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inherent vitality, and that strength which springs from firm union and voluntary obedience. Soon its numbers were increased by the arrival of proselytes to 15,000 souls. For the third time they gathered themselves together in a new settlement, and built the town of Nauvoo in a strong position on the banks of the Mississippi, which nearly surrounds the peninsula selected for their capital. In eighteen months the city contained 2,000 houses. The prairies were changed into corn-fields, the hills covered with flocks and herds, and steamers landed merchandise and colonists upon wharves which had superseded the aboriginal marsh. Here the Mormonites seemed at last securely established in a commonwealth of their own, and Joseph was permitted, for five years, to enjoy the rich fruits of his imposture undisturbed. The wealth at his disposal was continually increasing, both from the tithing of his old converts (which augmented with their growing property), and from the contributions of new proselytes. These were now flowing in, not only from the United States, but even from Europe. In 1837, a mission had been sent to England, and the Mormon apostles baptized 10,000 British subjects before the Prophet's death. New revelations summoned all these converts to Nauvoo, bringing with them their gold, their silver, and their precious stones.' (D. C. sec. 103.) A mansion house was begun, where the Prophet and his family were to be lodged and maintained at the public cost. “Let it be built in my name, and let my servant Joseph Smith and his house have place therein from generation to generation, saith the Lord; and let the naine of the house be called the
Nauvoo House, and let it be a delightful habitation for man.' (D. C. sec. 103.) But, while thus providing for his own comfort, Joseph was careful to divert the attention of his followers from his private gains by a public object of expenditure, which might seem to absorb the revenues under his charge. As he had before done at Kirtland, so now at Nauvoo he began the building of a temple. But this was to be on a far grander scale than the former edifice, and was to be consecrated by the most awful ceremonies. For here alone (so it was revealed) could the rite of baptism for the dead be efficaciously performed. (D. C. sec. 103.) The foundation of this temple was laid with military and civil pomp early in 1841.
Meanwhile the State of Illinois had granted a charter of incorporation to the city of Nauvoo, and Joseph Smith was elected Mayor. Moreover, the citizens capable of bearing arms were formed into a well-organised militia, to which weapons were supplied by the State. This body of troops, which was called the Nauvoo Legion, was perpetually drilled by the Prophet, who had been appointed its commander, and who thenceforward adopted the style and title of General Smith.' On all public occasions it was his delight to appear on horseback in full uniform at the head of his little army, which consisted of about 4,000 men*, and was in a state of great efficiency. An officer who saw it reviewed in 1842, says of it, Its evolutions would do honour to any body of armed militia in the States, and ap'proximate very closely to our regular forces. (M. Illust. 115.) The Inspector-General of the legion was a General Bennett, who had served in the United States army. His correspondence with Joseph is one of the most curious illustrations of the Prophet's character. Bennett offers his services in a letter wherein he avows entire disbelief in Smith's religious pretensions, but, at the same time, declares himself willing to assume the outward appearance of belief. He had gone so far as to submit to Morinon baptism, which he calls a glorious frolic in the clear blue ocean, with your worthy friend Brigham Young.'
Nothing of this kind,' (he adds) 'would in the least attach me to your person and cause. I am capable of being a most undeviating friend, without being governed by the smallest religious influence. ... I say, therefore, go a head. You know, Mahomet had his right hand тап. . The celebrated T. Brown, of New York, is now engaged in cutting your head on a beautiful cornelian stone, as your private seal, which will be set in gold to your order, and sent to you. • .. Should I be compelled to announce in this quarter that I have no connection with the Nauvoo Legion, you will, of course, remain silent. ... I may yet run for a high office in your State, when you would be sure of my best service in your behalf. Therefore a known connection with you would be against our mutual interest.'
To this candid proposal Smith replied in a letter which affects to rebuke the scepticism of Bennett; but, so far was he from feeling any real indignation at the proposed partnership in imposture, that he consents to the request about the Legion, and accepts the offered bribe as follows:
* As to the private seal you mention, if sent to me I shall receive it with the gratitude of a servant of God, and pray that the donor may receive a reward in the resurrection of the just.'
Every year now added to the wealth and population of Nauvoo, and consequently to the security of its citizens and the glory of its Mayor. Smith's head was so far turned by his success, that in 1844 he offered himself as a candidate for the Presidency of the Union. Probably, however, this proceeding was only meant as a bravado. In Nauvoo itself he reigned supreme, and opposition was put down by the most summary proceedings. The contributions of his votaries and the zeal of their obedience, fed fat his appetite for riches and power. Nor 'was he restrained from the indulgence of more sensual passions, which ease and indolence had bred. In July 1843, he received a revelation authorising him, and all those whom he should license, to take an unlimited number of wives.* This document is too long to quote in full, but the manner in which it silences the remonstrances of Smith's wife is too curious to be omitted :
* Spencer, p. 237.
Let mine handmaid, Emma Smith, receive all those who have been given unto my servant Joseph, and who are virtuous and pure before me. . . Therefore it shall be lawful in me if she receive not this law, for him to receive all things whatsoever I the Lord his God will give him..... And he is exempt from the law of Sarah, who administered unto Abraham according unto the law, when I commanded Abraham to take Hagar to wife.'
On this revelation Smith and his chief adherents proceeded to act. But they at first concealed the innovation under a profound mystery, and during ten years it was only communicated privately to the initiated, and its very existence continued unknown to the majority of the sect. Not many months have yet passed since the Mormon leaders have decided on a bolder policy, and have publicly avowed this portion of their system. Their present audacity, indeed, is more strange than their former reserve; considering that the consequences of the original invention of this new code of morals were fatal to the Prophet, and disastrous to the Church. For, though the revelation was concealed, the practices which it sanctioned were not easily hidden, especially when some months of impunity had given boldness to the perpetrators. Several women whom Joseph and his apostles' had endeavoured to seduce, declined their proposals, and disclosed them to their relatives. These circumstances roused into activity a latent spirit of resistance which had for some time been secretly gathering force. The malcontents now ventured to establish an opposition paper, called the · Espositor'; and published, in its first number, the affidavits of sixteen women, who alleged that Smith, Rigdon, Young, and others, had invited them to enter into a secret and illicit connexion, under the title of spiritual marriage. This open and dangerous rebellion was put down forthwith, by the application of physical force. Joseph Smith ordered a body of his disciples to Sabate the nuisance;' and they razed the office of the Expositor' to the ground. The proprietors fled for their lives, and, when they reached a place
* This revelation is printed in full in ‘M. Star,' XV. p. 5. VOL. XCIX. NO. CCII.
of safety, sued out a writ from the legal authorities of Illinois, against Joseph and Hiram Smith, as abettors of the riot. The execution of the warrant was resisted by the people and troops of Nauvoo under the Prophet's autbority. On this the Governor of the State called out the militia to enforce the law, and required that the two brothers should be given up for trial. Joseph had now only the alternative of war or submission. But hostilities would have been hopeless, for his troops only amounted to 4,000 men, while the militia of the State numbered 80,000.* He therefore thought it the wiser course to surrender, especially as the Governor pledged his honour for the personal safety of the prisoners. They were accordingly committed to the county gaol at Carthage. A small body of troops was left to defend the prison, but they proved either inadequate or indisposed to the performance of their duty.
The popular mind of Illinois was at this time strongly excited against the Mormonites. The same causes which had led to their expulsion from Zion and from Missouri were again actively at work. Their rapid growth, and apparently invincible elasticity in rising under oppression, had roused even more than the former jealousy. It seemed probable that before long the influx of foreign proselytes might raise the Prophet to supremacy. Why not use the power which the circumstances of the moment placed in their hands, take summary vengeance on the impostor, and for ever defeat the ambitious schemes of his adherents ? Under the influence of such hopes and passions, a body of armed men was speedily collected, who overpowered the feeble guard, burst open the doors of the gaol, and fired their rifles upon the prisoners. A ball killed Hiram on the spot; when Joseph, who was armed with a revolver, after returning two shots attempted to escape by leaping the window; but he was stunned by his fall, and, while still in a state of insensibility, was picked up and shot by the mob outside the gaol. He died on June the 27th, 1844, in the thirty-ninth year of his age.
Thus perished this profligate and sordid knave, by a death too honourable for his deserts. In England he would have been sent to the treadmill for obtaining money on false pretences. In America he was treacherously murdered without a trial; and thus our contempt for the victim is changed into horror for his executioners. The farce which he had played should not have been invested with a factitious dignity by a tragic end.
Spencer, p. 236, 237. (Mr. Spencer was resident at the time in Nauvoo.)
Yet, when we consider the audacious blasphemies in which he had traded for so many years, and the awful guilt which he had incurred in making the voice of heaven pander to his own avarice and lust, we cannot deny that in his punishment, the wrath of lawless men fulfilled the righteousness of God. Secure in the devotion of his armed-disciples, and at an age when he could still look forward to a long life of fraud, luxury, and ambition, he had exclaimed, “ Soul, thou hast much goods laid up . for many years ; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.' But the sentence had gone forth against him - Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee.'
To call such a man a martyr is an abuse of language which we regret to find in a writer so intelligent as Mr. Mayhew. A martyr is one who refuses to save his life by renouncing his faith. Joseph Smith never had such an option given him. We doubt not that if he could have escaped from the rifles of his murderers by confessing his imposture, he would have done so without hesitation; and would the next day have received a revelation, directing the faithful to seek safety in recantation when threatened by the Gentiles. But his enemies knew him too well to give him such an opportunity.
We must also protest against the attempt to represent this vulgar swindler as a sincere enthusiast. • There is much in his • later career,' says Mr. Mayhew, 'which seems to prove that • he really believed what he asserted — that he imagined himself the inspired of heaven
and the companion of angels. The reason given for this charitable hypothesis is, that · Joseph Smith, in consequence of his pretensions to be a • seer and prophet, lived a life of continual misery and persecu
tion;' and that if he had not been supported by faith in his own high pretensions and divine mission,' he would have • renounced his unprofitable and ungrateful task, and sought
refuge in private life and honourable industry. The answer to such representations is obvious: First, so far from Joseph's scheme being unprofitable,' it raised him from the depths of poverty to unbounded wealth. Secondly, he had from his earliest years shrunk from · honourable industry,' and preferred fraud to work. Thirdly, so far from his having lived in continual misery and persecution,' he gained by his successful imposture the means of indulging every appetite and passion. During the fourteen years which intervened between his invention of Mormonism and his death, the only real persecution which he suffered was when his bankruptcy at Kirtland compelled him to share the fortunes of his followers in Missouri. And as to the risks of life and limb to which he was exposed,