Vol. 1. Whole No.2.

Commerce, Illinois, December 1839



Vol. 1. Whole No. 2.] COMMERCE, ILLINOIS , DECEMBER 1839 [Whole No. 2.


In presenting to our readers, a history of the persecution of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, in the State of Missouri , we feel it our duty to commence it at the beginning. We are well aware, that many of our readers are well acquainted with the outrages, committed in Jackson county, (on account of their having been published in the Evening and Morning Star,) and might perhaps rather see the paper filled with other matter, than to have those former troubles presented before them again. Yet there are a great many others who are altogether unacquainted with those early persecutions, who would feel that we had not done our duty, were we to pass by them., and confine our history, to more recent transactions.

In the winter of 1830-31, five elders of the church of Jesus Christ, travelled [traveled] through the prairies in a deep snow, (which is not common in that country,) from St. Louis to Jackson county Missouri, where they made a permanent stand. They preached about the country as the way opened before them.-A few believed the gospel which they preached, and had been baptized, when about the middle of the following July, a number more arrived at the same place: Shortly afterwards a small branch of the church arrived there also. At that time there appeared to be but little objection to our people settling there; notwithstanding some, who could not endure the truth, manifested hostile feelings.

The church in Jackson continued to increase, almost constantly, until it was driven from the county.

As the church increased the hostile spirit of the people increased also.-The enemies of false stories against the saints, hoping thereby to stir up the indignation of others. In the spring of 1832 they began to brick-bat or stone the houses of the saints, breaking in windows, &c., not only disturbing, but endangering the lives of the inmates. In the course of that season a county meeting was called at Independence, to adopt measures, to drive our people from the country; but the meeting broke up, without coming to any agreement about them; having had too much confusion among themselves, to do more than to have a few knock-downs, after taking a plentiful supply of whisky. The result of this meeting may be attributed in part, to the influence of certain patriotic individuals; among whom General Clark, a sub-Indian agent, may be considered as principal, He hearing of the meeting, came from his agency, or from home, some thirty of forty miles distant, a day or two before the meeting.

He appeared quite indignant, at the idea of having the constitution and laws set at defiance, and trodden under foot, by the many trampling upon the rights of the few. He went to certain influencial mob characters, and offered to decide the case with them in single combat: he said that it would be better for one or two individuals to die, than for hundreds to be put to death.

Although the meeting broke up without being able to effect a union, still the hostile spirit of individuals was no less abated: such was their thirst for the destruction of the saints, that they, that same fall, shot into the houses of certain individuals. On ball in particular lodged in a log near the head of the owner of the house, as he lay in bed.

During the winter and spring of 1833, the mob spirit spread itself, though in a manner secretly; but in the forepart of the summer it began to show itself openly, in the stoning of houses and other insults. Sometime in July the unparalleled declaration of the people of Jackson county, made its appearance; in which they appear to have tried their utmost, to defame our people, charging them with crimes, and many other things; at the same time acknowledging that the laws of the land would not reach the case of the Mormons: which was evidently a fact, for they hold the reins of government in their own hands, or in other words, had the administering of the laws themselves; and could they have found the laws broken, even in a single instance, who does not know, that they would have put it in force? and thereby substantiated their charges against the saints, which they never did do, in preference to taking unlawful measures against them.

The following remarkable sentence, is near the close of their famous declaration. "We therefore agree, that after timely warning., and receiving an adequate compensation for what little property they," [the Mormons,] "cannot take with them, they refuse to leave us in peace, as they found us, we agree to use such means as may be sufficient to remove them; and to that end we each pledge to each other, our bodily powers, our lives, fortunes, and sacred honors." The 20th of July was the day set, for the people to come together, and commence their work of destruction Accordingly they met to the number of from 3 to 500. A committee of 13 of the mob, requested an interview with some of the principal elders of the church: Six were soon called together, who met the mob committee. They demanded of those elders, to have the printing office, and indeed all other mechanic shops, belonging to our people, together with Gilbert & Whitney's store, closed forthwith; and the society to leave the county immediately. Those elders asked for three months, to consider upon their demand, which was refused, they then asked for ten days, when they were informed that fifteen minutes were the most that could be granted. Being driven to the necessity of giving an immediate answer, and being interrogated seperately, they each one answered that they could not consent to their demands: upon which one of the mob observed, as he left the room, that he was sorry, for, said he, the work of destruction will commence immediately. In a short time, hundreds of the mob gathered around the printing office, (which was a, two story brick building,) which they soon threw down. The press was thrown from the upper story, and the aparatus, book work, paper, type, &c., &c., scattered through the streets. A family, residing in the lower story, was also thrust out in great haste. After destroying the printing establishment, they proceeded to Gilbert & Whitney's store for the same purpose, but Gilbert agreeing to shut it, and box the goods soon, they concluded to let it alone.-They then went in search of certain individuals, for the purpose of taking, and abusing them. They succeeded in taking Edward Patridge, and Charles Allen, both of whom they tarred and feathered, upon the public square, surrounded by hundreds of the mob.-A number more were taken, but they succeeded in making their escape, through the over anxiety of their keepers, who wished to have the sport of seeing those who were being tarred.-This scene ended the work of the mob for that day; and they adjourned to meet the next Tuesday, the 23d inst.

On Tuesday morning, large companies of the mob rode into Independence bearing red flags, threatening death and destruction, to the Mormons. A consultation was held by some of the leading men of both parties. Nothing appeared satisfactory to the mob but for our people to either leave the county or be put to death. Seeing the determination of the mob, some few of the leading elders offered their lives, provided that would satisfy them, so as to let the rest of the society live, where they then lived, in peace; they would not agree to this, but said that every one should die for themselves, or leave the county. At that time, the most, if not all, of our people, in Jackson, thought they would be doing wrong, to resist the mob, even by defending themselves; consequently they thought, that they must quietly submit, to whatever yoke was put upon them, even to the laying down of theirs lives.

With these views, the few elders who were assembled, at the time, to consult up the subject, (which were but six or seven,) after counselling [counseling] what time they had, thought it best to agree to leave the county, upon the terms agreed upon, viz: that those elders should go themselves, and also use their influence, with the society, to have one half of them leave the county by the first of January, and the other half by the first of April, 1834; hoping that before either of those dates would expire, providence would kindly open the way for them, to still live there in peace. The mob party agreed to not molest the saints, during the time agreed upon for them to stay. The agreement was written, and signed by the parties; the whole mob was then assembled in the court-house, and had it read, and explained to them by their leaders; they all appeared satisfied, and agreed to abide by it. The saints were not pleased with the idea of leaving the county; and few of them, at first, believed that they would have to leave it, thinking that the government would protect them, in their constitutional rights. Threats of destruction were soon thrown out, by some of the mobbers, should they, [the saints] make any effort to get assistance from any quarter: but notwithstanding their threats a petition was carefully circulated, and obtained the signature of many of the saints; and was carried to the Governor of the State, before it become at all public. The petition set forth, in a concise manner, their persecutions; and solicited the aid of the Governor in protecting them, in their rights, that they might sue, and obtain damages, for loss of property, abuse, defamation, &c. The Governor, in his answer, expressed a willingness to help, but said he had no authority to do it, until the law could not be executed without force. He advised them to try the law, against those who should threaten their lives; and if the law was resisted, give him authentic information of the fact, and then he would see that it was enforced. He also advised them to sue for their damages. They accordingly employed four counsellors [counselors], at $1,000 to commence and carry their suits, more or less, through to final judgment.

About that time a few families moved into Van Buren county, the county south of Jackson; but the hostile spirit of the inhabitants, which was manifested by their threatnings; induced them to move back again to Jackson.

The saints, as yet, had made no resistance, but seeing; as they thought, the only feasible door for moving away shut against them, they began to look around, to see what could be done.-They took the subject of self defence [defense] into consideration, and they found that they would be justified by the laws of both God man, in defending themselves, their families and houses, against all such as should molest them unlawfully, They therefore concluded, that from that time forward, they would defend themselves, as well as they could, against mobbers; hoping that that, when it should be understood, would dampen the hostile spirit of those who were, at that time, continually threatening them. But it had a contra effect. That, together with the petitioning of the Governor, and the employing of counsel, caused the mob to rage again; They began by stoning houses, breaking in windows and doors, and committing other outrages; but nothing, very serious, was done till the last of October. On Thursday night the 31st, a mob of forty or fifty, collected and proceeded armed to a branch of the church, wuo [who] lived eight or ten miles, south west of Independence; there they unroofed ten houses, and partly threw down the bodies of some of them; they caught three or four of the men, and notwithstanding the cries, and entreaties of their wives and children, they whiped [whipped], and beat them in a barbarous manner. Others evaded a beating by flight. They were taken by surprise by the mob, consequently were not collected together, or in a situation to defend themselves against so large a body; therefore they made no resistance. The mob, after threatening to visit them again in a rougher manner, dispersed. The news of this outrage soon spread through the different settlements of the saints, and produced feelings more easily felt than described; for the very well knew by the threatnings of the mob, and their breaking the treaty, or agreement, which was made but a few days before, as it were, that there was trouble ahead. They were in a scattered situation, their settlements extending east and was ten or twelve miles, and what to do for their safety, they knew not. To resist large bodies of the mob, in their scattered situation, appeared useless; and to gather together into one body, immediately, was impracticable, for they had not in any one place, houses to dwell in, or food for themselves and stock. A consultation was held, near Independence, by some of the principal men of the church, to see what was best to be done; it was concluded to obtain peace warrants, if possible, against some of the principal leaders, of the mob; and also to advise their brethren to gather together, into four or five bodies, in their different neighborhoods, and defend themselves, as well as they could, whenever the mob should come upon them. They then went to a magistrate, and applied for a warrant, but he refused to grant one. The Governor's letter, directing them to proceed in that way, was then read to him, upon which he replied that he cared nothing about it. At that very time the streets were filled with mobbers, passing and repassing, threatening the saints, in different directions, with destruction. And to be deprived of the benefit of law, at such a critical time, was well calculated to make the saints feel solemn, and mourn over the depravity of man. But they had not much time for reflection; for they had many things to do to prepare for the night, which was just at hand, in the which they expected the mob would be upon them. Up to this time, the persons of women and children were considered safe, they seldom being abused; therefore the men run together for the night, leaving their families at home.

At Independence the men met half a mile west of the Court house.-Night came on and a party of the mob, who had staid in the village, were heard brick-batting the houses; spies were sent to discover their movements, who returned with information that they were tearing down a brick-house, belonging to Gilbert and Whitney, and also breaking open their store. Upon hearing that news, those who were collected together, formed themselves into two small companies, and marched up to the public square where they found a number of men in the act of stoning the store of Gilbert and Whitney, (which was broken open, and some of the goods thrown into the street) they all fled but one Richard McCarty, who was taken and found to be well lined with whiskey. Gilbert and one or two more went with him to Esq. Westons, and demanded a warrant for him, but he refused to give them one; consequently McCarty was liberated. Next morning it was ascertained that the windows were broken in, where there were none but women and children; one house in particular, which had window shutters, and they were shut, had a rail thrust through into the room where women and children were alone. Seeing that neither sex nor age were safe, the families were all moved out of the village that day. The same night another party of the mob collected about ten or twelve miles from Independence, near a body of the saints; two of their company went to discover the situation of the brethren; they cane near the guard, when P. P. Pratt discovering them, advanced and went up to them: when one of them struck him over the head with a rifle, which cut a large gash in his head, and nearly knocked him down; but he recovered himself, called to his men who were near, they took the spies and disarmed them of two rifles and three pistols, kept them in custody until morning, then gave them their arms and let them go without injuring them. The rest of their company were heard at a distance, but they dispersed without doing any harm. TO BE CONTINUED


To the Saints scattered abroad, GREETING:

Having given my testimony to the world of the truth of the book of Mormon, the renewal of the everlasting covenant, and the establishment of the Kingdom of heaven, in these last days; and having been brought into great afflictions and distresses for the same, I thought that it might be strengthening to my beloved brethren, to give them a short account of my sufferings, for the truth's sake, and the state of my mind and feelings, while under circumstances of the most trying and afflicting nature, it would be unnecessary for me to enter into the particulars, prior to my settlement in Missouri, or give an account of my journey to that State; suffice it to say, that after having endured almost all manner of abuse, which was poured out upon the church of Latter Day Saints, from its commencement, by wicked and ungodly men; I left Kirtland, Ohio, the beginning of March 1838, with a family consisting of ten individuals, and with means only sufficient to take us one half the way; the weather was very unpropitious, and the roads were worse than I had ever seen them before. However, after enduring many privations and much fatigue, through the kind providence of God, I arrived with my family in Far West , the latter part of May. where I found many of my friends who had borne the heat and burthen [burden] of the day, and whose privations and sufferings for Christ's sake had been great, with whom I fondly hoped, and anticipated the pleasure of spending a season in peace, and have a cessation from the troubles and persecutions to which we had been subject for a number of years, the prospect was truly flattering, we were the owners, of almost the entire county; many of the brethren had already opened very extensive farms; nature was propitious, and the comforts of life would have soon been realized by every industrious person But notwithstanding these favorable auspices, a storm arose before whose withering blast our fair and reasonable prospects were blasted, and ruined; anarchy, and dismay, was spread through that county, as well as the adjoining ones, in which our brethren had found a resting place.

The inhabitants of the upper counties, jealous of the increasing number of the saints, thinking like some in ancient times, that if they were to let us alone we should take away their place and nation, soon began to circulate reports prejudicial to the saints, and after threatening us with mobs for some time, at last put their threats into execution, & proceeded to drive off our cattle, and burn down our houses, while helpless females with their tender offsprings, had to flee into the wilderness, and wander to a considerable distance for shelter; this state of things continued until, from false representations, and a wicked desire to overthrow the saints, the Governor called out the militia, and gave orders for our extermination.

Soon after the arrival of the militia at Far West, my brother Joseph, with several others, who were considered leading characters in the church, were betrayed into their hands, and the day after Colonel George Hinckle, who had always been a professed friend, but who had now turned traitor, came with a company of the enemy to my house, and told them I was the person whom they sought; ;they told me I must go with them to the camp.-I inquired when I could return, my family being in a situation, that I knew not how to leave them, but could get no answer, remonstrance was in vain, so I was obliged to go with them. I was aware of the hostile feelings of our enemies, and their hatred to all those who professed the faith of the church of Latter Day Saints; and I can assure my brethren, that I would as soon have gone into a den of Lions, as into that host, who had orders from the Executive of the state to put us to death, and who had every disposition to do so; however, I was enabled to put my trust in the Lord, knowing that he who delivered Daniel out of the den of lions, could deliver me from cruel and wicked men. When I arrived at the camp, I was put under the same guard with my Brother Joseph and my other friends, who had been taken the day previous.

That evening a court martial was held to consult what steps should be taken with the prisoners, when it was decided that we were to be shot the next morning, as an ensample to the rest of the church. Knowing that I had done nothing worthy of "death or of bonds," and feeling an assurance that all things would work together for our good. I remained quite calm, and felt altogether unmoved, when I heard of their unjust and cruel sentence "my heart was fixed, trusting in the Lord."

The next morning came on, when (according to the sentence of the court) we were to be shot. It was an important time, thousands were anticipating the event with fiendish joy, and seemed to long for the hour of execution, while our friends and brethren, were beseeching a throne of grace on our behalf, and praying for our deliverance. The time at length arrived when their sentence was to be carried into effect, but in consequence of General Doniphan protesting against the unlawfulness of the proceedings, and at the same time, threatning [threatening] to withdraw his troops, if they should offer to carry into effect their murderous sentence, the court resigned their resolution, and thus their purposes were frustrated and our bitterest enemies were disappointed; the prayers of our friends were answered, and our lives spared. Notwithstanding the discomfiture of their plans, yet our distruction [destruction] was determined upon by a vast majority, who, thinking they could better carry into effect their purposes, ordered us to be conveyed to Jackson county, where they were well aware our most cruel persecutors resided.-Before starting I got permission to visit my family, but had only time to get a change of clothes, and then was hurried away from them, while they clung to my garments; they supposing it would be the last time they would see me in this world. While getting into the waggon [wagon] which was to convey us to our destination, four men rushed upon us, and leveled their rifles at us, seemingly, with a determination to shoot us, but this was not permitted them to do, no, their arms were unnerved, and they droped [dropped] their pieces and slunk away. While thus exposed I felt no tremour [tremor] or alarm, I knew I was in the hands of God, whose power was unlimited.

While on our way to Jackson county we excited great curiosity; at our stoping [stopping] places, people would flock to see us, from all quarters; a great number of whom would rail upon us, and give us abusive language, while a few would pity us; knowing that we were an injured people. When we arrived at Independence, the county seat of Jackson County, the citizens flocked from all parts of the county to see us, they were generally very abusive some of the most ignorant gnashed their teeth upon us: but all their threats and abuse did not move me, for I felt the spirit of the Lord to rest down upon me, and I felt great liberty in speaking to those who would listen to the truth.

Notwithstanding the determination of our enemies, they were not suffered to carry out their designs in that county, for after enduring considerable hardships, we were removed back as far as Richmond in Ray county, where for the first time in my life I was put into prison and my feet hurt with fetters: and remained in this situation for fourteen days. I endeavored to bear up under my sufferings and wrongs, but at the same time could not help but feel indignant at those who treated us with such cruelty, and who pretended to do it under the sanction of the laws. After many attempts to destroy us by the military, in all of which they were unsuccessful, we were at length delivered up to the civil law: soon after which a court of inquiry was held; a great deal of false testimony was given prejudicial to my brethren, but all the testimony they could produce against me was, that I was one of the Presidency of the church, and a firm friend to my brother Joseph. This the court deemed sufficient to authorize my committal to prison; I was then, with my brethren, removed to Liberty, in Clay county, where I was confined for more than four months, and suffered much for want of proper food, and from the nauseous cell in which I was confined: but still more so on account of my anxiety for my family, whom I had left without any protector, and who were unable to help themselves; my wife was confined while I was away from home, and had to suffer more than tongue can tell; she was not able to sit up for several weeks, and heigthen [heighten] my affliction, and the sufferings of my helpless family, my goods were unlawfully seized upon and carried off, until my family had to suffer in consequence thereof: nor, were the Missourians my only oppressors, but those with whom I had been acquainted from my youth, and who had ever pretended the greatest friendship towards me, came to my house while I was in prison, and ransacked and carried off many of my valuables, this they did under the cloak of friendship. Amongst those who treated me thus I cannot help making particular mention of Lyman Cowdery, who, in connexion [connection] with his brother Oliver, took from me a great many things; and to cap the climax of his iniquity, compelled my aged father, by threatning [threatening] to bring a mob upon him to deed over to him, or his brother Oliver, about 160 acres of land to pay a note which he said I had given to Oliver for $165, such a note I confess I was, and still am entirely ignorant of, and after mature consideration, I have to say that I believed it must be a forgery.

These circumstances, with the afflicting situation of my family, served greatly to heighten my grief; indeed it was almost more than I could bear up under; I traversed my prison house for hours, thinking of their cruelty to my family, and the afflictions they brought upon the saints of the Most High; they forcibly reminded me of the children of Edom, when the Jews were destroyed by their enemies, and the language of prophet Obadiah to Edom, is, I think, so very much in point that I cannot refrain from inserting it.

"For thy violence against thy brother Jacob, shame shall cover thee and thou shalt be cut off forever.

In the day thou stoodest on the other side, in the day that the strangers carried away captive his forces, and foreigners entered into his gates, and cast lots upon Jerusalem even thou wast as one of them.

But thou shouldest not have looked on the day of thy brother in the day hat he became a stranger; neither shoudst thou have rejoiced over the children of Judah in the day of their destruction; neither shouldst thou have spoken proudly in the day of distress.

Thou shouldst not have entered into the gate of my people in the day of their calamity; yea, thou shoudst not have looked on their affliction in the day of their calamity, nor have laid hands on their substance in the day of their calamity. Neither shouldst thou have stood in the crossways, to cut off those of his that did escape; neither shouldst thou have delivered up those of his that did remain in the day of distress."

After being in the hands of our enemies for about six months, the time of our deliverance at length arrived, as mentioned by my brother Joseph, in the last number of the "Times and Seasons." You may judge what my feelings were when I escaped from those whose feet were fast to shed blood, and when I was again priviledged [privileged] to see my beloved family who had suffered so many privations and afflictions; not only while in Far West, but likewise in moving away in that inclement season of the year. Thus I have endeavored to give you a short account of my sufferings while in the state of Missouri, but how inadequate is language to express the feelings of my mind, while under them: knowing that I was innocent of crime, and that I had been dragged from my family at a time, when my assistance was most needed; that I had been abused and thrust into a dungeon, and confined for months on account of my faith, and the "testimony of Jesus Christ." However I thank God that I felt a determination to die, rather than deny the things which my eyes had seen, which my hands had handled, and which I hard borne testimony to, wherever my lot had been cast; and I can assure my beloved brethren that I was enabled to bear as strong a testimony, when nothing but death presented itself, as ever I did in my life. My confidence in God, was likewise unshaken. I knew that he who suffered me along with my brethren, to be thus tried, that he could and that he would deliver us out of the hands of our enemies; and in his own due time he did so, for which I desire to bless and praise his holy name.

From my close and long confinement, as well as from the sufferings of my mind, I feel my body greatly broke down and debilitated, my frame has received a shock from which it will take a long time to recover; yet, I am happy to say that my zeal for the cause of God, and my courage in defence [defense] of the truth, are as great as ever. "My heart is fixed," and I yet feel a determination to do the will of God, in spite of persecutions, imprisonments or death; I can say with Paul "none of these things move me, so that I may finish my course with joy."

Dear Brethren we have nothing to be discouraged at, if we remember the words of the Savior, which say "in the world you shall have tribulation.-If they have persecuted me they will also persecute you." The world has always hated the truth and those who have testified of the same; let us not then think that these are strange things which has never happened before, but, rather let us take the prophets and saints in ancient days as ensamples.

To those who have suffered bereavements in consequence of the cruelties of the wicked, whose husbands, fathers, &c. have been slain, with you, I would drop the sympathetic tear, and would do all I could to comfort you in your distress, and would fain pour into your wounded souls, the oil of joy for mourning; the time is fast hastening, when if faithful, you will join your friends in a more glorified state of existance [existence], where mobs and oppression are not known: look then at the things which are before, and not at those which are behind.

To the church in general I would say, be faithful, maintain your integrity, let the principles of truth and righteousness get deep hold in your hearts, live up to those principles at all times, be humble withall, and then you will be able to stand firm and unshaken tho' "The mountains skip like rams, And all the little hills like lambs."

Your Brother,

n the Kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ.


Commerce, Dec. 1839.




This placed is situated on the west bank of the Mississippi River, about forty miles above Quincy, Illinois, at the foot of the Rapids, which is the first obstruction to the navigation for the largest class of Steam Boats.-At this place all Steam Boats, in ascending the Mississippi at low water, are compelled to discharge their cargoes, which are transported over the Rapids in lighters, and on descending, the boats receive their cargoes from the lighters at this place. The landing is equal to any on the River. And no part of the town is ever overflowed.

A part of this place has recently been purchased by the Bishop of the Church of Latter Day Saints . Bishop Knight has also purchased another town six miles above Keokuk, which is called Nashville, it being at the head of the Rapids, the place has advantages equal to any town on the Mississippi; it has a large body of valuable timber attached to it, and the surrounding country is beautifully interspersed with prairies which will admit of a dense population: these advantages together with the advantage of landing, renders the country valuable.

MONTROSE:-This place is four miles above Nashville , it is situated on a bottom prairie, and a handsome place for a town, it has equal advantages with other town on Mississippi . Bishop Knight has also, purchased a part of this town, together with about thirty thousand acres of the surrounding country, on the point of land between the Mississippi and the Desmoine, generally denominated the Half Breed tract; this tract has actually superior advantages, having the Desmoine on the West, and the Mississippi on the East, both navigable streams; and the soil is generally acknowledged to be nearly equal to that of the State of Missouri. The Half Breed tract contains 119,000 acres, and the whole tract can be purchased by a united effort of the saints.

NAUVOO.-This is a newly located Town, and is situated on the East bank of the Mississippi opposite Montrose, it derived its name from the Hebrew, which signifies Fair, very beautiful, and it actually fills the definition of the word; for nature has not formed a parallel on the Banks of the Mississippi, from New Orleans to Galena, for the beauty of the ground on which it stands; there is a good landing and it has equal privileges with other towns, this is also owned by the saints, and is rapidly increasing; the surrounding country is fertile, and the crops, this present year, are good, therefore there is no fear existing that the gathering will be too extensive.



We are favored with several communications from traveling Elders, who, in almost every instance, make the Macedonian call, "come over and help us;" as they have more calls for preaching than they can possibly fill. Also, great inquires are made for Books of all kinds, which have been published in the church, and as they are all disposed of, and not a copy, of scarce a single work now to be obtained, therefore the Presidency and high council of this place, having taken the subject into consideration, passed the following resolution:

"Resolved, That Ten thousand copies of a Hymn Book, be printed; also that the Book of Mormon be re-printed in this place, under the inspection of the Presidency, as soon as monies [moneys] can be raised to defray the expenses."


Commerce November, 1839

To the Saints scattered abroad, in the region westward from Kirtland Ohio .

Beloved Brethren, feeling that it is our duty, as the servants of God, to instruct the saints from time to time, in those things which to us appear to be wise and proper: therefore we freely give you, a few words of advice at this time.

We have heard it rumoured [rumored] abroad, that some at least, and probably many, are making their calculation to remove back to Kirtland next season.

Now brethren, this being the case, we advise you to abandon such an idea; yea we warn you, in the name of the Lord, not to remove back there, unless you are counseled so to do by the first Presidency, and the high council of Nauvoo. We do not wish by this to take your agency from you; but we feel to be plain, and pointed in our advice for we wish to do our duty, that your sins may not be found in our skirts. All persons are entitled to their agency for God has so ordained it.-He has constituted mankind moral agents, and given them power to chose good or evil; to seek after that which is good, by pursuing the pathway of holiness in this life, which brings peace of mind, and joy in the Holy Ghost here, and a fulness [fullness] of joy and happiness at his right hand hereafter; or to pursue an evil course, going on in sin and rebellion against God, thereby bringing condemnation to their souls in this world, and an eternal loss in the world to come. Since the God of heaven has left these things optional with every individual, we do not wish to deprive them of it. We only wish to act the part of a faithful watchman, agreeably to the word of the Lord to Ezekiel the prophet, Ezekiel 33 chap. 2 3 4 5 and verses, and leave it for others to do as seemeth them good.-Now for persons to do things, merely because they are advised to do them, and yet murmur all the time they are doing them, is of no use at all; they might as well not do them.

There are those who profess to be saints who are too apt to murmur, and find fault, when any advice is given, which comes in opposition to their feelings, even when they, themselves, ask for counsel; much more so when council is given unasked for, which does not agree with their notion of things; but brethren, we hope for better things from the most of you; we trust that you desire counsel, from time to time, and that you will cheerfully conform to it, whenever you r receive it from a proper source.

It is very probable, that it may be considered wisdom for some of us, and perhaps others, to move back to Kirtland, to attend to important business there: but notwithstanding that, after what we have written, should any be so unwise as to move back there, without being first counselled [counseled] so to do, their conduct will be highly disapprobated.

Done by order and vote of the first Presidency and high council for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, at Nauvoo Dec. 8th 1839 . H. G. SHERWOOD, Clerk. Proceedings of the general Conference, held at Commerce, Hancock County , Illinois , on Saturday the 5th day of October, 1839.

The meeting was opened by prayer, by President Joseph Smith Jr. after which he was appointed president and James Sloan, Clerk of the Conference, by the unanimous voice of the meeting.

The President then spoke at some length upon the situation of the Church, the difficulties they had had to contend with, and the manner in which they had been led to this place; and wished to know the views of the brethren whether they wished to appoint this a stake or not, stating that he believed it to be a good place and suited for the saints.

It was then unauimously [unanimously] agreed upon, that it should be appointed a stake and a place of fathering for the saints. The following officers were then appointed viz:

William Marks to be President.--Bishop Whitney, to be bishop of Middle Ward.--Bishop Knight to be bishop of Lower Ward.

George W. Harris, Thomas Grover, Samuel Bent, Newel Knight,

Henry G. Sherwood, Charles C. Rich, David Fulmer, David Dort,

Alpheus Cutler, Seymour Brunson, Wm. Huntington, Lewis D. Wilson,

to be high Council; who being respectfully called opon [upon], accepted af [of] their appointment.

It was then voted, that a branch of the Church be established on the other side of the river, in Iowa Territory ; over which Elder John Smith was appointed President:

Alanson Ripley, Bishop, and

Asahel Smith, David Pettegrew, John M. Burke, Elijah Fordham,

A. Owen Smoot, Edward Fisher, Richard Howard, Elias Smith,

Willard Snow, John Patton, Erastus Snow, Stephen Chase,

Were elected high council.

Don C. Smith, was elected to be continued as President of the high Priesthood.

Orson Hyde to stand in his former office, and Willam Smith to be continued in his standing.

Letters were then read respecting the absence of Members, from ill health.

It was voted, that Harlow Redfield be suspended until he can have a trial, and in the meantime that he should not act as President of a branch, or preach.

Voted, that John Daley, James Daley and Milo Andrus retain their station in the church.

Voted that Ephraim Owens confession, for disobeying the word of wisdom be accepted.


Edward Johnston, William Allred, Benjamin Johnston, Wm. B. Simmons,

Samuel Musick, Wm. W. Edwards sr. John S. Fulmer, Wm. H. Edwards jr.

Jabez Lake , Hosea Stout, Benjamin Jones, Thomas Rich,

Henry OurBough, Allen J. Stout, Reddin Allred, Esiaias Edwards,

George W. Gee, John Adams, Jesse M'Intire, Daniel Miller,

James Brown, Simson I. Comfort, Henry Miller, Graham Coltrin,

Artemus Johnson, William Hyde, Joseph G. Hovey, Andrew Hendry,

Robert D. Foster, Redick N. Allred, Fields B. Jacamey, Eli Lee,

Zadock Bethers, Hiram W. Maxwell, and Thomas S. Edwards, were appointed Elders of the church, who all accepted of their appointment with the exception of Thomas S. Edwards.

John Gaylord, was admitted into the church upon his confession.

Abel Castro was confirmed by the laying on of hands.

The meeting then adjourned until Sunday Morning after which six were baptized by Joseph Smith Jr.

Sunday October the 6th.-----The Conference met pursuant to adjournment at 8 o'clock , A. M..


Samuel Williams, Reuben Foot, Orlando D. Hovey, Junis Rappleyee,

Sheffield Daniels, Albert Miner, David B. Smith, Ebe'r Richardson ,

Pleasant Ewell, William Helm,

Were appointed Elders of the church and were ordained under the hands of Reynolds Cahoon, Seymour Brunson, Samuel Bent and Alpheus Cutler.

After some remarks from the President respecting observing order andecorum [indecorum] during conference, Elder Lyman Wight, spoke as to the dutiesod [of] Priests, Teachers, tc [etc.].


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