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Vol. V. No. 11.] CITY OF NAUVOO, ILL. JUNE 1, 1844 [Whole No. 95.
CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN GEN. JOSEPH SMITH AND THE HON. HENRY CLAY,
Nauvoo, Ill., Nov. 4th, 1843.
Hon. H. Clay-Dear Sir:-As we understand you are a candidate for the presidency at the next election; and as the Latter Day Saints, (sometimes called Mormons, who now constitute a numerous class in the school politic of this vast republic,) have been robbed of an immense amount of property, and endured nameless sufferings by the state of Missouri, and from her borders have been driven by force of arms, contrary to our national covenants; and as in vain we have sought redress by all constitutional, legal and honorable means, in her courts, her executive councils, and her legislative halls; and as we have petitioned congress to take cognizance of our sufferings without effect; we have judged it wisdom to address you this communication, and solicit an immediate, specific and candid reply to What will be your role of action relative to us as a people, should fortune favor your ascension to the chief magistracy?
Most respectfully, sir, your friend,
and the friend of peace, good order,
And constitutional rights,
In behalf of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Hon. H. Clay, Ashland, Ky.
Ashland, Nov. 15, 1843.
Dear sir:-I have received your letter in behalf of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, stating that you understand that I am a candidate for the Presidency, and enquiring [inquiring] what would be my rule of action relative to you as a people, should I be elected.
I am profoundly grateful for the numerous and strong expressions of the people in my behalf, as a candidate for President of the United States; but I do not so consider myself. That much depends upon future events, and upon my sense of duty.
Should I be a candidate, I can enter into no engagements, make no promises, give no pledges, to any portion of the people of the United States. If I ever enter into that high office, I must go into it free and unfettered, with no guarantees but such as are to be drawn from my whole life, character and conduct.
It is not inconsistent with this declaration to say, that I have viewed with a lively interest, the progress of the Latter Day Saints; that I have sympathized in their sufferings under injustice, as it appeared to me, which has been inflicted upon them; and that I think, in common with all other religious communities, they ought to enjoy the security and protection of the constitution and the laws.
I am, with great respect, your
friend and obedient servant,
Joseph Smith, Esq.
GEN. SMITH'S REJOINDER.
Nauvoo, Ill., May 13th, 1844.
Sir:-Your answer to my inquiry, "what would be your rule of action towards Latter Day Saints, should you be elected president of the United States," has been under consideration since last November, in the fond expectation, that you would give (for every honest citizen has a right to demand it,) to the country, a manifesto of your views of the best method and means which would secure to the people, the whole people, the most freedom, the most happiness, the most union, the most wealth, the most fame, the most glory at home, and the most honor abroad, at the least expense; but I have waited in vain. So far as you have made public declarations, they have been made, like your answer of the above, soft to flatter, rather than solid to feed the people. You seem to abandon all former policy which may have actuated you in the discharge of a statesman's duty, when the vigor of intellect and the force of virtue, should have sought out an everlasting habitation for liberty; when, as a wise man, a true patriot, and a friend to mankind, you should have resolved, to ameliorate the awful condition of our bleeding country by a mighty plan of wisdom, righteousness, justice, goodness and mercy, that would have brought back the golden days of our nation's youth, vigor and vivacity; when prosperity crowned the offorts [efforts] of a youthful Republic, when the gentle aspirations of the sons of liberty were, "we are one."
In your answer to my questions, last fall, that peculiar tact of modern politicians, declaring, "if you ever enter into that high office, you must go into it free and unfettered, with no guarantee but such as are to be drawn from your whole life, character and conduct," so much resembles a lottery vendor's sign, with the goddess of good luck sitting on the ear of fortune, a-straddle of the horn of plenty,
and driving the merry steeds of beatitude, without reigns or bridle, that I cannot help exclaiming; O frail man; what have you done that will exalt you? Can anything be drawn from your life, character or conduct that is worthy of being held up to the gaze of this nation as a model of virtue, charity and wisdom? Are you not a lottery picture, with more than two blanks to a prize? Leaving many things prior to your Ghent treaty, let the world look at that, and see where is the wisdom, honor and patriotism which ought to have characterized the plenipotentiary of the only free nation upon the earth? A quarter of a century's negociation [negotiation] to obtain our rights on the north eastern boundary, and the motly [motley] manner in which Oregon tries to shine as American territory, coupled with your presidential race, and come-by-chance secretary ship, in 1825, all go to convince the friends of freedom, the golden patriots of Jeffersonian democracy, free trade and sailor's rights, and the protectors of person and property, that an honorable war is better than a dishonorable peace.
But had you really wanted to have exhibited the wisdom, clemency, benevolence and dignity of a great man in this boasted Republic, when fifteen thousand free citizens were exiled from their own homes, lands and property, in the wonderful patriotic State of Missouri, and you then upon your oath and honor, occupying the exalted station of a senator of Congress from the noble hearted State of Kentucky; why did you not show the world your loyalty to law and order, by using all honorable means to restore the innocent to their rights and property? Why, sir, the more we search into your character and conduct, the more we must exclaim from holy writ, the tree is known by its fruit.
Again, this is not all; rather than show yourself an honest man, by guaranteeing to the people what you will do in case you should be elected president; "you can enter into no engagement, make no promises, and give no pledges" as to what you will do. Well, it may be that some hot headed partisan would take such nothingarianism upon trust, but sensible men and even ladies would think themselves insulted by such an invasion of coming events! If a tempest is expected, why not prepare to meet it; and in the language of the poet, exclaim:-
"Then let the trial come; and witness thou,
If terror be upon me; if I shrink
Or falter in my strength to meet the storm,
When hardest it beset me?"
True greatness never wavers, but when the Missouri compromise was entered into by you, for the benefit of slavery, there was a mighty shrinkage of western honor; and from that day, Sir, the sterling Yankee, the struggling abolitionist, and the staunch Democrat, with a large number of liberal minded Whigs, have marked you as a black-leg in politics, begging for a chance to shuffle yourself into the Presidential chair, where you might deal out the destinies of our beloved country for a game of brag, that would end in "Hark from the tombs a doleful sound." Start not at this picture; for your "whole life, character and conduct" have been spotted with deeds that causes a blush upon the face of a virtuous patriot; so you must be contented in your lot, while crime cowardice, cupidity or low cunnuing [cunning] have landed you down from the high tower of a statesman, to the black hole of a statesman, to the black hole of a gambler. A man that accepts a challenge or fights a duel, is nothing more or less than a murderer, for holy writ declares that "whoso sheds a man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed;" and when in the renowned city of Washington, the notorious Henry Clay dropped from the summit of a senator to the sink of a scoundrel, to shoot at that chalk line of a Randolph, he not only disgraced his own fame, family and friends, but he polluted the sanctum sanctorum of American glory; and the kingly blackguards throughout the whole world, are pointing the finger of scorn at the boasted "asylum of the oppressed," and hissing at American statesmen, as gentlemen vagabonds and murderers, holding the olive branch of peace in one hand, and a pistol for death in the other! Well might the Savior rebuke the heads of this nation with, wo unto you scribes, Pharisees, hypocrites, for the United States government, and Congress, with a few honorable exceptions, have gone the way of Cain and must perish in their gainsayings, like Korah and his wicked host. And honest men of every clime, and the innocent poor and oppressed, as well as heathens, pagans, and Indians, every where; who could but hope that the tree of liberty would yield some precious fruit for the hungry human race, and shed some balmy leaves for the healing of nations, have long since given up all hopes of equal rights, of justice and judgement [judgment], and of truth and virtue, when such polluted vain, heaven daring, bogus patriots, are forced or flung into the front rank of government, to guide the destinies of millions. Crape the heavens with weeds of wo, gird the earth with sackcloth, and let hell mutter one melody in commemoration of fallen splendor! for the glory of America has departed, and God will get a flaming sword to guard the tree of liberty, while such mint-tithing Herods as Van Buren, Boggs, Benton, Calhoun and Clay are thrust out of the realms of virtue
as fit subjects for the kingdom of fallen greatness; vox reprobi, vox diaboli! In your late addresses to the people of South Carolina, where rebellion budded but could not blossom, you "renounced ultraism," "high tariff," and almost banished your "banking system," for the more certain standard of "public opinion." This is all very well, and marks the intention of a politician, the calculations of a demagogue, and the allowance for leeings of a shrewd manager, just as truly as the weather cock does the wind when it turns upon the spire. Hustings for the south, barbacues [barbecues] for the west, confidential letters for the north, and "American system" for the east:
"Lull-a-by baby upon the tree top,
And when the wind blows the cradle will rock."
Suppose you should also, taking your "whole life, character and conduct," into consideration, and as many hands make light work, stir up the old 'Clay party," the "National Republican party," "High Protective Tariff party," and the late coon skin party, with all their parapheralia [paraphernalia], ultraism, ne plus ultraism,-sine qua non, which have grown with your growth, strengthened with your strength, and shrunk with your shrinkage, and ask the people of this enlightened Republic, what they think of your powers and policy as a statesman; for verily it would seem, from all past remains of parties, politics, projects and pictures, that you are the Clay, and the people the potter; and as some vessels are marred in the hands of the potter, the natural conclusion is, that you are a vessel of dishonor.
You may complain that a close examination of your "whole life, character and conduct," places you as a Kentuckian would pleasantly term it, "in a bad fix," but, Sir, when the nation has sunk deeper in the mud, at every turn of the great wheels of the union, while you have acted as one of the principle drivers, it becomes the bounden duty of the whole community, as one man, to whisper you on every point of government, to uncover every act of your, life, and enquire [inquire] what mighty acts you have done to benefit the nation; how much you have tithed the mint to gratify your lust; and why the fragments of your raiment hang upon the thorns by the path, as signals to beware!
But your shrinkage is truly wonderful! Not only your banking system, and high tariff project, have vanished from your mind "like the baseless fabric of a vision,' but the 'annexation of Texas' has touched your pathetic sensibilities of national pride so acutely, that the poor Texians [Texans], your own brethren, may fall back into the ferocity of Mexico, or be sold at auction to British stock jobbers, and all is well, for "I", the old senator from Kentucky, am fearful it would militate against my interest in the north, to enlarge the borders of the union in the south.-Truly a poor wise child is better than an old foolish king, who will be no longer admonished. Who ever heard of a nation that had too much territory? Was it ever bad policy to make friends? Has any people ever become too good to do good? No never; but the ambition and vanity of some men have flown away with their wisdom and judgment, and left a creaking skeleton to occupy the place of a noble soul.
Why, Sir, the conditions of the whole earth is lamentable. Texas dreads the teeth and toe nails of Mexico. Oregon has the rheumatism, brought on by a horrid exposure to the heat and cold of British and American trappers; Canada has caught a bad cold from extreme fatigue in the patriot war; South America has the headache, caused by bumps against the beams of Catholicity and Spanish sovereignty Spain has the gripes from age and inquisition; France trembles and wastes under the effects of contagious diseases; England groans with the gout, and wiggles with wine; Italy and the German states are pale with the consumption;-Prussia, Poland, and the little contigiuous [contiguous] dynasties, dutchies, and domains, have the mumps so severely, that 'the whole head is sick, and the whole heart is faint;' Russia has the cramp by lineage; Turkey has the numb palsy; Africa, from the curse of God, has lost the use of her limbs; China is ruined by the Queens evil, and the rest of Asia fearfully exposed to the smallpox, the natural way from British pedlars [peddlers]; the islands of the sea are almost dead with the scurvy; the Indians are blind and lame, and the United States, which ought to be the good physician with 'balm from Gilead,' and an 'asylum for the oppressed,' has boosted, and is boosting up into the council chamber of the government, a clique of political gamblers, to play for the old clothes and old shoes of a sick world, and 'no pledge, no promise to any particular portion of the people' that the rightful heirs will ever receive a cent of their Fathers' legacy! Away with such self important, self agrandising [aggrandizing], and self willed demagogues! their friendship is colder than polar ice; and their professions meaner than the damnation of hell.
Oh! man! when such a great dilemma of the globe, such a tremendous convulsion of kingdoms, shakes the earth from center to circumference; when castles, prison houses, and cells, raise a cry to God against the cruelty of man;
when the mourning of the fatherless and the widow causes anguish in heaven; when the poor among all nations cry day and night for bread and a shelter from the heat and storm; and when the degraded black slave holds up his manacled hands to the great statesmen of the United States, .and sings,
"O, liberty, where are thy charms,
That sages have told me are sweet!"
and when fifteen thousand free citizens of the high blooded Republic of North America, are robbed and driven from one state to another without redress or redemption, it is not only time for a candidate for the presidency to pledge himself to execute judgment and justice in righteousness, law or no law, but it is his bounden duty, as a man, for the honor of a disgraced country and for the salvation of a once virtuous people, to call for a union of all honest men, and appease the wrath of God, by acts of wisdom, holiness and virtue! The fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
Perhaps you may think, I go too far, with my strictures and inuendoes [innuendoes] because in your concluding paragraph you say: "It is not inconsistent with your declarations to say, that you have viewed with a lively interest the progress of the Latter day Saints, that you have sympathized in their sufferings, under injustice as it appeared to you, which has been inflicted upon them; and that you think, in common with all other religious communities they ought to enjoy the security and protection of the constitution and the laws." If words were not wind, and imagination not a vapor, such 'views' 'with a lively interest' might coax out a few Mormon votes; such 'sympathy' for their suffering under injustice, might heal some of the sick, yet lingering amongst them; raise some of the dead, and recover some of their property, from Missouri; and finally if thought was not a phantom, we might, in common with other religious communities, 'You think', enjoy the security and protection of the constitution and laws! But during ten years, while the Latter day Saints have bled, been robbed, driven from their own lands, paid oceans of money into the Treasury to pay your renowned self and others for legislating and dealing out equal rights and priveleges [privileges] to those in common with all other religious communities, they have waited and expected in vain! If you have possessed any patriotism, it has been vailed [veiled] by your popularity for fear the saints would fall in love with its charms. Blind charity and dumb justice never do much towards alleviating the wants of the needy, but straws show which way the wind blows. It is currently rumored that your dernier resort for the Latter day Saints, is, to emigrate to Oregon, or California. Such cruel humanity; such noble injustice; such honorable cowardice; such foolish wisdom, and such vicious virtue, could only eminate [emanate] from Clay. After the saints have been plundered of three or four millions of land and property, by the people and powers of the sovereign state of Missouri; after they have sought for redress and redemption from the County Court to Congress, and been through religious prejudice, and sacerdotal dignity; after they have builded a city and two temples at an immense expense of labor and treasure; after they have increased from hundereds [hundreds] to hundreds of thousands: and after they have sent missionaries to the various nations of the earth, to gather Israel according to the predictions of all the holy prophets since the world began, that great plenipotentiary; the renowned Secretary of State, the ignoble duelist, the gambling senator; and Whig candidate for the presidency, Henry Clay: the wise Kentucky Lawyer, advises the Latter Day Saints to go to Oregon to obtain Justice and set up a government of their own; O ye crowned heads among all nations, is not Mr. Clay a wise man, aud [and] very patriotic! why Great God! to transport 200,000 people through a vast prairie; over the Rocky Mountains, to Oregon, a distance of nearly 2000 miles, would cost more than four millions! or should they go by Cape Horn, in ships to California, the cost would be more than twenty millions! and all this to save the United States from inheriting the disgrace of Missouri, for murdering and robbing the saints with impunity! Benton and Van Buren, who make no secret to say, if they get into power, they will carry out Boggs extermination plan to rid the country of the Latter Day Saints, are little
"Little nipperrkins of milk,
Compared to "Clay's" great aqua fortis Jars."
Why, he is a real giant in humanity: send the Mormons to Oregon and free Missouri from debt and disgrace! Ah! sir, let this doctrine go throughout the whole earth, that we, as Van Buren said, know your cause is just but the United States government can do nothing for you, because it has no power; you must go to Oregon, and get justice from the Indians!
I mourn for the depravity of the world; I despise the hypocrisy of christendom; I hate the imbecility of American statesmen; I detest the shrinkage of candidates for office, from pledges and responsibility; I long for a day of righteousness, when he, "whose right it is to reign, shall judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth," and I pray God, who hath given our fathers a promise of a
perfect government in the last days, to purify the hearts of the people and hasten the welcome day.
With the highest consideration,
for virtue and unadulterated freedom,
I have the honor to be, your ob't s'v't.
Hon. H. CLAY, Ashland, Ky.
For the Times and Seasons.
Mr. Editor, Dear Sir:- Having spent a few days very agreeably in your beautiful city, I take the liberty of informing the numerous readers of your wide-spread journal, concerning some facts which came under my notice, during my short so-journ among you; and which have been the means in the hands of the Almighty, of accomplishing a great change in my sentiments with regard to Gen. Joseph Smith and the people among who he resides.
I am not about to relate any thing wonderful in itself, or even new to you; or any thing but what every individual may see, would he but take the trouble to come here and open his eyes. It was however new to me, and not only so, but totally unexpected, inasmuch as I came here with my ears and my heart filled with such stories, hearsays, and exagerations [exaggerations] against you, as, if they were one-tenth part true, would stamp you as the basest villains and the greatest fanatics, ever existent on God's footstool-only to be compared to the Malays, the Caribs, the Buccaneers, or, to use a more modern comparison, the mob of Philadelphia.
It is needless to say, when such were the stories believed by me, how bitter and hostile were the feelings with which I stopped here; indeed so inimical were they, that had not business compelled me, I never could have made this 'City of the Saints' a 'resting place' for my feet, but being unavoidably detained a few days, I determined to make good use of my time, and see if I should not be confirmed in my belief.
It has become so degrading in the eyes of modern degeneracy to alter a persons opinions, or change his views, that I am almost afraid to acknowledge my feelings changed, and my belief altered with regard to your people; yet, knowing that, in the opinion of wise and candid persons, it is much more honorable to acknowledge a fault and repair it, than to persist in an error; I trust that your readers will sympathize with me, and instead of pronouncing me 'turncoat,' &c., listen calmly to my reasons for thinking differently of the Mormons now, than I did a few days ago. That my feelings have met with an entire, complete and radical change, I beg leave distinctly to state; and since I think I have good reason for such a revolution in my feelings, I cannot charge myself with any blame in the affair, unless it be for ever entertaining such feelings.
Since my sentiments were such as I have expressed, it must be expected, as was the case, that I should be very much prejudiced against you, and would view everything with a judicial eye. I came here expecting to see an idle, indolent, brawling, intemperate and licentious people:-I found them on the contrary, industrious, enterprizing [enterprising], orderly, temperate and chaste. I expected to see them superstitious, bigoted, and blind followers of a blinded prophet:-I found them free from superstition, liberal, enthusiastic only in their desires to ameliorate the condition of mankind and convert them to the truth, and venerating their prophet to be sure, but no more than intelligent men should do, who was acquainted with his enlightened views, comprehensive knowledge and extended benevolence. I expected to find them illiterate, ignorant, illiberal, the offscourings of the earth:-I found them intelligent, enlightened, liberal; and as smart and well dressed an assemblage as I ever saw for the number in my life.
When I was told that this place was five years ago a wilderness, with only about a dozen log cabins, scattered over the whole extent, I could scarce believe my senses. On every side I saw extended around me the beautiful cottages, the smiling flowers, and the well cultivated gardens of the enterprizing [enterprising] inhabitants.-Here and there I saw the lofty mansions of the more wealthy, towering like the oaks of the forest, above their more humble rivals; and giving a beautiful variegated appearance to the entire place, over the whole of the vast city of four miles square, I saw the beautiful mansions (mostly composed of brick) of its twenty thousand inhabitants: It is indeed a beautiful place and viewed from the river makes a most splendid appearance. The prairie also, for many miles back, is cultivated almost like the Garden of Eden, by its industrious inhabitants-and all this the work of five years! I could scarce believe it; and yet my eyes could not deceive me. History records no parallel; a few despised, persecuted, banished people, flying from the terrors of religious intolerance, manifested by some of the citizens of this boasted republic, to commence, carry on, increase, and build up such a city as this in so short a space of time almost exceeds belief. In reflecting upon it, we hardly know which to admire most, their untiring zeal in the cause of their religion, or their determined perseverance in making the 'wilderness a fruitful field,' and
building up a 'resting place where none can molest them and none can make them afraid.'
The site is indeed one of snrpassing [surpassing] beauty; probably the most beautiful of any on the river; but as this is allowed on all hands, and the description has so often been presented to the public, I will not weary the patience of your readers by giving them another, although the theme could never be worn out. I can only say, that should any individual visit the place he would be led to exclaim with the Queen of Sheba, 'the half has not been told me.'
But what I was led most particularly to notice, was the neatness, cleanliness, and comfort of their abodes, and the intelligence, industry and good order of the inhabitants. I did not see as in other cities a parcel of fops and dandies, parading round the streets to see and be seen; but everyone seemed to have some business, and to pursue it with all his heart. I did not see any groceries or grog shops, with loafers and rowdies ready to pick a quarrel with anybody and insult every decent man they met; and what is more singular than all, I did not see a single intemperate man on the place, and I was assured by a gentleman who has lived here two years, that he had not seen one in the whole course of that time, although there is no Washingtonian society in the place. They seem to believe, and rightly too, in my estimation, that the religion of Jesus Christ embraces all temperance societies, and every other society in the world for the information of mankind.
I had every opportunity that an individual could desire, and certainly I had the inclination, to discover whether there was any thing concealed, any thing 'behind the curtain,' any thing iniquitous under these specious appearances; in short, whether the many stories reported by J. C. Bennet and others of the same stamp, were true or not, and I found them invariably false. Some perhaps may argue in the words of an old saying that 'where there is so much smoke, there must be some fire.' I can only say in answer, that the facts are as I have stated them, as such I must admit them if no one else does. Gentlemen come and see for yourselves.
But, lest I trespass on your time and limits, I will bring my remarks to a close. I have had no space for many remarks I should like to have made upon your city and its inhabitants, but you should deem this short communication worthy of an insertion in your valuable paper will, before leave, give you my opinions with regard to your prophet-his doctrine-and his views, &c.
With sincere desires for the
welfare, prosperity and
blessings of the Almighty on the
people of this place, permit
me to subscribe myself
respectfully yours, &c.,
SOME OF THE REMARKS OF JOHN S. REED, ESQ., AS DELIVERED BEFORE THE STATE CONVENTION.
The following is part of the speech of Mr. Reed, esq., as delivered at the State Convention, in Nauvoo. We expected according to a resolution passed, to have had the whole; but as Mr. Reed was in a hurry, he was unable to furnish us with any more than the following, which refers more particularly to Gen. Smith's early history,
Mr. Chairman:-I cannot leave this subject and do justice to my own feelings, and the character of Gen. Smith, without giving a short history of the first persecution that came upon him in the counties of Chenango and Broome, in the State of New York, commenced by that class of people calling themselves Christians.
The first acquaintance I had with Gen. Smith, was about the year 1823. He came into my neighborhood, being then about eighteen years of age, and resided there two years; during which time I became intimately acquainted with him. I do know that his character was irreproachable; that he was well known for truth and uprightness; that he moved in the first circles of community, and he was often spoken of as a young man of intelligence, and good morals, and possessing a mind susceptible of the highest intellectual attainments.
I early discovered that his mind was constantly in search of truth, expressing an anxious desire to know the will of God concerning his children here below, often speaking of those things which professed christians believe in.-I have observed to my best informed friends, (those that were free from superstition and bigotry) that I thought Joseph was predestinated [predestined] by his God from all eternity to be an instrument in the hands of the great dispenser of all good, to do a great work; what it was I knew not. After living in that neighborhood about three years, enjoying the good feelings of his acquaintances, as a worthy youth, he told his particular friends that he had had a revelation from God to go to the west about eighty miles, to his father's, in which neighborhood he should find hid in the earth, an old history written on golden plates, which would
give great light and knowledge concerning the will of God towards his people in this generation; unfolding the destiny of all nations, kindreds, and tongues; he said that he distinctly heard the voice of him that spake. Joseph Knight, one of the fathers of your church, a worthy man, and my intimate friend, went with him. When I reflect upon our former friendship, Mr. Chairman, and upon the scenes that he has passed through in consequence of maladministration, mobocracy, and cruelty, I feel to lift up my voice to high heaven, and pray God to bless the aged veteran, and that his silver locks may go down to the grave in peace, like a shock of corn fully ripe. In a few days his friends returned with the glad news that Joseph had found the plates and had gone down to his father-in-laws' for the purpose of translating them. I believe he remained there until he finished the translation. After the book was published, he came to live in the neighborhood of father Knights', about four miles from me, and began to preach the gospel, and many were pricked in their hearts, believed and were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. He soon formed a church at Colesville, his meetings were numerously attended; the eyes of all people were upon him with astonishment. O Mr. Chairman, the world was turned upside down at once, and the devil always ready to assist and help along in all difficulties that arise among men, personified in some of the religionists, begun to prick up his ears, and jump, and kick, and run about, like Jim Crow, calling for rotton [rotten] eggs to help in the wake; you would have thought sir, that Gog and Magog was let loose on the young man. He called upon the world's people, (as they are called) but got no help; he then flew about in the sectarian churches, like lightening, and they immediately came to his aid, and uniting their efforts roared against him like the thunders of Mount Sinai. When those fiery bigots were let loose, they united in pouring the red hot vials of their wrath upon his head. The cry of "false prophet! false prophet!!" was sounded from village to village, and every foul epithet that malice and wicked ingenuity could invent, was heaped upon him. Yes sir, the same spirit that influenced the Presbyterians of Massachusetts, about one hundred and fifty years ago, in their persecution of the Quakers, when they first began to preach their doctrines in that State, was fully manifested by those religious bigots who were afraid if they let them alone, their doctrines would come to naught. What was the result of the persecution in Massachusetts?-Why, Sir, warrants were made out by those churches having authority, and the Quakers were tried for heresy. But what was the result of those trials? The sentence of death was passed upon the Quakers for heresy, by those religious fanatics, and three of them were hung by the neck on Bloody Hill, in Boston, to make expiation for that unpardonable crime. "Tell it not in Gath" nor publish it on the tops of the mountains in this boasted land of freedom, that the Puritans of New England, who had fled from the Old World in consequence of religious intolerance, that they might enjoy the sweets of liberty, so soon became persecutors themselves and shed innocent blood, which still cries aloud from the dust for vengeance upon their heads. Let shame cover our faces when we mention the name of freedom in our grand Republic.
O my God! when in one portion of our country blood is flowing for the crime of worshipping our Creator according to the dictates of conscience, or as the spirit directs, and in the other are great rejoicings in consequence thereof; where, I ask, is that boasted freedom for which our fathers fought and bled? O thou who holds the destinies of all things in thine hands here below, return these blessings unto us, that we may keep them as precious jewels, till time is no more. But, Mr. Chairman, I am wandering too far from the subject. I will return to the persecutions which followed Gen. Smith, when his cheeks blossomed with the beauty of youth, and his eyes sparkled with innocence.
Those bigots soon made up a false accusation against him and had him arraigned before Joseph Chamberlain, a justice of the peace, a man that was always ready to deal out justice to all, and a man of great discernment of mind. The case came on about 10 o'clock, A. M. I was called upon to defend the prisoner. The prosecutors employed the best counsel they could get, and ransacked the town of Bainbridge and county of Chenango for witnesses that would swear hard enough to convict the prisoner; but they entirely failed. Yes Sir, let me say to you that not one blemish nor spot was found against his character; he came from that trial, notwithstanding the mighty efforts that were made to convict him of crime by his vigilant persecutors, with his character unstained by even the appearance of guilt. The trial closed about 12 o'clock at night. After a few moments of deliberation, the court pronounced the words 'not guilty,' and the prisoner was discharged. But alas! the devil not satisfied with his defeat, stirred up a man not unlike himself, who was more fit to dwell among the fiends of hell than to belong to the human family,
to go to Colesville and get another writ, and take him to Broome county for another trial. They were sure they could send that boy to hell, or to Texas, they did not care which; and in half an hour after he was discharged by the court, he was arrested again, and on the way to Colesville for another trial. I was again called upon by his friends to defend him against malignant persecutors, and clear him from the false charges they had preferred against him. I made every reasonable excuse I could, as I was nearly worn down through fatigue and want of sleep; as I had been engaged in law suits for two days and nearly the whole of two nights. But I saw persecution was great against him; and here let me say, Mr. Chairman, singular as it may seem, while Mr. Knight was pleading with me to go, a peculiar impression or thought struck my mind, that I must go and defend him, for he was the Lord's annointed [anointed]. I did not know what it meant, but thought I must go and clear the Lord's annointed [anointed] I said I would go; and started with as much faith as the apostles had when they could remove mountains, accompanied by father Knight, who was like the old patriarchs that followed the ark of God to the city of David. We rode on till we came to the house of Hezekiah Peck, where a number of Mormon women had assembled, as I was informed, for the purpose of praying for the deliverance of the prophet of the Lord. The women came out to our waggon [wagon] and Mrs. Smith among the rest. O my God, Sir, what were my feelings, when I saw that woman who had but a few days before given herself, heart and hand, to be a consort for life, and that so soon her crimson cheeks must be wet with tears that came streaming from her eyes; yes Sir, it seemed that her very heart strings would be broken with grief. My feelings Sir, were moved with pity and sorrow, for the afflicted; and on the other hand they were wrought up to the highest pitch of indignation against those fiends of hell who had thus caused the innocent to sufferr [suffer].
The next morning about 10 o'clock the court was organized. The prisoner was to be tried by three justices of the peace, that his departure out of the county might be made sure.-Neither talents nor money were wanting to ensure [insure] them success. They employed the ablest lawyer in that county, and introduced twenty or thirty witnesses before dark, but proved nothing. They then sent out runners and ransacked the hills and vales, grog shops and ditches, and gathered together a company that looked as if they had come from hell, and had been whipped by the soot boy thereof; which they brought foreward [forward] to testify one after another, but with no better success than before, although they wrung and twisted into every shape, in trying to tell something that would criminate [incriminate] the prisoner. Nothing was proven against him whatever. Having got through with the examination of their witnesses about 2 o'clock in the morning, the case was argued about two hours. There was not one particle of testimony against the prisoner. No Sir, he came out like the three children from the fiery furnace, without the smell of fire upon his garments. The court deliberated upon the case for half an hour with closed doors, and then we were called in. The court arraigned the prisoner and said: "Mr. Smith, we have had your case under consideration, examined the testimony and find nothing to condemn you, and therefore you are discharged." They then proceeded to reprimand him severely; not because anything derogatory to his character in any shape had been proven against him by the host of witnesses that had testified during the trial, but merely to please those fiends in human shape, who were engaged in the unhallowed persecution of an innocent man, sheerly on account of his religious opinions.
After they had got through, I arose and said: 'This court puts me in mind of a certain trial held before Felix of old, when the enemies of Paul arraigned him before that venerable judge for some alleged crime, and nothing was found in him worthy of death or of bonds. Yet, to please the Jews, who were his accusers, he was left bound contrary to law; and this court has served Mr. Smith in the same way, by their unlawful and uncalled for reprimand after his discharge, to please his accusers.' We got him away that night from the midst of three hundred people without his receiving any injury; but I am well aware that we were assisted by some power higher than man; for to look back on the scene, I cannot tell how we succeeded in getting him away. I take no glory to myself, it was the Lord's work, and marvelous in our eyes.
This Mr. Chairman, is a true history of the first persecution that came upon Gen. Smith in his youth among professed christians, and in a county [country?] heralded to the ends of the earth, as a land of freedom; where all men have the constitutional right to worship as they please, and believe what they please without molestation, so long as they do not interfere with the rights and privileges of others. Yes Sir, a persecution got up through the influence of religious bigotry by as vile a set of men as ever disgraced the family of man. But their devices against him were brought to naught by that
overruling power that controls all things and brings to naught the councils of the wicked.-Mr. Chairman, little did I think, that I was defending a boy that would rise to eminence like this man; a man who God delights to honor as a prophet and leader of his people;-one to whom he has given the keys of heaven and earth, and the power of David, and said to him whatsoever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against you. And may he live to put his foot upon the neck of his enemies in love and meekness. I know, Sir, that God has made him a leader of many thousands of people, and may he teach them in meekness, and with that wisdom and judgement [judgment] that God shall direct.
I add no more.
TIMES AND SEASONS.
CITY OF NAUVOO,
SATURDAY, JUNE 1, 1844
FOR PRESIDENT, GEN. JOSEPH SMITH, NAUVOO, ILLINOIS.
FOR VICE PRESIDENT,
SIDNEY RIGDON, ESQ:
TO OUR PATRONS.
We would say to our friends who subscribe for both papers, that in consequence of a great many solicitations, we have been induced to republish in the Times and Seasons, several articles that have already appeared in the Neighbor. We do not wish to pursue this course, and we know that many people do not generally wish to read old matter, but judging from the expression of feeling here, we thought that it would give general satisfaction, particularly as there are many that subscribe for the Times, who do not for the Neighbor.
We are authorized to state that a conference will be held in Chatham, Medina County, Ohio, commencing the first Friday in September next.
The Temple is rising up, and the Temple committee want their arms held up like Moses, with labor, provisions, prayers, and confidence. The liberal man lives by his liberality.
A WORD TO THE WISE.
Some people are so very religious that their religion sticks out so far that their neighbors tread upon it, and then there is a fuss among the brethren, and surmises, and murmuring, and sometimes a little uneasiness, that somebody has fallen from grace. To prevent such unnecessary trouble, and save many from thinking wrong, and, in fact, from doing wrong, we have thought advisable to caution all against the practice of judging others, until they have been weighed in the balance, and are NOT found wanting themselves.
The "Times and Seasons" contains religious and political articles, says one: to which we reply, certainly, and so does the Bible. Go ahead saints, and reform the world in religion and politics, in ways and means, in power and glory, in truth and virtue. Instead of judging others, and talking continually about their faults, correct your own. Thou fool! first cast the beam out of thine own eye, and then thou canst see clearly the moat in thy brother's eye. The highest folly that disgraces the United States, is; that truth and holiness, which combined and practiced, compose religion, should not be mixed with power and policy, which is the essence of government:-because some tyro from Gottengin, or some other college, has joined in the yell of demagogues, that that would be uniting "Church and State!" "God save the king!" whoever heard of such weakness? Union, virtue, truth, holiness, policy and power:-look out lest you should combine and give peace to the world, and save treasure and blood: Beware!-beware! lest a "thus saith the Lord" should be a better rule to govern the people, than an "I take the responsibility." Do beware!
+ We feel thankful to our Heavenly Father for the very promising appearance of the crops in general. The month of May has been wet and somewhat cool, but it has greatly advanced the wheat crop; and while some may have supposed that the great matter of providing for a world, looked rather gloomy during the rainy season, yet when it is considered that man cannot make one hair white nor black, it naturally occurs, to thinking persons, that God keeps every thing in motion with a charm;-that soothes us into a notion that he knows best what is good, and what is right.
JOSEPH SMITH vs. JOSEPH H. REYNOLDS & HARMON T. WILSON-RELIGIOUS PREJUDICE &c.
The communication of 'W. C.' will be found interesting. it gives an account of the late trial, in the Circuit Court at Dixon, of Joseph Smith
vs. Joseph H. Reynolds and Harmon T. Wilson, and discloses another specimen of that spirit of religious prejudice which has been arrayed against Gen. Smith ever since he first took his station in the religious world. When a community becomes so corrupt that it is a hard matter to empannel [impanel] a jury, sufficiently free from religious prejudice to do justice to a fellow citizen, then do we indeed realize the abyss of darkness and corruption to which the human mind is capable of sinking. Shame on the man whose mind is so trammelled [trammeled] by prejudice as to render him incompetent to be empannelled [impaneled] in a jury of his countrymen! How exalted he must appear, what a magnanimity he must display and what convincing testimonials of a cultivated intellect he must exhibit, when he meanly, degradingly and slavishly acknowledges before intelligent men, within the pales of courts of justice, that he cannot act justly and legally with his fellow man, in consequence of RELIGIOUS PREJUDICE! What has religion got to do the truth or falsity of any civil or criminal allegation charged upon an individual? Nothing. O, short sighted, ignorant corrupt, despicable men! Did you ever read that clause of the constitution that protests against proscription for opinion sake?-that protects every subject of this government in the free exercise of his religious sentiments? This was one of the fundamental principles consulted by the framers of that instrument. Throwing off the manacles of a tyranical [tyrannical] nation; springing forth into freedom; panting after a full fruition of national liberty; determined to rend every chain of oppression from the mind of man; eager to plant the germ of happiness in the foundation of the Republic-a free, universal religious toleration was embodied in, and granted by, its wise, judicious and ennobling provisions. The illustrious fathers of that perilous era, foresaw the glory, happiness and excellence that an adherence to these principles would secure, and the distraction, ruin, panic and distress that a departure from them would entail. They had felt the yoke of oppression, which kindled within their bosoms a warm solicitude for the unshackled freedom of posterity.
Shall men, at this age of the Republic-when it has stood the test of nearly seventy years-the liberality of its institutions supporting, like the ark of God, the fair fabric of liberty, rich with the blandishments of gratitude and benevolence-holding up the mottos [mottoes] to surrounding nations, 'Religious Toleration, the Cradle of Liberty,' the 'Home of the Oppressed'-begin to inculcate the identical principles that have led to the overthrow of almost every Republic that has previously existed?-Would they follow in the train of ruin, desolation and overthrow which has befallen other nations, and rear a dynasty more despicable in its administration than that over which the Russian Autocrat tyranizes [tyrannizes], dooming all to speedy banishment who will not unite with the Greek church? Would they promote internal commotion and revolt-give a double impetus to the damning car of corruption that is now sweeping through our land, leaving desolation, faction, turbulence, party wrangling and unholy ambition in its track, to grow into a national calamity? Would they light the torch of general devastation and pave the way for mourning around our nation's 'funeral pile,' when all the trophies won by the chivalry of Revolutionary ancestors will find an obvious rest amid the relics of our crumbling Republic? If these results are desirable and hoped for by demagogues and political weathercocks, let that spirit of religious prejudice, (manifested upon the above named trial and which we as a people have ever encountered,) continue to augment and cast its darkning [darkening] shadows over the mind of man, and it will add sufficient fuel to the spreading flame to consummate the general devastation.
Notwithstanding Gen. Smith did not obtain a verdict for damages only to the amount of forty dollars, yet the fact of the jury's verdict-obtained as it was in the midst of such strong prejudice-being in favor of the plaintiff, is sufficient evidence of the unparalleled malignance and unprecedented barbarity, encountered by him at the hands of those inhuman mobocrats, at the time of his capture. Gen. Smith has now shown to the world that he was illegally and cruelly arrested, and that he was innocent when tried upon the merits of the charge alleged. This he has always been able to show upon every previous trial, and we venture to predict that his innocence will be sustained upon every subsequent charge, until the whole world shall become convinced of his patriotism and the excellence of his character.
At a special conference of the Boston Branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, held at Franklin Hall, Boston, April 13th, 1844, Elder Noah Packard was called on the chair, and Elder A. McAllister was chosen clerk.
Elder William Sanborne was found guilty of lying, slander fraud, and misrepresentation, and by unanimous vote of this branch is silenced from preaching the gospel until he makes satisfaction.
Voted that the above be published in the Times and Seasons, at Nauvoo.
Dear Sir: I have just returned from the north part of this State, where I have been on business for our beloved President Joseph Smith; and it feels so good to breath the pure air of liberty and friendship, after spending some three or four days in a swamp, or rather, a slough of religious prejudice and political hypocrisy, which are equally nauseous and offensive, that I cannot let this opportunity pass without giving vent to some of my feelings, in regard to what passed while I remained at the town Dixon, on Rock River.
My principle business was to appear in the Lee county Circuit Court, as a witness in the case of Joseph Smith vs Joseph H. Reynolds & Harmon G. Wilson, for false imprisonment and using unnecessary force and violence in arresting the plaintiff.
A plea had been entered in this suit by the council for the defendants, to which the council for the plaintiff demurred. The demurrer was argued on Wednesday morning the 8th inst. and the parties finally joined issue on the charge for using unnecessary force and violence, and the Court gave permission by consent of the Bar to proceed with the trial, but the council not being fully prepared, it was laid over until the following morning, the 9th inst.
On Thursday morning after the usual preliminaries of opening Court, the above case was called up for trial, and the clerk ordered to impanel a jury, and here, sir, a scene took place which ought to make every honest American citizen blush and weep for the credit and honor of his country and laws. A number of men were called up and when questioned as to whether they had previously expressed opinions in relation to the suit now pending, nearly the whole answered in the affirmative. The further question was then put as to whether they had any prejudice against either of the parties, to which a great majority replied they had against Smith. They were then questioned as to what their prejudice had reference-his religious sentiments or general course of conduct. The greater part replied, to his religious sentiments; and the remainder said they were opposed to his general course of conduct. About twenty men had to be called upon one after another, out of which number the Court finally selected twelve as competent jurors although the majority of these decidedly expressed their feelings of prejudice against the plaintiff. They were however accepted on the ground that they said they thought they could do justice to both parties, although some of them expressed a doubt whether they could do justice or not.
The jury being sworn the Court, or rather the counsel, proceeded to examine the witnesses on the part of the plaintiff, which occupied nearly the whole day. But little of the real matter of fact could be set before the Court, on account of their being confined to the charge of unnecessary force and violence; but this was proven in the clearest point of light.
I must refer to the testimony of old Mr. Dixon whose silvery locks seem to tell an age of many years. His evidence related to the circumstance of the Missouri Sheriff refusing for a length of time to give the plaintiff the privilege of Habeas Corpus, and threatening to drag him to Missouri in fifteen minutes from the time they arrived at Dixon. The old gentleman seemed to tremble with indignation while relating the simple facts as they transpired at the time, and like a true lover of his country, appeared proud of the privilege of telling those men that the citizens of Dixon would not suffer themselves to be disgraced by permitting them to drag away a citizen of this State to a foreign State for trial, without the privilege of a trial by Habeas Corpus, a privilege which is guaranteed to every individual under like circumstances, and especially when it was understood that he was to be dragged to Missouri, amongst a people whose hands are yet dripping with the blood of murdered innocence, and whose thirst for the blood of General Joseph Smith as the howling wolf thirsts for his prey. Surely such a picture would melt the heart of any thing but an adamantine. There are those and men who profess to be the followers of the Lord Jesus Christ-who can hear such things, and still wish the Missourians had got Gen. Smith to Missouri to murder him without judge or jury; and surely they are no better than murderers themselves and only lack the opportunity to make them shedders of innocent blood.
After the evidence was through on the part of the plaintiff, the witnesses for the defence [defense] were examined which only occupied a few minutes. The arguments were then advanced on both sides, during which time I could not help noticing how apt the respectable gentleman of the opposite council was, to sing the song of 'old Joe Smith' &c., which might appear very gentlemanly in his mind, but to me it seemed as contemptible as the voice of a stupid ass or the tongue of slander.
Finally the case was submitted to the jury who were charged by the Court and then ordered to retire and bring in a sealed verdict the following morning at 9 o'clock, Friday morning came and with it the verdict, and it proved to be in favor of the plaintiff and against
the defendants for forty dollars and costs of suit. I confess I was astonished when I heard it and could not help thinking that prejudice sometimes overrules justice even in the jury box. I could not help comparing the results of this trial with one which came off the day previous wherein a certain person complained of another for destroying his cow by setting his dogs on the animal until they worried her. It appeared the cow of the plaintiff had seen fit to break into the defendant's lot without asking leave of the defendant, or rather his men, not liking such treatment, set their dogs on her and destroyed her. Well, the result of this trial was a verdict of damages for the plaintiff of thirty dollars and costs.
Now, sir, compair [compare] the two cases. On the one hand, here is a citizen of the United States near two hundred miles from his home and his friends; he is on a visit with his family, not dreaming of danger or difficulty. Two men, or rather wolves in sheep's clothing, for it is a fact that when Wilson and Reynolds made enquiry [inquiry] for Gen. Smith, at Dixon, at the time of the arrest, they said they were Mormon Elders and wanted to see President Joseph Smith, &c.-Two men, I say while he is thus enjoying himself with his family came upon him with each a loaded pistol in his hand and threatened to shoot him dead if he offered the least resistance, although no resistance had been offered. They then began to haul him about, and when he asked them what they wanted with him and what was their authority, they replied they were going to take him to Missouri; and jamming their pistol at his side swore that was their authority. He requested them to let him go into the house to bid his family good bye; but this they positively refused, not even giving him the privilege to get his hat. They then forced him into the waggon [wagon], and placing themselves one on each side with a loaded pistol pressed close against his side, and repeatedly striking him with them, so as to make him lame and sore for two weeks afterwards; they drove him to Dixon and ordered horses ready in fifteen minutes to drag him among his murderers; and otherwise abused, insulted, threatened and treated him in the cruelest manner possible, filling his family with the most excrutiating [excruciating] pangs and rending of the heart of his beloved companion with grief to witness their ferocious cruelty, not knowing but his life would be sacrificed before morning; and finally pursued their persecutions until it cost him from three thousand five hundred to five thousand dollars expences [expenses]; and all this without a cause, and when he sues for justice against these men, he obtains damages to the amount of FORTY dollars.
On the other hand a man loses a cow which had broke into his neighbor's lot, and he obtains damages to the amount of thirty dollars.
Now, Sir, if this is not the effects of prejudice, amounting to oppression, then I am no judge of right and wrong. I am very much inclined to think that if Gen. Joseph Smith or any of his friends had treated any citizen of this State or any other State in the manner he was treated by those men, and they had sued for damages as he did the case would have terminated very different; however, so it is.
The idea of a man yielding to such a degree of prejudice as to render him incapable of executing justice between man and man, merely from rumor and report, is to me perfectly ridiculous and contemptible, as well as wicked and unjust; and when a man is all the day long boasting of the rights and privileges guaranteed to every citizen of the United States under the Constitution and laws, and at the same time is so prejudiced against one of the most peaceable citizens that 'he does not know whether he can render him justice' in a court of equity, but would rather strengthen the hands of mobocrats and law breakers, the inference that one must naturally draw is, that such a man is either a consummate scoundrel and a hypocrite, or, that he is guilty of the most flagrant violation of the most sacred constitutional principles embraced in the fundamental doctrines of this Republic. I am happy, sir, to have evidence daily that no such corrupt prejudice exist in the heart of General Joseph Smith, nor in the community so far as I have been able to discover.
Now, as to the exceptions these men have taken in regard to Gen. Smith's religious views or general course of conduct it matters not much. his religious views are his inalienable right, and no-body's business, and the man who cannot render him justice on that account is a willful violator of the laws he professes to admire; and, sir, I have for more than two years past been a close observer of Gen. Smith's 'general course of conduct' as well as his private life, and justice to him, to myself and to the community at large compels me to say that in my intercourse with men I never associated with a more honorable, upright, charitable, benevolent and law abiding man than is the much persecuted Gen. Smith: &, sir, when I hear men speak reproachfully of him I never ask for a second evidence of their corruptness and baseness. General Smith, sir, is a man of God, a man of truth, and a lover of his country, and never did I hear him breath [breathe]
out curses or railery at any man because he saw fit to differ in religious matters. Shame on the principle-shame on the man or set of men who show themselves so degraded and miserably corrupt.
The last night of our stay at Dixon, I had the privilege of speaking on the principles of my religion to a number of individuals, in a kind of argument with two men; and, sir, although it is near four years since I have made a practice of preaching, it felt sweet as ever. Truth, to an honest heart is sweet; but to a wicked man is like a piercing sword, as was manifest on that occasion, for although the principles of the gospel were laid down so plain and clear that it was impossible to misunderstand, yet the opposing party repeatedly misconstrued my language, and even his own accessions.
I cannot persuade myself that the prejudice referred to above is a general thing; there are many honorable exceptions, and I presume if the Mormons had signified their intentions of supporting the Democratic candidate for the presidency at the ensuing election instead of nominating an independent candidate of their own choice, their prejudice would not have been so great at the trial of Reynolds & Wilson, and perhaps Gen. Smith would have obtained a judgment somewhat equivalent to the injuries he sustained from that unholy persecution.-But the Mormon people are too noble minded to be bought or biased by fear or favor, and have been too often deceived by the plausible pretentions of demagogues to put trust in any but tried friends. Gen. Smith has ever been an undeviating friend, not only to this community, but to the oppressed of every name or society and we consider him as competent and qualified for the highest office of the United States as any other man, and a little more so; and a great deal more worthy of it.
In conclusion, let me say that whatever others may say, I consider it an honor to be associated with such a man as Gen. Joseph Smith, and all true followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the more wicked men despise and misrepresent the principles and conduct of President Smith, the more I love him and delight in his society; and this I can do without prejudice or animosity against any man or set of men. I believe in the broad principle of equal rights and privileges so far as religion or politics are concerned, and while I seek to enjoy my religion according to the knowledge in me, I will interfere with the rights of no man, nor persecute because my neighbor does not think as I do.
A multitude of business compels me to close and I must forbear.
I have the honor to be your brother,
in the everlasting covenant,
Nauvoo, May 16, 1844
TO THE CHURCH IN MAINE.
Dear Brethren:-Before you see this short epistle you undoubtedly will have seen the name of General J. Smith announced as a candidate for our next president of the United States.
Whatever prejudices may heretofore have occupied your minds, as regards former presidents, and the two great political parties in the United States, together with the candidates already in the field, we are fully persuaded that when you maturely consider the claims of Gen. Smith, he will be the man of your choice for that high responsible office. Martin Van Buren and Henry Clay, regarded as the two great champions of their respective parties will undoubtedly be considered candidates claiming the confidence of this nation in the next presidential canvass. I would say, that it is not my intention to enter into a labored discussion of political principles, nor of the principles and characters of the two men, whose conflicting interests are nothing more than party dogmas that never did nor never can for any great length of time, give permanency to the government, nor promote the peace and best interests of its subjects.
The people of the United States, since the days of Gen. Jackson, have been distracted with the destructive mutations of government, and it is clearly to be seen every discerning person, that the policy persued [pursued] by our last two presidents is not calculated to increase the public weal, nor to place upon our heads crowns of honor. What redeeming principles were ever realized by the course persued [pursued] by Van Buren during his term? Can the first virtuous noble act, as a sweet smelling savor be written of him? How has he treated the respectability of his constituents, citizens of the United States? What was his answer to the delegation from the Church of Latter Day Saints when praying for redress of grievances, while yet Missouri's soil was smoking with the blood of innocence? How were the wishes of fifty thousand freemen treated by him and his adherents? How mysteriously and disgracefully was the affair of the Caroline managed? Mr. Van Buren has demonstrated one fact if no more, that he is altogether unworthy the confidence of a free, enlightened and virtuous people, his own party
themselves being judges. Mene mene tekel is indeed written of him, for he has committed sins unpardonable in the sight of this vast republic. Although the changing of the scene, a very different character appears when Mr. Clay is introduced, yet, like the "Fox and the flies," the policy of the latter would destroy what had been saved by the former. Can it be ascertained of what specific gravity Mr. Clay is?-At one time he is too heavy to float with a paper medium; at another, too light to be confined to the same stratum with a metal currency. To be sure he would take every man by the hand and speak peaceably and smoothly to him; but wherein can there be discovered at the present crisis, the great advantage to the nation in placing either Mr. Clay or Mr. Van Buren at the head. They are both party men of the deepest dye, therefore unfit for the chief magistracy of the foremost nation in the world.
Enough has been said of the two men; we now turn with pleasure to the man of our choice.-The Lord, the mighty God, has ordained him a deliverer and savior to this generation, if they will but hear his counsel. When the tribes of Israel were led and governed by the prophets of God, unparallelled [unparalleled] prosperity attended them. Witness the days of Moses and Joshua. God made them saviors each in their own time, to those tribes. So we, if Pharaoh will receive it, have a Moses whose rod when turned to a serpent will swallow up the serpents of all his magicians. Gen. Smith is every way calculated to preside over a great and mighty people. Although well skilled in all the learning of the times, no man can boast of being his instructor. By his own industry and the gifts of heaven, he has attained a degree in wisdom that baffles the ken of the greatest legislators and philosophers of the age. In the event of his becoming our chief magistrate, where other men might fail, either for want of virtue or knowledge, his integrity and superior foresight would guide us safely through every danger.
Having been acquainted with Mr. Smith more than seven years past, and knowing his views of the policy and powers of the government of the United States, which is now before the American people, I feel prepared to say, that was his moral worth fully known to the philanthropist, the honorable and high minded among all people, the response, like the echo on the river Nassa, would reverberate till that which was at first faintly whispered, would become loud and audible, GENERAL JOSEPH SMITH, forever.
As a body of freemen, we shall exert every honorable influence to elect the man whom we know to be every way worthy of our confidence. A man who, if this nation will receive him, will do more for them than the beloved Washington could do.
Having spoken to you thus freely, beloved brethren, I subscribe myself your brother, in the new and everlasting covenant.
Newark, Kendall Co. Ill., May 21, 1844
Editor of the Times and Seasons:
We arrived at Ottowa on the 17th inst, after driving four days through constant rains, and over roads almost impassable for man or beast. We were soon informed that the Conference was removed twenty miles up Fox river, at the Newark branch. Notice had been given for a political address to be delivered in the Court House in the evening, by one of the Twelve, several hundred citizens assembled and was addressed by elder G. A. Smith. The speaker considered General Smith the smartest man in the United States, and the best calculated to fill the presidential chair, which was applauded by the assembly; his political views as presented on that occasion, seemed to please most of the people; at the close of the speech the congregation quietly dispersed. Elder Woodruff continued his journey ten miles, and held a meeting with the La Salle branch of 46 members, mostly emigrants from Norway. On the 18th, we arrived at Newark, and attended the Conference according to appointment. The following is a copy of the minutes, which we forward for publication:
Newark, Kendall Co. Ill., May 18, 1844.
Conference convened pursuant to notice.-There was present; two of the quorum of the twelve, one High Priest, two seventies, nine elders, one priest, one teacher.
Conference called to order by Elder Woodruff. Elder G. A. Smith called to the chair.-Conference opened by singing, and prayer by the president.
Representation by several branches was called for, when the following branches were represented, as follows:
Newark branch, 35 members, 1 elder, 1 teacher; La Salle branch, 46 members, 2 elders; Ottawa branch, 16 members, 2 elders; Bureau branch, 15 members, 3 elders; Pleasant Grove, McHenry Co. 10 members, 2 elders; Indian Creek branch, 5 members; Big Vermillion [Vermilion] branch, 4 members; French creek grove branch, 2 members. Total, 133 members, 10 elders, and I teacher.
It was moved and carried that Canute Peterson, Severt Olson, Zimri H. Baxter, Levi Lightfoot,
Simpson D. Huffaker, Mades Madison, Vance Jacobs, and Oder Jacobson, be ordained elders; also, Henry Saba be ordained a priest; Ole Johnson and Peter Macklin bo [be] ordained teachers. All of which persons were then ordained unto the offices assigned them, under the hands of Elder W. Woodruff, G. A. Smith, and Ezra Thayer.
Appropriate remarks were then made by Elders Woodruff and Smith, by way of council and instruction to those who had been ordained; followed by Elder David Savage. Adjourned until Sunday morning 10 o'clock.
Sunday, 19th. Met according to adjournment. Opened by singing and prayer by elder A. M. Wilsey. A discourse was then delivered by elder W. Woodruff, in which he instructed the elders to be careful to preach the first principles of the gospel and doctrine of Christ, and not spend their time in warring with the opinions of other men; showed the importance of revelation, and the necessity of a prophet of God, as the head of the church on earth, being as necessary in order to exist, and advance in knowledge, as for a natural body to possess a head in order to live. He considered we were enjoying the society of as good a prophet in this day, as any people ever enjoyed in any age of the world, and believed all good men would think so, if they were fully acquainted with him and his principles. He was followed by Elder G. A. Smith, who bore testimony to the truth of the fulness [fullness] of the gospel; couselled [counseled] the elders to be humble, and not get head and shoulders above their brethren, lest they fall, like the tallest trees of the forest, that are first swept down by the raging storm. He made many appropriate remarks, which was well received by the congregation. Adjourned until 2 o'clock.
Met according to adjournment, when the sacrament was administered to the church, and many testimonies given from the elders and members present, concerning the truth of the work they had received. Conference was dismissed amid the best feelings, which was manifested, not only by all of the saints, but by the whole congregation of citizens that attended. Good order prevailed through the whole conference; attention, kindness, and civility, was manifest by all who were present.
GEO. A. SMITH. Pres't.
ASA MANCHESTER, Clerk.
At the close of the conference, Elders C. C. Rich, David Fulmer, Henry Jacobs, and Moses Smith, arrived direct from Nauvoo, on their way to Michigan.
20th. We have appointed a political meeting in Newark, this evening, and one at Juliet, to-morrow evening, where we expect to present to the citizens, General Smith views of the power and policy of the government, and discuss the subject of politics.
G. A. SMITH.
Brother Taylor-Sir:-Having just returned from my mission to England, I send you a brief history of my proceedings, the which, if you should judge worthy of a place in your valuable periodical it is at your service.
I left Nauvoo on the 23rd of June, 1842, in company with brother Amos Fielding. We traveled together to Cincinnati, where I remained behind and saw him no more until we met in England.
When I was counselled [counseled] to go to England, I had but seventy-five cents in the whole world, and I asked where I should get money to go with.-The answer was, go and your way shall be opened. I did so, and found it verily come to pass in all places, and under all circumstances. I went from Cincinnati to Pittsburg [Pittsburgh], and from thence, in company with brother Jacobs, to Leachburg, where I found a branch of the church who kindly helped me on the way. I proceeded to Philadelphia, where I preached on Sunday to a large and attentive congregation; from thence I proceeded to New York, where I tarried, preparatory to my intended voyage across the Atlantic. I preached to a large concourse of people in the National Hall in that city. I sailed for Liverpool on the 10th day of August, 1842, in the ship "Independence," and after a very pleasant passage of twenty-one days, arrived art the place of my destination.
On my arrival in Liverpool, I found my old friend, Elder P. P. Pratt, and also Elder Thomas Ward, who were making preparations for emigration. Being appointed to assist in this business, I immediately commenced operations, and since that time, I have assisted in fitting up and forwarding thirteen vessels for the saints to emigrate to America. The names of the vessels are as follows:-
Ship Captain Passengers sailed
Sidney Cowen 180 Sept 17
Medford Wilber 214 " 20
Henry Peirce 157 " 28
Emerald Leighton 314 Oct. 29
Swanton Davenport 212 June 16, '43
Yorkshire Bache 80 March 8
Clairbourne Burges 106 " 21
Metokah McFarren 280 Sept. 5
Champion Cochran 91 Oct. 21
Fanny Patterson 210 Jan. 23, '44
Isaac Atherton Forey 60 Feb. 6
Swanton Davenport 81 " 11
Glasgow Lambert 150 March 5
After an absence of twenty months and five days, I find myself surrounded with my beloved family, and associated with my old friends with whom I passed through many trials, afflictions, and persecutions, besides many with whom I have had sweet council in a foreign land. I feel to rejoice in the society of my friends, and in the progress of the work of God, and I pray that it may continue to roll till the earth shall be filled with the glory of God.
I can say with Paul, I have been in perils by sea and by land, and in perils among false brethren. This truly is worse than all the rest; but it seems to be a dowry bequeathed on all saints, in all ages of the world; therefore as these things tend to perfect us, inasmuch as we endure them patiently, I pray the God of Israel to protect and preserve from the hands of their enemies, all his people; bless them with every blessing, temporal and spiritual, and crown them with everlasting glory in the kingdom of God.
With sentiments of respect I remain
yours in the everlasting covenant,
To the brethren and friends writing to me on church business, I wish they would pay the postage, for no others will meet my attention, for I am not able to pay the enormous sums of postage that I have heretofore paid to answer foolish interrogations. HYRUM SMITH.
Elder William Savage is requested to return home without delay, on account of the wants of his family. This by the request of his wife.
President of the church
Nauvoo, June 1, 1844.
For the Times and Seasons.
RIOTS IN CONGRESS:
BY MISS ELIZA R. SNOW
Hush, hush, lest the monarchs of Europe hear Ah! "riots in Congress!" is it not
The heart-sick'ning sound that salutes the ear! On our nation's escutcheon, a foul blot?
For wherefore should haughty tyrants know Yes, the standard of Freedom has been disgrac'd
That republican dignity's sinking low? With a stain that can never be eras'd!
O where have the noble spirits gone- Is there, who will attend to the people's cause?
O where is the glory our fathers won? Is there, who administer rights and laws?
And where are the sages that us'd to feel Men are fooling in Congress while freemen roam
For the nation's honor-the nation's weal? In their own native country, thrust from home!
What! "riots in Congress!" can it be Now, we've "riots in Congress:"-not only there,
In a country renown'd for its liberty, But riots are spreading ev'ry where;
That the highest departments of state are rife And the Union soon will be made to know
With low-minded jargon and boyish strife? That her sanction of mobbing, has brought her low.
When the head is sick, the whole heart is faint, O, where have the shades of our fathers gone?
And a spreading disease must produce complaint, O, where is the spirit of Washington?
There's no wonder then at the public tone- Is the proud climax of Liberty,
The head is disordered-the people groan! And are these the best blessings of being free?
The Times and Seasons,
Is printed and published about the first and fifteenth of every month, on the corner of Water and Bain Streets, Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois, by
EDITOR AND PROPRIETOR.
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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