Mormon History, Jun 12, 1844

-- Jun 12, 1844
[Brigham Young] --12-- Proceeded to Fairport and took steamer to Buffalo, where we arrived on the morning of the 13th, and went by railcars to Albany, and from thence by steamboat to New York, and proceeded to Boston, where I arrived on the morning of Sunday 16th. (1)

Joseph Fielding, of the Quorum of Anointed, records Apostle Wight's public statement: "If a Woman complained of being insulted by any Man she ought to be sit [set] down as a Strumpet on the ground that no Man would do it unless she gave him some liberty." Fielding's wife rejects that view. Joseph Smith is arrested and charged with inciting a riot "wherein they, with force and violence broke into the office of the Nauvoo Expositor, and unlawfully and with force burned and destroyed the printing press, type and fixtures of the same, . . ." Joseph notices the clause in the writ, entered by the issuing judge, Thomas Morrison, which says, "bring them before me or some other justice of the peace, to answer the premises, and further to be dealt with according to Law." Joseph chooses to be brought before a panel of six Mormon judges in Nauvoo who dismiss the charges. In Carthage the WARSAW SIGNAL editorializes: "We have only to state that this is sufficient! . . .War and exterminatio
n is evitable! CITIZENS ARISE, ONE AND ALL!!! Can you stand by, and suffer such INFERNAL DEVILS! to ROB men of their property rights, without avenging them. We have no time for comment! everyman will make his own. LET IT BE WITH POWDER AND BALL!" (2)

Nauvoo, Illinois. Joseph Smith wrote a letter to Washington Tucker of Eldorado, Arkansas. (3)

[Joseph Smith] Thomas Sharp begins publishing in the Warsaw Signal violent calls for anti-Mormon action: "DIABOLICAL OUTRAGEâ€"EXPOSITOR AFFAIR . . . war and extermination is inevitable. Citizens, Arise, One and All! ! Can you stand by and suffer such Infernal Devils! to rob men of their property and rights, without avenging them? We have no time to comment: every man will make his own. Let it be made with powder and ball! ! !" (Brigham H. Roberts, A Comprehensive History of the Church (6 volumes) 2:236.) Joseph and seventeen brethren are arrested by Constable Bettisworth and charged with committing "a riot" by breaking and destroying the Nauvoo Expositor press. Joseph notices that the writ of arrest contains the words "before me or some other justice of the peace of said county." He therefore refuses to go to Carthage, but volunteers to go to the Nauvoo justice of the peace. Constable Bettisworth becomes furious. Joseph takes out a writ of habeas corpus, appearing before Aar
on Johnson. The court decides that he "acted under proper authority in destroying theestablishment of the Nauvoo Expositor," and he is released. (History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (7 volumes) 6:453-58). At this time William Law is claiming that his store was completely gutted, with losses of $30,000. When Bettisworth returns to Governor Ford without Joseph as prisoner, most people in the surrounding area become infuriated. (4)

[Joseph Smith] Charles A. Foster, a co-publisher of the Nauvoo Expositor, reports that the destruction of the Expositor printing press two days earlier was carried out by several hundred people and the building the machine was housed in was damaged. The city marshal contradicts him, claiming that the destruction was carried out in an orderly fashion. The building stands for at least ten more years. (5)

[Joseph Smith Diary] Wednesday, June 12th 1844 This morning was arrested by David Bettinos Constable of Carthage on complaint. F[rancis] M. Higbee before Morrison, J[ustice] [of the] P[eace]. I offered to go before any justice in Nauvoo but he swore he would carry me to Carthage. Took a writ of Habeus Corpus. Was tried before Municipal Court and discharged. See Docket. Some 15 others were in that same writ.

10 A.M. at my office. 1 [P.M.] to 2 Aaron Johnson Habeus Corpus. At 4 to 6 went into court. Discharged at 8. Rain this night. (6)

[Nauvoo Temple] Joseph Smith told a reporter that the temple's interior structure and arrangement had not been decided. (7)

-- Jun 12, 1844 (Wednesday)
Joseph Smith was arrested on a charge of destroying the Expositor, tried before the municipal court of Nauvoo and acquitted. The following day the other members of the city council were tried before the same court, on a similar charge, and honorably acquitted. (8)

-- Jun 12, 1844, Wednesday
[William Clayton Writings] On the 12th, a number of writs, or rather one writ for a number of the brethern, was brought in and served by a constable by the name of Bettisworth. Among the number were Joseph and Hyrum.

Joseph immediately procured a writ of habeas corpus from the municipal court; and after a lengthy examination was discharged.

This constable returned and stated that he had been resisted. The mob took advantage of the circumstance to fan the flame of excitement and threatened terrible vengeance. They also went to the Morley settlement and branches around, demanded the arms of the brethern and ordered them to leave their homes within a few days. (9)

1 - Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 1801-1844, ed. Elden Jay Watson (Salt Lake City: Smith Secretarial Service, 1968).
2 - On This Day in Mormon History,
3 - BYU Studies Journal, volume 46, no. 4: A Chronology of the Life of Joseph Smith,
4 - Conklin, Christopher J., Joseph Smith Chronology
5 - Wikipedia, Joseph Smith Chronology,,_Jr.
6 - Faulring, Scott (ed.), An American Prophet's Record: The Diaries and Journals of Joseph Smith: Joseph Smith Diary, 1844,
7 - Brown, Lisle (compiler), Chronology of the Construction, Destruction and Reconstruction of the Nauvoo Temple
8 - Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology
9 - Fillerup, Robert C., compiler; William Clayton Nauvoo Diaries and Personal Writings, A chronological compilation of the personal writings of William Clayton while he was a resident of Nauvoo, Illinois.

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