Far, far in the forest there were two little huts, and in each of them lived a man who was a famous hunter, his wife, and three or four children. Now the children were forbidden to play more than a short distance from the door, as it was know... Read more of Ball-carrier And The Bad One at Children Stories.caInformational Site Network Informational
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    Mormonism.ca - Story Of

In Illinois

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 The War
Attitude Of The Mormons During The Southern Rebellion
Beginning Of Active Hostilities
Blood Atonement
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
Gifts Of Tongues And Miracles
Growth Of The Church
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
Radical Dissensions In The Church - Origin Of The Danites - Tithing
Sidney Rigdon
Smith's First Visits To Missouri Founding The City And The Temple
Smith's Ohio Business Enterprises
Social Aspects Of Polygamy
Some Church-inspired Murders
The Camps On The Missouri
The Different Accounts Of The Revelation Of The Bible
The Directions To The Saints About Their Zion
The Everlasting Gospel
The Expulsion From Jackson County The Army Of Zion
The Fight Against Polygamy - Statehood
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 Last Years Of Brigham Young
The Mormon Battalion
The Mormon Bible
The Mormon Purpose
The Mormon War
The Mormonism Of To-day
The Mormons' Beliefs And Doctrines Church Government
The Mountain Meadows Massacre
The Peace Commission
The Pioneer Trip Across The Plains
The Reformation
The Smith Family
The Spaulding Manuscript
The Territorial Government - Judge Brocchus's Experience
The Witnesses To The Plates
Translation And Publication Of The Bible
Wild Vagaries Of The Converts



Smith A Candidate For President Of The United States








Smith's latest triumph over his Missouri enemies, with the
feeling that he had the governor of his state back of him,
increased his own and his followers' audacity. The Nauvoo Council
continued to pass ordinances to protect its inhabitants from
outside legal processes, civil and criminal. One of these
provided that no writ issued outside of Nauvoo for the arrest of
a person in that city should be executed until it had received
the mayor's approval, anyone violating this ordinance to be
liable to imprisonment for life, with no power of pardon in the
governor without the mayor's consent! The acquittal of O. P.
Rockwell on the charge of the attempted assassination of Governor
Boggs caused great delight among the Mormons, and their organ
declared on January 1, 1844, that "throughout the whole region of
country around us those bitter and acrimonious feelings, which
have so long been engendered by many, are dying away."

Smith's political ideas now began to broaden. "Who shall be our
next President?" was the title of an editorial in the Times and
Seasons of October 1, 1843, which urged the selection of a man
who would be most likely to give the Mormons help in securing
redress for their grievances.

The next month Smith addressed a letter to Henry Clay and John C.
Calhoun, who were the leading candidates for the presidential
nomination, citing the Mormons' losses and sufferings in
Missouri, and their failure to obtain redress in the courts or
from Congress, and asking, "What will be your rule of action
relative to us as a people should fortune favor your ascendancy
to the chief magistracy? "Clay replied that, if nominated, he
could "enter into no egagements, make no promises, give no
pledges to any particular portion of the people of the United
States," adding, "If I ever enter into that high office, I must
go into it free and unfettered, with no guarantees but such as
are to be drawn from my whole life, character and conduct." He
closed with an expression of sympathy with the Mormons "in their
sufferings under injustice." Calhoun replied that, if elected
President, he would try to administer the government according to
the constitution and the laws, and that, as these made no
distinction between citizens of different religious creeds, he
should make none. He repeated an opinion which he had given Smith
in Washington that the Mormon case against the state of Missouri
did not come within the jurisdiction of the federal government.

These replies excited Smith to wrath and he answered them at
length, and in language characteristic of himself. A single
quotation from his letter to Clay (dated May 13, 1844) will
suffice:--

"In your answer to my question, last fall, that peculiar trait of
the modern politician, declaring 'if you ever enter into that
high office, you must go into it unfettered, with no guarantees
but such as are to be drawn from your whole life, character and
conduct,' so much resembles a lottery vender's sign, with the
goddess of good luck sitting on the car of fortune, astraddle of
the horn of plenty, and driving the merry steeds of beatitude,
without reins or bridle, that I cannot help exclaiming, 'O, frail
man, what have you done that will exalt you? Can anything be
drawn from your LIFE, CHARACTER OR CONDUCT that is worthy of
being held up to the gaze of this nation as a model of VIRTUE,
CHARACTER AND WISDOM?'. . . 'Your whole life, character and
conduct' have been spotted with deeds that causes a blush upon
the face of a virtuous patriot; so you must be contented with
your lot, while crime, cowardice, cupidity or low cunning have
handed you down from the high tower of a statesman to the black
hole of a gambler . . . . Crape the heavens with weeds of woe;
gird the earth with sackcloth, and let hell mutter one melody in
commemoration of fallen splendor! For the glory of America has
departed, and God will set a flaming sword to guard the tree of
liberty, while such mint-tithing Herods as Van Buren, Boggs,
Benton, Calhoun, and Clay are thrust out of the realms of virtue
as fit subjects for the kingdom of fallen greatness--vox reprobi,
vox Diaboli."

Calhoun was admonished to read the eighth section of article one
of the federal constitution, after which "God, who cooled the
heat of a Nebuchadnezzar's furnace, or shut the mouths of lions
for the honor of a Daniel, will raise your mind above the narrow
notion that the general government has no power, to the sublime
idea that Congress, with the President as executor, is as
almighty in its sphere as Jehovah is in his." 1

*For this correspondence in full, see Times and Seasons, January
1, and June 1, 1844, or Mackay's "The Mormons," p. 143.


Smith's next step was to have judge Phelps read to a public
meeting in Nauvoo on February 7, 1844, a very long address by the
prophet, setting forth his views on national politics.* He
declared that "no honest man can doubt for a moment but the glory
of American liberty is on the wane, and that calamity and
confusion will sooner or later destroy the peace of the people,"
while "the motto hangs on the nation's escutcheon, `every man has
his price.'"

* For its text, see Times and Seasons, May 15,1844, or Mackay's
"The Mormons," p.133.


Smith proposed an abundance of remedies for these evils: Reduce
the members of Congress at least one-half; pay them $2 a day and
board; petition the legislature to pardon every convict, and make
the punishment for any felony working on the roads or some other
place where the culprit can be taught wisdom and virtue, murder
alone to be cause for confinement or death; petition for the
abolition of slavery by the year 1850, the slaves to be paid for
out of the surplus from the sale of public lands, and the money
saved by reducing the pay of Congress; establish a national bank,
with branches in every state and territory, "whose officers shall
be elected yearly by the people, with wages of $2 a day for
services," the currency to be limited to "the amount of capital
stock in her vaults, and interest"; "and the bills shall be par
throughout the nation, which will mercifully cure that fatal
disorder known in cities as brokery, and leave the people's money
in their own pockets"; give the President full power to send an
army to suppress mobs; "send every lawyer, as soon as he repents
and obeys the ordinances of heaven, to preach the Gospel to the
destitute, without purse or scrip"; "spread the federal
jurisdiction to the west sea, when the red men give their
consent"; and give the right hand of fellowship to Texas, Canada,
and Mexico. He closed with this declaration: "I would, as the
universal friend of man, open the prisons, open the eyes, open
the ears, and open the hearts of all people to behold and enjoy
freedom, unadulterated freedom; and God, who once cleansed the
violence of the earth with a flood, whose Son laid down his life
for the salvation of all his father gave him out of the world,
and who has promised that he will come and purify the world again
with fire in the last days, should be supplicated by me for the
good of all people. With the highest esteem, I am a friend of
virtue and of the people."

It seems almost incomprehensible that the promulgator of such
political views should have taken himself seriously. But Smith
was in deadly earnest, and not only was he satisfied of his
political power, but, in the church conference of 1844, he
declared, "I feel that I am in more immediate communication with
God, and on a better footing with Him, than I have ever been in
my life."

The announcement of Smith's political "principles" was followed
immediately by an article in the Times and Seasons, which
answered the question, "Whom shall the Mormons support for
President?" with the reply, "General Joseph Smith. A man of
sterling worth and integrity, and of enlarged views; a man who
has raised himself from the humblest walks in life to stand at
the head of a large, intelligent, respectable, and increasing
society; . . . and whose experience has rendered him every way
adequate to the onerous duty." The formal announcement that Smith
was the Mormon candidate was made in the Times and Seasons of
February 15, 1844, and the ticket--

FOR PRESIDENT,

GENERAL JOSEPH SMITH,

Nauvoo, Illinois.

was kept at the head of its editorial page from March 1, until
his death.

A weekly newspaper called the Wasp, issued at Nauvoo under Mormon
editorship, had been succeeded by a larger one called the
Neighbor, edited by John Taylor (afterward President of the
church), who also had charge of the Times and Seasons. The
Neighbor likewise placed Smith's name, as the presidential
candidate, at the head of its columns, and on March 6 completed
its ticket with "General James A. Bennett of New York, for
Vice-President."* Three weeks later Bennett's name was taken
down, and on June 19, Sidney Rigdon's was substituted for it.
There was nothing modest in the Mormon political ambition.

* This General Bennett was not the first mayor of Nauvoo, as some
writers like Smucker have supposed, but a lawyer who gave his
address as "Arlington House," on Long Island, New York, and who
in 1843 had offered himself to Smith as "a most undeviating
friend," etc.


Proof of Smith's serious view of his candidacy is furnished in
his next step, which was to send out a large body of missionaries
(two or three thousand, according to Governor Ford) to work-up
his campaign in the Eastern and Southern states. These emissaries
were selected from among the ablest of Smith's allies, including
Brigham Young, Lorenzo Snow, and John D. Lee. Their absence from
Nauvoo was a great misfortune to Smith at the time of his
subsequent arrest and imprisonment at Carthage.

The campaigners began work at once. Lorenzo Snow, to whom the
state of Ohio was allotted, went to Kirtland, where he had
several thousand pamphlets printed, setting forth the prophet's
views and plans, and he then travelled around in a buggy,
distributing the pamphlets and making addresses in Smith's
behalf. "To many persons," he confesses, "who knew nothing of
Joseph but through the ludicrous reports in circulation, the
movement seemed a species of insanity."* John D. Lee was a most
devout Mormon, but his judgment revolted against this movement.
"I would a thousand times rather have been shut up in jail," he
says. He began his canvassing while on the boat bound for, St.
Louis. "I told them," he relates, "the prophet would lead both
candidates. There was a large crowd on the boat, and an election
was proposed. The prophet received a majority of 75 out of 125
votes polled. This created a tremendous laugh."**

* "Biography of Lorenzo Snow."

** "Mormonism Unveiled," p.149.


We have an account of one state convention called to consider
Smith's candidacy, and this was held in the Melodeon in Boston,
Massachusetts, on July 1, 1844, the news of Smith's death not yet
having reached that city. A party of young rowdies practically
took possession of the hall as soon as the business of the
convention began, and so disturbed the proceedings that the
police were sent for, and they were able to clear the galleries
only after a determined fight. The convention then adjourned to
Bunker Hill, but nothing further is heard of its proceedings. The
press of the city condemned the action of the disturbers as a
disgrace. Mention is made in the Times and Seasons of July 1,
1844, of a conference of elders held in Dresden, Tennessee, on
the 25th of May previous, at which Smith's name was presented as
a presidential candidate. The meeting was broken up by a mob,
which the sheriff confessed himself powerless to overcome, but it
met later and voted to print three thousand copies of Smith's
views.

The prophet's death, which occurred so soon after the
announcement of his candidacy, rendered it impossible to learn
how serious a cause of political disturbance that candidacy might
have been in neighborhoods where the Mormons had a following.





Next: Social Conditions In Nauvoo

Previous: The Mormons In Politics - Missouri Requisitions For Smith



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