The said he was opposed to any mans asking to go, and if asks her to go he dont want him to lead a company. Neither nor the mob want the Mormons to go away, but they want to bind us down and make us pay tribute to them.
The question in regard to the brethren selling their farms being introduced
The said we have already agreed to make a proposition to rent and sell our property to the Catholics. After conference we intend to send a man to to confer with the Catholic priests of that place, and make propositions to sell to the Catholics. We will also send a man <committee> to , and anotherto , and anotherto , and another to and another to Baltimore the seat of the head Bishop. [p. ]
Over the summer and fall of 1844, Emma Smith frequently clashed with church leaders over how to divide her husband’s estate. JS had made little distinction between his personal property and the property he held for the church as trustee-in-trust. When William Clayton examined JS’s financial affairs in July 1844, he found that the assets were “chiefly in the name of the Trustee in Trust while the obligations are considered personal.” In essence, JS as trustee-in-trust had held more land for the church than was legally protected. Consequently, Emma Smith could claim as personal property much of the church’s financial assets. As a recently widowed mother, Emma Smith wanted to ensure that her family would be provided for, while the Twelve and other church leaders had to balance her claims against the broader financial needs and responsibilities of the church. This tension was exacerbated by Smith’s opposition to the practice of plural marriage, which had been taught and practiced by JS, Hyrum Smith, and some members of the Twelve. In August 1844 Emma Smith told Clayton she believed that “it was secret things”—likely a reference to plural marriage—“which had cost Joseph and Hyrum their lives” and warned him that it would yet “costyouandtheTwelveyourlivesasithasdonethem.” After her husband’s death, Smith expressed her hope and belief that William Marks, who likewise opposed polygamy, should lead the church rather than the Twelve or Sidney Rigdon.
Though Young here gave instructions that Emma Smith not be invited to join the Saints’ westward exodus, he may have changed his mind in February 1846. In his autobiography and several letters written more than forty years after the fact, Benjamin F. Johnson recalled receiving an assignment—possibly from the Council of Fifty—to visit Smith with Bishop Newel K. Whitney. According to Johnson, they spent almost an entire night in early February trying unsuccessfully to persuade Smith to leave Nauvoo with the church. There is no mention of this assignment or meeting in any contemporary source. (Clayton, Journal, 2–4 and 12–15 July 1844; 8, 15, and 27 Aug. 1844, underlining in original; Monroe, Journal, 24 Apr. 1845; Oaks and Bentley, “Joseph Smith and Legal Process,” 776–779; Johnson, “A Life Review,” 103; Benjamin F. Johnson, Mesa City, Arizona Territory, to Frank Feely, Pawtucket, RI, 10 Dec. 1897, photostat, John Mills Whitaker Papers, Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah, Salt Lake City; Benjamin F. Johnson, Mesa City, Arizona Territory, Letter to the Editor of the Deseret News, 25 June 1902, Benjamin Franklin Johnson, Correspondence, CHL.)
Clayton, William. Journals, 1842–1845. CHL.
Monroe, James M. Journal, 1841–1842, 1845. CHL.
Oaks, Dallin H., and Joseph I. Bentley. “Joseph Smith and Legal Process: In the Wake of the Steamboat Nauvoo.” Brigham Young University Law Review, no. 3 (1976): 735–782.
Johnson, Benjamin Franklin. “A Life Review,” after 1893. Benjamin Franklin Johnson, Papers, 1852–1911. CHL. MS 1289 box 1, fd. 1.
Johnson, Benjamin Franklin. Letter, Mesa City, Arizona Territory, to Frank Feely, Pawtucket, RI, 10 Dec. 1897. Photostat. John Mills Whitaker Papers, 1849–1963. Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah, Salt Lake City.
Johnson, Benjamin Franklin. Correspondence, 1851–1966. CHL.
In a large meeting on 16 September, Young outlined measures to be taken in response to the renewed mob violence against the Mormon communities. In his journal he recorded, “We also agreed to appoint agents to confer with the leading Catholic priests and sell our property to them.” (Young, Journal, 16 Sept. 1845.)
In 1808 the Baltimore diocese was elevated to an archdiocese and four new dioceses were created in New York City; Philadelphia; Boston; and Bardstown, Kentucky. The archbishop of Baltimore in 1845 was Samuel Eccleston. (Hennesey, American Catholics, 110; “Baltimore, Archdiocese of,” in New Catholic Encyclopedia, 2:34–35.)
Hennesey, James. American Catholics: A History of the Roman Catholic Community in the United States. New York: Oxford University Press, 1981.
New Catholic Encyclopedia. 15 vols. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1967.