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Times and Seasons/3/19
Times and Seasons: Volume 3, Number 19
Summary:Source document in Mormon Publications: 19th and 20th Centuries online archive: Times and Seasons Vol. 3
|Number 18||Number 20|
Times and Seasons: Volume 3, Number 19
Jump to Subtopic:
- GREAT DISCUSSION ON MORMONISM BETWEEN DR. WEST AND ELDER ADAMS, AT THE MARLBORO' CHAPEL:
- HISTORY OF JOSEPH SMITH.
- JOHN C. BENNETT.
- AFFIDAVIT OF THE CITY COUNCIL.
- AFFIDAVIT OF HYRUM SMITH.
- AFFIDAVIT OF WM. LAW.
- CERTIFICATE OF ELIAS AND F. M. HIGBEE.
- CERTIFICATE OF MISS PAMELA M. MICHAEL.
- CERTIFICATE OF SIDNEY RIGDON.
- CERTIFICATES OF WILLIAM AND HENRY MARKS.
- BENNETT AS HE WAS.
- BENNETT AS HE IS.
- OPINIONS OF THE PRESS.
- CERTIFICATE OF HORACE S. ELDRIDGE.
|TIMES AND SEASONS|
|"TRUTH WILL PREVAIL"|
|Volume 3. No. 19.]||CITY OF NAUVOO, ILL. AUG. 1, 1842.||[Whole No. 55.|
From the Bostonian, June 25th.
GREAT DISCUSSION ON MORMONISM BETWEEN DR. WEST AND ELDER ADAMS, AT THE MARLBORO' CHAPEL:
I understand that Mr. Adams is a native of New Jersey and for many years, a resident of the city of New York, where, about two years ago, he was converted from Methodism to Mormonism so called, or the doctrines of the self-styled "Latter Day Saints," since which time he has labored much on both sides the Atlantic, as he says "to bring others to a knowledge of the glorious work of the latter days." He is rather slim built, about 34 years of age, and his appearance before an audience must certainly give the lie to those who pronounce the Mormons all fools. Dr. West is a robust Englishman, about 50 years old, and he two [too], I am informed, once stood connected with the Methodist church, and had charge of some congregation in Canada; but in consequence of some singular transactions, he "took himself off," and ingratiated himself into the favor of the Episcopalians of Ohio, and under the especial patronage of Bishop Chase, performed some feats in England and "elsewhere," in consequence of which he again necessarially [necessarily] changed friends and patrons, and he now calls himself "one of God's volunteers," but what society (if any) he now stands connected with, is hard to determine, either from rumor or any answer Adams has yet forced from him. Whether his feats were of so glorious a character that one society sought to get him from the other, or so inglorious that each in turn sought to rid themselves of him, I leave for those that know better than myself to determine. So much for the billigerent [belligerent] parties, and now for the origin of this debate A certain religious society sent for Dr. West to come and deliver a course of lectures in this city against Infidelity and Mormonism. Accordingly while Mr. Adams was delivering his lectures in Boylston Hall, The Doctor anhounced [announced] bono publico in handbills, that ne [he] would furnish a reply to said lectures in Chardan Street Chapel, and show that Mormonism is made up of, and implien [implied] the principles of lying, fraud, blasphemy, theft, robery [robbery] treason and murder. Mr. Adams read the handbill before the public and challenged the Doctor to meet him on honorable ground, to discuss the subject of his charges, any time after the 19th inst. as his engagements in Lowell, Peterboro, and elsewhere precluded the possibility of his meeting him sooner. But while Adams is absent, a committee appointed by West and his hearers, announce in the papers that the Doctor having accepted a challenge, would discuss the subject in Marlboro' Chapel, which they have engaged for that purpose. Admittance by tickets at 12 1-2 cts. The Infidels also were invited to participate in the discussion, but as the rules were drafted by his committee, gave him about two thirds of the time, they declined being used as the cats paws to extract the shilling from the pockets of the people, to line those of West; therefore the Doctor occupied the house himself several evenings, and for aught [ought] I know, bore away the spoils, as of course he did the laurels, when there was none to pluck them from him. But Monday evening, the 20th inst. brought Elder Adams, agreeable to promise, to assist the Doctor in his discussion, before a large and respectable audience. The Rev. Mr. Taylor was called to the chair and two secretaries appointed. The odious portions of his rules were then brought before the audience and abolished. Twenty minutes were fixed upon for each speaker to occupy alternately. Relating to the funds collected, D. West opposed an equal division between the disputants, and Elder Adams therefore proposed to give the nett [net] proceeds of the debate to the Temperance Society-instead of Dr. West first making that proposition as the reporter of "the Mail" stated. By the way, I would caution Mr. "Mail" to watch his dog, for he is very apt to bark up the wrong tree, and in reading his reports of the debate, I was inclined to think that he understood with his elbow or wrote 'many things that nobody could remember,' as he said of the secretaries. However, the question of the funds was referred to a joint
committee, who at a subsequent meeting reported that they had agreed after defraying the expenses of the debate to give the rest of the proceeds to the Washingtonian Society. Now we come to the debate and what shall I say. The disputants reminded me of the paddy's flea, when he put his finger on him he was not there. They seemed to talk about any thing else but the chosen question, each accused the other of wandering from the subject, and neither the chairman, nor the audience, could keep them to it. But as the Doctor was to lead the way and prove his charges, he was the most censurable, as Elder Adams had to follow his wanderings or strike off another course. The Doctor is a master of language, and very sarcastic, but his proofs are all assertions, his arguments assumptions, his reasons ridicule; and he seems determined to frighten the Mormons away by looks and expressions of horror, and annihilate their system by a flower of rhetoric, appealing to the well known prejudices of the people, instead of their understanding. Three evenings have passed away and the auditors have been anxiously looking for the astounding arguments that is to show the blasphemous, treasonable, and murderous tendency of Mormonism; but still they have to console themselves with his assertion, that he can prove it. The only argument I collect of his producing as yet, to prove charges, is the testimony of the witnesses to the Book of Mormon, and others testifying to the advent of an angel, &c. which he pronounced blasphemous in this age. To which his antagonist replied that by the same rule, all prophets, apostles and inspired men of old, were blasphemers for testifying to the ministry of angels, and the manifestations of God to them. They had some dispute about the application of the 29th chapter of Isaiah, which was brought in support of the Book of Mormon, but Dr. West expressed great astonishment and aversion to the course of Mr. Adams in adverting to the bible to prove any thing pertaining to Mormonism; that of itself, he considered, if not blasphemous, a great insult to a christian community.
Elder Adams did not wonder that Dr. West wished him to let the Bible alone, for he well knew the result of investigating it. But he did not catch him there, for Adams quoted scriptures in such torrents as sometimes astonished the people, and made his antagonist writhe under it. Having no argument relating to murder, treason, &c. to refute, and being unwilling to follow West in his wanderings, Adams took up his time in briefly wiping off his sarcasms, and proving his doctrine from the Bible, which he seemed to have all on the end of his tongue.
The first evening he showed the falling away of the church from the primitive order of the Gospel, and the many corruptions, divisions, and traditions that had succeeded it, and that the various Protestant denominations were entirely dependent on the church of Rome for their authority to administer in holy things, unless they had new revelations, for there was no succession of priesthood after the apostles, unless through that channel.
The second night he referred to Genesis chap. xlviii, 14, 21-and chap. xlix, 22, 27, and other places; likewise to American Antiquities, to prove that the aborigines were descendants of Joseph, and then referred to Exekiel [Ezekiel] xxxvii. 15--22, in proof of what he said. From the ancient custom of the Jews writing upon parchment and rolling it round sticks, he argued that the writing on the stick of Judah mentioned in the text, was the Bible coming from the Jews, and the stick of Joseph was the Book of Mormon written by the seed of Joseph. These arguments were not refuted.
The third night he quoted the 24th chapter of Isaiah, 5th verse, to prove that the christian world because of apostacy [apostasy] have broken the Gospel covenant, transgressed its laws, changed its ordinances, &c. hence the necessity of new revelations to renew the covenant and restore the priesthood. This too was left unanswered. The Doctor should have put forth his "strong reasons" before the discussion ended, but either he had none or could not bring them forth if he had. I hope they will be forthcoming, or I do not know but I shall be compelled to be a Mormon!
The discussion closed on Friday evening at 11 o'clock, having done immense good towards disseminating the doctrines of the Latter Day Saiuts [Saints]. The audience were highly excited. Q.
From the Bostonian, July 2nd.
In the haste of my remarks last week I briefly referred to the proceedings of the first three evenings of the dissussion [discussion], but necessarily omitted several interesting features which I wish now to notice. The last paragraph of my communication which was inserted as the paper was going to press stated that the dissussion [discussion] closed on Friday night; but for want of time and room in your columns my sketches of the last two evenings were reserved till this week. Dr. West spent much of the second and third evenings in reading from a Mormon pamphlet containing a history of the rise of their church, of Smith's finding the plates and translating the Book of Mormon, and the testimony of eleven witnesses who say they saw and handled the plates, three of whom vouch for the correctness of the translation. All this the Dr. pronounced a humbug, and all pretension to revelations or miracles in this age, blasphemy! This was sufficient, he said, to fix upon Mormonism his charges, of Lying, Fraud and Blasphemy. This he relied on as one of his strong.holds [strongholds] and often referred to it, though he brought no scripture to prove his assertion. On the third night Elder Adams answered it as follows. He thanked the Dr. for introducing the narative [narrative] and the testimony of the witnesses, &c. as it saved him the trouble. The whole he said was correct and true, but why it was introduced at this stage of the discussion in proof of the charges, he could not imagine If the ground the Doctor assumed be conceded it of course fixed upon Mormonism the charges of Lying and Fraud, but that was the contested point which remained to be proved; and his assumptions were not arguments. Here the Rev. E. T Taylor, chairman, and many of the audience made themselves ridiculous by calling aloud for his proof in its favor. Mr. Adams replied, it was already proved if they would admit the power of testimony. No court of justice could require more than eleven positive witnesses to convict a man or establish any fact. Their testimony must be impeached and proved false, before the Doctor's charge can be fixed upon them. The Doctor contended that they were interested witnesses and therefore not to be believed. Mr. A. contended that if worldly interest were in view instead of honor, they had received calumny and detraction-instead of wealth, and affluence, stripes and imprisonment; but if eternal interests were before them, he said no consistent man could be a disinterested witness of the things of God, none could say the eight writers of the New testament-on whose authority we believe that book-were not interested in the things they affirm. Elder Adams referred to four or five prophesies in the Bible as parallel testimony in favor of the Book of Mormon, and his reasoning on them was very plausable [plausible]. Father Taylor called him to order once because he thought he had made a wrong application of one of the prophesies. The merits of his argument not being a point of order, Mr. Adams very significantly replied he would discuss the subject with the chairman when he had done with his present antagonist. But the chairman became so interested that he forgot that Dr. West had spoken three times and Mr. Adams twice and was very anxious to adjourn, but after several remonstrances from different parts of the house, he put on his thinking cap and coucluded [concluded] that Mr. A. was entitled to another speech, but as it was late Mr. Adams said he should detain them but a few moments, and give the rest of his time, which he did, and the meeting adjourned. Previous to the adjournment, however, Father Taylor resigned the chair because the audience were disposed to be noisy; and some thought him partial, but he was forthwith re-elected, and Thursday evening he again took the chair.
[Concluded in our next.]
HISTORY OF JOSEPH SMITH.
We still continued the work of translation, when in the ensuing month, (May, eighteen hundred and twenty nine,) we on a certain day went into the woods to pray and inquire of the Lord respecting baptism for the remission of sins, as we found mentioned in the translation of the plates. While we were thus employed, praying, and calling upon the Lord, a messenger from heaven descended in a cloud of light, and having laid his hands upon us, he ordained us, saying unto us, "Upon you my fellow servants, in the name of Messiah, I confer the priesthood of Aaron, which holds the keys of the ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentance, and
of baptism by immersion, for the remission of sins, and this shall never be taken again from the earth, until the sons of Levi do offer again an offering unto the Lord in righteousness." He said this Aaronic priesthood had not the power of laying on of hands, for the gift of the Holy Ghost, but that this should be conferred on us hereafter, and he commanded us to go and be baptized, and gave us directions that I should baptize Oliver Cowdery, and afterwards that he should baptize me.
Accordingly we went and were baptized, I baptized him first, and afterwards he baptized me, after which I laid my hands upon his head and ordained him to the Aaronic priesthood, and afterwards he laid his hands on me and ordained me to the same priesthood, for so we were commanded.
The messenger who visited us on this occasion, and conferred this priesthood upon us said that his name was John, the same that is called John the Baptist, in the New Testament, and that he acted under the direction of Peter, James, and John, who held the keys of the priesthood of Melchisedeck, which priesthood he said should in due time be conferred on us-and that I should be called the first elder, and he the second. It was on the fifteenth day of May, eighteen hundred and twenty nine, that we were baptized and ordained under the hand of the messenger.
Immediately upon our coming up out of the water, after we had been baptized, we experienced great and glorious blessings from our heavenly father. No sooner had I baptized Oliver Cowdery than the Holy Ghost fell upon him and he stood up and prophecied [prophesied] many things which should shortly come to pass: And again so soon as I had been baptized by him, I also had the spirit of prophecy, when, standing up I prophesied concerning the rise of the church, and many other things connected with the church, and this generation of the children of men. We were filled with the Holy Ghost, and rejoiced in the God of our salvation.
Our minds being now enlightened, we began to have the scriptures laid open to our understandings, and the true meaning of their more mysterious passages revealed unto us, in a manner which we never could attain to previously, nor ever before had thought of. In the mean time we were forced to keep secret the circumstances of our having been baptized, and having received the priesthood; owing to a spirit of persecution which had already manifested itself in the neighborhood. We had been threatened with being mobbed, from time to time, and this too by professors of religion. And their intentions of mobbing us were only counteracted by the influence of my wife's father's family, (under Divine Providence,) who had became very friendly to me, and were opposed to mobs, and were willing that I should be allowed to continue the work of translation without interruption: And therefore offered and promised us protection from all unlawful proceedings as far as in them lay.
After a few days however, feeling it to be our duty, we commenced to reason out of the scriptures, with our acquaintances and friends, as we happened to meet with them. About this time my brother Samuel H. Smith came to visit us. We informed him of what the Lord was about to do for the children of men; and to reason with him out of the bible. We also showed him that part of the work which we had translated, and labored to persuade him concerning the gospel of Jesus Christ which was now about to be revealed in its fulness [fullness]. He was not however very easily persuaded of these things, but after much enquiry [inquiry] & explanaion [explanation], he retired to the woods, in order that by secret and fervent prayer he might obtain of a merciful God, wisdom to enable him to judge for himself. The result was that he obtained revelations for himself sufficient to convince him of the truth of our assertions to him, and on the fifteenth day of that same month in which we had been baptized and ordained, Oliver Cowdery baptized him; and he returned to his father's house greatly glorifying and praising God, being filled with the Holy Spirit.-Not many days afterwards my brother Hyrum Smith came to us to enquire [inquire] concerning these things, when, at his earnest request, I enquired [inquired] of the Lord through the Urim and Thummim, and received for him the following:
Revelation given to Hyrum Smith,
Harmony, Susquehannah co. Penn. May, 1829.
A great and marvellous [marvelous] work is about to come forth among the children of men: behold I am God and give heed to my word, which is quick and powerful, sharpor [sharper]
than a two edged sword, to the dividing asunder of both joints and marrow: therefore, give heed unto my word.
Behold the field is white already to harvest, therefore, whoso desireth to reap let him thrust in his sickle with his might, and reap while the day lasts, that he may treasure up for his soul everlasting salvation in the kingdom of God; yea; whosoever will thrust in his sickle and reap, the same is called of God: therefore, if you will ask of me you shall receive: if you will knock it shall be opened unto you.
Now as you have asked, behold I say unto you, keep my commandments, and seek to bring forth and establish the cause of Zion. Seek not for riches but for wisdom, and behold the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto you, and then shall you be made rich; behold he that hath eternal life is rich.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, even as you desire of me, so shall it be done unto you: and, if you desire you shall be the means of doing much good in this generation. Say nothing but repentence [repentance] unto this generation. Keep my commandments, and assist to bring forth my work according to my commandments, and you shall be blessed.
Behold thou hast a gift, or thou shalt have a gift if thou wilt desire of me in faith, with an honest heart, believing in the power of Jesus Christ, or in my power which speaketh unto thee: for behold it is I that speaketh: behold I am the light that shineth in darkness, and by my power I give these words unto thee.
And now verily, verily I say unto thee, put your trust in that Spirit which leadeth to do good: yea, to do justly; to walk humbly; to judge righteously; and this is my Spirit.
Verily, verily I say unto you, I will impart unto you of my Spirit, which shall enlighten your mind, which shall fill your soul with joy, and then shall ye know, or by this shall you know, all things whatsoever you desire of me, which is pertaining unto things of righteousness, in faith believing in me that you shall receive.
Behold I command you, that you need not suppose that you are called to preach until you are called: wait a little longer, until you shall have my word, my rock, my church, and my gospel, that you may know of a surety my doctrine; and then behold, according to your desires, yea, even according to your faith, shall it be done unto you.
Keep my commandments; hold your peace; appeal unto my Spirit: yea, cleave unto me with all your heart, that you may assist in bringing to light those things of which have been spoken: yea, the translation of my work: be patient until you shall accomplish it.
Behold this is your work, to keep my commandments: yea, with all your might, mind, and strength: seek not to declare my word, but first seek to obtain my word, and then shall your tongue be loosened: then, if you desire, you shall have my Spirit, and my word: yea, the power of God unto the convincing of men: but now hold your peace; study my word which hath gone forth among the children of men: and also study my word which shall come forth among the children of men; or that which is now translating: yea, until you have obtained all which I shall grant unto the children of men in this generation; and then shall all things be added thereunto.
Behold thou art Hyrum, my son; seek the kingdom of God and all things shall be added according to that which is just. Build upon my rock, which is my gospel, deny not the spirit of revelation, nor the spirit of prophecy, for wo unto him that denieth these things: therefore, treasure up in your hearts until the time which is in my wisdom, that you shall go forth: behold I speak unto all who have good desires, and have thrust in their sickles to reap.
Behold I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God: I am the life and the light of the world: I am the same who came unto my own, and my own received me not: but verily, verily I say unto you, that as many as receiveth me, them will I give power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on my name. Amen.
RIOTS IN IRELAND.-At Ennis, on the 8th, a mob consisting of some thousands of persons, attacked the corn store and mill of the Messrs. Bannatyne, of Ennis, for the purpose of taking provision out of them.
A letter from Galaway, dated June 14th, says: 'Nothing can exceed the dreadful excitement here at present, in consequence of the high prica [price] of provisions. During the whole of yesterday the town was perambulated by large bodies of fishermen, laborers, women and boys.
There was scarcely a store in the town in which potatoes were thought to be kept, that was not broken open. The military and poline [police] were called out to check the people, but were obliged by overwhelming numbers to retroat [retreat] to their respective barracks.
TIMES AND SEASONS.
CITY OF NAUVOO,
MONDAY, AUG. 1, 1842.
JOHN C. BENNETT.
There has always been, in every age of the church those who have been opposed to the principles of virtue, who have loved the gain of this present world, followed the principles of unrighteousness, and have been the enemies of truth; hence Paul speaks of certain brethren who "coveted the wages of this present world;" John of others whom he says "went out from us because they were not of us." Paul in writing to the Corinthian Church tells them that there is fornications among them, even, "such fornications as is not so much as named among the Gentiles; that one should have his father's wife"-that they defrauded, and that "brother went to law with brother"-that they got drunk when they met to partake of the sacrament; and that many evils existed among them. Peter in prophesying concerning the church says, "But there were false prophets among the people, even as there shall also be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and shall bring upon themselves swift destruction; and many shall follow their pernicious ways, by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spokea [spoken] of; and through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you; whose judgment of long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not." Paul in speaking of the difficulties that he had to encounter, says, "I am in perils at home, in perils among false brethren." Such is a brief history of that people; and if we examine the history of this church we shall find it much the same: those who have associated with us and made the greatest professions of friendship, have frequently been our greatest enemies and our most determined foes, if they became unpopular, if their interest or dignity was touched, or if they were detected in their iniquity; they were always the first to raise the hand of persecution, to calumniate and villify [vilify] their brethren, and to seek the downfall and destruction of their friends. In Jackson county Mo. during the first difficulties there were many like those that John speaks of, "they went out from us because they were not of us;" in Kirtland, when persecution raged, Oliver Cowdery, Warren Parrish, Jacob Bumb, and others whose course of conduct had been the most inconsistent were the first to cry out imposture, and delusion; and while some of them had been engaged in extensive frauds in the Bank, and were the principle cause of its not being able to meet its liabilities; they were the first to cry out speculation and fraud, and to try to palm their iniquities upon the unoffending and innocent; they seized hold of the popular prejudice, aided and abetted in obtaining funds for paper, fraudulently obtained by them, instituted vexatious law-suits and made themselves fat at the expense of the innocent; glutted upon the misery, ruin and distress of their brethren-but with what measure they meted it has been measured to them again.
In the State of Missouri we had our Hinkle, our Avard, Marsh, McLellin, and others who were the first to flee in time of danger-the first to tell of things that they never knew, and swear to things that they never before had heard of. They were more violent in their persecutions, more relentless and sanguinary in their proceedings, and sought with greater fury the destruction and overthrow of the Saints of God who had never injured them, but whose virtue made them blush for their crimes. All that were there remember that they were the stoutest and the loudest in proclaiming against oppression; they protested vehemently against mob and misrule, but were the first in robbing, spoiling, and plundering their brethren. Such things we have always expected; we know that the "net will gather together of every kind, good and bad," that "the wheat and tares must grow together until the harvest," and that even at the last there will be five foolish as well as five wise virgins. Daniel, in referring to the last days says, in speaking concerning the "Holy Covenant," that many shall have indignation against it, and shall obtain information from those that forsake the Holy Covenant-and the robbers of thy people shall seek to exalt themselves, but they shall fall. This we have fully proven-we have seen them try to exalt themselves, and we have seen their fall. He goes on further to state, that "many shall cleave unto them by flatteries." Such was Dr. Avard, and John C. Bennett-with the latter we have to do at the present time, and in many ef [of] the foregoing statements and prophecies we shall see his character and conduct exemplified.-He professed the greatest fidelity, and eternal friendship, yet was he an adder in the path, and a viper in the bosom. He professed to be virtuous and chaste, yet did he pierce the heart of the innocent, introduce misery and infamy
into families, reveled in voluptuousness and crime, and led the youth that he had influence over to tread in his unhallowed steps;-he professed to fear God, yet did he desecrate his name, and prostitute his authority to the most unhallowed and diabolical purposes; even to the seduction of the virtuous, and the defiling of his neighbor's bed. He professed indignation against Missouri saying, "my hand shall avenge the blood of the innocent;" yet now he calls upon Missouri to come out against the Saints, and he "will lead them on to glory and to victory."
It may be asked why it was that we would countenance him so long after being apprised of his iniquities, and why he was not dealt with long ago. To this we would answer, that he has been dealt with from time to time; when he would acknowledge his iniquity, ask and pray for forgiveness, beg that he might not be exposed, on account of his mother, and other reasons, saying, he should be ruined and undone. He frequently wept like a child, and begged like a culprit for forgiveness, at the same time promising before God and angels to amend his life, if he could be forgiven. He was in this way borne with from time to time, until forbearance was no longer a virtue, and then the first Presidency, the Twelve, and the Bishops withdrew their fellowship from him, as published in the 16th number of this paper. The church afterwards publicly withdrew their fellowship from him, and his character was published in the 17th number of this paper; since that time he has published that the conduct of the Saints was bad-that Joseph Smith and many others were adulterers, murderers, &c.-that there was a secret band of men that would kill people, &c. called Danites-that he was in duress when he gave his affidavit, and testified that Joseph Smith was a virtuous man-that we believed in and practiced polygamy-that we believed in secret murders, and aimed to destroy the government. &c. &c. As he has made his statements very public, and industriously circulated them through the country, we shall content ourselves with answering his base falsehoods and misrepresentations, without giving publicity to them, as the public are generally acquainted with them already. E. D.
At a meeting of the citizens of the city of Nauvoo held in said city at the meeting ground, July 22d 1842.
Orson Spencer Esq. was called to the chair, and Gustavus Hills was appointed clerk.
The meeting was called to order by the chairman, who stated the object of the meeting to be to obtain an expression of the public mind in reference to the reports gone abroad, calumniating the character of Pres. Joseph Smith. Gen. Wilson Law then rose and presented the following resolution.
Resolved-That, having heard that John C. Bennett was circulating many base falsehoods respecting a number of the citizens of Nauvoo, and especially against our worthy and respected Mayor, Joseph Smith, we do hereby manifest to the world that so far as we are acquainted with Joseph Smith we know him to be a good, moral, virtuous, peaceable and patriotic man, and a firm supporter of law, justice and equal rights; that he at all times upholds and keeps inviolate the constitution of this State and of the United States.
A vote was then called and the resolution adopted by a large concourse of citizens, numbering somewhere about a thousand men. Two or three, voted in the negative.
Elder Orson Pratt then rose and spoke at some length in explanation of his negative vote. Pres. Joseph Smith spoke in reply-
Question to Elder Pratt, 'Have you personally a knowledge of any immoral act in me toward the female sex, or in any other way?' Answer, by Elder O. Pratt, 'Personally, toward the female sex, I have not.'
Elder O. Pratt responded at some length. Elder B. Young then spoke in reply, and was followed by Elders Wm. Law H. C. Kimball and Pres. H. Smith. Several others spoke bearing testimony of the iniquity of those who had calumniated Pres. J. Smith's character.
Meeting adjourned for one hour.
P. M. Meeting assembled pursuant to adjournment and was called to order by the chairman.
A petition was then received from a committee appointed by the city council for the reception, approbation, and signatures of the citizens generally, petitioning the Governor of Illinois for protection in our peaceable rights, which was read approved, and signed by, 800 persons. ORSON SPENCER ESQ., Chairman.
GUSTAVUS HILLS, Clerk.
The "Ladies Relief Society," also drew up a petition signed by about one thousand Ladies speaking in the highest terms of the virtue, philanthrophy [philanthropy], and benevolence of Joseph Smith; begging that he might not be injured, and that they and their families might have the privilege of enjoying their peaceable rights. A petition was also drawn up by many citizens in, and near Nauvoo, who were not Mormons, setting forth the same things.
AFFIDAVIT OF THE CITY COUNCIL.
We the undersigned, members of the city council of the City of Nauvoo, testify that
John C. Bennett was not under duress at the time that he testified before the city council May 19th 1842 concerning Joseph Smith's innocence, virtue, and pure teaching-his statements that he has lately made concerning this matter are false,-there was no excitement at the time, nor was he in anywise threatened menaced or intimidated, his appearance at the city council was voluntary, he asked the privilege of speaking, which was granted, after speaking for some time on the city affairs, Joseph Smith asked him if he knew any thing bad concerning his public, or private character; he then delivered those statements contained in the testimony voluntarily, and of his own free will, and went of his own accord as free as any member of the council.
We do further testify that there is no such thing as a Danite Society in this city nor any combination, other than the Masonic Lodge, of which we have any knowledge.
WILSON LAW GEO A. SMITH,
JOHN TAYLOR, GEO W. HARRIS,
W. WOODRUFF, N. K. WHITNEY,
VINSON KNIGHT, BRIGHAM, YOUNG,
H. C. KIMBALL, CHARLES C, RICH,
JOHN P. GREEN, ORSON SPENCER,
Subscribed, and sworn to, by the persons whose names appear to the foregoing affidavit, this 20th day of July, A. D. 1842; except N. K. Whitney, who subscribed and affirmed to the foregoing this day, before me
DANIEL H. WELLS,
Justice of the Peace, within and for Hancock County, Illinois.
AFFIDAVIT OF HYRUM SMITH.
On the seventeenth day of may, 1842, having been made acquainted with some of the conduct of John C. Bennett, which was given in testimony under oath before Alderman G. W. Harris, by several females, who testified that John C. Bennett endeavored to seduce them and accomplished his designs by saying it was right; that it was one of the mysteries of God, which was to be revealed when the people was strong enough in the faith to bear such mysteries-that it was perfectly right to have illicit intercourse with females, providing no one knew it but themselves, vehemently trying them from day to day, to yield to his passions, bringing witnesses of his own clan to testify that their [there] was such revelations and such commandments, and that it was of God; also stating that he would be responsible for their sins, if their was any; and that he would give them medicine to produce abortions, providing they should become pregnant. One of these witnesses, a married woman that he attended upon in his professional capacity, whilst she was sick, stated that he made proposals to her of a similar nature; he told her that he wished her husband was dead, and that if he was dead he would marry her and clear out out with her; he also begged her permission to give him medicine to that effect; he did try to give him medicine, but he would not take it-on interogating [interrogating] her what she thought of such teaching, she replied, she was sick at the time, and had to be lifted in and out of her bed like a child. Many other acts as criminal were reported to me at the time. On becoming acquainted with these facts, I was determined to prosecute him, and bring him to justice.-Some person knowing my determintion [determination], having informed him of it, he sent to me Wm. Law and Brigham Young, to request an interview with me and to see if their [there] could not be a reconciliation made. I told them I thought there could not be, his crimes were so henious [heinous]; but told them I was willing to see him; he immediately came to see me; he begged on me to forgive him, this once, and not prosecute him and expose him, he said he was guilty, and did acknowledge the crimes that were alleged against him; he seemed to be sorry that he had committed such acts, and wept much, and desired that it might not be made public, for it would ruin him forever; he wished me to wait; but I was determined to bring him to justice, and declined listening to his entreaties; he then wished me to wait until he could have an interview with the masonic fraternity; he also wanted an interview with Br. Joseph; he wished to know of me, if I would forgive him, and desist from my intentions, if he could obtain their forgiveness; and requested the privilege of an interview immediately. I granted him that privilege as I was acting as master pro. tem. at that time; he also wished an interview first with Br. Joseph; at that time Brother Joseph was crossing the yard from the house to the store and met Dr. Bennett on the way; he reached out his hand to Br. Joseph and said, will you forgive
me, weeping at the time; he said Br. Joseph, I am guilty, I acknowledge it, and I beg of you not to expose me, for it will ruin me; Joseph replied, Doctor! why are you using my name to carry on your hellish wickedness? Have I ever taught you that fornication and adultery was right, or poligamy [polygamy] or any such practices? He said you never did. Did I ever teach you any thing that was not virtuous-that was iniquitous, either in public or private? He said you never did. Did you ever know anything unvirtuous or unrighteous in my conduct or actions at any time, either in public or in private? he said, I did not; are you willing to make oath to this before an Alderman of the city? he said I am willing to do so. Joseph said Dr. go into my office, and write what you can in conscience subscribe your name to, and I will be satisfied-I will, he said, and went into the office, and I went with him and he requested pen ink and paper of Mr. Clayton, who was acting clerk in that office, and was also secretary pro. tem. for the Nauvoo Lodge U. D. Wm. Clayton gave him paper, pen and ink, and he stood at the desk and wrote the following article which was published in the 11th No. of the Wasp; sworn to and subscribed before Daniel H. Wells, Alderman, 17th day of May, A. D. 1842; he called in Br. Joseph, and read it to him and asked him if that would do, he said it would, he then swore to it as before mentioned; the article was as follows:
STATE OF ILLINOIS, }
CITY OF NAUVOO. } Personally appeared before me, Daniel H. Wells, an Alderman of said city of Nauvoo, John C. Bennett, who being duly sworn according to law, deposeth and saith: that he never was taught any thing in the least cantrary [contrary] to the strictest principles of the Gospel, or of virtue, or of the laws of God, or man, under any occasion either directly or indirectly, in word or deed, by Joseph Smith; and that he never knew the said Smith to countenance any improper conduct whatever, either in public or private; and that he never did teach to me in private that an illegal illicit intercourse with females was, under any circumstances, justifiable, and that I never knew him so to teach others.
JOHN C. BENNETT.
Sworn to, and subsceibed [subscribed], before me, this 17th day of May, 1842.
DANIEL H. WELLS,
During all this intercourse, I was present with him, and there was no threats used, nor harshness, every thing was as pacific as could be under existing circumstances. I then immediately convened the Masonic lodge, it being about four o'clock P. M. He then came into the lodge and charges of a similar nature were preferred against him. He admitted they were true, in the presence of about sixty in number. He arose and begged the privilege of speaking to the brethren; he acknowledged his wickedness; and begged for the brethren to forgive still longer, and he called God and angels to witness that he never would be guilty of the like crimes again-he would lay his hand on the Bible and sware [swear] that he would not be guilty of such crimes. He seemed to be very penitent and wept much; his penitence excited sympathy in the minds of the brethren, and they withdrew the charge for the time being, until he could be heard on other charges which had been preferred against him by members of the Pickaway Lodge, of Ohio, through the communications of the Grand Master, A. Jonas. After this we found him to be an expelled mason, in consequence of his rascally conduct from the Pickaway Lodge, in Ohio; the circumstances and documents were mentioned in the 11th No. of the Wasp, signed by George Miller, Master of Nauvoo Lodge, under dispensation, and reads as follows:
To all whom it may concern, GREETING.--
Whereas John Cook Bennett, in the organization of the Nauvoo Lodge, under dispensation, palmed himself upon the fraternity as a regular Mason, in good standing; and satisfactory testimony having been produced before said Lodge, that he, said Bennett, was an expelled Mason, we therefore publish to all the Masonic world, the above facts, that he, the said Bennett, may not impose himself upon the fraternity of Masons.
All Editors who are friendly to the fraternity of free and accepted ancient
York Masons will please insert the above.
Master of Nauvoo Lodge,
Still after all this we found him guilty of similar crimes again, and it was found to our satisfaction that he was conspiring against the peace and safety of the citizens of this state--after learning these facts we exposed him to the public; he then immediately left the place abruptly; threatening to drink the hearts blood of many citizens of this place. Previous to this last disclosure, the hand of fellowship was withdrawn from him, May 11th, 1842, by the first presidency, six days previous to the time he pretended to withdraw from the church, which you will see published in the Times and Seasons, June 15th, 1842, I was also present at the time when he gave this testimony before the City Council, as printed in the Times and Seasons, July 1st, 1842, on page 841 which reads as follows:
Dr. John C. Bennett, ex-Mayor, was then called upon by the Mayor to state if he knew aught [ought] against him; when Mr. Bennett replied: "I know what I am about, and the heads of the church know what they are about I expect. I have no difficulty with the heads of the chucrh [church]. I publicly avow that any one who has said that I have stated that General Joseph Smith has given me authority to hold illicit intercourse with wome,n [women,] is a liar in the face of God, those who have said it are damned liars; they are infernal liars. He never, either in public or private, gave me any such authority or license, and any person who states it is a scoundrel and a liar. I have heard it said that I should become a second Avard by withdrawing from the church, and that I was at variance with the heads and should use an influence against them because I resigned the office of Mayor; this is false. I have no difficulty with the heads of the church, and I intend to continue with you, and hope the time may come when I may be restored to full confidence, and fellowship, and my former standing in the church; and that my conduct may be such as to warrant my restoration--and should the time ever come that I may have an opportunity to test my faith it will then be known whether I am a traitor or a true man."
Joseph Smith then asked: "Will you please state definately [definitely] whether you know any thing against my character either in public or private?"
Gen. Bennett answered: "I do not; in all my intercourse with Gen. Smith, in public and in private, he has been strictly virtuous.
Aldermen. WILSON LAW,
N. K. WHITNEY, JOHN TAYLOR,
HIRAM KIMBALL, BRIGHAM YOUNG,
ORSON SPENCER, JOHN P. GREEN,
GUST. HILLS, H. C. KIMBALL,
G. W. HARRIS. W. WOODRUFF
Councillors [Councilors]. GEO. A. SMITH.
JAMES SLOAN Recorder.
May 19th 1842.,
I know he was not under duress at the time for his testimony was given free and voluntarialy [voluntarily], after requesting the privilege of the council to speak (which was granted him,) on matters pertaining to the city ordinances, while speaking, or before he took his seat, he was requested by the Mayor of the city, Joseph Smith, to state to the council if he knew aught [ought] against him; and he replied according to the above.
I also know that he had no private intercourse with Joseph in the preperation [preparation] room on the 17th day, as he stated in his letter as printed in the Sangamo Journal, for the lodge was convened on that day, and I had the keys of the doors in my possession from 7 o'clock A. M. until 6 o'clock P. M. and it was when the lodge called off for refreshment during recess, that I had the interview with him, at which time he wrote the affidavit and subscribed it in my presence, and I was with him during the whole time from his first coming to me, until he signed it and until the lodge convened again at 4 o'clock.
Sworn to, and subscribed, before me July 23, 1842.
GEO W. HARRIS,
Alderman of the city of Nauvoo.
AFFIDAVIT OF WM. LAW.
As. John C. Bennett has become our open enemy, and is engaged in circulating falsehoods of the blackest character, I deem it duty to make the following statement of facts:
John C. Bennett states in the Sangamo
Journal that the withdrawal of the hand of fellowship by the first Presidency, and the Twelve, was after he had withdrawn from the church. I presume the notice of our withdrawal was not published till after he withdrew, but that does not prove his statement true, for I hereby testify that I signed the article in qnestion [question] several days before he withdrew. I believe it was on the evening of the 11th day of May, some four or five days afterwards I had some conversation with J. C. Bennett and intimated to him that such a thing was concluded upon, which intimation I presume led him to withdraw immediately. I told him we could not bear with his conduct any longer-that there were many witnesses against him, and that they stated that he gave Joseph Smith as authority for his illicit intercourse with females. J. C. Bennett declared to me before God that Joseph Smith had never taught him such doctrines, and that he never told any one that he (Joseph Smith) had taught any such things, and that any one who said so told base lies; nevertheless, he said he had done wrong, that he would not deny, but he would deny that he had used Joseph Smith's name to accomplish his designs on any one; stating that he had no need of that, for that he could succeed without telling them that Joseph approbated such conduct.
These statements he made to me of his own free will, in a private conversation which we had on the subject; there was no compulsion or threats used on my part; we had always been on good terms, and I regretted exceedingly that he had taken such a course. He plead with me to intercede for him, assuring me that he would turn from his iniquity, and never would be guilty of such crimes again.-He said that if he were exposed it would break his mother's heart-that she was old, and if such things reached her ears it would bring her down with sorrow to the grave. I accordingly went to Joseph Smith and plead with him to spare Bennett from public exposure, on account of his mother. On many occasions I heard him acknowledge his guilt, and beg not to be destroyed in the eyes of the public, and that he would never act so again, "So help him God." From such promises, and caths [oaths], I was induced to bear with him longer than I should have done.
On one occasion I heard him state before the city Council that Joseph Smith had never taught him any unrighteous principles, of any kind, and that if any one says that he ever said that Joseph taught such things they are base liars, or words to that effect. This statement he made voluntarily; he came into the council room about an hour after the council opened, and made the statement, not under duress, but of his own free will, as many witnesses can testify.
On a former eccasion [occasion] he came to me and told me that a friend of his was about to be tried by the High Council, for the crime of adultery, and that he feared his name would be brought into question.-He entreated me to go to the council and prevent his name from being brought forward, as, said he, "I am not on trial, and I do not want my mother to hear of these things, for she is a good woman."
I would further state that I do know from the amount of evidence which stands against J. C. Bennett, and from his own acknowledgements [acknowledgments], that he is a most corrupt, base, and vile man; and that he has published many base falsehoods since we withdrew the hand of fellowship from him.
About the time that John C. Bennett was brought before the Masonic Lodge he came to me and desired that I would go in company with B. Young, to Hyrum Smith, and entreat of him to spare him-that he wished not to be exposed-that he wanted to live as a private citizen, and would cease from all his folly, &c. I advised him to go to Texas, and when he returned, if he would behave well we would reinstate him. He said he had no means to take him to Texas, and still insisted on B. Young and myself to intercede for him.
Sworn to, and subscribed before me a Justice of the Peace, within and for the county of Hancock, State of Illinois, July 20th 1842.
DANIEL H. WELLS.
STATE OF ILLINOIS, }
COUNTY OF HANCOCK. } I hereby certify that on the 17th day of May last John C. Bennett subscribed and swore to the affidavit over my signature of that date, and published in the Wasp, after writing the same in my presence, in the office where I was employed in taking depositions of witnesses. The door of the room was open and free for all or any person to pass or repass. After signing and being qualified to the affidavit aforesaid, he requested to speah [speak] with me at the door; I followed him out-he told me some persons had been lying about him and showed me a writing granting him the
privilege to withdraw from the church, and remarked that the matter was perfectly understood between him and the heads of the church; and that he had resigned the Mayor's office and should resign the office he held in the Legion, but as there was a court martial to be held in a few days Joseph Smith desired that he would wait until that was over.
I was in the City Council on the 19th day of May last-I there heard him say what has been published concerning the teachings of Joseph Smith, and of his own course. I afterwards met him in company with Col. Francis M. Higbee, he then stated that he was going to be the candidate, (meaning candidate for the Legislature) and Joseph and Hyrum Smith were going in for him: said "you know it will be better for me not to be bothered with Mayor's office, Legion, Mormon, or any thing else." During all this time if he was under duress, or fear, he must have had a good faculty for concealing it, for he was at liberty to go and come when and where he pleased, so far as I am capable of judging. I know that I saw him in different parts of the city, even after he had made these statements, transacting business as usual, and said he was going to complete some business pertaining to the Mayor's office; and I think did attend to work on the streets.
I was always personally friendly with him, after I became acquainted with him. I never heard him say any thing derogatory to the character of Joseph Smith, until after he had been exposed by said Smith, on the public stand in Nauvoo.
DANIEL H. WELLS
July 22, A. D. 1842.
Sworn to, and subscribed before me a Justice of the Peace, in and for the City of Nauvoo, in said county, this 22d day of July, 1842.
GUSTAVUS HILLS, (L. S.)
J. P. & Alderman.
Daniel H. Wells, Esq., is an old resident in this place, and is not a Mormon.
The whole of these affidavits are given by gentlemen of the first respectibility [respectability], of unquestionable character, and of known reputation and veracity, and can of course be relied upon; and what light do they represent Bennett in, but that of a perjured wretch, a graceless vagabond, and a mean, vascillating [vacillating], unprincipled villian [villain], and a disgrace to human society; and if their testimonies, and the testimony of the City Council, cannot be relied upon, then indeed are we in a poor case;-corrupt, fallen, and dishonored,-But John C. Bennett is not the man to prove us so; we must have different testimony to his, and that of his partners in crime, to convict us of evil.
As John C. Bennett and the Sangamo Journal have called upon several persons, in this city, to come out and make disclosures, relative to the things about which they have been writing; they have responded to the call, and publish the following:-
CERTIFICATE OF ELIAS AND F. M. HIGBEE.
Sir, From a perusal of the St. Louis papers, I find from an article signed J. C. Bennett, stating that all who are friends to Mr. Joseph Smith he considers his enemies:-as a matter of course then, I must be one, for I am and have been for a long time the personal friend of Joseph Smith; and I will here say that I have never yet seen or known any thing against him that I should change my mind. It is true many reports have been and are put in circulation by his enemies for political or religious effect, that upon investigation are like the dew before the morning sun, vanish away, because there is no real substance in them.
Could Dr. Bennett expect any man acquainted with all the circumstances, and matters of fact which were developed both here and from abroad, respecting his conduct and character, previous to his leaving this place, for one moment to believe him-I answer NO! he could not. And all his affidavits, that came from any person entitled to credit, (I say entitled to credit, because some there are who are not entitled to credit, as Dr. Bennett very well knows) are in amount nothing at all, when summed up, and render no person worthy of death or bonds.
F. M. Higbee's knowledge concerning the murder of a prisoner in Missouri, I am authorized to say, by F. M. Higbee that he knows of no such thing--that no prisoner was ever killed in Missouri, to the best of his knowledge. And I also bear the same testimony, that there never was any prisoner killed there, neither were we ever charged with any such thing, according to the best of my recollection.
July 22, 1842.
This is to certify that I do not know of the murder of any prisoner in Missouri, as above alluded to. F. M. HIGBEE.
July, 22, 1842.
CERTIFICATE OF MISS PAMELA M. MICHAEL.
Nauvoo, July 25, 1842.
Inasmuch as J. C. Bennett has referred the people to me for testimony against Pres. Joseph Smith, I take this opportunity to state before the public that I know nothing derogatory to his character, either as a christian, or a moral man.
Mr. Bennett made use of my name without my knowledge or consent. PAMELA A. MICHAEL.
CERTIFICATE OF SIDNEY RIGDON.
As there seems to be some foolish notions that I have been engaged with J. C. Bennett, in the difficulties between him and some of the citizens of this place, I merely say in reply to such idle and vain reports that they are without foundation in truth. SIDNEY RIGDON.
CERTIFICATES OF WILLIAM AND HENRY MARKS.
Inasmuch as John C. Bennett has called upon me through the Sangamo Journal to come out and confirm the statements which he has made concerning Joseph Smith and others, I take this opportunity of saying to the public, that I know many of his statements to be false, and that I believe them all to be the offspring of a base and corrupt heart, and without the least shadow of truth, and further that he has used my name without my permission. I believe him to be a vile and wicked adulterous man, who pays no regard to the principles of truth or righteousness, and is unworrhy [unworthy] the confidence of a just community. I would further state that I know of no Order in the Church which admits of a plurality of wives, and do not believe that Joseph Smith ever taught such a doctrine, and further, that my faith in the doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and in Joseph Smith, is unshaken.
Nauvoo, July 26, 1842.
Inasmuch as the Sangamo Journal has called upon me to come out and make an expose against Joseph Smith; this is to certify that I know nothing derogatory to the character of Joseph Smith, neither in a religious or a moral point of view; and that Doctor Bennett and the Journal used my name without my knowledge or consent; and further that I believe Doctor Bennett to be a bad man and unworthy of public confidence.
Nauvoo, July 28, 1842.
Mr. Bennett seems to place much confidence in the veracity, integrity and honor of the above individuals, we hope that he will now believe their testimony.
The readers of the Times and Seasons are probably aware that all those articles signed "Joab General in Israel," are from the pen of the Doctor; we will therefore compare some of his last acts with his present proceedings.-We wonder whether he was in duress when he made the following.
BENNETT AS HE WAS.
How a man can talk with the 'livery of heaven on to serve the devil in.'
From the Times and Seasons, Oct. 1840.
'Fudge! We repeat, Smith and Rigdon should not be given up. The law requiring the Governor of our State to deliver up fugitives from justice, is a salutary and wise one, and should not in ordinary circumstances be disregarded, but as there are occasions that authorize the citizens of a State to resent a tyranical [tyrannical] and oppressive government, so there are occasions when it is not only the privilege, but the duty of the Governor of the State to refuse to surrender the citizens of his State upon the requisition of the Executive of another,-and this we consider as the case of Smith and Rigdon.'-Quincy Whig.
The foregoing article, from the pen of the editor of the Quincy Whig, reflects great credit on the head and heart of the writer. The sentimets [sentiments] it contains are liberal, noble, just-the offspring of wisdom and understanding. It completely uses up the Uncircnmcised [Uncircumcised] Philistians [Philistines] of Missouri, and places the Mormon people just where they have ever taken shelter-under the broad folds of the Constitution-and I, therefore, commend it to the favorable consideration of all the saints of light. The grievances of this people must be redressed, and my hands shall help to do it-should they have to reach to the highest courts of heaven, dig to the lowest bowels of hell, or encompass the broad expanse of the universe of God, to consumate [consummate] so desirable a result.
General in Israel.'
From the Sangamo Journal.
BENNETT AS HE IS.
ST. LOUIS, Mo. July 15th, 1842.
To the Editor of the Journal:
I have published in the Bulletin of this city a detailed account of the attempted assassination of Governor Boggs, by Smith; and in a subsequent number, the full statement of Miss Brotherton, both of which you will please to copy, as they are of much interest at this time. The cases of Mrs. Pratt, Miss Rigdon, and Miss Brotherton, all ladies of the first order of talents, and the highest respectability, are precisely similar. In all these cases the ARCH SEDUCER, and his Apostles, were signally repulsed: but in hundreds of other cases, they succeeded to their hearts' content in their black hearted work of deep degradation, corruption and sorrow.
ALL who now remain in the church must be regarded as particeps criminis in the new doctrine;-their wives defiled, their daughters debauched, their sisters outraged, and their mothers poluted [polluted]!!! Can men who have a just sense of honor, and their duty to themselves and their families, longer follow a base deceiver and teacher of such a system of licentiousness and debauchery, such as is Jo Smith? They cannot without being partakers with him in his hellish deeds. The "HISTORY OF THE SAINTS," which I am about to publish, will develope [develop] wonders.
- * * * * * * * * *
I told you before, however, that the most of the Mormons would do, say, and swear to ANY THING that Joe Smith directed; and you now see it. Are you not now satisfied that most of them (tho' there are some purely honest in all these things who are kept in ignorance,) are liars, thieves, robbers, murderers, and every thing that is vile, low and grovelling [groveling]. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
JOHN C. BENNETT.
BENNETT AS HE WAS.
From the Times and Seasons, Feb. 1, 1842.
I stood on Mount Zion, by the Temple of the Great King, and looked down through the vista of time, and saw people like great waters, for they were many-gathered from all nations under the whole heavens: and I saw mighty chieftains upon noble steeds, and armies of chariots and horsemen, and strong cohorts of footmen, great and terrible, with spears and banners, and the implements of war, forming to the sound of the clarion. And a great shout was heard in the camp of the saints, and a voice, like the sound of a mighty trumpet, saying-Go and possess your inheritances, and avenge the wrongs of your progenitors-and the battle was set in array, and the armies of the saints moved forward, attended by thunder and hail, and fire and storm, conquering and to conquer. And the armies of the aliens tremble at the voice, like Belshazzar at the hand writing on the wall-and the hearts of their great warriors, and valiant men, fainted within them, and they fled like grasshoppers, and were consumed like stubble before the devouring flame. The plains were bleached with the bones of the slain, and the rivers flowed with blood. The fierce anger of the Lord returned not until he had done, nor until he had performed the intents of his heart.]
General in Israel.
Dr. Bennett professed then to be a good and a virtuous man; to feel indignant at oppression, and ready to step forward in defence [defense] of the innoecnt [innocent], the injured, and oppressed. How has the scene changed! and how truly he figures in the character of an apostate.
From the Times and Seasons, March 15, 1842.
"Let the friends of freedom arise and utter their voice, like the voice of ten thousand thunders-let them take every constitutional means to procure a redress of grievances-let there be a concerted effort, and the victory is ours. Let the broad banners of freedom be unfurled, and soon the prison doors will be opened, the captive set at liberty, and the oppressed go free. Missouri will then remember the unoffending Mormons in the days of their captivity and bondage-when murder and rapine were her darling attributes-why, my heart is filled with indignation, and my blood boils within me, when I contemplate the vast injustice and cruelty which Missouri has meted out to that great philanthropist and devout Christian, General Joseph Smlth [Smith], and his honest and faithful adherents-the Latter Day Saints, or Mormons:"
In regard to all these matters, if Bennett alone was concerned we should have considered him altogether beneath our notice, and would have treated his communications with silent contempt; his abominable transactions are too well known in this city for him to obtain any credence whatever; but as there are many political demagogues who have heralded these things forth to the world for political effect in the coming election, we therefore deem it a duty that we owe to ourselves, and to the public, to disabuse the public mind, and state matters of fact as they are in the above disclosures.
If an ordinance had not been passed in this city prohibiting brothels and disorderly houses, and assessing a fine upon the frequenters of such places, perhaps the Doctor and some of his satellites might have considered this to be a paradise yet; and the 'Zion of God;' we noticed that he squirmed very much at its passage, but as he was always so virtuous a man of course it would not do for him to oppose it;-we must confess that we have no fellowship with such unfruitful works of darkness: and it is an opposition to this, and other acts of iniquity, that has brought out their "wonderful disclosures."-In regard to all his witnesses, they are all exploded; but one or two of known ill fame; of course their proceedings or testimony are of no amount against us, nor would it be of any use if in our favor.
The Doctor has called upon many, as is fully proven, without authority, as their affidavits, and testimony demonstrate. As he has failed in this, we would respond to the call of Mr. Bennett, and the Sangamo Journal, for all men to come forward and testify to all that they know; we shrink not from investigation into all our acts, public or private, and are prepared to substantiate truths, and to rebut falsehoods. Delicacy has prevented us from publishing much testimony that has come before us, but
if necessity requires, of course it must come out.
And in regard to the proceedings of the Sangamo Journal, we know that the editor of that paper looks upon Bennett as a villian [villain]; his own publications shew [show] this; and he has condescended to act the hypocrite, and make a political cat's-paw of him, in the present crisis. "Oh shame where is thy blush?"
OPINIONS OF THE PRESS.
It will probably be understood that Dr. Bennett went to St. Louis in order to stir up an excitement, and if possible, to create a mob by publishing his awful disclosures, and lecturing against Mormonism, and if not, he expected to make a few shillings by the sale of published detraction and falsehood. The following will shew [show] how far he succeeded in St. Louis:-
From the St. Louis Gazette.
"We perceive by a letter to the editor of the Bulletin, that Gen. Bennett, the great seceder, is about to visit the east for the purpose of publishing a "HISTORY OF THE SAINTS." As he does not state to what part of the east he is going, we suppose he intends visiting Jerusalem, as that is the most likely place to obtain information concerning these "Saints." What a precious set of saints they are from his showing up. He says:
'The letter from Miss Brotherton, details a case of black-hearted villainly [villainy] precisely similar to these of Mrs. Sarah M. Pratt, wife of Prof. Orson Pratt, and Miss Nancey Rigdon, daughter of Sidney Rigdon, as noticed in the Sangamo Journal, and hundreds of others that might be named-it speaks for itself.'
We think it does. Oh, the villians [villains]! 'and a hundred others,' only think of it. A great deal of money has been made by the sale of documents and papers, pretending to give accounts of the Latter Day Saints. Now unless Gen. B. can give some information to the proper authorities, whereby the deeds of these men can be exposed, we are entirely opposed to the publication of any books on this subject. Our country is flooded with enough of such humbugs. We want no more of them. You can scarcely pass an auction stand or pedler's [peddler's] case without seeing in staring colors- "Awful Disclosures," &c. Now we say again, if they have been guilty of any crimes, and Gen. B. must have been privy to the facts, he can bring them to justice by turning State's evidence."
(->) The Gazette is entitled to our thanks for his liberality and patriotic course towards Dr. Bennett, and the Mormons. If editors generally would act thus legally and wise, such catch pennies as Bennett, Harris, and about ninety-nine others, would find their common level in their own infamy.
The following from the Missouri Reporter, shows Bennett's decline in the western market. It is reported that Greenbush N. Y. has to be smutted with his dust among other unfortunate places.
"THE MORMONS.-We understand that General Bennett, formerly of the Nauvoo Legion, is now in this city, with the intention of making such disclosures as will show what part Jo Smith, the Mormon Prophet, took in the recent attempt to assassinate ex-Governor Boggs, of this State. Gen. Bennett, Sidney Rigdon, and Gen. Robinson have lately quarreled with Jo Smith, and have since publicly charged him with the perpetration of the grossest frauds and crimes. If the Mormon Prophet has really been guilty of the offences [offenses] now imputed to him, we sincerely trust that he will meet with condign punishment. We must confess, however, that we place no great confidence in the statements of Bennett, Rigdon & Co. They have been active and prominent men at Nauvoo, and must have been aware of any villanies [villainies] which may have been practised [practiced] by the Prophet for a number of years. They have remained silent during all that period, and suffered their leader to impose upon his deluded followers without making known to them how grossly they were deceived. If Bennett had appeared before the public under more favorable circumstances, we might have been induced to give some credit to his pretended disclosures. He has been ruled out of the Church of the Saints, and stripped of his power and office, and it may be that he is now endeavoring to glut his revenge upon the Prophet.
From the Bostonian.
RIGHT. The papers from one end of the country to the other are rejoicing in prospect of a split in the ranks of the Mormons at Nauvoo. The story runs, that, "Major General John C. Bennett, is about making an expose of Jo Smith and the Mormons." The facts are these: John C. Bennett went among the Mormons and professed their religion. Great confidence was placed in him by the people, and several high offices were given him, among
which was Mayor of Nauvoo, General of the Nauvoo Legion, &c. &c. Bennett was soon found to be guilty of gross improprieties: such as living in open fornication, &c. for which he was frequently reasoned with by the brethren, but all to no effect. He was threatened but it done no good. Finding all remonstrance in vain, and having their name and religion frequently sneered at on this account, the "Quorum of the Twelve" excommunicated him for his wickedness. They done perfectly right, and if all our churches would mete out the same reward to backsliders, there would not be half the scoffers and revilers of religion there now is.
G. W. ROBINSON.
Having noticed in the Quincy Whig of last week an article written by G. W. Robinson of this place stating that he does not consider himself any longer a member of this church, that the church will not allow him to withdraw; and that certain scandalous attacks have been made against him by the saints; for what he knows not, except it is to make a scape goat of him to carry away their sins-the sins of whom he has not said. We world [would] briefly reply to his remarks.
In the first place we would state that we have no such law or statute prohibiting persons withdrawing from the church; but believe that all men are free and can do as they please, so Mr. Robinson will learn that he is in no bondage in this respect. In regard to the scandalous attacks that have been made against him and others we would state that if telling the truth is scandal we are verily guilty.
Mr. Robinson is not so ignorant of these things as he would represent, and if he would have been content to have let the exposure rest where his delinquencies were practised [practiced], we should not have let the matter gone farther, but as he has made a parade before the public and thrown out certain inuendoes [innuendoes] pertaining to the people in this place, we publish the following;-
I, CARLOS GRANGER, Do hereby Certify, that in the Spring of 1840, I bought a quantity of land of Geo. W. Robinson, and paid him at sundry times Four hundred and Eleven Dollars leaving a residue of $39 unpaid. Having ascertained that said Robinson had sold the same tract of land to sundry persons, and received payment therefor [therefore], I tendered him the money remaining due to said Robinson, and demanded a Deed according to the stipulations of the Bond. He refused to take the $39 and comply with the Bond. He has also cut and pillaged a large quantity of timber on the land since he sold it. n [In?] fine I believe him to be a dishonest man [and?] further state that I am not a Mormon, nor ever have been, but am friendly to them. CARLOS GRANGER.
CERTIFICATE OF HORACE S. ELDRIDGE.
Having been called upon to state circumstances connected with a contract between Geo. W. Robinson and myself, I now submit such facts as occur to my mind. Somewhere about the month af [of] November, 1839, Geo. W. Robinson came to my house, in the vicinity of Indianapolis, in the State of Indiana; I told him I designed moving to Nauvoo-was desirous to be near the City-enjoy their privileges of meetings, as well as the comforts of country life. He informed me that he could suit me in a place. A bargain was struck and I paid him over $300 in hand, and was to have possession of the place on my arrival in Nauvoo, and upon my arrival ascertained that he had previously sold the same premises to Mr. Granger, and partly received the pay. Consequently my money was gone, and I had no place, and this was not all, the title bond that he made and gave me was esteemed defective, I was therefore left to do the best I could under the circumstances, either to enter into a suit at law or take up with such terms as he might prescribe. And by my importunities and the influence of my friends, I effected a settlement as I thought greatly to the prejudice of my interest.
HORACE S. ELDRIDGE.
In regard to his being a scape goat to carry the sins of others, we think that he will do pretty well if he is able to carry his own sins without fainting. We neither want Bennett to sacrifice a lamb, nor do we want a goat to carry our sins into the wilderness, we are ready to atone for our own sins and to answer for our own transgressions. We further hope that all other goats that are in our midst will pack up their sins and walk, but if when they get away they should try to pursuade [persuade] the public that they are somebody's else sins and not their own that they are packing, we may give the public information relative to the matter.
The Editor of the Quincy Whig will confer a favor by copying the foregoing.
It must be obvious to every reflecting mind that in a city comprising from ten to twelve thousand inhabitants, there must of necessity be some delinquents among them, if it were not so we should be an anomaly in the history of churches, of cities, and of the world. We make use of all prudential means, both ecclesiastical and civil, to prevent the commission of crime, and citizens from being imposed upon: in many instances we have succeeded-if in some few we should fail it cannot be thought surprising.-ED.