Mormon History, Jun 9, 1844

-- Jun 9, 1844
The endowed quorum meet for prayer. (1)

-- Jun 10, 1844
[Brigham Young] --10-- In company with my brother John and Franklin I went to Chester and visited Sister Nancy Kent and family; had an excellent visit; spent the night at Brother Butler's. (2)

Willard Richards accuses William Law of seducing his daughter. (3)

[Joseph Smith] The city council meets again for over six hours to discuss the Nauvoo Expositor. Joseph reads from the Expositor and asks, "Is it not treasonable against all chartered rights and privileges, and against the peace and happiness of the city?" John Taylor says no city on earth would allow such a thing, that it is a threat to the security of the city. Councilor Stiles reads Blackstone and says that a nuisance is anything that disturbs the peace of the community. Hyrum Smith suggests smashing the press and scattering the type. Councilor Warrington, a nonmember, suggests fining the paper $3,000 for every case of libel, but Joseph answers that in order to take a man to court for libel, he would have to go to Carthage. The last time Joseph went to Carthage, he was almost killed. Therefore, the Saints have no legal recourse. (One historian states that there were 16 instances of violence between 1832 and 1867 to presses or editors who had expressed highly controversial v
iews contrary to thepublic consensus, including one murder of an antislavery editor. Therefore, destroying a press at this time was not unusual.)An ordinance concerning libelous publications is passed. The city council unanimously resolves that "the printing-office from whence issues the Nauvoo Expositor is a public nuisance and also all of said Nauvoo Expositors which may be or exist in said establishment." These ordinances are passed about 6:30 P.M. Joseph then orders City Marshal John P. Greene to carry out the order. Greene summons troops under Jonathan Dunham, acting major-general of the Nauvoo Legion. By 8 P.M. they destroy the press, scatter the type throughout the streets, and burn all the copies of the second issue. (History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (7 volumes) 6:444-48; 7:61-64.) (4)

[Joseph Smith] Concluding that they are operating within the prerogatives granted by the Nauvoo charter granted to the city by the state of Illinois, the city council passes an ordinance and directs the Prophet as mayor to -"abate-" the Nauvoo Expositor as a -"nuisance-"; the press is destroyed. 10 (5)

Nauvoo, Illinois. The Nauvoo City Council passed an ordinance declaring the Nauvoo Expositor a public nuisance, and Joseph Smith, as mayor, agreed to have that newspaper destroyed. (6)

[Joseph Smith Diary] Monday, June 10th 1844 In City Council from 10 to 1:20 P.M. and from 2:20 to 5:30 P.M. investigating the Merits of the Nauvoo Expositor, Laws, Higbee, Fosters &c. Council passed an ordinance concerning Libels and for other purposes, also issued an order to me to destroy the Nauvoo Expositor establishment as a nuisance. I immediately ordered the marshal to destroy it without delay. At the same issued an order to Jonathan Dunham, acting Major Gen[eral] Nauvoo Legion to asssist the Marshall with the Legion if called upon so to do. And about 8 o'clock the Marshall reported that he had removed the press, type, and printed papers and fixtures into the street and fired them.

This was done because of the libellous character of the paper. In slandering the Municipality of the city. The possey consisting of some hundred returned with the Marshal in front of the Mansion and I gave them a short address told them they had done right. That they had executed my orders required of me by the city council that I would never submit to have another libellous publication in [print] established in this city. That I cared not how many papers there were in the city if they would print the truth but would submit to no libellis or slander from them. The speech was loudly greeted by 3 cheers 3 times. The posse dispersed all in good order.

Francis M. Higbee and others made some threats which will appear in due course of investigation. East wind very cold and cloudy. (7)

Nauvoo City Council discusses Nauvoo Expositor accusation of polygamy against Joseph Smith. Hyrum Smith tells Nauvoo City Council that Smith's 1843 revelation pertains to ancient polygamy, not to modern times. By Joseph Smith's order as mayor the council destroys the Expositor as "a public nuisance." Smith as mayor of Nauvoo orders destruction of Nauvoo Expositor press . PLACE: Nauvoo, IL SOURCE: Joseph Smith, History of the Church, Vol. 6, p.432-434 (8)

William Clayton Witnesses destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor printing press. (9)

-- Jun 10, 1844, Monday
[William Clayton Writings] Monday 10. ... The City council passed a resolution declaring the Printing press on the hill a ``nuisance'' and ordered it destroyed if not moved in 3 hours notice. About sun down The police gathered at the Temple about sundown and after organizing proceeded to the office and demolished the press & scattered the Type. (10)

1 - Hales, Brian C., Joseph Smith's Polygamy: History and Theology, 2 vols., Salt Lake City: Greg Kofford Books, 2011 (
2 - Manuscript History of Brigham Young, 1801-1844, ed. Elden Jay Watson (Salt Lake City: Smith Secretarial Service, 1968).
3 - Tidd, N. R., "Mormon Chronology"
4 - Conklin, Christopher J., Joseph Smith Chronology
5 - Highlights in the Prophet's Life, Ensign, June 1994
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,
8 - Joseph Smith Polygamy Timeline,
9 - Smith, George D., An Intimate Chronicle; The Journals of William Clayton, p.lxiii, A William Clayton Chronology,
10 - 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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