Times and Seasons (, Hancock Co., IL), 16 May 1842, vol. 3, no. 14, pp. 783–798; edited by JS. For more complete source information, see the source note for Letter to Isaac Galland, 22 Mar. 1839.
The 16 May 1842 issue of the Times and Seasons was the sixth issue of the newspaper JS edited. It featured a variety of items, including “A Fac-simile from the Book of Abraham. No. 3,” with an explanation of various figures depicted in the facsimile, a serial installment of the “History of Joseph Smith,” letters from British members, and reprinted articles from the Latter-day Saints’ Millennial Star and Dollar Weekly Bostonian. In addition, the 16 May 1842 issue included three editorial comments, written by JS or the staff of the newspaper, which are featured here. JS’s level of involvement is unclear—he may have directed their creation or reviewed the material once written—but as editor he assumed editorial responsibility for all of the content in the issues of the paper published during his time as editor.
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.
A letter to the editor from an individual identified only by the initials “I. T.” related and refuted discussions of the church in the Baptist periodical the Cross and Journal, published in Columbus, Ohio.
who had come from . He afterwards had a discussion with Elder W. Hardman, when it turned out that the pretended American was a Scotchman. Linsey, Newton and the clique who were Berry Jr’s. supporters again supported this sleepy character, who borrowed the name of American to deceive the people.
I remain Yours &c.
TIMES AND SEASONS.
CITY OF ,
MONDAY, MAY 16, 1842.
The first editorial item discussed a perceived change in the coverage and characterization of the Latter-day Saints in newspapers. The author took note of four newspapers that he felt had begun to be more honest and impartial in their commentaries about the . The editorial also mentioned that two newspapers had reprinted the first facsimile of the Book of Abraham, which had apparently garnered public interest soon after it was first published in the 1 March 1842 issue of the Times and Seasons.
☞ It will be seen by several extracts taken from different papers, that the press is changing its tone a little, in regard to the subject of Mormonism; many of the most recpectable, influential, and widely circulated periodicals are beginning to look at Mormonism in its true light: at any rate they are for investigating the subject impartially, and as honest, and candid journalists, they speak of it as they find it. Such is Mr. , of the Herald; Mr. William Bartlett, of the Dollar Weekly Bostonian; the New York State Mechanic, published by Mr. Joel Munson [Munsell]; and the Democrat; published by Col. .
The first cut of a fac simile from the Book of Abraham, has been re-published both in the New York Herald, and in the Dollar Weekly Bostonian, as well as in the Boston Daily Ledger, Edited by Mr. Bartltet [Bartlett]; together with the translation from the Book of Abraham. Mr. Bartlett says that he “intends opening a corespondence with us, that he may acquaint himself with our public and private acts.” &c. we can assure Mr. Bartlett that we shall be most happy to put him in possession of any information that he may require pertaining to our society, as we have always courted publicity, and investigation, and chose light rather than darkness.—Ed.
The second editorial note informed readers that Latter-day Saint and over a hundred British converts had arrived in , Illinois, on 14 May 1842. Some of those immigrants had earlier left with Latter-day Saint missionary , attempting to reach Nauvoo via . Setting sail in late December 1841, they encountered rough weather, which caused severe damage to the ship. Amid the tempest, Adams preached the gospel and counseled his fellow passengers. Ultimately the ship was forced to return to England, arriving on 25 February 1842. Several nonmembers traveling with Adams joined the and were among those who left for Nauvoo with Fielding and other British Saints a few weeks later.
, has just arrived in with about 150 emigrants from England; a ship load came some time ago, and another is expected soon.
A final notice in the 16 May 1842 issue of the Times and Seasons described a review of the that occurred on 7 May. The legion was composed of twenty-six companies and approximately two thousand troops, all of whom participated in the parade. In an 8 May 1842 letter, an individual identifying himself as a artillery officer described the legion’s performance for the New York Herald, writing that he had arrived in on 1 May and “from the great preparations for the military parade, was induced to stay to see the turnout.” He complimented the legion’s review, noting that they “certainly made a very noble and imposing appearance” and observing that “the evolutions of these troops directed by , would do honor to any body of armed militia in any of the States, and approximates very closely to our regular forces.”
We had a general review of the , on Saturday the 7th inst. The Legion presented a beautiful appearance, the officers of the different Cohorts, Battalions and Companies, equiped themselves well: and in passing through their various evolutlons, both officers and men, showed a knowledge of military tactics, far in advance of what could have been expected from the little experiance they have had and the short time the Legion has been formed. They have very much improved both in good discipline and uniform, since last year. Many thousands of spectators were present; no accident occurred; but good will, order, peace, harmony, and hilarity was manifested; both by the companies, and the spectators.
Sir, having been in the habit of late of perusing the “Cross and Journal,” a Baptist periodical published in , Ohio, to search out the pure principles that are advocated by this advocate of righteousness; in my investigations I happened to blunder over the following extracts;—as they were interesting to me, I had the vanity to suppose the[y] might be the same to yourself. If they are, and you should judge them worthy of a place in your valuable periodical, they are at your disposal, together with my reflections upon them.
“Prayer was offered up by Rev. Dr. Jenks, after which Mr. Knapp addressed them in a sermon of an hour and a half in length, from the words of Saul of Tarsus, Acts, 9:6, ‘Lord what wilt thou have me to to do?’. . . . ‘The text is the language of a young convert. . . . . The enquiry is not where you can enjoy the most; but where you can do the most for the glory of God. Some of you in answering this question may be called to preach the gospel, others to go on a foreign mission.”
1. “The first answer is, “take my yoke upon you.” Unite yourselves to the people of God. Join some evangelical church.”
* * * * * * *
5. “Search the scriptures.” “If you have irreligious books, novels, or books on Universalism, burn them up. Make the bible your study. Carry it in your pocket: have it at hand at all times, and as much as possible commit it to memory. Be in the habit of reading it upon your knees, and of looking directly to the spirit of God to enable you to understand it.”
Having perused the above passages, sir, and not being very quick of apprehension, I examined them a second time, when I had the following reflections:—“Prayer was offered by the Rev. Dr. Jenks:”—Well now, that seems to be good—afterwards Mr. Knapp preached from the words of Saul of Tarsus;” “Lord what wilt thou have me to do?” These seem to be good words—they are scriptural words; and I think Mr. Knapp has preached FROM [p. 790]
The New York State Mechanic was a weekly journal published by the New York State Mechanical Association. It was edited and printed by Albany printer Joel Munsell. (“Munsell, Joel,” in Appletons’ Cyclopædia of American Biography, 4:461–462.)
Appletons’ Cyclopædia of American Biography. 6 vols. Edited by James Grant Wilson and John Fiske. New York: D. Appleton, 1887–1888.
The Chicago Democrat was a daily newspaper edited by John Wentworth from 1836 to 1861. A few months before the 16 May 1842 issue was published, JS wrote a brief account of the history of the church at Wentworth’s request for possible publication. (See “Church History,” 1 Mar. 1842.)
See “A Fac-simile from the Book of Abraham,” New York Herald, 3 Apr. 1842, . In addition to editing the Dollar Weekly Bostonian, William Bartlett was the editor of another Boston newspaper, the Boston Daily Ledger, a daily paper established on 4 April 1842. Few original copies of either of these papers exist. (See “Boston Daily Ledger,” Liberator [Boston], 1 Apr. 1842, ; and “Boston Daily Ledger,” Daily Atlas [Boston], 5 Apr. 1842, .)
In concluding his letter to the editor, the unidentified artillery officer commented on the warlike nature of the Nauvoo Legion and its prospects for significant growth. His final caution was for others not to provoke the legion: “The Mormons, it is true, are now peaceable, but the lion is asleep. Take care, and don’t rouse him.” (“The Mormons,” New York Herald, 17 June 1842, .)