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A State Of Civil War
After Smith's Death - Rigdon's Last Days
After The War
Attitude Of The Mormons During The Southern Rebellion
Beginning Of Active Hostilities
Blood Atonement
Brigham Young
Brigham Young's Death - His Character
Brigham Young's Despotism
Colonel Kane's Mission
Early Political History
Eastern Visitors To Salt Lake City - Unpunished Murderers
Even More On The History Of Mormonism
Even More On The Religious Puzzle
Facility Of Human Belief
First Announcement Of The Golden Bible
From The Mississippi To The Missouri
From The Rockies To Salt Lake Valley
Fruitless Negotiations With The Jackson County People
Gentile Irruption And Mormon Schism
Gifts Of Tongues And Miracles
Growth Of The Church
History Of Mormonism
How Joseph Smith Became A Money-digger
In Clay Caldwell And Daviess Counties
Introductory Remarks
Last Days At Kirtland
More On Mormonism Social Puzzle
More On The History Of Mormonism
More On The Religious Puzzle
Mormon Treatment Of Federal Officers
Mormonism The Political Puzzle
Nauvoo After The Exodus
Notes On The History Of Mormonism
Organization Of The Church
Preparations For The Long March
Progress Of The Settlement
Public Announcement Of The Doctrine Of Polygamy
Radical Dissensions In The Church - Origin Of The Danites - Tithing
Renewed Trouble For The Mormons - The Burnings
Rivalries Over The Succession
Sidney Rigdon
Smith A Candidate For President Of The United States
Smith's Falling Out With Bennett And Higbee
Smith's First Visits To Missouri Founding The City And The Temple
Smith's Ohio Business Enterprises
Smith's Picture Of Himself As Autocrat
Social Aspects Of Polygamy
Social Conditions In Nauvoo
Some Church-inspired Murders
The Building Up Of The City - Foreign Proselyting
The Camps On The Missouri
The Different Accounts Of The Revelation Of The Bible
The Directions To The Saints About Their Zion
The Evacuation Of Nauvoo - The Last Mormon War
The Everlasting Gospel
The Expulsion From Jackson County The Army Of Zion
The Expulsion Of The Mormons
The Fight Against Polygamy - Statehood
The Final Expulsion From The State
The First Converts At Kirtland
The Following Companies - Last Days On The Missouri
The Foreign Immigration To Utah
The Founding Of Salt Lake City
The Hand-cart Tragedy
The Institution Of Polygamy
The Last Years Of Brigham Young
The Mormon Battalion
The Mormon Bible
The Mormon Purpose
The Mormon War
The Mormonism Of To-day
The Mormons In Politics - Missouri Requisitions For Smith
The Mormons' Beliefs And Doctrines Church Government
The Mountain Meadows Massacre
The Murder Of The Prophet - His Character
The Nauvoo City Government - Temple And Other Buildings
The Peace Commission
The Pioneer Trip Across The Plains
The Political Puzzle
The Political Puzzle Continued
The Reception Of The Mormons
The Reformation
The Religious Puzzle
The Religious Puzzle Notes
The Settlement Of Nauvoo
The Smith Family
The Social And Society Puzzle
The Social Puzzle
The Social Puzzle Notes
The Spaulding Manuscript
The Suppression Of The Expositor
The Territorial Government - Judge Brocchus's Experience
The Witnesses To The Plates
Translation And Publication Of The Bible
Uprising Of The Non-mormons Smith's Arrest
Wild Vagaries Of The Converts


The Story Of The Mormons

A State Of Civil War
After Smith's Death - Rigdon's Last Days
After The War
Attitude Of The Mormons During The Southern Rebellion
Beginning Of Active Hostilities
Blood Atonement
Brigham Young
Brigham Young's Death - His Character
Brigham Young's Despotism
Colonel Kane's Mission
Early Political History
Eastern Visitors To Salt Lake City - Unpunished Murderers
Facility Of Human Belief
First Announcement Of The Golden Bible
From The Mississippi To The Missouri
From The Rockies To Salt Lake Valley
Fruitless Negotiations With The Jackson County People
Gentile Irruption And Mormon Schism
How Joseph Smith Became A Money-digger
In Clay Caldwell And Daviess Counties
Last Days At Kirtland
Mormon Treatment Of Federal Officers
Nauvoo After The Exodus
Organization Of The Church
Preparations For The Long March
Progress Of The Settlement
Public Announcement Of The Doctrine Of Polygamy
Radical Dissensions In The Church - Origin Of The Danites - Tithing
Renewed Trouble For The Mormons - The Burnings
Rivalries Over The Succession
Sidney Rigdon
Smith A Candidate For President Of The United States
Smith's Falling Out With Bennett And Higbee
Smith's First Visits To Missouri Founding The City And The Temple
Smith's Picture Of Himself As Autocrat
Social Aspects Of Polygamy
Social Conditions In Nauvoo
Some Church-inspired Murders
The Building Up Of The City - Foreign Proselyting
The Camps On The Missouri
The Different Accounts Of The Revelation Of The Bible
The Directions To The Saints About Their Zion
The Evacuation Of Nauvoo - The Last Mormon War
The Everlasting Gospel
The Expulsion From Jackson County The Army Of Zion
The Expulsion Of The Mormons
The Fight Against Polygamy - Statehood
The Final Expulsion From The State
The Following Companies - Last Days On The Missouri
The Foreign Immigration To Utah
The Founding Of Salt Lake City
The Hand-cart Tragedy
The Institution Of Polygamy
The Last Years Of Brigham Young
The Mormon Battalion
The Mormon Bible
The Mormon Purpose
The Mormon War
The Mormonism Of To-day
The Mormons In Politics - Missouri Requisitions For Smith
The Mountain Meadows Massacre
The Murder Of The Prophet - His Character
The Nauvoo City Government - Temple And Other Buildings
The Peace Commission
The Pioneer Trip Across The Plains
The Reception Of The Mormons
The Reformation
The Settlement Of Nauvoo
The Smith Family
The Spaulding Manuscript
The Suppression Of The Expositor
The Territorial Government - Judge Brocchus's Experience
The Witnesses To The Plates
Translation And Publication Of The Bible
Uprising Of The Non-mormons Smith's Arrest



Growth Of The Church








In order not to interrupt the story of the Mormons' experiences
in Ohio, leaving the first steps taken in Missouri to be treated
in connection with the regular course of events in that state, it
will be sufficient to say here that Cowdery, Pratt, and their two
companions continued their journey as far as the western border
of Missouri, in the winter of 1830 and 1831, making their
headquarters at Independence, Jackson County; that, on receipt of
their reports about that country, Smith and Rigdon, with others,
made a trip there in June, 1831, during which the corner-stones
of the City of Zion and the Temple were laid, and officers were
appointed to receive money for the purchase of the land for the
Saints, its division; etc. Smith and Rigdon returned to Kirtland
on August 27, 1831.

The growth of the church in Ohio was rapid. In two or three weeks
after the arrival of the four pioneer missionaries, 127 persons
had been baptized, and by the spring of 1831 the number of
converts had increased to 1000. Almost all the male converts were
honored with the title of elder. By a "revelation" dated February
9, 1831 (Sec. 42), all of these elders, except Smith and Rigdon,
were directed to "go forth in the power of my spirit, preaching
my Gospel, two by two, in my name, lifting up your voices as with
the voice of a trump. "This was the beginning of that extensive
system of proselyting which was soon extended to Europe, which
was so instrumental in augmenting the membership of the church in
its earlier days, and which is still carried on with the utmost
zeal and persistence. The early missionaries travelled north into
Canada and through almost all the states, causing alarm even in
New England by the success of their work. One man there, in 1832,
reprinted at his own expense Alexander Campbell's pamphlet
exposing the ridiculous features of the Mormon Bible, for
distribution as an offset to the arguments of the elders. Women
of means were among those who moved to Kirtland from
Massachusetts. In three years after Smith and Rigdon met in
Palmyra, Mormon congregations had been established in nearly all
the Northern and Middle states and in some of the Southern, with
baptisms of from 30 to 130 in a place.*

Smith had relaxed none of his determination to be the one head of
the church. As soon as he arrived in Kirtland he put forth a long
"revelation" (Sec. 43) which left Rigdon no doubt of the
prophet's intentions. It declared to the elders that "there is
none other [but Smith appointed unto you to receive commandments
and revelations until he be taken," and that "none else shall be
appointed unto his gift except it be through him. "Not only was
Smith's spiritual power thus intrenched, but his temporal welfare
was looked after. "And again I say unto you," continues this
mouthpiece of the Lord, "if ye desire the mysteries of the
Kingdom, provide for him food and raiment and whatsoever he
needeth to accomplish the work wherewith I have commanded him."
In the same month came another declaration, saying (Sec. 41 " is
meet that my servant Joseph Smith, Jr., should have a house
built, in which to live and translate" (the Scriptures). With a
streak of generosity it was added, "It is meet that my servant
Sidney Rigdon should live as seemeth him good."

*Turner's "Mormonism in all Ages," p. 38.


The iron hand with which Smith repressed Rigdon from the date of
their arrival in Ohio affords strong proof of Rigdon's complicity
in the Bible plot, and of Smith's realization of the fact that he
stood to his accomplice in the relation of a burglar to his mate,
where the burglar has both the boodle and the secret in his
possession. An illustration of this occurred during their first
trip to Missouri. Rigdon and Smith did not agree about the
desirability of western Missouri as a permanent abiding-place for
the church. The Rev. Ezra Booth, after leaving the Mormons,
contributed a series of letters on his experience with Smith to
the Ohio Star of Ravenna.* In the first of these he said: "On our
arrival in the western part of the state of Missouri we
discovered that prophecy and visions had failed, or rather had
proved false. This fact was so notorious that Mr. Rigdon himself
says that 'Joseph's vision was a bad thing.'" Smith nevertheless
directed Rigdon to write a description of that promised land,
and, when the production did not suit him, he represented the
Lord as censuring Rigdon in a "revelation" (Sec. 63):--

* Copied in Howe's "Mormonism Unveiled."


"And now behold, verily I say unto you, I, the Lord, am not
pleased with my servant Sidney Rigdon; he exalteth himself in his
heart, and receiveth not counsel, but grieveth the spirit.
Wherefore his writing is not acceptable unto the Lord; and he
shall make another, and if the Lord receiveth it not, behold he
standeth no longer in the office which I have appointed him."

That the proud-minded, educated preacher, who refused to allow
Campbell to claim the foundership of the Disciples' church,
should take such a rebuke and threat of dismissal in silence from
Joe Smith of Palmyra, and continue under his leadership,
certainly indicates some wonderful hold that the prophet had upon
him.

While the travelling elders were doing successful work in adding
new converts to the fold, there was beginning to manifest itself
at Kirtland that "apostasy" which lost the church so many members
of influence, and was continued in Missouri so far that Mayor
Grant said, in Salt Lake City, in 1856, that "one-half at least
of the Yankee members of this church have apostatized."* The
secession of men like Booth and Ryder, and their public exposure
of Smith's methods, coupled with rumors of immoral practices in
the fold, were followed by the tarring and feathering of Smith
and Rigdon on the night of Saturday, March 25, 1832. The story of
this outrage is told in Smith's autobiography, and the details
there given may be in the main accepted.

* Journal of Discourses, Vol. III, p. 201.

Smith and his wife were living at the house of a farmer named
Johnson in Hiram township, while he and Rigdon were translating
the Scriptures. Mrs. Smith had taken two infant twins to bring
up, and on the night in question she and her husband were taking
turns sitting up with these babies, who were just recovering from
the measles. While Smith was sleeping, his wife heard a tapping
on the window, but gave it no attention. The mob, believing that
all within were asleep, then burst in the door, seized Smith as
he lay partly dressed on a trundle bed, and rushed him out of
doors, his wife crying "murder." Smith struggled as best he
could, but they carried him around the house, choking him until
he became unconscious. Some thirty yards from the house he saw
Rigdon, "stretched out on the ground, whither they had dragged
him by the heels." When they had carried Smith some thirty yards
farther, some of the mob meantime asking, "Ain't ye going to kill
him?" a council was held and some one asked, "Simmons, where's
the tarbucket?" When the bucket was brought up they tried to
force the "tarpaddle" into Smith's mouth, and also, he says, to
force a phial between his teeth. He adds:

"All my clothes were torn off me except my shirt collar, and one
man fell on me and scratched my body with his nails like a mad
cat. They then left me, and I attempted to rise, but fell again.
I pulled the tar away from my lips, etc., so that I could breathe
more freely, and after a while I began to recover, and raised
myself up, when I saw two lights. I made my way toward one of
them, and found it was father Johnson's. When I had come to the
door I was naked, and the tar made me look as though I had been
covered with blood; and when my wife saw me she thought I was all
smashed to pieces, and fainted. During the affray abroad, the
sisters of the neighborhood collected at my room. I called for a
blanket; they threw me one and shut the door; I wrapped it around
me and went in.... My friends spent the night in scraping and
removing the tar and washing and cleansing my body, so that by
morning I was ready to be clothed again.... With my flesh all
scarified and defaced, I preached [that morning] to the
congregation as usual, and in the afternoon of the same day
baptized three individuals."

Rigdon's treatment is described as still more severe. He was not
only dragged over the ground by the heels, but was well covered
with tar and feathers; and when Smith called on him the next day
he found him delirious, and calling for a razor with which to
kill his wife.

All Mormon accounts of this, as well as later persecutions,
attempt to make the ground of attack hostility to the Mormon
religious beliefs, presenting them entirely in the light of
outrages on liberty of opinion. Symonds Ryder (whom Smith accuses
of being one of the mob), says that the attack had this origin:
The people of Hiram had the reputation of being very receptive
and liberal in their religious views. The Mormons therefore
preached to them, and seemed in a fair way to win a decided
success, when the leaders made their first trip to Missouri.
Papers which they left behind outlining the internal system of
the new church fell into the hands of some of the converts, and
revealed to them the horrid fact that a plot was laid to take
their property from them and place it under the control of Smith,
the Prophet.... Some who had been the dupes of this deception
determined not to let it pass with impunity; and, accordingly, a
company was formed of citizens from Shalersville, Garretsville,
and Hiram, and took Smith and Rigdon from their beds and tarred
and feathered them."*

* Hayden's "Early History of the Disciples' Church in the Western
Reserve," p. 221.


This manifestation of hostility to the leaders of the new church
was only a more pronounced form of that which showed itself
against Smith before he left New York State. When a man of his
character and previous history assumes the right to baptize and
administer the sacrament, he is certain to arouse the animosity,
not only of orthodox church members, but of members of the
community who are lax in their church duties. Goldsmith
illustrates this kind of feeling when, in "She Stoops to
Conquer," he makes one of the "several shabby fellows with punch
and tobacco" in the alehouse say, "I loves to hear him, the
squire sing, bekeays he never gives us nothing that's low," and
another responds, "O, damn anything that's low." The AntiMormon
feeling was intensified and broadened by the aggressiveness with
which the Mormons sought for converts in the orthodox flocks.

Beliefs radically different from those accepted by any of the
orthodox denominations have escaped hostile opposition in this
country, even when they have outraged generally accepted social
customs. The Harmonists, in a body of 600, emigrated to
Pennsylvania to escape the persecution to which they were
subjected in Germany, purchased 5000 acres of land and organized
a town; moved later to Indiana, where they purchased 25,000
acres; and ten years afterward returned to Pennsylvania, and
bought 5000 acres in another place,--all the time holding to
their belief in a community of goods and a speedy coming of
Christ, as well as the duty of practicing celibacy,--without
exciting their neighbors or arousing their enmity. The
Wallingford Community in Connecticut, and the Oneida Community in
New York State, practised free love among themselves without
persecution, until their organizations died from natural causes.
The leaders in these and other independent sects were clean men
within their own rules, honest in their dealings with their
neighbors, never seeking political power, and never pressing
their opinions upon outsiders. An old resident of Wallingford
writes to me, "The Community were, in a way, very generally
respected for their high standard of integrity in all their
business transactions."

As we follow the career of the Mormons from Ohio to Missouri, and
thence to Illinois, we shall read their own testimony about the
character of their leading men, and about their view of the
rights of others in each of their neighborhoods. When Horace
Greeley asked Brigham Young in Salt Lake City for an explanation
of the "persecutions" of the Mormons, his reply was that there
was "no other explanation than is afforded by the crucifixion of
Christ and the kindred treatment of God's ministers, prophets,
and saints in all ages"; which led Greeley to observe that, while
a new sect is always decried and traduced,--naming the Baptists,
Quakers, Methodists, and Universalists,--he could not remember
"that either of them was ever generally represented and regarded
by the other sects of their early days as thieves, robbers, and
murderers."*

* "Overland Journey," p. 214.


Another attempt by Rigdon to assert his independence of Smith
occurred while the latter was still at Mr. Johnson's house and
Rigdon was in Kirtland. The fullest account of this is found in
Mother Smith's "History," pp. 204-206. She says that Rigdon came
in late to a prayer-meeting, much agitated, and, instead of
taking the platform, paced backward and forward on the floor.
Joseph's father told him they would like to hear a discourse from
him, but he replied, "The keys of the Kingdom are rent from the
church, and there shall not be a prayer put up in this house this
day." This caused considerable excitement, and Smith's brother
Hyrum left the house, saying, "I'll put a stop to this fuss
pretty quick," and, mounting a horse, set out for Johnson's and
brought the prophet back with him. On his arrival, a meeting of
the brethren was held, and Joseph declared to them, "I myself
hold the keys of this Last Dispensation, and will forever hold
them, both in time and eternity, so set your hearts at rest upon
that point. All is right." The next day Rigdon was tried before a
council for having "lied in the name of the Lord," and was
"delivered over to the buffetings of Satan," and deprived of his
license, Smith telling him that "the less priesthood he had, the
better it would be for him." Rigdon, Mrs. Smith says, according
to his own account, "was dragged out of bed by the devil three
times in one night by the heels," and, while she does not accept
this literally, she declares that "his contrition was as great as
a man could well live through." After awhile he got another
license.





Next: Gifts Of Tongues And Miracles

Previous: Wild Vagaries Of The Converts



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