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aaronshaf

What did the Nauvoo Expositor lie about?

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>Did God authorize JS to be crowned King of the World?

I missed the citation on that one.  When you say, king of the world, I assume you have a citation where he was crowned the highest authority of a political kingdom at his time, is that correct?  We are talking about the king of the USA, Britian, European nations, etc. and not some spiritual kingdom.

I am very interested in your citation on that one.

Perhaps my rhetoric got ahead of me just a little there -- what I should have said was

that Smith was crowned king of the political kingdom of God, as a manifestation of

Latter Day "Israel," in a secret organization meant to eventually become the

divinely-sanctioned government of the world.

The sources closest at hand for me are these -- you can track down the source

citations by reading the texts or by doing a Google search on their key words:

"The World and the Prophet"

by Klaus Hansen -- a review of:

Nauvoo: Kingdom on the Mississippi. By Robert Bruce Flanders.

Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Summer 1966, p. 103 ff.

It is, therefore, refreshing and not a little ironic to read a book by a brilliant and objective historian, a member of the Reorganized Church, who corrects some of the discrepancies in the historical record. He has looked unflinchingly at facts which for the most part support the Utah Church: Joseph Smith did start a political kingdom of God and a Council of Fifty; he was made king over that organization; he did originate polygamy; he was the author of those new rituals which were practiced in the Nauvoo Temple-- all facts which the Reorganized Church has preferred to contradict or ignore...

See also Flanders, in his book, pp. 292-331 and Hansen, in Kingdom on the

Mississippi Revisited, pp. 62-71, esp. 67-68, where Hansen quotes from Gov.

Ford's History of Illinois, pp. 321-22:

"Joe Smith about this time conceived the idea of making himself a temporal prince as well as a spiritual leader of his people. He instituted a new and select order of the priesthood, the members of which were to be priests and kings temporarily and spiritually. These were to be his nobility, who were to be the upholders of his throne, He caused himself to be crowned and anointed king and priest, far above the rest; and he prescribed the form of an oath of allegiance to himself, which he administered to his principal followers. To uphold his pretensions to royalty, he deduced his descent by an unbroken chain from Joseph the son of Jacob, and that of his wife from some other renowned personage of Old Testament history. The Mormons openly denounced the government of the United States as utterly corrupt, and as being about to pass away, and to be replaced by the government of God, to be administered by his servant Joseph...."

and another source I had handy:

"The Road to Carthage Led West"

by Kenneth W. Godfrey

Brigham Young University Studies, Winter 1968, pp. 204-15

Antagonism toward the Mormon Prophet was further incited when it was correctly rumored, that he had been ordained "King over the Immediate House of Israel" by the Council of Fifty. 19 This action was wrongly interpreted by non-Mormons to mean that he was going to attempt to overthrow the United States government by force. (p. 212)

If you are interested in exploring the eye-witness recollections of William Marks and

Bishop Miller, I suppose we can get into those primary sources -- but, for an off-hand

remark, that was not my main point in my posting, perhaps this is enough.

Uncle Dale

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Just as possibility, might we suppose that God wished JS to take a LESS confrontive

stance with the Gentiles; a LESS intense & overwhleming (to the old citizens, at least)

Hancock Co. gathering; a MORE honest accounting of plural marriage (at least with the

common elders and other saintly monogamists); and even a LESS violent response

to the openly hostile public press?

Bushman says that JS did not like being crossed. I just think they were between a rock and a hard place with most of this. It just never let up. That does tend to make people paranoid. The one thing I do understand lying about was polygamy. I think that would have been the end of them had they admitted it. Of course, it would be much more comfortable for us had he never started it. But then I wouldn't be here.

I am really disinterested in Mormon history...but I went to a power point lecture by a man who has put together a presentation of all of the lawsuits JS endured. It was stunning and very easy to see where they had made bad decisions. I hope to get him for our FAIR conference.

Let me add, Uncle...if you have ever been involved in a start-up organization with a bunch of do-gooders who are all new at it....you would not believe the bad decisions that go on and the predators that move in.

I appreciate what you are saying --

And, in order to move out of the historical realm and into the theological realm, where

perhaps you are somewhat more comfortable -- I'll say this:

From my own experience and from the first-hand experience of close acquaintances

and friends, I know that, up until the late 1950s at least, the Reorganized LDS Church

taught that "Living Prophets" receive almost continual plenary, propositional revelation

and commandments directly and clearly from God Himself.

That is to say, in the church where I received my doctrinal training, God the Father

and God the Son reportedly micro-managed the "one true church," and all major acts

of the topmost leaders (unless they had misunderstood or were transgressing) were

direct responses to such constant, precise revelation.

Thus, if Joseph Smith, Jr. ordered that a battalion of armed para-military fighters were

to be assembled, to cross state lines, and go to "redeem Zion," in 1834, that order

was not merely 90% or 99% God's will and instruction, but a reliable 100%.

Likewise, if Joseph Smith, Jr. pressured the Nauvoo Municipal Council to destroy the

Expositor press in 1844; or if Joseph Smith III said that men of color were to be

ordained to the RLDS priesthood; those special actions were not personal prophetic

interpretations of "inspiration," but precise instructions from God, who said in the

D&C that we were to accept the living prophet's words and instructions as though

God Himself were speaking to us directly.

I have since come to disagree with that old notion of precise, plenary, propositional

revelation in latter day prophets -- and so have the top leaders of CoC. I am much

more hazy as to what is taught in LDS Sunday School these days -- so perhaps you

can help me out on that score. Or, perhaps LDS members are even allowed to hold

some individualist viewpoints on such theological tenets. Nobody ever tells me these

things.

Uncle Dale

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Perhaps my rhetoric got ahead of me just a little there -- what I should have said was

that Smith was crowned king of the political kingdom of God, as a manifestation of

Latter Day "Israel," in a secret organization meant to eventually become the

divinely-sanctioned government of the world.

And perhaps you read Klaus Hansen a bit too quickly?

Didn't Hansen also make it clear that the Council of Fifty would consist and did consist of prominent non-Mormon community leaders? (Quest for Empire, p. 62)

You may also want to read Joseph Smith and World Government by Hyrum Andrus who mentions that members of the Council of Fifty would be elected by all the people.

I also recommend the following two articles on the Council of Fifty published in BYU Studies (Winter 1980, p. 163 and Spring 1980, p. 253).

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Perhaps my rhetoric got ahead of me just a little there -- what I should have said was

that Smith was crowned king of the political kingdom of God, as a manifestation of

Latter Day "Israel," in a secret organization meant to eventually become the

divinely-sanctioned government of the world.

And perhaps you read Klaus Hansen a bit too quickly?

Didn't Hansen also make it clear that the Council of Fifty would consist and did consist of prominent non-Mormon community leaders? (Quest for Empire, p. 62)

You may also want to read Joseph Smith and World Government by Hyrum Andrus who mentions that members of the Council of Fifty would be elected by all the people.

I also recommend the following two articles on the Council of Fifty published in BYU Studies (Winter 1980, p. 163 and Spring 1980, p. 253).

Yes -- I appreciate your attempts at clarification. But, as it is, neither of us were

there in Nauvoo in 1844 to witness the "coronation" and neither of us know for certain

what JS had to say to his followers at that time. If I recall correctly, there were

actually 52 members, and two of them were not baptized LDS -- though a non-LDS,

such as Daniel H. Wells might have been as loyal to JS as some actual members. At

any rate, yes, the Council was prepared to deal with non-Saints in the interim period,

until just before Christ returned in glory to the Jackson County Temple and accepted

the crown from the hands of Joseph (or so I'm told). From about that time, forward

into the Millennium, perhaps there would be no Gentiles left on earth to be dealt with.

Now, to get back to my original point -- it does not so much matter what my interpretation

regarding the secret Council of Fifty may be -- nor even, precisely, what Smith said it

was. What I was trying to say, before being led off into source demonstrations, is that

the reaction of William Law and his followers may have mattered -- and that

their understandings (or misunderstandings) of what "King Joseph" was prepared to do

the the political arena, may have been as much a motivating factor for the establishment

of the Expositor, as was the Lawites' hostile reaction to secret polygamy.

I guess we can each read the 1844 newspaper, as well as Law's diaries, and his various

published accounts, to get a grasp of the Lawites believed. I merely offer the secret

monarchial latter day politics as one possible factor in the mix.

Uncle Dale

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Compton's assemblage of evidence is substantial and many thoughtful people find it very convincing. To dismiss evidence this strong requires real effort.

Equally amusing is that this position rejects that Smith consumated marriages, but accepts that he had an affair. Underlying most objections to Smith's polygamous marriages is a feeling that Smith was too holy and righteous to have had sex with his wives. I find it contradictory to hold that Smith was too righteous to have had sex with his wives, but unrighteous enough to have had an affair.

James Clifford Miller

[email protected]

I am re-reading Todd Comptom's book. I do not find him always convincing. Which of the 33 wives would you like to discuss. Accusing me of dismissing evidence is untrue. He did abuse the Temple Lot case by leaving out the decision of the judge. The decision of the Judge went against the very evidence you find so strong.

A concern of the RLDS side in that case was that the LDS witnesses were guilty of fraud & collusion. I am not sure fraud can be proved. But you tell me how Emily, or Eliza Partridge without marriage record could have even recalled their exact marriage date to Joseph Smith Jr.? Without somebody in the LDS leadership at the time helping them prepare they couldn't swear to anything.

I know some claimed consumnated either it happened in some of the Nauvoo cases, or they committed perjury. I know when Todd Comptom has reasons to suggest a claim of sexuality, and when he doesn't. In the case of Helen Mar KImball he admitted it was unlikely. In other cases he either admits he knows nothing, or what he found out. Where I disagree with him I say so.

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This is only a single example. The Expositor was full of such injurious statements from start to finish including repealing the city charter for Nauvoo. I ask once more, not to evade anything but to place oneself in the shoes of these people and to look at it from their point of view,

Why do you suppose that the Lawites wished to have the Illinois State Legislature

repeal the Nauvoo City Charter? The Whigs in general, and some of the Democrats

were beginning to call for repeal or ammendment, based upon problems with the

criminal justice system in Hancock County and other manifestations of problematical

provisions in the city charter. The Expositor was by no means unique in raising

this cause in the public press.

So, whose "point of view" is it, that we should here "look at?" Were ALL the Nauvoo

Mormons, both Whig (as Lyman Wight & Wm. Smith professed to be) and Democrat,

equally opposed to any legislative review and revision, for the city charter? Should

there not have been something in the way of a public debate of the issue within

Nauvoo itself, with a variety of opinions expressed, as how to proceed on the issue?

After all, the Nauvoo City Charter was reportedly drafted mostly by the arch-enemy

of the Saints, John C. Bennett -- and ramrodded through the State Legislature without

so much as a reading of the bill before either house of that body.

how would you feel if you had drained a swamp, suffered from malaria and other divers diseases while clearing the land, lived in tents (if you were one of the lucky ones), experienced deprivations, et cetera and by the sweat of your brow and the blood of your dead relatives buried nearby, built a city only to have bitter apostates pandering to the county's anti-Mormons and "old citizens of the county" to repeal the city's charter? Were the Saints about to lose their homes once again by the use of armed men/mobs?

What brings you to the conclusion that repeal of the city charter would lead to the

Mormons' losing their homes? That is what happened UNDER the continued use of

the charter -- see the history of 1845-46.

Had the charter been repealed or ammended (the latter is a more likely scenario),

the Saints would have still retained possession of their titles to real estate. They

would still have lived under the same state constitution and laws as did all of the

other inhabitants of Hancock County, and of Illinois.

Chicago, Alton, and other Illinois cities had charters -- but much less "liberal" than

that of Nauvoo, which essentially legitimized the establishment of a theocracy within

the Illinois system of state and county governments. Had the Nauvoo City Charter

been "scaled back" to the proportions of those of other Illinois cities, the criminal

justice system in Hancock County might have begun to function properly again, and

the laws of the state and ordinances of the county might have again been applied

unformly in Nauvoo, as well as in Warsaw, Carthage, etc.

The number one reason that the Mormon leadership did NOT want to see the charter

ammended, was for fear that the courts of Missouri might requisition Joseph Smith to

stand trial in Missouri, via an extradition order from the Governor of Illinois. Had

Smith consented to face the charges against him in Missouri, the Mormon leaders'

insistence upon retaining the city charter, as originally written with unique powers

for the municpal courts and Mormon Justices of the Peace, would have been moot.

And, as I've already said, the retention of the charter was one of the primary reasons

why the Mormons were eventually imposed upon, to consent to leave Illinois.

Uncle Dale

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A concern of the RLDS side in that case was that the LDS witnesses were guilty of fraud & collusion...

Why the one-sided approach to this matter?

Don't you suppose that the LDS participants in the Temple Lot Case were JUST as

concerned "that the RLDS witnesses were guilty of fraud & collusion?"

Just because the judge in the case failed to see JS's polygamy a proven fact, after

the court's examination of the LDS witnesses who had known JS personally at Nauvoo,

that does not automatically render their testimony as nothing but "fraud & collusion."

I once was called to testify in a local court, in which a judge was attempting to decide

the legallity of a restraining order a woman had obtained against her estranged

husband. I testified truthfully that I had heard and seen the husband threaten to kill

the couple's children and related vicious acts on his part. The judge decided that my

uncorroborated sworn testimony was "insufficient evidence" and disallowed the old

restraining order. That judge's decision did not make me guilty of "fraud & collusion"

with the wife and endangered children ----- or, did it?

Uncle Dale

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No -- the Nauvoo Municipal Council did NOT have the authority to close a business, in the way that the Nauvoo Expositor was destroyed. What they should have done was to have first filed a complaint, according the law, with a local court -- even with an LDS Justice of The Peace -- and then they might have taken the court order to the Expositor owners, and with this "cease and desist" sort of judgement, the office could have been closed and the press shut down under a temporary restraining edict, or some such thing. At that point either a criminal or civil case might have been brought against the Expositor owners.

I disagree. I won't dig out my Blackstone again, but according to that authority, upon which the City Council placed its reliance, the City Council did have such authority upon a finding of public nuisance. The Council made such a finding.

Whether that was a good idea is another question.

The questions of whether due process was afforded in those pre XIVth Amendment days is of some interest, but not controlling on the question of Municipalities' rights in this regard, especially our instant municipality, with its extraordinary charter.

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And, it might have helped a little, had JS asked God for the pastoral skills necessary in holding a church together, in which dissidents like his Counselor pro tem, Elder Law, felt that their concerns were not being addressed by the top leadership.

There's an old saying in the sales industry: "You can't stop stupid people from doing stupid things."

Quaere whether anything anybody could have done would have stopped the Law boys doing what they, to this kid, plainly always wanted to do.

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And, it might have helped a little, had JS asked God for the pastoral skills necessary in holding a church together, in which dissidents like his Counselor pro tem, Elder Law, felt that their concerns were not being addressed by the top leadership.

There's an old saying in the sales industry: "You can't stop stupid people from doing stupid things."

Quaere whether anything anybody could have done would have stopped the Law boys doing what they, to this kid, plainly always wanted to do.

Well, as I said, they had the authority to remove a dead cow, but not to carry private

possessions out into the street, smash and burn them. In 1848 Wilson Law gave a

sworn testimony in which he stated that private and business possessions of various

people associated with the Expositor were thus destroyed, because those items

happeend to be within the office at the time.

The City Council could have placed a guard on the office and refused to allow its

further operations until the matter was settled by due process of law.

Disposing of a private printing press, as though it were the unclaimed animal carcass,

lying in the middle of the street was an act that no court in the land, outside of Nauvoo

city limits would have upheld.

IMHO

Uncle Dale

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Disposing of a private printing press, as though it were the unclaimed animal carcass, lying in the middle of the street was an act that no court in the land, outside of Nauvoo city limits would have upheld.

Can you support this assertion?

[A] city having the power, under its charter, to abate nuisances endangering the public health and safety, may destroy property without making compensation to the owner, where the property constitutes a nuisance of that kind; -- Mayor, etc., of Savannah v. Mulligan,  22 S.E. 621 (Ga. 1895).

Unless, however, the property is first condemned as a nuisance by appropriate proceedings, its destruction will be at the peril of the municipal authorities; and, when sued for its value, the burden is upon them of showing that it was infact a nuisance, and that its destruction was really necessary to the public health and safety.  -- Id.

In the Nauvoo case the appropriate hearing was held and the press was found to be a nuisance. A solid case can, therefore, be made that the destruction of the press was justified. Of course, we can argue all day about whether or not a press can ever be a public nuisance and modern notions of the First Amendment would, in all likelihood, preclude such a find in our day. But in Joseph's day such notions were in their infancy at best.

The city counsel thought they were operating within the rights the charter granted them. I think you'd be hard pressed to prove otherwise and an appellte court would be hard pressed to censure a city council for construing its perceived powers in such a manner.

C.I.

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Well, as I said, they had the authority to remove a dead cow, but not to carry private possessions out into the street, smash and burn them.

A review of British history is in order here, especially the authority of the Barons, including but not limited to Baronial Courts, whose several bailiwicks were seized, by hook and crook, by the Crown Courts/Assizes, which broke the Barons' powers little by little more surely than any military action might have done.

(Henry II's defense of his barons to pre-emptive action against the accused was quite correct: the Church's position was the wrong one, on my view, given then prevailing systems.)

With such a heritage of pre-emptive acts by governors/landholders against those under their authority, it should hardly be a surprise that well into the XIXth Century US municipalities should deem themselves to be vested with police powers sufficient to affect the abatement of nuisances without Court involvement. Obtaining restraining orders from Courts is quite a XXth Century construct plainly foreign to early-to-mid XIXth Century sensibilities. "Due Process" in such instances was seen in (1) the City Council taking appropriate deliberative action after a finding of facts through testimony, affidavit, or otherwise and (2) in rights to suits against Cities in County Courts to the extent the City Council's acts are not covered by governmental immunity. Courts simply could not engage in prior restraining of errant Cities.

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Well, as I said, they had the authority to remove a dead cow, but not to carry private possessions out into the street, smash and burn them.

A review of British history is in order here...

Not really.

English common law has never been taken as an overriding precedent in matters of

United States constitutional law. Had the Expositor case been taken into court

and adjudicated in a proper manner, the issue would have eventually been decided

in terms of Illinois constitutional law, which was in accord with U. S. constitutional law.

England never had a "Bill of Rights" providing for freedom of speech, and even today

the government can ride roughshod over the public press in matters of "slander."

However, as you implicitly point out, the destruction of the Expositor press never

reached a point in the judicial system in which constitutional rights of free speech were

the issue. What was at issue, is whether a machine, safely stored away inside a public

dwelling, and not immediately threatening life or property (by tipping over, starting a

fire, etc.) can be declared a public nuisance, in the way that an unclaimed rotting

dead animal carcass might so be declared, removed and destroyed. It maters little

what precedents were set by city governing bodies in the Massachusetts Bay Colony,

or some such place; in that Illinois had on the books laws to protect property and

civil rights.

Your argument might be used to justify the Nauvoo City Council's right to declare

SOMETHING a public nuisance, but not so far as to justify the Council's authority to

declare ANYTHING a public nuisance. As a "thumbnail" test of this precept, we

might look to all other cases in which city councils declared printing presses such a

public nuisance, and thereafter ordered and oversaw their destruction. I'll let you

prepare the summary of such precedents after the establishment of the United

States, if you so wish.

1837altn.jpg

1837 destruction and burning of the Observer press at Alton

But, for a more simple illustration -- suppose that you initiated the "slander," that I

had been beating my wife, and you sent out xeroxed copies of your statement to

that effect. It may well be, that some local governing body ASSUMED that it therefore

had the authority to destroy the Xerox copier you had made use of. Such a "council"

might even point to special provisions granted it under Indian tribal law, or in the

Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas compact, or under English common law, etc.

Do you truly believe that any court in the land would uphold such a governing body

destroying that Xerox machine, (based upon the probability that you would again

make use of it in spreading your slanderous assaults upon my good name)?

I doubt it.

Willard Richards. John Taylor and others gave Joseph some bad legal advice in this

matter. Had he gotten down on his knees and prayed to God for guidance at that

critical moment, perhaps cooler heads in the Council would have prevailed and my

ancestors would not have later been forced across the frozen river at gunpoint, into

the wilds of Iowa and points west.

Uncle Dale

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A concern of the RLDS side in that case was that the LDS witnesses were guilty of fraud & collusion...

Why the one-sided approach to this matter?

Don't you suppose that the LDS participants in the Temple Lot Case were JUST as

concerned "that the RLDS witnesses were guilty of fraud & collusion?"

Just because the judge in the case failed to see JS's polygamy a proven fact, after

the court's examination of the LDS witnesses who had known JS personally at Nauvoo,

that does not automatically render their testimony as nothing but "fraud & collusion."

I once was called to testify in a local court, in which a judge was attempting to decide

the legallity of a restraining order a woman had obtained against her estranged

husband. I testified truthfully that I had heard and seen the husband threaten to kill

the couple's children and related vicious acts on his part. The judge decided that my

uncorroborated sworn testimony was "insufficient evidence" and disallowed the old

restraining order. That judge's decision did not make me guilty of "fraud & collusion"

with the wife and endangered children ----- or, did it?

Uncle Dale

Joseph Noble had claimed under oath in the Temple Lot case to have knowledge of the location of Louisa Beaman, and Joseph's honey-moon. It's always possible he could have made it up. But it's also possible it happened without sufficient evidence to back it up. I hesitate to use the word fraud because the event may, or may not have happened. But if it didn't happen he was guilty of fraud.

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Disposing of a private printing press, as though it were the unclaimed animal carcass, lying in the middle of the street was an act that no court in the land, outside of Nauvoo city limits would have upheld.

Can you support this assertion?

I can only support it in the same way that I can support my assertion that I will

see the sun appear in the east tomorrow morning -- because that is the way it is;

or, to be more specific, I know of no other possibility. Do you truly suppose that

the Council's actions could have been challenged throughout the Illinois court

system, and upon each appeal that the Mormons would have won their case?

If that is your guess, first take a look at what Governor Ford had to say to JS on

this matter (recalling that Ford had just recently left the Illinois Supreme Court to

become governor, as was considered an informed top jurist in the state):

I now express to you my opinion that your conduct in the destruction of the press was a very gross outrage upon the laws and the liberties of the people. It may have been full of libels, but this did not authorize you to destroy it.

There are many newspapers in this state which have been wrongfully abusing me for more than a year, and yet such is my regard for the liberty of the press and the rights of a free people in a republican government that I would shed the last drop of my blood to protect those presses from any illegal violence. You have violated the Constitution in at least four particulars. You have violated that part of it which declares that the printing presses shall be free, being responsible for the abuse thereof, and that the truth may be given in evidence.

page 535

This article of the Constitution contemplates that the proprietors of a libelous press may be sued for private damages, or may be indicted criminally, and that upon trial they should have the right to give the truth in evidence. In this case the proprietors had no notice of the proceeding.

The Constitution also provides that the people shall be protected against unreasonable searches and seizures of their property and "That no man shall be deprived of life, liberty or property, except by the judgment of his peers (which means a jury trial) and the law of the land," which means due process of law and notice to the accused.

You have also violated the Constitution and your own charter in this: Your Council, which has no judicial powers, and can only pass ordinances of a general nature, have undertaken to pass judgment as a court and convict without a jury a press of being libelous and a nuisance to the city.

As I said to USU78, just because the Nauvoo Municipal Council felt that it had the

right under its city charter to declare SOMETHING a nuisance, and then to remove

and destroy it; that supposed authority certainly did not extend to the Council being

authorized to declare ANYTHING a nuisance, and then to remove and destroy it. In

the case of the Expositor, the Council operated under the assertion that the

press had been printing lies, libel, and slander -- but their ordinance banning such

publication only came three days AFTER the first issue of the Expositor had

appeared. This is rather like a court convicting you of speeding, by driving at 40 mph

in an unmarked, open stretch of highway, and then, AFTER your conviction, passing

a law to uphold the conviction. Not only would such actions be ex post facto,

law-making, they would dispense of the separation between the legislative and

judicial branches of government.

How did the City Council KNOW that the Expositor had printed lies, libel, and

slander? It appears that the councilors decided this off the tops of their own heads,

and then passed a city ordinance banning such activities, and then enforced their

ordinance (over the objections of Councilor B. Warrington, who felt the Council was

overreaching its authority) -- not by impounding the press and having a court

decide the matter, but by dictatorially destroying practically everything within the

Expositor office, that could be carried out into the street, smashed and burned.

[A] city having the power, under its charter, to abate nuisances endangering the public health and safety, may destroy property without making compensation to the owner, where the property constitutes a nuisance of that kind; -- Mayor, etc., of Savannah v. Mulligan,  22 S.E. 621 (Ga. 1895).

Unless, however, the property is first condemned as a nuisance by appropriate proceedings, its destruction will be at the peril of the municipal authorities; and, when sued for its value, the burden is upon them of showing that it was infact a nuisance, and that its destruction was really necessary to the public health and safety.  -- Id.

Such rulings cover a local governing body's ability/authority to dispose of a pile of

rags, several cans of gasoline, and scattered boxes of matches, all heaped up in

front of an occupied primary school, or some similar "public safety" situation.

Such rulings would NOT cover the Ogden City Commissioners meeting, deciding

together that the Ogden Standard-Examiner press constituted a meance to

public safety (because it might be used to print lies) -- and then sending in the

Ogden City Police with sledgehammers to destroy that press, without a court order.

In the Nauvoo case the appropriate hearing was held and the press was found to be  a nuisance.  A solid case can, therefore, be made that the destruction of the press was justified.  Of course, we can argue all day about whether or not a press can ever be a public nuisance and modern notions of the First Amendment would, in all likelihood, preclude such a find in our day.  But in Joseph's day such notions were in their infancy at best.

The city counsel thought they were operating within the rights the charter granted them.  I think you'd be hard pressed to prove otherwise and an appellte court would be hard pressed to censure a city council for construing its perceived powers in such a manner.

C.I.

Well you may believe anything you wish, I suppose. For all I know, Mormons are

nowadays taught in Sunday School that the Nauvoo City Council was only carrying

out God's will, or something. At any rate, MY BELIEF is that Municipal Councilor

Benjamin Warrington was correct to oppose the unreasonable seach and seizure of

a private printing press, and that his opinion, that "assessing a fine of $3,000 for

every libel," published in the Expositor, would have effectively ended the paper's

publication, while not resulting in the host of problems cited by Governor Ford, in

the latter I have quoted above.

But, if as I said, this is now all a matter of RELIGION, and not of morality and the

accountability of public officials, I surrender to your right to believe whatever it is

that you have been taught, as to the righteous propriety of the Council's activities.

Uncle Dale

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But, if as I said, this is now all a matter of RELIGION, and not of morality and the accountability of public officials, I surrender to your right to believe whatever it is that you have been taught, as to the righteous propriety of the Council's activities.

Religion is the only thing that makes this case interesting. How many unlawful takings by how many municipalities (and let's add counties and states in there, too) took place in the Gem of the Ocean between, say, 1644 and 1844? They were all over the place. This is really the only one you hear about much.

Governments have been pushing the little guy around forever, and it was the unusual, rather than the usual, situation where the little guy sucessfully pushed back. Had Ford not given carte blanche in the Expositor's aftermath to the mobs who murdered JSJr and Hyrum and shelled my great-great grandfather's house a year or so later, I daresay the Laws probably would have had a nice check in their hands from Nauvoo City to pay for their lost property.

Why did the City Council's and/or JSJr's actions bring the mobs down on the Mormons?

I can tell you in one word: pretext.

The mob waited on a sufficient pretext to quash the Restoration. Any would have done. Had it not been then and that, it would have been now and this.

Why is it that so many of us must blame the prey for his predation? The predator is in himself sufficient cause and motivation for the predation. Predators predate.

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Why is it that so many of us must blame the prey for his predation? The predator is in himself sufficient cause and motivation for the predation. Predators predate.

MMMMMMMM.... meat.

That zebra just had it coming... just prancing around there out on the savanna... shaking it's nice juicy flank at me... MMMMMMMM....

Oh wait, persecution of the early church...

Yes, of course "the mobs" had no reason to oppose the faithful members of the early church. They just woke up one morning and *SATAN* was there and brainwashed them into killing mormons, burning their homes, and forcing them across the frozen plains at gunpoint. Yes, of course, it had to be *SATAN* - because the scriptures say there are only *TWO* churches - the Church of *GOD* (which any honest person knows is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) and the Church of the *DEVIL* (which can variously be translated to mean, any church other than the LDS church, any church that does "bad" things, or some church in particular if someone's feeling feisty).

Or of course, people may have motivations that don't follow this dichotomy... people perform heinous acts all the time - this can't be explained away as only bad people committing these acts, or that these acts are performed at the bidding of Satan. People have motivations, and the motivations that "the mob" had for persecutiong the early church are quite evident when the history is addressed without the bias that "faith promoting" church materials present. I'm not saying that it was "justified" - I'm just saying that the way the LDS church addresses this portion of history through explanations like these people were either just "inherently evil" or that "Satan inspired them to persecute the saints" is excessively simplistic.

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People have motivations, and the motivations that "the mob" had for persecutiong the early church are quite evident when the history is addressed without the bias that "faith promoting" church materials present. I'm not saying that it was "justified" - I'm just saying that the way the LDS church addresses this portion of history through explanations like these people were either just "inherently evil" or that "Satan inspired them to persecute the saints" is excessively simplistic.

So . . . what was the motivation for shelling Nauvoo?

Why shell the serpent, if serpent my great-great grandfather was?

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In general? Xenophobia. Bigotry. Us-vs.-Them mentality. (On both sides.)

Some specifics? Block voting. Joseph Smith's political deals and political aspirations. Militia that were under the control of the prophet rather than the state. Held over hostility from the conflict in Missouri.

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Why did the City Council's and/or JSJr's actions bring the mobs down on the Mormons?

I can tell you in one word: pretext.

The mob waited on a sufficient pretext to quash the Restoration. Any would have done. Had it not been then and that, it would have been now and this.

Why is it that so many of us must blame the prey for his predation? The predator is in himself sufficient cause and motivation for the predation. Predators predate.

Here, then, perhaps a careful chronology of Hancock County events, from the beginning

of June, 1844 to the end of July of that same year, might be helpful to our understanding.

When did "the mob" or "mobs" first appear upon the scene?

It was publicized, after the destruction of the Expositor press, that Hyrum Smith

had called for a similar destruction of the next nearest press, not in Mormon hands,

that of the Warsaw Signal a few miles south of Nauvoo.

In the aftermath of the destruction of the Expositor press, the scattered farmers

of Hancock County did begin to gather together, along with some townsfolk from

Carthage, Warsaw, La Harp, Ramus, etc. Certainly the Hancock Co. Mormons feared

a mob -- but I see no evidence that a handful of undisciplined Gentile residents were

a major threat to public safety within Navoo, or even in the countryside.

LDS writers tend to look backwards, through the truly terrible events of 1845-46,

when there really WAS a "mob" in the countryside around Nauvoo, and to project that

later scenerio back upon the events of mid-1844. So far as I can discern, there was

no "mob" until the Smiths were assaulted and killed at Carthage jail -- and then,

after that, there was no mob of any consequence, until Gov. Ford began to draw

down the militia presence.

I've just been looking through Illustrated Stories from Church History, vol. 9,

which I acquired from a book sale, via a local LDS ward, when they replaced their

old, well-worn set. Therein the members of William law's splinter group and the

Hancock Co. farmers are depicted as nasty-looking, dispicable villains, straight off

the illustarted "Wanted" posters of the day; while the JS loyalists are shown as

gentle, smiling, cuddly and innocent victims of the diabolical Gentiles.

My own studies of western Illinois history tell me that this simply was not the case.

If the Gentiles of Hancock County were such evil mobocratic men, ready to "quash

the Restoration," they certainly settled down into being peaceable citizens after

1847. A couple of decades later, when RLDS proponents of the "Restoration" began

to appear in large numbers in the area, they were accomodated with little or no

social/political friction. The family of Joseph Smith continued to live in Nauvoo,

unmolested, after his son became the RLDS president in 1860. In 1894 a visiting

journalist reported, with some evident surprise, that there were several RLDS branches

in the Nauvoo area, and that the Reorganized Mormons got along well with the

aging citizens of the 1840s and their offspring.

My thoughts are that, Tom Sharp and William Smith aside, that there were NO real

"predators" until the situation in Nauvoo had gotten so out of hand as to draw in any

opportunist, river rat and squatter who happened to come along the pike.

But then again, if Illustrated Stories from Church History is to be our guide,

Hancock County must have been literally swarming with the scum of the earth,

ever ready to obey the summons of their Dark Lord, and pounce upon the innocent.

Hopefully the local ward replaced their Illustrated Stories with Elder Kenneth

W. Godfrey's "Causes of Mormon/Non-Mormon Conflict in Hancock County," -- which

at least makes an attempt at being even-handed, and at not demonizing the Gentiles.

Uncle Dale

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Hopefully the local ward replaced their Illustrated Stories with Elder Kenneth W. Godfrey's "Causes of Mormon/Non-Mormon Conflict in Hancock County," -- which at least makes an attempt at being even-handed, and at not demonizing the Gentiles.

I was hoping somebody'd bring Godfrey's work up. My greatful thanks, Rabbi, for directing our attention thereto.

You also make a good, albeit indirect (or I'm misreading stuff into your post) point about escalation into armed conflict over a period of a couple of years.

In my view, the [to XXIst Century eyes] paranoia of the Smith Bros. and other leadership in 1843-44 Nauvoo came from somewhere. Some impute guilt over polygyny as its cause. I don't share their views. Fair or unfair, they honestly (I believe) saw a noose tightening around them and the Mormon settlements, which noose imbued and was the father of every act, official and unofficial.

What made Golding's choir boys turn into a mob?

What turned a rough and ready, but hardly xenocidal, Hancock (and surrounds)populace into a mob?

What turned JSJr and Hyrum into Ralph and Piggy?

And Ford into Jack?

Golding asks a lot of questions: he answers none, when it comes right down to it.

Same with Godrey.

In my philosophy, dear Horatio, desire and will to fulfill it always precede reasons.

Hannibal Lecter: First principles, Clarice. Read Marcus Aurelius. Of each particular thing ask: what is it in itself? What is its nature? What does he do, this man you seek?

Clarice Starling: He kills women...

Hannibal Lecter: No! That is incidental. What is the first and principal thing he does, what need does he serve by killing?

Clarice Starling: Anger, social resentment, sexual frustration...

Hannibal Lecter: No, he covets. That's his nature. And how do we begin to covet, Clarice? Do we seek out things to covet? Make an effort to answer.

Clarice Starling: No. We just...

Hannibal Lecter: No. Precisely. We begin by coveting what we see every day. Don't you feel eyes moving over your body, Clarice? And don't your eyes move over the things you want?

What is it that turns a neighbor into a homocide?

USU "I'd honestly love to know" 78

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I was hoping somebody'd bring Godfrey's work up.  My greatful thanks, Rabbi, for directing our attention thereto.

For $3.99 (plus $6 postage), I picked up a gem of a book on e-bay --

Kingdom on the Mississippi Revisited: Nauvoo in Mormon History, edited by

Roger D. Launius and John E. Hallwas -- the same team that brought us

Cultures in Conflict: A Documentary History of the Mormon War in Illinois.

b10.jpg>cultures.gif

Between these two books, and about 1000 old newspaper articles on the Mormons in

Western Illnois, I think I have at last gained a credible perspective on the Nauvoo

experience -- and it is not much like what I perceive by reading Joseph Fielding Smith

or Preston Nibley.

Godfrey's contribution to the first mentioned book is called "The Nauvoo Neighborhood"

and is worth reading. In fact every page in the two books is worth reading, in my opinion.

The picture that emerges from all of these reports and studies, is one of mind-boggling,

rapid change. Nauvoo grows from 300 to 3000 to 30,000 almost in a blink of an eye.

Property values go through the roof, and then collapse (in 1846-47) to less than their

pre-Mormon levels. The resources of Hancock Co. were not increased rapidly enough

to meet the needs of the exploding population. Many of the new-comers had not a

penny in their pockets when they arrived, in 1842-44; nor when the left in 1845-47.

Reports of theft and petty crime skyrocketed -- not attributable to Mormons in every

case, but probably not attributable to the "old citizens" of Hancock either.

Party politics became vicious, first tearing the county apart on Whig/Democrat lines;

and later tearing the county apart on Whig-Democrat/Mormon lines.

Despite all the pretty pictures in the LDS Visitors Centers' films, Hancock Co. was

not a nice place to be in 1842-44; and it became hell on earth in 1845-46.

A slower, more measured "gathering" and a purposeful cooperation with the non-LDS

in the area would have aided the Saints immeasurably between 1841 and 1844. But

that did not happen, and in four short years the happy and helpful welcome the LDS

had first received in Adams and Hancock counties turned to utter contempt and ever

increasing anxiety over lawlessness and political breakdown.

il_nauvoo01.jpg

It took me 30 years of intensive study to begin to comprehend the history -- and to

realize that what I was fed in RLDS Sunday School was sachrine-sweetned hogwash.

Uncle Dale

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It took me 30 years of intensive study to begin to comprehend the history -- and to realize that what I was fed in RLDS Sunday School was sachrine-sweetned hogwash.

I wouldn't throw out those just yet, Unk. There may be a baby or two in that there bathwater.

What motivated those who became enemies of the Mormons? What made the mobs?

Hannibal forces us to look unflinchingly at what makes a monster (or a mob).

What makes a guy a mobster? Why does he kill?

He covets.

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Despite all the pretty pictures in the LDS Visitors Centers' films, Hancock Co. was not a nice place to be in 1842-44; and it became hell on earth in 1845-46.

Gee, this would seem to provide some context for Smith and his denials of plural marriage!

C.I.

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Despite all the pretty pictures in the LDS Visitors Centers' films, Hancock Co. was not a nice place to be in 1842-44; and it became hell on earth in 1845-46.

Gee, this would seem to provide some context for Smith and his denials of plural marriage!

C.I.

I seriously think that JS wanted to win the 1844 presidential election and go to

Washington, D. C., and leave running Nauvoo to his brother Hyrum and the Twelve.

It was a long-shot hope, if that is what he was thinking -- something absolutely

miraculous would have had to happened, to greatly injure the major party candidates.

But, I think JS was ready to "escape" the pressure-cooker of Nauvoo, and spend some

time dealing with different sorts of responsibilities.

rigdon5.jpg

Too bad he never got to the election stage -- I wonder if he would have carried any

states in the electoral college?

Uncle Dale

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