Documents, Volume 10, Part 2 Introduction: June 1842
Part 2: June 1842
In mid-June 1842,
wrote in a letter
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
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
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
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.
[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, .
Letters pertaining to Freemasonry in Nauvoo, 1842. CHL.
Hawk-Eye and Iowa Patriot. Burlington, IA. 1839–1851.