Mormon History, Jun 21, 1844, Friday

-- Jun 21, 1844, Friday
[William Clayton Writings] The excitement continued to increase and the enemy circulated all manner of inflamatory reports, and also sent messages to the governor, which had the effect of bringing him to Carthage, where he arrived about the 21st.

The governor immediately sent a messenger with a letter, requesting those named in the writ to go to Carthage for trial. An answer was sent explaining the reasons why they had not gone. (1)

-- Jun 22, 1844
[Apostle Wilford Woodruff Journal] Broth J Jaques this Book is W Woodruffs private Historical Book. I wish you to take special care of it yourself until I call for it. I wish you to copy last pages in red ink & file in the office as it is the Last Address of Joseph Smith before his death and I think we have no Copy of it in the office. The Book itself I wish locked up. I would liked to have seen you in the office today. /s/ W W

I Wilford Woodruff Copied from Philo Dibble's record the following address of President Joseph Smith the Prophet which Philo Dibble Testifies are the true sayings of Joseph the Prophet

A few words of council given by the Prophet Joseph Smith on the 22nd day of June 1844. On this day our General called us out in order and to my astonishment Counselled us to give up our arms that we had been supplyed for our defence saying we will give unto them that us both of us and trust in God for our future welfare I wish to render you my thanks as soldiers and Citizens, under my command. I proclaim as you General; you have done faithfully your duty, in guarding this City, and in preserving the lives of all the People, as well as mine in a special manner, for I have seen you on duty, without shoes and comfortable clothing -- and if I had the means to buy or I could obtain these necessary things for you I would gladly do it, but I cannot mortgage any of my property to get one Dollar, but I will say this -- you will be called the first Elders of the Church. And your missions will be to the Nations of the Earth -- You will gather many people into the fastness of the Rocky
Mountains as a centre for the Gathering of the people, and you will be faithful becaus you have been true. And many of those that Come in under your ministry because of their much learning, they will seek for high positions and they will set up and raise themselves in Eminence above you, but you will walk in low places unnoticed, and you will Know all that transpires in their midst -- And those who are your friends (p.31) - will be my friends. this I will promise to you that when I Come again to Lead you forth -- For I will go to prepare a place for you so that whare I am you shall be with me. with those comforting sayings he thanked us for past duties done. You are now dismissed to take care of your wives, Children and homes. [from the Appendix of Wilford Woodruff's Diary] (2)

[Brigham Young] --22-- Went to Lowell.

--23 (Sunday)-- I preached in Lowell. Returned to Boston. (3)

[Emma Smith] Joseph is ordered to Carthage, Illinois, for hearings; faced with the prospect of certain death, Joseph crosses to Iowa side of the Mississippi River. (4)

Joseph Smith writes to Illinois Governor Thomas Ford that he dare not come to Carthage until the mob has been dispersed, and that he was considering appealing to the federal government in Washington. Joseph and his brother, Hyrum, cross the river into Iowa and hide themselves near a community of Saints at Montrose. Before leaving Joseph instructs William Clayton to "burn" or "bury" the records of the Council of Fifty. Clayton chooses to bury them and then later recovers them. (5)

Nauvoo, Illinois. Joseph Smith sent a letter to Thomas Ford, governor of Illinois, explaining the difficulties in Nauvoo and asking Ford to visit. Governor Ford addressed his reply to the mayor (Joseph Smith) and the Nauvoo City Council and concluded that the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor was a violation of the laws protecting freedom of the press in the United States. (6)

Joseph sends a letter to Gov. Ford containing all the affidavits showing the Saints' side of the conflict. The Nauvoo Legion continues to prepare to defend Nauvoo, digging ditches, pitching tents, and setting up camp. Late the night before, John Taylor and Dr. John M. Bernhisel had gone to Carthage to meet with Ford, and had spent a terrified night, as the town was full of anti-Mormon rejoicing and celebration. Early on the morning of June 22, Taylor and Bernhisel meet with Ford, but find him surrounded by William and Wilson Law, the Higbees, the Fosters, etc. Whenever Taylor or Bernhisel try to explain their side of the Expositor story, they are immediately contradicted, and communication is almost totally blocked. After a five-hour wait, they receive a letter from Gov. Ford to take to Joseph Smith. It states that Joseph has committed one illegality after another and should plan to come to Carthage at once. Ford says, "I will also guarantee the safety of all such persons as
maythus be brought to this place from Nauvoo either for trial or as witnesses for the accused." Joseph begins to write a reply to Ford, having decided that only the United States president, John Tyler, could truly decide the legality in a matter like this. He ends his letter to Ford with the statement, "We again say, if anything wrong has been done on our part, and we know of nothing, we will make all things right if the Government will give us the opportunity. Disperse the mob, and secure to us our constitutional privileges, that our lives may not be endangered when on trial." However, the more Joseph thinks about Ford's reply, the more he realizes, "There is no mercyâ€"no mercy here." Hyrum adds, "No; just as sure as we fall into their hands we are dead men."Unsure of what to do, Joseph gets a sudden idea. "It is clear to my mind what to do. All they want is Hyrum and myself. . . . Let them search; they will not harm you in person or property, and not even a hair of your h
ead. We will cross the river tonight, and go away to the West." Joseph prepares to cross the river, and as his final recorded quote in his personal life's record, he writes, "I told Stephen Markham that if I and Hyrum were ever taken again we should be massacred, or I was not a prophet of God. I want Hyrum to live to avenge my blood, but he is determined not to leave me." (History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (7 volumes) 6:525-46. HC 6:546 and Pearson H. Corbett, Hyrum Smith: Patriarch xiii-xvi state that, in regard to Joseph's final quotes, Hyrum was to be ordained to succeed Joseph as prophet, if he had not insisted on dying with him.)The Prophet prepares to flee to the West, and to put his and Hyrum's families on the Maid of Iowa. Joseph, Hyrum, and Willard Richards wait on the banks of the Mississippi and as they do, they instruct W. W. Phelps to take their families to Cincinnati, and from there to petition the president of the United States. At mid
night, Joseph, Hyrum, Willard Richards, and Orrin Porter Rockwell get in the boat, and at 2 A.M. Rockwell rows them across the Mississippi in a leaky skiff. Hyrum and Joseph bail water all the way. (7)

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 - Wilford Woodruff's Journal: 1833-1898 Typescript, Volumes 1-9, Edited by Scott G. Kenney, Signature Books 1993,
3 - Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 1801-1844, ed. Elden Jay Watson (Salt Lake City: Smith Secretarial Service, 1968).
4 - Emma Smith, Woman of Faith,
5 - On This Day in Mormon History,
6 - BYU Studies Journal, volume 46, no. 4: A Chronology of the Life of Joseph Smith,
7 - Conklin, Christopher J., Joseph Smith Chronology

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