Times and Seasons (, Hancock Co., IL), 15 Aug. 1842, vol. 3, no. 20, pp. 879–894; edited by JS. For more complete source information, see the source note for Letter to Isaac Galland, 22 Mar. 1839.
The 15 August 1842 issue of the Times and Seasons was the twelfth JS oversaw as editor. The issue reprinted a letter from the Latter-day Saints’ Millennial Star detailing the Saints’ “first Foreign Mission” to Great Britain, which lasted from 1837 to 1838. The issue also continued the serialized “History of Joseph Smith” and reprinted the conclusion of an account from the Bostonian of a “Great Discussion on Mormonism” that had recently taken place in between Latter-day Saint missionary and Methodist minister George Montgomery West.
In addition, the issue included editorial content created by the staff of the paper. These items included an account of the history of persecution endured by the ; a short treatise on the spiritual power of knowledge; a note about unwelcome “loafers” in , Illinois; and an obituary for , a in the church. The issue concluded with a notice asking those indebted to JS’s deceased brother to pay their debts to his widow, . The extent of JS’s involvement in the creation and oversight of the issue’s content is difficult to ascertain, especially since he spent early August preoccupied with attempts to extradite him to and had gone into hiding by 10 August to avoid arrest and possible extradition. Regardless, as editor of the paper, JS assumed responsibility for all published content.
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.
into their lap—detraction, slander, falsehood, and misrepresentation has been gratuitously heaped upon them; they have been assailed by vexatious law suits, organized mobs, and illegally treated by militia; they have been imprisoned, whipped, tarred and feathered, and driven from their homes; they have had their property confiscated, and have suffered banishment, exile, and death for their religion. has been one of the principal actors in the scene; she has made many a wife a widow, and many a child an orphan. The tears of the oppressed have plentifully watered her soil; the cries of her robbed and spoiled have rung through her valleys, and been re-echoed from hill to hill; many a weary pilgrim borne down with oppression and weary of life has laid himself down to sleep in the arms of death, while the blood of the innocent has drenched her soil. And never till the trump of God shall sound, the sleeping dead shall arise, the books be opened and the secret history of peoples and nations be unfolded, will the amount of their sufferings be fully known. That day will unfold scenes of wickedness, misery, and oppression, and deeds of inhumanity and blood, that the most eloquent cannot depict; the pencil of the limner portray, and, that is beyond the power of language to unfold—scenes of misery, of woe, and human suffering. Dipped in the malice of the most fiendish hate, the cup of misery has been rung out, and they have drunk it to the very dregs. , frantic with rage, and not yet filled with blood, wishes now to follow her bleeding victims to their exile, and satiate herself with blood. And not satisfied with staining her own escutcheon, she wishes to decoy the noble, generous, and patriotic sons of —to deceive them with appearances—to draw them into her snare, that she may be sharer in her crimes, and participate in her guilt, and stamp with eternal infamy her character. We have already to blush for the gullibility of many of her editors who feel desirous to fan the deadly flame, and stain their hands with her foul deeds. We would advise such to halt, to pause for a moment—to reflect upon what they are doing. Have you not witnessed their wanton persecution? their cruel oppression? their deadly hate? Have you not loudly exclaimed against such proceeding? Stood forth in defence of republicanism—and as true patriots defended the rights of man? And can you now advocate a cause that would attempt to, or even moot the question of making an innocent, vir[tu]ous people “tremble at the sight of gathering hosts?”
Who is it that has made his affidavit that Joseph Smith has been accessary to shooting him? of a man who three years ago issued an order to exterminate fifteen thousand men women and children in republican ; a man who sanctioned mobocracy, and raised militia for that effect; a man who has been the cause of the death of scores of innocent people, and has actually been a wholesale murderer. This is the man who prefers the charge; a man who has long ago violated his constitutional oath; we would deprecate at all times the commission of so diabolical a crime as that of murder, if committed upon our greatest enemies; and would content ourselves with letting the Lord take vengeance into his own hands; yet we would seriously ask if his statement concerning Joseph Smith is probable, or even possible, under the circumstances mentioned by him? Could swear that Joseph Smith was accessary before the fact, when he has not seen him for three years? and when Joseph Smith has not been in the state of for that tiime? whatever his belief might be about his being engaged in the plot he could not swear to it. Concerning he was in , and it is reported that he is gone there to prove himself clear, but we should think that is the last place to go to for justice; we dont think that she is capable of administering it to the Mormons; she must however first atone for her bloody deeds, and refund to them what she has robbed them of, before their confidence can be restored in her justice, or righteousness; but we would ask is there no one to murder men but Mormons? are not assassins stalking through her streets daily? let the history of the frequent murders committed in and other places in answer. But again who does not know that has been in frequent difficulties with other people; that he has been on the point of dueling with senators and that his life has been frequently threatened, and that not by Mormons; this we are prepared to prove. Without saying more upon this subject we will proceed to give a history of the arrest.
On Monday the 8th inst. Gen. Smith was arrested upon a warrant under the signature of , in accordance as stated with a call from of , upon the affidavit of . was arrested at the same time as principal. There was no evasion of this call for the persons of Messrs. Smith and . The Municipal court, however, issued a writ of , according to the constitution and city charter; this writ demanded the bod [p. 887]
Boggs had ordered militia general John B. Clark to “hasten your operation with all possible speed,” stating that the “Mormons must be treated as enemies and must be exterminated or driven from the state.” The ensuing conflict resulted, according to a report by Clark, in some forty deaths. (Lilburn W. Boggs, Jefferson City, MO, to John B. Clark, Fayette, MO, 27 Oct. 1838, copy; John B. Clark, Jefferson City, MO, to Lilburn W. Boggs, 29 Nov. 1838, copy, Mormon War Papers, MSA.)
News of “St. Louis murderers” had gained widespread attention in the summer of 1841 when four black men, including abolitionist Charles Brown, were tried and hanged in St. Louis for murdering two bank clerks in April 1841. Posters advertised the hanging, and a boat was chartered to ferry spectators from Illinois to the execution in July. (Trials and Confessions of Madison Henderson, 1–6; Buchanan, Black Life on the Mississippi, 123–126.)
Trials and Confessions of Madison Henderson, Alias Blanchard, Alfred Amos Warrick, James W. Seward, and Charles Brown, Murderers of Jesse Baker and Jacob Weaver, as Given by Themselves; and a Likeness of Each, Taken in Jail Shortly after Their Arrest. St. Louis: Chambers and Knapp, 1841.
Buchanan, Thomas C. Black Life on the Mississippi: Slaves, Free Blacks, and the Western Steamboat World. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004.
Although Boggs served with Thomas Benton, a Democratic Missouri senator who had dueled other senators, no documented instances of Boggs engaging in duels or receiving threats on his life have been located. During his time as Missouri governor, Boggs had a mixed relationship with other politicians. In 1837 he openly disagreed with the treatment of the Missouri volunteer troops, who had been dispatched to help Zachary Taylor fight the Seminole Indians. After Taylor submitted a disparaging report to the U.S. War Department, public approval of Boggs waned. Boggs was also harshly criticized for his nonviolent dispute over land along the border between Missouri and Iowa Territory. This conflict was later called the “Honey War,” but it was also referred to as the “governor’s war” because of Boggs’s insistence on a military showdown. After his tenure as governor ended, Boggs was active in the Democratic Party, which in 1840–1842 was experiencing bitter infighting. During this time, Boggs made enemies by siding with the “Softs,” who favored paper money and anti-Benton policies. His reputation was further tarnished in 1842 when a committee at the Twelfth General Assembly determined that Boggs had undertaken the building project of the new capitol “in violation of law.” (Rader, Rader’s Revised History of Missouri, 438, 451; Gordon, “Public Career of Lilburn W. Boggs,” 86, 108–109, 123–129, 153–154; Gordon, “Political Career of Lilburn W. Boggs,” 117.)
Rader, Perry S. Rader’s Revised History of Missouri: From the Earliest Times to the Present. Jefferson City, MO: Hugh Stephens, 1907.
Gordon, Joseph F. “The Public Career of Lilburn W. Boggs.” Master’s thesis, University of Missouri, 1949.