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.
I told you before, however, that the most of the Mormons would do, say, and swear toany thing that Joe Smith directed; and you now see it. Are you not now satisfied that most of them (tho’ there are some purely honest in all these things who are kept in ignorance,) are liars, thieves, robbers, murderers, and every thing that is vile, low and grovelling. * * * * * * *
as he was.
From the Times and Seasons, Feb. 1, 1842.
I stood on Mount Zion, by the Temple of the Great King, and looked down through the vista of time, and saw people like great waters, for they were many—gathered from all nations under the whole heavens: and I saw mighty chieftains upon noble steeds, and armies of chariots and horsemen, and strong cohorts of footmen, great and terrible, with spears and banners, and the implements of war, forming to the sound of the clarion. And a great shout was heard in the camp of the saints, and a voice, like the sound of a mighty trumpet, saying—Go and possess your inheritances, and avenge the wrongs of your progenitors—and the battle was set in array, and the armies of the saints moved forward, attended by thunder and hail, and fire and storm, conquering and to conquer. And the armies of the aliens tremble at the voice, like Belshazzar at the hand writing on the wall—and the hearts of their great warriors, and valiant men, fainted within them, and they fled like grasshoppers, and were consumed like stubble before the devouring flame. The plains were bleached with the bones of the slain, and the rivers flowed with blood. The fierce anger of the Lord returned not until he had done, nor until he had performed the intents of his heart.]-
General in Israel.
professed then to be a good and a virtuous man; to feel indignant at oppression, and ready to step forward in defence of the innoeent, the injured, and oppressed. How has the scene changed! and how truly he figures in the character of an apostate.
“Let the friends of freedom arise and utter their voice, like the voice of ten thousand thunders—let them take every constitutional means to procure a redress of grievances—let there be a concerted effort, and the victory is ours. Let the broad banners of freedom be unfurled, and soon the prison doors will be opened, the captive set at liberty, and the oppressed go free. will then remember the unoffending Mormons in the days of their captivity and bondage—when murder and rapine were her darling attributes—why, my heart is filled with indignation, and my blood boils within me, when I contemplate the vast injustice and cruelty which has meted out to that great philanthropist and devout Christian, General Joseph Smlth, and his honest and faithful adherents—the Latter Day Saints, or Mormons:”
In regard to all these matters, if alone was concerned we should have considered him altogether beneath our notice, and would have treated his communications with silent contempt; his abominable transactions are too well known in this for him to obtain any credence whatever; but as there are many political demagogues who have heralded these things forth to the world for political effect in the coming election, we therefore deem it a duty that we owe to ourselves, and to the public, to disabuse the public mind, and state matters of fact as they are in the above disclosures.
If an ordinance had not been passed in this prohibiting brothels and disorderly houses, and assessing a fine upon the frequenters of such places, perhaps the and some of his satellites might have considered this to be a paradise yet; and the ‘Zion of God;’ we noticed that he squirmed very much at its passage, but as he was always so virtuous a man of course it would not do for him to oppose it;—we must confess that we have no fellowship with such unfruitful works of darkness: and it is an opposition to this, and other acts of iniquity, that has brought out their “wonderful disclosures.”— In regard to all his witnesses, they are all exploded; but one or two of known ill fame; of course their proceedings or testimony are of no amount against us, nor would it be of any use if in our favor.
The has called upon many, as is fully proven, without authority, as their affidavits, and testimony demonstrate. As he has failed in this, we would respond to the call of , and the Sangamo Journal, for all men to come forward and testify to all that they know; we shrink not from investigation into all our acts, public or private, and are prepared to substantiate truths, and to rebut falsehoods. Delicacy has prevented us from publishing much testimony that has come before us, but [p. 876]
In advance of the Illinois state elections scheduled for 1 August 1842, JS had vowed to entirely support neither the Whig nor Democrat parties. After the Anti-Mormon Party’s convention of 29 May 1842, JS wrote a letter to the citizens of Hancock County calling for independent candidates. JS stated that candidates who rejected the principles of the Anti-Mormon convention would receive Latter-day Saint support. (See Letter to the Citizens of Hancock County, ca. 2 July 1842.)
In the reprinted excerpt of Bennett’s writing from the 15 March 1842 Times and Seasons, to which this editorial comment referred, Bennett stated, “My heart is filled with indignation, and my blood boils within me, when I contemplate the vast injustice and cruelty which Missouri has meted out to that great philanthropist and devout Christian, General Joseph Smlth [Smith], and his honest and faithful adherents—the Latter Day Saints, or Mormons.” (Letter Extract, Times and Seasons, 1 Aug. 1842, 3:876.)