Times and Seasons (, Hancock Co., IL), 1 July 1842, vol. 3, no. 17, pp. 831–846; edited by JS. For more complete source information, see the source note for Letter to Isaac Galland, 22 Mar. 1839.
The 1 July 1842 issue of the Times and Seasons was the ninth issue published under JS’s editorship. Much of the issue was devoted to the publication of correspondence regarding ’s immoral conduct in , Illinois. This correspondence included a letter that JS wrote telling members about Bennett and describing how church leaders had handled his situation. To corroborate JS’s statements in that letter, the issue included excerpts of correspondence from unidentified individuals and from , who had evidently been sent to verify information about Bennett in . These statements, as well as JS’s letter, had been previously published in the 25 June 1842 issue of the Wasp.
In addition to information about , the 1 July issue contained an article by , excerpts from the “History of Joseph Smith,” an article on the Jews, and a reprint of a letter published in the Dollar Weekly Bostonian recounting a meeting at which “, the Mormon lecturer of the city of ” spoke. Also included were accounts of earthquakes that had occurred in Haiti and in Greece, a letter from to JS, communications from preaching outside of , minutes of in outlying , and a poem by about the . The issue also featured editorial commentary and notices written by the editorial staff. How involved JS was in composing the editorial material is unclear. While assisted him in editing the paper, JS, as editor, assumed primary responsibility for the paper’s content.
Note that only the editorial content created specifically for this issue of the Times and Seasons is annotated here. Articles reprinted from other papers, letters, conference minutes, and notices, are reproduced here but not annotated. Items that are stand-alone JS documents are annotated elsewhere; links are provided to these stand-alone documents.
palmed himself upon the fraternity as a regular Mason, in good standing; and satisfactory testimony having been produced before said Lodge, that he, said , was an expelled Mason, we therefore publish, to all the Masonic world, the above facts, that he, the said , may not again impose himself upon the fraternity of Masons.
All Editors who are friendly to the fraternity of free and accepted ancient York Masons will please insert the above.
Master of Lodge, Under Dispensation.
The 1 July 1842 issue of the Times and Seasons published a statement on the ’s stance on slavery and abolition. JS had periodically explained his position on these issues in the past. For example, the April 1836 issue of the Messenger and Advocate—the church’s newspaper in , Ohio—contained a lengthy letter from JS to outlining JS’s views. Writing at a time when church members were still living in , a slave state, JS expressed his opposition to abolitionism and used biblical passages to justify slavery. “We have no right to interfere with slaves contrary to the mind and will of their masters,” JS stated. “In fact, it would be much better and more prudent, not to preach at all to slaves, until after their masters are converted.” JS continued by saying that masters were to treat slaves “with kindness, remembering that they are accountable to God,” but he also stated that “servants are bound to serve their masters, with singleness of heart, without murmuring.” In 1840, JS wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper that repeated part of a statement on government and laws included in the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants: It was not “right to interfear with bond Servants neither preach the gospel to nor them contrary to the will and wish of their masters.” The editorial content found in this issue of the Times and Seasons similarly stated that the church did not encourage slaves to leave their masters and that it rejected “modern abolitionists.”
We have received a letter from the south asking us if we believe in the principle of stealing slaves from their masters. We unequivocally state that we do not! Nor do we believe at all in the principles of modern abolitionists; we are opposed to the principles of oppression only, and would say as Paul said to servants—“servents obey your masters,”—and we hold the rights of all men sacred, and would be the last to infringe upon any man’s property.
A recurring feature in the Times and Seasons was correspondence from missionaries serving in areas outside . In the 1 July 1842 issue, after an introductory statement about printing such communications, the editors included a letter from missionary to his brother and minutes from held in Waldo County, Maine, and in . The editors also included summaries of the missionary efforts of in and of John Waymand in Big Rock, Illinois.
We have received several very interesting communications from the abroad, and extract the following—
, May 10 1842.
Dear —Yesterday I supposed that I could not have the opportunity of sending this by private conveyance to ; but learning last evening that the Packet ship “Imported,” McPherson, master, (who, with the owners of the vessel were both recently here,) would sail for to day. I improve this opportunity in forwarding this. Br. Russel, the owner, I understand is in possession of four or five other ships. I returned from the north about a week since, having spent about two months in the city of Carlisle, and in Brampton, Burnstones, Alston, and Newcastle upon Tyne. . . . . .
In Birmingham there have been considerable numbers added, as well as in other places generally, where the gospel has been introduced. . . .
attended the Froomes Hill last week, above 1100 members were represented.
The music hall in is yet occupied by the saints, and many respectable people attend. . . .
Wednesday morning, May 18, yesteray, closed the general conference held in , which commenced on the 15th. I believe the presiding officers were present from all the conferences in the kingdom; and the conference was otherwise well attended, every thing was done orderly and harmoniously: was very free and powerful, in his communications and counsels, which apparently was gratefully received. There were represented at the conference 7200 in good standing. The spirit of is more and more developing itself; and every thing seems to favor the idea that the fall will be a time of harvest gathering.
The April number of the Times and Seasons brought to us very welcome intelligence in relation to the arrangements pertaining to the gathering. The same spirit seems to influence the saints on both sides the Atlantic, in relation to that subject.
I expect to go to Bolton on Friday—after that spend a few days in the Clitheroe conference, by which time we look for ’s arrival. baptized 8 yesterday.
The American brethren, , , , and Curtis were all at the Conference. It was calculated that one thousand were present on the first day of conference, and it was well attended on the two succeeding days.
The condition of the poor in this is a wretched one; and the prospect of its being improved is all expressed in the word, despair.
Yours, in the everlasting covenant.
writes from , and states that they have secured the old Cumberland Church for two years, in that ; that the cause is progressing, and that there is every prospect of a plentiful harvest in that and the region round about.
states that he and some of the brethren mentioned by him will give such information to emigrants travelling this way as they may require.
The in the county of Waldo, met in a quarterly conference in this place, according to previous appointment, at 10 o’clock, A. M. and proceeded to an organization. Alfred Dixon was chosen [p. 843]
On 4 May 1842, Abraham Jonas, Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Illinois, wrote a letter to George Miller informing him that he had received a letter from an individual in Decatur, Illinois, stating that Bennett had been expelled from a Masonic lodge in Ohio. Based on this letter, Thomas Grover made a formal charge against Bennett at the 19 May 1842 meeting of the Nauvoo lodge: “That Dr John C. Bennett has palmed himself upon the Masonic Brethren in the organization of Nauvoo lodge U. D. as a regular mason in good standing, when I have reason to believe that he is an expelled Mason.” On 16 June 1842, Bennett’s case was brought before the lodge. He produced various documents from individuals testifying of his good character, including some who were members of the Pickaway lodge in Circleville, Ohio—the lodge from which Bennett was accused of being expelled. The case was thus postponed until the minutes of the Pickaway lodge could be perused, although Miller’s communication here indicates that he believed the allegations even without the Pickaway lodge’s minutes. At its 7 July 1842 meeting, the Nauvoo lodge declared Bennett “unworthy [of] the fellowship, or regard, of all good and honorable men or masons,” even though the minutes of the Pickaway lodge had still not been procured. According to the Pickaway lodge’s minutes, charges had been brought against Bennett in 1834, but Bennett moved from Circleville before any action was taken against him. Therefore his status with the lodge was unclear. (Abraham Jonas, Columbus, IL, to George Miller, Nauvoo, IL, 4 May 1842, copy, Letters pertaining to Freemasonry in Nauvoo, CHL; Nauvoo Masonic Lodge Minute Book, 19 May 1842; 16 June 1842; 7 July 1842; Hogan, “John Cook Bennett and Pickaway Lodge No. 23,” 9–12.)
Letters pertaining to Freemasonry in Nauvoo, 1842. CHL.
Nauvoo Masonic Lodge Minute Book. / “Record of Na[u]voo Lodge Under Dispensation,” 1842–1846. CHL. MS 3436
Hogan, Mervin B. “John Cook Bennett and Pickaway Lodge No. 23,” Oct. 1983. Department of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Utah. CHL.
The York Rite of Freemasonry was formed by American Masons in the late 1700s with the help of Thomas Smith Webb. The rite “included the three degrees of Craft Masonry and high degrees containing more detailed versions of Masonic legends.” (Homer, Joseph’s Temples, 39.)
Homer, Michael W. Joseph’s Temples: The Dynamic Relationship between Freemasonry and Mormonism. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2014.
The “old Cumberland Church” was likely the building constructed by the Cumberland Presbyterian congregation in 1833 under Reverend A. M. Bryan. The church was located on Sixth Street in Pittsburgh, opposite the Trinity Protestant Episcopal Church. It was a plain brick church that could seat five hundred individuals. (History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, 1:323–324.)
History of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, Including Its Early Settlement and Progress to the Present Time. . . . 2 vols. Chicago: A. Warner, 1889.