Times and Seasons (, Hancock Co., IL), 15 Sept. 1842, vol. 3, no. 22, pp. 911–926; edited by JS. For more complete source information, see the source note for Letter to Isaac Galland, 22 Mar. 1839.
JS served as editor for the 15 September 1842 issue, the twenty-second issue in the third volume, of the Times and Seasons, a newspaper published in , Illinois. He was assisted in his editorial responsibilities by and . Together, these three men produced the semimonthly newspaper, including composing its editorial material. While the extent to which JS was involved in the creation and publication of this issue is unclear, as the newspaper’s editor he was responsible for its content.
The 15 September 1842 issue contained both non-editorial and editorial material. Non-editorial content in the issue included an installment of the “History of Joseph Smith,” a description of Mount Sinai from an English clergyman, an extract of a letter from on the desire of many converts in to immigrate to , and a letter from the “to all the Saints in Nauvoo.” In addition, the issue contained a notice that a concordance of scripture and writings about the church’s ecclesiastical history published by in was available; a reprinting of a letter from church member William Rowley reporting on his missionary efforts in , England; a reprinting of an article in the Antigua Herald on an earthquake on the Caribbean island of Antigua; a brief letter to the editor from and ; and a notice that copies of hymnbooks and of the Book of Mormon were available for purchase.
The issue’s editorial content, featured here with introductions to each passage of text for which JS was ultimately responsible, included commentary on the Book of Mormon in light of recent archaeological discoveries, reflections on the risks of philosophizing about religious matters, a condemnation of the way government officials condoned the expulsion of church members from in 1838, and a report of a recent discourse delivered by to church members in . The issue also included editorials encouraging church members living outside the city to send donations to facilitate the construction of the Nauvoo temple, urging traveling elders to arrange for the free delivery of the Times and Seasons and the Wasp through the postal service, and insisting that JS was consistent in condemning vice and promoting virtue.
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.
idea of leaving her native land—and having also an aged mother, and she too somewhat dependant upon her, being sightless, are powerful drawbacks, I find, but doubt not the way will be made clear and open for us, and we shall ere long be “in your midst.” If I have had any fear in coming myself, it has arisen from these considerations: that being so physically unfitted for an agricultural life, that I should not be able to sustain myself and others with me—and to begin in a commercial line, my means at the present are so very limited that I have feared to venture on that account; but still I think when I am there, something or other will be open for me, according to my means, and wish myself again and again in your midst. I am exceedingly obliged for the trouble you took in writing to Cockson for me; he wrote to me soon after and said I should have it soon, but it is not come yet. I will write to him again and request him to transmit the same to you, and should he do so you can place that in the fund, as you think best. I wish it were double the sum. I was exceedingly interested in the perusal of the extracts from the Book of Abraham. The discovery and translation are arguments sufficient to convince any that are candid, that the God of heaven must be in our mists; and yet, strange to say, they even reject this with every other evidence.— Many thanks for the number of the Times and Seasons.
Every thing around and about us in the commercial and political world is looking dark and portentious, as if something was about to transpire that would astonish and affright the nation. Men’s hearts are beginning to quake and to fear. There is nothing but distress, perplexity, wretchedness, crime, and poverty stalking throughout the length and breadth of the land: and it seems quite impossible for matters to go on much longer in the way they are. Please present my very best remembrances to elders , —and —the former especially, having been more in his company—also, to brethren Mitchels, Melling, and others, whom you think I might know. I shall be exceedingly obliged if you will write to me again at your earliest convenience, as a letter from you will at all times be most cheering and instructive; and as I have made known to you some of my feelings and circumstances your counsel will be valuable. I think I told you that at the death of my mother I should then come into a share of property, but as this event is quite uncertain, I seem to think it is useless waiting for dead men’s shoes, but to come at once; but then, having so little without, would it not be better to wait a few years longer; and possibly by coming I might lose that, and more from another quarter, altogether. If I studied my own inclinations I should come at once, but when I look at those around me, it behooves me to consider which is the best path to pursue and adopt.
A great many of the Saints intend coming in the fall; Harrison, Greehow, Boyd, Hall, Dumville, and others, and especially your own friends, brother Cannon will come, I expect, the very first ship that sails in September. I think there seems to be a liberal spirit prevailing throughout the church in reference to the , but all feel the pressure of the times. I am sure they will do what they can. I find my paper drawing rapidly to a close—need I say in conclusion accept my warmest heartfelt thanks for all you have done—still pray for me, that I may be kept faithful—and may the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ bless you abundantly in all things. My best remembrances to you and yours, and to all the brethren and sisters, and believe me to remain yours, very sincerely in the .
The 15 September 1842 issue also included a notice urging the ’s traveling to procure additional subscriptions to the Times and Seasons and the Wasp and to arrange for the free delivery of the paper with local postmasters.
The travelling , by obtaining subscriptions for the Times and Seasons, and Wasp, and calling upon Post Masters to frank the same according to the Post Office regulation, will confer a favor and be entitled to the gratuity proffered in the Terms.
Another notice in this issue updated readers on the membership status of , a member of the Mill Creek of the church in . In July 1842, the paper printed a request that he travel to “to answer to certain charges that are preferred against him.” The Times and Seasons did not disclose the nature of the charges against Lamoreaux or the identity of the person who made them, and no other extant sources describe the details of his case.
The charge preferred against , in this paper, July 1st, has been withdrawn, and he restored to fellowship.
From the Antigua Herald, June 24.
EARTHQUAKE AT ANTIGUA.
This island has been visited by two severe shocks of an earthquake. The first shock commensed at about five minutes after ten o’clock this forenoon, and continued for about the space of one minute. It was succceded by another shock about one minute after the vibration of the first shock had subsided. With a vivid recollection of the horrors recently occasioned by this phenomenon at St. Domingo, our apprehensions were most awfully aroused by the first shock, which was the most severe of any similar occurrence in the island for many years; but the effects of the second shock, following so soon on its predecessor, gave rise to feelings that bid defiance to expression; and apprehensions that no power but that of the all- [p. 925]
To frank a piece of mail sometimes meant to send an item through the postal service free of charge. The Post Office Act of 1792 made the longstanding free exchange of newspapers through the postal service official government policy. (Pasley, “Tyranny of Printers,” 48–49.)
Pasley, Jeffrey L. “The Tyranny of Printers”: Newspaper Politics in the Early American Republic. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 2001.