Part 2: June 1842

In mid-June 1842, wrote in a letter to fellow that he had “never seen Joseph as full of business as of late he hardly gets time to sign his name.” The press of business involved numerous facets of JS’s life. He continued to function as president and had begun serving as mayor of , Illinois, and presiding over city council meetings. In addition, he continued to serve as editor of the Times and Seasons, although he may have had little actual involvement in the production of the two June issues.
In his efforts to make a place for Latter-day Saints, JS also continued to facilitate land purchases and made plans to help immigrants coming to the city. He traveled to various locations in and around Nauvoo to buy and sell land. For example, on 20 June he purchased from Ethan Kimball 480 acres of land four miles east of Nauvoo. The purchase of additional tracts was necessary to provide economic opportunities for immigrants coming from the British Isles. Through , JS conveyed instruction to , then in , that Saints coming to Nauvoo should not expect to be financially supported when they arrived. Nevertheless, the church still provided some financial assistance for those who had already emigrated. JS directed the creation of a committee consisting of Hyrum Smith and apostles , , and “to wait upon emigrants & settle them.” During the month of June, JS also promoted the Nauvoo Agricultural and Manufacturing Society, which had been organized in part to help immigrants economically.
The efforts to provide land and other opportunities for ’s settlers came at a price, and JS continued to struggle with debts. His bankruptcy application proceeded in June with the publication of a notice in the Sangamo Journal. Meanwhile, individuals such as sought repayment for earlier loans made to the church. JS also wrote to another creditor, , from whom he had purchased much of the land in the Nauvoo area, reiterating that bankruptcy was his only option and explaining that Hotchkiss would be treated in the same manner as JS’s other creditors.
In addition to JS’s concerns about debts, the attempted assassination of former governor continued to cause trouble for the Latter-day Saint leader. Rumors that JS was involved in planning the attack were widespread; some people insisted that they had heard JS prophesy that Boggs would die. Fearing that the accusations would cause mobs to attack and force JS’s extradition back to Missouri, JS asked governor for advice. Carlin responded that he did not think it likely that mobs would kidnap JS.
Regardless of ’s opinion, the actions of heightened JS’s fears. On 18 June, JS spoke openly against Bennett, leading to a complete break with his former friend. Bennett departed shortly thereafter, threatening to write a book denouncing JS. In June, Bennett composed the first of several letters criticizing JS and accusing him of various misdeeds. These letters would be published in the Sangamo Journal and reprinted in other newspapers in the following months. To mitigate the effects of Bennett’s accusations, JS published his own letter to church members and “all the honorable part of community,” providing a long explanation of Bennett’s immoral conduct after moving to Nauvoo and detailing the steps JS had taken to try to get him to reform. In addition, JS attended meetings held to consider Bennett’s standing in the Nauvoo Masonic Lodge and in the . Anxious about Bennett’s charges and the threat of extradition, on 26 June JS and some of the church brethren “united in Solemn prayer,” petitioning God to deliver him and the Latter-day Saints from the “evil designs” of , Carlin, and Bennett, as well as from state officials from or , “all mobs,” and any other “evil designi[n]g persons.”
The documents in this part of the volume include correspondence, discourses, deeds, an account of a meeting, a bankruptcy notice, and selections from the two June Times and Seasons issues.
  1. 1

    Wilford Woodruff, Nauvoo, IL, to Parley P. Pratt, Liverpool, England, 18 June 1842, Parley P. Pratt, Correspondence, CHL.  

    Pratt, Parley P. Correspondence, 1842–1855. CHL. MS 897.

  2. 2

    See Nauvoo City Council Minute Book, 11 and 22 June 1842, 85–86; JS, Journal, 11 June 1842; and Oath, 21 June 1842.  

  3. 3

    See Times and Seasons, 1 June 1842; and Times and Seasons, 15 June 1842.  

  4. 4

    See, for example, JS, Journal, 3, 7, and 14 June 1842; and Deed from Ethan Kimball, 20 June 1842.  

  5. 5

    Letter to Parley P. Pratt and Others, 12 June 1842.  

  6. 6

    Account of Meeting and Discourse, 18 June 1842.  

  7. 7

    See Account of Meeting and Discourse, 18 June 1842.  

  8. 8

    Notice to Creditors and Others, 17 June 1842; Letter from Alonzo LeBaron, ca. 29 June 1842.  

  9. 9

    Letter to Horace Hotchkiss, 30 June 1842.  

  10. 10

    Letter from Hinkle, 12 June 1842; see also “Assassination of Ex-Governor Boggs of Missouri,” Quincy (IL) Whig, 21 May 1842, [3]; and Letter to Sylvester Bartlett, 22 May 1842.  

    Quincy Whig. Quincy, IL. 1838–1856.

  11. 11

    Letter to Thomas Carlin, 24 June 1842.  

  12. 12

    Letter from Thomas Carlin, 30 June 1842.  

  13. 13

    Account of Meeting and Discourse, 18 June 1842.  

  14. 14

    [Nauvoo Masonic Lodge], Nauvoo, IL, to Abraham Jonas, [Columbus, IL], 21 June 1842, Letters pertaining to Freemasonry in Nauvoo, CHL; “Trouble among the Mormons,” Hawkeye and Iowa Patriot [Burlington], 23 June 1842, [2].  

    Letters pertaining to Freemasonry in Nauvoo, 1842. CHL.

    Hawk-Eye and Iowa Patriot. Burlington, IA. 1839–1851.

  15. 15

    John C. Bennett, Nauvoo, IL, 27 June 1842, Letter to the Editor, Sangamo Journal [Springfield, IL], 8 July 1842, [2].  

    Sangamo Journal. Springfield, IL. 1831–1847.

  16. 16

    Letter to the Church and Others, 23 June 1842.  

  17. 17

    JS, Journal, 16 and 30 June 1842.  

  18. 18

    JS, Journal, 26 June 1842.