000).
Although the number of Mormons driven from Missouri is unknown, the estimate of “twelve to fifteen thousand” appears to be too high. Others estimated that about eight thousand Mormons were driven from Missouri. (Eliza R. Snow, Caldwell Co., MO, to Isaac Streator, Streetsborough, OH, 22 Feb. 1839, photocopy, CHL; see also Hartley, “Almost Too Intolerable a Burthen,” 7n2.)
Snow, Eliza R. Letter, Caldwell Co., MO, to Isaac Streator, Streetsborough, OH, 22 Feb. 1839. Western Reserve Historical Society, Cleveland, OH.
Hartley, William G. “‘Almost Too Intolerable a Burthen’: The Winter Exodus from Missouri, 1838–39.” Journal of Mormon History 18 (Fall 1992): 6–40.
This sentence does not appear in “Church History,” and no manuscript source is known. The publication referred to is JS, Evidence Taken on the Trial of Mr. Smith, before the Municipal Court of Nauvoo, on Saturday, July 1, 1843. Respecting the Late Persecution of the Latter Day Saints, in the State of Missouri, North America. (Nauvoo, IL: Taylor and Woodruff, ). The thirty-eight-page pamphlet was reprinted from transcripts of the affidavits that appeared in both the Nauvoo Neighbor (5, 12, 19, and 26 July 1843) and the Times and Seasons (1 and 15 July and 1 Aug. 1843); the signed affidavits may also be found in Nauvoo, IL, Records, CHL.
Smith, Joseph. Evidence Taken on the Trial of Mr. Smith, before the Municipal Court of Nauvoo, On Saturday, July 1, 1843. Respecting the Late Persecution of the Latter Day Saints, in the State of Missouri, North America. Nauvoo, IL: Taylor and Woodruff, .
Nauvoo Neighbor. Nauvoo, IL. 1843–1845.
Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.
From this point, the text is based on William W. Phelps’s manuscript providing additions to “Church History.” The manuscript, which begins “From this awful, bloody, and inhuman expulsion by the government, and people, from Missouri,” provides the basis for the text up until the commencement of the thirteen points of doctrine beginning “We believe in God.” The only exception is the paragraph beginning “The temple of God,” which does not appear in Phelps’s manuscript. (William W. Phelps, “Additions to an Article in the Times & Seasons,” Sept. 1843, CHL.)
Phelps, William W. “Additions to an Article in the Times & Seasons.” Sept. 1843. CHL.