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mously resolved to raze to the ground the of- February, 1834, soon after their ejectment, fice of the obnoxious newspaper. This reso- he had promised their immediate restoration lution was forthwith carried into effect, and in the following revelation :— the Mormon "Bishop" (a creature of Smith's, who presided in his absence), was tarred and feathered, an appropriate punishment enough, which had also been administered to his master, not long before, by a mob in
Verily I say unto you, I have decreed that your brethren which have been scattered shall return... Behold the redemption of Zion must needs come by power. Therefore I will raise up unto my people a man who shall lead them like as Moses led the children of Israel... Verily I Notwithstanding these hostile demonstrations, the Mormons could not bring themselves say unto you that my servant Baurak Ale is the Therefore let my servant Baurak Ale to leave their newly-purchased lands without say unto the strength of my house, my young resistance. They appealed to the legal tribu- men and the middle aged, gather yourselves tonals for redress, and organized a militia, which gether unto the land of Zion... And let all the maintained for some time a guerilla warfare churches send up wise men with their monies, against their antagonists. At length, how- and purchase lands as I have commanded them. ever, they were overpowered by numbers, And, inasmuch as mine enemies come against and abandoned their beloved Zion. But most you, to drive you from my goodly land which I have consecrated to be the land of Zion,... ye of them found refuge in the adjoining counshall curse them; and whomsoever ye curse ties, where they gradually acquired fresh pro-I will curse.... It is my will that my servant perty, and continued for four years in tran- Parley Pratt, and my servant Lyman Wight, quillity.
should not return until they have obtained com
Meanwhile their prophet had remained panies to go up unto the land of Zion, by tens, snugly established at Kirtland, which he wise- or by twenties, or by fifties, or by an hundred, ly judged a more desirable home than the until they have obtained to the number of five wild land of Zion, till the latter should be hundred, of the strength of my house. Behold comfortably colonized by his adherents. Hence this is my will; but men do not always do my he sent out his " apostles" and "elders" in all will; therefore, if you cannot obtain five hundirections to make proselytes, which they con-obtain three hundred, and if ye cannot obtain dred, seek diligently that peradventure you may tinued to do with great success. The first three hundred, seek diligently that peradventure duty imposed on all converts was the payment ye may obtain one hundred. (D. C. sec. 101.) of tithing to the "Church." (D. C. sec. 107.) And those who received the commands of Jo- By such efforts a volunteer force of 150 seph as the voice of God, did not hesitate to men had been raised, and had marched from furnish this conclusive proof of the reality of Kirtland in June 1834, to reinstate the saints their faith. On the strength of the capital in their inheritance.* Joseph also, who, to thus placed at his disposal, Smith established do him justice, seems not to have lacked phyat Kirtland a mercantile house and a bank. sical courage, had marched at their head; We find from his autobiography, that the though why he superseded" Baurak Ale," the whole Smith family were at liberty to draw divinely-appointed Moses of the host, we are without stint from their common stock; and not informed. The little force had safely their ill-gotten gains were squandered as reck-reached their brethren in Missouri; but the lessly as might have been expected. Embar- Prophet, finding they were not strong enough rassment ensued, and several revelations called to effect their purpose, had disbanded them upon the saints for money to prop the Proph- without fighting, and had himself returned to et's credit.* At length the crash came. The firm failed, the bank stopped payment, and the managers were threatened with a prosecution for swindling. To escape the sheriff's writ, Smith and Rigdon were obliged to fly by night; and they took refuge among their
followers in Missouri.
This occurred in the autumn of 1837, four years after the expulsion of the saints from Zion. That expulsion had painfully falsified the prophecies of Smith, who had so completely committed himself to the successful establishment of his people in the spot which he had first chosen, that he did not acquiesce in their abandoment of it without a struggle. In
See "Smith s Autobiography," under date of March, 1834.
Kirtland, where he had remained till the commercial crisis which we have just mentioned.
When thus finally driven to take refuge among his followers, Smith found them in a very critical position. Four years had passed since their expulsion from Zion, and they had established themselves in greater numbers than before, in the countries bordering on that whence they had been driven. They had cultivated the soil with perseverance and success, were daily increasing in wealth, and had built two towns (or cities, as they called them) Diahman and Far-west. But their prudence had not grown with their prosperity. They thought themselves a match for their enemies, and fearlessly provoked them by re
*See M. Star, XV. 69. 205.
peating their former boasts. The Prophet's Mississippi, which separates the States of Misarrival added fuel to the flame. The dis- souri and Illinois. By the citizens of the latgraceful failure of his prophecies still rankled ter they were received with compassionate in his mind. He declared publicly among his hospitality, and relieved with gifts of food and disciples, that "he would yet tread down his clothing. enemies, and trample on their dead bodies;" In a wonderfully short time the sect disand that," like Mohammed, whose motto was played once more its inherent vitality, and the Koran or the sword, so "should it be even- that strength which springs from firm union tually, Joseph Smith or the sword.” * These and voluntary obedience. Soon its numbers and similar facts were diclosed to the Missou- were increased by the arrival of proselytes to rians by apostate Mormons, and excited great 15,000 souls. For the third time they gather exasperation. At length a collision occurred ed themselves together in a new settlement, at a county election, and open warfare began. and built the town of Nauvoo in a strong posiFor some weeks the contest was maintained tion on the banks of the Mississippi, which on equal terms, and both parties burnt and nearly surrounds the peninsula selected for destroyed the property of their antagonists their capital. In eighteen months the city with no decisive result. But, finally, the contained 2,000 houses. The prairies were Governor of Missouri called out the militia of changed into corn-fields, the hills covered with the State, nominally, to enforce order, but flocks and herds, and steamers landed merreally to exterminate the Mormons. They chandise and colonists upon wharves which were unable to resist the overwhelming force had superseded the aboriginal marsh. Here brought against them, and surrendered almost the Mormonites seemed at last securely estab at discretion, as appears from the following lished in a commonwealth of their own, and terms which they accepted: First, To deliver Jeseph was permitted, for five years, to enjoy up their leaders for trial; secondly, To lay the rich fruits of his imposture undisturbed. down their arms; thirdly, To sign over their The wealth at his disposal was continually inproperties, as an indemnity for the expenses creasing, both from the tithing of his old conof the war; and lastly, To leave the State verts (which augmented with their growing forthwith. The spirit in which this last condition was enforced will appear from the conclusion of an address delivered to the Mormons by General Clark, the commander of the hostile forces:
Another thing yet remains for you to comply with-that you leave the State forthwith. Whatever your feelings concerning this affair; whatever your innocence; it is nothing to me. The orders of the governor to me were that you should be exterminated; and had your leader
been given up, and the treaty complied with, before this you and your families would have been destroyed, and your houses in ashes.
property), and from the contributions of new proselytes. These were now flowing in, not only from the United States, but even from Europe. In 1837, a mission had been sent to England, and the Mormon apostles baptized 10,000 British subjects before the Prophet's death. New revelations summoned all these converts to Nauvoo, bringing with them "their gold, their silver, and their precious stones." D. C. sec. 103.) A mansion house was begun, where the Prophet and his family were to be lodged and maintained at the public cost. "Let it be built in my name, and let my servant Joseph Smith and his house have place therein from generation to generation, The result of this contest seemed likely to saith the Lord; and let the name of the house be fatal to the Prophet, who was given up to be called the Nauvoo House, and let it be a the State authorities, to be tried on charges delightful habitation for man." (D. C. sec. of treason, murder, and felony, arising out of 103.) But, while thus providing for his own the war. But he contrived to escape from comfort, Joseph was careful to divert the athis guards, and thus avoided, for the time, the tention of his followers from his private gains justice of a border jury. He fled to Illinois, by a public object of expenditure, which might where he found the remant of his persecuted seem to absorb the revenues under his charge. proselytes, who had been compelled to cross As he had before done at Kirtland, so now at the bleak prairies, exposed to the snowstorms Nauvoo he began the building of a temple. of November, with no other shelter than their Bat this was to be on a far grander scale than waggons for sick and wounded, women and the former edifice, and was to be consecrated children. 12,000 of these exiles crossed the by the most awful ceremonies. For here alone (so it was revealed) could the rite of baptism for the dead be efficaciously perform. (D. C. sec. 103.) The foundation of this temple was laid with military and civil pomp early
*The above statements are in an affidavit (given in "Mormonism Illustrated") made in Oct. 1838, and countersigned by Orson Hyde, who is now the chairman of the Apostolic College. Whether he was then a renegade, who has since repented; or whether he made these confessions under compulsion, we have no information.
Meanwhile the State of Illinois had granted a charter of incorporation to the city of Nau
voo, and Joseph Smith was elected Mayor. the security of its citizens and the glory of its Moreover, the citizens capable of bearing arms Mayor. Smith's head was so far turned by were formed into a well-organized militia, to his success, that in 1844 he offered himself as which weapons were supplied by the State. a candidate for the Presidency of the Union. This body of troops, which was called the Probably, however, this proceeding was only Nauvoo Legion, was perpetually drilled by the meant as a bravado. In Nauvoo itself he Prophet, who had been appointed its com- reigned supreme, and opposition was put down mander, and who thenceforward adopted the by the most summary proceedings. The constyle and title of "General Smith." On all tributions of his votaries and the zeal of their public occasions it was his delight to appear obedience, fed fat his appetite for riches and on horseback in full unform at the head of his power. Nor was he restrained from the inlittle army, which consisted of about 4,000 dulgence of more sensual passions, which ease men, and was in a state of great efficiency. and indolence had bred. In July 1843, he An officer who saw it reviewed in 1842, says received a revelation authorizing him, and all of it, "Its evolutions would do honor to any those whom he should license, to take an unbody of armed militia in the States, and ap-limited number of wives. This document is proximate very closely to our regular forces." too long to quote in full, but the manner in (M. Illust. 115.) The "Inspector-General" which it silences the remonstrances of Smith's of the legion was a General Bennett, who had wife is too curious to be omitted:served in the United States army. His correspondence with Joseph is one of the most curious illustrations of the Prophet's character. Bennett offers his services in a letter wherein he avows entire disbelief in Smith's
religious pretensions, but, at the same time, declares himself willing to assume the outward appearance of belief. He had gone so far as to submit to Mormon baptism, which he calls "a glorious frolic in the clear blue ocean, with your worthy friend Brigham Young."
Nothing of this kind (he adds,) would in the least attach me to your person and cause. I am capable of being a most undeviating friend, without being governed by the smallest religious influence. . I say, therefore, go ahead. You know, Mohammed had his right hand man. The celebrated T. Brown, of New York, is now engaged in cutting your head on a beautiful cornelian stone, as your private seal, which will be set in gold to your order, and sent to you..... Should I be compelled to announce in this quarter that I have no connection with the Nauvoo Legion. you will, of course, remain silent. ... I may yet run for a high office in your State, when you would be sure of my best service in your behalf. Therefore a known connection with you would be against our mutual interest.
Let mine handmaid, Emma Smith, receive all those who have been given unto my servant Joseph, and who are virtuous and pure before
Therefore it shall be lawful in me if she receive not this law, for him to receive all things whatsoever I the Lord his God will give him.... And he is exempt from the law of Sarah, who administered unto Abraham according unto the law, when I commanded Abraham to take Hagar to wife.
On this revelation Smith and his chief adherents proceeded to act. But they at first concealed the innovation under a profound mystery; and during ten years it was only communicated privately to the initiated, and its very existence continued unknown to the majority of the sect. Not many months have yet passed since the Mormon leaders have decided on a bolder policy, and have publicly avowed this portion of their system. Their present audacity, indeed, is more strange than their former reserve; considering that the consequences of the original invention of this new code of morals were fatal to the Prophet, and disastrous to the Church. For, though the revelation was concealed, the practices which it sanctioned were not easily hidden, especially To this candid proposal Smith replied in a when some months of impunity had given boldletter which affects to rebuke the scepticism ness to the perpetrators. Several women of Bennett; but, so far was he from feeling whom Joseph and his " apostles" had endeavany real indignation at the proposed partner-disclosed them to their relatives. These cirored to seduce, declined their proposals, and ship in imposture, that he consents to the request about the Legion, and accepts the offer-cumstances roused into activity a latent spirit
ed bribe as follows:
As to the private seal you mention, if sent to me I shall receive it with the gratitude of a servant of God, and pray that the donor may receive a reward in the resurrection of the just.
Every year now added to the wealth and population of Nauvoo, and consequently to
* Spencer, p. 237.
of resistance which had for some time been secretly gathering force. The malcontents now ventured to establish an opposition paper, called the "Expositor;" and published, in its first number, the affidavits of sixteen women, who alleged that Smith, Rigdon, Young, and others, had invited them to enter into a secret and illicit connection, under the title of spiritual
*This revelation is printed in full in " M. Star," XV. p. 5.
marriage. This open and dangerous rebellion executioners. The farce which he had played was put down forthwith, by the application of should not have been invested with a factitious physical force. Joseph Smith ordered a body dignity by a tragic end. Yet, when we conof his disciples to "abate the nuisance;" and sider the audacious blasphemies in which he they razed the office of the " Expositor" to the had traded for so many years, and the awful ground. The proprietors fled for their lives, guilt which he had incurred in making the and, when they reached a place of safety, sued voice of heaven pander to his own avarice and out a writ from the legal authorities of Illinois, lust, we cannot deny that in his punishment against Joseph and Hiram Smith, as abettors the wrath of lawless men fulfilled the righteousof the riot. The execution of the warrant ness of God. Secure in the devotion of his was resisted by the people and troops of Nau- armed disciples, and at an age when he could voo, under the Prophet's authority. On this, still look forward to a long life of fraud, luxury, the governor of the state called out the militia and ambition, he had exclaimed: "Soul, thou to enforce the law, and required that the two hast much goods laid up for many years brothers should be given up for trial. Joseph take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.” had now only the alternative of war or submis- But the sentence had gone forth against him : sion. But hostilities would have been hopeless," Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be refor his troops only amounted to 4,000 men, quired of thee.”
while the militia of the state numbered 80,000.* To call such a man a martyr is an abuse of He therefore thought it the wiser course to sur-language which we regret to find in a writer render, especially as the governor pledged his so intelligent as Mr. Mayhew. A martyr is honor for the personal safety of the prisoners. one who refuses to save his life by renouncing They were accordingly committed to the county gaol at Carthage. A small body of troops was left to defend the prison; but they proved either inadequate or indisposed to the performance of their duty.
his faith. Joseph Smith never had such an option given him. We doubt not that if he could have escaped from the rifles of his murderers by confessing his imposture, he would have done so without hesitation; and would, The popular mind of Illinois was at this the next day, have received a revelation, ditime strongly excited against the Mormonites. recting the faithful to seek safety in recantation The same causes which had led to their expul- when threatened by the Gentiles. But his enesion from Zion and from Missouri were again mies knew him too well to give him such an actively at work. Their rapid growth, and ap- opportunity.
parently invincible elasticity in rising under We must also protest against the attempt to oppression, had roused even more than the for-represent this vulgar swindler as a sincere enmer jealousy. It seemed probable that before thusiast. "There is much in his later career," long the influx of foreign proselytes might raise says Mr. Mayhew," which seems to prove that the Prophet to supremacy. Why not use the he really believed what he asserted that he power which the circumstances of the moment imagined himself the inspired of heaven... placed in their hands, take summary ven- and the companion of angels." The reason geance on the impostor, and forever defeat the given for this charitable hypothesis is, that ambitious schemes of his adherents? Under" Joseph Smith, in consequence of his pretenthe influence of such hopes and passions, a sions to be a seer and prophet, lived a life of body of armed men was speedily collected, continual misery and persecution;" and that who overpowered the feeble guard, burst open if he had not been supported by "faith in his the doors of the gaol, and fired their rifles up- own high pretensions and divine mission, he on the prisoners. A ball killed Hiram on the would have renounced his unprofitable and unspot; when Joseph, who was armed with a re-grateful task and sought refuge in private life volver, after returning two shots attempted to and honorable industry." The answer to such escape by leaping the window; but he was representations is obvious: First, so far from stunned by his fall, and, while still in a state of insensibility, was picked up and shot by the mob outside the gaol. He died June 27th, 1844, in the thirty-ninth year of his age.
Joseph's scheme being "unprofitable," it raised him from the depths of poverty to unbounded wealth. Secondly, he had from his earliest years shrunk from "honorable industry," and preferred fraud to work. Thirdly, so far from his having lived in "continual misery and persecution,' he gained by his successful impos
Thus perished this profligate and sordid knave, by a death too honorable for his deserts. In England he would have been sent to the treadmill for obtaining money on false pre-ture the means of indulging every appetite tences. In America he was treacherously murdered without a trial; and thus our contempt for the victim is changed into horror for his
*Spencer, p. 236, 237. (Mr. Spencer was resident at the time in Nauvoo.)
and passion. During the fourteen years which intervened between his invention of Mormonism and his death, the only real persecution which he suffered was when his bankruptcy at Kirtland compelled him to share the fortunes of his followers in Missouri. And as to the risks
of life and limb to which he was exposed, they | were nothing to those which every soldier encounters for a shilling a-day.
temple was daily rising above the sacred hill in token of defiance. Exasperated by these visible proofs of their failure, the inhabitants of the nine adjoining counties met together, and formed an alliance for the extermination of their detested neighbors.
The first months of the new reign were tolerably peaceful. The enemies of Zion were satisfied with the fatal blow they had dealt; It is inexplicable how any one who had ever and the saints were suffered to gather the looked at Joseph's portrait, could imagine him harvest of that year without disturbance. But to have been by possibility an honest man. in the following winter it became evident to Never did we see a face on which the hand the independent electors of Illinois that the of Heaven had more legibly written rascal. sect, far from being destroyed, was becoming That self-complacent simper, that sensual more formidable than ever. New emigrants mouth, that leer of vulgar cunning, tell us at still continued to pour into Nauvoo, and the one glance the character of their owner. Success, the criterion of fools, has caused many who ridicule his creed to magnify his intellect. Yet we can discover in his career no proof of conspicuous ability. Even the plan of his imposture was neither original nor ingenious. It may be said that, without great intellectual Henceforward it was evident that while the power, he could not have subjected so many Mormons continued to inhabit Nauvoo, they thousands to his will, nor formed them into so must live in a perpetual state of siege, and till flourishing a commonwealth. But it must be their fields with a plough in one hand and a remembered that when subjects are firmly rifle in the other. Moreover, experience had persuaded of the divinity of their sovereign, shown that elements of disunion existed even government becomes an easy task. Even among themselves. So long as they were with such advantages, Smith's administration established in any of the settled States, they was by no means successful. He was con- could not exclude unbelievers from among stantly involved in difficulties which better them. There must always be Gentile stranmanagement would have avoided, and which gers who would intrude among the saints for the policy of his successor has overcome. We lucre's sake, and form a nucleus around which are inclined to believe that the sagacity shown disappointed or traitorous members might rally, in the construction of his ecclesiastical system and create internal conflict. This could only belonged rather to his lieutenants than to him- be avoided by the transplantation of the Mor self; and that his chief, if not his only talent, was his gigantic impudence. This was the rock whereon he built his church; and his success proves how little ingenuity is needed to deceive mankind.
mom commonwealth beyond the reach of foreign contact. Actuated by these reasons, the leaders who met to deliberate on the steps demanded by the crisis, came to a decision which, adventurous as it seemed, has proved no less The men of Illinois imagined that the death wise than bold. They resolved to migrate in of the false prophet would annihilate the sect; a body, far beyond the boundaries of the and the opinion was not unreasonable. For it United States, and to interpose a thousand seemed certain that there would be a contest miles of wilderness between themselves and among the lieutenants of Joseph for his va- the civilized world. In the fastnesses of the cant throne; and it was probable that the Rocky Mountains, the Alps of North America, Church would thus be shattered into fragments they determined to seek that freedom, civil mutually destructive. Such a contest, indeed, and religious, which was denied them by their did actually occur; and four claimants -Sid-countrymen. In a hymn composed for the ney Rigdon, William Smith, Lyman Wight, occasion, they express this Phocæan resolution and Brigham Young-disputed the allegiance as follows:
of the faithful. But the latter was unanimously
No more shall Jacob bow his neck;
Oh, that's the land for me!
supported by the Apostolic College, of which We'll burst off all our fetters, and break the he was chairman. This body was obeyed by Gentile yoke, the great majority of the inhabitants of Nau- For long it has beset us, but now it shall be voo; and a general Council of the Church, summoned about six weeks after Joseph's death excommunicated the other pretenders, and even ventured to "deliver over to Satan" the great Rigdon himself, although their Sacred Books declared him equal with the Prophet; who had, however, latterly shown a disposition to slight and humble him. The Mormons throughout the world acquiesced in this decision; and Brigham Young was established in the post of "Seer, Revelator, and President of the Latter Day Saints."
Their decision was announced to the saints
throughout the world by a General Epistle, which bears date Jan. 20, 1846. It was also communicated to their hostile neighbors, who agreed to allow the Mormons time to sell their