History, 1838–1856, volume D-1 [1 August 1842–1 July 1843]
JS, History, 1838–1856, vol. D-1, created 4 July 1845–4 Feb. 1846 and 1 July 1854–2 May 1855; handwriting of , Robert L. Campbell, and ; 275 pages, plus 6 pages of addenda; CHL. This is the fourth volume of a six-volume manuscript history of the church. This fourth volume covers the period from 1 Aug. 1842 to 1 July 1843; the remaining five volumes, labeled A-1, B-1, C-1, E-1 and F-1, continue through 8 Aug. 1844.
History, 1838–1856, volume D-1, constitutes the fourth of six volumes documenting the life of Joseph Smith and the early years of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The series is also known as the Manuscript History of the Church and was originally published serially from 1842 to 1846 and 1851 to 1858 as the “History of Joseph Smith” in the Times and Seasons and Deseret News. This volume contains JS’s history from 1 August 1842 to 1 July 1843, and it was compiled after JS’s death.The material recorded in volume D-1 was initially compiled under the direction of church historian , with the assistance of . After Richards’s death in 1854, continued work on the volume as the new church historian with Bullock’s continued help. The process adopted by Richards and Bullock involved Richards creating a set of rough draft notes and Bullock transcribing the notes into the volume along with the text of designated documents (such as letters and meeting minutes). George A. Smith followed a similar pattern, though he dictated the draft notes to Bullock and other scribes.According to the Church Historian’s Office journal, finished the third volume of the series, volume C-1, on Thursday, 3 July 1845, in , Illinois. He began work on the fourth volume, D-1, the next day, beginning on page 1362 with the entry for 1 August 1842. (The pages in volumes A-1–E-1 were numbered consecutively.) Bullock continued work on the record, drawing upon ’s draft notes, until 3 February 1846—the day before D-1 and the other volumes were packed up in preparation for the Latter-day Saints’ exodus from Nauvoo. At that point he had reached page 1485 with the entry for 28 February 1843. Subsequently, apparently after the collection had arrived in Utah, Bullock added a brief comment beneath that entry: “end of W. Richard’s compiling[.] the books packed Feby. 4— 1846 in Nauvoo[.] Miles Romney— present. The records carried by T Bullock from Winter Quarters to G S L [Great Salt Lake] City in 1848.”A notation at the top of page 1486 reports that “the books were unpacked in G. S. L. City by and . June 7. 1853. J[onathan] Grimshaw & Miles Romney present.” Vertically, in the margin, is a poignant epitaph: “Decr. 1 1853 Dr. Willard Richards wrote one line of History—being sick at the time—and was never able to do any more.” With Richards’s death on 11 March 1854, JS’s cousin was called to the office of church historian. The notation on the top of page 1486 acknowledges this change in officers, noting, “commencement of George A. Smith’s compiling as Historian. April 13. 1854[.] [C]ommenced copying July 1. 1854.” From mid-April to the end of June 1854, George A. Smith, in collaboration with Thomas Bullock, worked on the draft notes for the history before a new scribe, , resumed writing in D-1 on 1 July 1854, beginning with the entry for 1 March 1843.continued transcribing intermittently into the late fall of 1854, when he was assigned other duties in the Historian’s Office. He had reached page 1546 with the entry for 5 May 1843. Work resumed in February 1855 in the hand of Robert L. Campbell, recently returned from a mission. He concluded volume D-1 on the morning of 2 May 1855 and began writing in E-1 that afternoon.The 274 pages of volume D-1 contain a record of much that is significant in the life of JS and the development of the church he founded. Among these events are• JS’s 6 August 1842 prophecy that the Saints would become a mighty people in the midst of the Rocky Mountains.•JS’s 8 August 1842 arrest on a warrant for being “an accessory before the fact” to an attack on former governor .• ’s 17 August 1842 letter to governor , pleading for the humane treatment of her husband and family.•JS’s 1 and 6 September 1842 instructions regarding the proper procedures for performing baptisms for the dead.• JS’s 15 November 1842 “Valedictory” as he stepped down as editor of the Times and Seasons.• The 26 December 1842 arrest of JS on a “proclamation” by former governor , and subsequent hearing in , Illinois.• The 7 February 1843 recovery of a volume of patriarchal blessings given by , which had been stolen in , Missouri.• JS’s 21 February 1843 remarks regarding the and .• JS’s 2 April 1843 instruction at , Illinois, on the nature of God and other subjects.• JS’s 16 May 1843 remarks at , Illinois, on the everlasting covenant and eternal marriage.• The account of JS’s 23 June 1843 arrest and his hearing the following week at .
<1842 August> An Earthquake was recently felt in Dumblane Cathedral near Comrie. Scotland.
<1> Monday August 1. 1842 A most disgraceful riot is reported to have commenced in between the Colored and White People which continued 3 or 4 days.
<3> Wednesday 3. In the , transacting a variety of business in company with General and others.
<4> Thursday 4. <Brigadier General elected Major General of the Nauvoo Legion (by a small majority over ) in place of cashiered.> <In company with fifteen others,> Learning Sword Exercise with Colonel Brewer, and attending to a variety of business.
<5> Friday 5. Engaged in a variety of business, and at 6 P. M. presided in the City Council < Brought forward a bill to regulate proceedings in the Municipal Court under — the Bill was read the first time, and upon Motion for a second reading, it was referred to a select Committee, namely Alderman , and counsellors and , to report thereon at the next Sitting of Council.> [HC 5:84]
<6> Saturday 6. Passed over the to Iowa, in Company with —— Colonel Brewer and others, and witnessed the Installation of the officers of the Rising Sun Lodge of Ancient York Masons, at by General . Deputy Grand Master of . <while the was engaged in giving the requisite instructions to the Master elect, I had a conversation with a number of brethren in the shade of the building on the subject of our persecutions in , and the constant annoyance which has followed us since we were driven from that . I prophecied that the Saints would continue to suffer much affliction and would be driven to the Rocky Mountains, many would apostatize, others would be put to death by our Persecutors, or lose their lives in consequence of exposure or disease, and some of you will live to go, and assist in making settlements and build cities and see the Saints become a mighty people in the midst of the Rocky Mountains.> [HC 5:85] [p. 1362]
<August 7> Sunday 7. At home through the day.
<8> Monday 8. This forenoon I was arrested by the Deputy Sheriff of and two Assistants, on a warrant issued by , founded on a requisition from of , upon the Affidavit of , complaining of the said Smith, as “being an accessory before the fact, to an assault with an intent to kill, made by one on ” on the night of the sixth of May A.D. 1842. was arrested at the same time as principal. [HC 5:86] There was no evasion of the officers, tho’ the Municipal Court issued a writ of according to the Constitution of the , article 8 and section 13. This writ demanded the bodies of Messrs. Smith and to be brought before the aforesaid Court, but these officers refused to do so, and finally without complying, they left them in care of the Marshal, without the original writ by which they were arrested, and by which only they could be retained, and returned back to for further instruction<s>. and Messrs. Smith and went about their business. I have yet to learn by what rule of right I was arrested to be transported to for a trial of the kind stated. “An accessory to an Assault with an intent to kill”— does not come under the purview of the fugitive act, when, the person charged has not been out of &c An accessory before the fact to manslaughter is something of an anomaly. The isolated affidavit of is no more than any other man’s, and the constitution says “that no person shall be liable to be transported out of the , for an offence committed within the same”. The whole [3 words illegible] <is> another farce. In fact, implied power, and constructive guilt, as a dernier resort, may answer the purpose of despotic governments, but are beneath the dignity of the sons of liberty, and would be a blot on our judicial escutcheon.
I received a letter from the post office, which had been broken open, and I was grieved at the meanness of its contents.
The City Council passed the following “Ordinances regulating the mode of proceeding in cases of before the Municipal Court”
Sec 1. Be it ordained by the City Council of the City of , that in all cases where any person or persons, shall at any time hereafter, be arrested or under arrest in this , under any writ, or process, and [HC 5:87] shall be brought before the Municipal Court of this , by virtue of a writ of Habeas Corpus, the Court shall in every such case have power and authority, and are hereby required to examine into the origin, validity and legality of the Writ or Process, under which such arrest was made, and if it shall appear to the Court, upon sufficient testimony, that said Writ or process was illegal, or not legally issued, or did not proceed from proper authority, then the Court shall discharge the Prisoner from under said arrest, but if it shall appear to the Court that said Writ or Process had issued from proper authority, and was a legal process, the court shall then proceed and fully hear the merits of the case, upon which said arrest was made, upon such evidence as may be produced and sworn before said Court, and shall have power to adjourn the hearing, and also issue process from time to time, in their discretion, in order to procure the attendance of witnesses, so that a fair and impartial trial, and—— decision may be obtained, in every such case.
Sec. 2. And be it further ordained, that if upon investigation it shall be proven before the Municipal Court, that the Writ or Process has been issued, either through private pique, malicious intent, or religious or other Persecution, falsehood, or misrepresentation, contrary to the constitution of this , or the Constitution of the , the said Writ or Process shall be quashed and considered [p. 1363]
<August 8> of no force of effect, and the Prisoner or Prisoners shall be released and discharged therefrom
Sec 3. And be it also further ordained, that in the absence, sickness, debility, or other—— circumstances disqualifying or preventing the Mayor from officiating in his office, as Chief Justice of the Municipal Court, the Alderman present shall appoint one from—— amongst them to act as Chief Justice, or president pro tempore.
Sec. 4. This ordinance to take effect and be in force from and after its passage. Passed August 8. 1842. Vice Mayor and President pro tempore— Recorder—
A disgraceful and bloody <riot> occurred at this evening, in and about the “Sans Souci House.” [HC 5:88]
<9> Tuesday 9. In company with and , preparing for the return of the Sheriff; prepared a Writ of from the Master in .
<10> Wednesday 10. The Deputy Sheriff returned to , but I was absent, and he did not see me, or . He endeavored to alarm my , and the brethren with his threats, if I was not forthcoming, but they understood the law in such cases and his threats proved harmless.
<11> Thursday 11. This forenoon Brother entered into conversation with <>, upon the illegality of the whole proceedings in reference to the arrest. when the acknowledged that he believed Joseph was innocent and that ’s course which he had pursued was unjustifiable and illegal. I spent the day at Uncle ’s in and sent word that I wished to see —— , brothers , and others, with instructions to meet me on the between and . After dark, , , , , , and met at the Water side near the and proceeded in a Skiff between the , until they arrived near the lower [HC 5:89] end; and then hailed to shore. after waiting a very little while the skiff arrived from the opposite shore, and in it were myself and brother . A council was then held in the Skiffs, and various statements set forth in regard to the State of things. It was <reported> that the of had issued a warrant for his my apprehension—— and <that of> and that the Sheriff of , was expected down—— immediately. very strong evidence was also manifested that of was no acquainted with these proceedings. That had made oath before a Justice of the Peace or a Judge, and that the Judge had made the requisition, and not . also that the Writ issued by was illegal and unjustifiable. It is absolutely certain that the whole business is—— another <glaring> <instance> of the effects of prejudice <against me as a religious teacher> and that it proceeds from a persecuting Spirit, the parties having signified their determination to have me taken to whether by legal or illegal means. It was finally concluded that I should be taken up the in a skiff and be landed below Wiggin’s farm, so called, and that I should proceed from thence to brother ’s and there abide for a season. This being concluded upon we separated, myself and being rowed up the by and the remainder crossed over to . It was agreed that brother should proceed up the in shore unto the place where the Skiff should stop, and there light up two fires as a signal for a stopping place. After the Boat had proceeded some distance above the , a fire was discovered on shore. We concluded that it was the Signal, and immediately rowed towards shore. When near the shore one of the company [p. 1364] <August 11> hailed a person in the bank, but received a very unsatisfactory answer, whereupon we turned about and put to the channel, and upon coming near the middle of the [HC 5:90] discovered two fires a little higher. We immediately steered towards the fires and were happy to find awaiting our arrival. We then proceeded through the timber to ’s house where we were very kindly received and made welcome. and departed each for home expressing their perfect willingness to aid us in every possible manner. also promised to ascertain the state of affairs in and give us the earliest information.
<12> Friday 12. This forenoon it appeared still more evident that the whole course of proceedings by and others were illegal. After some consultation with brother , concluded to despatch a messenger with a Letter to of to request him to go to , Iowa Territory and there see the of , and endeavor to ascertain whether had made any requisition on him for myself and . William Walker proceeded to cross the on my horse, Jo. Duncan, in sight of a number of persons— one chief design in this movement was, to draw the attention of the Sherriffs and Public from all idea that I was on the side of the .
At night and left after dark and came to see me, and found me cheerful and in good spirits.
<13> Saturday 13 This forenoon received a letter from at , stating that had said, that his proceedings were illegal, and he should not pursue the subject any further. The letter also stated that Ford (the agent to receive me from the hands of the Sheriff and carry me to ) had concluded to take the first boat and start home: and that he was going to fetch a force from . All this my friends thought was only a scheme got up for the pur[HC 5:91]pose of throwing us off our guard that they might come unexpectedly . . . . . . . kidnap, and carry me to . I had [blank] sent a request to to come and see me, and she had concluded to start in the Carriage, but while it was preparing, it attracted the attention of the Sheriff who kept a close watch of all movements. To avoid suspicion, walked to Sister Durphy’s and waited the arrival of the carriage. which passed off down the with and , with raised curtains, receiving by the way, without any discovery, by the Sheriff. when about four miles down the the carriage turned on the the Prairie and passing round the turned into the Timber opposite Wiggan’s farm. when alighted and walked to ’s and the carriage returned. I was in good Spirits although somewhat afflicted in body, and was much rejoiced to meet my dear once more.
A report came over the that “there are several small companies of Men in , , &c in search of Joseph, they saw his horse go down the yesterday and were confident he was on that side. They swear they will have him. It is said there is a reward of thirteen hundred dollars offered for the apprehnesion and delivery of Joseph and , and this is supposed to have induced them to make search. [blank] The Sheriff and Deputy have uttered heavy [p. 1365] threats several times, saying that if they could not find Joseph they would lay the in ashes. They say they will tarry in the a month but they will find him”.
Great Freshet in , Indian Murders in Florida and riots in are reported in this days Wasp.
<14> Sunday 14 Spent the forenoon chiefly in conversation with on various subjects, and in reading my history with her. Both felt in good spirits and very cheerful— Wrote the following letter to (who was <officially> reported to have been duly elected to the office of Major General <of the Legion>) as follows— [HC 5:92]
“Head Quarters of Legion Aug 14 1842 — Dear General, I take this opportunity to give you some instructions how I wish you to act in case our persecutors should carry their pursuits so far as to tread upon our rights as free born American Citizens. The orders which I am about to give you, is the result of a long series of contemplation since I saw you— I have come fully to the conclusion both since this last difficulty commenced, as well as before, that I never would suffer myself to go into the hands of the Missourians alive; and to go into the hands of the officers of this is nothing more nor less, than to go into the hands of the Missourians; for the whole farce has been gotten up,—— unlawfully and unconstitutionally; as well on the part of the as others, by a mob spirit for the purpose of carrying out mob violence, to carry on mob tolerance in a religious persecution. I am determined therefore, to keep out of their hands, and thwart their designs if possible, that perhaps they may not urge the necessity of force and blood against their own fellow citizens and loyal subjects; and become ashamed and withdraw their pursuits. But if they—— should not do this and shall urge the necessity of force; and if I by any means should be taken, these are therefore to command you forthwith without delay, regardless of life or death, to rescue me out of their hands. And further to treat any pretensions to the contrary unlawful and unconstitutional, and as a mob got up for the purpose of a religious persecution to take away the rights of men. And further that our chartered rights and privileges shall be considered by us as holding the supremacy in the premises and shall be maintained; nothing short of the supreme court of this having authority to disarmed them; and the—— Municipal Court having jurisdiction in my case, you will see therefore that the peace of the City of is kept, let who will endeavor to disturb it. You will <also see> that whenever any mob, force or violence is used, on any Citizen thereof, or that belongeth thereunto, you will see that that force or violence is immediately, dispersed and brought to punishment; or meet it, and contest it at the point of the Sword with firm—— undaunted and unyielding valor; and let them know that the Spirit of old Seventy six, and of George Washington yet lives, and is contained in the bosoms and blood of the children of the fathers thereof. If there are any threats in the let legal steps be taken against them: and let no man, woman or child be intimidated, nor suffer it to be done. Nevertheless as I said in the first place we will take every measure that lays in our power and [HC 5:93] make every sacrifice that God or man could require at our hands, to preserve the peace and safety of the people without collision. And if sacrificing my own liberty for months and years, without stooping to the disgrace of persecution and violence, and ’s mis-rule and corruption, I bow to my fate with cheerfulness, and all due—— [p. 1366]
<August 14> deference in the consideration of the lives, safety, and welfare of others. But if this policy cannot accomplish the desired object, let our Charter and—— Municipality; free trade and sailors rights be our motto, and go-a-head David Crockett like, and lay down our lives like men, and defend ourselves to the best advantage we can to the very last. You are therefore hereby authorized and commanded, by virtue of the authority which I hold, and commission granted me by the Executive of this , to maintain the very letter, and spirit of the above contents of this letter, to the very best of your ability; to the extend of our lives, and our fortunes; and to the lives and the fortunes of the legion; as also all those who may volunteer their lives and fortunes with ours; for the defence of our wives and children, our fathers and our mothers; our homes, our grave yards, and our tombs; and our dead and their tombstones, and our dear bought American liberties with the blood of our fathers, and all that is dear and sacred to man. Shall we shrink at the onset? no! let every man’s brow be as the face of a Lion; let his heart be unshaken as the might oak, and his knee confirmed as the sapling of the Forest; and by the voice and loud roar of the Cannon; and the loud peals and thundering of Artillery; and by the voice of the thunderings of heaven as upon Mount Sinai; and by the voice of the heavenly hosts; and by the voice of the Eternal God; and by the voice of innocent blood; and by the voice of innocence; and by the voice of all that is sacred and dear to man, let us plead the justice of our cause; trusting in the arm of Jehovah, the Eloheem who sits enthroned in the heavens: that peradventure he may give us the victory; and if we bleed, we shall bleed in a good cause— in the cause of innocence and truth: and from henceforth will there not be a crown of glory for us? And will not those who come after us, hold our names in sacred—— remembrance? and will our enemies dare to brand us with cowardly reproach? With these considerations, I subscribe myself— Yours most faithfully and—— respectfully with acknowledgments of your high and honored trusts as Major General of the Legion— Joseph Smith, Mayor of the City of and Lieutenant General of the Legion of Militia— P. S. I want you to communicate all the information to me, of all the transactions, as they are going on daily, in writing, by the hand of my [HC 5:94] Aides-de-Camp. As I am not willing that any thing that goes from my hands to you should be made a public matter, I enjoin upon you to keep all things in your own bosom; and I want every thing that comes from you to come through my Aids. The bearer of this will be able to pilot them in a way that will not be prejudicial to my safety— Joseph Smith—“
I gave the foregoing letter to with a charge to deliver it to tomorrow. After considerable conversation on various subjects and partaking of dinner Emma accompanied by brothers and started for . The morning had been very wet and the roads were very muddy— It was difficult walking, they proceeded to the and entered a skiff in which they proceeded across the and then down the side of the — soon after they got on the water, the wind began to blow very hard and it was with much difficulty and apparent danger that they could proceed, but they continued on, and after considerable toil arrived opposite the City of . they went between the and crossed over the to . As soon as they landed the wind abated, and was nearly calm. wanted to return up the without the additional [p. 1367] <August 14> toil of crossing to — they met with ’ skiff just about to go over to , they got into that Skiff and left to return at his own leisure. Before they could get over, the wind arose again considerabl<y>, but they arrived safe home about 6 o’clock <in the evening> where they found Mr. [Aaron] Powers from who had just returned from . While there he ascertained that there was no writ issue<d> in for me. [blank] The people enquired “if it was not true that Joseph had been commissioned by the to visit the Indians and negociate with them for a tract of land,” such being the report in circulation. Mr. Powers answered that he “was not authorized to assert that the report was [HC 5:95] true, but he thought it was not only possible but probable”— but in this Mr. Powers was mistaken.
<15> Monday 15. This forenoon several reports were in circulation in the , that the Militia are on their way here, and the same is said to have been stated by the Stage driver, but it is supposed that it is only a Scheme to alarm the Citizens. presented the foregoing letter to , to which he responded as follows,
“, Illinois August 15th. afternoon, 1842— Lieutenant General Joseph Smith, Dear Friend. I this morning received a line from you, by the young man () respecting the Guns &c. One of them is in the Stone Shop by the . One I expect to get put into’ barn, and the other I cannot get under lock and key in any place I know of yet, but I will have them taken the best care of that I can. I have also received from the hand of your your orders at length, respecting matters and things and I am happy indeed to receive such orders from you, for your views on these subjects are precisely my own. I do respond with my whole heart to every sentiment you have so nobly and so feelingly expressed, and while my heart beats, or this hand which now writes, is able to draw and wield a sword, you may depend on it being at your service in the glorious cause of Liberty and Truth, ready in a moments warning to defend the rights of man both civil and religious. Our common rights and peace is all we ask, and we will use every peaceable means in our power to enjoy these, but our rights we must have, peace we must have, if we have to fight for them. There has nothing worthy of notice come to my knowledge to day, the Gentlemen Officers are seemingly very unhappy and out of humor with themselves more than with any body else, they see we have the advantage of them and that they cannot provoke us to break the law; and I think they know if they do that, we will use them up the right way. I guess they see that in our patience we possess our souls, and I know that if they shed or cause to be shed a drop of the blood of one of the least amongst us, that the lives of the transgressors shall atone for it with the help of our God— I send you the ordinance that was passed by the Court Martial on [HC 5:96] Saturday last for your approval or otherwise, as it cannot become a law without your approbation— I also send you the returns of the Election for Major General, as you ordered the Election, you will please order the War Secretary of the Legion () to send for a Commission With the warmest feelings of my heart I remain most respectfully yours— — P. S. Afternoon 6 o’clock— I have just learned that Mr. Pittman got a letter about noon and got ready immediately and started off as he said for , but I think for giving it up for a bad job— ”
About dark returned from and stated that he had conversed [p. 1368] <August 15> with who informed him that he had ascertained, that the Sheriffs were determined to have me and if they could not succeed themselves they would bring a force sufficient to search every house in the , and if they could not find me there they would search the &c As before stated the Sheriffs left the about four—— o’clock saying they were going to but did not meet them on the road— It is believed they are gone to . In consequence of these reports it was considered wisdom that some of the brethren should go and inform me accordingly about 9 o’clock , , , , , , and started by different routes on foot and came to the place where I was— when the statement was made to me I proposed to leave the , expecting I was no longer safe, but upon hearing the whole statement from those present, I said I should not leave my present retreat yet, I did not think I was discovered, neither did I think I was any more unsafe than before. I discovered a degree of excitement and agitation man[HC 5:97]ifest in those who brought the report and I took occasion to gently reprove all present for letting report excite them, and advised them not to suffer themselves to be wrought upon by any report, but to maintain an even, undaunted mind— each one began to gather courage, and all fears were soon subsided, and the greatest union and good felling prevailed amongst all present— Various subjects then were conversed upon, and Counsel given, which was felt to be both seasonable and salutary, after conversing a while in the grove the company retired into the house, and sat and conversed until about 2 o’clock, at which time they departed evidently satisfied and much encouraged by the interview.
<Issued the following editorial> -[See Times and Seasons page 886 &c on persecution]-,
<A great whirlwind at Chauffailes— France—— Thirty houses were carried away— over 20 persons killed— Six hundred houses, with all they contained burned at Nowa Ussel in Russia. > [HC 5:98] [HC 5:99] [HC 5:100] [HC 5:101] [HC 5:102]
<16> Tuesday 16. Wrote as follows
“ August 16. 1842— My Dear — I embrace this opportunity to express to you some of my feelings this morning. First of all I take the liberty to tender you my sincere thanks for the two interesting and consoling visits that you have made me during my almost exiled situation. Tongue cannot express the gratitude of my heart, for the warm and true hearted friendship you have manifested in these things toward me. The time has passed away since you left me, very agreeable, thus far; my mind being perfectly reconciled to my fate, let it be what it may. I have been kept from melancholy and dumps, by the kind heartedness of , and his interesting chit-chat from time—— to time, which has called my mind from the more strong contemplation of things, and subjects, that would have preyed more earnestly upon my feelings. Last night, brother , , and others came to see us. They seemed much agitated, and expressed some fears in consequence of some manoeuvreings and some flying reports which they had heard in relation to our safety; but after relating what it was, I was able to comprehend the whole matter to my entire satisfaction, and did not feel at all alarmed or uneasy. They think however, that the Militia will be called out to search the , and if this should be the case I would be much safer for the time being at a little distance off, until could get weary and be made ashamed of his corrupt and unhallowed proceedings. I had supposed, however, that if there were any serious operations taken by the , that or would have notified us; and cannot believe that any thing [p. 1369]
<August 16> very [HC 5:103] serious is to be apprehended, until we obtain information from a source that can be relied upon. I have consulted whether it is best for you to go to , and see the ; but on the whole, he is a fool; and the impressions that are suggested to my mind, are, that it will be of no use; and the more we notice him, and flatter him, the more eager he will be for our destruction. You may write to him, whatever you see proper, but to go and see him, I do not give my consent at present. again suggested to me the propriety of my accompanying him to the pine woods, and then he return; and bring you and the children. My mind will eternally revolt at every suggestion of that kind, more especially since the dream and vision that was manifested to me on the last night. My safety is with you, if you want to have it so. Any thing more or less than this cometh of evil. My feelings and Counsel I think ought to be abided. If I go to the , you shall go along with me, and the children; and if you and the children go not with me, I dont go. I do not wish to exile myself for the sake of my own life, I would rather fight it out. It is for your sakes therefore, that I would do such a thing. I will go with you then, in the same carriage, and on Horse back from time to time as occasion may require; for I am not willing to trust you, in the hands of those who cannot feel the same interest for you, that I feel; to be subject to the caprice, temptations or notions of any body whatever. And I must say that I am pre-possessed somewhat with the notion of going to the any how; for I am tired of the mean, low, and unhallowed vulgarity of some portions of the Society in which we live; and I think if I could have a respite of about six months with my family, it would be a savor of life unto life, with my house. Nevertheless if it were possible I would like to live here in peace and wind up my business; but if it should be ascertained to a dead certainty that there is no other remedy, then we will round up our shoulders and cheerfully endure it; and this will be the plan. Let my horse, saddle, saddle bags and valise to put some shirts and clothing in, be sent to me. Let brothers and take a horse and put it into my buggy with a trunk containing my heavier clothes, shoes, boots &c and let —— accompany us to his Father’s, and there we will tarry, taking every precaution to keep out of the hands of the enemy, until you can arrive with the children. Let bring you. Let and come along and bring all the writings and papers, books and histories, for we shall want a scribe in order that we may pour upon the world, the Truth, like the Lava from Mount Vesuvius. Then, let all the goods, household furniture, clothes and store goods that can be procured be put on the Boat, and let 20 or 30 of the best men that we [HC 5:104] can find be put on board to man it, and let them meet us at ; and from thence we will wend our way like larks up the until the touring mountains and rocks, shall remind us of the places of our nativity, and shall look like safety and home; and then we will bid defiance to the world, to , , and all their whorish whores and motly clan, that follow in their wake, not excepted, and until the damnation of hell rolls upon them, by the voice and dread thunders and trump of the Eternal God. then, in that day will we not shout in the victory? and be crowned with eternal joys, for the battles we have fought, having [p. 1370]
<August 16> kept the faith and overcame the world. Tell the children it is well with their Father, as yet; and that he remains in fervent prayer to Almighty God for the safety of—— himself, and for you, and for them. Tell that it shall be well with her Son, whether in life or in death; for thus saith the Lord God; Tell her that I remember her all the while, as well as , and all the rest; they all must be of good cheer. Tell to be sure and not fail to carry out my instructions, but at the same time if the Militia does not come, and we should get any favorable information all may be well yet. Yours in haste, Your affectionate husband until death, through all eternity, for evermore. Joseph Smith.
P. S. I want you to write to , and get him to make affidavit to all he knows about and forward it. I also want you to ascertain from whether he will conform to what I have requested . and you must write me an answer per bearer, giving me all the news you have, and what is the appearance of things this morning— J.S.”
I also wrote as follows
“Head Quarters, Legion, August 16 1842— — Beloved brother and friend— those few lines which I received from you, written on the 15th., were to me like apples of Gold in pictures of silver. I rejoice with exceeding great joy to be associated in the high and responsible stations which we hold, whose mind and feelings and heart are so congenial with my own. I love that soul that [HC 5:105] is so nobly entabernacled in that clay of yours, may God Almighty grant that it may be satiated with seeing a fulfilment of every virtuous and manly desire that you possess, may we be able to triumph gloriously over those who seek our destruction and overthrow, which I believe we shall, the news you wrote me was more favorable than that which was communicated by the Brethren, they seemed a little agitated for my safety, and advised me for the , but I succeeded admirably in calming all their fears, but nevertheless as I said in my former letter, I was willing to exile myself for months and years, if it would be for the welfare and safety of the people, and I do not know but it would be as well for me to take a trip to the , and remain until arrangements can be made for my most perfect safety when I returned, these are therefore to confer with you on this subject, as I want to have a concert of action in every thing that I do, if I knew that they would oppress me alone, and let the rest of you dwell peaceably and quietly, I think it would be the wisest plan to absent myself for a little season, if by that means we could prevent the effusion of blood. Please write and give me your mind on that subject and all other information that has come to hand to day, and what are the signs of the times— I have no news, for I am where I cannot get much, all is quiet and peaceable around I therefore wait with earnest expectation for your advices— I am anxious to know your opinion on any course that I may see proper to take, for in the multitude of Counsel there is safety. I add no more, but subscribe myself your faithful and most obedient servant, friend and brother— Joseph Smith— Lieutenant General of the Legion of Militia.”
The foregoing letters were delivered to who proceeded immediately [p. 1371] <August 16> to the . has taken the greatest interest in my welfare and I feel to bless him.
“Blessed is brother , and he shall be blessed of the Lord, he possesses a sober mind, and a faithful heart; the snares therefore that are subsequent to befall other men, who are treacherous and rotten hearted, shall not come nigh unto his doors, but shall be far from the path of his feet. He loveth wisdom, and shall be <found> possessed of her. Let there be a crown of glory, and a diadem [HC 5:106] upon his head. Let the light of eternal truth shine forth upon his understanding; let his name be had in everlasting remembrance, let the blessings of Jehovah be crowned upon his posterity after him, for he rendered me consolation, in the lonely places of my retreat: How good and glorious it has seemed unto me, to find pure and holy friends, who are faithful, just and true, and whose hearts fail not; and whose knees are confirmed and do not falter, while they wait upon the Lord, in administering to my necessities, in the day when the wrath of mine enemies was poured out upon me. In the name of the Lord I feel in my heart to bless, them, and to say in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, that these are the ones that shall inherit eternal life. I say it by virtue of the Holy Priesthood, and by the ministering of Holy Angels and by the gift and power of the Holy Ghost. How glorious were my feelings when I met that faithful and friendly band, on the night of the eleventh on Thursday, on the , at the mouth of the slough, between and ; with what unspeakable delight, and what transports of joy swelled my bosom, when I took by the hand on that night, my beloved , she that was my Wife, even the wife of my youth, and the choice of my heart. Many were the re-vibrations of my mind when I contemplated for a moment the many scenes we had been called to pass through, the fatigues, and the toils, the sorrows, and sufferings, and the joys and consolations from time to time which had strewed our paths and crowned our board. Oh! what a commingling of thought filled my mind for the moment, again she is here, even in the seventh trouble, undaunted, firm, and unwavering, unchangeable affectionate . There was who next took me by the hand, a natural brother, thought I to myself, , what a faithful [HC 5:107] heart you have got. Oh, may the Eternal Jehovah crown eternal blessings upon your head as a reward for the care you have had for my soul. O how many are the sorrows we have shared together, and again we find ourselves shackled with the unrelenting hand of oppression. , thy name shall be written in the book of the law of the Lord, for those who come after thee to look upon, that they may pattern after thy works. Said I to myself, here is brother also, how many scenes of sorrow have strewed our paths together; and yet we meet once more to share again. Thou art a faithful friend in whom the afflicted sons of men can confide, with the most perfect safety. Let the blessings of the Eternal also be crowned upon his head; how warm that heart! how anxious that soul! for the welfare of one who has been cast out, and hated of almost all men. thou knowest not how strong those ties are, that bind my soul and heart to thee. My heart was overjoyed, as I took the faithful band by hand, that stood upon the shore one by one. , , , were there. The above names constituted the little group. I do not think to mention the particulars of the history of that sacred night, which shall for ever be [p. 1372]
<August 16> remembered by me. But the names of the faithful are what I wish to record in this place. These I have met in prosperity and they were my friends, I now meet them in adversity, and they are still my warmer friends. These love the God that I serve; they love the truths that I promulge; they love those virtuous, and those holy doctrines that I cherish in my bosom with the warmest feelings of my heart; and with that zeal which cannot be denied. I love friendship and truth; I love virtue and law; I love the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob and they are my brethren, and I shall live; [HC 5:108] and because I live they shall live also; These are not the only ones, who have administered to my necessity; whom the Lord will bless. There is brother , and brother , and brother , and brother , my heart feels to reciprocate the unwearied kindnesses that have been bestowed upon me by these men. They are men of noble stature, of noble hands, and of noble deeds; possessing noble and daring, and giant hearts and souls. There is brother also, I would call up in remembrance before the Lord. There is brother , a natural brother; he is, even as . There is brother also, who married my youngest sister . He is a faithful, an honest, and an upright man. While I call up in remembrance before the Lord these men, I would be doing injustice to those who rowed me in the skiff up the that night, after I parted with the lovely group; who brought me to this my safe and lonely and private retreat, brother and the other whose name I do not know, many were the thoughts that swelled my aching heart, while they were toiling faithfully with their oars. They complained not at hardship and fatigue to secure my safety. My heart would have been harder than an adamantine stone, if I had not have prayed for them with anxious and fervent desire. I did so, and the still small voice whispered to my soul, these that share your toils with such faithful hearts, shall reign with you in the kingdom of their God; but I parted with them in silence, and came to my retreat. I hope I shall see them again that I may toil for them and administer to their comfort also. They shall not want a friend while I live. My heart shall love those, and my hands shall toil for those, who love and toil for me, and shall ever be found faithful to my friends. Shall I be ungrateful? Verily no! God forbid! I design to continue this subject at a future time.[”] [HC 5:109]
returned in the evening bringing the following letters—
“Dear Husband, I am ready to go with you if you are obliged to leave; and says he will go with me. I shall make the best arrangements I can and be as well prepared as possible. But still I feel good confidence that you can be protected without leaving this country. There are more ways than one to take care of you, and I believe that you can still direct in your business concerns if we are all of us prudent in the matter. If it was pleasant weather I should contrive to see you this evening, but I dare not run too much of a risk on account of so many going to see you. General Adams sends the propositions concerning his land, two dollars an acre, payments as follows, assumption of mortgage say about fourteen hundred, interest included. Taxes due, supposed about thirty dollars. Town property one thousand dollars. Balance money, payable in one, two, three, and four years. will tell you all the information we have on [p. 1373]
<August 16> hand. I think we will have news from as soon as tomorrow— Yours affectionately for ever —”
“, Ill. one o’clock afternoon Augt. 16. 1842— Lieut. Gen. J. Smith— My dear friend— I have just received and read yours of to day and hasten to reply. [HC 5:110] There is no movement of any kind going on to day amongst the enemy as far as I can see, which helps to strengthen me in my opinion of yesterday, but still it might be a calm before a storm, and if so we will meet it when it comes— You wish my opinion respecting your absenting yourself for some time from those friends, that are dear to you as life, and to whom you are also as dear, and from the place and station to which you are called by Him who ruleth in the armies of heaven— and amongst the inhabitants of the Earth. I must confess that I feel almost unworthy to give an opinion on the subject, knowing that your own judgment is far superior to mine, but nevertheless you shall have it freely, it is this. I think that if they cannot get you peaceably according to the forms of law, that they will not dare to attempt violence of any kind upon the inhabitants of the , for they are well aware that they cannot insult us with impunity, neither use violence, only at the risk of their lives, and there are but few men, who are willing to risk their lives in a bad cause, it is the principles and spirit of liberty, of truth, of virtue, and of religion and equal rights, that make men courageous and valiant and fearless in the day of battle and of strife; and just the contrary with the oppressor for nine times out of ten a bad cause will make a man a coward and he will flee when no man—— pursueth. Now if I am right in thinking that it is you alone they seek to destroy as soon as they find they cannot get you, they will cease to trouble the except with spies; and if we knew that you were completely out of their reach, we could either laugh at their folly, or whip them for impertinence or any thing else, as the case might be, for we would feel so happy in your safety that we could meet them in any shape. On the whole I think it would be better for you to absent yourself till the next Governor takes the Chair, for I do think if you are not here they will not attempt any violence on the , and if they should, they will disgrace themselves in the eyes of the world, and the world will justify us in fighting for our rights, and then you can come out like a Lion and lead your people to victory and to glory in the name of the Lord of Hosts. I know the Sacrifice you must make in taking this course, I know it will grieve your noble spirit to do so, for when I think of it myself, I feel no desire in life, but to fight, and to cut off from the Earth all who oppress, and to establish that true form of government at once which would guarantee to every man equal rights. I know we have justice on our side in respect of city laws, and that the acts of the Municipal Court are legal, but the question is, are we now able to assert them, or had we better wait till we are more able. the Latter course will [HC 5:111] give us peace a little while, by sacrificing your liberty and the feelings of your family and friends and depriving us all … all of your Society and governing wisdom. I will only add I am ready for either course and may God direct us to do that, that is best. If you should conclude to go for a while, I must see you before you go. And for the present I will bid you be cheerful and make yourself as happy as you can, for the right side of the wheel will soon be up again— And till then and ever I remain under every circumstance your friend and obedient servant. .” [p. 1374]
<August 16> wrote me from as follows
“ Augt. 16th. 1842— Dear Sir:— Your polite and friendly note, was handed to me a few days since by Dr. , who I must say, is very fine specimen of the Mormon people if they are all like him, and indeed I think him a very excellent representative of yourself as I find he is your most devoted admirer and true disciple. He spent two days with me, and from his arguments and from his mild and gentlemanly demeanor almost made me a Mormon. You have another representative here (who spent a day with me some time since) of the name of , who is, I think President of the Church in , and most unquestionably a most excellent and good man, and would be so if he were Turk, Jew or Saint. He is ab initio a good man, and to you a most true enthusiastic and devoted disciple He has no guile— of too, is a most excellent man and true Christian. These are men with whom I could associate for ever, even if I never joined their Church of acknowledged their faith. General called on me last Friday and spent just two hours, when he left as he said for the Eastern States. Being aware that is here he had very little to say. He however proposed to me to aid him, whether serious or not, in arranging materials for publishing “an exposition of Mormon secrets and practices” which I peremptorily refused on two grounds. 1st. That I had nothing to do with any quarrel that might arise [HC 5:112] between you and him, as I could not be a judge of the merits or demerits of the matter, and 2ndly. That inasmuch as he himself had proposed to you and your Council to confer on me honors which I never sought, yet which I highly prize, it would be the height of ingratitude as well as inconsistent with every principle of common honesty and propriety, for me to join him in an effort to lower my own honors by attempting to lower in public estimation the people from whom those honors emanated. He gave of the Herald his Commission which I opposed from the very first, and you now see by that paper the sport which that man has made of it. I tell you there is no dependence on the friendship of that when his interest is at issue. I am assured that is going to publish conjointly with on half profit, the exposition against you and your people, which is going to contain a great number of scandalous cuts and plates— But don’t be concerned, you will receive no injury whatever from any thing that any man or set of men may say against you. The whole of this Muss is only extending your fame and will increase your numbers ten fold. You have nothing to expect from that part of community who are bigotedly attached to the other Churches. They have always believed and still believe every thing said to your disadvantage; and what General is now saying in the papers is nothing more than what was common report before throughout this whole community, insomuch that I had to contradict it in the Herald under the signature of “Cincinnatus”, and even requested the Elders at the Mormon Church to do so long ago. You therefore have lost not a whit of ground by it. I must in Charity forbear commenting on the course of in this matter considering all things, delicacy forbids such a course. There are some things however, I feel very sorely and could wish they had not transpired. He and the Herald will make money out of the Book and there the matter will end as you will find that the Herald will puff it to the Skies. The books which I sent you, [p. 1375]
<August 16> you will retain in your hands for the present. [HC 5:113] my respects to your amiable and all friends, and believe me as ever, tho, not a mormon, your sincere friend— — P.S. I know of no reason why the Wasp was not continued to be sent to me. I don’t like the name. Mildness should characterize every thing that comes from , and even a name as Peleg says in his Ethics has much influence on one side or the other— My respects to your , its Editor[.] I would just say that General appeared to me to be in very low Spirits and I find that many communications intended for you from me, have never reached you. Those books were made over to on the presumption that he would in his own name present them for the benefit of the — [”]
<17> Wednesday 17. I walked out into the woods for exercise in company with , where we were accidentally discovered by a young man, we asked him various questions, concerning the public feeling, and situation of matters around, to all which he answered promptly, on being requested not to make it known where we were, he promised faithfully he would not, and said time would tell whether he did or no.
“, Illinois, August 17. 1842— Lieutenant General Joseph Smith— Dear friend— Every thing is moving along in the in the usual tranquil and industrious manner, there is no change in the appearance of things that a common observer could see, altho’ to one who knows, and is acquaint<ed> with the countenances of the thinking few, it is evident that their minds are troubled more than common, and I know by myself that they cannot help it, and why should it be otherwise when the Lord’s anointed is hunted like a Lion of the Forest by the most wicked and oppressive generation that has ever been since the days of our Savior, indeed every movement of this generation re[HC 5:114]minds me of the history of the people who—— crucified Christ, it was nothing but mob law, mob rule, and mob violence all the time, the only difference is that the Governors then, were more just than the Governors now, they were willing to acquit innocent men, but our Governors now, despise justice, garble and <pervert> the law, and join in with the mob in pursuit of innocent blood. I have been meditating on your communication of yesterday and will just add a thought or so on the subject, respecting particularly your going to the . I think I would not go there for some time if at all. I do not believe that an armed force will come upon us at all, unless they get hold of you first, and then we rescue you which we would do under any circumstances with the help of God, but I would rather do it within the limits of the , under the laws of the ; therefore I would think it better to quarter in the and not long in one place at once— I see no reason why you might not stay in safety within the for months without any knowing it only those who ought, and that as few as is necessary. I must close for the present remaining as ever your affectionate friend and obedient servant— —”
“ August 17. 1842— To his Excellency — Sir— It is with feelings of no ordinary cast that I have retired after the business of the day and evening too, to address your honor. I am at a loss how to commence; my mind is crowded with subjects too numerous to be contained in one letter. I find myself almost destitute of that confidence, necessary to address a person holding the authority of your dignified [p. 1376]
<August 17> and responsible office; and I would now offer as an excuse for intruding upon your time and attention, the justice of my cause. Was my cause, the interest of an individual or of a number of individuals; then perhaps I might be justified in remaining silent. But it is not! Nor is it the pecuniary interest of a whole community alone, that prompts me again to appeal to your . But dear Sir, it is for the peace and safety of hundreds, I may safely say of this community, who are not guilty of any offence against the laws of the Country; and also the life of my husband; who has not committed any crime whatever; neither has he transgressed any of the laws, or any part of the constitution of the ; neither has he at any time infringed upon the rights of any man, or of any class of men or com[HC 5:115]munity of any description. Need I say he is not guilty of the crime alleged against him by . Indeed it does seem entirely superfluous for me, or any one of his friends in this place, to testify his innocence of that crime; when so many of the Citizens of your place, and of many other places in this as well as in the , do know positively that the statement of is without the least shadow of truth; and we do know, and so do many others, that the prosecution against him, has been conducted in an illegal manner; and every act demonstrates the fact, that all the design of the prosecution, is to throw him into the power of his enemies; without the least ray of hope, that he would ever be allowed to obtain a fair trial, and that he would be inhumanly and ferociously murdered; no person having a knowledge of the existing circumstances has one remaining doubt: and your will recollect that you said to me that you would not advise Mr. Smith ever to trust himself in . And dear sir, you cannot for one moment indulge one unfriendly feeling towards him, if he abides by your council. Then Sir, why is it that he should be thus cruelly pursued? why not give him the privilege of the laws of this . When I reflect upon the many cruel and illegal operations of , and the consequent suffering of myself and family; and the incalculable losses and sufferings of many hundreds who survived, and the many precious lives that were lost; all, the effect of unjust prejudice and misguided ambition, produced by misrepresentation and calumny, my bosom heaves with unutterable anguish. And who, that is as well acquainted with the facts as the people of the City of , would censure me, if I should say that my heart burned with just indignation, towards our calumniators, as well as the perpetrators of those horrid crimes. But how happy would I now be to pour out my heart in gratitude to if he had rose up with the dignity and authority of the Chief executive of the , and put down every illegal transaction, and protected the peaceable citizens, and enterprizing emigrants, from the violence of plundering out-laws, who have ever been a disgrace to the , and always will, so long as they go unpunished. Yes I say, how happy would I be to render him not only the gratitude of my own heart, but the cheering effusions of the joyous souls of fathers and mothers, of brothers and sisters, widows and orphans who he might have saved by such a course, from now drooping under the withering hand of adversity, brought upon them by the persecutions of wicked and corrupt men. And now may I entreat your to lighten the hand of oppression and persecution, [p. 1377]
<August 17> which is laid upon me and my family, which materially affect the peace and—— welfare of this whole community; for [HC 5:116] let me assure you that there are many whole families that are entirely dependent upon the prosecution and success of Mr. Smith’s temporal business for their support. And if he is prevented from attending to the common avocations of life, who will employ those innocent, industrious poor people and provide for their wants. But my dear Sir, when I recollect the interesting interview, I and my friends had with you when at your place, and the warm assurances you gave us of your friendship and legal protection, I cannot doubt for a moment your honorable sincerity; but do still expect you to consider our claims upon your protection from every encroachment upon our legal rights as loyal citizens as we always have been, still are, and are determined always to be a law abiding people; and I still assure myself that when you are fully acquainted with illegal proceedings practiced against us in the suit of , you will recall those writs which have been issued against Mr. Smith and , as you must be aware that Mr. Smith was not in , and of course he could not have left there; with many other considerations which if duly considered will justify Mr. Smith in the course he has taken. And now I appeal to your as I would unto a Father, who is not only able but willing to shield me and mine from every unjust prosecution. I appeal to your sympathies and beg you to spare me, and my helpless children. I beg you to spare my innocent children the heartrending sorrows of again seeing their father unjustly dragged to prison or to death. I appeal to your affections as a son and beg you to spare our aged — the only surviving parent we have left— the unsupportable affliction of seeing her son, who she knows to be innocent of the crimes laid to his charge, thrown again into the hands of his enemies, who have so long sought for his life; in whose life and prosperity she only looks for the few remaining comforts she can enjoy. I entreat of your to spare us these afflictions and many sufferings which cannot be uttered; and secure to yourself the pleasure of doing good, and vastly increasing human happiness; secure to yourself the benediction of the aged, and the gratitude of the young, and the blessing and veneration of the rising generation— Respectfully your most obedient— —
P.S. Sir— I hope you will favor me with an answer— ”
Several rumors were afloat in the , intimating that my retreat had been discovered, and that it was no longer safe for me to remain at ; consequently [HC 5:117] came to see me at night and informed me of the report. It was considered wisdom that I should remove immediately, and accordingly I departed in company with and and went to s who lived on the North East part of the — Here we were kindly received and well treated—
<19> Friday morning 19. presented ’s letter of the 17th. to at in presence of . The read the letter with much attention, apparently, and when he got through he passed high encomiums on , and expressed astonishment at the judgment and talent manifest in the manner of her address. He presented the letter to requesting him to read it. then proceeded to reiterate the same [p. 1378] <August 19> language as on a former occasion, viz, that he was satisfied there was “no excitement any where but in amongst the Mormons themselves,” all was quiet, and no apprehension of trouble in other places so far as he was able to ascertain. He afterwards stated when conversing on another subject, that “persons were offering their services every day either in person, or by letter, and held themselves in readiness to go against the Mormons whenever he should call upon them, but he never had the least idea of calling out the Militia, neither had he thought it necessary.” There was evidently a contradiction in his assertions in the above instances and although he said “there was no excitement but amongst the Mormons,” it is evident he knew better. He also said that it was his opinion that if Joseph would give himself up to the Sheriff he would be honorably acquitted and the matter would be ended; but on asking how he thought Mr. Smith could go through the midst of his enemies without violence being used towards him? and if acquitted, how he [HC 5:118] was to get back? the was evidently at a loss what to say, but made light of the matter as though he thought it might be easily done. He took great care to state that it was not his advice that Mr. Smith should give himself up but thought it would be soonest—— decided. It appeared evident by the conversation that was no friend to the Saints, and they could expect no good things from him. He explicitly acknowledged his ignorance of the law touching the case in question—
After spending the day in conversation and reading, in the evening I received a visit from my Aunt , and at night went to the , and concluded to tarry at home until something further transpired relative to the designs of my persecutors.
<20> Saturday 20. Spent the day in my general business office, otherwise called the Lodge or assembly room, or Council Chamber— which is over my , and the place where most of the business of the and Church is transacted. My health very indifferent. In the evening had an interview with my Brother , , and on the illegality of the proceedings of our persecutors.
The High Council in session
“Resolved that the City of be divided into ten wards, according to the division made by the “Temple Committee” and that there be a Bishop appointed over each Ward, and, also that other Bishops be appointed over such districts immediately out of the and adjoining thereto as shall be considered necessary. Resolved that be appointed Bishop in the place of Bishop deceased, also that be appointed Bishop of the 4th. Ward, of the 5th. Ward, of the 6th. Ward, < of the 7th. Ward,> of the 8th. Ward, of the 9th. Ward, of the 10th. Ward, David Evans of the District south of the called the 11th. Ward. Israel Calkins of the District East of the [HC 5:119] and South of Knight Street— of the district, East of the and North of Knight Street.”
The City Council instructed the Sexton, to report weekly, to the Editor of some Newspaper published in this , the names and ages of persons deceased, and nature of their disease, or cause of their death.
<The Twelve met in Council and ordained to be one of the Twelve Apostles.—— was born in Lyman, Grafton Co. N.H. 30 March 1813 where he received the gospel through the ministry of 27 April 1832, ordained an Elder under my hands 23 August 1832 in , Portage Co. Ohio. He was one of my fellow prisoners, bound with the same Chains in Jail. Missouri.>
was declared unworthy to hold the Office of Chancellor of the University and was discharged— and was elected in his stead—— [p. 1379] <August 20> ——, and received the oath of Office; was Elected Regent of the University in place of deceased. [HC 5:120]
<21> Sunday 21. I continued in the Assembly Room
“This day went to the meeting near the and stated to the Congregation that he was not upon the Stand to renounce his faith in Mormonism, as had been variously stated by enemies and licentious presses, but appeared to bear his testimony of its truth, and add another to the many miraculous evidences of the power of God; neither did he rise to deliver any regular discourse, but to unfold to the audience a scene of deep interest which had occurred in his own family. He had witnessed many instances of the power of God in this Church, but never before had he seen the dead raised, yet this was a thing that had actually taken place in his own family. His daughter Eliza was dead; the doctor told him that she was gone, when, after a considerable length of time she rose up in the bed and spoke in a very powerful tone to the following effect in a supernatural manner: she said to the family that she was going to leave them (being impressed with the idea herself that she had only come back to deliver her message and then depart again,) saying the Lord had said to her the very words she should relate; and so particular was she in her relation, that she would not suffer any person to leave out a word or add one. She called the family around her and bade them all farewell with a composure and calmness that defies all description, still impressed with the idea that she was to go back. Up to the time of her death she expressed a great unwillingness to die, but after her return she expressed equally as strong a desire to go back. She said to her elder Sister, , it is in your heart to deny this work, and if you do, the Lord says it will be the damnation of your soul. In speaking to her sister Sarah she said, Sarah, we have but once to die, and I would rather die now than wait for another time. She said to her Sisters that the Lord had great blessings in store for them if [HC 5:121] they continued in the faith, and after delivering her message she swooned, but recovered again. During this time she was cold as <she will be> when laid in the grave, and all the appearance of life was the power of speech. She thus continued till the following evening, for the space of thirty six hours, when she called her unto her bed and said to him, that the Lord had said to her, if he would cease weeping for his sick daughter, and dry up his tears that he should have all the desires of his heart; and that if he would go to bed and rest, he should be comforted over his sick daughter, for in the morning she should be getting better and should get well. That the Lord had said unto her, because that her had dedicated her to God, and prayed to him for her, that he would <restore> her back <to him> again.— This ceremony of dedicating and praying took place when she was struggling in death, and continued to the very moment of her departure; and she says the Lord told her, that it was because of this that she must go back <to her > again, though she herself desired to stay.
She said concerning , as he had denied the faith, the Lord had taken away one of his eye teeth, and unless he repented, he would take away another. And concerning , that he was a wicked man, and that the Lord would tread him under his feet. Such is a small portion of what she related.
observed that there had been many idle tales and reports abroad concerning him, stating that he had denied the faith, but he would take the—— [p. 1380]
<August 21> opportunity to state that his faith was and had been unshaken in the truth. It has also been rumored that I believe that Joseph Smith is a fallen prophet. In regard to this, I unequivocally state that I never thought so, but declare that I know he is a prophet of the Lord, called and chosen in this last dispensation, to roll on the kingdom of God for the last time. He close<d by saying as it regards his [HC 5:122] religion he had no controversy with the world, having an incontrovertible evidence, that through obedience to the ordinances of the religion he now believes, the Lord had actually given back his daughter from the dead. No person need therefore come to reason with him, to convince him of error, or make him believe another religion, unless those who profess it can show, that through obedience to its laws the dead have been and can be raised; if it has no such power, it would be insulting his feelings to ask him to reason about it; and if it had it would be no better than the one he had, and so he had done with controversy, wherefore he dealt in facts and not in theory.>
President spoke at great length and with great power. He cited ’s mind back to the Revelation concerning him, that if he would move into the midst of the and defend the truth he should be healed &c and showed that what felt in regard to the improvement in his health was a fulfilment of the Revelation. He then proceeded to show the folly of any person’s attempting to overthrow or destroy Joseph, and read from the Book of Mormon in various places concerning the Prophet who was prophecied—— should be raised up in the last days, setting forth the work he was destined to accomplish and that he had only just commenced, but inasmuch as we could plainly see that the former part of the prophecy had been literally fulfilled we might be assured that the latter part would also be fulfilled and that Joseph would live to accomplish the great things concerning him &c He concluded his address by calling upon the Saints to take courage and fear not, and also told that inasmuch as he had seen the mercy of the Lord exerted in his behalf that it was his duty to arise and stand in defence of the truth and of innocence, and of those who were being perse[HC 5:123]cuted innocently and finally called for all those who were willing to support and uphold Joseph and who believed that he was doing his duty and was innocent of the charges <alleged against him by our enemies> to hold up their right hand<s>”
when almost every hand was raised, and no opposite vote when called for. This meeting was productive of great good, by inspiring the Saints with new zeal and courage, and weakening the hands and hearts of the treacherous, and of evil and designing persons, disposed to secret combinations, against the truth. visited in the course of the day and manifested a determination to arouse his energies in defence of the truth——
<22> Tuesday 22 I find my feelings of the 16th. instant towards my friends revived, and while I contemplate the virtues and the good qualifications, and characteristics of the faithful few, which I am now recording in the Book of the Law of the Lord of such as have stood by me in every hour of peril, for these fifteen long years past; say for instance; my aged and beloved brother , who was among the number of the first to administer to my necessities, while I was laboring, in the commencement of the bringing forth of the work of the Lord, and of laying the foundation of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints; for fifteen years has he been faithful and true, and even handed, and exemplary, and virtuous, and kind; never deviating to the right hand nor to the left. Behold he is a righteous man, may God Almighty lengthen out the old man’s days; and may his trembling, tortured, and broken body be renewed, and the vigor of health turn upon him; if it can be thy will, consistently O God; and it shall be said of him by the sons of Zion, while there [p. 1381] <August 23> is one of them re[HC 5:124]maining; that this man was a faithful man in Israel; therefore his name shall never be forgotten. There is his son and whose names I record in the book of the Law of the Lord, with unspeakable—— delight, for they are my friends. There are a numerous host of faithful souls, whose names I could wish to record in the Book of the Law of the Lord, but time and chance would fail. I will mention therefore only a few of them as emblematical of those who are too numerous to be written. But there is one man I would mention namely , who is now a fellow—— wanderer with myself an exile from his home because of the murderous deeds and infernal fiendish disposition of the indefatigable and unrelenting hand of the Missourians. He is an innocent and a noble boy; may God Almighty deliver him from the hands of his pursuers. He was an innocent and a noble child, and my soul loves him, Let this be recorded for ever and ever. Let the blessings of Salvation and honor be his portion; But as I said before, so say I again while I remember the faithful few who are now living, I would—— remember also the faithful of my friends who are dead, for they are many; and many are the acts of kindness, and paternal and brotherly kindnesses which they have bestowed upon me. And since I have been hunted by the Missourians many are the scenes which have been called to my mind. Many thoughts have rolled through my head, and across my breast. I have remembered the scenes of my childhood; I have thought of my who is dead, who died by disease which was brought upon him through suffering by the hands of ruthless mobs. He was a great and a good man. The envy of knaves and fools was heaped upon him, and this was his lot and portion all the days of his life. He was of noble stature, and possessed a high, and holy, and exalted, and virtuous mind. His soul soared above all those mean and grovelling prin[HC 5:125]ciples that are so congenial to the human heart, I now say, that he never did a mean act that might be said was—— ungenerous in his life, to my knowledge. I loved my and his memory; and the memory of his noble deeds, rest with ponderous weight upon my mind; and many of his kind and parental words to me, are written on the tablet of my heart. Sacred to me are the thoughts which I cherish of the history of his life, that have been rolled through my mind, and has been implanted there, by my own observation since I was born. Sacred to me is his dust, and the spot where he is laid. Sacred to me is the tomb I have made to encircle o’er his head. let the memory of my eternally live. Let his soul, or the Spirit, my follies forgive. With him may I reign one day, in the mansions above; and tune up the Lyre of Anthems, of the eternal Jove. May the God that I love look down from above, and save me from my enemies here, and take me by the hand; that on Mount Zion I may stand and with my crown me eternally there. Words and language, are inadequate to express the gratitude that I owe to God for having given me so honorable a parentage. My also is one of the—— noblest, and the best of all women. May God grant to prolong her days and mine; that we may live to enjoy each others society long, yet in the enjoyment of liberty, and to breathe the free air. my oldest brother, I remember well the pangs of sorrow that swelled my youthful bosom and almost burst my tender heart, when [p. 1382] <August 23> he died, He was the oldest, and the noblest of my ’s family. He was one of the noblest of the sons of men: Shall his name not be recorded in this book? Yes, ; let it be had here, and be handed down upon these sacred pages, for ever and ever. In him there was no guile. He lived without [HC 5:126] spot from the time he was a child. From the time of his birth, he never knew mirth. He was candid and sober and never would play; and minded his ; and ; in toiling all day. He was one of the soberest of men, and when he died the Angel of the Lord visited him in his last moments. These childish lines I record in remembrance of my child hood scenes. My brother , whose name I desire to record also, was a noble boy. I never knew any fault in him, I never saw the first immoral act, or the first irreligious, or ignoble disposition in the child, from the time that he was born ’till the time of his death; he was a lovely, a good natured, a kind hearted, and a virtuous, and a faithful upright child, and where his soul goes let mine go also. He lays by the side of my . Let my Father, , and , and children that I have buried be brought and laid in the Tomb I have built. Let my and my brethren, and my Sisters be laid there also; and let it be called the Tomb of Joseph, a descendant of Jacob; and when I die, let me be gathered to the Tomb of my . There are many souls, whom I have loved stronger than death; to them I have proved faithful; to them I am determined to prove faithful, until God calls me to resign up my breath. O, thou who seeth, and knoweth the hearts of all men; thou eternal, omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent Jehovah, God; thou Eloheim, that sitteth, as sayeth the psalmist, enthroned in Heaven; look down upon thy servant Joseph, at this time, and let faith on the name of thy son Jesus Christ, to a greater degree than thy servant ever yet has enjoyed, be conferred upon him; even the faith of Elijah; and let the lamp of eternal life, be lit up in his heart, never to be taken away; and let the words of Eternal life, be poured upon the soul of thy servant; that he may know [HC 5:127] thy will, thy statutes, and thy commandments, and thy—— judgments to do them. As the dews upon Mount Hermon may the distillations of thy divine grace, glory and honor in the plentitude of thy mercy, and power and goodness be poured down upon the head of thy servant O Lord God, my heavenly Father, shall it be in vain, that thy servant must needs be exiled from the midst of his friends; or be dragged from their bosoms, to clank in cold and iron chains; to be thrust within the dreary prison walls; to spend days of sorrow, and of grief and misery there, by the hand of an infuriated,—— incensed and infatuated foe; to glut their infernal and insatiable desire upon innocent blood; and for no other cause on the part of thy servant, than for the defence of innocence, and thou a just God will not hear his cry? O, no, thou wilt hear me; a child of woe, pertaining to this mortal life; because of sufferings here, but not for condemnation that shall come upon him in Eternity; for thou knowest O God, the integrity of his heart. Thou hearest me, and I knew that thou wouldst hear me, and mine enemies shall not prevail; they all shall melt like wax before thy face; and as the mighty floods, and waters roar, or as the billowing earth quakes, devouring gulf; or rolling Thunders loudest peal; or vivid [p. 1383] <August 23> forked lightning’s flash; or sound of the arch angels trump; or voice of the Eternal God, shall the souls of my enemies be made to feel in an instant, suddenly; and shall be taken, and ensnared; and fall backwards, and stumble in the ditch they have dug for my feet, and the feet of my friends; and perish in their own—— infamy and shame— be thrust down to an Eternal hell, for their murderous and hellish deeds. I design to renew this subject at a future time.
Received an interesting visit from , and Aunt . My health and spirits good. This afternoon received a few lines from informing me that she would expect me home this evening, be[HC 5:128]lieving that she could take care of me better at home than elsewhere, Accordingly soon after dark, I started for home and arrived safe without being noticed by any person, all is quiet in the . [HC 5:129]
<24> Wednesday 24. At home all day, received a visit from Brothers , and .
“ Augt. 24. 1842. Dear . Your letter of this date has just been handed to me which recalls to my mind your great solicitude in reference to the security and welfare of your husband; but I need not say it recalls to my mind the subject matter of your solicitude, because that subject except at short intervals, has not been absent from my mind. I can scarcely furnish you a justifiable apology for delaying a reply so long, but be assured , it is not for want of regard for you, and your peace of mind, that I have postponed; but a crowd of public business, which has required my whole time; together with very ill health since the receipt of your former letter, and it would be most gratifying to my feelings now, if due regard to public duty, would enable me to furnish such a reply as would fully conform to your wishes— but my duty in reference to all demands made by Executives of other States, for the surrender of fugitives from justice, appears to be plain and simple; consisting entirely of an executive and not a judicial character leaving me no discretion— or adjudication, as to the innocence, or guilt, of persons so demanded and charged with crime, and it is plain that the Constitution and laws of the in reference to fugitives from justice, presumes, and contemplates, that the laws of the several States, are ample to do justice to all who may be charged with crime. And the statute of this simply requires, “That whenever the—— Executive of any other State, or of any Territory of the , shall demand of the Executive of this , any person as a fugitive from justice, and shall have complied with the requisitions of the act of Congress in that <case >[HC 5:130] made and provided, it shall be the duty of the Executive of this to issue his Warrant under the seal of the , to apprehend the said fugitive” &c With the constitution and laws before me, my duty is so plainly marked out, that it would be impossible to err, so long as I abstain from usurping the right of adjudication. I am aware that a strict enforcement of the laws by an Executive, or a rigid administration of them by a judicial tribunal, often results in hardship to those involved, and to you it doubtless appears to be peculiarly so, in the present case of Mr. Smith. If however as you allege, he is innocent of any crime, and the proceedings are illegal, it would be the more easy for him to—— procure an acquittal. In reference to the remark you attribute to me, that I [p. 1384]
<August 24> “would not advise Mr. Smith ever trust himself in .” I can only say as I have heretofore said on many occasions that I never have entertained a doubt that if Mr. Smith should submit to the laws of , that the utmost latitude would be allowed him in his defence, and the fullest justice done him and I only intended to refer (in the remark made to you when at my house) to the rabble— and not to the laws of .
Very much has been attributed to me in reference to General Smith that is without foundation in truth, a knowledge of which fact, enables me to receive what I hear as coming from him, with great allowance; In conclusion Dear I feel conscious when I assure you, that all my official acts in reference to Mr. Smith have been prompted by a strict sense of duty, and in discharge of that duty have studiously pursued that course, least— likely to produce an excitement and alarm, both in your community, and the surrounding public, and I will here add that I much regret being called upon to act at all, and that I hope he will submit to the laws, and that justice will ultimately be done. Be pleased to present my best respects to , and your Companions when at , and accept of my highest regard for yourself, and best wishes for your prosperity and happiness— Your obedt. servant— To Mrs. .[”]
<26> Friday 26. At home all day. <In the> evening in Council with some of the Twelve and others. I gave some important instructions upon the situation of the Church, showing that it was necessary, that the officers who could, should go abroad through the States; and inasmuch as a great [HC 5:131] excitement had been raised, through the community at large, by the falsehoods put in circulation by and others, it was wisdom in God that the Elders should go forth and deluge the States with a flood of truth; setting forth the mean, contemptible persecuting conduct of of , and those connected—— with him in his <mean and> corrupt proceedings, in plain terms, so that the world might understand the abusive conduct of our enemies, and stamp it with indignation. I advised the Twelve to call a special Conference on Monday next to give instructions to the Elders, and call upon them to go forth upon this important mission, meantime, that all the Affidavits concerning ’s conduct be taken and printed, so that each Elder could be properly furnished with correct and weighty testimony to lay before the public.
Great distress prevails in on account of the dull state of Trade.
<27> Saturday 27. In the assembly room with some of the Twelve, and others, who were preparing affidavits for the press.
“. Augt. 27. 1842. To his Excellency— — Dear Sir, I received your letter of the 24th. in due time, and now tender you the sincere gratitude of my heart, for the interest which you have felt in my peace and prosperity; and I assure you, that every act of kindness, and every word of consolation have been thankfully received and duly appreciated by me and my friends also; and I much regret your ill health, and still hope that you will avail yourself of sufficient time to investigate our cause, and thoroughly acquaint yourself with the illegality of the persecution instituted against Mr. Smith— And I now certify that Mr. Smith, [p. 1385]
<August 27> myself, nor any other person, to my knowledge, has ever, nor do we at this time wish your to swerve from your duty, as an Executive in the least, But we do believe that it is your duty to allow us in this place, the [HC 5:132] privileges and advantages guaranteed to us by the laws of this , and the ; this is all we ask, and if we can enjoy these rights unmolested, it will be the ultimate end of all our ambition; and the result will be peace and prosperity to us, and all the surrounding country, as far as we are concerned Nor do we wish to take any undue advantage of any intricate technicalities of law; but honorably and honestly to fulfil all of the laws of this , and of the , and then, in turn, to have the benefits resulting from an honorable of those laws. And now, your will not consider me assuming any unbecoming dictation; but recollect that the many—— prosecutions that has have been got up unjustly and pursued illegally against Mr. Smith, instigated by selfish and irreligious motives, has obliged me to know something for myself; therefore, let me refer you to the eleventh section of our City Charter “All power is granted to the City Council, to make, ordain, establish and execute all ordinances, not repugnant to the Constitution of the , or of the , or, as they may deem necessary for the peace and safety of said .” Accordingly there is an ordinance passed by the City Council to prevent our people from being carried off by an illegal process. And if any one thinks he is illegally seized, under this ordinance he claims the right of , under section 17th. of the Charter, to try the question of identity, which is strictly constitutional. These powers are positively granted in the Charter over your own signature; and now, dear sir, where can be the justice in depriving us of these rights which are lawfully ours, as well as they are the lawful rights of the inhabitants of and and many other places, where the Citizens enjoy the advantages of such ordinances, without controversy. With these considerations, and many more which might be adduced, give us the privilege, and we will show your , and the world besides, if required, that <the> Mr. Smith referred to, in the—— demand from , is not the Joseph Smith of , for he was not in ; neither is he described in the Writ, according as the Law requires; and that he is not a fugitive from justice. Why then, be so strenuous to have my husband taken, when you know him to be innocent of an attempt on the life of , and that he is not a fugitive from justice? It is not the fear of a just decision against him, that deters Mr. Smith, from going into ; but it is an actual knowledge that it was never intended he should have a fair trial. And now Sir, if you were not aware of the fact; I will acquaint you with it now, that there were lying in wait, between this place and [HC 5:133], twelve men from , Missouri, for the purpose of taking Mr. Smith out of the hands of the Officers who might have him in custody. Also those two men from that were here with Messrs. and , divulged the most illegal and infernal calculations concerning taking Mr. Smith into , the evidence of which, we can furnish you at any time if required, And dear Sir, our good feelings revolt at the suggestion that your is acquainted with the unlawful measures taken by those engaged in the prosecution— [p. 1386]
<August 27> measures which, if justice was done to others, as it would be done to us; were we to commit as great errors in our proceedings, would subject all concerned in the prosecution to the penalty of the law, and that without mercy. I admit Sir, that it is next to an impossibility, for any one to know the extent of the tyranny, treachery, and knavery of a great portion of the leading characters of the State of : yet it only requires a knowledge of the Constitution of the , and Statute of the State of ; and a knowledge of the outrages committed by some of the Inhabitants of that upon the people called Mormons, and that passed unpunished by the administrators of the law; to know, that there is not the least confidence to be placed in any of those men that were engaged in those disgraceful transactions. If the law was made for the lawless and disobedient, and punishment instituted for the guilty, why not execute the law upon those that have transgressed it, and punish those who have committed crime, and grant encouragement to the innocent, and liberality to the industrious and peaceable. And now I entreat your honor to bear with me patiently while I ask, what good can accrue to this or the , or any part of this , or the , or to yourself, or to any other individual, to continue this persecution upon this people, or upon Mr. Smith a persecution that you are well aware, is entirely without any just—— foundation or excuse— With sentiments of due respect I am your most obedient servant— .[”]
<See Addenda page 3.> [HC 5:134] [HC 5:135]
<28> Sunday 28. At home. , Peter Melling, , and were received into the High Priests Quorum at .
The British Convict Ship “Waterloo,” was wrecked at Cape Town, during a Gale, and 200 lives lost.
<29> Monday 29. This being the day appointed for the Conference referred to on the 26th. instant. The Elders assembled in the near the . About 10 o’clock <in the forenoon> President introduced the object of the Conference by stating
“that the people abroad had been excited by ’s false statements, and that letters had frequently been received inquiring concerning the true nature of said reports; in consequence of which it is thought wisdom in God, that every Elder who can, should now go forth to every part of the , and take proper documents with them setting forth the truth as it is and also preach the gospel, repentance, baptism and salvation and tarry preaching until they shall be called home. They must go wisely, humbly setting forth the truth as it is in God, and our persecutions, by which the tide of public feeling will be turned. There are many Elders here doing little, and many people in the world who want to hear the truth. We want the official members to take their staff and go East [HC 5:136] (not West) and if a mob should come here they will only have women and children to fight with. When you raise Churches send the means you get to build the , and get the people to take stock in the . It is important that the should be finished that we may have a suitable place wherein to entertain the great ones of the [p. 1387]
<August 29> Earth and teach them the truth, we want the built that we may offer our oblations, and where we can ask forgiveness of our sins every week, and forgive one another, and offer up our offering and get our endowment— The Gospel will be turned from the Gentiles to the Jews. Sometime ago almost every person was ordained, the purpose was to have you tried and ready to receive your blessings. Every one is wanted to be ready in two or three days, and I expect there will be a liberal turn out—”
near the close of ’s remarks I went upon the Stand. I was rejoiced to look upon the Saints once more, whom I have not seen for about three weeks. They also were rejoiced to see me, and we all rejoiced together. My sudden appearance on the Stand under the circumstances which surrounded us, caused great animation and cheerfulness in the Assembly. Some had supposed that I had gone to—— , and some that I had gone to Europe. While some thought I was in the ; but whatever difference of opinion had prevailed on this point, we were now all filled with thanksgiving and rejoicing. When had done speaking I arose and congratulated the brethren and Sisters on the victory I had once more gained over the Missourians. I had told them formerly about fighting the—— Missourians, and about fighting alone. I had not fought them with the Sword or by carnal weapons; I had done it by stratagem, by outwitting them, and there had been no lives lost, and there would be no lives lost if they would hearken to my Council. Up to this day God had given me wisdom to save the people who took Council. None had ever been killed who abode by my Council. At the brethren went contrary to my Council, if they had not th<eir> lives would have been spared. [HC 5:137] I had been in all the while, and outwitted ’s associates, and attended to my own business in the all the time. We want to whip the world mentally and they will whip themselves physically. The brethren cannot have the tricks played upon them that were done at and , they have seen enough of their the tricks of their enemies and know better. has attempted to destroy himself and caused all the almost to go in search of him. Is it not enough to put down all the infernal influence of the Devil, what we have felt and seen, handled and evidenced of this work of God? But the Devil had influenced among the Jews after all the great things they had witnessed to cause the death of Jesus Christ by hanging him between heaven and earth. and others of the same class caused trouble by telling stories to people who would betray me, and they must believe those stories because his told him so! I will live to trample on their ashes with the soles of my feet. I prophecy in the name of Jesus Christ that such shall not prosper, they shall be cut down in their plans. They would deliver me up Judas like, but a small band of us shall overcome. We don’t want or mean to fight with the sword of the flesh, but we will fight with the broad Sword of the Spirit. Our enemies say our Charter and Writs of are worth—— nothing. We say they came from the highest authority in the , and we will hold to them, They cannot be disannulled or taken away. I then told the brethren I was going to send all the Elders away, and when the Mob came, there would only be women and children to fight and they would be ashamed. I don’t want you to fight but to go and gather tens, hundreds, and thousands to fight for you. If oppression [p. 1388] <August 29> comes I will then shew them that there is a Moses and a Joshua amongst us; and I will fight them, if they don’t take off oppression from me, I will do as I have done this time, I will run into the woods, I will fight them in my own way. I will send brother to call conferences every where throughout the States and let documents be taken along and show to the world the corrupt and oppressive—— conduct of , [HC 5:138] , and others, that the public may have the truth laid before them. Let the Twelve, send all who will support the character of the Prophet, the Lord’s anointed, and if all who go, will support my character, I prophecy in the name of the Lord Jesus, whose servant I am, that you will prosper in your missions. I have the whole plan of the kingdom <before me,> and no other person has. And as to all that , , or can do to prevent me, I can kick them off my heals, as many as you can name, I know what will become of them; I concluded my remarks by saying I have the best of feelings towards my brethren, since this last trouble began, but to the Apostates and enemies, I will give a lashing every opportunity and I will curse them. During the address an indescribable transport of good feeling was manifested by the Assembly. and about 380 Elders volunteered to go immediately on the proposed Mission.
<Treaty signed between Great Britain and China. Chinese to pay 21,000,000 $— throw open five ports for trade, and Cede Hong Kong to Great Britain.>
<30> Tuesday 30. At home through the day.
<31> Wednesday 31. At home in the forenoon—’ Afternoon rode to the with , and attended the Female Relief Society’s meeting. <The following minutes were reported by Miss . See addenda page 2.> [HC 5:139] [HC 5:140] [HC 5:141]
Some time this month, Elder published a pamphlet in the German language in Germany, entitled, “A cry out of the Wilderness” &c of about 120 pages setting forth the rise, progress, and doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
about <this time> [blank] while I was crossing from to in a boat, in company with brother , we passed through an immense shoal of Fish of considerable size, hundreds jumped in and over the boat, but we succeeded in securing about 16. which we brought to shore.
<September 1.> Thursday September 1. 1842. During the morning in the and in the afternoon at home attending to business. I wrote the following
“To all the Saints in — Forasmuch as the Lord has revealed unto me that my enemies, both of and this , were again on the pursuit of me; and inasmuch as they pursue me without cause, and have not the least shadow, or coloring of justice or right on their side, in the getting up of their prosecutions against me: and inasmuch as their pretensions are all founded in falsehood, of the blackest die, I have thought it expedient, and wisdom in me to leave the place for a short season, for my own safety, and the safety of this people. I would say to all those with whom I have business, that I have left my affairs with agents and clerks, who will transact all business in a [HC 5:142] prompt and proper manner; and will see that all my debts are cancelled in due time, by turning out property, or otherwise as the case may require, or as the circumstances may admit of. When I learn that the storm is fully blown over, then I will return to you again.
And as for the perils which I am called to pass through, they seem but a small thing to me, as the envy and wrath of man have been my common lot all the days [p. 1389]
<September 1> of my life; and for what cause it seems mysterious, unless I was ordained from before the foundation of the world, for some good end, or bad as you may choose to call it. Judge ye for yourselves.— God knoweth all these things, whether it be good or bad. But nevertheless, deep water is what I am want to swim in; it all has become a second nature to me. And I feel like Paul, to glory in tribulation, for to this day has the God of my Fathers delivered me out of them all, and will deliver me from henceforth; for behold, and lo, I shall triumph over all my enemies, for the Lord God hath spoken it.
Let all the Saints rejoice, therefore, and be exceeding glad, for Israel’s God is their God;. and he will mete out a just recompense of reward upon the heads of all your oppressors. And again, verily thus saith the Lord, let the work of my , and all the works which I have appointed unto you, be continued on and not cease: and let your diligence, and your perseverance, and patience, and your works be redoubled; and you shall in no wise lose your reward saith the Lord of Hosts. And if they persecute you, so persecuted they the prophets, and righteous men that were before you. For all this there is a reward in heaven. And again, I give unto you a word in relation to the baptism for your dead. Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you concerning your dead:— When any of you are baptised for your dead let there be a Recorder; and let him be eye witness of your baptisms; let him hear with his ears, that he may testify of a truth, saith the Lord; that in all your recordings, it may be recorded in heaven; that whatsoever you bind on earth, may be bound in heaven: whatsoever you loose on earth, may be loosed in heaven; for I am about to restore many things to the earth, pertaining to the priesthood, saith the Lord of Hosts. And again let all the records be had in order that they may be put in the archives of my Holy Temple, to be held in remembrance from generation to generation, saith the Lord of Hosts. I will say to all the Saints, that I desired with exceeding great desire, to have addressed them from the stand, on the subject of baptism for the dead, on the following Sabbath. But inasmuch as it is out of [HC 5:143] my power to do so, I will write the word of the Lord from time to time, on that subject, and send it you by mail, as well as many other things. I now close my letter for the present, for the want of more time: for the enemy is on the alert, and as the Savior said, the prince of this world cometh but he hath nothing in me. Behold my prayer to God is, that you all may be saved. And I subscribe myself your servant in the Lord, prophet and seer of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
The following is from the Times and Seasons of September 1st.
“Let none suppose that God is angry with his Saints because he suffers the hand of persecution to come upon them, he chasteneth those whom he loveth, and trieth and proveth every son and daughter, that they may be as gold seven times purified. Rejoice then ye Saints of the Most High, for the God of Abraham is your God, and he will deliver you, from all your enemies; seek diligently to know his will, and observe to do it, be zealous in the cause of truth, in building up the kingdom of Christ upon the earth, in rearing up the of God at Nauvoo, and in all works of righteousness. And say not, “the Lord delayeth his coming,” for behold, the day draweth near, the hour approacheth, be ye ready. Be virtuous, be just, be honorable, be full of faith, love, and charity, pray much, and be patient, wait a little season and the voice of God shall thunder from the heavens, [p. 1390]
<September 1> his voice shall be very terrible, then the wicked shall tremble and fall back, they shall be taken in their own snares and fall into the pits which they have digged for others, but the just shall live by faith, and shall shine forth as the stars in the—— firmament, their glory shall be as the brightness of the Sun, for they are God’s.
<2.> Friday 2. Spent the day at home. A report reached the this afternoon that the Sheriff was on his way to with an armed force.
<3><See addenda page 1.> [HC 5:144] [HC 5:145]
<4 Sunday 4 and left, for the Eastern States.>
<5.> Monday 5. The Sisters wrote as follows
“To his Excellency Governor of the State of . We the undersigned Members of the Relief Society, and Ladies of hearing many reports concerning Mobs, threats of extermination and other excitement set on foot by calculated to disturb the peace, happiness, and well being of this community, have taken the liberty to petition your for protection— It may be considered irrelevant for Ladies to petition your on the above named subject, and may be thought by you Sir, to be officious, and that it would be more becoming for our husbands, Fathers, Brothers, and Sons to engage in this work, and in our defence. This Sir, we will admit in ordinary cases is right, and that it would be more consistent with the delicacy of the female character to be silent; but on occasions like the present, that our desires for the peace of Society, the happiness of our friends, the desire to save the lives of our husbands, our fathers, our brothers, our children, and our own lives will be a sufficient palliation in the estimation of your for the step we have taken in presenting this petition in support of the one already sent your by the Male inhabitants of this . We would respectfully represent to your that we have not yet forgot the scenes of grief, misery, and woe that we had to experience from the hands of ruthless and blood thirsty mobs in the State of — the cup of Misery was prepared by lying, slander [HC 5:146] and misrepresentation, it was wrung out and filled by tyranny and oppression, and by a ruthless inhuman mob. we had to drink it to the dregs. Your will bear with us if we remind you of the cold blooded atrocities, that we—— witnessed in that , our bosoms heave with horror, our eyes are dim, our knees tremble, our hearts are faint, when we think of their horrid deeds, and if the petitions of our husbands, brothers, fathers, and sons, will not answer with your , we beseech you to remember that of their wives, mothers, sisters and daughters— let the voice of injured innocence in speak, let the blood of our fathers, our brothers, our sons and daughters speak, let the tears of the widows, the orphans, the maimed, the impoverished, speak, and let the injuries sustained by fifteen thousand innocent, robbed, spoiled, persecuted, and injured people speak, let the tale of our woe be told, let it be told—— without varnish, prejudice, or color, and we are persuaded there is no heart but will be softened, no feelings but will be affected, and no person but what will flee to our relief. Far be it from us to accuse your of obduracy or injustice, we believe you to be a humane, feeling, benevolent and patriotic man and therefore we appeal to you— Concerning , who is trying with other political Demagogues, to disturb our peace, we believe him to be an unvirtuous man, and a most consummate scoundrel, a stirrer up of sedition and a vile wretch, unworthy the attention or notice of any virtuous man, and [p. 1391]
<September 5.> his published statements concerning Joseph Smith, are barefaced, unblushing falsehoods. We would further represent to your concerning Joseph Smith, that we have the utmost confidence in him, as being a man of virtue, integrity, honesty, truth, and patriotism, we have never either in public or private heard him teach any principles, but the principles of virtue and—— righteousness, and so we have knowledge, we know him to be a pure, chaste, virtuous and godly man. Under these circumstances we would petition your to exert your privileges in an official capacity, and not to suffer him, should he be demanded, to go into the State of , for we know that if he should, it would be the delivering up the innocent to be murdered. We would represent to your that we are a law abiding people, a virtuous people, and we would respectfully refer your to the official Documents of this during our three years residence in it, in proof of this, if we transgress laws, we are willing to be tried by those laws, but we dread mobs, we dread illegal process, we dread—— fermentation, calumny, and lies knowing that our difficulties in first commenced with these things. [HC 5:147] We pray that we may not be delivered into the hands of Mob or illegal proceedings of the Militia, but that we may have the privilege of self defence in case of attack without having to contend with legalized Mobs as in . and we therefore appeal to the honor, philanthropy, justice, benevolence and patriotism of your , to afford us all legal protection, and to grant us our request, and we as in duty bound will ever pray.”
<6> Tuesday 6 I wrote as follows,
“, September 6. 1842— To the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, sendeth Greeting. As I stated to you in my letter before I left my place, that I would write to you from time to time, and give you information in relation to many subjects, I now resume the subject of the baptism for the dead; as that subject seems to occupy my mind, and press itself upon my feelings the strongest, since I have been pursued by my enemies. I wrote a few words of revelation to you concerning a Recorder. I have had a few additional views in relation to this matter, which I now certify. That is, it was declared in my former letter that there should be a Recorder, who should be eye witness, and also to hear with his ears, that he might make a record of a truth before the Lord. Now in relation to this matter, it would be very difficult for one recorder to be present at all times, and to do all the business. To obviate this difficulty, there can be a Recorder appointed in each ward of the , who is well qualified for taking accurate minutes; and let him be very particular and precise in taking the whole proceedings: certifying in his record that he saw with his eyes, and heard with his ears; giving the date and names— &c— and the history of the whole transaction; naming also, some three individuals that are present, if there be any present, who can at any time when called upon, certify to the same, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. Then let there be a general recorder, to whom these other records can be handed, being attended with certificates over their own signatures; certifying that the record which they have made is true. Then the general Church Recorder can enter the Record on the general Church Book, with the Certificates and all the attending witnesses, with his own statement that he [p. 1392]
<September 6> verily believes the above statements and records to be true, from his knowledge of the general character and appointment of those [HC 5:148] men by the Church. And when this is done on the general church book, the record shall be just as holy, and shall answer the ordinance just the same as if he had seen with his eyes, and heard with his ears, and made a record of the same on the general Church Book. You may think this order of things to be very particular, but let me tell you that they are only to answer the will of God, by conforming to the ordinance and preparation that the Lord ordained and prepared before the foundation of the world, for the salvation of the dead, who should die without a knowledge of the gospel. And further, I want you to remember that John the Revelator was contemplating this very subject in relation to the dead, <when he declared> as you will find recorded in Revelations XX. 12. “and I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the Books were opened; and another Book was opened, which was the book of Life; and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” You will discover in this quotation, that the books were opened; and another book was opened which was the book of life; but the dead were judged out of those things which were written in these the books, according to their works: consequently the books spoken of must be the books which contained the record of their works; and refer to the records which are kept on the earth. And the book which was the book of life, is the record which is kept in heaven; the principle agreeing precisely with the doctrine which is commanded you in the revelation contained in the letter, which I wrote to you previous to my leaving my place, “that in all your recordings it may be recorded in heaven.” Now the nature of this ordinance consists in the power of the Priesthood, by the revelation of Jesus Christ; wherein it is granted, that whatsoever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever you loose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven. Or in other words, taking a different view of the translation, whatsoever you record on earth, shall be recorded in heaven and whatsoever you do not record on earth, shall not be recorded in heaven: for out of the books shall your dead be judged, according to their works, whether they themselves have attended to the ordinances in their own propria persona, or by the means of their own agents, according to the ordinance which God has—— prepared for their salvation from before the foundation of the world, according to the records which they have kept concerning their dead. It may seem to some to be a very bold doctrine that we talk of; a power which records or binds on earth, and binds in heaven: nevertheless, in all ages of the world, whenever the Lord has given a dispensation of the priesthood to any man by actual revelation, or any set of men, this power has always been given. Hence whatsoever those men [HC 5:149] did in authority, in the name of the Lord, and did it truly and faithfully, and kept a proper and faithful record of the same, it became a law on earth and in heaven, and could not be annulled, according to the decrees of the great Jehovah This is a faithful saying! Who can hear it? And again for a precedent Matthew xvi. 18.19. “And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter: and upon this rock I will build my Church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it: and I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven” and whatsoever loose on earth shall be [p. 1393]
September 6 loosed in heaven Now the great and grant secret of the whole matter, and the summum bonum of the whole subject that is lying before us, consists in obtaining the powers of the Holy Priesthood. For him to whom these keys are given, there is no difficulty in obtaining a knowledge of facts in relation to the salvation of the—— children of men, both as well for the dead as for the living. Herein is glory and honor, and immortality and eternal life. The ordinance of baptism by water, to be immersed therein in order to answer to the likeness of the dead, that one principle might accord with the other— To be immersed in the water and come forth out of the water is in the likeness of the resurrection of the dead in coming forth out of their graves; hence, this ordinance was instituted to form a relationship with the ordinance of baptism for the dead, being in likeness of the dead. Consequently the baptismal font was instituted as a simile of the grave, and was commanded to be in a place underneath where the living are want to assemble, to shew forth the living and the dead: and that all things may have their likeness, and that they may accord one with another; that which is earthly, conforming to that which is heavenly, as Paul <hath> declared. 1 Corinthians xv: 46, 47, and 48. “Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural, and afterwards that which is Spiritual. The first man is of the Earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord, from Heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy; and as is the Heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.” And as are the records on the earth in relation to your dead, which are truly made out, so also are the records in heaven. This therefore is the sealing and binding power, and in one sense of the word the keys of the kingdom, which consists in the key of knowledge.
And now my dearly and beloved brethren and sisters, let me assure you that these are principles, in relation to the dead and the living, that cannot be lightly passed over, as pertaining to our salvation. For their [HC 5:150] salvation is necessary and essential to our salvation, as Paul says concerning the fathers, “that they without us cannot be made perfect;” neither can we without our dead be made perfect. And now in relation to the baptism for their the dead, I will give you another quotation of Paul 1 Corinthians xv. 29. “Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead if the dead rise not <at> all; why are they then baptized for the dead.” And again, in connexion with this quotation, I will give you a quotation from one of the Prophets, who had his eye fixed on the restoration of the Priesthood, the glories to be revealed in the last days, and in an especial manner this most glorious of all subjects belonging to the everlasting gospel, viz: the baptism for the dead; for Malachi says, last chapter, verses 5th. and 6th. “Behold I will send you Elijah the Prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.” I might have—— rendered a plainer translation to this, but it is sufficiently plain to suit my purpose as it stands. It is sufficient to know in this case, that the earth will be smitten with a curse, unless there is a welding link of some kind or other, between the fathers and the children, upon some subject or other, and behold, [p. 1394]
<September 6> what is that subject? It is the baptism for the dead. For we without them cannot be made perfect; neither can they without us be made perfect. Neither can they or us, be made perfect without those who have died in the gospel also; for it is necessary in the ushering in of the dispensation of the fulness of times; which dispensation is now beginning to usher in, that a whole, and complete, and perfect union, and welding together of dispensations, and keys, and powers, and glories should take place, and be revealed, from the days of Adam even to the present time; and not only this, but those things which have never been revealed from the foundation of the world, but have been kept hid from the wise and the prudent, shall be revealed unto babes and sucklings in this dispensation of the fulness of times.
Now what do we hear in the gospel which we have received? “A voice of gladness! A voice of mercy from Heaven; and a voice of truth out of the earth, glad tidings for the dead: a voice of gladness for the living and the dead; glad tidings of great joy; how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those that bring glad tidings of good things; and that say unto Zion, behold! thy God reigneth. As the dews of Carmel, so shall the knowledge of God descend upon them.” And again, what do we hear? Glad tidings from Cumorah! Moroni, an angel from heaven, declaring the fulfillment of the prophets— [HC 5:151] the book to be revealed. A voice of the Lord in the Wilderness of , Seneca County, declaring the three witnesses to bear record of the book. The voice of Michael on the banks of the Susquehanna, detecting the devil when he appeared as an Angel of light. The voice of Peter, James, and John, in the wilderness between Susquehannah County, and , Broome County, on the Susquehanna river, declaring themselves as possessing the keys of the kingdom, and of the dispensation of the fulness of times. And again, the voice of God in the chamber of old , in , Seneca County, and at sundry times, and in divers places, through all the travels and tribulations of this Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. And the voice of Michael, the Arch angel; the voice of Gabriel, and of Raphael, and of divers angels, from Michael or Adam, down to the present time, all declaring each one their dispensation, their rights, their keys, their honors, their majesty and glory, and the power of their priesthood; giving line upon line, precept upon precept; here a little, and there a little— giving us consolation by holding forth that which is to come, confirming our hope. Brethren shall we not go on in so great a cause? Go forward and not backward— Courage, brethren; and on, on to the victory! Let your hearts rejoice, and be exceeding glad. Let the earth break forth into singing. Let the dead speak forth anthems of eternal praise to the King Immanuel, who hath ordained before the world was, that which would enable us to redeem them out of their prisons; for the prisoners shall go free. Let the mountains shout for joy, and all ye valleys cry aloud; and all ye seas and dry lands tell the wonders of your eternal King. And ye rivers, and brooks, and rills, flow down with gladness. Let the woods and all the trees of the field praise the Lord; and ye solid rocks weep for joy. And let the sun, moon, and the morning stars sing together, and let all the sons of God shout for joy— and let the eternal creations declare his name for ever and ever. And again I say, how glorious is the voice we hear from heaven, proclaiming in our ears, glory, and [p. 1395]
<September 6> salvation, and honor and immortality, and eternal life: kingdoms, principalities, and powers. Behold the great day of the Lord is at hand, and who can abide the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appeareth, for he is like a refiner’s fire and like fuller’s soap; and he shall sit as a refiner, and purifier of silver, and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. Let us therefore, as a Church and a people, and as Latter Day Saints, offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness, and let us present in his holy when it is finished, a [HC 5:152] book containing the records of our dead, which shall be worthy of all acceptation. Brethren, I have many things to say to you on the subject, but shall now close for the present, and continue the subject another time. I am as ever, your humble servant and never deviating friend— Joseph Smith.”
The important instructions contained in the foregoing letter made a deep and solemn impression on the minds of the Saints and they manifested their intentions to obey the instructions to the letter.
In the evening and called to see me concerning a settlement with — also , and called to Counsel concerning their Mission to the branches and people abroad.
<7> Wednesday 7. Early this morning I received a letter from Elders and of , who brought me several letters, one from who, referring to his visit with Esqre. of , says “He would be pleased to receive a letter of President Joseph’s own dictation, Signed by his own hand.” which request I was disposed to comply with, but deferred it till the next day.
wrote as follows
“ September 7. 1842. Dear Madam. Your letter of the 27th. ultimo, was delivered to me on Monday the 5th. instant, and I have not had time to answer it until this evening, and I now appropriate a few moments to the difficult task of replying satisfactorily to its contents, every word of which evinces your devotedness to the interest of your husband, and pouring forth the effusions of a heart wholly his. I am thus admonished that I can say nothing, that does not subserve his interest that can possibly be satisfactory to you, and before I proceed, I will here repeat, my great [HC 5:153] regret that I have been officially called upon to act in reference to Mr. Smith in any manner whatever. I doubt not your candor when you say you do not desire me “to swerve from my duty as executive in the least”, and all you ask is to be allowed the privileges, and advantages guaranteed to you by the Constitution and laws. You then refer me to the 11th. Section of the Charter of the City of , and claim for Mr. Smith the right to be heard by the Municipal Court of said City, under a writ of emanating from said Court— when he was held in Custody under an executive Warrant. The Charter of the City of is not before me at this time, but I have examined both the Charters and City Ordinances upon the subject, and must express my surprise at the extraordinary assumption of power by the board of Alderman as contained in said ordinance? from my recollection of the charter it authorizes the Municipal Court to issue writs [p. 1396]
<September 7> of in all cases of imprisonment, or custody, arising from the authority of the ordinances of said , but that the power was granted, or intended to be granted to release persons held in Custody under the authority of writs issued by the Courts, or the executive of the , is most absurd and ridiculous, and an attempt to exercise it, is a gross usurpation of power, that cannot be tolerated. I have always expected, and desired; that Mr. Smith should avail himself of the benefits of the laws of this , and of course that he would be entitled to a writ of Habeas Corpus issued by the Circuit Court, and entitled to a hearing before said Court, but to claim the right of a hearing before the Municipal Court of the City of is a burlesque upon the City Charter itself. As to Mr. Smith’s guilt, or innocence of the crime charged upon him, it is not my province to investigate or determine, nor has any court <on earth> jurisdiction of his case, but the Courts of the State of , and as stated in my former letter, both the Constitution and laws presume that each and every state in this Union, are competent to do justice to all who may be charged with crime committed in said State. Your—— information that twelve men from , Missouri, were lying in wait for Mr. Smith between and , for the purpose of taking him out of the hands of the officers who might have him in Custody, and murdering him, is like many other marvellous stories that you hear in reference to him— not one word of it true, but I doubt not that your mind has been continually harrowed up with the fears produced by that, and other equally groundless stories— that that statement is true is next to impossible, and your own judgment, if you will but give it scope will soon set you right in reference to it. [HC 5:154] if any of the Citizens of had designed to Murder Mr. Smith they would not have been so simple as to perpetrate the crime in , when he would necessarily be required to pass through to the interior of the State of , where the opportunity would have been so much better, and the prospect of escape much more certain— that is like the statement made by Mr. Smith’s first Messenger after his arrest to Messrs. and , saying that I had stated that Mr. Smith should be surrendered to the authorities dead or alive— not one word of which was true. I have not the most distant thought that any person in or contemplated personal injury to Mr. Smith by violence in any manner whatever. I regret that I did not see when last at , a previous engagement upon business that could not be dispensed with prevented, and occupied my attention that evening until dark. At half past one o’clock P.M. I came home and learned that the had called to see me— but the hurry of business only allowed me about ten minutes time to eat my dinner and presuming if he had business of any importance, that he would remain in the until I returned. It may be proper here in order to afford you all the satisfaction in my power to reply to a question propounded to my Wife by in referrence to Mr. Smith. viz— whether any other, or additional demand had been made upon me by the of for the surrender of Mr. Smith I answer none, no change whatever has been made in the proceedings— Mr. Smith is held accountable only, for the charge as set forth in my warrant, under which he was—— arrested. In conclusion you presume upon my own knowledge of Mr. Smith’s innocence [p. 1397]
<September 7> and ask why the prosecution is continued against him— Here I must again appeal to your own good judgement and you will be compelled to answer that it is—— impossible I could know him to be innocent— and as before stated it is not my province to investigate as to his guilt or innocence, but could I know him—— innocent, and were he my own son, I would nevertheless— (and the more readily) surrender him to the legally constituted authority to pronounce him innocent. With sentiments of high regard and esteem— Your obedient servt. . To Mrrs. .”
Brothers and called again this afternoon and I related to them many interpositions of divine providence in my favor. &c [HC 5:155]
<8> Thursday 8 I dictated the following.
“ September 8. 1842 I have just received your very consoling letter dated August 16. 1842 which is I think the first letter you ever addressed to me, in which you speak of the arrival of and of his person very respectfully. In this I rejoice; for I am as warm a friend to as possibly as he can be to me. And in relation to his almost making a Mormon of yourself, it puts me in mind of the saying of Paul in his reply to Agrippa Acts xxvi. 29, “I would to God that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day; were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds”. And I will here remark, my dear Sir; that Mormonism is the pure doctrine of Jesus Christ; of which I myself am not ashamed. You speak also of , President of the Church in , in high terms: and of in . These men I am acquainted with by information; and it warms my heart, to know that you speak well of them; and as you say, could be willing to associate with them for ever, if you never joined their Church, or acknowledged their faith. This is a good principle, for when we see virtuous qualities in men, we should always acknowledge them, let their understanding be what it may in relation to creeds and doctrine; for all men are, or ought to be free; possessing unalienable rights, and the high and noble qualifications of the laws of nature and of self preservation; to think, and act, and say as they please; while they maintain a due respect to the rights and privileges of all other creatures; infringing upon none. This doctrine I do most heartily subscribe to, and practise; the testimony of mean men, to the contrary notwithstanding. But Sir, I will assure you, that my soul soars far above all the mean and grovelling dispositions of men that are disposed to abuse me and my character: I therefore shall not dwell upon that subject. In relation to those men you speak of, referred to above; I will only say that there are thousands of such men in this Church; who, if a man is found worthy to associate with, will call down the envy of a mean world, because of their high and noble demeanor; and it is with unspeakable delight that I contemplate them as my friends and brethren. I love them with a perfect love; and I hope they love me, and have no reason to doubt but they do. The next in consideration is I was his friend I am yet his friend; as I feel myself bound to be a friend to all the Sons [HC 5:156] of Adam; whether they are just or unjust, they have a degree of compassion and sympathy, If he is my enemy it is his own fault; and the responsibility rests upon his own head; and instead of arraigning his character before you, suffice it to say, that his own conduct wherever he goes, will be sufficient to recommend him to an enlightened public, whether for a bad man, or a good one. Therefore whosoever will associate themselves [p. 1398]
<September 8> with him, may be assured that I will not persecute them; but I do not wish their association; and what I have said may suffice on that subject so far as his character is concerned. Now in relation to his book that he may write, I will venture a prophecy; that whosoever has any hand in the matter will find themselves in a poor fix, in relation to the money matters. And as to my having any fears of the influence that he may have against me; or any other man, or set of men may have, is the most foreign from my heart; for I never knew what it was, as yet, to fear the face of , or the influence of man My fear, Sir, is before God. I fear to offend him, and strive to keep his commandments. I am really glad that you did not join in relation to his book, from the assurance which I have that it will prove a curse to all those who touch it. In relation to the honor that you speak of, both for yourself and of the Herald, you are both Strangers to me, and as kept all his letters, which he received from you, entirely to himself; and there was no correspondence between you and me, that I know of; I had no opportunity to share very largely in the getting up of any of those matters. I could not, as I had not sufficient knowledge to enable me to do so. The whole, therefore was at the instigation of , and a quiet submission on the part of the rest, out of the best of feelings. but as for myself, it was all done at a time when I was overwhelmed with a great many business cares, as well as the care of all the Churches. I must be excused therefore, for any wrongs that may have taken place, in relation to this matter: and so far as I obtain a knowledge of that which is right shall meet with my hearty approval. I feel to tender you my most hearty and sincere thanks. for every expression of kindness you have tendered towards me or my brethren; and would beg the privilege of obtruding myself a little while upon your patience in offering a short relation of my circumstances. I am at this time persecuted the worst of any man on earth; as well as this people, here in this place; and all our sacred rights are trampled under the feet of the mob. I am now hunted as an hart by the mob, under the pretence or shadow of law, to cover their abominable deeds. [HC 5:157] An unhallowed demand has been made from the of , on oath of ; that I made an attempt to assassinate him on the night of the sixth of May; when on that day, I was attending the Officer Drill, and answered to my name when the roll was called; and on the seventh, it is well known by the thousands that assembled here in , that I was at my post in reviewing the Legion in the presence of twelve thousand people: and the of the State of , notwithstanding to his being knowing to all these facts, yet he immediately granted a Writ and by an unhallowed—— usurpation, has taken away our chartered rights, and denied the right of ; and has now about thirty of the blood thirsty kind of men in this place, in search for me; threatning death and destruction, and extermination upon all the Mormons; and searching my house continually from day to day; menacing and—— threatning, and intimidating an innocent and children, and insulting them in a most diabolical manner; threatning their lives &c if I am not to be found, with a gang of Missourians with them; saying they will have me dead or alive; and if alive, they will carry me to in Chains, and when there they will kill me at all hazards. And all this is backed up, and urged on, by the of this , with all the rage of a demon; [p. 1399]
<September 8> putting at defiance the constitution of this , our Chartered rights, and the constitution of the : For not as yet have they done one thing in accordance to them.
While all the Citizens of this en masse have petitioned the with remonstrances and overtures, that would have melted the heart of an adamantine to no effect. And at the same time if any of us open our mouths, to plead our own cause; in the defiance of law and justice, we are instantly threatened with Militia and extermination. Great God! when shall the oppressor cease to prey and glut itself upon innocent blood? Where is Patriotism? Where is Liberty? Where is the boast of this proud and haughty nation? O humanity! where hast thou fled? Hast thou fled for ever? I now appeal to you Sir, inasmuch as you have subscribed yourself our friend; will you lift your voice and your arm, with indignation, against such unhallowed oppression? I must say, Sir, that my bosom swells with unutterable anguish, when I contemplate the scenes of horror that we have passed through in the State of ; and then look, and behold and see the storm and cloud gathering ten times blacker; ready to burst upon <the heads of> this innocent people Would to God that I were able to throw off the yoke. Shall we bow down and be slaves? Are there no friends of humanity, in a nation that boasts itself so much? will not the nation rise up and defend us, <if they will not defend us,> will they not grant to lend a voice of indignation, against such unhallowed oppression? Must the tens of thousands bow down to slavery and degradation? Let the pride of the nation arise and wrench these shackles from the feet of their fellow Citizens, and their quiet and peaceable, and innocent and loyal, subjects. But I must forbear for I cannot express my feelings. The Legion would all willingly die in the defence of their rights; but what would this accomplish? I have kept down their indignation and kept a quiet submission on all hands; and am determined to do so at all hazards. Our enemies shall not have it to say, that we rebel against government or commit treason; however much they may lift their hands in oppression and tyranny, when it comes in the form of government— we tamely submit, although it lead us to the slaughter, and to beggary; but our blood be upon their garments: And those who look tamely on and boast of Patriotism shall not be without their condemnation. And if men are such fools, as to let once the Precedent be established, and through their prejudices, give assent to such—— abominations; then let the oppressor’s hand lay heavily throughout the world, until all flesh shall feel it together; and until they may know that the Almighty takes cognizance of such things. And then shall Church rise up against Church; and party against party; mob against mob; oppressor against oppressor; army against army; and kingdom against kingdom; and people against people; and kindred against kindred. And where, Sir, will be your safety, or the safety of your children; if my children can be led to the slaughter with impunity by the hands of murderous rebels? Will they not lead yours to the slaughter with the same impunity? Ought not then, this oppression Sir, to be check’d in the bud; and to be looked down with just—— indignation by an enlightened world, before the flame become unextinguishable, and the fire devour the stubble? But again I say I must forbear, and leave this painful subject, I wish you would write to me in answer to this, and let me know your views. [HC 5:158] On my part, I am ready to be offered up a sacrifice, in that way that can bring to pass the greatest benefit and good, to those who must necessarily be interested in this important matter. I would to God that you could know all my feelings [p. 1400]
<September 8> on this subject, and the real facts in relation to this people, and their unrelenting persecution. And if any man feels an interest in the welfare of their fellow beings; and would think of saying or doing any thing in this matter; I would suggest the propriety of a committee of wise men, being sent to ascertain the justice or injustice of our cause— to get in possession of all the facts; and then make report to an enlightened world, whether we individually, or collectively, are deserving such high handed treatment.
In relation to the books that you sent here, put them into my Store, to be sold on Commission; saying, that when I was able, the money must be remitted to yourself. Nothing was said about any consecration to the .
Another calamity has befallen us. Our in this place is exceedingly corrupt. It is with great difficulty that we can get our letters to, or from our friends. Our papers that we send to our subscribers, are embezzled and burned, or wasted. We get no money from our subscribers, and very little information from abroad; and what little we do get, we get by private means, in consequence of these things: and I am sorry to say, that this robbing of the of money was carried on by ; and since he left here, it is carried on by the means of his confederates. I now subscribe myself your friend, and a patriot and a lover of my country, pleading at their feet for—— protection and deliverance, by the justice of their Constitutions. I add no more. Your most obedient servant. Joseph Smith.” [HC 5:159]
<9> Friday 9. <at 10 pm> I received a very interesting visit from , , , and . <I counselled and to stay in and preach in the principal Cities against Mobocracy and to notify the Twelve it was my wish they should also labor in : after a conversation of two hours, I accompanied the brethren and to my house, remaining there a few minutes to offer a blessing upon the heads of my sleeping children; then called a few minutes at the house of my Cousin , on my way to my retreat at Edward Hankes. accompanied me as guard.>
, , , , and declared to the City Council, their intention of absence for 3 months or more, and others were appointed to fill their places during their absence. , and were absent and their places were filled. The object of the absence of these brethren was to preach the gospel in different states, and shew up the wickedness and falsehood of the Apostate . “An ordinance relative to the returns of Writs of ” was passed by the City Council. [HC 5:160] <see Addenda page 1.> <Prest. Young started on his mission.>
<10> Saturday 10. <, and started on their mission, and proceeded as far as Lima, where they met who was preaching to a Congregation.> was the training of the Companies of the Nauvoo Legion, and lest I should be observed by the Multitude passing and repassing, I kept very still. After dark my sent a Messenger and requested me to return home, as she thought I would be as safe there as any where. and I went safely home, undiscovered.
<11> Sunday 11. I was at home all day. My letter of the 6th. of September was read to the Saints, at the near the . The High Priests Quorum met, Several had gone Missions, others were preparing to go, but few were present, and the “meeting adjourned sinê diê.
<Elders , , and addressed a large assembly in the Grove in , in relation to the slanderous reports of .>
<12> Monday 12 To the Editor of the Times and Seasons—
Dear Brother:— Having commenced our mission to the east yesterday we held our first conference at brother ’s; we had a good time— the brethren here are in good spirits. We ordained 19 Elders and baptized 12. We expect next Saturday and Sunday to hold a [HC 5:161] two days meeting in , being the 17th. and 18th. instant. on the 24th. 25th. at Payson, the 1st. 2nd. of October at , the 8th. 9th. of October at Pittsfield, the 15th. 16th. October at Apple Creek in Green County. From thence we shall proceed to and . If you please, notice the above in your paper for the benefit of those friends scattered abroad. Yours in the everlasting covenant— [p. 1401]
<September 12> — — Morley Settlement— Septr. 12. 1842.
I was at home all day in company with brothers and and counselling brother to write a letter to the — In the evening received ’s letter of the 7th. instant—
<13> Tuesday 13. at home all day— settled with .
<14> Wednesday 14 at home. gave me a deed of one half his landed property in , though it will be a long time, <if ever> before it will be of any benefit to me— Had a consultation with Esqre.— In the evening I received the following letter from General
“ Septr. 1. 1842— Lieutenant General Smith— Dr. Sir— ’s letter to Mrs. [Mary Ann] Bennett containing a very lucid account of Dr. has been received, and the only thing—— concerning him that I regard of importance, is, that you found it necessary to expose him. I wish most ardently that you had let him depart in peace, because the public generally think no better of either the one party or the other in consequence of the pretended exposures with which the Newspapers have teemed. But then on the long run you will have the advantage, inasmuch as the universal notoriety which you are now acquiring will be the means of adding to three—— hundred fold. That you ought to be given up to the tender mercies of no [HC 5:162] man in his senses will allow, as you would be convicted on the shadow of evidence when the people’s passions and prejudices are so strongly enlisted against you, and under such a state of things how easy it would be to suborn witnesses against you, who would seal your fate. Add to this, too, the great difficulty under which an impartial jury, if such could be found, would labor in their attempt to render an honest verdict, being coerced by surrounding public prejudice and malice. And yet as you are now circumstanced it will not do to oppose force to force, for your protection, as this in the present case would be treason against the State and would ultimately bring to ruin all those concerned. Your only plan I think will be to keep out of the way until this excitement shall have subsided, as from all I can understand, even from the himself, there is no evidence on which an honest jury could find <a verdict> against you, and this opinion I have expressed to him. I most ardently wish that you had one hundred thousand true men at and that I had the command of them Times and things would soon alter. I hope to see the day before I die that such an army will dictate times from to the enemies of the Mormon people. I say this in the most perfect candor as I have nothing to gain by the—— Mormons, nor am I a Mormon in creed, yet I regard them in as favorable a light, (and a little more so) as I do any other sect. In fact I am a philosophical Christian and wish to see an entire change in the religious world. I have been long a Mormon in sympathy alone, and probably can never be one in any other way, yet I feel that I am the friend of the people, as I think them honest and sincere in their faith and these I know as good and honorable men as any other—— professing Christians. has been the means of bringing me before your people, you will therefore see, for this act I am in honor bound to say “Peace to his Manes” To act otherwise would be ungrateful and dishonorable, both of which qualities are strangers to my nature. Nevertheless by leaving him as he is, I can still be your friend, [p. 1402]
<September 14> for be assured that nothing I have seen yet from his pen has in the least altered my opinion of you, I well know what allowance to make in such cases— and Bachelor are now delivering lectures in against you and your doctrines and asserted practices at . told me this forenoon that the Seats have been torn to pieces out of his Church in Canal Street, and that the—— congregation had to move to another place. I intimated to you in my last that of the Herald was about to publish conjointly with the his Book of Exposures, but since have learned that it is about to come out in . He expects to [HC 5:163] make a fortune out if it, and I presume he needs it, but I feel sure that it will make converts to the Mormon faith. He has borrowed largely from Com. Morris’ lascivious Poems. A General order signed by , Adjutant General, and authorized by you has appeared in the Herald, ordering me to repair to , to take command of the Legion, and to bring with me Brig. Gen. , which states that if the requisition be persisted in, blood must be shed. I have assured of the Herald that I deem it a hoax but he insists upon it that it is genuine. My reply to it has appeared to day in that paper. I have there stated that I have written to for instructions, this is not so, it is only a rub. On the whole you will only be made a greater Prophet, and a greater man, a great Emperor by the affliction and consideration of your good friends. My respects with those of Mrs. B. to your lady. I am Dr. Sir your sincere friend .”
This letter was placed in the hands of General who immediately wrote a refutation of the clause concerning himself to , and also one for the Wasp. The General order was not wrote by neither had he a knowledge of its existence until shown to him in the letter. It was evidently got up by our enemies to increase excitement and anger, and is barely another a<d>dition to the many slanderous reports put in circulation by evil and designing men
<15> Thursday 15. In Council with Esqre., also Counselled Uncle and brother to move immediately to and help build up a City.
<16.> Friday 16. I was at home with who was painting my likeness.
<17.> Saturday 17. At house with <who continued> painting <my portrait.>
Elder wrote a long letter, shewing up the persecution, and my sufferings in their true colors. <Ship Sidney sailed from for with 180 Saints> [HC 5:164]
<18> Sunday 18 At home. In the evening received a visit from <my> .
<19> Monday 19 and Tuesday 20. With , painting at my house.
21 Wednesday 21st. In the large room over the . In the evening had a visit from Elder , who just was just recovering from a <long and very> severe attack of sickness. I counselled concerning the printing Office, removing one press to &c
<22> Thursday 22. At home– arranging with concerning moving printing press to , buying paper &c.
<23> Friday 23— At home— visited by .
Colonel was elected Brigadier General of the first Cohort, Legion, to fill the vacancy of General promoted.
<24> Saturday 24 The Legion was called out for General Parade [blank] and [blank] reviewed by . In the evening Lieutenant Colonel , was elected Colonel [p. 1403] <September 24> of the first Regiment, first Cohort, to fill the place of Colonel promoted, and Captain elected to fill his place; and Captain to fill the place of Major [Charles] Wightman deceased.
At home. Had a visit from old Mr. <Joseph> Murdock <Senr.> and Lady, concerning some Land &c.
<25> Sunday 25. At the . Spoke more than two hours, chiefly on the subject of my persecution
<Ship Medford sailed from for with 214 Saints.>
<26> Monday 26. The Office of Notary Public for the City of , was created by the City Council, and was elected— A Seal for the Municipal Court was ordered by the Council.
<27> Tuesday 27 and Wednesday 28th. At home. Nothing of importance transpired.
<28> <Ship Henry sailed from for with 157 Saints— [HC 5:165] see Note page 1433.>
<29> Thursday 29. This day began to be sick with fever, consequently I kept in the house with her all day.
<30.> Friday 30. is no better, I was with her all day.
<October 1.> Saturday 1. This morning I had a very severe pain in my left side; and was not able to be about. sick as usual. I had previously sent for the Temple Committee to balance their accounts and ascertain how the business was going on. Some reports had been circulated that the Committee was not making a righteous disposition of property consecrated for the building of the , and there appeared to be some dissatisfaction amongst the laborers. After carefully examining the accounts and enquiring into the manner of the proceedings of the Committee, I expressed myself perfectly satisfied with them and their works. The books were balanced between the Trustee and Committee and the wages of all agreed upon. I said to the brethren that I was amenable to the for the faithful discharge of my duties as Trustee in Trust, and that the Temple Committee were accountable to me, and to no other authority; and they must not take notice of any complaints from any source, but let the complaints be made to me, if any were needed, and I would make things right. The parties separated perfectly satisfied, and I remarked that I would have a notice published, stating that I had examined their accounts, and was satisfied [HC 5:166] &c. It was also agreed that the Recorder’s Office should be moved to the , for the convenience of all.
In this day’s Wasp I noticed the following letter from
“City of Ill: Septr. 26. 1842. Mr. Editor. Dear Sir: I noticed in the last Week’s Wasp a letter from Dr. , written from , which states that Dr. had declared in said , that he had received a letter from me and from my , and that we were preparing to leave and expose Mormonism. I wish, through the Medium of your paper, to say to the public, that said statements are entirely false. We have never at any time, written any letter or letters to Dr. , on any subject whatever. Neither are we “preparing to leave and expose Mormonism” but intend to make our Residence, and Mormonism our Motto.
<2> Sunday 2. About 10 o’clock [illegible] this morning a Messenger arrived from stating that the had offered a reward of $200 for Joseph Smith Junr., and also $200 for . This Report was fully established on receipt of the Mail. Papers. The Quincy Whig also stated that had offered a reward; and published the ’s proclamation offering a reward of $300 for Joseph Smith Junr. and $300 for . It is not expected that much will be effected by the rewards. continued very sick. [illegible] I was with her all day. [p. 1404]
<October 3> Monday 3. was a little better. I was with her all day.
<4.> Tuesday 4. is was very sick again. Joseph is I attended with her all the day being somewhat poorly myself.
<5.> Wednesday 5. My Dear was worse, many fears were entertained, that she would not recover, she was [HC 5:167] baptized twice in the , which evidently did her much good. She grew worse again at night and continued very sick indeed I was unwell and much troubled on account of ’s sickness.
called Elder into his Office and said he had some matters to make known. He “had been at and had conversation with concerning ’s proceedings &c and had ascertained that had intentionally issued an illegal writ expecting thereby to draw President Joseph to to get acq