History, 1838–1856, volume F-1 [1 May 1844–8 August 1844]

  • Source Note
  • Historical Introduction
Page 99
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<​June 14​>
“City of , June 14th. 1844.
“Honorable Govr. ,
“Being a stranger in the City of , but fully acquainted with the facts as stated in Gen. Smith’s letter of June 14th, I assert that they are true in every particular, and that the press in the minds of all unprejudiced people was a nuisance of the worst character, and that the authorities acted perfectly proper in destroying it; and in accomplishing the act there was no noise, tumult, or riot. Furthermore, having remained for a few weeks at Genl. Smith’s , I think it my duty to state that I have seen nothing in his deportment but what is correct in all his domestic relations, being a kind husband and an affectionate father; and all his affairs both domestic and official have not only been free from censure but praiseworthy, and ought to be imitated by every one desirous of good order and peace.
Yours Sir most obediently,
, M. D.”
“Post Office, , Ills. June 14th, 1844.
“His Excellency ,
Dr Sir;
I address this letter to your by the hand of Mr. L. James, in consequence of the difficulties now existing in this , diffficulties in which I have had no concern, and fearing as I do that in the midst of an excitement so great as I have understood now exists in this — I say understood; for it is by report only that I can speak— there may be attempts made to prejudice your mind to take some measures of a violent character that may seriously affect the citizens of this place, and injure innocent and unoffending persons, which I am satisfied would grieve your , as well as every other thinking and human man. There have for a length of time difficulties existed between a number of the citizens of this place, which kept increasing; one of the parties had recourse to the Warsaw Signal as a medium through which they communicate their difficulties to the world. Those productions were inflamatory to a high degree, and the party thus assailed charged the matter as libelous, and highly abusive; to these exposures, responses Appeared in the papers of this place, charging the matter as being false, and the authors as defamers, and slanderers. Things continued thus until a paper was established in this place called the Nauvoo Expositor. The first number of this paper made its appearance, and it was inflamatory and abusive to an extreme. This [HC 6:469] raised the excitement to a degree beyond control, and threatened serious consequences. At this particular juncture, all the authorities of the feeling a common interest in the peace and quiet of the place, and fearing the worst consequences must follow, if something were not done. The city council met and took the matter into consideration, and after deliberating on the subject, and examining the charter, came to the conclusion to hazard all the consequences of declaring the press a nuisance, and accordingly ordered its removal. The City , in obedience to this order, went and removed the press, and destroyed it. This was done without tumult or disorder; when the press was destroyed, all returned home; and everything has been perfectly quiet ever since. Within the last three days warrants have been issued from a in , calling for the bodies of the persons who destroyed the press. The having the matter in charge refuses the persons a hearing before any other justice of the peace than the one issuing the warrants; with this demand they refuse to comply, as there is a large assembly of persons assembled at making threats of violence; and they say, and I have no doubt verily believe, that by going there, their lives will be in danger, and from the [p. 99]
June 14
“City of , June 14th. 1844.
“Honorable Govr. ,
“Being a stranger in the City of , but fully acquainted with the facts as stated in Gen. Smith’s letter of June 14th, I assert that they are true in every particular, and that the press in the minds of all unprejudiced people was a nuisance of the worst character, and that the authorities acted perfectly proper in destroying it; and in accomplishing the act there was no noise, tumult, or riot. Furthermore, having remained for a few weeks at Genl. Smith’s , I think it my duty to state that I have seen nothing in his deportment but what is correct in all his domestic relations, being a kind husband and an affectionate father; and all his affairs both domestic and official have not only been free from censure but praiseworthy, and ought to be imitated by every one desirous of good order and peace.
Yours Sir most obediently,
, M. D.”
“Post Office, , Ills. June 14th, 1844.
“His Excellency ,
Dr Sir;
I address this letter to your by the hand of Mr. L. James, in consequence of the difficulties now existing in this , diffficulties in which I have had no concern, and fearing as I do that in the midst of an excitement so great as I have understood now exists in this — I say understood; for it is by report only that I can speak— there may be attempts made to prejudice your mind to take some measures of a violent character that may seriously affect the citizens of this place, and injure innocent and unoffending persons, which I am satisfied would grieve your , as well as every other thinking and human man. There have for a length of time difficulties existed between a number of the citizens of this place, which kept increasing; one of the parties had recourse to the Warsaw Signal as a medium through which they communicate their difficulties to the world. Those productions were inflamatory to a high degree, and the party thus assailed charged the matter as libelous, and highly abusive; to these exposures, responses Appeared in the papers of this place, charging the matter as being false, and the authors as defamers, and slanderers. Things continued thus until a paper was established in this place called the Nauvoo Expositor. The first number of this paper made its appearance, and it was inflamatory and abusive to an extreme. This [HC 6:469] raised the excitement to a degree beyond control, and threatened serious consequences. At this particular juncture, all the authorities of the feeling a common interest in the peace and quiet of the place, and fearing the worst consequences must follow, if something were not done. The city council met and took the matter into consideration, and after deliberating on the subject, and examining the charter, came to the conclusion to hazard all the consequences of declaring the press a nuisance, and accordingly ordered its removal. The City , in obedience to this order, went and removed the press, and destroyed it. This was done without tumult or disorder; when the press was destroyed, all returned home; and everything has been perfectly quiet ever since. Within the last three days warrants have been issued from a in , calling for the bodies of the persons who destroyed the press. The having the matter in charge refuses the persons a hearing before any other justice of the peace than the one issuing the warrants; with this demand they refuse to comply, as there is a large assembly of persons assembled at making threats of violence; and they say, and I have no doubt verily believe, that by going there, their lives will be in danger, and from the [p. 99]
Page 99