Wikipedia Definition [as of 11/29/10]: The Nauvoo Expositor was a newspaper in Nauvoo, Illinois that published only one issue, which was dated June 7, 1844. Its publication set off a chain of events that led to the assassinationof Latter Day Saint movement founder, Joseph Smith, Jr.. The Expositor was founded by several disaffected associates of Smith, Jr., some of whom claimed that Smith had attempted to seduce their wives in the name of plural marriage.
The bulk of the Expositor's single issue was devoted to criticism of Smith, founder of the Latter Day Saint movement and the mayor of Nauvoo. After two days of consultation, Smith and the Nauvoo city council voted on June 10, 1844 to declare the paper a public nuisance, and ordered the paper's printing press destroyed. The town marshal carried out the order that evening. These actions generated considerable disturbance, and culminatedin Smith's assassination by a vigilante group while he was in legal custody and awaiting a trial in nearby Carthage.
The paper's criticism of Smith was focused on three main points: (1) the opinion that Smith had once been a trueprophet, but had become a fallen prophet because of his introduction of plural marriage, exaltation and other controversial doctrines; (2) the opinion that as church president and Nauvoo mayor, Smith held too much power and desired to create a theocracy (see alsoCouncil of Fifty, Theodemocracy); and (3) the belief that Smith was corrupting young women by forcing, coercing or introducing them to the practice of plural marriage.
Nauvoo's charter granted the city council powers equal tothe Illinois legislature within the jurisdiction of Nauvoo. Power was granted to the city council to pass ordinances for the order and welfare of the city. For two days, Smith and the city council debated and discussed the matter. Ultimately, after considering William Blackstone's canon, the council declared the press a nuisance and ordered Smith, as Nauvoo's mayor, to order the city marshall to destroy the paper and the press.
Since the events there has been much discussion as to whether the council's actions were legal insofar as the law would have been contemporarily understood. In any event, whether or not the council's actions were strictly legal, there is general agreement among historians that the press's destruction escalated the continuing conflict between the Mormon community and their critics, leading ultimately to Smith's assassination.
A group of former members of the church were in open conflict with Smith for various doctrinal, economic, and political reasons. William Law, a member of the First Presidency, joined this group and became the head of it. According to William Law, Smith had made several proposals to Law's wife Jane, under the premise that Jane Law would enter a polyandrous marriage with Smith. Law's wife described Smith's proposals, saying that Smith had "asked her to give him half her love; she was at liberty to keep the other half for her husband."
The Expositor was published by Law and six associates. The Expositor was planned as an exposé of the church's practices which Law and his associates opposed.
The Expositor was declared a nuisance in part because it was deemed that if it were not immediately checked, it would inflame either Nauvoo's Mormon citizens or non-Mormon mobs and lead to public disorder or violence such as the Mormons had experienced during the 1838 Mormon War in Missouri. In a letter to Governor Thomas Ford written four days after the destruction of the press, Smith described the city council's opinion of the paper and its authors:
In the investigation it appeared evident to the council that the proprietors were a set of unprincipled men, lawless, debouchees, counterfeiters, Bogus Makers, gamblers, peace disturbers, and that the grand object of said proprietors was to destroy our constitutional rights and chartered privileges; to overthrow all good and wholesome regulations in society; to strengthen themselves against the municipality; to fortify themselves against the church of which I am a member, and destroy all our religious rights and privileges, by libels, slanders, falsehoods, perjury & sticking at no corruption to accomplish their hellish purposes. and that said paper of itself was libelous of the deepest dye, and very injurious as a vehicle of defamation,—tending to corrupt the morals, and disturb the peace, tranquillity and happiness of the whole community, and especially that of Nauvoo.
Apart from its ethical implications, there has been some debate about whether the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor was legal. At the time, the United States Constitution did not prohibit states and local governments from infringing the freedom of the press. This First Amendment protection only applied to the federal government until the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution was enacted in 1868, and U.S. courts did not consistently enforce the First Amendment against states and localities until about 1931.
Thus, whether or not the destruction of the press was legal depends primarily on the laws of the state of Illinois and the Nauvoo Charter. Among the rights enacted in the 1818 Constitution of Illinois were a prohibition against ex post facto laws and a provision for the freedom of the press. It is clear that the city of Nauvoo's actions against the Expositor violated the Illinois constitution's freedom-of-press provision. This provision read as follows:
The destruction may also have violated Illinois' prohibition against ex post facto laws. Even without a specific ordinance, the city of Nauvoo could have tried to rely upon the existing common law doctrines of nuisance and libel, but it is doubtful whether they were applicable. The city might also have acted under the common law doctrine of eminent domain, which allows the government to take private property for public use. Such a taking, however, would have required, under the Illinois "Takings Clause", that the taking be approved by the Illinois general assembly, and that just compensation be given.
A detailed legal analysis of the Nauvoo City Council's actions was undertakenby Dallin H. Oaks, then a professor at the University of Chicago Law School. Oaks opined that while the destruction of the Expositor's printing press was legally questionable, under the law of the time the newspaper certainly could have been declared libelous and therefore a public nuisance by the Nauvoo City Council. As a result, Oaks concludes that while under contemporaneous law it would have been legally permissible for city officials to destroy, or "abate," the actual printed newspapers, the destruction of the printing press itself was probably outside of the council's legal authority, and its owners could have sued for damages.
Reference: Wikipedia [on November 8, 2010]
NAUVOO, ILLINOIS, JUNE 7, 1844.
We give this week to the following Preamble, Resolutions and Affidavits, of the Seceders from the Church at Nauvoo.-- The request is complied with on account of their deeming it very important that the public should know the true cause of their dissenting, as all manner of falsehood is spread abroad in relation to the schism in the Church. In our subsequent numbers several affidavits will be published, to substantiate the facts alleged. Hereafter, no further Church proceedings will appear in our columns, except in the form of brief communications.--ED.
It is with the greatest solicitude for the salvation of the Human Family, and of our own souls, that we have this day assembled. Feign would we have slumbered, and "like the Dove that covers and conceals the arrow that is preying upon its vitals," for the sake of avoiding the furious and turbulent storm of persecution which will gather, soon to burst upon our heads, have covered and concealed that which, for a season, has been brooding among the ruins of our peace: but we rely upon the arm of Jehovah, the Supreme Arbiter of the world, to whom we this day, and upon this occasion, appeal for the rectitude of our intentions.
If that God who gave bounds to the mighty deep, and bade the ocean cease--if that God who organized the physical world, and gave infinity to space, be our front guard and our rear ward, it is futile and vain for man to raise his puny arm against us. God will inspire his ministers with courage and with understanding to consummate his purposes; and, if it is necessary, he can snatch them from the fiery furnace, or the Lion's den; as he did anciently the three Hebrews from the former, and Daniel from the latter.
As for our acquaintance with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, we know, no man or set of men can be more thoroughly acquainted with its rise, its organization, and its history, than we have every reason to believe we are. We all verily believe, and many of us know of a surety, that the religion of the Latter Day Saints, as originally taught by Joseph Smith, which is contained in the Old and New Testaments, Book of Covenants, and Book of Mormon, is verily true; and that the pure principles set forth in those books, are the immutable and eternal principles of Heaven, and speaks a language which, when spoken in truth and virtue, sinks deep into the heart of every honest man.--Its precepts are invigorating, and in every sense of the word, tend to dignify and ennoble man's conceptions of God and his atributes [sic]. It speaks a language which is heard amidst the roar of Artillery, as well as in the silence of midnight: it speaks a language understood by the incarcerated spirit, as well as he who is unfettered and free; yet to those who will not see, it is dark, mysterious, and secret as the grave.
We believe that all men, professing to be the ministers of God, should keep steadily in view, the honor and glory of God, the salvation of souls, and the amelioration of man's condition: and among their cardinal virtues ought to be found those of faith, hope, virtue and charity; but with Joseph Smith, and many other official characters in the Church, they are words without any meanings attached-worn as ornaments; exotics nurtured for display; virtues which, throwing aside the existence of a God, the peace, happiness, welfare, and good order of society, require that they should be preserved pure, immaculate and uncorroded.
We most solemnly and sincerely declare, God this Day being witness of the truth and sincerity of our designs and statements, that happy will it be with those who examine and scan Joseph Smith's pretensions to righteousness; and take counsel of human affairs, and of the experience of times gone by. Do not yield up tranquilly a superiority to that man which the reasonableness of past events, and the laws of our country declare to be pernicious and diabolical. We hope many items of doctrine, as now taught, some of which, however, are taught secretly, and denied openly, (which we know positively is the case,)and others publicly, considerate men will treat with contempt; for we declare them heretical and damnable in their influence, though they find many devotees. How shall he, who had drank of the poisonous draft, teach virtue? In the stead thereof, when the criminal ought to plead guilty to the court, the court is obliged to plead guilty to the criminal. We appeal to humanity and ask, what shall we do? Shall we lie supinely and suffer ourselves to be metamorphosed into beasts by the Syren tongue? We amswer that our country and our God require that we should rectify the tree. We have called upon him to repent, and as soon as he shewed fruits meet for repentance, we stood ready to seize him by the hand of fellowship, and throw around him the mantle of protection; for it is the salvation of souls we desire, and not our own aggrandizement.
We are earnestly seeking to explode the vicious principles of Joseph Smith, and those who practice the same abominations and whoredoms; which we verily know are not accordant and consonant with the principles of Jesus Christ and the Apostles; and for that purpose, and with that end in view, with an eye single to the glory of God, we have dared to gird on the armor, and with God at our head, we most solemnly and sincerely declare that the sword of truth shall not depart from the thigh, nor the buckler from the arm, until we can enjoy those glorious privileges which nature's God and our country's laws have guarantied to us-freedom of speech, the liberty of the press, and the right to worship God as seemeth us good.-We are aware, however, that we are hazarding every earthly blessing, particularly property,and probably life itself, in striking this blow at tyranny and oppression: yet notwithstanding we most solemnly declare that no man, or set of men combined, shall, with impunity, violate obligations as sacred as many which have been violated unless reason, justice and virtue have become ashamed and sought the haunts of the grave, though our lives be the forfeiture.
Many of us have sought a reformation in the church, without a public exposition of the enormities of crimes practiced by its leaders, thinking that if they would hearken to counsel, and shew fruit meet for repentance, it would be as acceptable with God, as though they were exposed to public gaze,
"For the private path, the secret acts of men, If noble, for the noblest of their lives."
but our petitions were treated with contempt; and in many cases the petitioner spurned from their presence and particularly by Joseph, who would state that if he had sinned, and was guilty of the charges we would charge him with, he would not make acknowledgment, but would rather be damned; for it would detract from his dignity, and would consequently ruin and prove the overthrow of the Church. We would ask him on the other hand, if the overthrow of the Church was not inevitable, to which he often replied, that we would all go to Hell together, and convert it into a heaven, by casting the Devil out; and says lie, Hell is by not means the place this world of fools suppose it to be, but on the contrary, it is quite an agreeable place: to which we would now reply, he can enjoy it he is determined not to desist from his evil ways; but as for us, and ours, we will serve the Lord our God!
It is absurd for men to assert that all is well, while wicked and corrupt men are seeking our destruction, by a perversion of sacred things; for all is not well, while whordoms and all manner of abominations are practiced under the cloak of religion. Lo! the wolf is in the fold, arrayed in sheep's clothing, and is spreading death and devastation among the saints: and we say to the watchmen standing upon the walls, cry aloud and spare not, for the day of the Lord is at hand-a day cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate.
It is a notorious fact, that many females in foreign climes, and in countries to us unknown, even in the most distant regions of the Eastern hemisphere, have been induced, by the sound of the gospel, to forsake friends, and embark upon a voyage across waters that lie stretched over the greater portion of the globe, as they supposed, to glorify God, that they might thereby stand acquitted in the great day of God Almighty. But what is taught them on their arrival at this place?- They are visited by some of the Strikers, for we know not what else to call them, and are requested to hold on and be faithful, for there are great blessings awaiting the righteous; and that God has great mysteries in store for those who love the lord, and cling to brother Joseph. They are also notified that Brother Joseph will see them soon, and reveal the mysteries of Heaven to their full understanding, which seldom fails to inspire them with new confidence in the Prophet, as well as a great anxiety to know what God has laid up in store for them, in return for the great sacrifice of father of mother, of gold and silver, which they gladly left far behind, that they might be gathered into the fold, and numbered among the chosen of God.--They are visited again, and what is the result? They are requested to meet brother Joseph, or some of the Twelve, at some insulated point, or at some particularly described place on the bank of the Mississippi, or at some room, which wears upon its front--Positively NO Admittance. The harmless, inoffensive, and unsuspecting creatures, are so devoted to the Prophet, and the cause of Jesus Christ, that they do not dream of the deep laid and fatal scheme which prostrates happiness, and renders death itself desirable; but they meet him, expecting to receive through him a blessing, and learn the will of the Lord concerning them, and what awaits the faithful follower of Joseph, the Apostle and Prophet of God, When in the stead thereof, they are told, after having been sworn in one of the most solemn manners, to never divulge what is revealed to them, with a penalty of death attached that God Almighty has revealed it to him, that she should be his (Joseph's) Spiritual wife; for it was right anciently,and God will tolerate it again: but we must keep those pleasures and blessings form the world, for until there is a change in the government, we will endanger ourselves by practicing it-but we can enjoy the blessings of Jacob, David, and others, as well as to be deprived of them, if we do not expose ourselves to the law of the land. She is thunder-struck, faints recovers, and refuses. The Prophet damns her if she rejects. She thinks of the great sacrifice and of the many thousand miles she has traveled over sea and land, that she might save her soul from pending ruin, and replies, God's will be done and not mine. The Prophet and his devotees in this way are gratified. The next step to avoid public exposition from the common course of things, they are sent away for a time, until all is well; after which they return, as from a long visit. Those whom no power or influence could seduce, except that which is wielded by some individual feigning to be a God, must realize the remarks of an able writer, when he says, "if woman's feelings are turned to ministers of sorrow, where shall she look for consolation?" Her lot is to be wooed and want her heart is like some fortress that has been captured, sacked, abandoned, and left desolate. With her, the desire of the heart has failed-the great charm of existence is at an end; she neglects all the cheerful exercise of life, which gladen the spirits, quicken the pulses, and send the tide of life in healthful currents through the veins. Her rest is broken. The sweet refreshment of sleep is poisoned by melancholy dreams; dry sorrow drinks her blood, until her enfeebled frame sinks under the slightest external injury. Look for her after a little while, and you find friendship weeping over her untimely grave; and wondering that one who but so recently glowed with all the radiance of health and beauty, should so speedily be brought down to darkness and despair, you will be told of some wintry chill, of some casual indisposition that laid her low! But no one knows of the mental malady that previously sapped her strength, and made her so easy a pray to the spoiler. She is like some tender tree, the pride and beauty of the grove-graceful in its form, bright in its foliage, but with the worm praying at its heart; we find it withered when it should be most luxuriant. We see it drooping its branches to the earth, and shedding leaf by leaf until wasted and perished away, it falls in the stillness of the forest; and as we muse over the beautiful ruin, we strive in vain to recollect the blast or thunder-bolt that could have smitten it with decay. But no one knows the cause except the foul fiend who perpetrated the diabolical deed.
Our hearts have mourned and bled at the wretched and miserable condition of females in this place; many orphans have been the victims of misery and wretchedness, through the influence, that has been exerted over them, under the cloak of religion and afterwards, in consequence of that jealous disposition which predominates over the minds of some, have been turned upon a wide world, fatherless and motherless, destitute of friends and fortune; and robbed of that which nothing but death can restore.
Men solace themselves by saying the facts slumber in the dark caverns of midnight. But Lo! it is sudden day, and the dark deeds of foul fiends shall be exposed from the house-tops. A departed spirit, once the resident of St. Louis, shall yet cry aloud for vengeance.
It is difficult--perhaps impossible--to describe the wretchedness of females in this place, without wounding the feelings of the benevolent, or shocking the delicacy of the refined; but the truth shall come to the world. The remedy can never be applied, unless the disease is known. The sympathy, ever anxious to relieve, cannot be felt before the misery is seen.--The charity that kindles at the tale of woe, can never act with adequate efficiency, till it is made to see the pollution and guilt of men, now buried in the death-shades of heathenism.--Shall we then, however painful the sight, shrink from the contemplation of their real state? We answer, we will not, if permitted to live. As we have before stated, it is the vicious principles of men we are determined to explode. It is not that we have any private feelings to gratify, or any private pique to settle, that has induced us to be thus plain; for we can respect and love the criminal, if there is any hope of reformation: but there is a point beyond which forbearance ceases to be a virtue.
The next important item which presents itself for our consideration, is the attempt at Political power and influence, which we verity believe to be preposterous and absurd. We believe, it is inconsistent, and not in accordance with the christian religion. We do not believe that God ever raised up a Prophet to christianize a world by political schemes and intrigue. It is not the way God captivates the heart of the unbeliever; but on the contrary, by preaching truth in its own native simplicity, and in its own original purity, unadorned with anything except its own indigenous beauties. Joseph may plead he has been injured, abused, and his petitions treated with contempt by the general government, and that he only desires an influence of a political character that will warrant him redress of grievances; but we care not-the faithful followers of Jesus must bear in this age as well as Christ and the Apostles did anciently; although a frowning world may have crushed him to the dust; although unpitying friends may have passed him by; although hope, the great comforter in affliction, may have burst forth and fled from his troubled bosom; yet, in Jesus there is a balsom for every wound, and a cordial to assuage an agonized mind.
Among the many items of false doctrine that are taught the Church, is the doctrine of many Gods, one of the most direful in its effects that has characterized the world for many centuries. We know not what to call it other than blasphemy, for it is most unquestionably, speaking of God in an impious and irreverent manner. It is contended that there are innumerable gods as much above the God that presides over this universe, as he is above us; and if he varies from the law unto which he is subjected, he, with all his creatures, will be cast down as was Lucifer: thus holding forth a doctrine which is effectually calculated to sap the very foundation of our faith, and now, O Lord! shall we set still and be silent, while thy name is thus blasphemed, and thine Honor, power and glory, brought into disrepute? See Isaiah c 43, v 10; 44, 6-8; 45, 5,6, 21, 22; and book of Covenants, page 26 and 39.
In the dark ages of Popery, when bigotry, superstition, and tyranny held universal sway over the empire of reason, there was some semblance of justice in the inquisitorial deliberations; which, however, might have been dictated by prudence, or the fear of consequences; but we are no longer forced to appeal to those states that are now situated under the influence of Popery for examples of injustice, cruelty and oppression-we can appeal to the acts of the inquisitorial deliverations, which, however, might have been dictated by prudence, or the fear of consequences: but we are no longer forced to appeal to those states that are now situated under the influence of popery for examples of injustice, cruelty and oppression-we can appeal to the acts of the inquisitorial department organized in Nauvoo, by Joseph and his accomplices, for specimens of injustice of the most perniciouis and diabolical character that ever stained the pages of the historian.
It was in Rome, and about the twelfth century, when Pope Innocent III, ordered father Dominic to excite the Catholic princes and people to extirpate heretics. But it is in this enlightened and intelligent nineteenth century, and in Nauvoo--a place professing to be the nucleus o the world, that Joseph Smith has established an inquisition, which, if it is suffered to exist, will prove more formidable and terrible to those who are found opposing the iniquities of Joseph and his associates, than ever the Spanish inquisiton did to heretics as they termed them.
On thursday evening, the 18th of April, there was a council called, unknown to the Church, which tried, condemned, and cut off brothers Wm. Law, Wilson Law, and sister Law, (Wm's. wife,) brother R. D. Foster, and one brother Smith, with whom we are unacquainted; which we contend is contrary to the book of Doctrine and Covenants, for our law condemnest no man until he is heard. We abhor and protest against any council or tribunal in this Church, which will not suffer the accused to stand in its midst and plead their own cause. If an Agrippa would suffer a Paul, whose eloquence surpassed, as it were, the eloquence of men, to stand before him, and plead his own cause, why should Joseph, with others, refuse to hear individuals in their own defence?--We answer, it is because the court fears the atrocity of its crimes will be exposed to public gaze. We wish the public to thoroughly understand the nature of this court, and judge of the legality of its acts as seemeth them good.
On Monday, the 15th of April, brother R.D. Foster had a notice served on him to appear before the High Council on Saturday following, the 20th, and answer to charges prefered against him by Joseph Smith. On Saturday, while Mr. Foster was preparing to take his witnesses, 4l in number, to the council-room, that he might make good his charges against Joseph, president Marks notified him that the trial had been on Thursday evening, before the 15th, and that he was cut off from the Church; and that same council cut off the brother Laws', sister Law, and brother Smith, and all without their knowledge. They were not notified, neither did they dream of any such thing being done, for William Law had sent Joseph and some of the Twelve, special word that he desired an investigation before the Church o General Conference, on the 6th of Ap'l. The court, however, was a tribunal possessing no power to try Wm. Law, who was called by special Revelation, to stand as counsellor to the President of the Church. (Joseph,) which was twice ratified by General Conferences, assembled at Nauvoo, for Brigham Young, one of the Twelve, presided, whose duty it was not but the President of the High Council-See Book of Doctrine and Covenants, page 87
Resolved lst, That we will not encourage the acts of any court in this church, for the trial of any of its members, which will not suffer the accused to be present and plead their own cause; we therefore declare our decided disapprobation to the course pursued last Thursday evening, (the 18th inst,) in the case of William and Wilson Law, and Mrs. William Law, and R.D. Foster, as being unjust and unauthorized by the laws of the Church, and consequently null and void; for our law judgeth no man unless he be heard; and to all those who approbate a course so unwarranted, unprecedented and so unjust, we would say beware lest the unjust measure you meet to your brethren, be again meeted out to you.
Resolved 2nd, Inasmuch as we have for years borne with the individual follies and iniquities of Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith, and many other official characters in the Church of Jesus Christ, (conceiving it a duty incumbent upon us so to bear,) and having labored with them repeatedly with all Christian love, meekness and humbility, yet to no effect, feel as if forbearance has ceased to be a virtue, and hope of reformation vain; and inasmuch as they have introduced false and damnable doctrines into the Church, such as a plurality of gods above the God of this universe and his ability to fall with all his creations; the plurality of wives, for time and eternity; the doctrine of unconditional sealing up to eternal life, against all crimes except that of sheding innocent blood, by a perversion of their priestly authority and thereby forfeiting the holy priesthood, according to the word of Jesus; "If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch and is withered, and men gather them and cast them into the fire, and they are burned." St. John, xv.6. "Whosoever transgresseth and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God, he that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, hath both the Father and the Son; if there come any unto you and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed, for he that abideth him God speed is a partaker of his evil deeds;" we therefore are constrained to denounce them as apostates from the pure and holy doctrines of Jesus Christ.
Resolved 3rd, That we disapprobate and discountenance every attempt to unite church and state; and that we further believe the effort now being made by Joseph Smith for political power and influence, is not commendable in the sight of God.
Resolved 4th, That the hostile spirit and conduct manifested by Joseph Smith, and many of his associates towards Missouri and others inimical to his purposes, are decidedly at variance with the true spirit of Christianity, and should not be encouraged by any people, much less by those professing to be the ministers of the gospel of peace.
Resolved 5th, that while we disapprobate mallicious persecutions and prosecutions, we hold that all church members are alike amenable to the laws of the land; and that we further discountenance any chicanery to screen them from the just demands of the same.
Resolved 6th, That we consider the religious influence exercised in financial concerns by Joseph Smith, as unjust as it is unwarranted, for the Book of Doctrine and Covenants makes it the duty of the Bishop to take charge of the financial affairs of the Church, and of all temporal matters pertaining to the same.
Resolved 7th, That we discountenance and disapprobate the attendance at houses of revelling and dancing; dram-shops and theatres; verily believing they have a tendency to lead from paths of virtue and holiness, to those of vice and debauchery.
Resolved 8th, That we look upon the pure and holy doctrines set forth in the Scriptures of Divine truth, as being the immutable doctrines of salvation; and he who abideth in them shall be saved, and he who abideth not in them can not inherit the Kingdom of Heaven.
Resolved 9th, That we consider the gathering in haste, and by sacrifice, to be contrary to the will of God; and that it has been taught by Joseph Smith and others for the purpose of enabling them to sell property at most exhorbitant prices, not regarding the welfare of the Church, but through their covetousness reducing those who had the means to give employment to the poor, to the necessity of seeking labor for themselves; and thus the wealth which is brought into the place is swallowed up by the one great throat, from whence there is no return, which if it had been economically disbursed amongst the whole would have rendered all comfortable.
Resolved 10th, That, notwithstanding our extensive acquaintance with the financial affairs of lthe Church, we do not know of any property which in reality belongs to the Church (except the Temple) and we therefore consider the injunction laid upon the saints compelling them to purchase property of the Trustee in trust for the Church, is a deception practiced upon them; and that we look upon the sending of special agents abroad to collect funds for the Temple and other purposes as a humbug practiced upon the saints by Joseph and others, to aggrandize themselves, as we do not believe that the monies and property so collected, have been applied as the donors expected, but have been used for speculative purposes, by Joseph, to gull the saints the better on their arrival at Nauvoo, by buying the lands in the vicinity and selling again to them at tenfold advance; and further that we verily believe the appropriations said to have been subscribed by shares for the building of the Nauvoo House to have been used by J. Smith and Lyman Wight, for other purposes, as out of the mass of stock already taken, the building is far from being finished even to the base.
Resolved 11th, That we consider all secret societies, and combinations under penal oaths and obligations, (professing to be organized for religious purposes,) to be anti-Christian, hypocritical and corrupt.
Resolved 12th, That we will not acknowledge any man as king of law-giver to the church; for Christ is our only king and law-giver.
Resolved 13th, That we call upon the honest in heart, in the Church, and throughout the world, to vindicate the pure doctrines of Jesus Christ, whether set forth in the Bible, Book of Mormon, or Book of Covenants; and we hereby withdraw the hand of fellowship, from all those who practice or teach doctrines contrary to the above, until they cease so to do, and show works meet for repentance.
Resolved 14th, That we hereby notify all those holding licences to preach the gospel, who know they are guilty of teaching the doctrine of other Gods above the God of this creation; the plurality of wives; the unconditional sealing up against all crimes, save that of sheding innocent bood; the spoiling of the gentiles, and all other doctrines, (so called) which are contrary to the laws of God, or to the laws of our country, to cease preaching, and to come and make satisfaction, and have their licences renewed.
Resolved 15th, That in all our controversies in defence of truth and righteousness the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty through God to the pulling down of the strong holds of Satan; that our strifes are not against flesh, blood, nor bones; but against principalities and power, against spiritual wickedness in high places and therefore we will not use carnal weapons save in our own defence.
I hereby certify that Hyrum Smith did, (in his office) read to me a certain written document, which he said was a revelation from God, he said that he was with Joseph when it was received. He afterwards gave me the document to read, and I took it to my house, and read it, and showed it to my wife, and returned it next day. The revelation (so called) authorized certain men to have more wives than one at a time, in this world and in the world to come. It said this was the law, and commanded Joseph to enter into the law.-And also that he should administer to others. Several other items were in the revelation, supporting the above doctrines.
State of Illinois,
I Robert D. Foster, certify that the above certificate was sworn to before me, as true in substance, this fourth day of May A.D. 1844.
ROBERT D. FOSTER J.P.
I certify that I read the revelation referred to in the above affidavit of my husband, it sustained in strong terms the doctrine of more wives that one at a time, in this world, and in the next, it authorized some to have to the number of ten, and set forth that those women who would not allow their husbands to have more wives than one should be under condemnation before God.
Sworn and subscribed befoore me this fourth day of May, A.D. 1844.
ROBET D. FOSTER, J.P.
To all whom it may Concern:
Forasmuch as the public mind hath been much agitated by a course of procedure in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, by a number of persons declaring aginst certain doctrines and practices therein, (among whom I am One,) it is but meet that I should give my reasons, at least in part, as a cause that hath led me to declare myself. In the latter part of the summer, 1843, the Patriarch, Hyrum Smith, did in the High Council, of which I was a member, introduce what he said was a revelation given through the Prophet; that the said Hyrum Smith did essay to read the said revealtion in the said Council, that according to his reading there was contained the following doctrines; lst the sealing up of persons to eternal life, against all sins, save that of sheding innocent blood or of consenting thereto; 2nd, the doctrine of a plurality of wives, or marrying virgins; that "David and Solomon had many wives, yet in this they sinned not save in the matter of Uriah. This revelation with other evidence, that the aforesaid heresies were taught and practiced in the Church; determined me to leave the office of first counsellor to the president of the Church at Nauvoo, inasmuch as I dared not teach or administer such laws. And further deponent saith not.
State of Illinois, }ss.
Hancock County, }
To all whom it may concern I hereby certify that the above certificate was sworn and subscribed before me, this fourth day of May, 1844.
ROBERT D. FOSTER, J.P.
FRIDAY, JUNE 7, 1844
SYLVESTER EMMONS, Editor
In greeting our patrons with the first number of the Expositor, a remark is necessary for the expression of some views, and certain principles by which we intend to be governed in our editorial duties. Many questions and surmises are made by those who suppose we will come in conflict with some of their darling schemes of self-aggrandisement. Others, more honest, desire to know whether our object is to advocate any particular religious tenets, or any favorite measures of either of the political parties of the country. To all such questions we answer to the negative. Free toleration in religious sentiments, we deem compatible with the organization of our government, and should not be abridged. On the other hand, we believe religious despotism to be incompatible with our free institutions. What we conceive to be despotism, engendered by an assumption of power in the name of religion, we shall have occasion to show hereafter. In relation to politics, whatever our own views may be upon the federal measures that now, or may hereafter agitate the country, the Expositor will not be the exponent thereof, and all the strife and party zeal of the two great antagonistical parties for the success of their respective candidates for the Presidency, we shall remain neutral, and in an editorial capacity, inactive. Anther party, however, has sprung up in our midst, the leader of which, it would seem, expects, by a flourish of Quixotial chivalry, to take, by storm, the Presidential chair, and distribute among his faithful suporters, the office of governor in all the different States, for the purpose, we presume, of more effectually consolidating the government. This party we may be disposed to treat with a little levity, but nothing more. As it respects the local questions which may arise in our own county, and the candidates for the legislature from this county, we reserve the right to expatiate upon the respective claims--not on account of their politics--be they whig or democrat, but on account of a combination which we believe has for its object the utter destruction of the rights of the old citizens of the county, who have borne the heat and burden of the day; who have labored hard as pioneers of the county; who have rights that should be respected by every principle of honor and good faith, and whose wishes should be consulted in the choice of officers, and not have men imposed upon them, who are obnoxious, for good and sufficient reasons. In relation to such questions, we intend to express our mind freely, as our duty dictates, regardless of consequences. If a fair and honorable course be taken by the dominant party at Nauvoo, we will have nothing to battle against; but if they do not pursue that course, we shall be prepared for the warfare. We must confess, however, if we are to judge of the future by the past, we have little to expect from that quarter: but apart from local political considerations, we have a high and more noble duty to perform. We shall spread the banner to the breeze for a radical reform in the city of Nauvoo, as the departure from moral rectitude, and the abuse of power, have become intolerable. We shall speak our, and spare not, until certain grievances are redressed or corrected; until honor, virtue, and reputation shall take their accustomed habitations, and be respected; until we teach men that no exclusive privileges can be allowed to any individual under our form of government; that the law of the land, based upon the revealed laws of heaven, are paramount to all other earthly considerations; and he who sets the laws at defiance, and evades their operation, either by direct or indirect means, pursues a course subversive of the best interests of the country, and dangerous to the well-being of the social compact. That there does exist an order of things with the systematic elements of organization in our midst--a system which, if exposed in its naked deformity, would make the virtuous mind revolt with horror; a system in the exercise of which lays prostrate all the dearest ties in our social relations--the glorious fabric upon which human happiness is based--ministers to the worst passions of our nature, and throws us back into the benighted regions of the dark ages, we have the greatest reason to believe.
The question is asked, will you bring a mob upon us? In answer to that, we assure all concerned, that we will be among the first to put down anything like an illegal force being used against any man or set of men. If any one has become amenable to the law, we wish to have him tried impartially by the laws of his country. We are among the number who believe that there is virtue and integrity enough in the administrators of the law, to bring every offender to justice, and to protect the innocent. If it is necessary to make a show of force, to execute legal process, it will create no sympathy in that case to cry out, we are mobbed. There is such a thing as persons being deceived into a false sympathy once, who, the second time, will scrutinize very closely, to know who, or which party, are the persecutors. It is not always the first man who cries out, stop thief, that is robbed. It is the upright, honest, considerate and moral precepts of any class that will be respected in this or any other enlightened age--precepts which have for their end the good of mankind, and the establishment of fundamental truths. On the other hand, paradoxical dogmas, new systems of government, new codes of morals, a new administration of the laws by ignorant, unlettered, and corrupt men, must be frowned down by every lover of his country. The well-being of society demand it at our hands. Our country, by whose laws we are protected, asks us for a manifestation of that patriotism which should inspire every American citizen--the interests of the State of Illinois require it, and as a citizen of Illinois, we intend to respond to the voice of duty, and stand the hazard of the die.
We believe that the Press should not be the medium through which the private character of any individual should be assailed, delineated, or exposed to public gaze: still, whoever acts in an official character, who sets himself up as a public teacher, and reformer of morals and religion, and as an aspirant to the highest office in the gift of the people of this glorious republic ..... institutions he publicly condemns, we assert and maintain the right of canvassing all the public acts and animadverting, with terms of the severest reproach upon all the revolutionary measures that come to our notice, from any source. We would not be worthy of the name of an American citizen, did we stand by and see, not only the laws of the State, but the laws of the United States set at defiance, the authorities insulted, fugitives from justice fleeing for refuge, asking and receiving protection from the authorities of Nauvoo, for high crimes committed against the government of the United States, the Mayor of a petty incorporated town interposing his authority, and demanding the right of trial for the fugitive on the merits of the case, by virtue of a writ of Habeas Corpus, issued by the Municipal Court of Nauvoo. It is too gross a burlesque upon common sense--a subterfuge too low to indicate any thing but a corrupt motive.--Such acts, whether committed in a private or public capacity, will be held up to public scorn. An independent Press is bound by every sense of duty, to lay before the public every attack upon their rights: we, therefore, in the exercise of our duty, expect the support and the aid of our fellow citizens in our enterprise.
We hope all those who intend subscribing for the "Expositor," will forward their names as soon as possible; Editors, Postmasters, and others, to whom the Prospectus, and paper may be sent, will confer a favor upon us, by noticing, exchanging, and circulating the same, in their respective vocations, and forwarding accordingly.
In consequence of the importance of the cause in which we have engaged, and the assurances we have received from different sources, we have concluded to issue one thousand copies of the first number of the paper, that all who wish, may be supplied, and further, that none may plead ignorance of our complaints, or exonerate themselves from an interest in our behalf. We do not wish, or expect, the publication of the "Expositor" to prove a matter of pecuniary profit, neither do we believe the public will suffer it to prove a loss. It is a subject in which we are all interested, more particularly the citizens of this county, and surrounding country; the case has assumed a formidable and fearful aspect, it is nt the destiny of a few that is involved in case of commotion, but that of thousands, wherein necessarily the innocent and helpless would be confounded with the criminal and guilty. We have anxiously desired, and strenuously advocated a peaceable redress of the injuries that have repeatedly been inflicted upon us, and we have now the means in our hands, through which we can peaceably and honorably effect our object. For ourselves, we are firmly resolved not to quit the field, till our efforts shall be crowned with success. And we now call upon all, who prize the liberty of speech,the liberty of the press, the right of conscience, and the sacred rights of American citizenship, to assist us in this undertaking. Let us stand up and boldly and fearlessly oppose ourselves to any and every encroachment, in whatever form it may appear, whether shaped in superstitious domination r civil usurpation. The public abroad have not been informed in relation to facts as they really existed in our midst, many have supposed that all was rumor, and having no organ through which to speak, our silence has been to them sufficient proof.
The facts have been far otherwise, we have watched with painful emotion the progress of events in this city, for some time past, until we were sick with the sight; injury upon injury has been repeated, insult has been added to insult till forbearance has ceased to be virtuous, and we now have the proud privilege, we have long wished for, of defending ourselves against their foul aggressions and aspersions and of informing the public of things as they really are. We intend to tell the hole tale and by all honorable means to bring to light and justice, those who have long fed and fattened upon the purse, the property, andthe character of injured innocence;--yes, we will speak, and that too in thunder tones, to the ears of those who have thus ravaged and laid waste fond hopes, bright prospects, and virtuous principles, to gratify an unhallowed ambition. We are aware of the critical position we occupy, in view of our immediate location; but we entertain no fears, our purpose is fixed [ ] our arm is nerved for the conflict, we [ ] upon our rights, and we will maintain those rights, whatever may be the consequence; let no man or set of men assail us at the peril of their lives, and we hereby give notice to all parties, that we are the last in attack, but the first and foremost in defence. We would be among the last to provoke the spirit of the public abroad unnecessarily, but we have abundant assurance, in case of emergency, that we shall be all there.
An individual, bearing the cognomen of Jeremiah Smith, who has evaded the officers for some time, has taken refuge in the city of Nauvoo. It appears he is a fugitive from justice for the offence of procuring four thousand dollars from the United States Treasury at the city of Washington, under false pretences. A bill of indictment was found in the District of Columbia against him, and a warrant issued for his arrest. The Marshal of Iowa Territory got intelligence of his being in this place, and procuring the necessary papers for his arrest, proceeded to this place in search of him, about three weeks ago. After making inquiry, and becoming satisfied that he was secreted in Nauvoo, under the immediate protection of the Prophet, he said to him (the Prophet,) that he was authorised to arrest the said J. Smith, for an offence committed by him against the United States government, and wished to know where he was--to which the Prophet replied, that he knew nothing about him. The Marshal said he knew he was secreted in the city, and was determined to have him; and, unless he was given up, he would have the aid of the Dragoons to find and arrest him. Joseph Smith then replied, that was not necessary; but, if the Marshal would pledge his word and honor that he should have the benefit of a city writ of Habeas Corpus, and be tried before him, he would produce the fugitive in half an hour. After some hesitancy, the Marshal agreed to do so, when the prisoner was produced in the time specified. A writ of Habeas Corpus was issued, and the prisoner taken from the Marshal and brought before the Municipal court of Nauvoo for trial. The court adjourned until thursday, the 30th ult., when he was tried, and discharged, as a matter of course. In the interval, however, application had been made to Judge Pope, of the District court of the United States for the State of Illinois, who issued his warrant, directed to the United States Marshal, who sent his deputy to make a second arrest, in the case the other officer did not succeed in taking him from the city. Smith was found by the Illinois Marshal and arrested, when it became necessary for the high corporate powers of the city again to interpose their authority. The potent writ was again issued--the prisoner taken from the Marshal--a trial had, during which, the attorneys for Smith relieved themselves of an insupportable burthen of legal knowledge, which completely overwhelmed the learned court, and resulted in the triumphant acquittal of the prisoner, with a judgement for costs against the U. States.
Now we ask if the executive and judicial authorities of Illinois deem it politic to submit to such a state of things in similar cases? Can, and will the constituted authorities of the federal government be quiescent under such circumstances, and allow the paramount laws of the Union to be set at defiance, and rendered nugatory by the action of a court, having no more than co-ordinate powers, with a common justice of the peaace? If such an order of things is allowed to exist, there is every reason to believe that Nauvoo will become a sink of refuge for every offender who can carry in spoils enough to buy protection. The people of the State of Illinois will, consequently, see the necessity of repealing the charter of Nauvoo, when such abuses are practiced under it ; and by virtue of said chartered authority, the right of the writ of Habeas Corpus in all cases arising under the city ordinance, to give full scope to the desired jurisdiction. The city council have passed ordinances, giving the Municipal court authority to issue the writ of Habeas Corpus in all cases when the prisoner is held in custody in Nauvoo, no matter whether the offender is committed in the State of Maine, or on the continent of Europe, the prisoner being in the city under arrest. It is gravely contended by the legal luminaries of Nauvoo, that the ordinances gives them jurisdiction, not only jurisdiction to try the validity of the writ, but to enquire into the merits of the case, and allow the prisoner to swear himself clear of the charges. If his own oath is not considered sufficient to satisfy the adverse party, plenty of witnesses are ready to swear that he is to be believed n oath, and that is to be considered sufficient by the court to put the uietus on all foreign testimony and the discharge of the prisoner follows, as a necessary conseuence.
We find in the Nauvoo Neighbor of May 29th, a lengthy letter from Joseph Smith a candidate for the Presidency on his own hook, to Henry Clay, the Whig candidate for the same office. It appears to be a new rule of tactics for two rival candidates to enter into a discussion of their respective claims to that high office, just preceding an election. Smith charges Clay with shrinking from the responsibility of promising to grant whatever the Mormons might ask, if elected to the Presidency. Smith has not been troubled with any inquiries of committees as to what measures he will recommend if elected; nevertheless he has come out boldly and volunteered his views of certain measures which he is in favor of having adopted. One is for the General Government to purchase the slaves of the south and set them free, that we can understand. Another is to pass a general uniform land law, that certainly requires the spirit of interpretation to show its meaning as no explanation accompanies it. Another which no doubt will be very congenial to the candidate's nervous system, is to open all the prison doors on the country, and set the captives free. These with some other suggestions equally as enlightened, ought to be sufficient to satisfy any man that Joseph Smith is willing that his principles shall be publicly known. If however any individual voter, who has a perfect right to know a candidate's principles, should not be satisfied, he may further aid his inquiries, by a reference to the record to the grand inquest of Hancock County.
Martin Van Buren is charged with non-commitalism; Henry Clay has not been the man to answer frankly the question whether he would restore to the Mormons their lands in Missouri. Joseph Smith is the only candidate now before the people whose principles are fully known; let it be remembered there are documents the highest degree of evidence before the people; a committee of twenty-four, under the solemnity of their oaths, have inquired into andreported upon his claims in due form of law. Shades of Washington and Jefferson--Henry Clay the candidate of a powerful party, is now under bonds to keep the peace; Joseph Smith, the candidate of another "powerful" party has two indictments against him, one for fornication and adultery, another for perjury. Our readers can make their own comments.
We have received the last number of the "Warsaw Signal;" it is rich with anti-Mormon matter, both editorial and communicated. Among other things it contains a lengthy letter from J.H.Jackson, giving some items in relation to his connection with the "Mormon Prophet," as also his reasons for the same. It will be perceived that many of the most dark and damnable crimes that ever darkened human character, which have hitherto been to the public, a matter of rumor and suspicion, are now reduced to indisputable facts. We have reason to believe, from our aquaintance with Mr. Jackson, and our own observation, that the statements he makes are true; and in view of these facts, we ask, in the name of heaven, where is the safety of our lives and liberties, when placed at the disposal of such heaven daring, hell deserving, God forsaken villains. Our blood boils while we refer to these blood thirsty and murderous propensities of men, or rather demons in human shape, who, not satisfied with practising their dupes upon a credulous and superstitious people, must wreak their vengeance upon any who may dare to come in contact with them. We deplore the desperate state of things to which we are necessarily brought, but, we say to our friends, "keep cool," and the whole tale will be told. We fully believe in bringing these iniquities and enormities to light, and let the majesty of violated law, and the voice of injured innocence and contemned public opinion, speak in tones of thunder to these miscreants; but in behalf of hundreds and thousands of unoffending citizens, whose only fault is religious enthusiasm, and for the honor of our own names and reputation, let us not follow their desperado measures, and thereby dishonor ourselves in revenging our own wrongs. Let our motto be, "Last in attack, but first in defence;" and the result cannot prove otherwise than honorable and satisfactory.
In consequence of a press of other duties in preparing our first number for the press, we have not had time to examine several communications that have been forwarded for publication. We respect the motives of our friends in the interest they manifest in carrying forward the work of reform; but we wish it to be distinctly understood, that we cannot depart from the conditions set forth in the Prospectus; that is the chart by which we intend to navigate the "Expositor," carefully avoiding any thing that may tend to diminish the interest or tarnish the character of its columns. We already feel that we occupy an unenviable position in view of the variety of opinions that exist, but, we stand committed as to our course, and having faithfully and fearlessly adhered to those terms, without partiality to friends, or personality to foes, we shall consider ourselves honorably discharged of duty.
We offer an apology to our readers for the want of arrangement and taste in our first number on account of our materials and press not being in order; the short time we have had to get a press and materials has precluded the possibility of getting the first number out according to our wishes, and the absence of the Editor for several days preceding ur first issue, renders this apology necessary. In our subsequent numbers we intend to maake good the insufficiency by giving to our readers a good selection of miscellany, and an editorial of rich and interesting matter.
The May Term of the Circuit Court of this county closed on the 30th ult. after a session of ten days. We understand a large number of cases were disposed of, none, however of a very important character. The cases wherein Joseph Smith was a party, were transferred by a change of venue, to other courts; that of A. Sympson vs. J. Smith, for false imprisonment, to Adams County; that of F. M. Higbee vs. J. Smith, for slander, and that of C. A. Foster vw. Jseph Smith, and J. W. Coolidge for false imprisonment, and that of A. Davis vs. Joseph Smith, and J. P. Green, for trespass, were all transferred to the County of McDonough. The Grand Jury found two bills against Smith, one for perjury, and another for fornication and adultery; on the first of which Smith delivered himself up for trial, but the State not being ready, material witnesses being absent, the case was deferred to the October term.
The regular session of the Municipal Court of this City came off on Monday last. The cases of R. D. Foster, C. L. Higbee, and C. A. Foster, on appeals from the Mayor's Court, wherein they had each been fined in the sum of one hundred dollars, "for the very enormous offence of refusing to assist the notorious O. P. Rockwell, and his "dignity" John P. Green, in arresting a respectable and peaceable citizen, without the regular process of papers) and of A. Spencer, wherein he was fined in the same sum on a charge of assault and battery, were all taken up and gravely discussed; after the most mature deliberation, with the assistance of the ex-tinguished City Attorney, this honorable body concluded to dismiss the suit and issue a procedendo to the lower court, which was accordingly done. The cases referred to above, afford abundant reason both for complaint and comment. We intend as soon as our time will allow, to express our views freely upon this feature of Mormon usurpation; first, enact a string of ordinances contrary to reason and common sense, and then inflict the severest penalties for not observing them.
We see that our friend the Neighbor, advocates the claims of Gen. Joseph Smith for the Presidency; we also see from teh records of the grand Jury of Hancock Co. at their recent term, that the general is a candidate to represent the branch of the state government at Alton. We would respectfully suggest to the Neighbor, whether the two offices are not incompatible with each other.
NAUVOO, JUNE 5th, 1844
It is well known to all of you that the August electin is fast approaching, and with it comes the great and terrible conflict. It is destined to be a day pregnant with big events; for it will be the index to the future. -- Should we be defeated upn that occasion, our die is cast, and our fate is sealed; but if successful, alike may Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith, and their devoted followers, as well as their enemies, expect that justice will be meted out. The present is portentious of the great effort that is to be made upon that occasion, by Joseph for power; Hiram Smith is already in the field as a candidate for the legislature, but will you support him, that same Hyrum Smith the devoted follower and brother of Joe, who feigned a revelation from God, directing the citizens of Hancock County to vote for J.P. Hoge, in preference to Cyrus Walker, and by so doing blaspheming the name of God? Will you, gentlemen of Hancock County, support a man like that, who claims to move in a different sphere, a sphere entirely above you, one who will trifle with the things of Gd, and feign converse with the Divinity, for the sake of carrying an election? I will unhesitatingly assume to myself the responsibility of answering in the negative. I flatter myself you are not so depraved, and so blinded to your own interests, as to support a man totally ignorant of the laws of your country, and in every respect alienated from you and your interests.
In supporting Hyrum Smith, you Citizens of Hancock County, are supporting Joseph Smith, for whom he (Hyrum) goes teeth and toe nails, for President of the United States. The question may arise here, in voting for Joseph Smith, for whom am I voting? You are voting for a man who contends all governments are to be put down and the one established upon its ruins. You are voting for an enemy to youor government, hear Phelps to Joe in his affidavit before Judge King of Missouri:--"Have you come to the point to resist all law?" "I have," says Joe. You are voting for a sycophant, whose attempt for power find no parallel in history. You are voting for a man who refuses to suffer criminals to be brought to justice, but in the stead thereof rescues them from the just demands of the law, by Habeas Corpus. You are voting for a man who stands indicted, and who is now held to bail, for the crimes of adultery and perjury; two of the gravest crimes known to our laws. Query not then for whom you are voting, it is for one of the blackest and basest scoundrels that has appeared upon the stage of human existence since the days of Nero, and Caligula.
In supporting Hyrum Smith, then are you not supporting Joseph Smith? most assuredly; pause then my countrymen, and consider cooly, calmly and deliberately, what you do? Support not that man who is spreading death, devastation and ruin throughout you happy country like a tornado. Infinite are the gradations which mark this man's attempts for power, which if not checked soon, must not only shed a deleterious influence on the face of this county, but on the face of the adjoining counties. He is already proudly boasting that he is beyond your reack; and I regret to think I am under the painful necessity of admitting the fact. Is it not a shame and a disgrace, to think we have a man in our midst, who will defy the laws of our country; the laws which shed so gentle and nourishing an influence upon our fathers, which fostered and protected them in their old age from insult and aggression; shall we their sons, lie still and suffer Joseph Smith to light up the lamp of tyranny and oppression in our midst? God forbid, lest the departed spirits of our fathers, cry from the ground against us. Let us arise in the majesty of our strength and sweep the influence of tyrants and miscreants from the face of the land, as with the breath of heaven. The eagle that is now proudly borne to earth's remotest regions by every gale, will perch himself in the solitude of mid-night if we do not arouse from our lethargy.
It is the worst of absurdities for any individual to say there is a man in our midst who is above the reach of violated law, and not lend a helping hand; all talk and nothing more will not accomplish that for your country and your God, which the acts of Washington did. Then gentlemen organize yourselves and prepare for the dreadful conflict in August; we go with you heart and hand, in the attempt to suppress this contaminating influence which is prostrating our fairest prospects, and spreading desolation throughout our vale. Call into the field your best men under the solemn pledge to go for the undconoditional repeal of the Nauvoo Charter, and you have our support; whether they be Whig or Democrat we care not; when a friend presents us with a draught of cool water, we do not stop to inquire whether it is contained in a silver vase, a golden urn or a long handled gourd. We want no base seducer, liar and perjured representative, to represent us in Springfield, but while Murrill represents Tennessee in Nashville, Munroe Edwards, New York, in Sing Sing, Br. Joseph may have the extreme goodness to represent Illinois in Alton, if his lawyers do not succeed in quashing the indictments found against him by the Grand Jurors of Hancock County, at the May term 1844.
FRANCIS M. HIGBEE.
We last week gave some account of the dissensions and divisions which have sprung up in the holy city of Nauvoo -- growing out of the arbitrary conduct of "the Prophet." -- Since then, the breach has become still wider between the head of the church and his followers. The citizens have procured a press, and will soon cmmence a paper, for the purpose of exposing Smith on his own ground and among his own people. Last week, individuals of the Mormon faith, (Messrs. Blakesley and Higbee,) representing the dissenters, addressed a large number of our citizens, in reference to the "flare up," at Nauvoo. We were not present, but have it from others who were, that the dissenters, made out that Joe Smith was pretty much of a rough customer, especially in relation to the "spiritual wife" dictrine. Their whole aim was principally against the church -- of which they still claimed to be members. They painted Smith, as any thing but the saint he claims to be -- and as a man, to the last degree, corrupt in his morals and religion. On Wednesday night, Mr. John P. Green, a Mormon elder, addressed a crowded house in defence of "the Prophet." The principal portion of the worthy elder's speech, while we were in the house, was taken up, in an apology for addressing the meeting, and when he did come to the substance of his address, he could only disprove the statements made by the dissenters, from his own knowledge -- he said he had been a Mormon for the last twelve years -- and had always been intimate with Smith, and that such doctrines as were ascribed to Smith by his enemies, had never been taught to him. He further said that Smith was like a diamond, the more he was rubbed, the brighter he appeared -- and he strongly insinuated, that the characters of the individuals, who had assailed Smith on the second evening previous, were none of the best, &c.
We think these Mormon Missionaries are laaboring under a mistake in one particular. It is not so much the particular doctrines, which Smith upholds and practices, however abominable they may be in themselves, that our citizens care about -- as it is the anti-republican nature of the organizatin, over which he has almost supreme control -- and which is trained and disciplined to act in accordance with his selfish will. The spectacle presented in Smith's case of a civil, ecclesiastical and military leader, united in one and the same person, with power over life and liberty, can never find favor in the minds of sound and thinking Republicans. The day has gone by when the precepts of Divine Truth, could be propagated at the point of the sword -- or the Bible made the medium of corrupt men to gratify their lustful appetites and sordid desires--[Quincy Whig.
We have received from Nauvoo a Prospectus for a new paper, to be entitled the "Nauvoo Expositor." It is intended to be the organ of the Reformed Mormon Church, which has lately been organized in that place, and to oppose the power of `the self-constituted Monarch,' who has assumed the government of the Holy City. We care no more aboout the New Church than the Old one, as a church; for we regard both with indifference. But if it can be a means of humbling the haughty miscreant who rules in that city and exposing his rank villianies, than we shall wish both Church and Paper a hearty God speed! The gentlemen who have the new paper in charge, have the reputation of being men of character and talent; and have commenced the work in which they are engaged, in real earnest. We hope the public will encourage their effort. -- Upper Mississippian.
"The people may have faults but they never should be trifled with. I think Mr. Pitt's quotation in the British Parliament of Mr. Prior's couplet for the husband and wife, to apply to the course which the king and ministry of England should pursue to the then colonies, of the now United States, might be a genuine rule of action for some of the breath made men in high places, to use towards the posterity of that noble daring people.
"Be to her faults a little blind;
Be to her virtues very kind."
"We have had democratic presidents; whig presidents; a pseudo democratic whig president: and now it is time to have a president of the United States; and let the people of the whole union, like the inflexible Romans, whenever they find a promise made by a candidate, that is not practiced as an officer, hurl the miserable sycophant from his exaltation, as God did Nebuchadnezzar, to crop the grass of the field, with a beast's heart among the cattle.
"Mr. Van Buren said in his inaugural address, that he went "into the presidential chair the inflexible and uncompromising oppnent of Cngress, to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia, against the wishes of the slave holding states; and also with a determination equally decided to resist the slightest interference with it in the states where it exists." Poor little Matty made his rhapsodical sweep with the fact before his eyes, that the state of New York, his native state, had abolished slavery, without a struggle or a groan. Great God, ow independent! From henceforth slavery is tolerated where it exists: constitution or no constitution; people or no people; right or wrong; vox Matti; vox Diaboli: "the voice of Matty" -- "the voice of the devil;" and peradventure, his great "Sub-Treasury" scheme was a piece of the same mind: but the man and his measures have such a striking resemblance to the anecdote of the Welchman and his cart-tongue, that, when the constitution was so long that it allowed slavery at the capital of a free people, it could not be cut off; but when it was short that it needed a Sub-Treasury, to save the funds of the nation, it could be spliced! Oh, granny what a long tale our puss has got! As a Greek might say, hysteron proteron: The cart before the horse: but his mighty whisk through the great national fire, for the presidential chesnuts, burnt the locks of his glory with the blaze of his folly!
The above we extract from the celebrated state paper, entitled, "Gen. Smiths' views of the powers and policy of the Government of the United States," as a specimen of the original matter it contains. -- With such astute penetrating views, such exalted and dignified sentiments, emanating from a candidate for the Presidency, Father Miller must be pronounced a humbug, and the people of the nineteenth century may look for the dawn of a glorious era to burst upon their astonished vision in the fall of eighteen hundred and forty-four, an era in which a Prophet only can tell whether granny's cat has a long tail or not; or whether the Greek`s cart will be before the horse or otherwise; the constitution we presume will be as long as the Welchman's cart tongue, "peradventure" a little longer.
The undersigned propose publishing a Journal of the above title, which will appear on Friday of each week, on an Imperial sheet, with a new Press, and materials of the best quality, and rendered worthy of the patronage of a discerning and an enlightened public.
The Expositor will be devoted to a general diffusion of useful knwledge, and its columns open for the admission of all courteous communications of a Religious, Moral, Social, Literary, or Political character, without taking a decided stand in favor of either of the great Political parties of the country. A part of its columns will be devoted to a few primart objects, which the Publishers deem of vital importance to the public welfare. Their particular locality gives them a knowledge of the many gross abuses exercised under the pretended authorities of the Nauvoo City Charter, by the legislative authorities of said city; and the insupportable oppressions of the Ministerial powers in carrying out the unjust, illegal, and unconstitutional ordinances of the same. The publishers, therefore, deep it a sacred duty they owe to their country and their fellow citizens, to advocate, through the columns of the Expositor, the UNCONDITIONAL REPEAL OF THE NAUVOO CITY CHARTER; to restrain and correct the abuses of the Unit Power; to ward off the Iron Rod which is held over the devoted heads of the citizens of Muavo and the surrounding country; to advocate unmitigated disobedience to Political Revelations, and to censure and decry gross moral imperfections wherever found, either in the Plebian, Patrician, or self-constituted Monarch; to advocate the pure principles of morality, the pure principles of truth; designed not to destroy, but strengthen the main-spring of God's moral government; to advocate, and exercise, the freedom of speech in Nauvoo, independent of the ordinances abridging the same; to give free toleration to every man's religious sentiments, and sustain all in worshiping God according to the monitons of their consciences, as guarantied by the Constitution of our country; and to oppose, with uncompromising hostility, any Union of Church and State, or any preliminary step tending to the same; to sustain all, however humble, in their equal and cnstitutional rights, and oppose the sacrifice of the Liberty, the Property, and the Happiness of the many to the pride and ambition of the few. In a word, to give a full, candid, and succinct statement of facts as they exist in the city of Nauvoo, fearless of whose particular case they may apply, being governed by the laws of Editorial courtesy, and the inherent dignity which is inseparable from honorable minds; at the same time exercising their own judgment in cases of flagrant abuses, or moral delinquencies; to use such terms and names as they deem proper, when the object is of such high importance that the end will justify the means. We confidently look to an enlightened public for aid in this great and indispensable effort.
The columns of the Expositor will be open to the discussion of all matters of public interest, the productions of all correspondents being subject to the decision of the Editor alone, who shall receive or reject at his option. National questions will be in place, but no preference given to either of the political parties. The Editorial department will contain the political news of the day, proceedings of Congress, election returns, &c., &c. Room will be given for articles on Agriculture, the Mechanic Arts, Commercial transactions, &c.
The publishers bind themselves to issue the paper weekly for one year, and forward fifty-two copies to each subscriber during the year. Orders should be forwarded as soon as possible, that the publishers may know what number of copies to issue. The publishers take pleasure in announcing to the public, that they have engaged the services of SYLVESTER EMMONS, Esq., who will have entire charge of the editorial department. From an acquaintance with the dignity of character, and literary qualifications of this gentleman, they feel assured that the Nauvoo Expositor must and will sustain a high and honorable reputation.
Two Dollars perannum in advance,
Two Dollars and Fifty cents at the expiration of six months,
Three Dollars at the end of the year.
Six copies will be forwarded to one address for Ten dollars in advance; Thirteen copies for Twenty Dollars, &c.
Advertising and Job Work in all their varieties, done on short notice, and upon the most satisfactory terms.
All letters and communications must be addressed to "Charles A. Foster, Nauvoo, Illinois," post paid, in order to insure attention.
Francis M. Higbee, -Publishers.
Chauncey L. Higbee, -Publishers
Robert D. Foster,
Charles A. Foster.
REFERENCE FOR TEXT ABOVE: fairmormon
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