The Prophet of Palmyra
(NYC: J. B. Alden, 1890)
Return to page 462
SEC. 2. Whenever any tract of land adjoining the city of Nauvoo shall have been laid out into town lots, and duly recorded according to law, the same shall form a part of the city of Nauvoo.
SEC. 3. The inhabitants of said city, by the name and style aforesaid, shall have power to sue and be sued, plead and be impleaded, defend and be defended, in all courts of law and equity, and in all actions whatsoever; to purchase, receive and hold property, real and personal, in said city; to purchase, receive and hold real property beyond the city for burying ground, or for other public purposes, for the use of the inhabitants of said city; to sell, lease, convey or dispose of property, real and personal, for the benefit of the city; to improve and protect such property, and to do all other things in relation thereto as natural persons.
SEC. 4. There shall be a City Council to consist of Mayor, four Aldermen and nine Councillors, who shall have the qualifications of electors of said city, and shall be elected by the qualified voters thereof, and shall hold their offices for two years, and until their successors shall be elected and qualified. The
464 THE PROPHET OF PALMYRA.
City Council shall judge of the qualifications, elections, and returns, of their own members, and a majority of them shall form a quorum to do business, but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and compel the attendance of absent members under such penalties as may be proscribed by ordinance.
SEC. 5. The Mayor, Aldermen, and Councillors, before entering upon the duties of their offices shall take and subscribe an oath or affirmation that they will support the Constitution of the United States, and of this State, and that they will well and truly perform the duties of their offices to the best of their skill and abilities.
SEC. 6. On the first Monday of February next, and every two years thereafter, an election shall be held for the election of one Mayor, four Aldermen, and nine Councillors; and at the first election under this act, three judges shall be chosen viva voce by the electors present; the said judges shall choose two clerks, and the judges and clerks before entering upon their duties shall take and subscribe an oath or affirmation such as is now required by law to be taken by judges and clerks of other elections; and at all subsequent elections, the necessary number of judges and clerks shall be appointed by the City Council. At the first election so held the polls shall be opened at Nine o'clock A. M., and closed at six o'clock P. M.; at the close of the polls the votes shall be counted and a statement thereof proclaimed at the front door of the house at which said election shall be held; and the clerks shall leave with each person elected, or at his usual place of residence, within five days after the election a written notice of his election, and each person so notified shall within ten days after the election take the oath or affirmation herein before mentioned, a certificate of which oath shall be deposited with the
NAUVOO CHARTER. 465
Recorder whose appointment is hereafter provided for, and be by him preserved; and all subsequent elections shall be held, conducted, and returns thereof made as may be provided for by ordinance of the City Council.
SEC. 7. All free white male inhabitants who are of the age of twenty one years, who are entitled to vote for state officers, and who shall have been actual residents of said city sixty days next preceding said election shall be entitled to vote for city officers.
SEC. 8. The City Council shall have authority to levy and collect taxes for city purposes upon all property, real and personal, within the limits of the city, not exceeding one half per cent per annum, upon the assessed value thereof, and may enforce the payment of the same in any manner to be provided by ordinance, not repugnant to the Constitution of the United States, or of this State.
SEC. 9. The City Council shall have power to appoint a Recorder, Treasurer, Assessor, Marshal, Supervisor of Streets, and all such other officers as may be necessary, and to prescribe their duties, and remove them from office at pleasure.
SEC. 10. The City Council shall have power to require of all officers appointed in pursuance of this act, bonds with penalty and security, for the faithful performance of their respective duties, such as may be deemed expedient; and, also, to require all officers appointed as aforesaid to take an oath for the faithful performance of the duties of their respective offices.
SEC. 11. The City Council shall have power and authority to make, ordain, establish, and execute, all such ordinances, not repugnant to the Constitution of the United States, or of this State, as they may deem necessary for the peace, benefit, good
466 THE PROPHET OF PALMYRA.
order, regulation, convenience, and cleanliness, of said city; for the protection of property therein from destruction by fire, or otherwise, and for the health and happiness, thereof; they shall have power to fill all vacancies that may happen by death, resignation, or removal, in any of the offices herein made elective; to fix and establish all the fees of the officers of said corporation not herein established; to impose such fines, not exceeding one hundred dollars, for each offence, as they may deem just, for refusing to accept any office in or under the corporation, or for misconduct therein; to divide the city into wards, to add to the number of Aldermen, and Councillors, and apportion them among the several wards, as may be most just and conducive to the interest of the city.
SEC. 12. To license, tax, and regulate, auctions, merchants, retailers, grocers, hawkers, pedlars, brokers, pawn-brokers, and money-changers.
SEC. 13. The City Council shall have exclusive power within the city, by ordinance, to license, regulate, and restrain, the keeping of ferries, to regulate the police of the city; to impose fines, forfeitures and penalties, for the breach of any ordinance, and provide for the recovery of such fines and forfeitures, and the enforcement of such penalties, and to pass such ordinances as may be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the powers specified in this act; Provided such ordinances are not repugnant to the Constitution of the United States, or of this State: and, in fine, to exercise such other legislative powers as are conferred on the City Council of the City of Springfield, by an act entitled "An act to incorporate the City of Springfield," approved, February third, one thousand eight hundred and forty.
SEC. 14. All ordinances passed by the City Council shall within one month after they shall
NAUVOO CHARTER. 467
have been passed, be published in some newspaper printed in the city, or certified copies thereof be posted up in three of the most public places in the city.
SEC. 15. All ordinances of the city may be proven by the seal of the corporation, and when printed or published in book or pamphlet form, purporting to be printed or published by authority of the corporation, the same shall be received in evidence in all courts or places without further proof.
SEC. 16. The Mayor and Aldermen shall be conservators of the peace within the limits of said city, and shall have all the powers of Justices of the Peace therin, both in civil and criminal cases arising under the laws of the State: they shall as Justices of the Peace, within the limits of said city, perform the same duties, be governed by the same laws, give the same bonds and security, as other Justices of the Peace, and be commissioned as Justices of the Peace in and for said city by the Governor.
SEC. 17. The Mayor shall have exclusive jurisdiction in all cases arising under the ordinances of the corporation, and shall issue such process as may be necessary to carry said ordinances into execution, and effect; appeals may be had from any decision or judgement of said Mayor or Aldermen, arising under the city ordinances, to the Municipal Court, under such regulations as may be presented by ordinance; which court shall be composed of the Mayor as Chief Justice, and the Aldermen as Associate Justices, and from the final Judgment of the Municipal Court, to the Circuit Court of Hancock county, in the same manner as appeals are taken from judgments of Justices of the Peace; Provided, that the parties litigant shall have a right to a trial by Jury of twelve men, in all cases
468 THE PROPHET OF PALMYRA.
before the Municipal Court. The Municipal Court shall have power to grant writs of habeas corpus in all cases arising under the ordinances of the City Council.
SEC. 18. The Municipal Court shall sit on the first Monday of every month, and the City Council at such times and place as may be prescribed by city ordinance; special meetings of which may at any time be called by the Mayor or any two Aldermen.
SEC. 19. All process issued by the Mayor, Aldermen, or Municipal Court, shall be directed to the Marshal, and in the execution thereof he shall be governed by the same laws as are, or may be, prescribed for the direction and compensation of Constables in similar cases. The Marshall shall also perform such other duties as may be required of him under the ordinances of said city, and shall be the principal ministerial officer.
SEC. 20. It shall be the duty of the Recorder to make and keep accurate records of all ordinances made by the City Council, and of all their proceedings in their corporate capacity, which record shall at all times be open to the inspection of the electors of said city, and shall perform such other duties as may be required of him by the ordinances of the City Council, and shall serve as clerk of the Municipal Court.
SEC. 21. When it shall be necessary to take private property for opening, widening, or altering, any public street, lane, avenue, or alley, the corporation shall make a just compensation therefore to the person whose property is so taken, and if the amount of such compensation cannot be agreed upon, the Mayor shall cause the same to be ascertained by a jury of six disinterested freeholders of the city.
SEC. 22. All jurors empanneled to enquire into
NAUVOO CHARTER. 469
the amount of benefits or damages that shall happen to the owners of property, so proposed to be taken, shall first be sworn to that effect, and shall return to the Mayor their inquest in writing, signed by each juror.
SEC. 23. In case the Mayor shall at any time be guilty of a palpable omission of duty, or shall wilfully and corruptly be guilty of oppression, mal-conduct, or partiality in the discharge of the duties of his office, he shall be liable to be indicted in the Circuit Court of Hancock County, and on conviction he shall be fined not more than two hundred dollars, and the court shall have power on the recommendation of the jury to add to the judgement of the court that he be removed from office.
SEC. 24. The City Council may establish and organize an institution of learning within the limits of the city, for the teaching of the Arts, Sciences, and Learned Professions, to be called the "University of the City of Nauvoo," which institution shall be under the control and management of a Board of trustees, consisting of a Chancellor, Registrar, and twenty-three Regents, which board shall thereafter be a body corporate and politic with perpetual succession by the name of the "Chancellor and Regents of the University of the City of Nauvoo," and shall have full power to pass, ordain, establish and execute all such laws and ordinances as they may consider necessary for the welfare and prosperity of said University, its officers, and students; Provided, that the said laws and ordinances shall not be repugnant to the Constitution of the United States, or of this State; and Provided, also, that the Trustees shall at all times be appointed by the City Council, and shall have all the powers and privileges for the advancement of the cause of education which appertain to the Trustees of any other College or University of this State.
470 THE PROPHET OF PALMYRA.
SEC. 25. The city Council may organize the inhabitants of said city, subject to military duty, into a body of independent military men to be called the "Nauvoo Legion," the Court Martial of which shall be composed of the commissioned officers of said Legion, and constitute the law making department, with full powers and authority to make, ordain, establish, and execute, all such laws and ordinances as may be considered necessary for the benefit, government, and regulation of said Legion; Provided, said Court Martial shall pass no law or act repugnant to or inconsistent with the Constitution of the United States or of this State; and, Provided, also, that the officers of the Legion shall be commissioned by the Governor of the State. The said Legion shall perform the same amount of military duty as is now or may be hereafter required of the regular militia of the State, and shall be at the disposal of the Mayor in executing the laws and ordinances of the City Corporation, and the laws of the State, and at the disposal of the Governor for the public defence, and the execution of the laws of the State or of the United States, and shall be entitled to their proportion of the public arms; and Provided, also that said Legion shall be exempt from all other military duty.
SEC. 26. The inhabitants of the "City of Nauvoo," are hereby exempted from working on any road beyond the limits of the city, and for the purpose of keeping the streets, lanes, avenues, and alleys, in repair to require of the male inhabitants of said city, over the age of twenty-one, and under fifty years, to labor on said streets, lanes, avenues, and alleys, not exceeding three days in each year; any person failing to perform such labor when duly notified by the Supervisor, shall forfeit and pay the sum of one dollar per day for each day so neglected or refused.
NAUVOO CHARTER. 471
SEC. 27. The City Council shall have power to provide for the punishment of offenders, by imprisonment in the county or city jail, in all cases when such offenders shall fail or refuse to pay the fines and forfeitures which may be recovered against them.
SEC. 28. This act is hereby declared to be a public act, and shall take effect on the first Monday of February next.
Approved, December 16, 1840.
THE PROPHET OF PALMYRA.
AN ORDINANCE Regulating the Mode of Proceeding in Cases of Habeus Corpus before the Municipal Court.
SECTION 1. Be it ordained by the City Council of the City of Nauvoo, That in all cases where any person or persons shall at any time hereafter be arrested or under arrest, in this city, under any writ or process, and shall be brought before the Municipal Court of this city, 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 said 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 the 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 case.
SEC. 2. And be it further ordained, That if upon
CITY ORDINANCES. 473
investigation it shall be proven before the Municipal Court that the writ or process has been issued either through private pique, malicious intent, religious or other persecution, falsehood or misrepresentation, contrary to the Constitution of the United States or of this State, the said writ or process shall be quashed, and considered of no force or 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, disability, or other circumstances, disqualifying or preventing the Mayor from officiating in his office as Chief Justice of the Municipal Court, the Aldermen 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.
Vice-Mayor and President pro tempore.
JAMES SLOAN, Recorder.
AN ORDINANCE concerning Marriages.
SECTION 1. Be it ordained by the City Council of the City of Nauvoo, That all male persons over the age of seventeen years, and females over the age of fourteen years may contract and be joined in marriage; Provided, In all cases where either party is a minor, the consent of parents or guardians be first had.
SEC. 2. Any persons as aforesaid wishing to marry, or be joined in marriage, may go before any regular Minister of the Gospel, Mayor, Alderman, Justice of the Peace, Judge, or other person authorized to solemnize marriages in this State, and celebrate or declare their marriage in such manner and form as shall be most agreeable, either with or without license,
474 THE PROPHET OF PALMYRA.
SEC. 3. Any person solemnizing a marriage as aforesaid, shall make return thereof to the City Recorder, * accompanied by a recording fee of fifty cents, within thirty days of the solemnization thereof; and it is hereby made the duty of the Recorder to keep an accurate record of all such marriages. The penalty for a violation of either of the provisions of this ordinance, shall be twenty dollars, to be recovered as other penalties or forfietures.
JOHN C. BENNETT, Mayor.
Passed Feb. 17, 1842.
JAMES SLOAN, Recorder.
Number One again provided for, in the following ordinance:
AN ORDINANCE for the Health and Convenience of Travellers and other persons
SECTION 1. Be it ordained by the City Council of the City of Nauvoo, That the Mayor of the City be and is hereby authorized to sell or give spirits, of any quantity, as he in his wisdom shall judge to be for the health, comfort or convenience of such travellers or other persons, as shall visit his house from time to time.
Passed Dec. 12, 1842.
W RICHARDS, Recorder.
AN EXTRA ORDINANCE for the extra case of Joseph Smith, and others.
(Preamble recounting Smith's difficulties with Missouri ommitted.)
* The statutes of the State of Illinois require that a license shall first be obtained from the office of the County Clerk, and that the person solemnizing marriages shall make his return to said officer.
CITY ORDINANCES. 475
SECTION 1. Be it ordained by the City Council of the City of Nauvoo, According to the intent and meaning of the Charter, for the "benefit and convenience" of Nauvoo, that hereafter, if any person or persons shall come with process, demand or requisition, founded upon the aforesaid Missouri difficulties to arrest said Smith, he or they shall be subject to be arrested by any officer of the city, with or without process, and tried by the Municipal Court upon testimony, and if found guilty, sentenced to imprisonment in the City Prison for life, which convict or convicts can only be pardoned by the Governor, with the consent of the Mayor of said city. * * *
Passed Dec. 8, 1843.
W RICHARDS, Recorder.
AN ORDINANCE To Prevent unlawful Search or Seizure of Person or Property, by Foreign Process, in the City of Nauvoo.
SECTION 1. Be it ordained by the City Council of the City of Nauvoo, To prevent kidnapping, illegal arrests of persons, or unlawful searches for property, that all writs issued out of the city shall, before they are executed within the limits of the city, be examined by and receive the approval and signature of the Mayor of said city on the back of said process, and be served by the Marshal of said city.
SEC. 2. Be it further ordained, That every officer who shall execute, or attempt to execute, any process as aforesaid, without first obtaining the approval and signature of the Mayor of said city, as specified in the first section of this ordinance, shall be subject to a fine of not less than five dollars nor more than one hundred dollars, or imprisonment
476 THE PROPHET OF PALMYRA.
not less than one month nor more than six months in the city prison, or both, as a breach of ordinance to be tried before the Municipal Court of said city.
Passed Dec. 21, 1843.
WILLARD RICHARDS, Recorder.
AMENDMENT.SEC. 3. Be it ordained by the City Council of the City of Nauvoo, That nothing in the foregoing ordinance shall be so construed as to prevent, hinder or thwart the designs of justice, or to retard the civil officers of the State or county in the discharge of their official duties; but to aid and assist them within the limits of this city.
Passed Jan. 10, 1844.
WILLARD RICHARDS, Recorder.
AN ORDINANCE entitled "An Ordinance to Repeal certain Ordinances therein named."
Whereas, An Ordinance entitled "An Ordinance for the extra case of Joseph Smith, and others," passed Dec. 8, 1843, and Whereas, The Ordinance entitled "An Ordinance to prevent unlawful seizure and search of person and property, by foreign process in the City of Nauvoo," passed Dec. 21, 1843, have had their desired effect in preserving the peace, happiness, persons or property of the citizens of Nauvoo, according to their intent and meaning; therefore,
SECTION 1. Be it ordained by the City Council of the City of Nauvoo, That the aforesaid ordinances are hereby repealed..
SEC. 2. Be it further ordained, That nothing in the first section of this ordinance shall be so
CITY ORDINANCES. 477
construed as to give license or liberty to any foreign officer, or other person or persons, to illegally disturb the peace, happiness or quiet of any citizen of said city, any ordinance to the contrary notwithstanding, under a penalty of not less than five hundred dollars, or imprisonment six months in the city prison.
Passed Feb., 1844.
WILLARD RICHARDS, Recorder.
AN ORDINANCE in Relation to Religious Societies.
SECTION 1. Be it ordained by the City Council of the City of Nauvoo, That the Catholics, Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists, Latter-Day Saints, Quakers, Episcopalians, Universalists, Unitarians, Mohammedans, and all other religious sects and denominations whatever, shall have free toleration and equal privileges in this city; and should any person be guilty of ridiculing, abusing, or otherwise depreciating another in consequence of his religion, or of disturbing or interrupting any religious meeting, within the limits of this city, he shall on conviction thereof before the Mayor or Municipal Court, be considered a disturber of the public peace, and fined in any sum not exceeding five hundred dollars, or imprisoned not exceeding six months, or both, at the discretion of said Mayor or Court.
(Published without date or official signature.)
THE PROPHET OF PALMYRA.
1. VERILY, thus saith the Lord unto you my servant Joseph, that inasmuch as you have inquired of my hand to know and understand wherein I, the Lord, justified my servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as also Moses, David and Solomon, my servants, as touching the principle and doctrine of their having many wives and concubines; Behold! and lo, I am the Lord, thy God, and will answer thee as touching this matter; Therefore, prepare thy heart to receive and obey the instructions which I am about to give unto you; for all those who have this law revealed unto them must obey the same; for behold, I reveal unto you a new and an everlasting covenant; and if ye abide not that covenant, then are ye damned; for no one can reject this covenant and be permitted to enter into my glory; for all who will have a blessing at my hands shall abide the law which was appointed for that blessing, and the conditions thereof, as were instituted from before the foundation of the world; and as pertaining to the new and everlasting covenant, it was instituted for the fulness of my glory; and
CELESTIAL MARRIAGE REVELATION. 479
he that receiveth a fulness thereof must and shall abide the law, or he shall be damned, saith the Lord God.
2. And verily I say unto you, that the conditions of this law are these: All covenants, contracts, bonds, obligations, oaths, vows, performances, connections, associations, or expectations, that are not made and entered into and sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, of him who is anointed, both as well for time and for all eternity, and that too most holy, by revelation and commandment through the medium of mine anointed, whom I have appointed on the earth to hold this power (and I have appointed unto my servant Joseph to hold this power in the last days, and there is never but one on the earth at a time on whom this power and the Keys of this priesthood are conferred), are of no efficacy, virtue, or force in and after the resurrection from the dead; for all contracts that are not made unto this end have an end when men are dead.
3. Behold, mine house is a house of order, saith the Lord God, and not a house of confusion. Will I accept of an offering, saith the Lord, that is not made in my name? Or will I receive at your hands that which I have not appointed? And will I appoint unto you, saith the Lord, except it be by law, even as I and my Father ordained unto you, before the world was! I am the Lord thy God; and I give unto you this commandment, that no man shall come unto the Father but by me or by my word, which is my law, saith the Lord; and everything that is in the world, whether it be ordained of men, by thrones, or principalities, or powers, or things of name, whatsoever they may be, that are not by me or by my word, saith the Lord, shall be thrown down, and shall not remain after men are dead, neither in nor after the resurrection, saith the Lord your God; for whatsoever things remain are by
480 THE PROPHET OF PALMYRA.
me; and whatsoever things are not by me shall be shaken and destroyed.
4. Therefore, if a man marry him a wife in the world, and he marry her not by me nor by my word, and he covenant with her so long as he is in the world and she with him, their covenant and marriage are not of force when they are dead, and when they are out of the world; therefore, they are not bound by any law when they are out of the world; therefore, when they are out of the world they neither marry nor are given in marriage; but are appointed angels in heaven, which angels are ministering servants, to minister for those who are worthy of a far more, and an exceeding, and an eternal weight of glory; for these angels did not abide my law; therefore, they cannot be enlarged, but remain separately and singly, without exaltation, in their saved condition, to all eternity; and from henceforth are not gods, but are angels of God forever and ever.
5. And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife, and make a covenant with her for time and for all eternity, if that covenant is not by me or by my word, which is my law, and is not sealed by the holy spirit of promise, through him whom I have anointed and appointed unto this power -- then it is not valid neither of force when they are out of the world, because they are not joined by me, saith the Lord, neither by my word; when they are out of the world it cannot be received there, because the angels and the gods are appointed there, by whom they cannot pass; they cannot, therefore, inherit my glory; for my house is a house of order, saith the Lord God.
6. And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant, and it is sealed unto them by the holy spirit of promise, by him who
CELESTIAL MARRIAGE REVELATION. 481
is anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power and the Keys of this Priesthood; and it shall be said unto them--Ye shall come forth in the first resurrection; and if it be after the first resurrection, in the next resurrection; and shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, all heights and depths -- then shall it be written in the Lamb's Book of Life, that he shall commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, and if ye abide in my covenant, and commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, it shall be done unto them in all things whatsoever my servant hath put upon them, in time, and through all eternity; and shall be of full force when they are out of the world; and they shall pass by the angels, and the gods, which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their heads, which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever.
7. Then shall they be Gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be Gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them.
8. Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye abide my law ye cannot attain to this glory; for straight is the gate, and narrow the way that leadeth unto the exaltation and continuation of the lives, and few there be that find it, because ye receive me not in the world neither do ye know me. But if ye receive me in the world, then shall ye know me, and shall receive your exaltation; that where I am ye shall be also. This is eternal lives, to know the only wise and true God, and Jesus Christ, whom he hath sent. I am he. Receive ye, therefore, my
482 THE PROPHET OF PALMYRA.
law. Broad is the gate, and wide the way that leadeth to the death; and many there are that go in there at, because they receive me not, neither do they abide in my law.
9. Verily, verily, I say unto you, if a man marry a wife according to my word, and they are sealed by the holy spirit of promise, according to mine appointment, and he or she shall commit any sin or transgression of the new and everlasting covenant whatever, and all manner of blasphemies, and if they commit no murder wherein they shed innocent blood -- yet they shall come forth in the first resurrection, and enter into their exaltation; but they shall be destroyed in the flesh, but shall be delivered unto the buffetings of Satan unto the day of redemption, saith the Lord God.
10. The blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, which shall not be forgiven in the world nor out of the world, is in that ye commit murder wherein ye shed innocent blood, and assent unto my death, after ye have received my new and everlasting covenant, saith the Lord God; and he that abideth not this law can in nowise enter into my glory, but shall be damned, saith the Lord.
11. I am the Lord thy God, and will give unto thee the law of my Holy Priesthood, as was ordained by me and my Father before the world was. Abraham received all things, whatsoever he received, by revelation and commandment, by my word, saith the Lord, and hath entered into his exaltation and sitteth upon his throne.
12. Abraham received promises concerning his seed, and of the fruit of his loins -- from whose loins ye are, namely, my servant Joseph -- which were to continue so long as they were in the world; and as touching Abraham and his seed, out of the world they should continue; both in the world and out of the world should they continue as innumerable
CELESTIAL MARRIAGE REVELATION. 483
as the stars; or, if ye were to count the sand upon the sea-shore ye could not number them. This promise is yours also, because ye are of Abraham, and the promise was made unto Abraham; and by this law is the continuation of the works of my Father, wherein He glorifieth Himself. Go ye, therefore, and do the works of Abraham; enter ye into my law and ye shall be saved. But if ye enter not into my law ye cannot receive the promise of my Father, which he made unto Abraham.
13. God commanded Abraham, and Sarah gave Hagar to Abraham to wife. And why did she do it? Because this was the law; and from Hagar sprang many people. This, therefore, was fulfilling, among other things, the promises. Was Abraham, therefore, under condemnation? Verily I say unto you, Nay; for I, the Lord, commanded it. Abraham was commanded to offer his son Isaac; nevertheless, it was written: Thou shalt not kill. Abraham, however, did not refuse, and it was accounted unto him for righteousness.
14. Abraham received concubines, and they bore him children; and it was accounted unto him for righteousness, because they were given unto him, and he abode in my law; as Isaac also and Jacob did none other things than that which they were commanded; and because they did none other things than which they were commanded, they have entered into their exaltation, according to the promises, and sit upon thrones, and are not angels but Gods. David also received many wives and concubines, and also Solomon and Moses my servants, as also many others of my servants, from the beginning of creation until this time; and in nothing did they sin save in those things which they received not of me.
15. David's wives and concubines were given
484 THE PROPHET OF PALMYRA.
unto him of me, by the hand of Nathan, my servant, and others of the prophets who had the keys of this power; and in none of these things did he sin against me save in the case of Uriah and his wife; and, therefore he hath fallen from his exaltation, and received his portion; and he shall not inherit them out of the world, for I gave them unto another, saith the Lord.
16. I am the Lord thy God, and I gave unto thee, my servant Joseph, an appointment, and restore all things. Ask what ye will, and it shall be given unto you according to my word; and as ye have asked concerning adultery -- verily, verily, I say unto you, if a man receiveth a wife in the new and everlasting covenant, and if she be with another man, and I have not appointed unto her by the holy anointing, she hath committed adultery and shall be destroyed. If she be not in the new and everlasting covenant, and she be with another man, she has committed adultery; and if her husband be with another woman, and he was under a vow, he hath broken his vow and hath committed adultery; and if she hath not committed adultery, but is innocent and hath not broken her vow, and she knoweth it, and I reveal it unto you, my servant Joseph, then shall you have power, by the power of my Holy Priesthood, to take her and give her unto him that hath not committed adultery but hath been faithful; for he shall be made ruler over many, for I have conferred upon you the keys and power of the priesthood, wherein I restore all things, and make known unto you all things in due time.
17. And verily, verily, I say unto you, that whatsoever you seal on earth shall be sealed in heaven; and whatsoever you bind on earth, in my name and by my word, saith the Lord, it shall be eternally bound in the heavens; and whosoever
CELESTIAL MARRIAGE REVELATION. 485
sins you remit on earth shall be remitted eternally in the heavens; and whosoever sins you retain on earth shall be retained in heaven.
18. And again, verily I say, whomsoever you bless I will bless, and whomsoever you curse I will curse, saith the Lord; for I, the Lord, am thy God.
19. And again, verily I say unto you, my servant Joseph, that whatsoever you give on earth, and to whomsoever you give any one on earth, by my word and according to my law, it shall be visited with blessings and not cursings, and with my power, saith the Lord, and shall be without condemnation on earth and in heaven; for I am the Lord thy God, and will be with thee even unto the end of the world, and through all eternity; for verily I seal upon you your exaltation, and prepare a throne for you in the kingdom of my Father, with Abraham your father. Behold, I have seen your sacrifices, and will forgive all your sins; I have seen your sacrifices in obedience to that which I have told you. Go, therefore, and I make a way for your escape, as I accepted the offering of Abraham of his son Isaac.
20. Verily, I say unto you: A commandment I give unto mine handmaid, Emma Smith, your wife, whom I have given unto you, that she stay herself and partake not of that which I commanded you to offer unto her; for I did it, saith the Lord, to prove you all, as I did Abraham, and that I might require an offering at your hand, by covenant and sacrifice, and let mine handmaid, Emma Smith, receive all those that have been given unto my servant Joseph, and who are virtuous and pure before me; and those who are not pure, and have said they were pure, shall be destroyed, saith the Lord God; for I am the Lord thy God, and ye shall obey my voice; and I give unto my servant Joseph, that
486 THE PROPHET OF PALMYRA.
he shall be made ruler over many things; for he hath been faithful over a few things, and from henceforth I will strengthen him.
21. And I command mine handmaid, Emma Smith, to abide and cleave unto my servant Joseph, and to none else. But if she will not abide this commandment she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord; for I am the Lord thy God, and will destroy her if she abide not in my law. But if she will not abide this commandment, then shall my servant Joseph do all things for her, even as he hath said; and I will bless him and multiply him and give unto him an hundredfold in this world, of fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, houses and land, wives and children, and crowns of eternal lives in the eternal worlds. And again, verily I say, let mine handmaid forgive my servant Joseph his trespass; and then shall she be forgiven her trespasses, wherein she has trespassed against me; and I; the Lord thy God, will bless her, and multiply her, and make her heart to rejoice.
22. And again, I say, let not my servant Joseph put his property out of his hands, lest an enemy come and destroy him; for Satan seeketh to destroy; for I am the Lord thy God, and he is my servant; and behold, and lo, I am with him, as I was with Abraham, thy father, even unto his exaltation and glory.
23. Now, as touching the law of the priesthood, there are many things pertaining thereunto. Verily, if a man be called of my Father, as was Aaron, by mine own voice, and by the voice of him that sent me, and I have endowed him with the Keys of the power of this Priesthood, if he do anything in my name, and according to my law and by my word, he will not commit sin, and I will justify him. Let no one, therefore, set on my servant Joseph; for I will justify him; for he shall do the sacrifice
CELESTIAL MARRIAGE REVELATION. 487
which I require at his hands for his transgressions, saith the Lord your God.
24. And again, as pertaining to the law of the Priesthood; if any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse another, and the first give her consent, and if he espouse the second, and they are virgins, and have vowed to no other man, then he is justified; he cannot commit adultery for they are given unto him; for he cannot commit adultery with that that belongeth unto him and to no one else; and if he have ten virgins given unto him by this law, he cannot commit adultery, for they belong to him, and they are given unto him; therefore is he justified. But if one or either of the ten virgins, after she is espoused, shall be with another man, she has committed adultery, and shall be destroyed; for they are given unto him to multiply and replenish the earth according to my commandment, and to fulfil the promise which was given by my Father before the foundation of the world, and for their exaltation in the eternal worlds, that they may bear the souls of men; for herein is the work of my Father continued, that he may be glorified.
25. And again, verily, verily, I say unto you, if any man have a wife, who holds the keys of this power, and he teaches unto her the law of my Priesthood, as pertaining to these things, then shall she believe and administer unto him, or she shall be destroyed, saith the Lord your God; for I will destroy her; for I will magnify my name upon all those who receive and abide in my law. Therefore, it shall be lawful in me, if she receive not this law, for him to receive all things whatsoever I, the Lord his God, will give unto him, because she did not believe and administer unto him according to my word; and she then becomes the transgressor; and he is exempt from the law of Sarah, who administered to the law when I commanded
488 THE PROPHET OF PALMYRA.
Abraham to take Hagar to wife. And now, as pertaining to this law, verily, verily I say unto you, I will reveal more unto you hereafter; therefore, let this suffice for the present. Behold, I am Alpha and Omega. AMEN.
NOTES AND ANECDOTES.
THE KINDERHOOK PLATES.THE plates known as the Kinderhook plates, have been referred to by many writers on Mormonism, as having some connection with that system. This is a mistake. They had no more to do with Mormonism, or the Book of Mormon or the Mormon Prophet, than with the downfall of Babylon, -- excepting that they were exhibited in Nauvoo. They were, not discovered at Kinderhook, New York, as stated by one writer, nor in Ohio, as related by others. They were dug out of a small mound at Kinderhook, Pike County, Illinois, about seventy-five miles south of Nauvoo, in or about 1843, by Mr. Wiley, a merchant of that place. Intent on ascertaining whether a mound near him contained any relics, this gentleman had the mound dug into, and these plates, among other things of minor importance, were exhumed. They were of copper, six
490 THE PROPHET OF PALMYRA.
in number, about three inches long, and bell-shaped, and about the thickness of an ordinary tin plate. The writer saw and examined these plates about the time they were exhibited at Nauvoo. Drawings were made of one side of at least two of them. What became of them afterwards he does not know. Most probably there were deposited by Mr. Wiley in some museum of antiquities.
TITLES OF THE TWELVE.The Twelve Apostles were thus designated by W. W. Phelps, as published in the Times and Seasons, at Nauvoo, in 1841: his own name, -- we believe he was one of them, -- being modestly omitted:
Parley P. Pratt -- The Archer of Paradise.
Orson Hyde -- The Olive Branch of Israel.
Willard Richards -- The Keeper of the Rolls.
John Taylor -- The Champion of Right.
William Smith -- The Patriarch of Jacob's Staff.
Wilfred Woodruff -- The Banner of the Gospel.
George A. Smith -- The Entablature of Truth.
Orson Pratt -- The Guage of Philosophy.
John E. Page -- The Sun-Dial, and
Lyman Wight -- The Wild Ram of the Mountains.
THE PROPHET AS A LINGUIST.How Mr. Smith became a linguist it is hard to tell, seeing he was so ignorant of his native tongue. He was quite fond of parading his acquirements in
NOTES AND ANECDOTES. 491
that respect before his wondering followers. We give some specimens. In the Times and Seasons, of May 1, 1843, he gives a learned dissertation on the derivation of the name Mormon. He says:
"It has been stated that this word was derived from the Greek word mormo. This is not the case. There was no Greek or Latin upon the plates from which I, through the grace of God. translated the Book of Mormon. Let the language of that book speak for itself. In the 523d page, of the fourth edition, it reads:
492 THE PROPHET OF PALMYRA.
We say from the Saxon, good; the Dane, god;... the German, gut; the Dutch, goed; the Latin, bonus; the Greek, kalos; the Hebrew, tob; and the Egyptian, mon. Hence, with the addition of more, or the contraction mor, we have the word Mormon; which means, literally, more good.
Luminous and lucid! Then again, in a correspondence with James Arlington Bennett, a "crank" lawyer, residing in the city of New York, the prophet made this display of his learning:
"Were I an Egyptian, I would exclaim Jah-oh-eh, Enish-go-on-dosh, Flo-ees-Flos-is-is; (O earth, the power of attraction, and the moon passing between her and the sun.) A Hebrew; Hauelo-heem yenan; a Greek, O theos phos esi; a Roman, Dominus regit me; a German, Gott gebe uns das licht; a Portugee, Senhor Jesu Christo e liberda de; a Frenchman, Dieu defend le droit: but as I am, I give God the glory, and say in the beautiful figure of the poet:
Was the whole earth of parchment made;
And ev'ry single stick a quill;
And every man a scribe by trade
To write the love, of God above,
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the whole upon a scroll,
Be spread from sky to sky.'"
Still another of those efforts, and the last one we can make room for here, is to be found in an "Appeal to the Green Mountain Boys," published in the Nauvoo Neighbor about the last of January, 1843. This was an "Address to the Free-men
NOTES AND ANECDOTES. 493
of the State of Vermont, the brave Green Mountain Boys, and honest men," and contained a recital of the sufferings of himself and people in Missouri, etc. It starts out by stating that he was a native Vermonter, and that his father was a soldier in the Revolution. In the course of it the following paragraph in injected, and the reader must jusge what connection it has with the main subject:
"Were I a Chaldean, I would exclaim: 'Keed' naob ta maroon le-hoam elauhay augh deyshemay-augh yah aur kan ion gua abadoo, yabadoo ma-ar guan bomen tehoat shemayaugh elal.' (Thus shall ye say unto them: The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens.) An Egyptian: 'Saeeh-ni.' (What other persons are these?) A Grecian: 'Diabolas basselenei.' (The Devil reigns.) A Frenchman: Messieurs sans Dieu.' (Gentkemen without God.) A Turk: 'Ain sheurs.' (The fountain of Light.) A German: 'Sie sind unferstandig.' (What consumate ignorance!) A Syrian: 'Zanbok.' (Sacrifice!) A Spaniard: 'Il sabio muda conscio, il nescio no.' (A wise man reflects, a fool does not.) A Samaritian: 'Saunau.' (O Stranger!) An Italian: 'A tempa! O diffidanza! (O the times! O the diffidences!) A Hebrew: 'Antoub ail rancy.' (Thou God seest me.) A Dane: 'Hoad tidende?' (What tidings?) A Saxon: 'Hwart riht?' (What right?) A Swede: 'Hvad skilla!' (What skill!) A Polander: 'Nav-yeu-shoo-bah poa na Jesus Christus.' (Blessed be the name of Jesus Christ.) A Western Indian: 'She-mo-kah She-mo-kah, ough nega.' (The white man, O the
494 THE PROPHET OF PALMYRA.
white man, he very uncertain.) A Roman: 'Procol, o procol este profain.' (Be off, be off, ye profane!) But as I am. I will only add: 'When the wicked rule the people mourn.'"
SOME MORMON METHODS.The following plain story, told us by a gentleman of undoubted veracity, who resided not many miles from Nauvoo, tells as well as volumes could tell, the methods resorted to by the leaders to filch the hard earnings of their followers, for their own aggrandizement and for the temple fund; and it also furnishes a reason why the Mormons were so objectionable as neighbors. We give it in his own words:
NOTES AND ANECDOTES. 495
496 THE PROPHET OF PALMYRA.
NOTES AND ANECDOTES. 497
498 THE PROPHET OF PALMYRA.
NOTES AND ANECDOTES. 499
500 THE PROPHET OF PALMYRA.
NOTES AND ANECDOTES. 501
indubitable proofs of the divine origin of the Book of Mormon. But what had become of Martin Harris and his money that the work was not immediately put to press? A "correction" of the Holy Scriptures from so able a source, should not have been permitted to remain unpublished for so long a period, one full generation, and the world all that time deprived of its saving advantages.
[ 503 ]
504 THE PROPHET OF PALMYRA.
on the subject, and remarking, as he once did to the writer, that the subject was a distasteful one.
DR. ROBERT D. and CHARLES A. FOSTER were brothers, who early made their appearance in Nauvoo, but it is not remembered whether they came from Missouri or not. Dr. Foster was a physician of considerable intelligence and capacity, and stood well with the leaders; so much so that in 1843 he was put forward and elected to the responsible office of county school commissioner, receiving the support of the leaders and the almost undivided vote of the sect. He was holding that office at the time he joined the insurrection. These brothers afterward removed to some point on the Mississippi above, and have since disappeared from public view.
The GENERALS LAW were converts of wealth from Carrada, and had joined the fortunes of the prophet after the "stake" was planted at Nauvoo. They went into business there, and were for several years active and popular business men, in the milling line. After the expulsion of the rebels, they too went north and settled in Wisconsin, poorer but wiser men. We close this sketch of the revolters by copying in part the report of an interview held with General William Law, as late as in 1887, at the home of his son, Judge Thomas Law, at Shullsburgh, Wisconsin. If living now he is an octogenarian. He was interviewed by a Dr. Wyl of Salt Lake City, who published it in the Salt Lake Tribune. Wilson Law is long since dead.
The statements of the interview must be taken for what they are worth. While many of them are corroborated elsewhere and in many ways, there are others that need verification, and some that probably exist only in the mind of the narrator. One fact, however, will obtrude itself upon the mind of the reader -- that while these seceders are making all these damaging statements against the prophet and the leaders at Nauvoo, it is remembered that only a year or so earlier they were denying them when made by others. It is for them to reconcile these damaging facts.
INTERVIEW WITH WILLIAM LAW, MARCH 30, 1887.Dr. William Law lives with his son, Judge "Tommy " Law. The house is a fine cottage, large, well-kept
grounds surround it. We entered a cheerful looking room and there sat William Law, dressed in black, a most venerable looking figure. The head has a striking expression of intelligence, the large clear eyes are of a remarkably deep steel blue; the general impression is that of a thinker, of a benevolent and just man. He greeted me in a fatherly way. I expressed my joy at seeing at last so important a witness of a history, to whose study I had devoted two years.
I sat down near the venerable figure. I hesitated to put any question to him, but he made my task easy by saying: "You speak, in your book, of Joseph Smith having sent Rockwell to kill Governor Boggs. Let me tell you, that Joe Smith, told me the fact himself. The words were substantially like this, "I sent Rockwell to kill Boggs, but he missed him, it was a failure; he wounded him instead of sending him to Hell."
This beginning gave me some courage and I began the pumping business, in a cautious way, though, that I might not frighten my subject. I had put down in my note book a score of questions or so. So I glanced over them now and then, stealthily, and ventured this or that question, waiting till the good doctor would get warm in the recollections of the past. This happened soon and then I could ask with more liberty.
"What position had Rockwell in Joseph's house?"
"Rockwell was the lackey of the house. He used to comb and shave Joseph, blackened his boots and drove his carriage. He would have done anything Joe wanted him to do. I never saw a horse or carriage belonging to Rockwell which you say he got from Joseph for the attempt to kill Boggs."
The reader will easily understand that I had particular reasons to ask about the Expositor, Wm. Law being the only surviving publisher and editor of that celebrated sheet, born and killed June 7th, 1844. So I began:
"I suppose that you originated the Expositor, Doctor Law?"
"Yes, I originated the idea to publish that paper. I had friends in many parts of the country. They knew that I had become a member of the Mormon religion. I wanted to show them, by publishing the paper, that I had not been in a fraud willingly (here the old man's
506 THE PROPHET OF PALMYRA.
eyes filled with tears and his voice trembled). I started the idea, and my brother, Wilson, stood to me like a brother should. I don't remember whether it was I, or not, who gave the name "Expositor." But I and my brother, we gave the money, about $2000. I gave the biggest part. The Higbees etc., had scarcely a dollar in it."
"You were well off at that time. Dr. Law?"
"We had property to the amount of about $30,000, which was a good deal in those days. We had farms in Nauvoo, city lots and our residences. My brother had a fine brick two story building. By starting the Expositor we lost nearly everything."
"Didn't you have a store and a mill?"
"Yes, we had a large steam flour and saw mill and a store. It would have been the smart thing to do, to remain quiet, sell our property without noise for what we could get and move away. That would have been smart, but I wasn't cool and smart then. I wanted to do my duty and nothing else, and didn't care for the consequences, not a bit. Many friends advised me to be smart and remain quiet, but I would not hear of it and spoke my mind whenever an opportunity offered. When the Smiths saw that we were against them, then they applied to us their usual system, that is, to freeze us out. Secret orders went out that nobody could buy property without the permission of Joseph Smith, Hyrum or the authorities, as they called them, so our property was practically worthless. Yes, my brother Wilson stood to me like a man, fully, fearlessly. He died, here in Shullsburgh, of a stroke of apoplexy, after an illness of three days, ten years ago. He was a very fine and tremendously strong man. He wrestled with Joe in Nauvoo and threw him on his back."
"How did you become a Mormon, Doctor?"
"John Taylor and Almon W. Babbitt came as missionaries to Canada and preached where I lived, twenty-five miles south of Toronto. I believe that Taylor was sincere then and I believe he was to a late day. Finally the greed of power and money killed his conscience. There was, now and then, a good man in Mormondom, for instance Wm. Marks. He was a very good man and knew as little of the secret crimes of the leaders as I knew myself."
"The letters you wrote me, made me suppose that the Smiths tried to kill you when they saw an enemy in you?"
"They tried to get rid of me in different ways. One was by poisoning. I was already out of the church when Hyrum called one day and invited me for the next day to a reconciliation dinner as he called it, to his house. He said Joseph would come, too. He invited me and my wife. He was very urgent about the matter, but I declined the invitation. Now I must tell you that I, in those dangerous days, did not neglect to look out somewhat for the safety of my person and that I kept a detective or two among those who were in the confidence of the Smiths. That very same evening of the day on which Hyrum had been to my house inviting me, my detective told me that they had conceived the plan to poison me at the reconciliation dinner. Their object was a double one. My going to the dinner would have shown to the people that I was reconciled and my death would have freed them of an enemy. You may imagine that I didn't regret having declined that amiable invitation."
"Have you had any knowledge of cases of poisoning in Nauvoo, ordered by the authorities?"
"I know that several men, six or seven, died under very suspicious circumstances. Among them were two secretaries of the prophet, Mulholland and Blaskel Thompson. I saw Mulholland die and the symptoms looked very suspicious to me. Dr. Foster, who was a very good physician, believed firmly that those six or seven men had been poisoned, and told me so repeatedly."
"What may have been the reason for poisoning the secretaries?"
(With a smile) "They knew too much, probably."
"What do you know about the Danites?"
"Nothing of my personal knowledge. They existed, but their workings were kept very secret. I never belonged to the initiated. Smith tried very hard to get them to kill me. One day my detective told me, that two Danites had gone to Joseph and told him that they wanted to put me out of the way. Joseph said: 'Don't -- he (Law) is too influential; his death would bring the country down upon us; wait.' Later when I was
508 THE PROPHET OF PALMYRA.
thoroughly aware of my danger, they tried in all manners to use me up, and had Danites all day and night after me, but I looked out and kept myself safe. Whatever there was of crime in Nauvoo, was kept secret. On the outside everything looked nice and smooth. There were lots of strangers every Sunday as visitors and then the best speakers were put on the stand as samples of the fruits of this fine religion."
"Did Emma, the elect lady, come to your house and complain about Joseph?"
"No. She never came to my house for that purpose. But I met her sometimes on the street and then she used to complain, especially because of the girls whom Joseph kept in the house, devoting his attention to them. You have overrated her, she was dishonest."
"Do you mean to say that she was so outside of the influence Joseph had over her?"
"Yes, that is exactly what I mean. Let me tell you a case, that will be full proof to you. Soon after my arrival in Nauvoo the two L------- [Lawrence?] girls came to the holy city, two very young girls, 15 to 17 years of age. They had been converted in Canada, were orphans and worth about $8000 in English gold. Joseph got to be appointed their guardian, probably with the help of Dr. Bennett. He naturally put the gold in his pocket and had the girls sealed to him. He asked me to go on his bond as a guardian, as Sidney Rigdon had done. 'It is only a formality,' he said. Foolishly enough, and not yet suspecting anything, I put my name on the paper. Emma complained about Joseph's living with the L------- girls, but not very violently. It is my conviction that she was his full accomplice, that she was not a bit better than he. When I saw how things went I should have taken steps to be released of that bond, but I never thought of it. After Joseph's death, A. W. Babbitt became guardian of the two girls. He asked Emma for a settlement about the $8000. Emma said she had nothing to do with her husband's debts. Now Babbitt asked for the books and she gave them to him. Babbitt found that Joseph had counted an expense of about $3000 for board and clothing of the girls. Now Babbitt wanted the $5000 that was to be paid. Babbitt, who was a straight, good, honest, sincere man, set about
to find out property to pay the $5000 with. He could find none. Two splendid farms near Nauvoo, a big brick house, worth from $3000 to $4000, the hotel kept by Joe, a mass of vacant town lots, all were in Emma's name, not transferred later, but transferred from the beginning. She always looked out for her part. When I saw how things stood I wrote to Babbitt to take hold of all the property left by me in Nauvoo and of all claims held by me again in people in Nauvoo. And so the debt was paid by me -- Emma didn't pay a cent."
We had chatted about an hour when Dr. Law said that he felt a little tired. I kept silent for a few minutes. The old gentleman rallied very soon, and began to speak without being questioned.
"I told you that the Smiths tried to poison me. When Joseph saw that I had no great appetite for reconciliation dinners, he tried with the Indians. The plan was, that somebody should use me up who was not openly connected with the church, he was yet afraid of the people because of my influence. Later he would have killed me without any regard. One day about one hundred redskins came to town and twenty or thirty were sent to my house. We tried to get rid of them, but could not and we saw clearly that they had a dark plan for the night. But we had to keep them, gave them blankets and they were all night in our hall. Wilson Law, I and some friends, though, kept good watch all night, with barricaded windows and doors and guns and pistols ready."
"You have known the parents of the prophet, old Lucy and old Joe, the Abraham of this new dispensation?"
"Oh, yes, I knew them. Old Lucy was in her dotage at that time; she seemed a harmless old woman. Old Joe sold blessings, so much a head, always in the same style -- that my sons should be emperors and my daughters mothers of queens, and that everybody should have as many children as there was sands on the shore. Old Joe was an old tramp."
"How about Dr. Bennett?"
"Bennett was very smart and clever, but a thorough scoundrel. Never could find out the reason of his downfall. Mrs. Pratt was a most excellent, pure woman, but
510 THE PROPHET OF PALMYRA.
the fact that Bennett visited her sometimes, was used by Joseph to ruin her character. He had his spies everywhere, and if a woman refused him, he sent his fellows out to whisper stories around about her."
"What do you remember about Emma's relations to the revelation on celestial marriage?"
"Well, I told you that she used to complain to me about Joseph's escapades whenever she met me on the street. She spoke repeatedly about that pretended revelation. She said once: 'The revelation says I must submit or be destroyed. Well, I guess I have to submit.' On another day she said: 'Joe and I have settled our troubles on the basis of equal rights.' . . . Emma was a full accomplice of Joseph's crimes. She was a large, coarse woman, as deep a woman as there was, always full of schemes and smooth as oil. They were worthy of each other, she was not a particle better than he."
"You think that Joseph was an infidel?"
"Yes, that he was I have not the slightest doubt. What proofs have I? Well, my general and intimate knowledge of his character. And is it possible that a man who ascribes all kinds of impudent lies to the Lord, could have been anything else but an infidel?"
"Did you ever see the celebrated peepstone?"
"No. I never saw it and I never saw Joseph giving a revelation. But Hyrum told me once that Joseph, in his younger years, used to hunt for hidden treasures with a peepstone."
"Was Joseph a habitual drunkard?"
"I don't believe he was. I only saw him drunk once. I found Joseph and Hyrum at a place where they kept quantities of wine. I remember that Joseph drank heavily, and that I talked to Hyrum begging him to take his brother away, but that was the only time I saw the prophet drunk."
"Have you ever heard of the old woman that was drowned in the interest of the church?"
"I have heard of a woman being put aside. They said she had been brought over the river and buried on an island near the shore or on the other shore, near the water. But at that time I did not believe a word of rumors of this kind, and did not investigate them."
"Did you ever hear of abortion being practiced in Nauvoo?"
"Yes. There was some talk about Joseph getting no issue from all the women he had intercourse with. Dr. Foster spoke to me about the fact. But I don't remember what was told about abortion. If I heard things of the kind, I didn't believe in them at that time. Joseph was very free in his talk about his women. He told me one day of a certain girl and remarked, that she had given him more pleasure than any girl he had ever enjoyed. I told him it was horrible to talk like this."
"What do you know about robbery being practiced for the benefit of the church?"
"That sort of business was kept very secret. Hyrum had once a very fine, bran[d] new blue suit, and people told me the suit was the produce of the spoils of the Gentiles. I have no doubt, that Hyrum played an important role in this department of church affairs. I think I can prove it. There was one day a 'little council' called in Hyrum's office, and I was invited to come. Joseph called at my house and took me to the little council. Eight or ten were present, all leaders in the church. Hyrum made a long argument -- said he: 'The Missourians have robbed, plundered and murdered our people. We should take our revenge on them as thoroughly as possible, and regain what we have lost in Missouri. The simplest way would be if our people would go to Missouri and buy their horses and cattle on credit and then not pay for them; and our merchants would go to St. Louis and take their large quantities of goods on credit and then, when the notes became due, simply not pay them; our people always go there and pay for everything. That's foolish, very foolish, but it is just the thing that, for instance, Brother Law is doing. He has paid thousands of dollars there; but get all these things from them for nothing, horses, cattle and goods, that would help the people wonderfully. Our merchants should transfer all they have -- not only their stock in trade, but their lots, houses and farms, too; to their wives and friends in general, so that the creditors could not get a cent out of them.' Some of those present applauded the proposition, and said that would be only fair. I said nothing. Then somebody said: Brother Law has said nothing. I said: 'This seems to me not
512 THE PROPHET OF PALMYRA.
only wrong and unjust, but at the same time very ridiculous, because it is not practicable. You cannot buy horses and cattle on credit without having established a credit by long trading; and as to St. Louis, I was always of the opinion that the people there had been very good to the Mormons. So you would ruin your friends to injure your enemies, punish the innocent to hurt the guilty. The St. Louis merchants were surely not the men that persecuted you in Missouri. Hyrum got up, furious. ready to attack me. But Joseph rose and said: 'I move that we adjourn this meeting. Brother Law has said his opinion, and that is all you wanted from him.' Joseph went home with me and on the way he told me that he shared my views fully, and that I had exactly spoken his mind. He praised me very much for the justice and honesty of my views. 'I did not talk,' said he, 'since you took the very words from my lips.' I need not tell you, that this was diplomacy on Joseph's part, but Hyrum hated me from that moment, and never forgave me for what I had said at that little council. But Hyrum hated me for another reason."
"Was that in the robbery line, too?"
"No. That was from a political reason. It was because I opposed him in the dirty political trade he made with Hoge against Walker. Walker had bought Joseph's influence by declaring that the city charter of Nauvoo secured the habeas corpus. I stood by them when Joseph promised that he should have nine out of every ten Mormon votes. But Hyrum went to Galena to meet the Democratic convention there, and promised the support of the church to Mr. Hoge for a seat in Congress. Yes, General Hyrum Smith was to sit in Congress next year. Saturday came and I went to Hyrum and had a talk with him. He said he would tell the people to vote for Hoge, and I said I would oppose him on the stand. He made objections but finally had to consent to my speaking on the stand in this matter. When it came to the speaking in public Hyrum did all he could to obstruct me by putting longwinded speakers on the stand, one after the other, so that it was nearly dark when I got on the stand. Now, I showed the people how shamefully they had treated Mr. Walker, and I made such an impression that they began to shout for Mr. Walker.
Then, Hyrum jumped on the stand and declared that he had a revelation from the Lord, that the people should vote for Mr. Hoge. This was Saturday. Sunday morning I went to Joseph and told him what Hyrum had done. We went over to the meeting and Joseph told Hyrum what I had said. Hyrum insisted that he had had a revelation. Oh, said Joseph, if this is a revelation, then it is all right, and he went on the stand and said to the people: 'My office is so high, that I could not think of bothering the Lord with political affairs. But brother Hyrum has had a revelation -- when the Lord speaks let the people obey.'"
"Had you ever some dramatic scene with Joseph about the difficulties between you and him?"
"He avoided me. But once I got hold of him in the street and told him in very plain terms what I thought of him. I said: 'You are a hypocrite and a vulgar scoundrel, you want to destroy me.' Instead of knocking me down, which he could have done very easily, being so much bigger and stronger than I, he went away hurriedly without uttering a single word."
"Were you in Nauvoo when the Expositor was destroyed?"
"No. I was in Carthage. There was a meeting at the court house, many people were present and it was considered what should be done regarding the Mormons. I think Stephen A. Douglas was present at the meeting. My friends urged me to come to Carthage with the press immediately. No conclusion was arrived at, however. The same evening we went home and when we came to Nauvoo we rode over our type, that was scattered in the street, and over our broken office furniture. The work of Joseph's agents had been very complete; it had been done by a mob of about 200. The building, a new, pretty brick structure, had been perfectly gutted, not a bit had been left of anything."
"Had anything been prepared for a second number?"
"Yes, the inside of number two had been set up. Seeing what had been done, I took my abode, for safety's sake, at my brother's. I left Nauvoo on a large new steam ferry-boat, which transported me, my family and my brother to Burlington, Iowa. While we had people packing our things in my house, we rode, my brother and
514 THE PROPHET OF PALMYRA.
I, through the city in an open carriage, to show that we were not afraid."
"Did yon ever see Joseph again after you left Nauvoo?"
"Only once. I saw him in Carthage at the trial. We spoke not to each other and he seemed greatly preoccupied. We left Nauvoo on the second day after the passing of the ordinance which put the press under the absolute will of Joseph and his creatures. This ordinance gave them power to imprison and fine us at liberty."
"What opinion have you of Governor Ford?"
"Ford made a good impression upon me; he was surely a good, straight man."
"What kind of a life did the prophet lead in Nauvoo?"
"Joseph lived in great plenty. He entertained his friends and had a right good time. He was a jolly fellow. I don't think that in his family tea and coffee were used, but they were served to the strangers when he entertained as tavern-keeper. At least, I suppose so. The Smiths had plenty of money. Why, when I came to Nauvoo I paid Hyrum $700 in gold for a barren lot and at that rate they sold any amount of lots after having got the land very cheap, to be sure. Their principle was to weaken a man in his purse, and in this way take power and influence from him. Weaken everybody, that was their motto. Joseph's maxim was, when you have taken all the money a fellow has got, you can do with him whatever you please."
"What became of Dr. Bennett?"
"The last thing I heard of him was that he went up the river with a large lot of fancy fowls, a speculation of his."
"What do you know about the revelation on polygamy?"
"The way I heard of it was that Hyrum gave it to me to read. I was never in a High Council where it was read, all stories to the contrary notwithstanding. Hyrum gave it to me in his office, told me to take it home and read it and then be careful with it and bring it back again. I took it home, and read it and showed it to my wife. She and I were just turned upside down by it; we did not know what to do. I said to my wife, that I would take it over to Joseph and ask him about it. I did not
believe that he would acknowledge it, and I said so to my wife. But she was not of my opinion. She felt perfectly sure that he would father it. When I came to Joseph and showed him the paper, he said: 'Yes, that is a genuine revelation.' I said to the prophet: 'But in the Book of Doctrine and Covenants there is a revelation just the contrary of this.' 'Oh,' said Joseph, 'that was given when the church was in its infancy, then it was all right to feed the people on milk, but now it is necessary to give them strong meat.' We talked a long time about it, finally our discussion became very hot and we gave it up. From that time on the breach between us became more open and more decided every day, after having been prepared for a long time. But the revelation gave the finishing touch to my doubts and showed me clearly that he was a rascal. I took the revelation back to my wife and told her that Joseph had acknowledged it. 'That is what I fully expected.' said she. 'What shall we do?' said I. She advised me to keep still try to sell my property quietly for what I could get. But I did not follow her advice. My heart was burning. I wanted to tread upon the viper."
"You returned the revelation to Hyrum?"
"Yes, I did. I was astonished to see in your book that the revelation was such a long document. I remember DISTINCTLY that the original given me by Hyrum was MUCH SHORTER. It covered not more than two or three pages of foolscap. The contents are substantially the same, but there was not that theological introduction. The thing consisted simply in the command of doing it, and that command was restricted to the High Priesthood and to virgins and widows. But as to Joseph, himself, the Lord's chosen servant, it was restricted to virgins only, to clean vessels, from which to procure a pure seed to the Lord."
"In what manner would Joseph succeed to keep you and others from knowing what was going on behind the curtain?"
"Marks, Yves, I and some others had, for a long time, no idea of the depravity that was going on. This was simply the result of a very smart system adopted by the prophet and his intimate friends like Brigham Young, Kimball and others. They first tried a man to see
516 THE PROPHET OF PALMYRA.
whether they could make a criminal tool out of him. When they felt that he would not be the stuff to make a criminal of, they kept him outside the inner circle and used him to show him up as an example of their religion, as a good, virtuous, universally respected brother."
"Was Joseph a coward?"
"Yes, he was a coward and so was Hyrum. You see it already in the fact that when I attacked him on the street with most violent words, he did not dare to answer a word."
"How did the prophets dress?"
"Joe and Hyrum were always dressed well, generally in blue, sometimes in black. Joseph was a fine man, no doubt of it."
"How was it with Joseph's wrestling?"
"The forces of the prophet in this line have been exaggerated. My brother Wilson wrestled once with him and he laid him down on the floor like a baby. Wilson could throw a lead bar much farther than Joe could. But Wilson was an uncommonly fine and strong man, over 6 feet. He could hold a weight of 56 pounds on his little finger and write his name on the wall in big letters. Joseph was flabby; he never worked at anything and that probably made him so. Rockwell did everything about the house."
"Had you any idea that there was a sort of conspiracy to kill Joseph in jail?"
"No. I had no idea, no idea. I had been ruined by that man; all my property was gone; all my dearest illusions destroyed, and through my connection with him I got a black spot on my life, which will pain me to the very last minute of my existence. But I tell you (The old gentlemen buried his head in his hands and when he removed them, his eyes were wet.) I tell you, no, if I had had any idea of any such scheme, I would have taken steps to stop it. I have always considered the killing of Joseph Smith a wrong action. It is my opinion that he deserved his fate fully, much more than thousands of men who paid the penalty of their crime to Judge Lynch -- but I would have preferred that he should have been tried by court and sent to the Penitentiary."
"Did you practice medicine in Nauvoo, Doctor?"
"Only occasionally. I came to Nauvoo with money.
I had a mill in Canada, already. Joseph said to me: 'You must not be a doctor here. Buy lands, build mills and keep a store to keep you running. As to practicing and not making anything, let some Gentiles come and do that. You look out for business and profit.' I practiced, however, occasionally. Once John Taylor was taken with a very malignant fever. He was treated by his regular physician. I think Dr. Wells was his name. He grew worse and worse. At last I was called in, saw him and prescribed for him. They followed my prescriptions and he got better. This is, I believe, the worst thing I did in Nauvoo or anywhere else!" -- Dr. Law followed this joke with a chuckle, so as to give me to understand that it was a sin to cure so great a rascal.
"What kind of men were the other editors of the Expositor?"
"Dr. Foster was a fine physician and surgeon and a very agreeable, lively, interesting man. The Higbees had been very good friends of Joseph in Missouri and had served his cause there with a kind of boyish enthusiasm. Frank died long ago and Chauncey only lately. He had studied law, was an attorney and sat on the bench for a while. He was quite intelligent. The father of the Higbees had been an excellent man. He died rather suddenly, and from that time there was something between his boys and Joseph."
"What kind of a physician was Dr. Bennett?"
"He was a physician of the old school. I could not say whether he was very successful as a doctor or not. He was so much occupied for Joseph, that he had no time to attend the sick."
"Did Joseph pay any salary to this Bismarck of his?"
"I don't know, but in that honeymoon of favor, which he enjoyed in his first Nauvoo time, Joseph gave him surely all he wanted."
"Did you ever hear Joseph speak of his money?"
"Oh yes, he used to boast of his riches. He expressed the opinion, that it was all important that he should be rich. I heard him say myself, 'it would be better that every man in the church should lose his last cent, than that I should fall and go down.'"
518 THE PROPHET OF PALMYRA.
GOVERNOR WEST AND THE POLYGAMISTS,
This page not yet transcribed.
520 THE PROPHET OF PALMYRA.
This page not yet transcribed.
This page not yet transcribed.
522 THE PROPHET OF PALMYRA.
This page not yet transcribed.
This page not yet transcribed.
524 THE PROPHET OF PALMYRA.
This page not yet transcribed.
This page not yet transcribed.
526 THE PROPHET OF PALMYRA.
This page not yet transcribed.
This page not yet transcribed.
528 THE PROPHET OF PALMYRA.
Mr. Cannon's education and intelligence if he went about it earnestly he would have very little difficulty in ascertaining what the law was.
Then followed for a few minutes a general conversation, several of the prisoners gathering round each of the visitors and plying them with questions. "What must we do with our wives and children?" "Who can tell us what the courts require?" "Judge Zane requires one thing, Judge Powers another; whom are we to obey?" "Am I expected to declare my children illegitimate?" etc., to all of which there was but one answer. As one of them mournfully remarked: "We have got to give in or stay here for the balance of our lives."
The Governor and party, after good-natured adieus, left the penitentiary at 3 :30 p. m., arriving at the Walker House an hour later. Thus ended a kindly meant but fruitless mission.
I hereby certify that the foregoing is a correct report of the interview at the Utah Penitentiary between Gov. West, Lorenzo Snow, and others. It is literal so far as it purports to be; and the balance of it (that which is put in narrative form) is a fair and correct condensation of the same. I am stenographic reporter of the Third Judicial District Court of Utah Territory.
A. S. PATTERSON.(Governor West also affirmed the correctness of this interview in a telegram to the Hon. R. N, Barskin. -- ED. TRIBUNE.)
A CHARACTERISTIC DOCUMENT.An apology may be considered due for the introduction into these pages of such an indecent and disgusting document as the following. Yet the public have a right to know just what Mormonism is and was during the days of its founders. To supply this knowledge truly end faithfully is one of the purposes of this work; and we therefore feel justified in adding what follows to the already vast accumulation.
Whilst sojourning in Northwest Missouri, the Prophet issued at the Stake of Far West, a paper called the
Elders' Journal. It was designed to be and was accepted as the church organ, and was controlled and edited by Joseph Smith himself, though it is understood that Sidney Rigdon was a regular writer for its pages. Which of these two is responsible for the article in question, we have now no means of knowing other than is contained within itself.
During that period, only a short time previous to the breaking up and expulsion from that State, there was much dissension and insubordination among the brethren, both in the West; and in Ohio. A number were rebellious and were cut off -- turned over to the buffetings of Satan -- to use a familiar expression of the period. Among those rebellious ones were the individuals named below -- two of whom had been editors of the church organs, two were of the Twelve Apostles, and the others had held high positions.
In this Elders' Journal -- date not now at hand -- appeared the following, which is given nearly entire; and because of its disgusting character, we hide it away in this Appendix. Its genuineness is not to be disputed, as reference to that journal will show.
It will be remembered that Smith and Rigdon and their followers were all this time posing as Saints of the Most High, and that the first named claimed to be commissioned from Heaven to do a great work for the Salvation of the world, while Sidney was to aid him. This is one of the ways they adopted for doing it.
DISSENTERS AND PRIESTS
530 THE PROPHET OF PALMYRA.
the priests of all denominations, for there are no exceptions to be made; for, to say the least of them, they have pleasure in lies; but in the truth they have no pleasure, neither have they any part. Within the last six months, they have been making one of their greatest efforts. The church in accordance with her laws, excluded from her fellowship a set of creatures whose behavior would have disgraced a Heathen Temple; and as might have been expected, they had recourse to the foulest lying and basest slander in order to hide their iniquity. This [seem]ed as a favorable opportunity, to the persecuting priests and their adherents. They gathered round them in swarms, like the flies round Aesop's fox[es] and opened both their eyes and ears to enjoy a good feast of lies, which pleased them more abundantly than any other sound could, except the voice of Beelzebub the Prince of the whole brood; his voice would doubtless have been more delightful to them than an angel of light to the ear of a Prophet of the living God. All these pious soul's papers were put into requisition; and this gang of [horse-]thieves and drunkards were called upon immediately, to write their lies on paper, and let them print them, so that all the world might have as great a feast of lies as they had. Accordingly, to work they all went with one accord; and after this mighty mountain of bustle and human folly had filled its full time of gestation, behold! and lo! it brought forth a mouse from the bowels of Mr. Warren Parrish, and the priest's papers have flown abroad to tell the world of it! No animal, we presume has been produced in the last century, which caused more agony, pain and groaning, than this wonder of modern times; for during the time of gestation, and a long time before the birth thereof, he kept up such an unusual groaning and grunting, that all the devil's whelps in Geauga and Cuyahoga counties, [of] Ohio were running together, to [see] what was about to come forth from the womb of granny Parrish. He had made such an awful fuss about what was conceived in him, that night after night and day after day he poured out his agony before all living, as they saw proper to assemble. For a rational being to have looked at him and heard him groan and grunt, and see him sweat and struggle, would have supposed that his womb was as much swollen
as was Rebecca's when the angel told her that there were two nations there. In all this grunting business he was aided by Leonard Rich; who, however, was generally so drunk that he had to support himself by something, to keep him from falling down; but then it was all for conscience sake. Also a pair of young black-legs; one of them a [John] F. Boynton; a man notorious for nothing but ignorance, ill-breeding and impudence; and the other by the name of Luke Johnson, whose notoriety consisted, if information be correct, in stealing a barrel of flour from his father and other acts of a similar kind. Thus aided, Mamma Parrish made a monstrous effort to bring forth; and when the full time of gestation was come, the wonder came forth, and the priests who were in waiting, seized the animal at its birth, rolled it up in their papers and sent it abroad to the world. But Rich, Boynton, and Johnson, in the character of midwives, waited around the bed of Mamma Parrish to get away the afterbirth; but awful to relate! they no sooner got it away than Mamma expired, and the poor bantling was left on the hands of the priests to protect and nurse it, without any other friend. A short time after the delivery of granny Parrish, a little ignorant blockhead, by the name of Stephen Burnett, whose heart was so set on money, that he would at any time sell his soul for fifty dollars, and then think [that] he had made an excellent bargain; and who had got wearied of the restraints of religion, and could not bear to have his purse taxed, hearing of the delivery of granny Parrish, ran to Kirtland, got into the Temple, and tried with [all] his power to bring forth something, nobody knows what, nor did he know himself; but he thought as granny Parrish had been fruitful, so must he; but after some terrible gruntings and finding nothing coming but an abortion, rose up in his anger, proclaimed all revelation lies, and ran home to his daddy with all his might, not leaving even an egg behind, and there sat down and rejoiced in the great victory he had obtained over the great God, and all the holy angels; how he had discovered them liars and impostors.
There was also a kind of secondary attendant, that waited upon this granny of modern libels, whose name is Sylvester Smith; in his character there is something notorious --
532 THE PROPHET OF PALMYRA.
-- and that is, that at a certain time in Kirtland, he signed a libel, in order to avoid the punishment due to his crimes; [and] in so doing, has disqualified himself for taking an oath before any court of justice in the United States. [That libel can be forthcoming at any time, if called for.] Thus armed and attended, this modern libeler has gone forth to the assistance of the Priests, to help them fight against the great God and against His work. How successful they will be, future events will determine. A few words on the history of this Priest's help-mate may not be amiss. He went into Kirtland, Ohio some few years since to live, and hired his boarding in the house of one Zerah Cole. He had not, however, been there but a short time, until Mr. Cole began to make a grievous complaint about his taking unlawful freedom with his (Cole's) wife. Parrish was, accordingly brought to an account before the authorities of the church for his crime. The fact was established, that such unlawful conduct had actually taken place between Parrish and Cole's wife. Parrish, finding he could not escape, confessed, pleaded for forgiveness like a criminal at the bar, promising in the most solemn manner, that if the church would forgive him, he never would do so again -- and he was accordingly forgiven. For some considerable time there were no outbreakings with him, at least, that was known; but a train of circumstances began at last to fix guilt on his head, in another point of light. He had the handling of large sums of money; and it was soon discovered, that after the money was counted and laid away, and came to be used and counted again, that there was always a part of it missing. This being the case repeatedly, and those who owned it knowing that there was no other person but Parrish who had access, [to it], suspicion of necessity, fixed itself on him. At last the matter went to such length[s], that a search-warrant was called for, to search his trunk. The warrant was demanded at the office of F. G. Williams, Esq., but he refused to grant it; some difficulty arose on account of it. The warrant [was], however, at last obtained, but too late; for the trunk in question was taken out of the way, and could not be found; but as to his guilt, little doubt can be entertained, by [those] acquainted with the circumstances.
After this affair, Parrish began to discover that there
was great iniquity in the church, particularly in the editor of this paper, and began to make a public excitement about it; but in a short time he had an opportunity of proving to the world the truth of his assertion. A poor, persecuting booby, by the name of Grandison Newell, and who, in fact, was scarcely a grade above the beast[s] that perish, went and swore out a state's warrant against the editor of this paper, -- saying that he was afraid of his life. In so doing, he swore a palpable lie, and everybody knew it, and so did the court, and decided accordingly. One of the witnesses called in behalf of Mr. Newell was Warren Parrish.
Newell had no doubt but great things would be proven by Parrish. When the day of trial, however, came, Parrish was not forthcoming. Newell's council demanded an attachment to bring him forthwith, and accordingly, Parrish was brought. But behold the disappointment! when Parrish was called, instead of fulfilling Newell's expectation, when asked by the lawyers, "Do you know of any thing in the character or conduct of Mr. Smith which is unworthy of his profession[s] as a man of God?" the answer was, "I do not." The countenance of Newell fell; and if he had possessed one grain of human feeling, would went off with shame; but of this, there is about as much in him, as [there is] in other beasts. In giving the answer Parrish did, he has given the lie to all [that] he has said, both before the since; and his letter, that is now going the rounds in the Priest's paper[s], is an outrageous pack of lies, or else he took a false oath at Painesville. [and] Take it which way you will, and the Priests have but a feeble help-mate in Granny Parrish! The truth is, at the time Parrish was called on to give testimony, in Painesville, he had not got[ten] his nerves so strengthened, as to take a false oath, and though he could lie most insufferably, still he had some fear about swearing lies. But no doubt if he were called upon now, he would swear lies as fast as tell them; since he denies all revelation, all angels, all spirit, [etc.,] and has taken the liar Sylvester Smith by the hand and become his companion. Some time after Parrish had given in his testimony at Painesville, he began again to rail. The church would hear it no longer, and cut him off. A short time after he was cut off, he plead with them to receive him back again, and in order
534 THE PROPHET OF PALMYRA.
to get back, he confessed all he had said to be false, asked forgiveness for it, and by much pleading and confession and promising reformation, was received back again. Thus once under oath, and another time voluntarily, for sake of getting back into the church, he confessed himself, that all that he had said, and all that he had written, were falsehoods; for his letter that is going the rounds in the papers, is no more than a reiteration of what he had before declared, and denied himself. This is the poor, pitiful resort, then, of the Priests, in order to stop the progress of the truth. But this is not all concerning Mamma Parrish. The next business we find him in, is, robbing the Kirtland Bank of twenty five thousand dollars at one time, and large sums at others. The managers had in the mean time appointed him as Cashier, and F. G. Williams as President, and they managed the institution with a witness. Parrish [had stole] the paper out of the institution, and went to buying Bogus or counterfeit coin with it, becoming a partner with the Tinker's Creek black-legs, and in company with Julius Granger, in buying different kinds of property with it, and devoting it to his own use, and soon entirely destroyed the institution. He was aided by his former associates to take his paper, and go and buy Bogus with it, from the Tinker's Creek black-legs, and on the way coming home, they would way-lay Parrish and his gang, and rob them, so they would lose the Bogus money at last; Parrish sold his horse and carriage for Bogus money, and behold, when he came home and opened his box of Bogus, it was sand and stones. Parrish was somewhat chagrined at this, so he gets out a state's warrant, takes his coadjutor, Luke Johnson, and off to Tinker's Creek they go, -- Johnson as [a] constable; the pretended object was to take the man who had them (the horse and carriage), one for stealing them, and the others as stolen property. Coming to the place where they were, Johnson takes after the man and drives him into a barn. Parrish in the mean time, takes the horse and carriage and clear to Kirtland with it. And when Johnson had pretendedly tried to take the man, until he supposed Parrish had got off with the horse and carriage, he ceased the pursuit and went home. For this, Parrish was taken by the Sheriff of Cuyahoga county, his hands bound behind his back, and
held in custody until he paid two hundred dollars, and if he had not paid it, he would have stood a chance for the workhouse. Thus, O ye Priests, what a blessed company of associates you have got, to help you on the work of persecution. You ought to rejoice greatly at the venerable addition [which you have added to your numbers. No] doubt they are men as much after your own hearts as ever David was after the heart of God; and you, Mr. Sunderland in particular, you have, no doubt, in Warren Parrish an helpmate after your own image. and your own likeness. Congratulate yourself greatly, [for] having obtained a man after your [own] heart to help you to lie and persecute. O ye Priests! but you are a heaven-born race! and that all the world may well know, by the company you keep; you have got Warren Parrish for [an] associate, a man notorious for lying, for adultery, for stealing, for swindling, and for villainy of all kinds, but for nothing else; are you not happily yoked together with believers, precisely of your own character? -- Surely you are, since it is company of your own choosing. For our parts, we shall consider it an honor to be belied and persecuted by such debauchees; in it we will rejoice as long as we have breath, knowing if these men speak well of us that we are not doing the will of God, for the friendship of such is enmity against God, and the friendship of God is enmity to such. And [there], O ye Priests, we leave you with your holy company, until it shall be said to you all, "Depart ye workers of iniquity, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels."
There is another character, who has figured somewhat in the affairs of Granny Parrish -- [a] Doctor W. A. Cowdery. This poor, pitiful beggar came to Kirtland a few years since, with a large family, nearly naked and destitute. It was really painful to see this pious Doctor's (for such he professed to be) rags flying, when he walked the streets; he was taken in by us in this pitiful condition, and we put him into the printing office, and gave him enormous wages, not because he could earn it, or because we needed his service, but merely out of pity; we knew the man's incompetency all the time, and his ignorance and inability to fill any place in the literary world, with credit to himself or [to] his employers; but notwithstanding all this, out of pure compassion, we gave
536 THE PROPHET OF PALMYRA.
him a place, and afterwards hired him to edit the paper in that place, and gave him double as much as he could have gotten anywhere else. The subscribers, many at least, complained to us of his inability to edit the paper, and there was much dissatisfaction about it, but still we retained him in our employ merely that he might not have to be supported as a pauper. By our means, he got himself and family decently clothed and got supplied with all the comforts of life, and it was nothing more nor less than supporting himself and family as paupers; for his services were actually not worth one cent to us, but on the contrary, was an injury; the owners of the establishment could have done all the work which he did, themselves, just as well without him as with him. In reality, it was a piece of pauperism; but now, reader, mark the sequel; it is a fact of public notoriety, that as soon as he found himself and family in possession of decent apparel, he began to use all his influence to our injury, both in his sayings and doings. We have often heard it remarked by slave-holders, that you should not make a negro equal with you, or he would try to walk over you; we have found the saying verified in this pious Doctor, for truly [this] niggardly spirit manifested itself in all its meanness, even in his [own] writings (and they were very mean at best). He threw out foul insinuations, which no man who has one particle of noble feeling would have condescended to, but such was the conduct of this master of manners; nor was this niggardly course confined to himself, but his sons also were found engaged in the same mean business. His sons, in violation of every sacred obligation, were found among the number of Granny Parrish's men, using all their influence, which however was nothing, but they were none the less guilty for that; for if it had been ever so great it would have been used to destroy the benefactors of their family [who raised their family] from [rags] poverty and wretchedness.
One thing we have learned, that there are negroes who wear white skins, as well as those who wear black ones. Granny Parrish [had] a few others who acted as lackies, such as Martin Harris, Joseph Coe, Cyrus P. Smalling, etc., but they are so far beneath contempt, that a notice of them would be too great a sacrifice for a gentleman to make. Having said so much, we leave this hopeful company,
in the new bond of union which they have formed with the Priests.
While they were held under restraint[s] by the church, and had to behave with a degree of propriety, at least, the Priests manifested the greatest opposition to them; but no sooner were they excluded from the fellowship of the church, and gave loose to all kind[s] of abominations, swearing, lying, cheating, swindling, drinking, with every species of debauchery, then the Priests began to extol them to the heavens for their piety and virtue, and [made] friends with them, and [called] them the finest fellows in the world. Is it any wonder, then, that we say of the Priests of modern days, that they are of Satan's own making, and are of their father the Devil? Nay, verily, nay, for no being but a scandalous sycophant and base hypocrite would say [otherwise. . .] Therefore, until we have more evidence than we have now, we shall always think, when we see men associating with scoundrels, that they themselves are scoundrels; and there we shall leave them for the present, firmly believing, that when the day of decision [has] come, [that] we shall see all the priests who adhere to the sectarian religion[s] of the day, with all their followers, without one exception, receive their portion with the Devil and his angels.
MRS. EMMA SMITH'S LETTER.We have frequently expressed the opinion that Mrs. Emma Hale Smith never had any confidence in the validity of her husband's claim as "Prophet, Seer, and Revelator." At the time of her death in Nauvoo, a few years ago, her son Joseph and his friends, of the "Reconstructed Branch" of the church, had much to say of her adherence to the faith, and of her having died in full belief of the truths of Mormonism.
It is true that in all the later years of her life, and since that son had arrived at manhood and had been placed in the new Presidential office, she had lived in friendly relations with him and his followers. How far this condition of affairs may have changed her opinions is not known; but certain it is, that in her widowhood, and while the son was still a boy, and with no aspirations
538 THE PROPHET OF PALMYRA.
for a prophet's career, her feelings were otherwise. She was a very quiet and unobtrusive woman, yet on many occasions when questioned on the subject, she is reported to have expressed her unbelief in the sacred character of her husband's mission.
The year 1845 was one of turbulence at Nauvoo. Among all the aspirants for the prophet's mantle, Brigham Young was the successful one, and was preparing to lead his followers to Oregon or California. In the New York Sun of about Dec. 1, 1845, was published the following letter from Mrs. Smith, which goes far to substantiate the correctness of our opinion:
NAUVOO (Ill.), Nov. 20th, 1845.To the Editor of the New York Sun:
SIR: -- I hope to be excused for addressing, for the first time in my life, a letter to the Editor of a newspaper, and this I have been induced to do from seeing the letter of General Arlington Bennett, published in the newspapers, urging the Mormon people to remove to the Pacific Ocean, and advocating the cause of the tyrants, who have seized on the government of the Mormon Church. This church, such as it is, was formed by my lamented husband who was martyred for its sake, and whether true or false, has laid down his life for its belief!
I am left here, sir, with a family of children to attend to, without any means of giving them an education for there is not a school in the city, nor is it intended there shall be any here, or at any other place, where the men, who now govern this infatuated, simple-minded people, have sway. I have not the least objection that these petty tyrants remove to California or any other remote place, out of the world if they wish; for they will never be of any service to the Mormons, or the human family, no matter where they go. Their object is to keep the people over whom they rule in the greatest ignorance, and most abject religious bondage, if these poor confiding creatures remove with them, they will die in the wilderness! -- The laws of the United States are quite good enough for me and my children, and my settled intention is to remain where I am, take care of my property, and if I cannot educate my children here, send them to New York or New England for that purpose.
Many of the Mormons will, no doubt, remove in the spring, and many more will remain here: and nothing would give me greater pleasure than to have a mixed society in Nauvoo, as in other cities, and all exclusive religious distinctions abolished.
I must now say that I never for a moment believed in what my husband called his apparitions or revelations, as I thought him laboring under a diseased mind; yet, they may all be true, as a Prophet is seldom without credence or honor, excepting in his own family or country; but as my conviction is to the contrary, I shall educate my children in a different faith, and teach them to obey and reverence the laws and institutions of their country. Shall I not, sir, be protected in these resolutions against the annoyance of the men I now oppose, for they will no doubt seek my life?
What object Gen. Arlington Bennett has in advocating the cause of these tyrants I am unable to understand, for he assured me when at my house, that he had not the remotest intention of connecting himself in any manner with them, much less of removing with them to the Pacific Ocean. But this is a strange world; and I would not be surprised if they had offered to anoint and crown him King or Emperor in the west! As I have something more to say, I will take the liberty to write you another letter.
With great respect,
I am, sir, your humble servant,
THE MORMONS OR LATTER-DAY SAINTS.
540 THE PROPHET OF PALMYRA.
this Appendix, from his own standpoint. He accordingly prepared and forwarded the paper which follows -- to which a place is herein cheerfully given. The intelligent reader and all persons acquainted with the history of Mormonism will readily discover its many exaggerations, erroneous statements and inferences, and perversion of facts, and be able to correct them. It can hardly be expected that Mr. Johnson will live to realize the extent of the monstrous delusion under which he and his many kindred in Utah have spent their lives, and the infamy which the world accords to its originators and abettors. *).
AUTOBIOGRAPHY.On the 18th day of April, 1817, I was born of Puritan parents, in the then wilds of western New York, -- Pomfret, -- Chautuqua Co., my parents having recently emigrated from Grafton, Mass. I am one of sixteen children, born of my rnother, to my fczther.
In the winter of 1830-31, being then 13 yearsold, I firsf saw the so-called "Mormon Elders," who came to our farm-house, with their strange doctrine and the Book of Mormon. My mother, elder brothers and sisters, and many of our neighbors, were believers; and in the spring of 1832, our family removed to Kirtland, Ohio, where I first became acquainted with Joseph Snlith, the prophet, his parents, brothers, and sisters. At that time our house for public meetings, 16 x 24, was ample for the Sunday congregation. From the time I first saw him to the period of his death, I lived in most friendly relations with the prophet and his kindred; and will here state that I never saw in him an ungenerous or dishonest action. In 1837 a complication of civil, religious, and political difficulties caused a determination to abandon Kirtland, and go to the new home in Missouri. The hegira began and finished up with the remaining poor, who went in a large body callect the Kirtland Camp " in 1838, after finishing and dedicating the temple.
Ere we had reached the desired haven, the cruel order of Gov. Boggs had been proclaimed, and many of our people were fleeing, for a more hospitable country, for their lives, and were kindly received by the people of Illinois; many of whom were noble, high-minded, and generous people.
* Since the foregoing was written a letter from St. George informs us that Mr. Johnson had emigrated to Ariqona and is now dead.
In 1839 Nauvoo was founded, at Commerce, and many of the exiles gathered there. Change of location and climate, exhaustion and poverty, made this then unhealthy region more deadly still, -- all were more or less sick, and many died.
I soon went as physician and nurse, and so acted until I was prostrated with fever. I was at the laying of the foundation and capstone of the temple -- was afterward imprisoned therein, and still later saw its destruction by fire. I was P. M. at Macedonia (now Webster) and kept a store also. When Gov. Ford with State troops was in Carthage, Col. A. W. Babbitt and myself went over to talk with him. The Governor told us his plan: to get Joseph and Hyrum Smith to deliver themselves up and go to Carthage jail, and he would then disband the troops and not allow them to march into the city; and asked the Colonel and myself to carry a dispatch to the prophet that night. It was raining and nearly sundown, but we accepted the mission, ordered the buggy and started, but were immediately stopped by the military, who rushed before and around us, threatening our lives if we did not return. Sheriff Backenstos and others endeavored in vain to open our way, and not until the Governor stood on our carriage and loudly commanded a dispersion, were we allowed to go on. Darkness came. We were pursued, but having turned towards La Harpe, when we reached the open prairie, we were saved. All that stormy night in the wet prairie, we traveled, and at daylight found ourselves near Warsaw -- turned our course -- presented the Governor's message -- waited a day, when Joseph and Hyrum Smith, accepting the Governor's promise of protection, started on return with us to Carthage. But meeting the officer sent; to demand the State arms, the party returned to Nauvoo.
Early in spring, after the death of the prophet, while in bed at home in Macedonia, I was awakened and called to the door by some 30 mounted men and told to leave the country within 30 days, -- nor stay at my peril. I asked why, what had I done? and was answered "Nothing;" but that were I permitted to stay, other Mormons would remain, and they were determined to rid the county of all speedily. Unable to dispose of property or gain means, I went meantime to Nauvoo, to gain time;
542 THE PROPHET OF PALMYRA.
was present and bore arms in the fight between the new citizens and so-called posse; was taken prisoner and incarcerated in the temple. Afterward I was permitted my liberty (?) on condition of leaving the State in 12 hours, to which I agreed, There being no ferry boat running, I took the first steamer, which happened to be bound for Galena, and with my family left Illinois. The excitement and exertion consequent upon the rapid transpiration of events brought on a severe attack of fever, and I was prostrate and delirious, and first found myself and family on the levee at the steamer landing at Galena. Finding small chance here for one so destitute, we must needs return by next steamer, and landed at Montrose sick and destitute. Mr. Peck paid my debt to the steamer, and we took first opportunity to remove up the Des Moines river, and in the spring of 1849 arrived at Kanesville (now Council Bluffs); built a storehouse, the first frame building built on the Missouri slope, and started a store, supplying the great overland emigration to Utah and California. In 1850, being in bad health, I crossed the plains to Utah in July, and returned in October greatly improved in health.
In 1852, I, in company with Almon W. Babbitt, established the Council Bluffs Bugle, a weekly democratic newspaper, which was destroyed by fire in 1853, together with my stores and business, taking nearly all I had; but soon another office was in its place, and I published the paper until 1856, and had meantime issued the Omaha Arrow, the first paper published in Nebraska; and also established another office at Crescent City, Iowa, and published the Crescent City Oracle, and in '57 the Council Bluffs Press; and at Wood River Center, Central Nebraska, the Huntsman's Echo was published, and a mercantile supply station established. In autumn of 1858 I (Johnson, Blake & Co.) sent the first train of goods for miners' supplies to the "Cherry Creek" mines, and we built the first house on the new site of Denver City. Being editor of a democratic paper, and not approving the war programme, --I concluded it prudent to leave the frontier, and go to my kindred and people in Utah, which I did in 1861, since which my labors have been divided between horticulture, mercantile and publishing pursuits.
I am now 65 years old, and I have 17 living children and
18 grandchildren -- all a pride and comfort to me. The descendants of my parents, now settled in the Rocky Mountain region, number over 500 -- among whom there is no one profane, a drunkard, a gambler, or a harlot !
THE HEGIRA FROM NAUVOO.Early in February, 1846, the Mormons began crossing the Mississippi River, exiles from Nauvoo, to seek a home in a land of which little was known except that it was a mountain desert; and by the first of March 400 wagons had accumulated a few miles from the river, in Iowa, and in organizations of tens, fifties, and hundreds, officered and ready. Though scantily supplied with even necessaries, the cavalcade started nothwestwards, towards the Rocky Mountains. From inclemency of the weather, and scant supply of teams, the able-bodied, male and female, traveled on foot, and great hardships and much suffering were experienced in the slow toiling progress through snow, mud, and storm, many falling sick on the way over a trackless country across unsettled Iowa.
That the sick might be cared for, and rest given to teams exhausted, two settlements were made on the route, called severally Garden Grove and Mount Pisgah, where rude houses were erected, ground broken, and: crops planted; all teams that were able pushing on, the foremost arriving at Council Bluffs early in June, then occupied by the Pottawattamie Indians. On the 26th of that month, a United States recruiting officer arrived in camp, by order of the President of the United States, asking for the enlistment of a battalion of 500 men to march to California to seize and hold that country, then a Mexican State. This demand was cheerfully responded to, the enlisted men officered, and on the 15th of July commenced their march.
The loss of so large a force from the camp made it impossible to move forward that season. So a location was selected on the west; side of the Missouri river, by consent of the Omaha Indians, who owned that country; houses were built, the prairie sod turned over, and much of late crops planted, ranges for stock selected, men sent into Missouri to obtain grain and provisions for their labor, and all that was possible was done to sustain and feed
544 THE PROPHET OF PALMYRA.
the multitude through the approaching winter. The place was named "Winter Quarters," and before the falling of snow, a city of near 500 rude buildings had been built for dwellings, shops, schools and houses of worship. From toil, hardship and privations of the journey, change of climate and habits, many who had hopefully started upon this pilgrimage were laid to rest upon a high bluff above the rude town; while the graves of others who fell by the way marked the course of their journeying with sad manuments of their religious zeal, and faith in the doctrine this people professed.
This page not yet transcribed.
This page not yet transcribed.
546 THE PROPHET OF PALMYRA.
This page not yet transcribed.
This page not yet transcribed.
548 THE PROPHET OF PALMYRA.
This page not yet transcribed.
This page not yet transcribed.
550 THE PROPHET OF PALMYRA.
This page not yet transcribed.
This page not yet transcribed.
552 THE PROPHET OF PALMYRA.
and the present number of believers in this doctrine, and members of the Church of Latter-Day Saints, called Mormons, reach the enormous number of nearly 300,000, counting all ages, of white population, and representing a property value of over $100,000,000.
In all honesty and fairness, can this people truthfully be called poor, ignorant, indolent, criminal, or unchristian? Judge them by their fruits.