Times and Seasons (, Hancock Co., IL), 1 Mar. 1842, vol. 3, no. 9, pp. 703–718; edited by JS. For more complete source information, see the source note for Letter to Isaac Galland, 22 Mar. 1839.
The first issue of the -affiliated newspaper Times and Seasons was published near , Illinois, in 1839. Owned jointly by and , the paper was edited at various times by Smith, Robinson, and through summer 1841. Following the deaths of Smith and Thompson in August 1841, Robinson became sole proprietor and editor of the paper. On 28 January 1842 JS dictated a revelation that directed the to assume editorial responsibility for the paper. A week later Robinson sold the newspaper, along with the remainder of his printing establishment, to JS.
Though JS assumed editorship of the Times and Seasons sometime in mid-February, he stated in his first editorial passage that he did not begin reviewing the paper’s content until the 1 March 1842 issue. A 2 March 1842 entry in JS’s journal notes, “Read the Proof of the ‘Times and Seasons’ as Editor for the first time, No. 9[th] Vol 3d. in which is the commencement of the Book of Abraham.” Though JS actively edited the paper at times, apparently assisted him in writing content. Regardless of who penned specific passages of editorial material, JS openly assumed editorial responsibility for all installments naming him as editor except the 15 February 1842 issue.
Included in the 1 March 1842 issue of the Times and Seasons are four editorial passages, which are featured below with introductions. Other JS documents published in this issue of the newspaper, including an excerpt from the Book of Abraham and a rare narrative history of the church, are featured as stand-alone documents in this or other volumes of The Joseph Smith Papers. In the first editorial passage, JS publicly announced his new role as editor of the Times and Seasons to the newspaper’s readership.
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.
Ebenezer Robinson, “To the Patrons of the Times and Seasons,” Times and Seasons, 16 Aug. 1841, 2:511; Ebenezer Robinson, “Items of Personal History of the Editor,” Return, May 1890, 257; July 1890, 302; see also Crawley, Descriptive Bibliography, 1:91–92.
Times and Seasons. Commerce/Nauvoo, IL. Nov. 1839–Feb. 1846.
The Return. Davis City, IA, 1889–1891; Richmond, MO, 1892–1893; Davis City, 1895–1896; Denver, 1898; Independence, MO, 1899–1900.
Crawley, Peter. A Descriptive Bibliography of the Mormon Church. 3 vols. Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1997–2012.
same ordinances, gifts, powers, and blessing, as was enjoyed on the eastern continent, that the people were cut off in consequence of their transgressions, that the last of their prophets who existed among them was commanded to write an abridgement of their prophesies, history &c., and to hide it up in the earth, and that it should come forth and be united with the bible for the accomplishment of the purposes of God in the last days. For a more particular account I would refer to the Book of Mormon, which can be purchased at , or from any of our travelling .
As soon as the news of this discovery was made known, false reports, misrepresentation and slander flew as on the wings of the wind in every direction, the house was frequently beset by mobs, and evil designing persons, several times I was shot at, and very narrowly escaped, and every device was made use of to get the away from me, but the power and blessing of God attended me, and several began to believe my testimony.
On the 6th of April, 1830, the “,” was first organized in the town of , Ontario co., state of New York. Some few were called and by the spirit of revelation, and prophesy, and began to preach as the spirit gave them utterance, and though weak, yet were they strengthened by the power of God, and many were brought to repentance, were immersed in the water, and were filled with the Holy Ghost by the . They saw visions and prophesied, devils were cast out and the sick healed by the laying on of hands. From that time the work rolled forth with astonishing rapidity, and churches were soon formed in the states of , , , , and ; in the last named state a considerable settlement was formed in ; numbers joined the church and we were increasing rapidly; we made large purchases of land, our farms teemed with plenty, and peace and happiness was enjoyed in our domestic circle and throughout our neighborhood; but as we could not associate with our neighbors who were many of them of the basest of men and had fled from the face of civilized society, to the frontier country to escape the hand of justice, in their midnight revels, their sabbath breaking, horseracing, and gambling, they commenced at first ridicule, then to persecute, and finally an organized mob assembled and burned our houses, tarred, and feathered, and whipped many of our brethren and finally drove them from their habitations; who houseless, and homeless, contrary to law, justice and humanity, had to wander on the bleak prairies till the children left the tracks of their blood on the prairie, this took place in the month of November, and they had no other covering but the canopy of heaven, in this inclement season of the year; this proceeding was winked at by the government and although we had warrantee deeds for our land, and had violated no law we could obtain no redress.
There were many sick, who were thus inhumanly driven from their houses, and had to endure all this abuse and to seek homes where they could be found. The result was, that a great many of them being deprived of the comforts of life, and the necessary attendances, died; many children were left orphans; wives, widows; and husbands widowers.—Our farms were taken possession of by the mob, many thousands of cattle, sheep, horses, and hogs, were taken and our household goods, store goods, and printing press, and type were broken, taken, or otherwise destroyed.
Many of our brethren removed to where they continued until 1836, three years; there was no violence offered but there were threatnings of violence. But in the summer of 1836, these threatnings began to assume a more serious form; from threats, public meetings were called, resolutions were passed, vengeance and destruction were threatened, and affairs again assumed a fearful attitude, was a sufficient precedent, and as the authorities in that county did not interfere, they boasted that they would not in this, which on application to the authorities we found to be too true, and after much violence, privation and loss of property we were again driven from our homes.
We next settled in , and counties, where we made large and extensive settlements, thinking to free ourselves from the power of oppression, by settling in new counties, with very few inhabitants in them; but here we were not allowed to live in peace, but in 1838 we were again attacked by mobs [p. 708]