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Vol. IV. No. 18.] CITY OF NAUVOO, ILL. AUGUST 1, 1843. [Whole No. 78.
When such affidavit is made to any one of the judges or all of them, it is the duty of him or them, before whom such affidavit is made, to issue an order to the sheriff of the county, to make requisition upon the commanding officer of the militia of said county, to have immediately put under military order such a portion of the militia under his command as may be necessary for the defence [defense] of the citizens of said county.
In this way the militia of any county may be called out at any time deemed necessary by the county judges, independently of any other civil authority of the State.
In case that the militia of the county is insufficient to quell the rioters, and secure the citizens against the invaders, then recourse can be had to the judge of the circuit court, who has the same power over the militia of his judicial district, as the county judges have over the militia of the county. And in case of insufficiency in the militia of the judicial district of the circuit judge, recourse can be had to the governor of the state, and all the militia of the state called out, and if this should fail, then the governor can call on the President of the United States, and all the forces of the nation be put under arms.
I have given this expose of the internal regulations of the affairs of Missouri, in order that the court may clearly understand what I have before said on this subject, and what I may hereafter say on it.
It was in view of this order of things that General Doniphan, who is a lawyer of some celebrity in Missouri, gave the recommendation he did at Far West, when passing into Davies county with his troops, for the defence [defense] of the citizens of said county. It was in consequence of this, that he said, that those of Caldwell county which went into Davies county, should go in small parties, and unarmed, in which condition they were not subject to any arrest from any authority whatever.
In obedience to these recommendations the militia of Caldwell county was called out; affidavit having been made to one of the judges of the county, setting forth the danger which it was believed the citizens were in, from a large marauding party assembled under the command of one Cornelius Gillum, on a stream called Grindstone. When affidavit was made to this effect, the judge issued his order to the sheriff of the county, and the sheriff to the commanding officer, who was Colonel G. M. Hinkle, and thus were the militia of the county of Caldwell put under military orders.
General Doniphan however, instead of going into Davies county, soon after he left Far West returned back to Clay county with all his troops, giving as his reason, the mutinous character of his troops; which he said would join the mob, he believed, instead of acting against them, and that he had not power to restrain them.
In a day or two afterwards, General Parks of Ray county, also came to Far West, and said that he had sent on a number of troops to Davies county to act in concert with General Doniphan. He also made the same complaint concerning his troops, that Doniphan had, doubting greatly whether they would render any service to those in Davies who were threatened with violence by the mobs assembling; but on hearing that Doniphan, instead of going to Davies county had returned to Clay, followed his example and ordered his troops back to Ray county, and thus were the citizens of Caldwell county and those of Davies county, who were marked out as victims by the mob, left to defend themselves the best way they could.
What I have here stated in relation to Generals Doniphan and Parks, were conversations had between myself and them, about which I cannot be mistaken, unless my memory has betrayed me.
The militia of the county of Caldwell were now all under requisition, armed and equipped according to law. The mob after all the authorities of the State had been recalled, except the force of Caldwell county, commenced the work of destruction in earnest; showing a determination to accomplish their object. Far West, where I resided, which was the shire town of Caldwell county, was placed under the charge of a captain by the name of Killian, who made my house his head quarters; other portions of the troops were distributed in different places in the county, wherever danger was apprehended. In consequence of Captain Killians' making my house his head quarters, I was put in possession of all that was going on, as all intelligence in relation to the operations of the mob was communicated to him. Intelligence was received daily of depredations being committed not only against the property of the citizens, but other persons; many of whom when attending to their business, would be surprised, and taken by marauding parties, tied up and
whipped in a most desperate manner. Such outrages were common during the progress of these extraordinary scenes, and all kinds of depredations were committed. Men driving their teams to and from mills where they got grinding done, would be surprised and taken, their persons abused, and their teams, wagons, and loading all taken as booty by the plunderers. Fields were thrown open and all within them exposed to the destruction of such animals as chose to enter. Cattle, horses, hogs and sheep were driven off, and a general system of plunder and destruction of all kinds of property, carried on to the great annoyance of the citizens of Caldwell, and that portion of the citizens of Davies marked as victims of the mob. One afternoon a messenger arrived at Far West calling for help, saying that a banditti had crossed the south line of Caldwell, and were engaged in threatening the citizens with death if they did not leave their homes and go out of the state within a very short time; the time not precisely recollected; but I think it was the next day by ten o'clock, but of this I am not certain. He said they were setting fire to the prairies, in view of burning houses and desolating farms, that they had set fire to a wagon loaded with goods and they were all consumed; that they had also set fire to a house, and when he left, it was burning down. Such was the situation of affairs at Far West at that time, that Captain Killian could not spare any of his forces, as an attack was hourly expected at Far West. The messenger went off, and I heard no more about it, till some time the night following, when I was awakened from sleep by the voice of some man apparently giving command to a military body, being somewhat unwell, I did not get up. Some time after I got up in the morning, the sheriff of the county stopped at the door, and said that David Patten, had had a battle with the mob last night at crooked river, and that several were killed and a number wounded; that Patten was among the number of the wounded, and his wound was supposed to be mortal. After I had taken breakfast another gentleman called, giving me the same account, and asked me if I would not take my horse and ride out with him and see what was done. I agreed to do so, and we started, and after going some three or four miles, met a company coming into Far West, we turned and went back with them.
This mob proved to be that, headed by the Reverend Samuel Bogard, a methodist preacher, and the battle was called the Bogard Battle. After this battle there was a short season of quiet, the mobs disappeared, and the militia returned to Far West; though they were not discharged, but remained under orders until it should be known how the matter would turn. In the space of a few days, it was said that a large body of armed men were entering the south part of Caldwell County. The county court ordered the military to go and enquire [inquire] what was their object, in thus coming into the county without permission. The military started as commanded, and little or no information was received at Far West about their movements until late the next afternoon, when a large army was descried [described?] making their way towards Far West. Far West being an elevated situation, the army was discovered while a number of miles from the place. Their object was entirely unknown to the citizens as far as I had any knowledge on the subject; and every man I heard speak of their object, expressed as great ignorance as myself.-They reached a small stream on the east side of the town, which was studded with timber on its banks and for perhaps from half a mile to a mile on the east side of the stream, an hour before sundown. There the main body halted, and soon after a detachment under the command of Brigadier General Doniphan, marched towards the town in line of battle. This body was preceded, probably three fourths of a mile in advance of them, by a man carrying a white flag, who approached within a few rods of the eastern boundary of the town, and demanded three persons, who were in the town, to be sent to their camp, after which the whole town, he said, would be massacred. When the persons who were inquired for, were informed, they refused to go, determined to share the common fate of the citizens. One of those persons did not belong to the "Church of Latter Day Saints." His name is Adam Lightner, a merchant in that city.
The white flag returned to camp. To the force of General Doniphan, was the small force of Caldwell militia, under Colonel Hinkle, opposed. Who also marched in line of battle to the eastern line of the town. The whole force of Colonel Hinkle did not exceed three hundred men-that of Doniphan, perhaps three times that number. I was in no way connected with the militia, being over age, neither was Joseph Smith Senior. I went into the line formed by Colonel Hinkle though unarmed, and stood among the rest to await the result, and had a full view of both forces, and stood there. The armies were within rifle shot of each other. About the setting of the sun Doniphan ordered his army to return to the camp at the Creek: they wheeled and marched off. After they had retired, it was consulted what was best to do-by what authority the army was here no one could tell, as far as I knew-it was agreed to build through the
night a sort of fortification, and if we must fight, sell our lives as dear as we could, accordingly all hands went to work, rails, house-logs, and waggons [wagons], were all put in requisition, and the east line of the town as well secured as could be done by the men and means, and the short time allowed; expecting an attack in the morning. The morning at length came and that day passed away and still nothing done; but plundering the cornfields, shooting cattle and hogs, stealing horses and robbing houses, and carrying off potatoes, turnips, and all such things as the army of General Lucas could get, for such in the event they proved to be. The main body being commanded, by Samuel D. Lucas, a Deacon in the Presbyterian church. The next came and then it was ascertained that they were there by order of the Governor.
A demand was made for Joseph Smith Senior, Lyman Wight, George W. Robinson, Parley P. Pratt, and myself, to go into their camp with this demand we instantly complied and accordingly started to their camp. When we came in sight of their camp the whole army was on parade, marching toward the town, we approached and met them, and were informed by Lucas that we were prisoners of war. A scene followed that would defy any mortal to describe, a howling was set up, that would put any thing I ever heard before or since at defiance, I thought at that time it had no parallel except it might be in the perdition of ungodly men. They had a cannon. I could distinctly hear the guns as the locks were sprung, which appeared from the sound to be in every part of the army. General Doniphan came riding up where we were, and swore by his maker that he would hew the first man down that cocked a gun, one or two other officers on horseback also rode up, ordering those who had cocked their guns to uncock them or they would be hewed down with their swords, we were conducted into their camp and made to lay on the ground through the night.
This was late in October-we were kept here for two days and two nights. It commenced raining and snowing until we were completely drenched and being compelled to lay on the ground which had become very wet and the water was running round us and under us-what consultation the officers and others had in relation to the disposition which was to be made of us. I am entirely indebted to the report made to me by General Doniphan as none of us were put on any trial. General Doniphan gave an account of which the following is the substance, as far as my memory serves me: "That they held a Court Martial and sentenced us to be shot at 8 o'clock the next morning after the Court Martial was holden, in the public square in the presence of our families-that this Court Martial was composed of seventeen preachers and some of the principal officers of the army-Samuel D. Lucas presided-Doniphan arose and said "that neither himself nor his brigade should have any hand in the shooting, that it was nothing short of cold blooded murder and left the Court Martial and ordered his brigade to prepare and march off the ground."
This was probably the reason why they did not carry the decision of the Court Martial into effect. It was finally agreed that we should be carried into Jackson county, accordingly on the third day after our arrest the army was all paraded, we were put into waggons [wagons] and taken into the town-our families having heard that we were to be brought to town that morning to be shot. When we arrived a scene ensued such as might be expected, under the circumstances. I was permitted to go alone with my family into the house, there I found my family so completely plundered of all kinds of food that they had nothing to eat but parched corn which they ground with a hand mill, and thus were they sustaining life. I soon pacified my family and allayed their feelings by assuring them that the ruffians dared not kill me. I gave them strong assurances that they dared not do it, and that I would return to them again. After this interview I took my leave of them, and returned to the waggon [wagon] got in and we were all started off for Jackson county. Before we reached the Missouri river a man came riding along the line apparently in great haste. I did not know his business. When we got to the river Lucas came to me and told me that he wanted us to hurry, as Jacob Stollings had arrived from Far West with a message from Gen. John C. Clark ordering him to return with us to Far West as he was there with a large army, he said he would not comply with the demand, but did not know but Clark might send an army to take us by force. We were hurried over the river as fast as possible with as many of Lucas' army as could be sent over at one time and sent hastily on, and thus we were taken to Independence the Shire town of Jackson county, and put into an old house and a strong guard placed over us. In a day or two they relaxed their severity, we were taken to the best tavern in town and there boarded, and treated with kindness-we were permitted to go and come at our pleasure without any guard. After some days Colonel Sterling G. Price arrived from Clark's army with a demand to have us taken to Richmond, Ray county. It was difficult to get a guard to go with us, indeed, we solicited them to send one with us, and finally got a few men to go and we started; after we had crossed the Missouri, on
our way to Richmond, we met a number of very rough looking fellows, and as rough acting as they were looking, they threatened our lives.-We solicited our guard to send to Richmond for a stronger force to guard us there, as we considered our lives in danger. Sterling G. Price met us with a strong force and conducted us to Richmond where we were put in close confinement.
One thing I will here mention which I forgot-while we were at Independence I was introduced to Russell Hicks, a lawyer of some note in the country. In speaking on the subject of our arrest and being torn from our families, said he presumed it was another Jackson county scrape. He said the Mormons had been driven from that county and that without any offence [offense] on their part. He said he knew all about it, they were driven off because people feared their political influence. And what was said against the Mormons was only to justify the mob in the eyes of the world for the course they had taken. He said this was another scrape of the same kind.
This Russell Hicks, by his own confession, was one of the principal leaders in the Jackson county mob.
After this digression I will return-The same day that we arrived at Richmond, Price came into the place where we were, with a number of armed men, who immediately, on entering the room cocked their guns, another followed with chains in his hands, and we were ordered to be chained all together-a strong guard was placed in and around the house, and thus we were secured. The next day General Clark came in, and we were introduced to him-the awkward manner in which he entered and his apparent embarrassment was such as to force a smile from me. He was then asked for what he had thus cast us into prison?-to this question he could not or did not give a direct answer. He said he would let us know in a few days, and after a few more awkward and uncouth movements he withdrew. After he went out I asked some of the guard what was the matter with General Clark, that made him appear so ridiculous? They said he was near sighted: I replied that I was mistaken if he were not as near witted, as he was near sighted.
We were now left with our guards, without knowing for what we had been arrested, as no civil process had issued against us-for what followed until General Clark came in again to tell us that we were to be delivered into the hands of the civil authorities. I am entirely indebted to what I heard the guards say-I heard them say that General Clark had promised them before leaving Coles county that they should have the privilege of shooting Joseph Smith Senior and myself. And that General Clark was engaged in searching the military law to find authority for so doing; but he found it difficult as we were not military men and did not belong to the militia; but he had sent to Fort Leavenworth for the military code of law, and he expected, after he got the laws, to find law to justify him in shooting us.
I must here again digress, to relate a circumstance which I forgot in its place. I had heard that Clark had given a military order to some persons who had applied to him for it, to go to our houses and take such goods as they claimed. The goods claimed, were goods sold by the sheriff of Caldwell county on an execution, which I had purchased at the sale. The man against whom this execution was issued, availed himself of that time of trouble to go and take the goods wherever he could find them.-I asked Clark if he had given any such authority. He said that an application had been made to him for such an order, but he said, "your lady wrote me a letter, requesting me not to do it-telling me that the goods had been purchased at the sheriff's sale, and I would not grant the order." I did not, at the time, suppose that Clark, in this, had barefacedly lied; but the sequel proved he had-for some time afterwards, behold there comes a man to Richmond with the order, and shewed [showed] it to me, signed by Clark. The man said he had been at our house, and taken all the goods he could find. So much for a lawyer, a Methodist, and very pious man at that time in religion, and a major general of Missouri.
During the time that Clark was examining the military law, there were some things took place which may be proper to relate in this place. I heard a play laying among a number of those who belonged to Clark's army, and some of them officers of high rank, to go to Far West, and commit violence on the persons of Joseph Smith Senior's wife, and my wife and daughters.
This gave me some uneasiness. I got an opportunity to send my family word of their design, and to make such arrangements as they could to guard against their vile purpose. The time at last arrived, and the party started for Far West. I waited with painful anxiety for their return. After a number of days, they returned. I listened to all they said, to find out, if possible, what they had done. One night, I think the very night after their return, I heard them relating to some of those who had not been with them, the events of their adventure. Inquiry was made about their success in the particular object of their visit to Far West. The substance of what they said in aswer [answer],
was, "that they had passed and repassed both houses, and saw the females, but there were so many men about the town, that they dare not venture for fear of being detected, and their numbers were not sufficient to accomplish anything if they had made the attempt, and they came off without trying."
No civil process of any kind had been issued against us: we were there held in duress without knowing what for, or what charges were to be preferred against us. At last, after long suspense, General Clark came into the prison, presenting himself about as awkwardly as at first, and informed us, "that we would be put into the hands of the civil authorities. He said he did not know precisely what crimes would be charged against us, but they would be within the range of treason, murder, burglary, arson, larceny, theft, and stealing." Here again another smile was forced, and I could not refrain, at the expense of this would-be great man, in whom, he said, "the faith of Missouri was pledged." After a long and awful suspense, the notable Austin A. King, judge of the circuit court, took the seat, and we were ordered before him for trial, Thomas Birch, Esq., prosecuting attorney. All things being arranged, the trial opened. No papers were read to us, no charges of any kind were preferred, nor did we know against what we had to plead. Our crimes had yet to be found out.
At the commencement, we requested that we might be tried separately; but this was refused, and we were all put on trial together. Witnesses appeared, and the swearing commenced. It was so plainly manifested by the judge that he wanted the witnesses to prove us guilty of treason, that no person could avoid seeing it. The same feelings were also visible in the States' Attorney. Judge King made an observation something to this effect, as he was giving directions to the scribe, who was employed to write down the testimony-"that he wanted all the testimony directed to certain points.-Being taken sick at the early stage of the trial, I had not the opportunity of hearing but a small part of the testimony when it was delivered before the court.
During the progress of the trial, after the adjournment of the court in the evening, our lawyers would come into the prison, and there the matters would be talked over.
The propriety of sending for witnesses, was also discussed. Our attorneys said that they would recommend to us not to introduce any evidence at that trial. Doniphan said it would avail us nothing, for the judge would put us into prison, if a cohort of angels were to come and swear that we were innocent: and beside that, he said that if we were to give to the court the names of our witnesses, there was a band there ready to go, and they would go and drive them out of the country, or arrest them and have them cast into prison, to prevent them from swearing, or else kill them. it was finally concluded to let the matter be so for the present.
During the progress of the trial, and while I was laying sick in prison, I had an opportunity of hearing a great deal said by those of them who would come in. The subject was the all absorbing one. I heard them say that we must be put to death-that the character of the State required it. The State must justify herself in the course she had taken, and nothing but punishing us with death, could save the credit of the State, and it must therefore be done.
I heard a party of them one night telling about some female whose person they had violated, and this language was used by one of them: "The damned bitch, how she yelled." Who this person was, I did not know; but before I got out of prison, I heard that a widow, whose husband had died some few months before, with consumption, had been brutally violated by a gang of them, and died in their hands, leaving three little children, in whose presence the scene of brutality took place.
After I got out of prison, and had arrived in Quincy Illinois, I met a strange man in the street, who was inquiring of me respecting a circumstance of this kind-saying he had heard of it, and was on his way going to Missouri to get the children if he could find them. He said the woman thus murdered was his sister, or his wife's sister, I am not positive which. The man was in great agitation. What success he had I know not.
The trial at last ended, and Lyman Wight, Joseph Smith Senior, Hyrum Smith, Caleb Baldwin, Alexander McRea, and myself were sent to jail in the village of Liberty, Clay county Missouri.
We were kept there from three to four months; after which time we were brought out on habeas corpus before one of the county judges. During the hearing under the habeas corpus, I had, for the first time, an opportunity of hearing the evidence, as it was all written and read before the court.
It appeared from the evidence, that they attempted to prove us guilty of treason in consequence of the militia of Caldwell county being under arms at the time that General Lucas' army came to Far West. This calling out of the militia, was what they founded the charge of treason upon-an account of which I have given above. The charge of murder was founded
on the fact, that a man of their number, they said, had been killed in the Bogard battle.
The other charges were founded on things which took place in Davies. As I was not in Davies county at that time, I cannot testify anything about them.
A few words about this written testimony.
I do not now recollect of one single point, about which testimony was given, with which I was acquainted, but was misrepresented, nor one solitary witness whose testimony was there written, that did not swear falsely; and in many instances I connot [cannot] see how it could avoid being intentional on the part of those who testified-for all of them did swear things that I am satisfied they knew to be false at the time-and it would be hard to persuade me to the contrary.
There were things there said, so utterly without foundation in truth--so much so--that the persons swearing must, at the time of the swearing, have known it. The best construction I can ever put on it, is, that they swore things to be true which they did not know to be so, and this, to me, is wilful [willful] perjury.
This trial lasted for a long time, the result of which was, that I was ordered to be discharged from prison, and the rest remanded back; but I was told by those who professed to be my friends, that it would not do for me to go out of jail at that time, as the mob were watching, and would most certainly take my life and when I got out, that I must leave the State, for the mob, availing themselves of the exterminating order of Governor Boggs, would, if I were found in the State, surely take my life-and when I got out, that I must leave the State, for the mob, availing themselves of the exterminating order of Governor Boggs, would if I were found in the State, surely take my life-that I had no way to escape them but to flee with all speed from the State. It was some ten days after this before I dare leave the jail. At last the evening came in which I was to leave the jail. Every preparation was made that could be made for my escape. There was a carriage ready to take me in and carry me off with all speed. A pilot was ready-one who was well acquainted with the country-to pilot me through the country so that I might not go on any of the public roads. My wife came to the jail to accompany me, of whose society I had been deprived for four months. Just at dark, the sheriff and jailor [jailer] came to the jail with our supper. I sat down and ate. There were a number watching. After I had supped, I whispered to the jailor [jailer] to blow out all the candles but one, and step away from the door with that one. All this was done. The sheriff then took me by the arm, and an apparent scuffle ensued-so much so, that those who were watching, did not know who it was the sheriff was scuffling with. The sheriff kept pushing me towards the door, and I apparently resisting, until we reached the door, which wsa [was] quickly opened and we both reached the street. He took me by the hand and bade me farewell, telling me to make my escape, which I did with all possible speed. The night was dark. After I had gone probably one hundred rods, I heard some person coming after me in haste. The thought struck me in a moment that the mob was after me. I drew a pistol and cocked it, determined not to be taken alive. When the person approaching me spoke, I knew his voice, and he speedily came to me. In a few minutes I heard a horse coming. I again sprung my pistol cock. Again a voice saluted my ears that I was acquainted with. The man came speedily up and said he had come to pilot me through the country. I now recollected I had left my wife in the jail. I mentioned it to them, and one of them returned, and the other and myself pursued our journey as swiftly as we could. After I had gone about three miles, my wife overtook me in a carriage, into which I got, and we rode all night. It was an open carriage, and in the month of February 1839. We got to the house of an acquaintance just as the day appeared. There I put up until the next morning, when I started again and reached a place called Tenny's Grove; and to my great surprise I here found my family, and was again united with them, after an absence of four months, under the most painful circumstances. From thence I made my way to Illinois, where I now am. My wife, after I left her, went directly to Far West and got the family under way, and all unexpectedly met at Tenny's Grove.
After hearing the foregoing evidence in support of said Petition-it is ordered and considered by the Court, that the said Joseph Smith, Senior, be discharged from the said arrest and imprisonment complained of in said Petition, and that the said Smith be discharged for want of substance in the warrant, upon which he was arrested, as well as upon the merits of said case, and that he go hence without day [delay?].
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my
L. S. hand and affixed the seal of said Court, at the city
of Nauvoo, this 2d day of July, 1843.
JAMES SLOAN, Clerk.
The Temple is progressing steadily. The walls of that noble edifice continue to rise, and its completion is looked forward to with great interest and anxiety by many.
All kinds of improvement are going on rapidly in Nauvoo and vicinity. Houses are going up in every direction in the city, and farms are being enclosed without. "The wilderness will" soon "blossom as the rose."
SIR, Having been on a short mission of about five months, I wish, through the medium of your paper, to give the church an account of my stewardship.
I left Nauvoo on the 25th of January last, and on the 24th of February I arrived at Palmyra, St. Clair county Michigan, and commenced preaching in that place on the 27th. I preached about one hundred times in that county, principally along the river St. Clair, and Lake Huron-baptised [baptized] seventeen, and organized fifteen of them into a branch of the church, to be called the St. Clair Branch. Many more were believing the gospel as preached by us.-Thus "truth will prevail." I would recommend any of the elders that are travelling [traveling] that way, to call and visit the branch (it is near Newport, St. Clair river,) and give them farther [further] instruction in the things of the kingdom, that God's will may be done on earth as it is done in heaven.
Yours respectfully in the bonds of the new and everlasting covenant.
TIMES AND SEASONS
CITY OF NAUVOO
TUESDAY, AUGUST 1, 1843.
We have to apologize to our readers for having published nothing else but the trial of JOSEPH SMITH, in the last two numbers. Nothing but circumstances of an extraordinary nature could have caused us to have pursued such a course; but this case we consider to be one of unprecedented importance in the history of this church, whether it relates to our civil policy, our municipal authority, or our unparalleled persecutions.
The history of our persecutions in Missouri, have frequently been spoken and written about; but they have hitherto been very imperfectly sketched, and to the present time, men do not know one half of the abominations and crimes that were perpetrated in that state, under the garb of law. It is necessary to mix among the society that suffered, to hear by their own firesides the distressing details; and such are the circumstances connected with many of them, that humanity shudders at the recitals, modesty blushes to unfold the obscenity and corruption, and the feelings of the innocent and virtuous are touched to the quick, while their wounds are made to bleed afresh at the recital of transactions too revolting to be spoken of, and too infamous to be made known. It must be left for eternity to unfold many of these diabolical deeds. Then and then only, when the dark curtain is withdrawn, and the actions of men are made manifest, will the extent of the sufferings of the orphan, and the poor be made known.
Many things, however, too revolting for human nature to contemplate, were developed in the last trial. These may serve as an index to the remainder. Would to God that a more pleasing picture could have been drawn; but these things are but too true, our eyes have seen, and our ears have heard many of them, and we have had but too convincing proof of the truth of the remainder.
We know that among refined society men of improved minds who are educated and intelligent; these things are frequently doubted. It is difficult for them to give credence to corruptions so foul, and deeds so diabolical as those mentioned, having taken place in what is called a civilized country. It is difficult for an honorable high minded man, to believe that human nature could be so fallen, so degraded, so corrupt. Yet, startling as these things are, humiliating to our country and degrading to human nature; they are true, we know they are true.-And however disgusting, revolting and humiliating for us to recite and others to hear; they are part of what we as a people have had to endure for the cause of God, and for the "testimony of Jesus." Under these circumstances, we have handed them to the world in their native colors, that they might be seen and known, and also that they might be chronicled among our archives, and that our children whilst they laud their fathers for their firm unflinching integrity, might execrate the perpetrators of those diabolical deeds; and seek what has been denied their fathers hitherto, by all courts, redress for those wrongs under which they have labored.
This is the first time that evidence has been given in detail before any court, relative to those transactions, and therefore we have published it entire, in its present form, that it might be had and read extensively among the families of the saints; and as the "Neighbor" is not likely to be perpetuated, as the "Times and Seasons" is, we have inserted it for the benefit, not only of ourselves, but of our rising generation.
Again, it is the first time, among the many trials of JOSEPH SMITH that he has had the privilege of being tried before one of our own courts. It has generally been contended that our municipal court had no authority, and one would have thought from the pretensions of many of our legal men that our charter was merely a play-thing, and our ordinances folly; and that
although given by the legislature and sanctioned by the executive, that our judicial acts would not stand good in law. Whatever men's notions may have been in relation to this mat- [matter] they will find that we are not so imbecile, but that we know the difference between a solemn legislative enactment, and the caprice of a man; and that if we possess rights we shall maintain them inviolate, and by all legal means sustain the innocent, protect the defenceless [defenseless], and do justice to all; without being governed by the caprice of meddling demagogues, or the superstition of religious bigots. Our municipal authority in this case have been sustained and our rights preserved, and it speaks much for the legal knowledge, and the bold, fearless and intrepid spirit of CYRUS WALKER, ESQ.
We would remind our correspondents that we have not forgotten their communications, they shall come forward in their time; they have been deferred for the purpose of giving way for the trial. A great many elders have gone forth into all parts, and the work of the Lord is rolling forth in every direction.
SIR-Having just returned from a mission in the east, according to appointment, as I feel anxious while absent to hear from the elders abroad, I judged that others possess similar feelings to myself, and that they would be pleased to read a few lines from my pen, altho' little known to the Saints in general, yet well known to some who would rejoice to hear of my prosperity and success the past winter.
I left Nauvoo on the nineteenth of September last, in company with elders T. Billings, N. Packard and D. Allen, without money "purse or script," and with the intention of spending the winter in holding forth the principles of our religion in New England. Accordingly we journeyed east to the east line of this State, where we found some brethren, baptized by myself two years before, and the prospect of others embracing the truth, led us to hold two meetings, when it was thought wisdom that brother Packard should tarry and preach to them, while we continued our journey east.-Accordingly we continued our journey to Kirtland Ohio. There we left Brother Allen, and brother Billings and myself pursued our journey alone, and in forty-eight days from the time we left Nauvoo we stopped in Hampshire county Massachusetts, a distance of thirteen hundred miles. Here we found, as we expected, ourselves surrounded by men of learning, upon whom no money or pains had been spared to make them polished statesmen, or to give them pre-eminence in the arts and sciences so extensively cultivated in the New England states: yet many of them are filled with superstition and religious bigotry-professing to live in the full blaze of gospel light and revelation; overflowing with wisdom and intelligence-while at the same time a veil of darkness covers their minds, and when we speak of the pure principles of the gospel, or the testimony of Jesus, we find them ignorant and unlearned as to the plan of salvation, as taught by the Apostles.
No persons but an elder of like experience can imagine the feelings of my heart when contemplating upon the scene before me, standing in the midst of a people as above described, and being alone, (elder Billings having left me to visit his friends,) unlearned as to the manners and customs of the east, having been raised in the western states, and having but a small education when compared with those around me of like profession, and knowing them to be filled with prejudice, without any knowledge of our religion, but what they have read in the newspapers of the day, which are calculated to increase instead of lessening prejudice, having never heard the everlasting gospel preached. No Latter Day Saint had travelled [traveled] there to instruct them in those principles that God has revealed in these last days. However the news soon spread that a Mormon elder was there, and I soon received an invitation to preach, which I gladly accepted; and the first discourse I delivered, was in the town where I was born, to a large congregation, who listened with great anxiety, and after meeting was dismissed, a number of persons invited me to leave another appointment, feeling anxious to hear more of this strange doctrine. But a few of the most leading men, and those best skilled in sectarian tactics, said they thought it not best for me to hold another meeting at present, as it was the time of a revival there, and they were afraid it would trouble the minds of some of the young converts. I thought it would trouble their minds too, and having received a very polite invitation to forbear preaching there at the present, I left there and troubled them no more, having invitations to preach in other places, where people were not afraid of their minds being disturbed, but were persons of strong minds and not afraid to investigate the principles of eternal truth, and when convinced, were honest enough to obey the commands of God. As I began to lift my voice on the mountains in proclaiming our principles, the news went from mount to mount, and from hill to hill. The people soon began to be alarmed that Mormonism
had come there also. Some of the people began to search the scriptures to learn the truth of what I advanced. Others searched to find something by which they could overthrow it. While in this situation you may judge of my feelings when informed that elders B. S. Willber and William Hyde were preaching and baptizing about twenty miles north of me.-About this time, also a young elder by the name of Sparks, from New York, came to me and continued with me a few weeks, when we received a line from elder Woolley, stating that he had commenced preaching a few miles east of me. This rejoiced my heart, and I felt to take new courage; for while he was preaching to the citizens of the valley, I continued to blow the gospel trumpet on the mountains.-Thus we wielded the sword of the spirit, until we succeeded in establishing the truth in the hearts of many in that part of the state. I labored in Hampshire and Hampden counties mostly alone, until spring, when I organized a branch in Russell, called The Russell Branch, consisting of nineteen members, one elder, and one teacher, when necessity required me to return to Nauvoo, where I landed on the first of July, and found my family and friends well, and the city in a flourishing condition-the brethren enjoying good health, with unshaken faith in the work of God in the last days. I find on examination, that I have travelled [traveled] between four and five thousand miles, delivered sixty-six public discourses, and baptized about twenty persons. Thus the work of the Lord moves on in Massachusetts, as well as every other state in this great republic; and the honest in heart are rejoicing, while the priests of babylon howl and lament to see their merchandize [merchandise] failing. So I subscribe myself your brother and fellow laborer in the spread of the truth.
L. A. SHIRTLIFF.
TUESDAY, A. M., Nauvoo.
JOSEPH SMITH, Sir:-In order that an individual case may not engross too much of your valuable time, I take the liberty of using this method to acquaint you with the state of my feelings regarding religion.
The words you were kind enough to bestow on me last evening have made a deep and, I trust, lasting impression. The way of salvation has been pointed out to me in a manner perfectly plain and comprehensible, while what sectarians term "mysterious truths," have been made as clear and intelligible as if written out with a sunbeam. Although I may still be in ignorance, as regards many of the minor points and technicalities of the doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, yet, by the blessing of God, I feel that light has been shed upon me sufficient to enable me (by employing the means) to save my immortal soul, and obtain an inheritance with the saints in glory. That light, as was to be expected, has had the effect to render me deeply anxious and solicitous to become united with the brethren of this church in the bonds of the new faith; to the end that I may be permitted to drink the water of life in a state as pure and undefiled as was the original fount, and not coagulated and gross with all the impurities the stream has gathered in traversing countries teeming with paganism and an age dark with the night of barbarism.
I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and have repented in all sincerity, of my sins, which in magnitude are like unto a great mountain with a weight sufficient to crush a nation, but from the "large bounty of indulgent heaven," I look for forgiveness. In the mean time I wait with trembling anxiety the ceremony of baptism, the gift to the Holy Ghost, and all the train of blessings that follow. My ambition is to become a good and useful member of the church, as far as the little strength God has given me will allow, and I have for some time had a presentment that ere I am gathered to my fathers, it will be my exceeding good fortune to do the Latter Day Saints some signal service, whether it be in the field, the sacred desk, or some more humble walk, I am unable to conjecture. But if such a presentment, (or, if you please, idea,) I cannot divert myself. From the manner in which God revealed his will unto me, I feel a conviction that he has endowed me with some quality or talent, that in some great crisis in the career of the saints, will be called forth unto their good, and unto his glory.
With many sentiments of respect and esteem,
D. S. PERRY.
To the Editor of the Times and Seasons.
CHESTER COUNTY, Pa., June 18, 1843.
DEAR BROTHER:-As I have been sometime absent from Nauvoo, perhaps a short account of my mission may not be uninteresting to your numerous readers.
Brother J. A. Stratton and myself left Nauvoo on the 4th of September, 1842; with an intention of preaching the gospel in our weakness to the world, neither of us ever having preached before. We proceeded through Illinois, and preached wherever we could get a chance, but there was not much of an opening there, and we continued our course through Indiana. We preached considerable in that state, prejudice gave way and many listened to the truth, * * * * I had some connexions [connections]
living in Pennsylvania, and I wanted to see them, and preach to them the everlasting gospel that there might be something done there. So we travelled [traveled] on through Ohio, preaching by the way, and bearing our testimony to all that would hear. We finally arrived at the place where I spent my youthful days, and we have been preaching in the surrounding country since, till of late. Brother Stratton has accompanied Brother Jarvis into Bucks county, above Philadelphia; and I am left alone at present. Through the assistance of the Lord we have been enabled to convince some and bring a few into the kingdom. We have baptized thirty-two, and I hope that we have convinced many more. The brethren generally are trying to get ready to go to Zion and the work seems to prosper and flourish in almost every place. I do not expect to remain here long, but purpose going to some place where there has not been any preaching. I have been over in Montgomery county where there has never been any of our elders, and I expect to go back there before I return. * * * *
I remain yours, as ever,
Minutes of a conference held at Kirtland, on the Sixth day of April, A. D. 1843; in the Lord's House.
Lyman Wight of the quorum of the Twelve, received the appointment to preside in this conference; whereupon, he arose and informed the brethren that Alexander Badlam would remain a standing clerk for him in all the conferences attended by us; keeping a full account of all matters of importance transacted during our mission and until our return to the city of Nauvoo; yet it would be necessary to appoint another to sit with him at this time. Thomas Kerr accepted this appointment, all of which appointments were unanimous.
Prayer was offered by President Brooks, and the attention of the congregation solicited by the president of the conference, who proceeded to make known the object of the same, and also read from the book of Doctrine and Covenants concerning the calling of the Twelve; saying they were called to be special witnesses in all the world, of the name of Christ, and although many have been the operations of aspiring men to destroy their influence and character, as also that of Joseph Smith, yet they have never been able to effect their purpose, although some may triumph in a supposed victory over the head of their benefactors; even those from whom they have received the little intelligence they possess concerning the things of God, they treat with contempt and ingratitude, by taking the same knowledge to combat the one who brought it forth; yet God will do as he always has done, sustain the man of his own choosing, while those who on the other hand exalt themselves, must surely be abased. Some have talked of fallen prophets. Show me a man of this description and you show me a character of whom the Bible gives no account. I challenge the world to produce the history of a fallen prophet of God. Some may inquire, will God speak through sinful man? If not I doubt very much whether he has spoken through man in ages past, or that he ever will to any that now dwell on the earth. But some may say, who can believe that Joseph Smith is a prophet of the Most High? I will ask, who would have believed a few months since, while he in a company with others, were surrounded by an infuriated mob, placed under the sentence of death, surrounded by a strong guard, with rifles cocked, and guns with bayonets; waiting only the command of his most bitter enemies to shed his blood, that he at this moment should be found standing in the midst of a more numerous host of real friends than any other man on earth; who would have supposed a few years since that one whom all the world proclaimed to be a fool, should rise from obscurity and become the wonder of the nations of the earth: who would have even dared to believe it possible for him to triumph over more than thirty different law suits, planted by the most ingenious of his enemies, and raise his triumphant brow above the pelting waves of slang and persecution, and hurl their anathamas [anathemas] back with ten fold vigor; sweeping their flimsy charges to the winds; leaving the instigators to feel the smart of their own imprudence: who would have believed for a moment, that a youth in the midst of veteran heads, whom age had silvered o'er, whose days and years had been devoted to the most profound studies of the age, would stand as an instructor to them, while thousands upon thousands arise with one consent, declaring the things of which he testifies to be the eternal truths of heaven. I ask again who would have believed that all the learning of the age in which we live, the influence of every religious denomination, the power of every press, the calumny of every apostate, with all their power combined, has never been sufficient to impede the progress of the modern prophet. I ask where is the man who could have believed all this; and answer, none but those who are taught of God. I therefore ask who shall speak against him? who shall speak against the man of God? But some will ask, how may we
know whether revelations be of God or not?-I know of only two ways to prove them. The first, to lay hold upon them by obedience; the second, by waiting until the time specified for them to be fulfilled, shall arrive. The manner in which I have been made acquainted with the revelations in times past is the former, but should any of my hearers be more inclined to skepticism than myself, I should not feel myself authorised [authorized] to deprive them of the privilege of waiting to witness the fulfillment of the prophesies of the servants of God before they perform those things which are required at their hands; yet if men have ever been able to obtain salvation by taking a course like this, I have yet that thing to learn; for the experience of twelve years past, in being sent from place to place, and under the most embarrassing circumstances, has taught me a lesson on this point that could be known in no other way. It would have been impossible for me to have known that I could go to the State of Missouri by way of Detroit, Michigan, building up churches by the way, according to a revelation given June 1831, not having in my possession means to defray the expenses of a journey which would be attended by the most forbidding appearances on every hand, had I remained at home, in order to first ascertain the truth of this prediction which had been placed upon my head. If I had refused to obey this commandment, how could I stand before you as I do this day, and say, all has been fulfilled, even to the very letter, which was spoken concerning myself? or how should I even know the revelation to be of God, without witnessing his approbation? In every move which I have made to comply with this requirement, or otherwise, I have contented myself in waiting for this knowledge when God shall send forth judgment unto victory according to this revelation. I hold it as my right and privilege to know for myself who is the prophet of God, and am then bound to receive the words of God at his mouth, and shall do so, regardless of the opinions or suppositions of men.
For a man to say, if I knew, I would obey, I will ask, how shall a man know, if he is not willing to obey? and what evidence has a man that he is himself willing to obey, unless he shall do the things that are right? or how shall he know that the things which he does are right, if he can receive no commandment of God? If he does not believe it possible to be instructed of God in the way of his duty, then away with the foolish doctrine, that a person must remain in ignorance, while very means of obtaining knowledge has been given the human family that the benevolence and boundless mercy of God could provide.
I find many of the elders who are pouncing away at the sectarians for their unbelief, and yet if I tell them I have seen a broken arm healed, they are ready to ask if I might not be mistaken? Oh! where is faith? or I might ask, where is common sense? Many will say the ancient prophets and apostles were men of greater faith than those at the present time. I am ready to meet all men on the same principle, with the Bible in one hand, the Book of Mormon in the other, and the Book of Covenants before me. Give me, as Moses had, 2,300,000 men, and see if the waters are not divided.-Give me the united band of Saints, like those in the days of the apostles, and see if the lame do not leap: for when the time arrives that men are willing to feed the hungry and clothe the naked, then will the sick be healed, and the lame will leap:-but while the poor are crying for bread, how shall the servants of God be able to have the same faith that once came among men in consequence of their having been willing to impart of their substance to relieve the distressed. How long shall thy voice, O Lord, be heard from the heavens "Build unto my name an house?" How long, O Lord, shall the voice of the widow cry on the earth, "feed me, for I am hungry?" How long shall the wicked say "show me a sign, that I may believe!" while they themselves are unwilling to impart of the smallest portion of their earthly treasures, and save their fellow men from the jaws of death, by the use of those things which have already been put within our power; for be assured, it is the height of presumption to ask at the hand of God to perform for us a thing which we can do ourselves.
It should be remembered, also, that all men will receive those things for their reward which they esteem of the greatest importance and value. And should we grasp the riches of the world, in hopes of obtaining eternal life, we miss the prize: or strive to be put in possession of a knowledge of the truth, and after receiving the satisfaction required should suffer worldly interests to swerve us from our purpose, we do no better. A man will ever cling to that he loves the most. I find many who seem very anxious to know what will become of their property. I cannot tell them; but one thing I am sure-either the Lord or the Devil will have the disposal of it. But do not blame me. Do not meet me in the streets of Nauvoo, and call me a hypocrite, because I have told you these things in so plain a manner, you cannot misunderstand: for I tell you again and again, if you
love your property more than God, hold on to it-enjoy it as long as possible in those places that you find the most pleasantly situated to your own minds; and never charge the servants of God with the crime of leading you away from your pleasant homes, contrary to your own wishes.
Some complain that I am not smooth enough. If you wish to have smooth things, you must not place me to preside; for I shall say whatever the Lord puts in my heart: for that which pleases Him, that shall I speak.-The reason I did not teach you any more last fall concerning the gathering, is that the time had not then come. I wish also to give to all a portion in due season. The season has now arrived that you should be instructed more perfectly. I then told you not to leave this place until you were instructed by revelation; but you knew not that I had the revelation with me: but you may depend on hearing it before I leave. And I have no doubt you are all well satisfied concerning the object that lies before us, which is to devise means to effect a removal of the church from this place to the city of Nauvoo. I shall, therefore, call on all, to know who are willing to go, and are desirous so to do; that we may know what farther arrangements to make for that purpose. Some have had fears that they would go in haste or by flight. Brethren here need have no fears on this point respecting the past, but as it regards the future. One of you might break this commandment as well in a year from this time by going in haste or by flight, as to do it this day. If being expeditious is breaking the commandment, to be driven by a mob would cause a man to break the commandment, for he surely would be under the necessity of moving quite sprightly. Therefore, if any one is afraid of breaking this law by going in haste, I would advise them to go while they have a chance to go in peace, unless they think by stoping [stopping] a few years longer they can be better prepared: but my opinion is, they will be altogether better prepared to stay where they are after that length of time. I wish those who say they are not able, would be honest, and say they are not willing, until they can have enough to make them popular when they get among the brethren. Oh! what a set of disciples! Who would not be a Mormon, if we could all get rich? Yet some will step up and say, I am going to build up Zion. But where are your widows? Oh! we have left them behind; I suppose the angels will attend them! But I shall inform you that the servants of God will do it themselves: for as I have said, so say I again. It is presumptuous to require the Lord to do a thing we are not willing to do ourselves. Let me inform you that no man can ever be admitted into the kingdom of heaven who loves his earthly treasure more than he loves the cause of the poor and the needy, the widow and the fatherless, and the commandments of Jesus Christ: for it is vain for men to flatter themselves with a hope of salvation while bidding defiance to the most sacred ties which have and always will bind the Saints to each other in the bonds of charity stronger than the bonds of death; for "he that seeth his brother stand in need," &c., how dwelleth the love of God in him?
If I speak to plain on these points, you must call on some one who understands your wishes better than myself; for I have made no enquiry [inquiry] concerning the things which would be most pleasing to you. Neither shall I; but shall endeavor to fulfil [fulfill] the commandment given to me, that I should CONTINUE to labor for Zion. I therefore pursue the same course which I have the twelve years that are past, and have no position to change my course until the Lord shall tell me what to do. My object is, and has been ever since our first settling in Jackson county Missouri, to devise means for our present and eternal good; even as men who have lived in past ages, who were called and inspired of God: and with me it is a matter of the highest importance and concern, to prepare a place of residence for this tabernacle-a habitation of safety in a time to come-by obeying the commandment which now lies before us, and gather to the place which has been appointed of God. A motion was then made by Alexander Badlam and seconded by Orange L. Wight, that all who are present who are of the same mind with the President of this conference, and are perfectly willing and determined to comply with this commandment and do all they can for the promotion of so good an object, will manifest the same by standing on their feet; whereupon a unanimous vote was taken to that effect.
The idea was then suggested that a vote be taken in order to ascertain who had teams, and who had not. It was found that twenty persons had no teams. It was recommended by elder Wight, that such means be taken as will be the most conducive to the general good of the church, the interest of one man being the interest of the whole body, and whether the church go up either by land or by water, there should be a concert of effort. It was unanimously agreed upon that such a course be pursued as had been recommended at the close of the first day of conference. Four persons were appointed to baptize during the same, viz: John Young, Alexander Badlam, Reuben McBride
and Orange L. Wight. The services of the day were then closed by singing and prayer.
At the opening of the services of this day, a privilege was given for the introduction of any business the brethren might wish to present.-No business being presented, elder Wight proceeded again to instruct the church, touching the subject of christianity, or what it requires to constitute a christian; observing:
There is but one class of christians that will be saved; and those not inconsequence [inconsequent] of having connected themselves with any religious sect or denomination whatever. Neither is any thing acceptable as a religion in the sight of God, which in the least point falls short of that system which he has himself instituted for the express purpose of saving mankind: consequently we have no more to do than to make ourselves acquainted with His mind and will concerning us, and then that we fail not to obey all His precepts, which if we do not, we have no assurance of eternal life, however great our professions or pretensions may be. It is a common saying among men "we do not believe such and such doctrines," as their salvation and that also of their fellow men was suspended alone on their peculiar notions of right and wrong, entirely independent of the sayings of inspired men, or even the words of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Nothing can be more ridiculous or disgusting to a man of intelligence, than to hear an individual who professes no inspiration at all, attempting to make plain those things which they vainly suppose inspired. Men have failed to do, notwithstanding they have been favored by the voice of God and the ministrations of holy messengers, whose office and business embrace the important mission of communicating knowledge to the vast family of man. How, then, if the inspired have failed to set before the world the plan of redemption, can the uninspired lead the human family into the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven? or will he not be rather an instrument to involve the minds of all who are willing to be led by one who makes no higher pretensions than to teach according to the dictates of his own limited conceptions into a most unsettled and equivocating condition? To that individual who supposes and explanation of the word of God is necessary, I would here say-what a great pity! what a vast mistake, that no uninspired man was called for when the ancient apostles and prophets received the word of God, to tell them what it meant!! Again: if the word of God is not to be understood as it is given (as the meaning is all we need,) we must come to the conclusion that the Bible is of no particular importance in this case. But I would ask, why would it not have been as easy for inspired men to have conveyed those ideas which they have communicated to the world, as they desired them to be understood, in the same number of letters that would be required in its present form; and thus save the world from a most intolerable inconvenience, and a burthen [burden] too grievous to be borne [born], if it be in fact that the Bible cannot be understood without a commentator. But for myself, I deem it very improper and unnecessary for men who are sent out to preach, to engage in so low and unrighteous a calling as to attempt to give interpretations on those points which inspired men have failed to do, unless they are endowed with as much at least, if not more of the spirit of revelation than those whose testimony may be found in the Bible, or any sacred scripture. I, therefore, recommend to all who would wish to become successful in the ministry, to content themselves by preaching such things as are plain and easy to be understood. Nothing is more certain than that a man will come to shame and disgrace who attempts to interfere in matters which have not been entrusted to his charge Neither is it the duty of young and inexperienced elders to preside over grey [gray] heads, fathers and mothers, or to knock pipes from their mouths; or in their great zeal kick over their tea-pots. A man would not be considered wise who, on leading his horse to water, and on finding him unwilling to drink, would begin to apply the lash, in order to compel him.-Neither should a servant of God be found usurping power, or attempting to enforce, by compulsory means, any principle, although good, at a time or in a place where the circumstances do not admit, or necessity require.
It should never be forgotten that, to abase our fellow men by insulting remarks, or trample upon the tender feelings of the aged and infirm, is far, very far beneath the dignity of any person, much more a Saint of the Most High. Let every elder, therefore, observe a course of meekness and simplicity before all men, teaching nothing but those things which are easy to understand. And while men are crying "delusion," challenge them to the test; and while the name of Joseph Smith is mentioned a thousand times, the President of our Nation is only mentioned once, we have full proof that the attention of the whole world is beginning to be aroused: and I am fully in the belief that he is of more value than a thousand of his persecutors-and as the work of the last dispensation is more glorious than any former one, so shall his name be known before all others
and held in honor before all men; but more especially in the estimation of the wise and good.
After taking measures for the removal of the church in this place, to the city of Nauvoo, the ordaining of elders, the confirming of members, blessing of children, the importance of building the houses, both Nauvoo House and Temple, the gathering of the Saints explained to the entire satisfaction of the congregation, and in short, every item for the good of this people, was set forth in meekness and power.
During the conference, about one hundred were baptised [baptized].
LYMAN WIGHT, President.
ALEXANDER BADLAM, }
THOMAS KERE, }Clerks.
To the Editor of the Times and Seasons:
DEAR SIR,-If you can find room in your paper for the annexed minutes of conference, you will confer a favor on many.
Yours in the bonds of the gospel,
L. D. FOSTER, Clerk.
A conference of Elders and other official members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, was held in Columbian Hall, No. 263 Grand Street, New York, on the 16th, 17th, and 18th days of May, 1843.
Elder Richard Birdge was unanimously elected chairman, and L. R. Foster Clerk.
After prayer by the chairman, reports were heard from the different branches represented, and then each member of the conference reported his doings since last conference.
The Branch at New York, represented by elder Foster, consists of four high priests, fourteen elders, four priests, four teachers, two deacons, and one hundred and thirty five members, all in fellowship, and most of them in good standing. Since last conference, in October, fifteen have been added by baptism, and eighteen from other branches. Thirteen have been excommunicated, and many have moved to Nauvoo and other places.
The branch at Newark, New Jersey, represented by elder Ross, consists of one elder, one priest, one teacher, and fifteen members-all grounded in the truth as they first received it.
The branch at Little Falls and Mead's Basin, New Jersey, represented by elder John Leach, consists of twelve members, including two elders, one priest, and two deacons. Since last conference, three have been added by baptism, one by certificate, four have moved away, and one cut off.
The branch at Norwalk, Connecticut, represented by teacher Gregory, consists of fifty members, including two elders, three priests, and two teachers. Since last conference, seventeen have been added by baptism, six have been excluded, and two have removed to New York.
The branch at Paterson, New Jersey, represented by elder Young, consists of ten members, including one elder and one teacher.
The branch at Hudson, N. York, represented by elder John Leach, consists of seven members, including two priests and one deacon.
At New Germantown and Mechanicsville, New Jersey, there are six members not organized. Reported by elder Leach, who had baptised [baptized] three there.
The branch at Setunket, Long Island, represented by elder Lewis Hulse, consists of two elders, two priests, two teachers, one deacon, and sixteen members. Since last conference, two have been added by baptism, two have removed to Nauvoo, and one cut off.
The branch at Stanhope, New Jersey, represented by elder Braley, consists of twenty-one members, including one elder, one teacher and one deacon. Six have been cut off, five are not in very good standing, and two have removed to Nauvoo.
Elder curtis E. Balton represented four members not organized, residing at Woodbury, L. Island.
Elder B. S. Wilber stated that the West Stockbridge and Richmond Union Branch, consists of twenty-one members, including one high priest, two elders, and one priest; all in good standing.
The Cummington branch, represented by elder Wilber, consists of one elder, one priest, and nine members, chiefly raised up the past winter by himself and elder Wm. Hyde. There are also four members and one elder at Woodstock, Windson county, Vermont.
The branch at Northfield, Washington county, Vermont, consists of two elders, and eight members; built up principally by elder Brown.
The branch at Canaan, Litchfield county, Connecticut, represented by elder Wilbur, consists of three elders and eight members-in a deplorable state. Have not had any meetings, nor partaken of the sacrament for several months. He hopes the conference would send some one out there to regulate matters.
Elder Woolf represented the branch at New Rochelle, New York. There are at present one high priest, two elders, two priests, two teachers, and twenty-five members-all in good standing, except two. Seven have been added since last conference, two removed to N. York, and one cut off.
Elder Dougherty stated that in Sussex county, New Jersey, and in Pike county, Pennsylvania,
there were fourteen scattered members, not organized-not before represented.
Elder E. W. Pell represented the branch at New Haven, Connecticut. The number is twenty-one, including one elder and one priest. The prospect there is favorable-nothing having been done to cut off the ears of the people. Two have been added since last conference.
Elder Quartus S. Sparks represented, by letter, the branch at Westfield, Massachusetts. It consists of eighteen members, including one elder, one priest, and one teacher.
At Russell, there is a branch, consisting of twelve members.
There were present at the conference, five high priests, one of the quorum of seventy-twenty three elders, six priests, eight teachers, and three deacons.
Elder Samuel J. Ringmond, Robert Windley, Stephen F. Qua, Charles Polin, Richard Polin, Peter Snyder, Selah Lane, Bernhart Smith, Jacob W. Jenks, John M. Baker, Alexander Clough Elijah Fuller, Francis Benedict, Joshua Benedict, John Alexander, Gibson Smith, Phineas Richards, Doctor Hinman, James Miller, and Warren Walling were absent, and made no report. They were thought to be within the bounds of this conference, and they are hereby requested to report at the next conference, on the first Wednesday of September next, either personally or by letter.
Voted that elder B. S. Wilbur, J. G. Willey and C. W. Wandell, go to Canaan, Connecticut, to investigate the affairs of the branch there, and make report of their doings to the clerk of this conference.
A difficulty between elder John Leach and elder E. R. Young was, after a tedious examination, finally and amicably settled.
The letter which elder Divine wrote to elder Sidney Rigdon, concerning J. W. Latson, was, by unanimous vote of the conference, burned.
Albert Merrill, Albert Gregory, Cyrus A. Mead and Joseph Bouton, jr., all of Norwalk, Connecticut, were ordained elders; and James Jerman, of New York, was ordained a priest.
Voted by all the members of the conference who were present when the vote was taken, except two, that we keep the Word of Wisdom.
Voted that any elder that teaches doctrine contrary to the gathering, is in transgression, and ought to be cut off, unless he repents.
Voted that our next conference be held on the first Wednesday of September next, at ten o'clock in the morning, at Columbian Hall, No. 263 Grand Street, New York; and that the minutes of this conference be published.
RICHARD BIRDGE, President.
L. R. FOSTER, Clerk.
FEMALE RELIEF SOCIETY.
The first annual report of the Female Relief Society of Nauvoo; being a correct statement of the receipts and disbursements of the society, from its organization, March 16th 1842 to March 16th 1843, to wit.
Received donations of money, clothing, provisions, &c. &c. $507,00
Expended in appropriations for the relief of the poor. $306,48
Leaving the time aforesaid, a balance of $200,52
as follows, to wit.
Cash $ 29,00
Share in the Nauvoo House 50,00
Note of hand by J. Emmett 12,00
Cow, the use of which is appropriated to widow H. 14,00
various articles of clothing, provision, &c. &c. 77,02
An apology is due to the members of the Society for our delay in presenting this report. We would only say, it was unavoidable in consequence of circumstances beyond the control of the Treasurer, Mrs. E. A. Holmes, which rendered it impossible for her to make satisfactory returns at an earlier period.
We hope the Ladies of the Society will feel encouraged to renew their exertions, knowing that the blessings of the poor are resting upon them: We feel assured from what has passed under our personal observation, that many during the inclemency of the winter, were not only relieved, but preserved from famishing, through their instrumentality. More has been accomplished than our most sanguine anticipations predicted, and through the assistance and blessing of God, what may we not hope for the future?
By order of the President.
ELIZA R. SNOW, Secretary.
Nauvoo, June 30th, 1843.
It is with regret that we announce the death of our respected brother, Gen Judge ADAMS, of Springfield. He joined this church some time ago in the above place, and had come to Nauvoo for the purpose of arranging matters preparatory to his removal to this place. He was attacked by the cholera morbus, and died on Friday night, the 11 inst. He has left an amiable family, and a large circle of acquaintances, by whom he was greatly respected, to mourn his loss. Peace to his ashes.
For the Times and Seasons.
The Kidnapping of Gen. Joseph Smith,
On the 23d of June, by Reynolds, the Sheriff of Jackson County, Mo. and Wilson, of Carthage, Hancock Co Ill.
BY MISS E. R. SNOW.
Like bloodhounds fiercely prowling, Their hearts are seats where blindness
With pistols ready drawn- O'er foul corruption reigns-
With oaths like tempests howling, The milk of human kindness
Those kidnappers came on. Flows not within their veins.
He bared his breast before them, Their conduct was unworthy
But as they hurried near, The meanest race of men;
A fearfulness came o'er them- 'Twould better fit the tiger
It was the coward's fear. Emerging from its den!
Well might their dark souls wither Missouri! O, Missouri!
When he their courage dared- You thus prolong your shame
Their pity fled, O whither? By sending such as Reynolds
When he his bosom bared? Abroad to bear your name.
"Death has to me no terrors," Could Jackson County furnish
He said, "I hate a life No tamer shrub than he?
So subject to the horrors Must legal office burnish
Of your ungodly strife." Such wild barbarity?
"What means your savage conduct? Go search the rudest forests,
Have you a lawful writ? The panther the bear
To any LEGAL process As well would grace your suff'rage-
I cheerfully submit." As well deserve a share.
"Here," said these lawless ruffians, Then might the heartless Wilson,
"Is our authority" Thy shame, O Illinois!
And drew their pistols nearer Become confed'rate with them
In rude ferocity. And teach them to destroy.
With more than savage wildness- So much ferocious nature
Like hungry beasts of prey; Should join the brutish clan,
They bore, in all his mildness, And not disgrace the features
The man of God away! That claim to be a man.
With brutish haste they tore him But hear it, O Missouri!
From her he loves so well, Once more "the prophet's free"-
And far away they bore him Your ill-directed fury
With scarce the word "farewell"! Brings forth a "jubilee."
The Times and Seasons, is edited by JOHN TAYLOR. Printed and published about the first and fifteenth of every month, on the corner of Water and Bain Streets, Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois, by JOHN TAYLOR AND WILFORD WOODRUFF.
TERMS. TWO DOLLARS per annum, payable in all cases in advance. Any person procuring five new subscribers, and forwarding us Ten Dollars current money, shall receive one volume gratis. All letters must be addressed to John Taylor, editor, POST PAID, or they will not receive attention.
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