Mormon History, May 17, 1844

-- May 17, 1844
A state convention held in Nauvoo nominates Joseph Smith as a candidate for president of the United States. After James Arlington Bennett is found to be ineligible (being of foreign birth) and Colonel Solomon Copeland declines the offer, Sidney Rigdon is chosen as his running mate. (1)

Nauvoo, Illinois. Joseph Smith was nominated as a United States presidential candidate for the National Reform Party at the Illinois state convention. (2)

[Joseph Smith Diary] Friday, May 17th 1844 In convention of the state in my office called to promote my Election Gen[eral] Brown Chairman, Merryweather secretary. Minits [minutes] to be published in next paper. Rode out towards night About 6 [P.M.].

Evening a caucus in my office. Dr. Goforth Chairman. Emma was sick and I could not attend. The people burned a barrel of Tar [in front of the Mansion], gave many toasts. Carried me on their shoulders twice round the fire and escorted me to my Mansion by a band of music.

Franklin D. Richards and Joseph A. Stratton were ordained High Priests and set apart on a mission to England by B[righam] Young, H[eber] C. Kimball, and W[illard] Richards of the Twelve [Apostles]. (3)

[Joseph Smith Sermon] Nauvoo Neighbor 2 (22 May 1844)

When Gen. Smith was called upon, he spoke with much talent, and ability and displayed a great knowledge of the political history of this nation, of the cause of the evils under which our nation groans, and also the remedy. [Joseph Smith Diary, by Willard Richards] (4)

[Lucy Mack Smith] At a "state convention" in Nauvoo, Joseph's candidacy is again affirmed by men representing the various states. (5)

-- May 17, 1844 (Friday)
A State convention was held at Nauvoo, Ill., in which Joseph Smith was nominated as a candidate for the Presidency, and Sidney Rigdon for the Vice Presidency, of the United States. (6)

-- May 18, 1844
[Apostle Wilford Woodruff Journal] May 18th Conference met in Georgetown Newark Kendle co. at one oclok P.M. There were present W. Woodruff & G. A. Smith of the quorum of the Twelve 1 High Priest, 2 Seventies, 9 Elders, 1 Priest, 1 Teacher. Conference Called to order by Elder Woodruff. Elder G. A. Smith Called to the Chair. Conference opened by singing and Prayer by the President. Representation of the several branches Called for. Archibal M. Wilson reprepresented the Newark branch: ...

It was moved sooon & carried that:

Canute Peterson Levi Lightfoot

Severt Olson Simpson D. Huffaker

Zimri H. Baxter Mades Madison

Vance Jacobs And Oder Jacobson

be ordained Elders. Also Henry Saba be ordained A Priest. Also Ole Johnson & Peter Maclin be ordained Teachers All of which persons were then ordained unto the offices assigned them under the Hands of Elders W. Woodruff G. A. Smith & Ezra Thayer.

Appropriate remarks were then made by Elders Woodruff & Smith by way of council & instruction to those who had been ordained, & was followed by Elder David Savage. Adjourned to Sunday 10 oclok. (7)

The Prophet first published in New York City; William Smith, editor. Published until May 24, 1845, when it was succeeded by the New York Messenger, which continued its voluming. Successive editors include Sam Brannan and Parley P. Pratt. (8)

[Joseph Smith Diary] May 18th 1844, Saturday 9 A.M. With H[eber] C. Kimball to B[righam] Young's and af[ter]wards rode out to the regimental Taining and in the afternoon also on Jo Duncan about land &c.

5 P.M. 2 cannons were fired in front of my old home and regiment dismissed. (3)

[Lucy Mack Smith] James Blakesley, Francis M. Higbee, and Austin Cowles are excommunicated. (5)

-- May 18, 1844 (Saturday)
The first number of The Prophet, a weekly paper devoted to the interests of the Church, was issued in New York City, by a society of Saints. (6)

-- May 19, 1844
[Anointed Quorum] Sunday evening prayer circle meeting "was dispensed with on account of mud and rain"; "About 19 men [and] 2 women attending" . (9)

[Apostle Wilford Woodruff Journal] 19th Met persuant to adjournment. Opened by singing, & prayer by Elder A.M. Wilsey. A discourse was then deliverd by Elder W. Woodruff in which he instructed the Elders to be careful to preach the first principle of the gospel & doctrin of Christ & not spend their time in warring with the opinions of other men. Showed the importance of revelation, & the necessity of A prophet of God as the head of the Church on earth, being as necessary in order to exhist & advance in knowledge as for a natural body to possess a head in order to live. He considerd we were enjoying the society of as good a prophet in this day as any people ever enjoyed any age of the world, & believed all good men would think so when they became fully aquainted with him & his principles.

He was followed by Elder G. A. Smith who bore testimony to the truth of the fullness of the gospel. Councilled the Elders to be humble, and not get head & sholdiers above their brethren lest they fall like the tallest trees of the forest that are first swept down by the raging storm & made many appropriate remarks which was well received by the congregation. Adjourned untill 2 oclok.

Met according to adjournment at the House of Br Manchester when the sacrament was administered to the Church & many testimonies given from the Elders & members present concerning the truth of the work they had recieved, & conference was dismissed amid the best of feelings, not ownly which was manifested by all the Saints, but by the whole congregation of citizens that attended. Good order prevailed through the whole conference. Attention kindness and civility was manifest by all who were present.

Geo A Smith, President Asa Manchester, Clerk

At the Close of the conference Elders Charles C Rich David Fulmer & Henry Jacobs Arived direct from Nauvoo & spent the night with us. (7)

1 - The Woodland Institute 'On This Day Historical Database,'
2 - Joseph Smith Resource Center: Daily Events in the Life of Joseph Smith,
3 - Faulring, Scott (ed.), An American Prophet's Record: The Diaries and Journals of Joseph Smith: Joseph Smith Diary, 1844,
4 - The Words of Joseph Smith by Joseph Smith by Andrew F. Ehat and Lyndon W. Cook
5 - Anderson, Lavina Fielding, Editor, Lucy's Book: A Critical Edition of Lucy Mack Smith's Family Memoir, 2001, Signature Books,
6 - Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology
7 - Wilford Woodruff's Journal: 1833-1898 Typescript, Volumes 1-9, Edited by Scott G. Kenney, Signature Books 1993,
8 - Sherry Baker: Mormon Media History Timeline: 1827-2007,
9 - Quinn, D. Michael, The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power, Signature Books, 1994, Appendex: Meetings and Initiations of the Anointed Quorum, 1842-45,

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