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THE history of the church in the East, from July 25, 1836, to the end of the year, is briefly related by Joseph Smith, as follows:-
"On Monday afternoon, July 25, in company with Sidney Rigdon, Brother Hyrum Smith, and Oliver Cowdery, I left Kirtland, and at seven o'clock the same evening, we took passage on board the steamer Charles Townsend, S. Fox, master, at Fairport, and the next evening. about ten o'clock, we arrived at Buffalo, New York, and took lodgings at the 'Farmers' Hotel.' Here we met with Elders O. Hyde and M. C. Nickerson, the former on his way to Canada, and the latter from that Province.
"To avoid the crowding, fisting, fighting, racing, and rioting of the packets, we took passages on a line boat for Utica, where we arrived about eight o'clock, a. m., of the 29th, just in time to take the railroad car for Schenectady, the first passengers' car on the new road. We were more than six hours traveling eighty miles. The locomotive had hardly stopped before the cry was 'Albany baggage cars start in five minutes.' Amid a scene of confusion, bustle, and crowding, we succeeded, after a good share of scuffling and pulling, in getting our trunks on board the luggage car for Albany, where we arrived the same evening.
"On the 30th, at seven o'clock, a. m., we went on board the steamer John Mason, which took us to the Erie, lying over the bar. While the passengers were stepping off the John Mason, the steamer Rochester passed us. 'Now for a race,'
was the cry from different parts, and a race and try of speed it was; however, as fate or steam power or engine would have it, the Erie, after touching at Catskill and West Point, where the Rochester did not, went into New York a few miles 'ahead.' By such undue pressure of steam the lives of thousands have been sacrificed, and I thanked God that myself and friends were safely landed.
"While here I visited the burnt district-that part of the city where it was estimated fifteen millions of property were consumed by fire on the 16th of December, 1835. . . .
"From New York we continued our journey to Providence, on board a steamer; from thence to Boston, by steam cars, and arrived in Salem, Massachusetts, early in August, where we hired a house, and occupied the same during the month, teaching the people from house to house, and preaching publicly, as opportunity presented; visiting, occasionally, sections of the surrounding country, which are rich in the history of the Pilgrim Fathers of New England, in Indian warfare, religious superstition, bigotry, persecution, and learned ignorance.
"The early settlers of Boston (the Emporium of New England), who had fled from their mother country to avoid persecution and death, soon became so lost to principles of justice and religious liberty as to whip and hang the Baptist and the Quaker, who, like themselves, had fled from tyranny to a land of freedom; and the Fathers of Salem from 1691 to 1693, whipped, imprisoned, tortured, and hung many of their citizens for supposed witchcraft; and quite recently, while boasting of her light and knowledge, of her laws and religion, as surpassed by none on earth, has New England been guilty of burning a Catholic convent in the vicinity of Charleston, and of scattering the inmates to the four winds; yes, in sight of the very spot where the fire of the American Independence was first kindled, where a monument is now erecting in memory of the battle of Bunker Hill, and the fate of the immortal Warren, who bled, who died on those sacred heights, to purchase religious liberty for his country; in sight of this very spot, have the religionists of the nineteenth century demolished a noble brick edifice, hurling
its inhabitants forth upon a cold, unfeeling world for protection and subsistence.
"Well did the Savior say concerning such, 'By their fruits you shall know them.' And if the wicked mob who destroyed the Charleston convent, and the cool, calculating religious lookers on, who inspired their hearts with deeds of infamy, do not arise, and redress the wrong, and restore the injured fourfold, they in turn will receive of the measure they have meted out till the just indignation of a righteous God is satisfied. When will man cease to war with man, and wrest from him his sacred rights of worshiping [worshipping] his God according as his conscience dictates? Holy Father, hasten the day. . . .
"While here Brothers Brigham Young and L. C. Johnson arrived. Brother Young had been through New York, Vermont, and Massachusetts, in company with his brother, Joseph Young, having visited their connection in this country, and baptized a good number into the church. They staid [stayed] in Boston two or three weeks, and baptized seventeen persons. We had a good visit with the brethren, for which I feel very thankful.
"Thus I continued in Salem and vicinity until I returned to Kirtland, sometime in the month of September. During this month the church in Clay County, Missouri, commenced removing to their newly selected location on Shoal Creek, in the territory attached to Ray County.
"During the quarter ending September 3, fifty-two elders', six priests', three teachers', and two deacons' licenses were recorded in the License Records, in Kirtland, Ohio, by Thomas Burdick. The intelligence from the elders abroad was interesting. Elder P. P. Pratt still continued his labors in Upper Canada, Toronto, and vicinity, with good success. Elder Lyman E. Johnson had been laboring in New Brunswick and other places on the seaboard; and on the 12th, 13th, and 14th of August a conference was held by Elders Brigham Young and Lyman E. Johnson, at Newry, Maine, where seventeen branches were represented, amounting to three hundred and seventeen members.
"October 2, 1836. My father, and Uncle John Smith, returned to Kirtland, from their mission to the Eastern States, having traveled about two thousand four hundred miles, and visited nearly all the branches of the church in New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania. During this mission, they baptized many, conferred blessings upon many hundreds, and preached the gospel to many thousands. They also visited their friends and relatives in the land of their nativity. My cousin, George A. Smith, returned the same day from his mission to Richland County, Ohio. Brother E. C. Kimball returned to Kirtland, having been absent nearly five months, during which time he baptized thirty persons into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, this being in fulfillment of a blessing that I had conferred upon his head before he started on his mission.
"Through the month of October . . . my attention was particularly directed to the building up of Kirtland, and the spiritual interests of the church. And on the 2d of November the brethren at Kirtland drew up certain articles of agreement, preparatory to the organization of a banking institution, to be called the 'Kirtland Safety Society.'
"President O. Cowdery was delegated to Philadelphia to procure plates for the institution; and Elder O. Hyde, to repair to Columbus, with a petition to the legislature of Ohio, for an act of incorporation, which was presented at an early period of their session, but because we were 'Mormons,' the legislature raised some frivolous excuse on which they refused to grant us those banking privileges they so freely granted to others. Thus Elder Hyde was compelled to return without accomplishing the object of his mission, while Elder Cowdery succeeded at a great expense in procuring the plates, and bringing them to Kirtland.
"Forty-four elders' licenses were recorded in the License Records at Kirtland, during the quarter ending December l; also five priests' and one teacher's licenses; by T. Burdick. . .
"Minutes of a conference, held in the house of the Lord on the 22d of December, 1836.
"The authorities of the church being present, viz.: The First Presidency, the High Council of Kirtland, the Quorum of the Twelve, the Presidents of the Seventies, the President of the Elders and his counselors, and many other official members, such as priests, teachers, deacons, etc., the house was called to order, and the following motions were made, seconded, and carried by the unanimous voice of the assembly.
"'l. That it has been the case that a very improper and unchristianlike course of conduct has been pursued by the elders of this church, and the churches abroad, in sending their poor from among them, and moving to this place, without the necessary means of subsistence; whereas the church in this place being poor from the beginning, having had to pay an extortionate price for their lands, provisions, etc.; and having a serious burthen [burden] imposed upon them by comers and goers, from most parts of the world, and in assisting the traveling elders and their families, while they themselves have been laboring in the vineyard of the Lord, to preach the gospel; and also having suffered great loss in endeavoring to benefit Zion, it has become a serious matter which ought to be considered by us.
"'Therefore, after deliberate discussion upon the subject, It was motioned, seconded, and unanimously carried, that we have borne our part of this burden, and that it becomes the duty, henceforth, of all the churches abroad, to provide for those who are objects of charity that are not able to provide for themselves; and not send them from their midst to burthen [burden] the church in this place, unless they come and prepare a place for them, and means for their support.
"'2. That there be a stop put to churches or families gathering or moving to this place, without their first coming or sending their wise men to prepare a place for them, as our houses are all full, and our lands mostly occupied, except those houses that do not belong to the church, which cannot be obtained without great sacrifice, especially when brethren with their families are crowding in upon us, and
are compelled to purchase at any rate, and consequently are thrown into the hands of speculators, and extortioners, with which the Lord is not well pleased; also that the churches abroad do according to the Revelation contained in the Book of Commandments, page 238, commencing at section 10, which is as follows:-
"'"Now verily I say unto you, let all the churches gather together all their moneys; let these things be done in their time, be not in haste; and observe to have all these things prepared before you, and let honorable men be appointed, even wise men, and send them to purchase these lands; and every church in the eastern countries when they are built up, if they will hearken unto this counsel, they may buy lands and gather together upon them, and in this way they may establish Zion."
"'Joseph Smith, Chairman.
"'Warren Parrish, Clerk.'
"On the 31st of December, at the setting of the sun, Doctor Willard Richards was baptized at Kirtland, under the hands of President Brigham Young, in the presence of Heber C. Kimball, and others, who had spent the afternoon in cutting the ice to prepare for the baptism."-Millennial Star, vol. 15, pp. 821-823, 842.
With the March number of the Messenger and Advocate John Whitmer's connection with the paper as editor ceased, and Oliver Cowdery succeeded him.
On June 7,1836, the publishing firm of F. G. Williams and Company was dissolved by mutual consent and the whole establishment was purchased by Oliver Cowdery, who became sole proprietor, editor, and publisher.
The June number of the Messenger and Advocate contains the minutes of a conference held at Chalk Level, Benton County, Tennessee, May 28 and 29,1836, Elder D. W. Patten presiding. At this conference there were seven branches represented; namely, Taropen branch, 28 members; Clarks River, 10 members; Blood River, 10 members; Academy, 10 members; Chalk Level, 27 members; Eagle Creek, 15 members; and Cyprus, 10 members.
By this it appears that the work was getting a firm hold
in the South, though so far as we know it had spread no farther south than Tennessee at this time. There is also a notice in same paper of a conference to be held in Calloway County, Kentucky, the following September.
But, as in other places, the work was not permitted to be promulgated without serious and violent opposition, as indicated by a letter from Hickman County, Tennessee, June 28, 1836, written by Warren Parrish, and published in the Messenger and Advocate, vol. 2, pp. 365-367. 1
1 This evening while meditating upon the variegated scenes of human existence, the ever fluctuating current of mortal life, which sometimes threatens to overwhelm the way-wandering sons of men like an irresistible torrent and hurry them to an untimely grave, while far separated from those who are bound by the dearest ties of consanguinity, my mind flits back to those happy seasons I have enjoyed in Kirtland, in the society of my brethren and friends. The loss of this society is more than usually impressed on my mind from a combination of circumstances which have transpired since I last wrote.
On the return of Brother Patten and myself from Clarks River, to Brother Utley's we were informed that many of the citizens of that county (Benton) and some of the citizens of Carroll County, had met in convention, headed by a Methodist priest, who was called to the chair, and the county clerk appointed secretary. They drew up resolutions to drive all the "Mormon" (Latter Day Saint) preachers from their coast. These resolutions were signed by the sheriff and many who are sworn to be civil peace officers, to suppress all riots and unlawful assemblies and support and defend the Constitution of the United States and of the State of Tennessee, also military officers who are sworn to do the same. From colonels and majors down through all the grades of officers, enrolled their names with this lawless banditti, to abuse the servants of the living God by abridging their privileges and trampling upon their rights.
We enjoyed our meeting unmolested at Brother Utley's, on Saturday the l9th inst., although almost every breeze brought us news that the mob intended to carry their resolutions into effect and that some hundreds had entered into this conspiracy. In the afternoon a little before sunset a company of some forty or fifty men made their appearance, some on foot, others mounted two on a horse, with guns, sticks, clubs, etc.; they were led by a sheriff colonel, first and second major, with some other officers, and a Methodist priest with a gun on his shoulder.
The sheriff informed us that he had a State's warrant for D. W. Patten, W. Parrish, and W. Woodruff, issued on complaint of Mathew Williams, the Methodist priest and chairman spoken of above, who sware [swear] that we had put forth the following false and pretended prophecy; viz., that Christ would come the second time before this generation passed away, also that four individuals should receive the Holy Ghost within four and twenty hours.
We were credibly informed that the company that were under the control of these noble chieftains consisted of Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians liars, drunkards hog and horse thieves. And so determined were they to force us off at that late hour that it was with much difficulty we could prevail on them to show us any lenity. However, they protracted the time of our appearance before the court until Tuesday
Having good reasons to believe that all differences were adjusted, and that they would be permitted to occupy the new county in peace, and make permanent homes in this fruitful land, the closing of the year 1836
following, by our giving a bond of two thousand dollars, signed by ourselves and two of our brethren.
They intended to have led us into the woods under the dark curtain of night (the emblem of their corrupt and wicked hearts), with the pretension of taking us before the magistrate, that they might the better execute their diabolical designs upon us.
On Tuesday in company with about twenty brethren and warm friends, who were ready and willing to lay down their lives for us, we went before our rulers. We found about one hundred persons assembled whose countenances too plainly indicated the black designs of their hearts. They were armed with guns, dirks, pistols, clubs, sticks, etc. At a late hour we prevailed on the sheriff to have the court called, which consisted of three magistrates, one of whom was rejected from the judgment seat because some of his family were members of our church. The sheriff then asked of the court the privilege of divesting us of our arms, if any we had. It was granted. Elder Patten had a pistol which he had taken that morning in consequence of our having heard that the mob did not expect to sustain a lawful charge against us, but intended to rise up and overpower us by their numbers; he also had a walking stick. I had a cane and common pocket knife. These were taken from us.
A man by the name of Perkins (who report says had run his country for hog stealing and also had been guilty of concealing a stolen horse for which he had lost a part of his nose), was appointed by the court to act as State's Attorney, or in other words, mob solicitor general, to abuse the innocent and screen the guilty. We were abused by any and every scoundrel that saw fit to do so, and the court allowed them this privilege. After they had brought many of those who had entered into a conspiracy to witness against us; we called on our witnesses, but the court refused to hear any testimony on our part, because the mob objected and they dare not do otherwise, but were controlled by the lawless banditti that surrounded them and us, who were determined on our destruction. Said Perkins made a plea against us, and we were not permitted to reply or speak in our own defense. Thus ended this mock trial, and the court after retiring a few minutes, returned with this verdict: That they concluded that the charges preferred against us had been sustained, and that we were bound over to court for trial
Our accusers did not attempt to prove that those individuals who were promised the Holy Ghost on condition of obedience to the gospel did not receive it, for they if called upon would have testified otherwise; and let the candid judge whether any man can in truth testify that he who prophecies that Christ will come the second time in this generation is a false prophet. And furthermore our complainant testified that the above-named crimes were committed in October, 1834. It is a well-known fact that Elder Woodruff, whose name is included in the warrant (though not arrested) was not in this State until the spring of 1835. So much for the oath of a Methodist priest.
While the Court was preparing our bonds, another warrant was served on Elder Patten. The mob without and the mob within, whose intoxicating zeal had risen to its zenith, were threatening our lives, and seemed only waiting the dark shades of night, which were fast gathering round, to cover them while they should wreak their hands in our
found hundreds from all parts of the country with their faces turned towards Missouri, with glad hearts, anticipating a home of peace and plenty as a reward of honest toil.
blood The influence of our friends as instruments in the hands of God kept this gathering storm from bursting upon our heads. About this time the sheriff proposed to us that if we would leave the county in ten days and pay the cost they would set us at liberty, at the same time informing us that it was the only way for us to escape the hands of the mob, who were hardly restrained from acts of violence. One of the brethren present offered to pay the cost and all advised us to accept the offer, although in its nature most insulting, for if we were really guilty of a violation of the laws of the State their oath of office obligated them to bind us over to trial before the circuit court. But this was not the fact; we were not guilty, and this last step proves to a demonstration that they (the court) did not consider us so; and shows that oaths, obligations, and the rights of man were discharged, and the whole scenery from beginning to end was controlled and governed by a set of ruthless humans, who are sunk in the lowest depths of degradation and infamy, of whom the Devil himself ought to be ashamed.
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