Mormon History, Nov 15, 1843

-- Nov 15, 1843
[Joseph Smith] Willard Richards suggests to Joseph the idea of preparing an Egyptian grammar. (1)

[Joseph Smith Diary] Wednesday, November 15th 1843 At home. 10 A.M. Held court in the office. Erskine vs Pullen. Nonsuit. [several lines left blank] P.M. at the office. Suggested the idea of preparing a grammar of the Egyptian Language.

Prayer Meeting at the old house. A. Cutler and <wife anointed>. Spoke of Proclamation to the kings. Letter to Bennet and Petition to Congress &c. [several lines left blank] Warm and foggy. (2)

Nauvoo, Illinois. At a mayor's court, Joseph Smith told the brethren of his intention to write a proclamation to the kings of the earth. (3)

Alpheus Cutler is the seventh man to receive the second anointing ceremony in the Anointed Quorum. He would eventually use this as the basis for establishing a theocratic schism after Joseph Smith's death. (4)

The endowed quorum meets for prayer and sealing ordinance work. (5)

-- Nov 16, 1843
[Joseph Smith Diary] Thursday, November 16th At home. 9 1/2 Called at the office to hold court in case of Averill vs Bostwick hour [-] arrived. Walked up street with Hyrum a few minutes, returned and held court. [several lines left blank] Chilly East wind and fog. (2)

-- Nov 17, 1843
[High Council Minutes]

The High Council Met this 17th day of Nov. 1843 agreeably to adjournement Council opened with prayer by Brother Grover

Present President William Marks and President Charles C. Rich

Brothers Saml Williams pro tem Allread

Danl Carns Cutler

Fullmore Harris

Grover Johnson

Knight Huntington

Soby Sherwood

Appeared Sister Mahala Overton


James Carroll

Brother Soby was appointed Council for Complainant and brother Sherwood appointed Council for Defendant.

The parties mutually agreed to leave their difference to appraisers to say what the defendant should pay to the plaintiff

Brothers Soby and Sherwood were appointed said appraisers

The Defendant proposed to pay said appraisment in provisions such as he shall receive for his labour; to which the complainant agreed.

The president then called up the case of Quartes S. Sparks, against whom a charge had been prefered by Sidney Robberts,

The parties being ready the Council proceeded to trial by appointing Brother Williams and Carn speakers for the complainant and Brothers Allread and Cutler speakers for Defendant.

Mary Abor the subject of the complaint with a child in her arms testified that the said Sparks is the father of said child and that it was got by seduction and force that she resisted him until 3 o'clock at night when he got the advantage and acomplished his purpose

Brother Devene testified that at conference held in the East said Sparks stated in his presence that he would not be tried at that conference but would either marry Mary Abor or be tried at Nauvoo.

Sister Roebanks stated that Mary Abor was neglected or appeared to be neglected by said Sparks, on her passage from New York to Nauvoo.

Brother Norris stated that he was acquainted with Mary Abor and had been from her infancy and that she had always born a good character from her infancy to the present time and that he had never known or heard any thing against her character until this fault

Brother Divine stated that he was acquainted with said Mary in the city of New York and that she bore a good character.

Brother Wandall stated that there were enough of good victuals to eat which Mary might have had if she had come to me or my wife or brother Sparks and asked for the key which unlocked the chest in which the provisions were locked

he Wandle felt hurt and angry at Mary and a great sympathy for Sparks, on account of the sympathy which the passangers had for Mary in consequence of her talking and the many questions that was asked her by the passengers, that he could not tell whether her talking was not caused by leading questions from passengers or not

Sister Wandall stated in substance the same as her husband that she believed Spark[s] showed a willingness to provide necessaries for and make her (Mary Aber) comfortable on this passage

Sister Robanks stated that when she first came in company with Mary Aber on this passage she felt much prejudiced against her in consequence of iniquity and that she kept from her and slighted her until she saw her weeping and that repeatedly her sympathy was awakened in her favor she afterwards conversed some with her, do not recollect all that was said and has tried to forget what was said. She believed her to have been weeping in consequence of her want of food; believes her to have been neglected by Sparks, that Mary Abers conduct was christianlike on the passage.

Quartus S. Sparks, stated that he did not neglect her (Mary) on the passage, that he did tell her when arriving at Nauvoo that she must now shirk for herself, that he had done all by bringing her up to Nauvoo that was required of him by God or man.

A letter was introduced and read as testimony written by Josiah L Deforrest which is hereunto attached See letter Signed Josiah L. Deforrest.

Also a letter introduced and read as testimony written by Susan Gourman which is also attached; See letter Signed Susan Gourman

Mary Aber stated that the crime was committed in a house where the family were unbelievers that in consequence she did not cry out, for the sake of the church he being a Mormon Elder knowing they would report the same against the Elders of the church, that for the sake of the reproach it would bring upon the church she went to Brooklin and hid herself up there until the child was born and remained so five weeks after, before it was known to any one of the church and that she left for Nauvoo unbeknown to her parents and friends, that when she was about landing at Nauvoo he (Sparks) said she must now shirk for herself, that she was at the house of Mr Thomas, and had gone to bed when Sparks came to the house and came to her bed and persisted in his attemp[t]s until 3 o'clock, she had got up when he got the advantage of her and threw her on the bed and succeeded in accomplishing his purposes.

Sparks. Stated that he had gone to bed when Mary Aber came into his room and sat down after a while he got up and went and sat down by her and put his arm around her neck and took other liberties with her they then arose and walked across the floor once or twice and then he threw her on the bed and then went out of the room to avoid her; and give her a chance to go away, but when he returned he found her stil[l] laying on the bed when he could no longer resist, but had intercourse with her once and once only, that he did not seduce her but she seduced him

It was a unanimous vote by the High Council that the hand [of fellowship be withdrawn from Sparks. Minutes end here]

The parties mutually agreed to leave their difficulty difference to appraisers to say what the defendant should pay to the pla[i]ntiff. Brothers Soby and Sherwood were appointed said appraisers. The defendant proposed to pay said appraisment in provisions such as he shall receive for his labor, to which the complainant agreed to.

Sidney Roberts against Quartus S. Sparks.


"To the High Council of the Church of Jesus Christ.

Brethren I hereby prefer a charge against Quartus S. Saprks for seducing and getting a Sister with child by the name of Mary Aber and other unchristian like conduct unto said Mary And will not give her satisfaction thereunto for said offence. Dated at Nauvoo (6)

1 - Conklin, Christopher J., Joseph Smith Chronology
2 - Faulring, Scott (ed.), An American Prophet's Record: The Diaries and Journals of Joseph Smith: Joseph Smith Diary, 1843-44,
3 - Joseph Smith Resource Center: Daily Events in the Life of Joseph Smith,
4 - Quinn, D. Michael, The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power, Appendix 7: Selected Chronology of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1830-47,
5 - Hales, Brian C., Joseph Smith's Polygamy: History and Theology, 2 vols., Salt Lake City: Greg Kofford Books, 2011 (
6 - Minutes of the High Council of the Church of Jesus Christ of Nauvoo Illinois: Nauvoo Hancock County Illinois,

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