Times and Seasons (, Hancock Co., IL), 1 Aug. 1842, vol. 3, no. 19, pp. 863–878; edited by JS. For more complete source information, see the source note for Letter to Isaac Galland, 22 Mar. 1839.
The 1 August 1842 issue of the Times and Seasons was the eleventh JS oversaw as editor. The issue opened with a reprint from the Bostonian that reported a religious debate between Dr. George Montgomery West (a New England preacher) and Latter-day Saint missionary . It also presented a new installment of the “History of Joseph Smith” and reprinted a note on starvation riots in Ireland. The remainder of the issue was dedicated primarily to denouncing , who had been publishing defamatory statements against JS and the Latter-day Saints. The editorial staff of the Times and Seasons utilized the pages of the 1 August issue to defend JS and condemn Bennett.
Nearly all of this issue’s editorial content about was also published in the Wasp, a general-interest newspaper in , Illinois, that had initially been edited by JS’s brother . However, William had distanced himself from the paper by August 1842, and had assumed the editorial responsibilities of the paper. Taylor, , and others in the appear to have worked on both the Wasp and the Times and Seasons and created content for both newspapers in August. An extra edition of the Wasp dated 27 July bore the title “Bennettiana” and contained affidavits, statements, and articles focused exclusively on exposing the former mayor’s misdeeds. Several of these same official records and editorial comments were printed a second time in this 1 August 1842 issue of the Times and Seasons; this selection therefore features editorial content from both newspapers. The Times and Seasons editorial staff made slight revisions to the editorial commentary in order to customize it to their newspaper. JS’s involvement in the creation of this editorial content is unclear, but as editor of the Times and Seasons, he oversaw the paper and assumed responsibility for all editorial statements.
The editorial content in the 1 August issue includes an article on , which was followed by reprinted affidavits from several City Council members, concluding with a short editorial comment. Certified statements attesting to JS’s character, republished from the Wasp, were then inserted. This was followed by a section contrasting Bennett’s slandering of JS and the with earlier statements Bennett had written, originally published in various newspapers between 1840 and 1842, wherein he spoke positively of JS and the Saints. Another featured selection, also previously published in the Wasp, introduced opinion pieces on Bennett reprinted from several newspapers across the . The editorial content in the issue concluded by reprinting the Wasp’s response to an inflammatory article, written by , that had been published a week earlier in the Quincy Whig.
Note that only the editorial content created specifically for this issue of the Times and Seasons is annotated here. Articles reprinted from other papers, letters, conference minutes, and notices, are reproduced here but not annotated. Items that are stand-alone JS documents are annotated elsewhere; links are provided to these stand-alone documents.
Although William Smith was acknowledged as editor until October 1842, by August 1842 he appears to have been only a nominal editor. In a disgruntled letter to the editor of the Sangamo Journal,George W. Robinson commented on the confusing status of the editorship of the Wasp, sarcastically stating that because of “the dozen would be editors, who are prowling and loafing about the printing office, it would be difficult to ascertain the editors!” (Crawley, Descriptive Bibliography, 1:192–193; “To the Public,” Wasp, 8 Oct. 1842, ; “Letter from Col. Robinson,” Sangamo Journal [Springfield, IL], 26 Aug. 1842, , italics in original.)
Crawley, Peter. A Descriptive Bibliography of the Mormon Church. 3 vols. Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1997–2012.
As there seems to be some foolish notions that I have been engaged with , in the difficulties between him and some of the citizens of this place, I merely say in reply to such idle and vain reports that they are without foundation in truth.
CERTIFICATES OF AND HENRY MARKS.
Inasmuch as has called upon me through the Sangamo Journal to come out and confirm the statements which he has made concerning Joseph Smith and others, I take this opportunity of saying to the public, that I know many of his statements to be false, and that I believe them all to be the offspring of a base and corrupt heart, and without the least shadow of truth, and further that he has used my name without my permission. I believe him to be a vile and wicked adulterous man, who pays no regard to the principles of truth or righteousness, and is unworrhy [unworthy] the confidence of a just community. I would further state that I know of no Order in the Church which admits of a plurality of wives, and do not believe that Joseph Smith ever taught such a doctrine, and further, that my faith in the doctrines of the , and in Joseph Smith, is unshaken.
, July 26, 1842.
Inasmuch as the Sangamo Journal has called upon me to come out and make an expose against Joseph Smith; this is to certify that I know nothing derogatory to the character of Joseph Smith, neither in a religious or a moral point of view; and that and the Journal used my name without my knowledge or consent; and further that I believe to be a bad man and unworthy of public confidence.
, July 28, 1842.
seems to place very much confidence in the veracity, integrity and honor of the above individuals, we hope that he will now believe their testimony.
The next item in the 1 August issue of the Times and Seasons was an editorial commentary, first published in the Wasp, in which the editorial staff reminded readers of the many articles wrote for the Times and Seasons under the pseudonym of “Joab General in Israel.” This editorial passage contrasted Bennett’s earlier positive views of the Saints, as expressed in the “Joab” articles, with his critical views of JS and the found in his letters to the editor of the Sangamo Journal in summer 1842. This contrast framed Bennett’s recent disclosures and allegations against JS as hypocritical. To highlight this contrast, the editorial staff concluded this comparison by quoting from an article in the 15 March 1842 issue of the Times and Seasons, wherein Bennett lauded JS as a “great philanthropist and devout Christian.”
The readers of the Times and Seasons are probably aware that all those articles signed “Joab General in Israel,” are from the pen of [t]he ; we will therefore compare some of his last acts with his present proceedings.— We wonder whether he was in duress when he made the following.
as he was.
How a man can talk with the ‘livery of heaven on to serve the devil in.’
From the Times and Seasons, Oct. 1840.
‘Fudge! We repeat, Smith and should not be given up. The law requiring the Governor of our to deliver up fugitives from justice, is a salutary and wise one, and should not in ordinary circumstances be disregarded, but as there are occasions that authorize the citizens of a State to resent a tyranical and oppressive government, so there are occasions when it is not only the privilege, but the duty of the Governor of the State to refuse to surrender the citizens of his State upon the requisition of the Executive of another,—and this we consider as the case of Smith and .— Whig.
The foregoing article, from the pen of the editor of the Whig, reflects great credit on the head and heart of the writer. The sentime[n]ts it contains are liberal, noble, just—the offspring of wisdom and understanding. It completely uses up the Uncircumcised Philistians of , and places the Mormon people just where they have ever taken shelter—under the broad folds of the Constitution—and I, therefore, commend it to the favorable consideration of all the saints of light. The grievances of this people must be redressed, and my hands shall help to do it—should they have to reach to the highest courts of heaven, dig to the lowest bowels of hell, or encompass the broad expanse of the universe of God, to consumate so desirable a result.
General in Israel.’
From the Sangamo Journal.
as he is.
, Mo. July 15, 1842.
To the Editor of the Journal:
I have published in the Bulletin of this city a detailed account of the attempted assassination of , by Smith; and in a subsequent number, the full statement of Miss Brotherton, both of which you will please to copy, as they are of much interest at this time. The cases of , , and Miss Brotherton, all ladies of the first order of talents, and the highest respectability, are precisely similar. In all these cases the Arch Seducer, and his Apostles, were signally repulsed: but in hundreds of other cases, they succeeded to their hearts’ content in their black hearted work of deep degradation, corruption and sorrow.
All who now remain in the church must be regarded as particeps criminis in the new doctrine;—their wives defiled, their daughters debauched, their sisters outraged, and their mothers poluted!!! Can men who have a just sense of honor, and their duty to themselves and their families, longer follow a base deceiver and teacher of such a system of licentiousness and debauchery, such as is Jo Smith? They cannot without being partakers with him in his hellish deeds. The “History of the Saints,” which I am about to publish, will develope wonders.
Writing as “Joab General in Israel,” Bennett sent several articles and letters to the editors of the Times and Seasons that were published between September 1840 and January 1841. In his letters, Bennett decried the “unhallowed oppression, unjust persecution, and unprovoked robbery” suffered by the Saints in Missouri. Bennett spoke out against Missouri governor Lilburn W. Boggs and in defense of the Saints, who Bennett declared had been “barbarously butchered,” “cruelly driven from their comfortable firesides at an inclement season of the year,” and “driven out of Missouri.” (John C. Bennett [Joab, pseud.], Letter to the Editor, Times and Seasons, 1 Nov. 1840, 2:206; “Gov. Carlin—Smith and Rigdon,” Times and Seasons, Oct. 1840, 1:189; see also Times and Seasons, Sept. 1840, 1:165–167; 15 Nov. 1840, 2:221–222; 1 Dec. 1840, 2:238; 1 Jan. 1841, 2:266–267.)
Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.