26013

Journal, December 1841–December 1842

4 December 1842 • Sunday

Sunday 4th. The day being very wet Prest. Joseph remained at home all day

5 December 1842 • Monday

Monday 5th. A.M. Attendend in council with Prest. Hyrum Smith

9 Feb. 1800–27 June 1844. Farmer, cooper. Born at Tunbridge, Orange Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack. Moved to Randolph, Orange Co., 1802; to Tunbridge, before May 1803; to Royalton, Windsor Co., Vermont, 1804; to Sharon, Windsor Co., by...

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& others on the Bankrupt case. P.M. had conversation with bro. William A. Gheen. In the evening attended the Lodge at which time charges were preferred against George W. Robinson

14 May 1814–10 Feb. 1878. Clerk, postmaster, merchant, clothier, banker. Born at Pawlet, Rutland Co., Vermont. Baptized into LDS church and moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, by 1836. Clerk and recorder for Kirtland high council, beginning Jan. 1836. Married...

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for unmasonic conduct towards prest. Joseph.539

According to the minutes of the meeting, Robinson was charged “1st For endeavouring to wrong Nauvoo Lodge by misreprensentations. 2nd For speaking evil of Brethren Master Masons. 3rd For Lying.” The hearing was set and received a series of postponements until, on 1 February 1843, Senior Warden Lucius N. Scovil reported that Robinson “had made ample satisfaction to the aggrieved & injured Brethren,” and the lodge sustained taking no further action against him. (Nauvoo Masonic Lodge Minute Book, 5 Dec. 1842 and 1 Feb. 1843; JS, Journal, 24 Jan. 1843.)  


6 December 1842 • Tuesday

Tuesday 6th. Attended trial of Amos Davis

20 Sept. 1814–22 Mar. 1872. Merchant, farmer. Born in Hopkinton, Rockingham Co., New Hampshire. Son of Wells Davis and Mary. Moved to Commerce (later Nauvoo), Hancock Co., Illinois, 1836. Married first Elvira Hibard, 1 Jan. 1837, in Hancock Co. Baptized into...

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before the municipal Court.540

The municipal court, over which JS presided, considered an appeal by Davis of the 2 December verdict of the mayor’s court on charges of selling liquor in small quantities. The judgment of the mayor’s court, fining Davis twenty-five dollars, was upheld. Davis later appealed to the Hancock County Circuit Court at Carthage, where a jury found Davis guilty of breach of the Nauvoo ordinance and fined him six and one-quarter cents. (JS, Journal, 2 Dec. 1842; Davis v. Nauvoo [Nauvoo Mun. Ct. 1842], Nauvoo Municipal Court Docket Book, 14–15 [second numbering]; Hancock Co., IL, Circuit Court Record, vol. C, p. 475, microfilm 947,496, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL.)  


7 December 1842 • Wednesday

Wednesday 7th. This day dined with Elder Orson Hyde

8 Jan. 1805–28 Nov. 1878. Laborer, clerk, storekeeper, teacher, editor, businessman, lawyer, judge. Born at Oxford, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Nathan Hyde and Sally Thorpe. Moved to Derby, New Haven Co., 1812. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, ...

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& family. Elder Hyde

8 Jan. 1805–28 Nov. 1878. Laborer, clerk, storekeeper, teacher, editor, businessman, lawyer, judge. Born at Oxford, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Nathan Hyde and Sally Thorpe. Moved to Derby, New Haven Co., 1812. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, ...

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has this day returned home from his Mission to Jerusalem

Capital city of ancient Judea. Holy city of Christians, Jews, and Muslims. Population in 1835 about 11,000; in 1840 about 13,000; and in 1850 about 15,000. Described in 1836 as “greatly reduced from its ancient size and importance.” Occupied and governed ...

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,541

Hyde left Nauvoo (at that time still officially called Commerce) on 15 April 1840 to serve a mission to Europe and the Holy Land, where on 24 October 1841 he dedicated the land of Jerusalem for the return of the Jews. (Orson Hyde and John E. Page, Quincy, IL, 28 Apr. 1840, Letter to the editor, Times and Seasons, June 1840, 1:116–117; Orson Hyde, “Interesting News from Alexandria and Jerusalem,” LDS Millennial Star, Jan. 1842, 2:132–136.)  


his presence was gratifying, spent the day with Elder Hyde

8 Jan. 1805–28 Nov. 1878. Laborer, clerk, storekeeper, teacher, editor, businessman, lawyer, judge. Born at Oxford, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Nathan Hyde and Sally Thorpe. Moved to Derby, New Haven Co., 1812. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, ...

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& drawing wood.

8 December 1842 • Thursday

Thursday 8th. Had a visit from Elder Orson Hyde

8 Jan. 1805–28 Nov. 1878. Laborer, clerk, storekeeper, teacher, editor, businessman, lawyer, judge. Born at Oxford, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Nathan Hyde and Sally Thorpe. Moved to Derby, New Haven Co., 1812. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, ...

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& wife

28 June 1815–24 Mar. 1886. Born in Pomfret, Windsor Co., Vermont. Daughter of John Johnson and Alice (Elsa) Jacob. Baptized into LDS church, Apr. 1832, in Hiram, Portage Co., Ohio. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, 1833. Married Orson Hyde, 4 Sept. 1834...

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. Spent the day at home.

Editorial Note
JS’s journal from 9 December through 20 December 1842 chronicles the efforts of several of his friends—including William Clayton

17 July 1814–4 Dec. 1879. Bookkeeper, clerk. Born at Charock Moss, Penwortham, Lancashire, England. Son of Thomas Clayton and Ann Critchley. Married Ruth Moon, 9 Oct. 1836, at Penwortham. Baptized into LDS church by Heber C. Kimball, 21 Oct. 1837, in River...

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, who was keeping the journal at this time—to obtain a discharge of his debts through bankruptcy during a trip to Springfield

Settled by 1819. Incorporated as town, 1832. Became state capital, 1837. Incorporated as city, 1840. Sangamon Co. seat. Population in 1840 about 2,600. Stake of LDS church organized in Springfield, Nov. 1840; discontinued May 1841; branch organized, Jan. ...

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, Illinois. JS himself remained in Nauvoo

Principal gathering place for Saints following expulsion from Missouri. Beginning in 1839, LDS church purchased lands in earlier settlement of Commerce and planned settlement of Commerce City, as well as surrounding areas. Served as church headquarters, 1839...

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during this time. While in Springfield, JS’s friends also consulted with state officials and others about a possible course of action JS might pursue in regard to the ongoing effort to extradite him to Missouri

Area acquired by U.S. in Louisiana Purchase, 1803, and established as territory, 1812. Missouri Compromise, 1820, admitted Missouri as slave state, 1821. Population in 1830 about 140,000; in 1836 about 240,000; and in 1840 about 380,000. Mormon missionaries...

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to stand trial for his alleged involvement in the assassination attempt on Lilburn W. Boggs

14 Dec. 1796–14 Mar. 1860. Bookkeeper, bank cashier, merchant, Indian agent and trader, lawyer, doctor, postmaster, politician. Born at Lexington, Fayette Co., Kentucky. Son of John M. Boggs and Martha Oliver. Served in War of 1812. Moved to St. Louis, ca...

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. These discussions provided Clayton with access to some of the documents that had been generated during the extradition attempt, as well as to letters to JS from newly elected Illinois governor Thomas Ford

5 Dec. 1800–3 Nov. 1850. School teacher, newspaperman, lawyer, politician, judge, author. Born in Uniontown, Fayette Co., Pennsylvania. Son of Robert Ford and Elizabeth Logue Forquer. Moved to St. Louis, 1804; to New Design (later American Bottom), Randolph...

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and United States

North American constitutional republic. Constitution ratified, 17 Sept. 1787. Population in 1805 about 6,000,000; in 1830 about 13,000,000; and in 1844 about 20,000,000. Louisiana Purchase, 1803, doubled size of U.S. Consisted of seventeen states at time ...

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district attorney Justin Butterfield

1790–Oct. 1855. Teacher, lawyer. Born in Keene, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire. Ca. 1810, moved to Watertown, Jefferson Co., New York, where he taught school and studied law. Admitted to bar, 1812, at Watertown. Practiced law in Adams, Jefferson Co., and Sackets...

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, recommending that JS come to Springfield for a judicial review of his case. Clayton copied these documents and letters into this lengthy journal entry. A day-by-day account of JS’s activities resumed on 21 December following the party’s return to Nauvoo, when JS asked Willard Richards

24 June 1804–11 Mar. 1854. Teacher, lecturer, doctor, clerk, printer, editor, postmaster. Born at Hopkinton, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Joseph Richards and Rhoda Howe. Moved to Richmond, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts, 1813. Moved to Chatham, Columbia...

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to serve as his private secretary and historian.

9–20 December 1842 • Friday–Tuesday

Friday 9th. This day prest. Joseph went to chopping wood.
On this day President Hyrum Smith

9 Feb. 1800–27 June 1844. Farmer, cooper. Born at Tunbridge, Orange Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack. Moved to Randolph, Orange Co., 1802; to Tunbridge, before May 1803; to Royalton, Windsor Co., Vermont, 1804; to Sharon, Windsor Co., by...

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started in company with Willard Richards

24 June 1804–11 Mar. 1854. Teacher, lecturer, doctor, clerk, printer, editor, postmaster. Born at Hopkinton, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Joseph Richards and Rhoda Howe. Moved to Richmond, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts, 1813. Moved to Chatham, Columbia...

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. William Clayton

17 July 1814–4 Dec. 1879. Bookkeeper, clerk. Born at Charock Moss, Penwortham, Lancashire, England. Son of Thomas Clayton and Ann Critchley. Married Ruth Moon, 9 Oct. 1836, at Penwortham. Baptized into LDS church by Heber C. Kimball, 21 Oct. 1837, in River...

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, Henry G. Sherwood

20 Apr. 1785–24 Nov. 1867. Surveyor. Born at Kingsbury, Washington Co., New York. Son of Newcomb Sherwood and a woman whose maiden name was Tolman (first name unidentified). Married first Jane J. McManagal (McMangle) of Glasgow, Lanark, Scotland, ca. 1824...

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, Benjamin Covey, Peter Haws

17 Feb. 1796–1862. Farmer, miller, businessman. Born in Leeds Co., Johnstown District (later in Ontario), Upper Canada. Son of Edward Haws and Polly. Married Charlotte Harrington. Baptized into LDS church. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio. Served mission...

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, Heber C. Kimball

14 June 1801–22 June 1868. Blacksmith, potter. Born at Sheldon, Franklin Co., Vermont. Son of Solomon Farnham Kimball and Anna Spaulding. Married Vilate Murray, 22 Nov. 1822, at Mendon, Monroe Co., New York. Member of Baptist church at Mendon, 1831. Baptized...

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, Reynolds Cahoon

30 Apr. 1790–29 Apr. 1861. Farmer, tanner, builder. Born at Cambridge, Washington Co., New York. Son of William Cahoon Jr. and Mehitable Hodges. Married Thirza Stiles, 11 Dec. 1810. Moved to northeastern Ohio, 1811. Located at Harpersfield, Ashtabula Co.,...

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& Alpheus Cutler

29 Feb. 1784–10 June 1864. Stonemason. Born in Plainfield, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire. Son of Knight Cutler and Elizabeth Boyd. Married Lois Lathrop, 17 Nov. 1808, in Lebanon, Grafton Co., New Hampshire. Moved to Upper Lisle, Broome Co., New York, ca. 1808...

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for Springfield

Settled by 1819. Incorporated as town, 1832. Became state capital, 1837. Incorporated as city, 1840. Sangamon Co. seat. Population in 1840 about 2,600. Stake of LDS church organized in Springfield, Nov. 1840; discontinued May 1841; branch organized, Jan. ...

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. bro. Covey & prest. Hyrum

9 Feb. 1800–27 June 1844. Farmer, cooper. Born at Tunbridge, Orange Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack. Moved to Randolph, Orange Co., 1802; to Tunbridge, before May 1803; to Royalton, Windsor Co., Vermont, 1804; to Sharon, Windsor Co., by...

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to attend to his case and the others to attend to prest. Joseph’s case.542

That is, JS’s and Hyrum Smith’s bankruptcy cases.  


We arrived at Springfield

Settled by 1819. Incorporated as town, 1832. Became state capital, 1837. Incorporated as city, 1840. Sangamon Co. seat. Population in 1840 about 2,600. Stake of LDS church organized in Springfield, Nov. 1840; discontinued May 1841; branch organized, Jan. ...

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on tues-day the 13th. about 3 P.M. Same evening we were visited by Elder William Smith

13 Mar. 1811–13 Nov. 1893. Farmer, newspaper editor. Born at Royalton, Windsor Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack. Moved to Lebanon, Grafton Co., New Hampshire, 1811; to Norwich, Windsor Co., 1813; and to Palmyra, Ontario Co., New York, 1816...

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who is a member of the house of Representatives. He stated that the subject of the repeal of our charter had been brought before the house, and the house had referred the subject to the committee on Corporations. He had made a spirited speech before the house on the subject; and thought from the appearance of things that the only way to preserve our charter was, to present a resolution to repeal all the charters in the State

Became part of Northwest Territory of U.S., 1787. Admitted as state, 1818. Population in 1840 about 480,000. Population in 1845 about 660,000. Plentiful, inexpensive land attracted settlers from northern and southern states. Following expulsion from Missouri...

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, if they repealed the Nauvoo

Principal gathering place for Saints following expulsion from Missouri. Beginning in 1839, LDS church purchased lands in earlier settlement of Commerce and planned settlement of Commerce City, as well as surrounding areas. Served as church headquarters, 1839...

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Charter.544

A report of William Smith’s 9 December speech before the Illinois House of Representatives is in “Speech of Mr. Smith of Hancock County,” The Wasp, 14 Jan. 1843, [1]–[2]. Residents of Illinois had been criticizing the Nauvoo charter for some time.a The charter was debated in the Illinois legislature on 9 and 10 December, the issue being that the Mormons were allegedly abusing the powers granted in the charter to keep JS from being extradited.b The state senate committee on the judiciary took up the question later and on 19 December reported on the powers given to Illinois chartered cities, concluding that religious prejudice was behind the accusation that Mormons were given special treatment in the Nauvoo charter. However, the committee recommended amending all city charters “to place them all upon an equal footing.”c Ultimately, the Nauvoo city charter was not repealed until after JS’s death.d  


a“The Mormon Plot and League,” Sangamo Journal [Springfield, IL], 8 July 1842, [2]; “Gov. Duncan,” Times and Seasons, 1 June 1842, 3:806, 808.

b“Illinois Legislature,” Sangamo Journal, 15 Dec. 1842, [2].

c“Report of the Committee on the Judiciary,” Reports Made to Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Illinois, Senate, 13th Assembly, 1st Sess., p. 4.

dAn Act to Repeal the Act Entitled “An Act to Incorporate the City of Nauvoo” [29 Jan. 1845], Laws of the State of Illinois [1844–1845], pp. 187–188.

He stated that we had a many warm friends in both Houses who had determined that if our charter was repealed all the Charters in the State

Became part of Northwest Territory of U.S., 1787. Admitted as state, 1818. Population in 1840 about 480,000. Population in 1845 about 660,000. Plentiful, inexpensive land attracted settlers from northern and southern states. Following expulsion from Missouri...

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should, especially Springfield

Settled by 1819. Incorporated as town, 1832. Became state capital, 1837. Incorporated as city, 1840. Sangamon Co. seat. Population in 1840 about 2,600. Stake of LDS church organized in Springfield, Nov. 1840; discontinued May 1841; branch organized, Jan. ...

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, Quincy

Located on high limestone bluffs east of Mississippi River, about forty-five miles south of Nauvoo. Settled 1821. Adams Co. seat, 1825. Incorporated as town, 1834. Received city charter, 1840. Population in 1835 about 800; in 1840 about 2,300; and in 1845...

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& Chicago

Settled by Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, 1779. U.S. Fort Dearborn established, 1804. Town organized, 10 Aug. 1832. Incorporated as city, May 1837. Population in 1837 about 4,200; in 1840 about 4,500; and in 1844 about 11,000. Twenty-six members of LDS church...

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.545

Between 1837, when Chicago was chartered as a city by the Illinois General Assembly, and 1840, when Nauvoo’s charter was drafted, four other Illinois cities—Alton, Galena, Springfield, and Quincy—were granted charters similar to Nauvoo’s. (Kimball, “Nauvoo Charter,” 66–78; Bennett and Cope, “City on a Hill,” 20–21, 33–40.)  


It is evident that there would have been little said on this subject before the Houses, had not Governor Thomas Ford

5 Dec. 1800–3 Nov. 1850. School teacher, newspaperman, lawyer, politician, judge, author. Born in Uniontown, Fayette Co., Pennsylvania. Son of Robert Ford and Elizabeth Logue Forquer. Moved to St. Louis, 1804; to New Design (later American Bottom), Randolph...

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in his inaugural address, referred to it in strong terms. In that address he says546

In his inaugural address on 8 December 1842, newly elected Illinois governor Thomas Ford said: “A great deal has been said about certain charters granted to the people of Nauvoo. These charters are objectionable on many accounts, but particularly on account of the powers granted. The people of the State have become aroused on the subject, and anxiously desire that those charters should be modified so as to give the inhabitants of Nauvoo no greater privileges than those enjoyed by others of our fellow citizens.” (Journal of the Senate . . . of Illinois, 8 Dec. 1842, 33.)  


“ [3 lines blank]
It was expected that Govr. Ford

5 Dec. 1800–3 Nov. 1850. School teacher, newspaperman, lawyer, politician, judge, author. Born in Uniontown, Fayette Co., Pennsylvania. Son of Robert Ford and Elizabeth Logue Forquer. Moved to St. Louis, 1804; to New Design (later American Bottom), Randolph...

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would not have recommended any alteration in our charter, inasmuch as there is no extraordinary privileges granted to the citizens of Nauvoo

Principal gathering place for Saints following expulsion from Missouri. Beginning in 1839, LDS church purchased lands in earlier settlement of Commerce and planned settlement of Commerce City, as well as surrounding areas. Served as church headquarters, 1839...

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, more than is granted by the Springfield

Settled by 1819. Incorporated as town, 1832. Became state capital, 1837. Incorporated as city, 1840. Sangamon Co. seat. Population in 1840 about 2,600. Stake of LDS church organized in Springfield, Nov. 1840; discontinued May 1841; branch organized, Jan. ...

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Charter, to the citizens of Springfield

Settled by 1819. Incorporated as town, 1832. Became state capital, 1837. Incorporated as city, 1840. Sangamon Co. seat. Population in 1840 about 2,600. Stake of LDS church organized in Springfield, Nov. 1840; discontinued May 1841; branch organized, Jan. ...

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.547

Although the Springfield and Nauvoo charters were remarkably similar, a significant difference between the two was the authority held by the Nauvoo Municipal Court to issue writs of habeas corpus. The city of Alton had a similar provision. (Kimball, “Nauvoo Charter,” 73–75, 77–78; Bennett and Cope, “City on a Hill,” 35.)  


Such however was not the case, and his remarks have in some measure added a new stimulus to our enemies to agitate the subject. It is, however, evident that Govr. Ford

5 Dec. 1800–3 Nov. 1850. School teacher, newspaperman, lawyer, politician, judge, author. Born in Uniontown, Fayette Co., Pennsylvania. Son of Robert Ford and Elizabeth Logue Forquer. Moved to St. Louis, 1804; to New Design (later American Bottom), Randolph...

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saw that his remarks were not of the wisest as he said to us afterwards that he regretted he had not recommended a repeal of all the charters in the State

Became part of Northwest Territory of U.S., 1787. Admitted as state, 1818. Population in 1840 about 480,000. Population in 1845 about 660,000. Plentiful, inexpensive land attracted settlers from northern and southern states. Following expulsion from Missouri...

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at the same time. [p. 212]

4 December 1842 • Sunday

Sunday 4th. The day being very wet Prest. Joseph remained at home all day

5 December 1842 • Monday

Monday 5th. A.M. Attendend in council with Prest. Hyrum [Smith]

9 Feb. 1800–27 June 1844. Farmer, cooper. Born at Tunbridge, Orange Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack. Moved to Randolph, Orange Co., 1802; to Tunbridge, before May 1803; to Royalton, Windsor Co., Vermont, 1804; to Sharon, Windsor Co., by...

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& others on the Bankrupt  case. P.M. had conversation with bro. [William A.] Gheen. In the evening  attended the Lodge at which time charges were preferred against  George W. Robinson

14 May 1814–10 Feb. 1878. Clerk, postmaster, merchant, clothier, banker. Born at Pawlet, Rutland Co., Vermont. Baptized into LDS church and moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, by 1836. Clerk and recorder for Kirtland high council, beginning Jan. 1836. Married...

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for unmasonic conduct towards prest. Joseph.539

According to the minutes of the meeting, Robinson was charged “1st For endeavouring to wrong Nauvoo Lodge by misreprensentations. 2nd For speaking evil of Brethren Master Masons. 3rd For Lying.” The hearing was set and received a series of postponements until, on 1 February 1843, Senior Warden Lucius N. Scovil reported that Robinson “had made ample satisfaction to the aggrieved & injured Brethren,” and the lodge sustained taking no further action against him. (Nauvoo Masonic Lodge Minute Book, 5 Dec. 1842 and 1 Feb. 1843; JS, Journal, 24 Jan. 1843.)  


6 December 1842 • Tuesday

Tuesday 6th. Attended trial of Amos Davis

20 Sept. 1814–22 Mar. 1872. Merchant, farmer. Born in Hopkinton, Rockingham Co., New Hampshire. Son of Wells Davis and Mary. Moved to Commerce (later Nauvoo), Hancock Co., Illinois, 1836. Married first Elvira Hibard, 1 Jan. 1837, in Hancock Co. Baptized into...

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before the municipal Court.540

The municipal court, over which JS presided, considered an appeal by Davis of the 2 December verdict of the mayor’s court on charges of selling liquor in small quantities. The judgment of the mayor’s court, fining Davis twenty-five dollars, was upheld. Davis later appealed to the Hancock County Circuit Court at Carthage, where a jury found Davis guilty of breach of the Nauvoo ordinance and fined him six and one-quarter cents. (JS, Journal, 2 Dec. 1842; Davis v. Nauvoo [Nauvoo Mun. Ct. 1842], Nauvoo Municipal Court Docket Book, 14–15 [second numbering]; Hancock Co., IL, Circuit Court Record, vol. C, p. 475, microfilm 947,496, U.S. and Canada Record Collection, FHL.)  


7 December 1842 • Wednesday

Wednesday 7th. This day dined with E[lde]r Orson Hyde

8 Jan. 1805–28 Nov. 1878. Laborer, clerk, storekeeper, teacher, editor, businessman, lawyer, judge. Born at Oxford, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Nathan Hyde and Sally Thorpe. Moved to Derby, New Haven Co., 1812. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, ...

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& family. E[lde]r Hyde

8 Jan. 1805–28 Nov. 1878. Laborer, clerk, storekeeper, teacher, editor, businessman, lawyer, judge. Born at Oxford, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Nathan Hyde and Sally Thorpe. Moved to Derby, New Haven Co., 1812. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, ...

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has this  day returned home from his Mission to Jerusalem

Capital city of ancient Judea. Holy city of Christians, Jews, and Muslims. Population in 1835 about 11,000; in 1840 about 13,000; and in 1850 about 15,000. Described in 1836 as “greatly reduced from its ancient size and importance.” Occupied and governed ...

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,541

Hyde left Nauvoo (at that time still officially called Commerce) on 15 April 1840 to serve a mission to Europe and the Holy Land, where on 24 October 1841 he dedicated the land of Jerusalem for the return of the Jews. (Orson Hyde and John E. Page, Quincy, IL, 28 Apr. 1840, Letter to the editor, Times and Seasons, June 1840, 1:116–117; Orson Hyde, “Interesting News from Alexandria and Jerusalem,” LDS Millennial Star, Jan. 1842, 2:132–136.)  


his presence  was gratifying, spent the day with E[lde]r Hyde

8 Jan. 1805–28 Nov. 1878. Laborer, clerk, storekeeper, teacher, editor, businessman, lawyer, judge. Born at Oxford, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Nathan Hyde and Sally Thorpe. Moved to Derby, New Haven Co., 1812. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, ...

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& drawing wood.

8 December 1842 • Thursday

Thursday 8th. Had a visit from E[lde]r [Orson] Hyde

8 Jan. 1805–28 Nov. 1878. Laborer, clerk, storekeeper, teacher, editor, businessman, lawyer, judge. Born at Oxford, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Nathan Hyde and Sally Thorpe. Moved to Derby, New Haven Co., 1812. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, ...

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& wife

28 June 1815–24 Mar. 1886. Born in Pomfret, Windsor Co., Vermont. Daughter of John Johnson and Alice (Elsa) Jacob. Baptized into LDS church, Apr. 1832, in Hiram, Portage Co., Ohio. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, 1833. Married Orson Hyde, 4 Sept. 1834...

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. Spent the day at home.

Editorial Note
JS’s journal from 9 December through 20 December 1842 chronicles the efforts of several of his friends—including William Clayton

17 July 1814–4 Dec. 1879. Bookkeeper, clerk. Born at Charock Moss, Penwortham, Lancashire, England. Son of Thomas Clayton and Ann Critchley. Married Ruth Moon, 9 Oct. 1836, at Penwortham. Baptized into LDS church by Heber C. Kimball, 21 Oct. 1837, in River...

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, who was keeping the journal at this time—to obtain a discharge of his debts through bankruptcy during a trip to Springfield

Settled by 1819. Incorporated as town, 1832. Became state capital, 1837. Incorporated as city, 1840. Sangamon Co. seat. Population in 1840 about 2,600. Stake of LDS church organized in Springfield, Nov. 1840; discontinued May 1841; branch organized, Jan. ...

More Info
, Illinois. JS himself remained in Nauvoo

Principal gathering place for Saints following expulsion from Missouri. Beginning in 1839, LDS church purchased lands in earlier settlement of Commerce and planned settlement of Commerce City, as well as surrounding areas. Served as church headquarters, 1839...

More Info
during this time. While in Springfield, JS’s friends also consulted with state officials and others about a possible course of action JS might pursue in regard to the ongoing effort to extradite him to Missouri

Area acquired by U.S. in Louisiana Purchase, 1803, and established as territory, 1812. Missouri Compromise, 1820, admitted Missouri as slave state, 1821. Population in 1830 about 140,000; in 1836 about 240,000; and in 1840 about 380,000. Mormon missionaries...

More Info
to stand trial for his alleged involvement in the assassination attempt on Lilburn W. Boggs

14 Dec. 1796–14 Mar. 1860. Bookkeeper, bank cashier, merchant, Indian agent and trader, lawyer, doctor, postmaster, politician. Born at Lexington, Fayette Co., Kentucky. Son of John M. Boggs and Martha Oliver. Served in War of 1812. Moved to St. Louis, ca...

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. These discussions provided Clayton with access to some of the documents that had been generated during the extradition attempt, as well as to letters to JS from newly elected Illinois governor Thomas Ford

5 Dec. 1800–3 Nov. 1850. School teacher, newspaperman, lawyer, politician, judge, author. Born in Uniontown, Fayette Co., Pennsylvania. Son of Robert Ford and Elizabeth Logue Forquer. Moved to St. Louis, 1804; to New Design (later American Bottom), Randolph...

View Full Bio
and United States

North American constitutional republic. Constitution ratified, 17 Sept. 1787. Population in 1805 about 6,000,000; in 1830 about 13,000,000; and in 1844 about 20,000,000. Louisiana Purchase, 1803, doubled size of U.S. Consisted of seventeen states at time ...

More Info
district attorney Justin Butterfield

1790–Oct. 1855. Teacher, lawyer. Born in Keene, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire. Ca. 1810, moved to Watertown, Jefferson Co., New York, where he taught school and studied law. Admitted to bar, 1812, at Watertown. Practiced law in Adams, Jefferson Co., and Sackets...

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, recommending that JS come to Springfield for a judicial review of his case. Clayton copied these documents and letters into this lengthy journal entry. A day-by-day account of JS’s activities resumed on 21 December following the party’s return to Nauvoo, when JS asked Willard Richards

24 June 1804–11 Mar. 1854. Teacher, lecturer, doctor, clerk, printer, editor, postmaster. Born at Hopkinton, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Joseph Richards and Rhoda Howe. Moved to Richmond, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts, 1813. Moved to Chatham, Columbia...

View Full Bio
to serve as his private secretary and historian.

9–20 December 1842 • Friday–Tuesday

Friday 9th. This day prest. Joseph went to chopping wood.
On this day President Hyrum [Smith]

9 Feb. 1800–27 June 1844. Farmer, cooper. Born at Tunbridge, Orange Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack. Moved to Randolph, Orange Co., 1802; to Tunbridge, before May 1803; to Royalton, Windsor Co., Vermont, 1804; to Sharon, Windsor Co., by...

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started in company with Willard Richards

24 June 1804–11 Mar. 1854. Teacher, lecturer, doctor, clerk, printer, editor, postmaster. Born at Hopkinton, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Joseph Richards and Rhoda Howe. Moved to Richmond, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts, 1813. Moved to Chatham, Columbia...

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.  William Clayton

17 July 1814–4 Dec. 1879. Bookkeeper, clerk. Born at Charock Moss, Penwortham, Lancashire, England. Son of Thomas Clayton and Ann Critchley. Married Ruth Moon, 9 Oct. 1836, at Penwortham. Baptized into LDS church by Heber C. Kimball, 21 Oct. 1837, in River...

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, Henry G. Sherwood

20 Apr. 1785–24 Nov. 1867. Surveyor. Born at Kingsbury, Washington Co., New York. Son of Newcomb Sherwood and a woman whose maiden name was Tolman (first name unidentified). Married first Jane J. McManagal (McMangle) of Glasgow, Lanark, Scotland, ca. 1824...

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, Benjamin Covey, Peter Haws

17 Feb. 1796–1862. Farmer, miller, businessman. Born in Leeds Co., Johnstown District (later in Ontario), Upper Canada. Son of Edward Haws and Polly. Married Charlotte Harrington. Baptized into LDS church. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio. Served mission...

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, Heber  C. Kimball

14 June 1801–22 June 1868. Blacksmith, potter. Born at Sheldon, Franklin Co., Vermont. Son of Solomon Farnham Kimball and Anna Spaulding. Married Vilate Murray, 22 Nov. 1822, at Mendon, Monroe Co., New York. Member of Baptist church at Mendon, 1831. Baptized...

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, Reynolds Cahoon

30 Apr. 1790–29 Apr. 1861. Farmer, tanner, builder. Born at Cambridge, Washington Co., New York. Son of William Cahoon Jr. and Mehitable Hodges. Married Thirza Stiles, 11 Dec. 1810. Moved to northeastern Ohio, 1811. Located at Harpersfield, Ashtabula Co.,...

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& Alpheus Cutler

29 Feb. 1784–10 June 1864. Stonemason. Born in Plainfield, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire. Son of Knight Cutler and Elizabeth Boyd. Married Lois Lathrop, 17 Nov. 1808, in Lebanon, Grafton Co., New Hampshire. Moved to Upper Lisle, Broome Co., New York, ca. 1808...

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for Springfield

Settled by 1819. Incorporated as town, 1832. Became state capital, 1837. Incorporated as city, 1840. Sangamon Co. seat. Population in 1840 about 2,600. Stake of LDS church organized in Springfield, Nov. 1840; discontinued May 1841; branch organized, Jan. ...

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.  bro. Covey & prest. Hyrum

9 Feb. 1800–27 June 1844. Farmer, cooper. Born at Tunbridge, Orange Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack. Moved to Randolph, Orange Co., 1802; to Tunbridge, before May 1803; to Royalton, Windsor Co., Vermont, 1804; to Sharon, Windsor Co., by...

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to attend to his case and the others to attend  to prest. Joseph’s case.542

That is, JS’s and Hyrum Smith’s bankruptcy cases.  


543

TEXT: The remainder of the entry is in darker ink and was evidently written later.  


We arrived at Springfield

Settled by 1819. Incorporated as town, 1832. Became state capital, 1837. Incorporated as city, 1840. Sangamon Co. seat. Population in 1840 about 2,600. Stake of LDS church organized in Springfield, Nov. 1840; discontinued May 1841; branch organized, Jan. ...

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on tues-day the 13th. about 3  P.M. Same evening we were visited by E[lde]r William Smith

13 Mar. 1811–13 Nov. 1893. Farmer, newspaper editor. Born at Royalton, Windsor Co., Vermont. Son of Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack. Moved to Lebanon, Grafton Co., New Hampshire, 1811; to Norwich, Windsor Co., 1813; and to Palmyra, Ontario Co., New York, 1816...

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who is a member  of the house of Representatives. He stated that the subject of the repeal of  our charter had been brought before the house, and the house had referred  the subject to the committee on Corporations. He had made a spirited speech  before the house on the subject; and thought from the appearance of things  that the only way to preserve our charter was, to present a resolution to  repeal all the charters in the State

Became part of Northwest Territory of U.S., 1787. Admitted as state, 1818. Population in 1840 about 480,000. Population in 1845 about 660,000. Plentiful, inexpensive land attracted settlers from northern and southern states. Following expulsion from Missouri...

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, if they repealed the Nauvoo

Principal gathering place for Saints following expulsion from Missouri. Beginning in 1839, LDS church purchased lands in earlier settlement of Commerce and planned settlement of Commerce City, as well as surrounding areas. Served as church headquarters, 1839...

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Charter.544

A report of William Smith’s 9 December speech before the Illinois House of Representatives is in “Speech of Mr. Smith of Hancock County,” The Wasp, 14 Jan. 1843, [1]–[2]. Residents of Illinois had been criticizing the Nauvoo charter for some time.a The charter was debated in the Illinois legislature on 9 and 10 December, the issue being that the Mormons were allegedly abusing the powers granted in the charter to keep JS from being extradited.b The state senate committee on the judiciary took up the question later and on 19 December reported on the powers given to Illinois chartered cities, concluding that religious prejudice was behind the accusation that Mormons were given special treatment in the Nauvoo charter. However, the committee recommended amending all city charters “to place them all upon an equal footing.”c Ultimately, the Nauvoo city charter was not repealed until after JS’s death.d  


a“The Mormon Plot and League,” Sangamo Journal [Springfield, IL], 8 July 1842, [2]; “Gov. Duncan,” Times and Seasons, 1 June 1842, 3:806, 808.

b“Illinois Legislature,” Sangamo Journal, 15 Dec. 1842, [2].

c“Report of the Committee on the Judiciary,” Reports Made to Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Illinois, Senate, 13th Assembly, 1st Sess., p. 4.

dAn Act to Repeal the Act Entitled “An Act to Incorporate the City of Nauvoo” [29 Jan. 1845], Laws of the State of Illinois [1844–1845], pp. 187–188.

 He stated that we had a many warm friends in both Houses who had  determined that if our charter was repealed all the Charters in the State

Became part of Northwest Territory of U.S., 1787. Admitted as state, 1818. Population in 1840 about 480,000. Population in 1845 about 660,000. Plentiful, inexpensive land attracted settlers from northern and southern states. Following expulsion from Missouri...

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 should, especially Springfield

Settled by 1819. Incorporated as town, 1832. Became state capital, 1837. Incorporated as city, 1840. Sangamon Co. seat. Population in 1840 about 2,600. Stake of LDS church organized in Springfield, Nov. 1840; discontinued May 1841; branch organized, Jan. ...

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, Quincy

Located on high limestone bluffs east of Mississippi River, about forty-five miles south of Nauvoo. Settled 1821. Adams Co. seat, 1825. Incorporated as town, 1834. Received city charter, 1840. Population in 1835 about 800; in 1840 about 2,300; and in 1845...

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& Chicago

Settled by Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, 1779. U.S. Fort Dearborn established, 1804. Town organized, 10 Aug. 1832. Incorporated as city, May 1837. Population in 1837 about 4,200; in 1840 about 4,500; and in 1844 about 11,000. Twenty-six members of LDS church...

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.545

Between 1837, when Chicago was chartered as a city by the Illinois General Assembly, and 1840, when Nauvoo’s charter was drafted, four other Illinois cities—Alton, Galena, Springfield, and Quincy—were granted charters similar to Nauvoo’s. (Kimball, “Nauvoo Charter,” 66–78; Bennett and Cope, “City on a Hill,” 20–21, 33–40.)  


It is evident that there would have been little said on this subject  before the Houses, had not Governor [Thomas] Ford

5 Dec. 1800–3 Nov. 1850. School teacher, newspaperman, lawyer, politician, judge, author. Born in Uniontown, Fayette Co., Pennsylvania. Son of Robert Ford and Elizabeth Logue Forquer. Moved to St. Louis, 1804; to New Design (later American Bottom), Randolph...

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in his inaugural address,  referred to it in strong terms. In that address he says546

In his inaugural address on 8 December 1842, newly elected Illinois governor Thomas Ford said: “A great deal has been said about certain charters granted to the people of Nauvoo. These charters are objectionable on many accounts, but particularly on account of the powers granted. The people of the State have become aroused on the subject, and anxiously desire that those charters should be modified so as to give the inhabitants of Nauvoo no greater privileges than those enjoyed by others of our fellow citizens.” (Journal of the Senate . . . of Illinois, 8 Dec. 1842, 33.)  


“ [3 lines blank]
It was expected that Govr. Ford

5 Dec. 1800–3 Nov. 1850. School teacher, newspaperman, lawyer, politician, judge, author. Born in Uniontown, Fayette Co., Pennsylvania. Son of Robert Ford and Elizabeth Logue Forquer. Moved to St. Louis, 1804; to New Design (later American Bottom), Randolph...

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would not have recommended any  alteration in our charter, inasmuch as there is no extraordinary  privileges granted to the citizens of Nauvoo

Principal gathering place for Saints following expulsion from Missouri. Beginning in 1839, LDS church purchased lands in earlier settlement of Commerce and planned settlement of Commerce City, as well as surrounding areas. Served as church headquarters, 1839...

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, more than is granted by  the Springfield

Settled by 1819. Incorporated as town, 1832. Became state capital, 1837. Incorporated as city, 1840. Sangamon Co. seat. Population in 1840 about 2,600. Stake of LDS church organized in Springfield, Nov. 1840; discontinued May 1841; branch organized, Jan. ...

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Charter, to the citizens of Springfield

Settled by 1819. Incorporated as town, 1832. Became state capital, 1837. Incorporated as city, 1840. Sangamon Co. seat. Population in 1840 about 2,600. Stake of LDS church organized in Springfield, Nov. 1840; discontinued May 1841; branch organized, Jan. ...

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.547

Although the Springfield and Nauvoo charters were remarkably similar, a significant difference between the two was the authority held by the Nauvoo Municipal Court to issue writs of habeas corpus. The city of Alton had a similar provision. (Kimball, “Nauvoo Charter,” 73–75, 77–78; Bennett and Cope, “City on a Hill,” 35.)  


Such however  was not the case, and his remarks have in some measure added  a new stimulus to our enemies to agitate the subject. It is, however,  evident that Govr. Ford

5 Dec. 1800–3 Nov. 1850. School teacher, newspaperman, lawyer, politician, judge, author. Born in Uniontown, Fayette Co., Pennsylvania. Son of Robert Ford and Elizabeth Logue Forquer. Moved to St. Louis, 1804; to New Design (later American Bottom), Randolph...

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saw that his remarks were not of the wisest  as he said to us afterwards that he regretted he had not recommended  a repeal of all the charters in the State

Became part of Northwest Territory of U.S., 1787. Admitted as state, 1818. Population in 1840 about 480,000. Population in 1845 about 660,000. Plentiful, inexpensive land attracted settlers from northern and southern states. Following expulsion from Missouri...

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at the same time. [p. 212]
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Willard Richards

24 June 1804–11 Mar. 1854. Teacher, lecturer, doctor, clerk, printer, editor, postmaster. Born at Hopkinton, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Joseph Richards and Rhoda Howe. Moved to Richmond, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts, 1813. Moved to Chatham, Columbia...

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, William Clayton

17 July 1814–4 Dec. 1879. Bookkeeper, clerk. Born at Charock Moss, Penwortham, Lancashire, England. Son of Thomas Clayton and Ann Critchley. Married Ruth Moon, 9 Oct. 1836, at Penwortham. Baptized into LDS church by Heber C. Kimball, 21 Oct. 1837, in River...

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, Eliza R. Snow

21 Jan. 1804–5 Dec. 1887. Poet, teacher, seamstress, milliner. Born in Becket, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Daughter of Oliver Snow and Rosetta Leonora Pettibone. Moved to Mantua, Trumbull Co., Ohio, ca. 1806. Member of Baptist church. Baptized into LDS ...

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, and Erastus Derby

14 Sept. 1810–3 Dec. 1890. Tailor, carpenter, farmer, joiner. Born in Hawley, Hampshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of Edward Darby and Ruth Phoebe Hitchcock. Moved to Ohio, by 1834. Married Ruhamah Burnham Knowlton, 10 Aug. 1834, in Carthage, Hamilton Co., Ohio...

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recorded JS’s journal entries from 13 December 1841 through 20 December 1842 in a large leather-bound blank book. The book was first used by church recorder Robert B. Thompson

1 Oct. 1811–27 Aug. 1841. Clerk, editor. Born in Great Driffield, Yorkshire, England. Member of Methodist church. Immigrated to Upper Canada, 1834. Baptized into LDS church by Parley P. Pratt, May 1836, in Upper Canada. Ordained an elder by John Taylor, 22...

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to copy revelations. Between January 1841 and his death on 27 August the same year, Thompson recorded nine of JS’s revelations, beginning with the 19 January 1841 revelation commanding the building of the Nauvoo

Principal gathering place for Saints following expulsion from Missouri. Beginning in 1839, LDS church purchased lands in earlier settlement of Commerce and planned settlement of Commerce City, as well as surrounding areas. Served as church headquarters, 1839...

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, Illinois, temple

JS revelation, dated Jan. 1841, commanded Saints to build temple and hotel (Nauvoo House). Cornerstone laid, 6 Apr. 1841. Saints volunteered labor, money, and other resources for temple construction. Construction directed by committee, which included Reynolds...

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and a boardinghouse called the Nauvoo House

JS revelation, dated 19 Jan. 1841, instructed Saints to build boarding house for travelers and immigrants. Construction of planned three-story building to be funded by fifty-dollar shares. Cornerstone laid, 2 Oct. 1841, but building never completed beyond...

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. On 11 December 1841, following his election as “sole Trustee in Trust for the Church” earlier in the year, JS instructed that all donations for building the Nauvoo temple be received directly through his office rather than through the committee overseeing construction of the temple. Two days later, he appointed Willard Richards of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as recorder for the temple and as his personal scribe. Richards then became custodian of the book Thompson had used for recording revelations, and Richards apparently began recording journal entries and tithing donations in some manner on that same day. However, the quality of inscription for the journal entries in the book suggests that they are copies of previously inscribed notes, and if Richards began making such notes in mid-December it is less certain when he began copying them into the book.1

One of Richards’s entries records that he was ill “& did not take notes.” Other entries, such as those dictated by JS to William Clayton while in hiding, are clearly copies of previously inscribed notes. (JS, Journal, 17 June 1842; 16 and 23 Aug. 1842.)  


The book apparently was kept in the “counting room” on the lower floor of JS’s red brick store

Completed 1841. Opened for business, 5 Jan. 1842. Owned by JS, but managed mostly by others, after 1842. First floor housed JS’s general store and counting room, where tithing was received and recorded. On second floor, one of two small rooms served as JS...

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on Water Street, where Richards received and entered donations and also inscribed JS’s journal.2

Clayton, History of the Nauvoo Temple, 16; Brigham Young et al., “Baptism for the Dead,” Times and Seasons, 15 Dec. 1841, 3:626.  


Journal entries and donations were kept concurrently in the book, alternating sometimes every other page and chronologically leapfrogging each other. This pattern was especially pronounced near the beginning of the book, where donations and journal entries occasionally appear together on a single page. Over time, however, larger and larger blocks of text were dedicated to either donations or journal entries until eventually, in December 1842, the journal was transferred to another book. This slow separation or disentanglement of the journal and donation records—the reasons for which are unclear—was completed long before the volume was filled; indeed, only 90 of the volume’s 478 pages include journal entries, and all of these are within the first 215 pages. In several places it is clear that lists of donations were recorded earlier than were the journal entries found on preceding pages; that is, Richards and William Clayton—who was assigned to assist in the recorder’s office 10 February 1842—left several pages blank between lists of donations and then later filled in those pages with journal entries.3

Clayton, History of the Nauvoo Temple, 18; Clayton, Journal, 10 Feb. 1843.  


This practice sometimes left the scribes with insufficient space to finish a journal entry before running into the list of donations, requiring them to continue the entry several pages later.4

For example, the donation records on pages 136–163 were evidently inscribed before the 16 August 1842 journal entry, which begins on page 135 and is continued on page 164.  


The interspersing of journal entries with pages of donation records, as well as JS’s conscious efforts to record the names of people who helped him, suggests that the volume as a whole was understood in terms of an 1832 revelation that “a hystory and a general church record” must be kept “of all things that transpire in Zion and of all those who consecrate properties . . . and also there manner of life and the[ir] faith and works.” This record was to be kept in a book called “the book of the Law of God”—a book whose name parallels that of “the book of the law of the Lord” mentioned in the Old Testament.5

JS, Kirtland, OH, to William W. Phelps, [Independence, MO], 27 Nov. 1832, in JS Letterbook 1, pp. 1–2 [D&C 85:1–2, 5]; 2 Chronicles 17:9; 34:14; Nehemiah 9:3.  


Richards

24 June 1804–11 Mar. 1854. Teacher, lecturer, doctor, clerk, printer, editor, postmaster. Born at Hopkinton, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Joseph Richards and Rhoda Howe. Moved to Richmond, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts, 1813. Moved to Chatham, Columbia...

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continued the pagination of Thompson

1 Oct. 1811–27 Aug. 1841. Clerk, editor. Born in Great Driffield, Yorkshire, England. Member of Methodist church. Immigrated to Upper Canada, 1834. Baptized into LDS church by Parley P. Pratt, May 1836, in Upper Canada. Ordained an elder by John Taylor, 22...

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’s revelation transcripts and, at some point in time, the title “The Book of the Law of the Lord” was inscribed in the front of the book Richards was filling with journal entries and donation records. That the revelation transcripts, donation records, and journal entries appear under the same title and pagination suggests the book’s creators understood its title to comprehend all of its parts.
During the first few months of keeping JS’s journal, Richards

24 June 1804–11 Mar. 1854. Teacher, lecturer, doctor, clerk, printer, editor, postmaster. Born at Hopkinton, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Joseph Richards and Rhoda Howe. Moved to Richmond, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts, 1813. Moved to Chatham, Columbia...

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included events that occurred before his appointment as JS’s scribe and temple recorder as well as current journal entries. For example, in his 13 December 1841 entry on deteriorating conditions in Warsaw

Located at foot of Des Moines Rapids of Mississippi River at site of three military forts: Fort Johnson (1814), Cantonment Davis (1815–1818), and Fort Edwards (1816–1824). First settlers participated in fur trade. Important trade and shipping center. Post...

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, Illinois, Richards explained what led church members to settle there in the first place. At times these retrospective entries eclipse the events of the day on which they were written and have no apparent connection to surrounding entries. The entries for 17 and 29 December 1841, for example, relate to Brigham Young

1 June 1801–29 Aug. 1877. Carpenter, painter, glazier, colonizer. Born at Whitingham, Windham Co., Vermont. Son of John Young and Abigail (Nabby) Howe. Brought up in Methodist household; later joined Methodist church. Moved to Sherburne, Chenango Co., New...

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’s July 1841 arrival at Nauvoo

Principal gathering place for Saints following expulsion from Missouri. Beginning in 1839, LDS church purchased lands in earlier settlement of Commerce and planned settlement of Commerce City, as well as surrounding areas. Served as church headquarters, 1839...

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following his mission to England and to the October 1841 laying of the cornerstone for the Nauvoo House

JS revelation, dated 19 Jan. 1841, instructed Saints to build boarding house for travelers and immigrants. Construction of planned three-story building to be funded by fifty-dollar shares. Cornerstone laid, 2 Oct. 1841, but building never completed beyond...

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, respectively, but they record nothing about the events of 17 and 29 December. Multiple entries for individual days, sometimes separated by several pages, add to the complexity of the first part of the journal and also suggest that Richards wrote retrospectively at least part of the time. Only after Richards moved into the Smith home in mid-January 1842 and was able to more closely observe JS’s actions did the entries become more regular, and even then multiple entries occasionally occurred. Immediately preceding the entry for 15 January 1842, the header “Journal of President Joseph” appears—showing that by the time he moved into JS’s home, Richards considered the daily entries he was keeping as journal entries.6

See also the entry for 29 June 1842, in which Richards transferred “this Journal” to his assistant William Clayton.  


Richards

24 June 1804–11 Mar. 1854. Teacher, lecturer, doctor, clerk, printer, editor, postmaster. Born at Hopkinton, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Joseph Richards and Rhoda Howe. Moved to Richmond, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts, 1813. Moved to Chatham, Columbia...

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kept JS’s journal in the Book of the Law of the Lord through 29 June 1842, shortly after which he left for Richmond, Massachusetts, to bring his family to Nauvoo

Principal gathering place for Saints following expulsion from Missouri. Beginning in 1839, LDS church purchased lands in earlier settlement of Commerce and planned settlement of Commerce City, as well as surrounding areas. Served as church headquarters, 1839...

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. Among the numerous topics addressed in Richards’s entries are problems relating to the purchase of land in the Nauvoo area, the organization of the Female Relief Society, and the developing rift between JS and two of his close associates, John C. Bennett

3 Aug. 1804–5 Aug. 1867. Physician, minister, poultry breeder. Born at Fairhaven, Bristol Co., Massachusetts. Son of John Bennett and Abigail Cook. Moved to Marietta, Washington Co., Ohio, 1808; to Massachusetts, 1812; and back to Marietta, 1822. Married ...

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and Sidney Rigdon

19 Feb. 1793–14 July 1876. Tanner, farmer, minister. Born at St. Clair, Allegheny Co., Pennsylvania. Son of William Rigdon and Nancy Gallaher. Joined United Baptists, ca. 1818. Preached at Warren, Trumbull Co., Ohio, and vicinity, 1819–1821. Married Phebe...

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. When Richards left for Massachusetts

One of original thirteen colonies that formed U.S. Capital city, Boston. Colonized by English religious dissenters, 1620s. Population in 1830 about 610,000. Population in 1840 about 738,000. Joseph Smith Sr. born in Massachusetts. Samuel Smith and Orson Hyde...

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, he transferred the book—and therefore JS’s journal—to his assistant, William Clayton

17 July 1814–4 Dec. 1879. Bookkeeper, clerk. Born at Charock Moss, Penwortham, Lancashire, England. Son of Thomas Clayton and Ann Critchley. Married Ruth Moon, 9 Oct. 1836, at Penwortham. Baptized into LDS church by Heber C. Kimball, 21 Oct. 1837, in River...

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, to keep during his absence. Two months later, in early September, Clayton was appointed temple recorder, officially replacing Richards as custodian of the Book of the Law of the Lord. Some of Clayton’s entries include accounts of JS’s activities during the day as well as his activities later in the evening. In some of these entries, the record of the evening events is inscribed in an ink that differs from the ink he used to record JS’s activities earlier in the day yet matches that of the following day’s entry. This indicates that he was probably writing in the book about some events the very day they occurred.7

Pages 207–209, for example, contain such inscriptions. Willard Richards’s entry for 10 March 1842 also indicates contemporaneous inscription.  


Clayton

17 July 1814–4 Dec. 1879. Bookkeeper, clerk. Born at Charock Moss, Penwortham, Lancashire, England. Son of Thomas Clayton and Ann Critchley. Married Ruth Moon, 9 Oct. 1836, at Penwortham. Baptized into LDS church by Heber C. Kimball, 21 Oct. 1837, in River...

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’s first entry (30 June 1842) retrospectively records three events dealing with the Nauvoo temple

JS revelation, dated Jan. 1841, commanded Saints to build temple and hotel (Nauvoo House). Cornerstone laid, 6 Apr. 1841. Saints volunteered labor, money, and other resources for temple construction. Construction directed by committee, which included Reynolds...

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—the dedication of the baptismal font on 8 November 1841, a miraculous healing in the waters of the font in February 1842, and a deposit made in the cornerstone on 25 September 1841. JS may have directed the inclusion of this material after having “heard the Recorder [Willard Richards

24 June 1804–11 Mar. 1854. Teacher, lecturer, doctor, clerk, printer, editor, postmaster. Born at Hopkinton, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Joseph Richards and Rhoda Howe. Moved to Richmond, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts, 1813. Moved to Chatham, Columbia...

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] Read in the Law of the Lord” the day before;8

JS, Journal, 29 June 1842.  


alternatively, Clayton may have recorded it on his own in his role as assistant temple recorder. Either way, its inclusion clearly demonstrates the desire to include information about the temple in the record. The Book of the Law of the Lord was to be kept in the temple when it was completed.9

Brigham Young et al., “Baptism for the Dead,” Times and Seasons, 15 Dec. 1841, 3:626.  


Clayton

17 July 1814–4 Dec. 1879. Bookkeeper, clerk. Born at Charock Moss, Penwortham, Lancashire, England. Son of Thomas Clayton and Ann Critchley. Married Ruth Moon, 9 Oct. 1836, at Penwortham. Baptized into LDS church by Heber C. Kimball, 21 Oct. 1837, in River...

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had kept JS’s journal for little more than a month when, on 8 August 1842, JS was arrested as part of an effort to extradite him to Missouri

Area acquired by U.S. in Louisiana Purchase, 1803, and established as territory, 1812. Missouri Compromise, 1820, admitted Missouri as slave state, 1821. Population in 1830 about 140,000; in 1836 about 240,000; and in 1840 about 380,000. Mormon missionaries...

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to stand trial for alleged complicity in the attempted assassination of former Missouri governor Lilburn W. Boggs

14 Dec. 1796–14 Mar. 1860. Bookkeeper, bank cashier, merchant, Indian agent and trader, lawyer, doctor, postmaster, politician. Born at Lexington, Fayette Co., Kentucky. Son of John M. Boggs and Martha Oliver. Served in War of 1812. Moved to St. Louis, ca...

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.10

JS, Journal, 8 Aug. 1842; see also Appendix 1.  


JS’s subsequent efforts to avoid extradition to Missouri were attended by a flurry of letter writing among JS, his associates, and Illinois

Became part of Northwest Territory of U.S., 1787. Admitted as state, 1818. Population in 1840 about 480,000. Population in 1845 about 660,000. Plentiful, inexpensive land attracted settlers from northern and southern states. Following expulsion from Missouri...

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governor Thomas Carlin

18 July 1789–14 Feb. 1852. Ferry owner, farmer, sheriff, politician. Born in Fayette Co., Kentucky. Son of Thomas Carlin and Elizabeth Evans. Baptist. Moved to Missouri, by 1803. Moved to Illinois, by 1812. Served in War of 1812. Married Rebecca Hewitt, 13...

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. Eliza R. Snow

21 Jan. 1804–5 Dec. 1887. Poet, teacher, seamstress, milliner. Born in Becket, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts. Daughter of Oliver Snow and Rosetta Leonora Pettibone. Moved to Mantua, Trumbull Co., Ohio, ca. 1806. Member of Baptist church. Baptized into LDS ...

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, a private teacher living in the Smith home, and Erastus Derby

14 Sept. 1810–3 Dec. 1890. Tailor, carpenter, farmer, joiner. Born in Hawley, Hampshire Co., Massachusetts. Son of Edward Darby and Ruth Phoebe Hitchcock. Moved to Ohio, by 1834. Married Ruhamah Burnham Knowlton, 10 Aug. 1834, in Carthage, Hamilton Co., Ohio...

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, who also had clerical skills, assisted Clayton in copying these and other letters into the journal. Among other things, this correspondence provides valuable insight into the thoughts and character of several of Nauvoo

Principal gathering place for Saints following expulsion from Missouri. Beginning in 1839, LDS church purchased lands in earlier settlement of Commerce and planned settlement of Commerce City, as well as surrounding areas. Served as church headquarters, 1839...

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’s leading citizens. Emma Smith

10 July 1804–30 Apr. 1879. Scribe, editor, boardinghouse operator, clothier. Born at Willingborough Township (later in Harmony), Susquehanna Co., Pennsylvania. Daughter of Isaac Hale and Elizabeth Lewis. Member of Methodist church at Harmony (later in Oakland...

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’s articulate and thoughtful letters to Carlin, for example, in which she argued against the legality of Boggs’s affidavit and the entire extradition proceedings, reveal a woman of ability and resourcefulness. Two of JS’s letters written to members of the church during this period provided important instructions regarding proxy baptisms for deceased persons and record keeping. Clayton and Snow also copied into the journal three of the early letters in a lengthy series between JS and his New York

Located in northeast region of U.S. Area settled by Dutch traders, 1620s; later governed by Britain, 1664–1776. Admitted to U.S. as state, 1788. Population in 1810 about 1,000,000; in 1820 about 1,400,000; in 1830 about 1,900,000; and in 1840 about 2,400,...

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correspondent James Arlington Bennet

21 Dec. 1788–25 Dec. 1863. Attorney, newspaper publisher, educator, author. Born in New York. Married first Sophia, ca. 1811. Served as third and later second lieutenant in First U.S. Artillery, 1 Aug. 1813–14 Oct. 1814. Published American System of Practical...

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.
JS spent much of the last five months of 1842 in hiding to avoid arrest and extradition to Missouri

Area acquired by U.S. in Louisiana Purchase, 1803, and established as territory, 1812. Missouri Compromise, 1820, admitted Missouri as slave state, 1821. Population in 1830 about 140,000; in 1836 about 240,000; and in 1840 about 380,000. Mormon missionaries...

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. Periods of enforced solitude gave him time for sustained reflection and opportunity to commit his thoughts to paper. Lengthy recitations of the names and deeds of his loyal friends, and explicit references to his desire to have them recorded in the Book of the Law of the Lord are unique features of this part of his journal and contribute—like the lists of donations for the temple—to the unusual character of the book as a whole.
Although Richards

24 June 1804–11 Mar. 1854. Teacher, lecturer, doctor, clerk, printer, editor, postmaster. Born at Hopkinton, Middlesex Co., Massachusetts. Son of Joseph Richards and Rhoda Howe. Moved to Richmond, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts, 1813. Moved to Chatham, Columbia...

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returned to Nauvoo

Principal gathering place for Saints following expulsion from Missouri. Beginning in 1839, LDS church purchased lands in earlier settlement of Commerce and planned settlement of Commerce City, as well as surrounding areas. Served as church headquarters, 1839...

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with his family on 30 October 1842, Clayton

17 July 1814–4 Dec. 1879. Bookkeeper, clerk. Born at Charock Moss, Penwortham, Lancashire, England. Son of Thomas Clayton and Ann Critchley. Married Ruth Moon, 9 Oct. 1836, at Penwortham. Baptized into LDS church by Heber C. Kimball, 21 Oct. 1837, in River...

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continued keeping JS’s journal in the Book of the Law of the Lord through 20 December of that year. Clayton’s entries end with a recital of his, Richards’s, and several other men’s efforts in Springfield

Settled by 1819. Incorporated as town, 1832. Became state capital, 1837. Incorporated as city, 1840. Sangamon Co. seat. Population in 1840 about 2,600. Stake of LDS church organized in Springfield, Nov. 1840; discontinued May 1841; branch organized, Jan. ...

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, Illinois, to resolve a bankruptcy case involving JS. While there, they also counseled with Judge Stephen A. Douglas

23 Apr. 1813–3 June 1861. Lawyer, politician. Born at Brandon, Rutland Co., Vermont. Son of Stephen Arnold Douglass and Sarah Fisk. Moved to Ontario Co., New York, 1830. Moved to Jacksonville, Morgan Co., Illinois, 1833. Served as attorney general of Illinois...

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, United States district attorney Justin Butterfield

1790–Oct. 1855. Teacher, lawyer. Born in Keene, Cheshire Co., New Hampshire. Ca. 1810, moved to Watertown, Jefferson Co., New York, where he taught school and studied law. Admitted to bar, 1812, at Watertown. Practiced law in Adams, Jefferson Co., and Sackets...

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, and newly elected Illinois governor Thomas Ford

5 Dec. 1800–3 Nov. 1850. School teacher, newspaperman, lawyer, politician, judge, author. Born in Uniontown, Fayette Co., Pennsylvania. Son of Robert Ford and Elizabeth Logue Forquer. Moved to St. Louis, 1804; to New Design (later American Bottom), Randolph...

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regarding the effort to extradite JS to Missouri

Area acquired by U.S. in Louisiana Purchase, 1803, and established as territory, 1812. Missouri Compromise, 1820, admitted Missouri as slave state, 1821. Population in 1830 about 140,000; in 1836 about 240,000; and in 1840 about 380,000. Mormon missionaries...

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. All three gave suggestions for how JS might safely and successfully proceed in the case against him. On 21 December 1842, the day following the party’s return to Nauvoo

Principal gathering place for Saints following expulsion from Missouri. Beginning in 1839, LDS church purchased lands in earlier settlement of Commerce and planned settlement of Commerce City, as well as surrounding areas. Served as church headquarters, 1839...

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, JS appointed Richards his “private se[c]retary & historian” and Richards began keeping a new journal for JS in a small memorandum book.11

JS, Journal, 21 Dec. 1842.  


As temple recorder, Clayton retained possession of the Book of the Law of the Lord, in which he continued to record tithing and other donations.
 
Chronological Index to Journal Entries
 
Journal entries in the Book of the Law of the Lord were not always dated sequentially. In addition, there are several dates for which more than one entry was made, often with entries for other dates intervening. This chronological index helps to locate journal entries. In this index, sequential journal entries are not individually listed, and dates with no journal entry are not noted.
DateManuscript PagePage in JSP, J2
December 184126, 31, 33, 36, 39, 43–4410–21
Dec. 18413616
11–13 Dec. 18413314–15
13 Dec. 184126, 3310–11, 15–16
14 Dec. 18412611
15–16 Dec. 18413113–14
17 Dec. 18412611
22 Dec. 18413616–17
24–28 Dec. 18413917–19
29–31 Dec. 184143–4419–21
January 184231, 43–44, 48, 56–60, 66–6714, 21–32, 36–38
1 Jan. 18424421
4 Jan. 18424823–24
5 Jan. 184231, 4414, 21
6 Jan. 18425725–26
12–16 Jan. 18424824
15 Jan. 18425826–27
16 Jan. 184248, 5824, 27
17 Jan. 184243, 56, 5820–21, 24–25, 27
18–22 Jan. 18425827–30
23 Jan. 184259, 6630, 36–37
24 Jan. 18425930
25 Jan. 184259, 6630, 37
26–27 Jan. 18425930–31
28 Jan. 184259, 6731, 38
29–31 Jan. 18426031–32
February–July 184260–61, 88–95, 122–12832–36, 38–80
August 1842128–135, 164–167, 179–18480–99, 115–124
3–15 Aug. 1842128–13580–92
16 Aug. 1842135, 164–16593–96
17–21 Aug. 1842165–16796–99
Copied Correspondence168–178100–114
23–31 Aug. 1842179–184115–124
September–December 1842184–215124–183

Facts