Part 3: July 1842

In July 1842, JS continued the daily work of filling his various civic and ecclesiastical roles. He heard legal cases as a justice of the peace and conducted business as trustee-in-trust of the , mayor of , Illinois, and a member of Nauvoo’s city council. He sought to procure funds for building the Nauvoo and continued to receive news from missionaries and other church members. He also corresponded with citizens about legal and political issues.
In this period, the Latter-day Saints in and the eastern began to feel the effects of the rift between and JS. Meanwhile, rumors of Latter-day Saint involvement in the attempted assassination of former governor —rumors Bennett helped to spread—had legal ramifications; in late July, Missouri and authorities made plans to arrest and extradite JS. These immediate concerns shaped the creation of many of the documents featured in part 3.
During this month, JS continued as editor of the Times and Seasons, which published correspondence describing ’s poor character and illicit conduct. At the same time, in a series of letters published in the Sangamo Journal, Bennett offered a counternarrative accusing JS of immoral behavior, including allegations that he had proposed marriage to ’s daughter and to ’s wife, . JS denied the accusations regarding Sarah Pratt at a public meeting in , which brought into the open the difficulties between Orson Pratt and JS. Meanwhile, JS continued to provide instructions on plural marriage to a small group of select individuals and dictated a revelation instructing his friend on how to his daughter to JS as a plural wife, which Whitney did on 27 July.
Even before ’s threats fueled the Saints’ fear that JS would be extradited to , ’s city council had anticipated that possibility and, on 5 July, passed a new ordinance, which granted the Nauvoo Municipal Court authority to review legal charges brought against its citizens. A week later, Latter-day Saints and left Nauvoo with plans to discuss JS’s potential extradition with governor and governor . Within a few days, the Sangamo Journal published Bennett’s second and third letters to the editor, which included Bennett’s accusation that JS had orchestrated the assassination attempt on . Then, on 20 July, Boggs signed an affidavit accusing JS of being an accessory before the fact; in response, Reynolds issued a requisition to the state of Illinois to have JS arrested and extradited to Missouri. Soon after, Nauvoo citizens sent petitions to Carlin urging him not to turn JS over to Missouri officials. The threat of extradition and fears that Bennett was planning a mob attack on Nauvoo informed JS’s late July correspondence with Carlin. Along with the activities of ’s Anti-Mormon Party, these issues influenced the Saints’ approach to the upcoming state election in August and contributed to the way that political candidates and other outsiders interacted with the Saints.
This part of the volume features documents that provide insight into everyday life in during a time when the Saints faced both internal and external pressures. It includes correspondence, editorials, minutes of public meetings, municipal and legal documents, financial receipts and notices, a petition for habeas corpus, and a revelation on plural marriage.
  1. 1

    See Docket Entry, Nauvoo Mayor’s Court, ca. 5 July 1842; Notice, 8 July 1842; Receipt, 8 July 1842; Notice, 9 July 1842; Pay Order to Nauvoo City Treasurer, 12 July 1842; Nauvoo City Scrip, 14 July 1842; and Petition from Albert P. Rockwood and Others, 18 July 1842.  

  2. 2

    See Letter to John E. Page, 16 July 1842; Letter from George Brandon, 6 July 1842; and Letter from Lorenzo D. Wasson, 30 July 1842.  

  3. 3

    See Letter from Aldrich & Chittenden, 28 July 1842.  

  4. 4

    See Times and Seasons, 1 July 1842.  

  5. 5

    John C. Bennett, Nauvoo, IL, 27 June 1842, Letter to the Editor, Sangamo Journal (Springfield, IL), 8 July 1842, [2]; John C. Bennett, Carthage, IL, 2 July 1842, Letter to the Editor, Sangamo Journal, 15 July 1842, [2]; John C. Bennett, Carthage, IL, 4 July 1842, Letter to the Editor, Sangamo Journal, 15 July 1842, [2]; John C. Bennett, St. Louis, MO, 15 July 1842, Letter to the Editor, Sangamo Journal, 22 July 1842, [2].  

    Sangamo Journal. Springfield, IL. 1831–1847.

  6. 6

    See Letter from Sidney Rigdon, 1 July 1842; Account of Meeting, 15 July 1842; Minutes, 22 July 1842; “Orson Pratt,” Sangamo Journal (Springfield, IL), 29 July 1842, [2]; and News Item, Sangamo Journal, 29 July 1842, [2].  

    Sangamo Journal. Springfield, IL. 1831–1847.

  7. 7

    Revelation, 27 July 1842.  

  8. 8

    Ordinance, 5 July 1842.  

  9. 9

    JS, Journal, 12 July 1842; Letter from Calvin A. Warren, 13 July 1842.  

  10. 10

    John C. Bennett, Carthage, IL, 2 July 1842, Letter to the Editor, Sangamo Journal (Springfield, IL), 15 July 1842, [2]; John C. Bennett, Carthage, IL, 4 July 1842, Letter to the Editor, Sangamo Journal, 15 July 1842, [2]. While Bennett made a general accusation in a letter to the editor published in the 15 July issue of the Sangamo Journal, it was not until his fourth letter to the editor—published on 22 July, two days after Boggs signed his affidavit—that Bennett included specific details, such as Orrin Porter Rockwell’s involvement.  

    Sangamo Journal. Springfield, IL. 1831–1847.

  11. 11

    Lilburn W. Boggs, Affidavit, 20 July 1842; Thomas Reynolds, Requisition, 22 July 1842.  

  12. 12

    Minutes, 22 July 1842; Nauvoo City Council Minute Book, 22 July 1842, 95–97; JS, Journal, 22 July 1842; Nauvoo Female Relief Society, Petition to Thomas Carlin, ca. 22 July 1842, in Derr et al., First Fifty Years of Relief Society, 139–141.  

    Derr, Jill Mulvay, Carol Cornwall Madsen, Kate Holbrook, and Matthew J. Grow, eds. The First Fifty Years of Relief Society: Key Documents in Latter-day Saint Women’s History. Salt Lake City: Church Historian’s Press, 2016.

  13. 13

    See Letter from Thomas Carlin, 27 July 1842; and Letter to Thomas Carlin, 30 July 1842.  

  14. 14

    See Letter to the Citizens of Hancock County, ca. 2 July 1842; Letter from John Harper, 13 July 1842; Letter from John Harper, 14 July 1842; Letter from William S. Wright, 24 July 1842; and Letter from Isaac Morley, 24 July 1842.