Mormon History, Jun 18, 1844, Tuesday

-- Jun 18, 1844, Tuesday
[William Clayton Writings] /Tuesday Noon. Front of Mansion House./

This A.M. the Legion is ordered to parade.... At 11 he rode to the parade ground & after staying a short season the whole legion marched down to the Mansion Judqe Phelps there read the preamble and resolutions of the mob in which they threaten extermination to the whole Church in Nauvoo. (1)

[William Clayton Writings] During this excitement the works on the temple ceased for about two weeks, all the hands having to watch and stand on guard night and day.

The works were suspended about the 20th of June. (1)

[William Clayton Writings] after Phelps got through Genl. J. Smith addressed the multitude He briefly explained the object of the mob and showed that they waged a war of extermination upon us because of our religion. He called upon all the volunteers who felt to support the constitution from the Rocky Mountains to the Atlantic Ocean to come with their arms, ammunition & provisions to defend us from the mob 43 & defend the constitution. He called upon them as the Lieutenant General of the N.L. and Illinois Militia in the name of the Constitution of the U.S. the People of the State of Ill. and the citizens of Nauvoo He called upon the citizens to defend the lives of their wives & children. for their /fathers?/ and mothers, brothers & sisters, from being murdered by the mob. He urged them in strong terms not to shed innocent blood--not to act in the least on the offensive but invariable in the defensive and if we die--die like men of God and secure a glorious resurrection. He co
ncluded by invoking the Great God to bless the people.--

... In the above address he advised all to arm themselves those who had no rifles, get swords, scythe and make weapons of some kind He informed them that he had 5000 Elders minute men who would come with volunteers as soon as he would inform them. He said there were many from Iowa waiting to come when requested. (1)

-- Jun 19, 1844
Joseph Smith reportedly appoints James Jesse Strang to be his successor. [Per a Yale University document.] (2)

The NAUVOO NEIGHBOR prints Joseph's and Hyrum's testimony before the Nauvoo City Council explaining that Hyrum Smith "referred to the revelation, read to the High Council of the Church, which has caused so much talk about a multiplicity of wives; that said revelation was in answer to a question concerning things which transpired in former days, and had no reference to the present time." The article quotes Joseph Smith as having said, "They make it a criminality for a man to have a wife on the earth while he has one in heaven." He added that "the order [was] in ancient days, having nothing to do with [t]he present times." This issue also carries Hyrum's statement accusing William Law of adultery. Both Joseph and Hyrum are secretly practicing polygamy at this time. (3)

[Joseph Smith] With a posse, David Bettisworth travels toward Nauvoo to arrest Joseph again. As he tries to pick up men on his way, they refuse to go with him, saying his orders are forgeries. Joseph orders General Dunham to put guards completely around the city and on all roads leading out of town. All powder and lead are readied for use by the legion. Joseph estimates that there are approximately 600 men surrounding Nauvoo at this time. (4)

Nauvoo, Illinois. Joseph Smith met the Nauvoo Legion at the front of his home and gave orders to have a picket guard posted on all the roads leading out of the city, to have all the powder and lead in the city secured, and to have all the arms put into use. (5)

[Joseph Smith Diary] Wednesday, June 19th 1844 [Legion] Troops come in from Green Plain about 11 A.M. L[i]eut[enant] Gen[eral] met them in front of his Mansion and an Escort came down from the parade below the temple and escorted them to the ground.

1 o'c[loc]k P.M. [Legion] troops arrived from Iow[a] and were escorted in. 9 Eve L[i]eut[enant] Gen[eral] at Head Quarters. All quiet. (6)

-- Jun 19, 1844 (Wednesday)
Mobs were gathering at different points to attack Nauvoo. (7)

-- Jun 20, 1844
Joseph Smith sends letter to U. S. President John Tyler, asking for protection. (2)

Joseph Smith writes the apostles to return to Nauvoo immediately and, probably on this occasion, instructs them to destroy their endowment undergarments. He also writes a hurried letter pleading with the president of the United States to "save the innocent and oppressed from such horrid persecution." (3)

1 - 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.
2 - Tidd, N. R., "Mormon Chronology"
3 - On This Day in Mormon History,
4 - Conklin, Christopher J., Joseph Smith Chronology
5 - Joseph Smith Resource Center: Daily Events in the Life of Joseph Smith,
6 - Faulring, Scott (ed.), An American Prophet's Record: The Diaries and Journals of Joseph Smith: Joseph Smith Diary, 1844,
7 - Jenson, Andrew, Church Chronology

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