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Messenger and Advocate/2/11
|←Number 10|| Messenger and Advocate
Volume 2, Number 11
|Source document in Mormon Publications: 19th and 20th Centuries online archive: Messenger and Advocate Vol. 2
Note: Some headings and bracketed texts are editorial and not part of the original text.
|LATTER DAY SAINTS'|
|MESSENGER AND ADVOCATE|
|Volume II. No. 11.]||KIRTLAND, OHIO, AUGUST, 1836.||[Whole No. 23.|
MESSENGER AND ADVOCATE
MESSENGER AND ADVOCATE.
We have no doubt but our brethren expect, when they receive our paper, to have it a feast to the soul, an intellectual treat, something animating and instruction to the understanding in the great principles of our holy religion. Under these impressions, solely, they may suffer some disappointment on receiving this month's number, and think we owe them an apology. To such we say, that we deem it a matter of primary importance that correct intelligence be conveyed to all, in all matters relating to the welfare of our brethren in the West. It is not only due our brethren to wipe away the foul and calumnious aspersions cast upon them by their enemies; but it is due to the hospitable and humane, in the county of Clay, to thus publicly acknowledge the debt of gratitude due them. These are some of the reasons that have induced us to admit into our columns this month, what may be thought by some to belong only in a paper of a political cast. We have no other correct, expeditious mode of conveying intelligence; therefore, we feel that we are justified, and rely on the good sense of our brethren to approbate our course.
From the "Far West."
A respectable number of our fellow citizens met, being previously notified of the same, at the court house, in the Town of Liberty, June 29th, 1836.
On motion of Doct. Woodson J. Moss, JOHN BIRD, was called to the Chair.
And, On motion of Col. Wm. T. Wood, JOHN F. DOHERTY, appointed Secretary:
The object of the me[e]ting was, by request of the Chair, explained in a few appropriate remarks, by Col. Wood; when
On motion of Col. Wm. T. Wood, a Committee of nine was appointed to draft resolutions expressive of the sense of this meeting:
Whereupon the following gentlemen were chosen, viz:
John Thornton, Esq. Peter Rogers, Esq. Andrew Robertson, Esq. James T. V. Thompson, Esq. Col. Wm. T. Wood, Doct. Woodson J. Moss, James M. Hughes, Esq. David R. Atchison, Esq. and A. W Doniphan, Esq. Who retired, and in a short time returned and made through their Chairman, (Col. John Thornton.) the following unanimous report, which was read.
It is apparent, to every reflecting mind, that a crisis has arrived in this county, that requires the deep, cool, dispassionate consideration, and immediate action of every lover of peace, harmony and good order. We cannot conceal from ourselves, the fact that, at this moment, the clouds of civil war are rolling up their fearful masses and hanging over our devoted county, solemn, dark and terrible. This painful state of things has been produced mainly, by the rapid and increasing emigration, of that people, commonly called Mormons, during the last few months. It is known to all, that in November, 1833, these people were expelled from their homes in Jackson county, without money, without property, without the means of subsistence for themselves, their wives and their children; and like Noah's dove without even a resting place for their feet. They came to our county, thus friendless and penniless, seeking (as they said) but a temporary asylum, from the storms of persecution by which they were then buffeted. Their destitute and miserable condition, at that inclement season of the year, excited the deep sympathies of the philanthropic and hospitable citizens of this county; and notwithstanding the thousand reports, that were borne on the wings of the wind, charging them with almost every crime known to the laws of our country: yet our feelings of kindness, and sympathy for human suffering prevailed over
every obstacle, and they were received with friendship and treated with toleration, and often with marks of peculiar kindness. They always declared that they looked not upon this county as their home, but as a temporary asylum, and that whenever a respectable portion of the citizens of this county, should request it, they would promptly leave us in peace as they found us.—That period has now arrived. Duty to ourselves, to our families, and to the best interests of our county, require at our hands, to demand the fulfilment of that pledge. They are charged by those who are opposed to them, with an unfriendly determination to violate that pledge. Their rapid emigration, their large purchases and offers to purchase lands, the remarks of the ignorant and imprudent portion of them, that this country is destined by heaven to be theirs, are received and looked upon, by a large portion of this community, as strong & convincing proofs that they intend to make this county their permanent home, that centre and general rendezvous of their people.—These are some of the reasons, why these people have become objects of the deepest hatred and detestation to many of our citizens. They are Eastern men, whose manners, habits, customs and even dialect, are essentially different from our own; they are non—slave holders, and opposed to slavery; which, in this peculiar period, when abolition has reared its deformed and haggard visage in our land, is well calculated to excite deep and abiding prejudices in any community, where slavery is tolerated and practiced. In addition to all this, they are charged, as they have heretofore been, with keeping up a constant communication with the Indian tribes on our frontier, with declaring, even from the pulpit, that the Indians are a part of God's chosen people, and are destined, by heaven, to inherit this land, in common with themselves. We do not vouch for the correctness of these statements; but whether they are true or false, their effect has been the same in exciting our community. In times of greater tranquil[l]ity, such ridiculous remarks might well be regarded as the offspring of phrenzied [frenzied] fanaticism. But at this time our defenceless situation on the frontier, the bloody disasters of our fellow citizens in Florida and other parts of the south, all tend to make a portion of our citizens regard such sentiments with horror, if not alarm.—These and many other causes, have combined to raise a prejudice against them; and a feeling of hostility, that the first spark may, and we deeply fear, will ignite into all the horrors and desolations of a civil war: the worst evil that can befall any country. We, therefore, feel it our duty to come forward, as mediators, and use every means in our power, to prevent the occurrence of so great an evil. As the most efficient means to arrest the evil, we urge on the Mormons, to use every means, to put an immediate stop to the emigration of their people, to this county. We earnestly urge them to seek some other abiding place, where the manners, the habits and customs of the people will be more consonant with their own. For this purpose we would advise them to explore the territory of Wisconsin. This country is peculiarly suited to their condition & their wants. It is almost entirely unsettled; they can there procure large bodies of land together, where there are no settlements, and none to interfere with them. It is a territory in which slavery is prohibited, and it is settled entirely with emigrants from the North and East. The religious tenets of this people are so different from the present churches of the age, that they always have and always will, excite deep prejudices against them, in any populous country where they may locate. We therefore, in a spirit of frank and friendly kindness, do advise them to seek a home where they may obtain large and separate bodies of land, and have a community of their own. We further say to them, if they regard their own safety and welfare—if they regard the welfare of their families, their wives and children, they will ponder with deep and solemn reflection on this friendly admonition. If they have one spark of gratitude, they will not willingly plunge a people into civil war, who held out to them the friendly hand of assistance in that hour of dark distress, when there was few to say, God save them. We can only say to them that if they still persist in the blind course, they have heretofore followed, in flooding the county with their people, that we fear and firmly believe that an immediate civil war is the inevitable consequence.—
We know that there is not one among us, who thirsts for the blood of that people. We do not contend that we have the least right, under the constitution and laws of the country, to expel them by force. But we would indeed be blind, if we did not foresee that the first blow, that is struck at this moment of deep excitement, must and will speedily involve every individual in a war, bearing ruin, woe, and desolation in its course. It matters but little how, where, or by whom the war may begin, when the work of destruction commences, we must all be borne onward by the storm, or crushed beneath its fury. In a civil war when our homes is the theatre, on which it is fought, there can be no neutrals; let our opinions be what they may, we must fight in self—defence. We want nothing, we ask nothing, we would have nothing from this people. We only ask them, for their own safety, and for ours, to take the least of the two evils. Most of them are destitute of land, have but little property, are late emigrants to this country, without relations, friends, or endearing ties, to bind them to this land at the risk of such imminent peril to them and to us. We request them to leave us, when their crops are gathered, their business settled, and they have made every suitable preparation to remove. Those who have 40 acres of land, we are willing, shall remain until they can dispose of it without loss if it should require years. But we urge, most strongly urge, that emigration cease, and cease immediately, as nothing else can or will allay for a moment, the deep excitement that is now unhap[p]ily agitating this community. If the Mormons will comply with these friendly requisitions, we will use every exertion, among our own citizens, to arrest this evil before it is forever too late; but if they are disregarded, we can promise neither them or ourselves, a long continuation of the blessings of peace and harmony.
1st. Therefore, be it resolved by this meeting, that they view, with feelings of the deepest regret, the present unhappy situation of our country.
2nd. That it is the fixed and settled conviction of this meeting, that unless the people commonly called Mormons, will agree to stop immediately the emigration of their people to this county, and take measures to remove themselves from it, a civil war is inevitable.
3d. That a committee of ten be appointed, to make known to the leaders of that people, the views of this meeting, and to urge upon them the propriety of acceding to these propositions.
4th. That said committee consist of Andrew Robertson, Michael Arthur, Littleberry Sublet, John Baxter, Jas. M. Hughes, W. J. Moss, John Bird, Peter Rogers, W. T. Wood and J. T. V. Thompson, who shall meet on tomorrow at the house of Mr. Cowen and confer with the Mormons and report to this meeting as soon thereafter as convenient, the reply of the Mormons to these requisitions.
5th. That if the Mormons agree to these propositions we will use every means in our power to allay the excitement among our own citizens and to get them to await the result of these things.
6th. That it is the opinion of this meeting that the recent emigrants among the Mormons should take measures to leave this county immediately as they have no crops on hand and nothing to lose by continuing their journey to some more friendly land.
On motion of Col. Wm. T. Wood, the Preamble and Resolutions were unanimously adopted.
Be it resolved that this meeting adjourn until Saturday next.
JOHN BIRD, Chair.
JOHN F. DOHERTY, Sec.
Kirtland, Geauga County, Ohio, }
July 25, 1836.
To John Thornton, Esq., Peter Rogers, Esq., Andrew Robertson, Esq., James T. V. Thompson, Esq., Col. William T. Wood, Doct Woodson J Moss, James M. Hughs, Esq., David R. Atchison, Esq. and A. W. Doniphan, Esq.
We have just perused, with feelings of deep interest, an article in the "Far West," printed at Liberty, Clay County, Mo. containing the proceedings of a public meeting of the citizens of said county, upon the subject of an excitement now prevailing among you occasioned, either from false reports against the church of Latter Day Saints, or from the fact, that said church is
dangerous to the welfare of your country, and will, if suffered among you, cause the ties of peace and friendship, so desirable among all men, to be burst asunder, and bring war and desolation upon your now pleasant homes.
Under existing circumstances, while rumor is afloat with her accustomed cunning, and while public opinion is fast setting, like a flood tide against the members of said church, we cannot but admire the candor with which your preamble and resolution were clothed, as presented to the meeting of the citizens of Clay county, on the 29th of June last. Though, as you expressed in your report to said meeting—"We do not contend that we have the least right, under the constitution and laws of the country, to expel them by force,"—yet communities may be, at times, unexpectedly thrown into a situation, when wisdom, prudence, and that first item in nature's law, self—defence, would dictate that the responsible and influential part should step forward and guide the public mind in a course to save difficulty, preserve rights, and spare the innocent blood from staining that soil so dearly purchased with the fortunes and lives of our fathers. And as you have come forward as "mediators," to prevent the effusion of blood, and save disasters consequent upon civil war, we take this opportunity to present to you, though strangers, and through you, if you wish, to the people of Clay county, our heart—felt gratitude for every kindness rendered our friends in affliction, when driven from their peaceful homes, and to yourselves, also, for the prudent course in the present excited state of your community. But, in doing this, justice to ourselves, as communicants of that church to which our friends belong, and duty towards them as acquaintances and former fellow citizens, require us to say something to exonerate them from the foul charges brought against them, to deprive them of their constitutional privileges, and drive them from the face of society:
They have been charged, in consequence of the whims and vain notions of some few uninformed, with claiming that upper country, and that ere long they were to possess it, at all hazards, and in defiance of all consequences.—This is unjust and far from a foundation, in truth. A thing not expected, not looked for, not desired by this society, as a people, and where the idea could have originated is unknown to us—We do not, neither did we ever insinuate a thing of this kind, or hear it from the leading men of the society, now in your country. There is nothing in all our religious faith to warrant it, but on the contrary, the most strict injunctions to live in obedience to the laws, and follow peace with all men. And we doubt not, but a recurrence to the Jackson county difficulties, with our friends, will fully satisfy you, that at least, heretofore, such has been the course followed by them. That instead of fighting for their own rights, they have sacrificed them for a season, to wait the redress guaranteed in the law, and so anxiously looked for at time distant from this. We have been, & are still, clearly under the conviction that had our friends been disposed, they might have maintained their possessions in Jackson county. They might have resorted to the same barbarous means with their neighbors, throwing down dwellings, threatening lives, driving innocent women and children from their homes, and thereby have annoyed their enemies equally, at least—But, this to their credit, and which must ever remain upon the pages of time, to their honor, they did not. They had possessions, they had homes, they had sacred rights, and more still, they had helpless harmless innocence, with an approving conscience that they had violated no law of their country or their God, to urge them forward—But, to show to all that they were willing to forego these for the peace of their country, they tamely submitted, and have since been wanderers among strangers, (though hospitable,) without homes. We think these sufficient reasons, to show to your patriotic minds, that our friends, instead of having a wish to expel a community by force of arms, would suffer their rights to be taken from them before shedding blood.
Another charge brought against our friends is that of being dangerous in societies "where slavery is tolerated and practiced." Without occupying time here, we refer you to the April (1836) No. of the "Latter Day Saints' Messenger and Advocate," printed at this place, a copy of which we forward to each of you. From the length of
time which has transpired since its publication, you easily see, that it was put forth for no other reason than to correct the public mind generally, without a reference or expectation of an excitement of the nature of the one now in your country. Why we refer you to this publication, particularly, is because many of our friends who are now at the west, were in this place when this paper made its appearance, and from personal observation gave it their decided approbation, and expressed those sentiments to be their own, in the fullest particular.
Another charge of great magnitude is brought against our friends in the west of "keeping up a constant communication with the Indian tribes on our frontier, with declaring, even from the pulpit, that the Indians are a part of God's chosen people, and are destined, by heaven, to inherit this land, in common with themselves." We know of nothing, under the present aspect of our Indian relations, calculated to rouse the fears of the people of the Upper Missouri, more than a combination or influence of this nature; and we cannot look upon it other than one of the most subtle purposes of those whose feelings are embittered against our friends, to turn the eye of suspicion upon them from every man who is acquainted with the barbarous cruelty of rude savages. Since a rumor was afloat that the Western Indians were showing signs of war, we have received frequent private letters from our friends, who have not only expressed fears for their own safety, in case the Indians should break out, but a decided determination to be among the first to repel any invasion, and defend the frontier from all hostilities. We mention the last fact, because it was wholly uncalled for on our part, and came previous to any excitement on the part of the people of Clay county, against our friends, and must definitively show, that this charge is also untrue.
Another charge against our friends, and one that is urged as a reason why they must immediately leave the county of Clay, is, that they are making or are like to, the same "their permanent home, the center and general rendezvous of their people." We have never understood such to be the purpose, wish or design of this society; but on the contrary, have ever supposed, that those who resided in Clay county, only designed it as a temporary residence, until the law and authority of our country should put them in the quiet possession of their homes in Jackson county. And such as had not possessions there, could purchase to the entire satisfaction and interest of the people of Jackson county.
Having partially mentioned the leading objections urged against our friends, we would here add, that it has not been done with a view on our part, to dissuade you from acting in strict conformity with your preamble and resolutions, offered to the people of Clay county, on the 29th ult. But from a sense of duty to a people embarrassed, persecuted and afflicted. For you are aware, gentlemen, that in times of excitement, virtues are transformed into vices, acts, which in other cases, and under other circumstances, would be considered upright and honorable, interpreted contrary from their real intent, and made objectional and criminal; and from whom could we look for forbearance and compassion with confidence and assurance, more than from those whose bosoms are warmed with those pure principles of patriotism with which you have been guided in the present instance, to secure the peace of your county, and save a persecuted people from further violence, and destruction?
It is said that our friends are poor; that they have but little or nothing to bind their feelings or wishes to Clay county, and that in consequence, have a less claim upon that county. We do not deny the fact, that our friends are poor; but their persecutions have helped to render them so. While other men were peacefully following their avocations, and extending their interest, they have been deprived of the right of citizenship, prevented from enjoying their own, charged with violating the sacred principles of our constitution and laws; made to feel the keenest aspersions of the tongue of slander, waded through all but death, and, are now suffering under calumnies calculated to excite the indignation and hatred of every people among whom they may dwell, thereby exposing them to destruction and inevitable ruin!
If a people, a community, or a society, can accumulate wealth, increase
in worldly fortune, improve in science and arts, rise to eminence in the eyes of the public, surmount these difficulties, so much as to bid defiance to poverty and wretchedness, it must be a new creation, a race of beings super human. But in all their poverty and want, we have yet to learn, for the first time, that our friends are not industrious, and temperate, and wherein they have not always been the last to retaliate or resent an injury, and the first to overlook and forgive. We do not urge that there are not exceptions to be found: all communities, all societies and associations, are cumbered with disorderly and less virtuous members—members who violate in a greater or less degree the principles of the same. But this can be no just criterion by which to judge a whole society. And further still, where a people are laboring under constant fear of being dispossessed, very little inducement is held out to excite them to be industrious.
We think, gentlemen, that we have pursued this subject far enough, and we here express to you, as we have in a letter accompanying this, to our friends, our decided disapprobation to the idea of shedding blood, if any other course can be followed to avoid it; in which case, and which alone, we have urged upon our friends to desist, only in extreme cases of self—defence; and in this case not to give the offence or provoke their fellow men to acts of violence,—which we have no doubt they will observe, as they ever have. For you may rest assured, gentlemen, that we would be the last to advise our friends to shed the blood of men, or commit one act to endanger the public peace.
We have no doubt but our friends will leave your county, sooner or later, they have not only signified the same to us, but we have advised them so to do, as fast as they can without incurring too much loss. It may be said that they have but little to lose if they lose the whole. But if they have but little, that little is their all, and the imperious demands of the helpless, urge them to make a prudent disposal of the same. And we are highly pleased with a proposition in your preamble, suffering them to remain peaceably till a disposition can be made of their land, &c. which it suffered, our fears are at once hushed, and we have every reason to believe, that during the remaining part of the residence of our friends in your county, the same feeling of friendship and kindness will continue to exist, that have heretofore, and that when they leave you, you will have no reflection of sorrow to cast, that they have been sojourners among you.
To what distance or place they will remove, we are unable to say: in this they must be dictated with judgment and prudence. They may explore the Territory of Wisconsin—they may remove there, or they may stop on the other side—of this we are unable to say; but be they where they will, we have this gratifying reflection, that they have never been the first, in an unjust manner, to violate the laws, injure their fellow men, or disturb the tranquility and peace under which any part of our country has heretofore reposed. And we cannot but believe, that ere long the public mind must undergo a change, when it will appear to the satisfaction of all that this people have been illy treated and abused without cause, and when, as justice would demand, those who have been the instigators of their sufferings will be regarded as their true characters demand.
Though our religious principles are before the world, ready for the investigation of all men, yet we are aware that the sole foundation of all the persecution against our friends, has arisen in consequence of the calumnies and misconstructions, without foundation in truth, or righteousness, in common with all other religious societies, at their first commencement; and should Providence order that we rise not as others before us, to respectability and esteem, but be trodden down by the ruthless hand of extermination, posterity will do us the justice, when our persecutors are equally low in the dust, with ourselves, to hand down to succeeding generations, the virtuous acts and forbearance of a people, who sacrificed their reputation for their religion, and their earthly fortunes and happiness, to preserve peace, and save this land from being further drenched in blood.
We have no doubt but your very seasonable mediation, in the time of so great an excitement, will accomplish your most sanguine desire, in preventing further disorder; and we hope,
gentlemen, that while you reflect upon the fact, that the citizens of Clay county are urgent for our friends to leave you, that you will also bear in mind, that by their complying with your request to leave, is surrendering some of the dearest rights and first, among those inherent principles, guaranteed in the constitution of our country; and that human nature can be driven to a certain extent, when it will yield no farther. Therefore, while our friends suffer so much, and forego so many sacred rights we sincerely hope, and we have every reason to expect it, that a suitable forbearance may be shown by the people of Clay, which if done, the cloud that has been obscuring your horizon, will disperse, and you be left to enjoy peace, harmony and prosperity.
With sentiments of esteem and profound respect, we are, gentlemen, your obedient servants.
JOSEPH SMITH, Jr.
F. G. WILLIAMS,
Kirtland, Ohio, July 25, 1836.
DEAR BRETHREN:—Yours of the 1st inst. accompanying the proceedings of a public meeting, held by the people of Clay, was duly received. We are sorry that this disturbance has broken out—we do not consider it our fault. You are better acquainted with circumstances than we are, and of course have been directed in wisdom in your moves, relative to leaving the county. We forward you our letter to Mr. Thornton and others, that you may know all we have said. We advise that you be not the first aggressors—give no occasion, and if the people will let you dispose of your property, settle your affairs, and go in peace, go. You have thus far had an asylum, and now seek another as God may direct. Relative to your going to Wisconsin, we cannot say, we should think if you could stop short, in peace you had better. You know our feelings relative to not giving the first offence, and also of protecting your wives and little ones in case a mob should seek their lives. We shall publish the proceedings of the public meeting, with your answer, as well as our letter. We mean that the world shall know all things as they transpire. If we are persecuted and driven men shall know it!
Be wise, let prudence dictate all your counsels, preserve peace with all men, if possible, stand by the constitution of your country, observe its principles, and above all, show yourselves men of God, worthy citizens, and we doubt not, community ere long, will do you justice, and rise in indignation against those who are the instigators of your suffering and affliction.
In the bonds of brotherly love we subscribe ourselves as ever.
JOSEPH SMITH, J.
F. G. WILLIAMS.
To W. W. PHELPS and others.
The citizens of Clay County met, persuant [pursuant] to adjournment. the Chairman and secretary, resumed their stations, when the committee appointed by a public meeting held at the Court House in the town of Liberty on Wednesday June 27 to confer with the Mormon Leaders and to present to them the Preamble and Resolutions passed by said meeting, Met according to the appointment at the House of Mr. Cowan and through the Chairman of the Committee Woodson J. Moss reported to the meeting the response of the Mormons to the Preamble and resolutions passed at the aforesaid Meeting on Wednesday, the 29th., which is as follows.
At a respectable meeting of the elders of the church of Latter Day Saints, held in Clay county, Mo. on Friday, the 1st day of July, 1836: W. W. Phelps was called to the Chair, and John Corrill appointed Secretary. The preamble and resolutions from a meeting of citizens was read and a committee of twelve, viz. E. Partridge, I. Morely, L. Wight, T. B. March, E. Higbey, C. Beebe, J. Hitchcock, I. Higbey, S. Bent, T. Billings, J. Emett and R. Evans, were appointed who retired, and after a short time reported the following preamble and resolutions:
That we (the Mormons so called,) are grateful for the kindness which has been shown to us by the citizens of Clay, since we have resided with them,
and being desirous for peace and wishing the good rather than the ill—will of mankind, will use all honorable means to allay the excitement, and so far as we can remove any foundation for jealousies against us as a people. We are aware that many rumors prejudicial to us as a society are afloat, and time only can prove their falsity to the world at large. We deny having claim to this or any other county or country farther than we purchase with money, or more than the constitution and laws allows us as free American citizens. We have taken no part for or against slavery, but are opposed to the abolitionists, and consider that men have a right to hold slaves or not according to law. We believe it just to preach the gospel to the nations of the earth, and warn the righteous to save themselves from the corruptions of the world, but we do not believe it right to interfere with bond servants nor preach the gospel to, nor mettle with, or influence them in the least to cause them to be dissatisfied with their situation in this life, thereby jeopardizing the lives of men. Such interference we believe to be unlawful and unjust, and dangerous to the peace of every government allowing human beings to be held in servitude. We deny holding any communications with the Indians, & mean to hold ourselves as ready to defend our country against their barbarous ravages as any other people. We believe that all men are bound to sustain and uphold the respective governments in which they reside, while protected in their inherent and unalienable rights by the laws of such governments; and that sedition and rebellion are unbecoming every citizen thus protected, and should be punished accordingly. It is needless to enter into a further detail of our faith or mention our sufferings:—Therefore.
1st Resolved. For the sake of friendship, and to be in a covenant of peace with the citizens of Clay county, and the citizens of Clay county to be in a covenant of peace with us, notwithstanding the necessary loss of property and expense we incur in moving, we comply with the requisitions of their resolutions in leaving the county of Clay, as explained by the preamble accompanying the same; and that we will use our exertions to have the church do the same; and that we will also exert ourselves to stop the tide of emigration of our people to this county.
2d. Resolved. That we accept of the friendly offer verbally rendered to us by the committee yesterday to assist us in selecting a location and in removing to it.
3d. Resolved. Unanimous that this meeting accept and adopt the above preamble and resolutions which are here presented by the committee.
4th Resolved. That T. B. Marsh, L. Wight and S. Bent be a committee to carry these proceedings to the meeting of the citizens of Clay, to be held tomorrow at Liberty.
The above was unanimously adopted by the meeting.
W. W. PHELPS,
John Corrill, Secretary.
Resolved, That this meeting do accept and receive the reply of the Mormons to the resolution passed on Wednesday the 29th June as perfectly satisfactory.
Be tt [it] Further Resolved, by this meeting that we will use our utmost endeavors to carry into effect the object contained in the preamble and resolutions passed on Wednesday the 29th and as agreed to by the Mormons.
Be it further Resolved, That we urge it on our fellow citizens to keep the peace toward the Mormons as good faith justice, Morality and Religion require us.
Be it further Resolved, That a Committee of ten persons, two in each township be appointed to raise money by subscription to aid those of the Mormons who may from necessity require it to leave this county.
Resolved, That Samuel Tillery, Jeremiah Migner, and Abraham Shafer, be appointed a committee to receive the pecuniary aid by subscription for the purpose of aiding the poor persons that may belong to the Mormons in removing from this county to their place of abode and that the elders of the church be requested to report the above named persons to the aforesaid committee who will judge of the proofs and facts entitling the mormons to pecuniary aid and appropriate the funds accordingly.
Resolved, That said committee be authorised to employ some suitable person to accompany those that may
wish to examine a new country, it is also understood that if the money which may be received by the committee is not appropriated for the purpose above named it shall be refunded back in proportion to the amount subscribed.
Resolved. That the chair appoint five persons in each township to carry the object to the above resolutions in to effect.
The following gentlemen were then appointed in the different Townships.
For Liberty Township. John Thornton. Joel Turnham, Peter Rogers, John Bird, David Atchison.
For Fishing River Township. Elisha Cameron, E. Price, G. Withers, M. Welton, James Kazey,
For Platte Township. T. C. Gordon, S. Harris, W. Owens, L. Rollins J. March.
For Washington Township. B. Riley, S. Crawford, T. Findley, G. McIlvaine, P. Y. G. Bartee.
For Gallatin Township. D. Dale, W. Nash. Wm. Todd, B. Ricketts, J. Forbion.
Be it further Resolved. That this meeting recommend the Mormons to the good treatment of the citizens of the good treatment of the citizens of the adjoining counties. We also recommend the inhabitants of the neighboring counties to assist the Mormons in selecting some abiding place for their people where they will be in a measure the only occupants and when none will be anxious to molest them.
Resolved. That the proceedings of this meeting be handed over to the publishers of the Far West with a request that it be printed.
Which was severally read, and unanimously adopted,
On motion the meeting adjourned.
JOHN BIRD, Chair.
JOHN F. DOHERTY, Sec.
Liberty, July 2d, 1836.
Marriages and Deaths
MARRIED—In Hickman Co. Tenn on the 23d June last, by Elder Warren Parrish, Mr. E. MATLOCK to Miss SUSAN K. FRY.
DIED—In this town on Sunday, the 17th ult. of an inflammation on the brain, GEORGE, son of br. JACOB BUMP, aged 12 years.
Messenger and Advocate
Editorial regarding difficulties in Jackson County
KIRTLAND, OHIO, AUGUST, 1836.
We have recently perused with intense interest and deep feeling, the report of a committee of vigilance appointed on the seventh of May last at a meeting of the citizens of Jackson county, Missouri, relative to the course they recommend to their constituents to be pursued towards our brethren, in the case they attempt to come into that county to form a settlement, or to possess their own property.
It will be recollected that our brethren went into that county, purchased land, formed a settlement, established a printing press and a store of Merchant goods, and were proceeding peaceably and quietly in the lawful enjoyment of their rights as citizens of these United States. It will also be recollected that they were forcibly driven from their purchased possessions by a ruthless mob in the inclement season of the year, November, 1833, and left without any covering but the open canopy of heaven. It will also be borne in mind, that many of their dwellings were thrown down—much, and in some instances all their property destroyed; and they driven from the county to perish with cold or famine, or to seek relief as mendicants among the hospitable of the county of Clay.—These acts, though thrilling to the heart of the philanthropist, and black as the character of their projectors are, light in comparison with the sable shade that yet remains to fill up the interstices of the great outline, and complete the picture! Yes, reader, they proceeded further. They not only destroyed property, and drove off peaceable citizens from their own dwellings, but they threatened life! Aye would to heaven they had done no more!—They unmercifully beat some, and deliberately killed others! (a few only.)
We say our brethren were guilty of no breach of the peace, had violated no law, and resisted no legal authority; we say so without the fear of contradiction; for if they had been guilty, the law, the officers to administer it, and all the force necessary to back them, were in the hands, and at the full and entire control of their enemies. We say they had not law either human or divine to afford the least pretext, no nor the shadow of a pretext for such conduct. If they had would they not have executed that law, rather than have the opprobrious epithets of perjury and murder affixed to their names recorded on the page of history and handed down to posterity. Certainly we think they would. You will ask, kind reader, how were they guilty of perjury. The answer is a plain one. The officers both civil and military are bound by oath or affirmation to support the constitution of the United States and the laws and constitution of the state of Missouri. This act, this direful deed, this diabolical crime was committed in open and palpable violation of all these. Is it not perjury then? is it not wil[l]ful and corrupt perjury? a clear case beyond the power of contradiction.
We have read a copy of their manifesto, and it is not even there asserted, though teeming with falsehoods as black as the hearts of their fabricators or the father of lies himself, that they had either law or constitution to warrant them in their hellish procedure. What then, you will ask, was the cause? We say simply because our brethren took the liberty guaranteed to all citizens of these United States to think differently from the professing christian world in matters of religion. This was not avowed as the cause in their manifesto, because it was matter of fact, and with this they had but little to do. But that it was the real cause you will believe when we say that when six of our brethren were in the hands of this lawless banditti, as a condition of peace and friendship offered them, they must renounce their religious belief, and all would be well. This they peremptorily [peremptory] refused. The only alternatives they had then left, were death, immediate death, or leave the county.
No legal process could be had to bring offending citizens to justice, their crimes pass with impunity and innocent blood yet cries from the ground for vengeance. All this in an enlightened land, a free government, where every free man at least has a natural, not only a natural but a constitutional right, to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. This is not all, he has the same right to embrace one religious belief as another; the same right to be an infidel as he has to be a Baptist, a Presbyterian or a Methodist. He may be a Mahomedan, Jew or a Pagan, and he is equally safe; the constitution covers the whole ground; it promises him protection, however heretical or ridiculous his religious belief may be, provided he submit to the laws that procure him this protection.
If our brethren had been guilty of some offence or misdemeanor, prejudicial to the feelings or best interests of their supercilious neighbors, what should be done? The case is a plain one: if it were a breach of the law, the law was open and as said one anciently, there were deputies let them implead one another; and as we have before said, the law, the officers and the power were in the hands of our enemies.
Has the liberty of speech, the liberty of the press, the liberty of conscience, become odious to this religious generation? Is the foundation of all liberty, civil and religious to be sapped and the beautiful superstructure erected thereon
by our fathers to be razed to the ground to gratify whom? the whole community beside our brethren? no, a lawless, ruthless, perjured banditti and their accomplices in bigotry, guilt and crime. These same monsters in human shape not content with the blood a part of our brethren and with inflicting one vital stab to the constitution and laws of our country, seem eager to reek their hands in the heart's blood of the remainder, and end their satanic career only with their final extermination. They have said they would not stop while a single Mormon's foot pressed their soil. Have our brethren attempted to drive them from their houses or their lands? have they attempted to urge their claim to any except that to which they had been seized by honest right of fair purchase? We fearlessly say no. Their manifesto is but a bundle of falsehoods perfectly in accordance with their subsequent conduct—and the same gang stand unrebuked, unpunished, breathing out threatenings and slaughter and death! Their proceedings to which we now allude are spread upon paper over their signatures, and will pass down to succeeding generations as matter of history, to the everlasting disgrace of all republics or all governments that promise protection to their citizens and then suffer them to be disfranchised; their property destroyed, confiscated or taken without the consent of its rightful owners, and even their lives threatened and taken, with impunity. Has it come to this! Are we irresistibly compelled to sing a funeral dirge over the grave of departed liberty, and bid a long and lasting farewell to what our hearts once held dear. Is this the way to cure people of folly or delusion?—Did the mother of abominations with her implements of cruelty and death ever succeed in curing people of heresy and delusion with all their refinement in bloodshed and murder? Let the book of Martyrs tell! Let the history of the bloody inquisition speak! Let the records of all past ages testify! And will not like causes produce like effects? Certainly then let reason and common sense sit in judgment and we join issue and abide the award.
We look at the case negatively also; what have we not done? We have not claimed any man's silver, gold, houses, or lands, man—servants or maid—servants, camels or asses, without his consent and a fair equivalent. We have not violated any known law of our country. We have not molested any man in the peaceable enjoyment of any of his vested rights, and we say affirmatively that we neither claim nor ask any rights or privilege other than the constitution and laws guarantee to all its peaceable citizens. What then is the cause? We have taken the liberty to think differently from the professing christian world and have preached and proclaimed our sentiments; and not only so, we have spread them on paper and invited investigation; and when we have been met in the field with scripture, reason and fair argument, our opposers retire with shame from the unequal contest. Here then is one cause and perhaps the head and front of our offending. Did men anciently suffer because they testified that they had seen angels and held intercourse with the upper world?
Did men anciently who received the lively oracles of truth and recorded them for our instruction, live in peace and die regretted by their contemporaries? Let history, sacred and profane, answer these queries.
Is satan's empire divided and he contending against his own subjects, his own loyal subjects? Are our brethren persecuted, oppressed, smitten and afflicted by the saints of the most high God? We say they are not; if
so, we have yet to learn for the first time, that the spirit which actuates our persecutors at the West and elsewhere is the spirit of our blessed Redeemer. We must blush and hang our head for our ignorance now that the frost of so many winters has gone over our head, and left us uninstructed in the fundamental principles of our holy religion. We had thought that the religion of Jesus filled the soul with love to God and man, and that love worked no ill to his neighbor. We had thought the true disciple of our Lord and Savior, would not knowingly and wantonly divest any man of his constituted rights, that he would not destroy his goods, and above all that he had not a heart black enough to drive females and innocent children from their own abode in the cold of November, and to cap the climax of iniquity and crime, shed the blood of some which yet cries from the ground unavenged. That the saints do wrong acts, and sometimes bring down the judgments of God upon themselves we are sorry, yet free to admit. But will they for a series of days, months, yea, and years too persist in breathing out threatenings and slaughter, against a people whose only crime for which they are now suffering consists in believing the scriptures of divine origin and all that is there recorded by the prophets and not fulfilled, will be fulfilled in these last days. We say not, we unequivocally say not.— May the Lord deliver us from the power of such men and the malevolent influence of their religion.
We say further, that all such as are the aidors, abettors or apologists for such conduct or such characters as of the Jackson county mob, are participators in their guilt and crime.
We can hardly dismiss the subject of our enemies in the West and their wicked designs which have drawn from us the preceding remarks, without almost involuntarily touching the subject of our Elders, Patten, Parrish and Woodruff, in the South. We know their perseverance and zeal in the cause of truth. Even the conduct of their enemies towards them speaks volumes in favor of their talents, as public declaimers. We feel that they had done their duty in Benton county, Ten. and that their exertions in the cause of truth in that region, have been such, that in the great day of accounts their skirts will be clear, and that wicked and perverse people be left without excuse, when the Lord shall judge the world in righteousness.
A few days since we had the minutes of a Conference put into our hands which our friends may expect we will publish entire. But we hope they will excuse us if we condense their minutes and give only the substance. The conference was held on the 2d day of June last, in Lawrence, Lawrence Co. Ohio. Elder Seymour Brunson of this town presided, and Jesse T. Baily acted as Secretary. One elder, one priest and one teacher were ordained at said conference.
Our readers will recollect that a dissolution of the Firm of F. G. Williams & Co. was published in the June no. of our paper, that Oliver Cowdery had purchased the entire establishment and all debts due said firm were to be paid to him. We also urged the necessity of prompt payments by all those who are in arrears, and that their names would be stricken from our subscription list unless payment should be made and they manifest their desire to continue, on or before the first of October next, except at our discretion.
We feel to repeat what we then said, and also to add, that the next number of our paper closes the present volume, and although our present subscription
list is large and still increasing, yet without payment it is the more onerous for us to bear.
Our Elders abroad, who have procured for us many of our patrons, will accept our grateful acknowledgement for the interest they have taken for us, and still remember, that it is in their power to do us good by making collections of such subscribers as they may have procured for us and become responsible at the office for the amount of their subscription.
We hope that where there is no elder or other responsible person by when remittance can be made to us, some individual in each branch of the church, where our paper is not sent, will have the goodness to collect and forward to us the amount due in each branch, one letter can bring all the money, and all the names, with but a trifling expense. Let the old adage, "out of sight, out of mind," be for once reversed, and our pecuniary embarrassments cease.
We feel that it is due to many of our patrons, to say thus publicly, that they have paid us promptly; and some of them have rendered us essential service in times gone by when they were under no legal obligations to us; and consequently we infer they were actuated by a desire to do good and disseminate the truth. Therefore, we say, if the gift of a cup of cold water to a disciple entitle the donor to a blessing, certainly some of our patrons are entitled to our warmest thanks for past favors and most fervent prayers that the best of heaven's blessings may rest upon them.
We acknowledge that in some instances our paper during the past year, has not been issued as regularly as we or our friends could wish; a combination of causes not exactly in our power to control, prevented our doing so; but we trust that those causes have now measurably ceased to exist, that such arrangements are made in the editorial department as shall still make its columns both pleasing and instructing, and in the mechanical, as shall make it not only a workmanlike, but punctual periodical.
For the Messenger and Advocate.
Hickman county, Tenn. June 28, 1836.
This evening, while meditating upon the variegated scenes of human existence, the ever fluctuating current of mortal life, which sometimes threatens to overwhelm the way wandering son of men like an irresistible torrent, and hurry them to an untimely grave, while far separated from those who are bound by the dearest ties of consanguinity, my mind flits back to those happy seasons I have enjoyed in Kirtland, in the society of my brethren and friends.—The loss of this society is more than usually impressed on my mind from a combination of circumstances which have transpired since I last wrote.
On the return of brother Patten and myself from Clarks river, to brother Utley's, we were informed that many of the citizens of that county (Benton) and some of the citizens of Carroll county, had met in convention, headed by a Methodist priest, who was called to the chair, and the County Clerk appointed Secretary. They drew up resolutions to drive all the "Mormon" (Latter Day Saint) preachers from their coast. These resolutions were signed by the Sheriff and many who are sworn to be civil peace officers, to suppress all riots and unlawful assemblies and support and defend the constitution of the United States and of the state of Tennessee; also military officers who are sworn to do the same.—From Colonels and Majors down thro' all the grades of officers, enrolled their names, with this lawless banditti, to abuse the servants of the living God, by abridging their privileges and trampling upon their rights.
We enjoyed our meeting unmolested at br. Utley's, on Saturday the 19th inst. although almost every breeze brought us news that the mob intended to carry their resolutions into effect, and that some hundreds had entered into this conspiracy. In the afternoon, a little before sunset, a company of some forty or fifty men made their appearance, some on foot, others mounted two on a horse, with guns, sticks, clubs, &c.; they were led by a Sheriff, Colonel, first and second Major, with some other officers, and a Methodist priest, with a gun on his shoulder.
The Sheriff informed us that he had a State's warrant for D. W. Patten, W. Parrish and W. Woodruff; issued
on complaint of Mathew Williams, the Methodist priest and chairman spoken of above, who sware that we had put forth the following false and pretended prophecy, viz. That Christ would come the second time before this generation passed away, also that four individuals should receive the Holy Ghost within four and twenty hours.
We were credibly informed, that the company that were under the control of these noble chieftains, consisted of Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, liars, drunkards, hog and horse thieves. And so determined were they to force us off at that late hour, that it was with much difficulty we could prevail on them to show us any lenity. However they protracted the time of our appearance before the court until Tuesday following, by our giving a bond of two thousand dollars, signed by ourselves and two of our brethren.
They intended to have led us into the woods under the dark curtain of night, (the emblem of their corrupt and wicked hearts,) with the pretension of taking us before the magistrate, that they might the better execute their diabolical designs upon us.
On Tuesday in company with about twenty brethren and warm friends, who were ready and willing to lay down their lives for us, we went before our rulers. We found about one hundred persons assembled whose countenances too plainly indicated the black designs of their hearts. They were armed with guns, dirks, pistols, clubs, sticks, &c. At a late hour, we prevailed on the Sheriff to have the court called, which consisted of three magistrates, one of whom was rejected from the judgment seat because some of his family were members of our church. The Sheriff then asked of the court the privilege of divesting us of our arms, if any we had; it was granted. Elder Patten had a pistol which he had taken that morning in consequence of our having heard that the mob did not expect to sustain a lawful charge against us; but intended to rise up and overpower us by their numbers; he also had a walking stick. I had a cane and common pocket knife; these were taken from us.
A man by the name of Perkins (who report says, had run his country for hog stealing and also had been guilty of concealing a stolen horse for which he had lost a part of his nose,) was appointed by the court to act as State's Attorney, or in other words, mob solicitor general, to abuse the innocent and screen the guilty. We were abused by any and every scoundrel that saw fit to do so, and the court allowed them this privilege. After they had brought many of those who had entered into a conspiracy to witness against us; we called on our witnesses, but the court refused to hear any testimony on our part, because the mob objected and they dare not do otherwise, but were controlled by the lawless banditti that surrounded them and us, who were determined on our destruction. Said Perkins made a plea against us, and we were not permitted to reply or speak in our own defence. Thus ended this mock trial, and the court after retiring a few minutes, returned with this verdict: That they concluded that the charges preferred against us had been sustained, and that we were bound over to court for trial.
Our accusers did not attempt to prove that those individuals who were promised the Holy Ghost on condition of obedience to the gospel did not receive it, for they if called upon would have testified otherwise; and let the candid judge, whether any man can in truth testify, that he who prophecies, that Christ will come the second time in this generation, is a false prophet. And furthermore our complainant testified that the above named crimes were committed in October, 1834. It is a well known fact that Elder Woodruff, whose name is included in the warrant (tho' not arrested) was not in this state until the spring of 1835. So much for the oath of a Methodist priest.
While the court was preparing our bonds, another warrant was served on Elder Patten; the mob without and the mob within, whose intoxicating zeal, had risen to its zenith were threatening our lives, and seemed only waiting the dark shades of night, which were fast gathering round, to cover them while they should wreak their hands in our blood; the influence of our friends as instruments in the hands of God kept this gathering storm from bursting upon our heads. About this time the Sheriff proposed to us that if we would leave the county in ten days and pay the cost, they would set us at liberty; at the same time informing us that it
was the only way for us to escape the hands of the mob, who were hardly restrained from acts of violence. One of the brethren present offered to pay the cost and all advised us to accept the offer, although in its nature most insulting, for if we were really guilty of a violation of the laws of this state, their oath of office obligated them to bind us over to trial before the circuit court. But this was not the fact; we were not guilty, and this last step proves to a demonstration that they (the court) did not consider us so; and shows that oaths, obligations and the rights of man were disregarded, and the whole scenery from beginning to end was controlled and governed by a set of ruthless ruffians, who are sunk in the lowest depths of degradation and infamy, of whom the devil himself ought to be ashamed.
The stillness of the scene, and the serenity of the air, invite the mind to contemplation. When nothing is heard around but the warbling notes of nature's songsters and the lowing of the kine, that seem waiting to impart their nutritious aliment in their possession, for the benefit of man, receive their morning meal from the kitchen, and then depart; the mind that loves contemplation, that is fond of retirement and courts reflection, will delight to commune, on such a morning, with his own heart, and with that God who has prepared such a variety in the scenery that surrounds him.
While thus soliloquizing, I was led to wonder at my fellow man for neglecting to improve the but of the time that God has given him, for the best of purposes. A little reflection will sometimes supersede bitter repentance, and when can a man reflect with more intensity of thought, and bring all the powers of the mind to bear, with greater force upon any point, than in the stillness of the morning when rest and sleep have each contributed their full share to supply the waste of bodily strength and invigorate a mind that may have been distracted with a thousand cares the preceding day. If he have been guilty of follies or faults, he can at this season, weight their criminality more accurately, and put in requisition more power of mind, to pass such resolutions relative to his intercourse with his fellow mortals, as shall eventuate in the greatest quantum of human happiness, than at any other period.
If it be his sole employ to store the mind with useful knowledge, most assuredly there is no time, when the mind can be brought to bear more intensely and with greater accuracy upon any point than in the sober stillness of the morning. If he would invoke the blessings of heaven, when can he come more boldly to a throne of grace than in the morning before his passions have been disturbed, or his mind distracted with a thousand cares? When can he come with a heart more full of gratitude than in the morning, when a consciousness that that God.
"Who sees with equal eye as Lord of all
A hero perish or a sparrow fall,"
has by his guardian angels, protected and defended him during his defenceless hours? When can he come with more boldness to a throne of grace? When can he have greater confidence that he shall have access to a throne of grace? When can he more reasonably hope the heavens will be propitious to his wishes, and grant him that grace and that wisdom that are indispensably necessary to keep him from all the snares of the evil one, through the day? W.
FROM THE ELDERS ABROAD.
Since our last months, paper was put to press we have received another letter from Elder G. W. Hinkle post marked Fairplay, Ia. July 15th. The elder informs us that he is now about to leave Ia. where he has labored the most of the season thus far since he left here. We trust he has been usefully employed, and that the Lord has blessed his labors. We think few are more successful in proclaiming the truths of the Gospel then elder Hinkle. He writes us that he has baptized in that region 57 and 14 in other places making 71 in all since he left Kirtland. He gives us to understand that he leaves a field of useful labor, and that there are more calls for preaching than he had ever witnessed before.—
He intreats elders that are traveling through that section of country, (Columbus Bartholomew Co. Ia. to call and teach them the way of life and salvation more perfectly, to which we respond, Amen.
Elders D. C. Smith & S. W. Denton returned a few weaks [weeks] since from a mission to the East. They state to us that they went as far as Waterloo Seneca Co. N. Y. and then returned to Naples Ontario Co. where they labored a while in company with Elder Jedediah Grant, whom they found there. They all labored there a short time, established a small branch of a church consisting of seven members, and then Messrs. Smith and Denton returned home, leaving Elder Jedediah and Joshua Grant still in charge, to instruct the saints more perfectly.
We have other elders whose places of residence are distant; they are situated in the various branches of the church abroad; some of them in Illinois, some in Indiana, some in the south and west part of this State, some in Pennsylvania, some in New York and others in all, or nearly all the N. England States. We frequently receive letters from them that are deeply interesting to us and to the cause of truth, and although we do not often mention their names in our paper, we owe it to ourselves to say we appreciate their services in the good cause, and tender them our grateful acknowledgements for the course many of them have taken to reward our humble talents and enhance our individual interest. We say they are useful in the branches until the time of the gathering, and we pray the Lord of the harvest to keep them humble, faithful, patient., wise, and consequently, useful, till in his own due time, he shall command them to come and bring their sheaves with them.
We are requested to notify a conference of the church of Latter Day Saints to beheld in the town of Milsford Ashtabula County Ohio, at the house of Brother John Knapp on Saturday the 20th inst. at 10 o'clock A .M. Elders brethren and others who can make it convenient, are respectfully invited to attend. Saturday will be a day of business with the church and on the following day there will be public preaching.
I have no home, where shall I go,
While I am left to weep below?
My heard is pain'd, my friends are gone-
And here I'm left on earth to mourn.
I see my people lying round,
All lifeless here upon the ground:
Young men and maidens in their gore;
Which does increase my sorrow more!
My father look'd upon this scene,
And in his writings has made plain,
How ev'ry Nephite's heart did fear,
When he beheld his foe draw near.
With axe and bow they fell upon
Our men and women, sparing none,
And left them prostrate on the ground,
Lo here they now are bleeding round!
Ten thousand that were led by me
Lie round this hill called Cumorah;
Their spirits from their bodies fled,
And they are number'd with the dead!
Well might my father in despair,
Cry, O ye fair ones! once how fair
How is it that you've fallen! Oh!
My soul is fill'd with pain for you.
My life is sought! where shall I flee?
Lord take me home to dwell with thee,
Where all my sorrow will be o'er,
And I shall sigh and weep no more.
Thus sang the son of Mormon when
He gaz'd upon his Nephite men.
And women too, which had been slain,
And left to moulder on the plain!
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