Mormon History, Jun 16, 1844

-- Jun 16, 1844
[Lucy Mack Smith] Joseph Smith gives his last public discourse, on "the doctrine of multiple gods and his authority as a latter-day prophet." Richard L. Anderson points out that this was one of the two main points on which the Expositor had launched its editorial attack on 7 June, the other one being "the plurality of wives, for time and eternity. For the second doctrine, the Prophet chose calculated silence" ("Final," 322). (1)

-- Jun 16, 1844 (Sunday Afternoon)
[Joseph Smith Sermon] (Location: Grove East of Temple, Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois, USA

Source: William Clayton Diary -Words of Joseph Smith, 383) 4 o clock at the stand stated the design of the meeting & ordered the Major General to have the Legion in readiness to suppress all the illegal violence in the City. (2)

-- Jun 16, 1844 (Sunday)
Addison Pratt baptized Ambrose Alexander, a white man, on the island of Tubuai, as the first convert to "Mormonism" on the Pacific Isles. (3)

In a public meeting, held at Nauvoo, a number of delegates were called to visit the different precincts in Hancock County, Ill., to lay a truthful statement of the troubles in Nauvoo before the people. Joseph Smith, as mayor of the city, also stated the facts in a proclamation. (3)

-- Jun 17, 1844
Joseph Smith and fifteen others are "arrested by Con[stable] Joel S. Miles on writ of D[aniel] H. Wells, J[ustice] [of the] P[eace] issued on complaint of Mr. G. Ware for riot on 10th inst[ant] in destroying Nauvoo Expositor. Were tried at Justice Wells 2 P.M. and discharged." Daniel H. Wells is later a member of the LDS First Presidency. On this same day a committee of citizens at nearby Carthage requested Governor Ford to mobilize a sufficient force of state militia to execute legal process in Nauvoo. Joseph Smith orders the Nauvoo Legion to parade at 10:00 AM the next day. Hyrum Smith writes to the Twelve (who are campaigning for Joseph Smith's U.S. Presidential candidacy) "requesting them to come home without delay." In the NAUVOO NEIGHBOR for this date Joseph Smith blames "all the sorrow he ever had in his family" upon "the influence of Wm Law." In the same issue Hyrum Smith accuses William Law adulterous behavior. (4)

[Joseph Smith] Hyrum Smith writes to Brigham Young and explains the recent great excitement around Nauvoo with the mass meetings by mobs drawing up resolutions to "utterly exterminate the Saints." He recommends that the Twelve return without delay and advises, "A word to the wise is sufficient; and a little powder, lead and a good rifle can be packed in your luggage very easy without creating any suspicion." (History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (7 volumes) 6:486-87.)Joseph and 15 others are arrested on this day on the charge of "riot." They appear before Daniel H. Wells (who will later be baptized) and are discharged. Stephen Markham brings warning that mobs are joining together all around Nauvoo in preparation to attack. Joseph notifies both the police and the Nauvoo Legion to be prepared. He hears a rumor that the Law brothers will try to burn the Nauvoo Neighbor office this night, so a strong police force is placed on the premise. (5)

Nauvoo, Illinois. Joseph Smith was arrested again (see June 12) along with 15 others for the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor and taken before Daniel H. Wells, justice of the peace, who discharged the prisoners. (6)

[Joseph Smith Diary] Monday, June 17th 1844 Hyrum wrote letters to the Twelve [Apostles] but they were not sent. Wrote to Uncle John Smith.

This morning Joseph Smith, Samuel Bennett, John Taylor, W[illia]m W. Phelps, Hyrum Smith, John P. Green, Dimick B. Huntington, Jonathan Dunham, Stephen Markham, J[onathan] H. Holmes, Jesse P. Horman, John Lytle, Joseph W. Coolidge, Harvey D. Redfield, O[rrin] P[orter] Rockwell, and Levi Richards were arrested by Con[stable] Joel S. Miles on writ of D[aniel] H. Wells, J[ustice] [of the] P[eace] issued on complaint of Mr. G. Ware for riot on 10th inst[ant] in destroying Nauvoo Expositor. Were tried at Justice Wells 2 P.M. and discharged.

Edward Hunter Lewis and Major Bills started with letters &c. to Gov[ernor] Ford and officers of [dash] [dash] as stated on Sunday. Minutes [dash] rec[eive]d affidavit of Stephen Markham Mob was like to come upon us (on file) Issued order to [the Legion from the] Mayor to keep the peace to Jonathan Dunham acting commandant to assist the Marshall also to be quiet and prevent all excitement, also to Col[onel] Rockwood to call my guard and Staff to head quarters (all on file). Ordered the Legion to parade 10 A.M. next day. Rec[eive]d letter from T. Hugins Esqu[ire] that Jeremiah Smith had got home clear and all excitement /survived by/ T. B. Johnson was allayed at Springfield. It was reported the Mob was still gathering at Carthage and that W[illia]m and Wilson Law had laid a plan to burn the printing office of Nauvoo Neighbor this night and strong police were on duty.

Capt[ain] of the Osprey called on me. Closed orders about 12 ready to retire. About eleven a negro came into my office with an open letter without date or name. Said Dr. Foster gave it to him at Madison to give Norton in that Foster said Dunham and Richards swore in presence of Temple they would kill him Foster in two days and a man at Madison would swear he heard them say so at Joseph's house. Pleasant night. (7)

1 - Anderson, Lavina Fielding, Editor, Lucy's Book: A Critical Edition of Lucy Mack Smith's Family Memoir, 2001, Signature Books,
2 - The Woodland Institute,
3 - Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology
4 - On This Day in Mormon History,
5 - Conklin, Christopher J., Joseph Smith Chronology
6 - Joseph Smith Resource Center: Daily Events in the Life of Joseph Smith,
7 - Faulring, Scott (ed.), An American Prophet's Record: The Diaries and Journals of Joseph Smith: Joseph Smith Diary, 1844,

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