Mormon History

Citizen Reaction to Mormon Hate - 1841

The Warsaw Signal June 23, 1841


A few weeks ago we took occasion to notice certain matters touching the Mormon fraternity, and their relations to the people of this country and state. This we did in as mild and respectful language as is usual on similar occasions, by the newspaper press generally. This has been construed, by the tender sympathies of some individuals, and by the Mormons themselves, though entirely without reason, into an attack upon them. The fact is, we have made no attest. In making the statements which we then made, we did so, under a conviction, that they were matters of public interest. We stated the rumor, that some of the brethren who had emigrated from a distance, were disatisfied with the condition of affairs at Nauvoo. This is not even denied -- but is continually confirmed by subsequent reports. The Prophet himself has affirmed it. In a sermon preached by him at Montrose, some time since, on the subject of "baptism for the dead," he stated the facts nearly as we have stated them -- adding what he did not want to hear any more of their "whining" about him -- that "if they did not like things here, they might go to the devil."

In the same paper, we noticed in terms of honest indignation, the appointment of Gen. Bennett to the office of Master in Chancery, by Judge Douglass. And we are happy in knowing the fact, that what we said in relation to that appointment, did not express half the indignation felt by all portions of our fellow citizens, at the outrage.

We also stated that there were serious apprehensions in the minds of many, that the Mormons were intending to become a "political body," thus "stepping beyond the proper sphere of a religious denomination" (and this charge was not made by ourselves) adding however, that so far as our Press had any influence, it would at all times, "oppose the concentration of political power in the hands of a religious body," and stood ready to oppose the Mormon church, whenever it, as a church, overstept its legitimate sphere of action. "This was the head and front of our offending."

Well -- what was there in all this, to give offense to honest men? What was there in this, at which a body of men designing to do right -- determined to keep within their legitimate boundaries, and to act and vote, as they should do, and as other men do, and other churches do -- what was there in our remarks, we ask, to offend such men? We ask any candid mind of any party, or of any sect -- and we care not what his sympathies may have been or may be. There was nothing! But no sooner had our paper made its appearance than the whole pack of [howling] curs were let loose upon us --

                    "Tray, Blanche, and Sweet-heart, all."

all -- from the great mastiff of the "first Presidency, down to the little whiffet of the "Times and Seasons," were sent yelling at our heels. No terms of abuse were too bad for us. With the great head of the "first presidency," our paper was a "filthy sheet" -- "a tissue of lies" -- "a sink of iniquity." Our motives, according to the Times and Seasons, were of the "basest kind," and ourself one of the most "contemptible" of beings. Threats of personal violence were showered upon us plentifully, by many of the leaders of the saintly clan.

And why was all this? We ask why? We had been "treated kindly" by the brethren, therefore we had put a padlock upon our lips, lest we might utter something disrespectful of the "Great Regulator!" We had partaken of roast turkey at the table of the Prophet -- therefore, our paper was closed against any thing that might be unpalatable to these people! But did they suppose that by feeding us with turkey, and other good things, they were stopping our mouth against the utterances of honest opinions? By treating us "kindly," did they suppose they are bribing us to a disgraceful and degrading silence -- that they were muzzling the press we had under our control! Evidently so. Well 00 we know not by what criterion they undertook to judge us, of what success they may have had in the same game hereafter.

But do not those things prove -- incontestibly -- that the apprehensions of our fellow citizens, in relation to these people, were well founded? What other testimony is needed? Do they not prove that they were aiming to subjigate the independence of the citizen -- that, as they had brought the devotees of party at their feet they would also subjugate the freedom of the press, as a preliminary to their unholy purposes? What was before a matter of doubt and alarm only has now become certainty. It is with the greatest pain and alarm, that the conviction has been forced upon us. And we ask the independent citizens of this county and this state, to wake up from their slumber. We ask them -- calmly -- dispassionately -- yet earnestly -- to arouse themselves to a sense of their danger -- to repel, while yet they can -- to put down while yet in its incipient stage, the foul and unholy attempt, which is making to enslave them. A power in league with the Prince of Darkness, and not inferior to the Spanish Inquisition, in its capacity for secrecy and intrigue, is at work in the midst of them. Fellow citizens! -- that power must be met -- and it must be repelled!

==> We hope none of our readers will overlook the letter of Professor Anthon, which will be found on the 4th page of today's paper, in reference to the Mormon Bible. It is worthy of an attentive people.


At an Anti-Mormon meeting of the citizens of Warsaw precinct, Hancock county, Illinois, holden on the 19th of June, 1841, for the purpose of electing delegates to the Anti-Mormon convention, to be held at Carthage, Hancock county, Ill., on the 28th inst., for the purpose of nominating suitable candidates, to be voted for by the Anti-Mormon citizens of Hancock county, at the ensuing election: A. [I.] Chittenden, was appointed Chairman, and W. B. Chipley, Secretary of the meeting. The object of the meeting being stated, on motion, A. M. Worthen, J. B. Salisbury, and W. B. Chipley, were appointed a committee, to report to the meeting the names of suitable delegates, to attend the convention, to be held at Carthage, on the 28th inst.

W. H. Roosevelt then stated to the meeting that he would offer the following resolution in order to call out any opposition that might be felt to the proposed Anti-Mormon Convention.

Resolved, That it is expedient to hold a county convention, for the purpose of nominating candidates for the offices of School and County Commissioners, in opposition to Mormon influence and dictation.

Mr. Roosevelt, addressed the meeting in favor of the resolution, and was followed by J. C. Davis, Esq., who replied to him in opposition to the convention, although as he said, as much as any opposed to the Mormons, and he again was answered by Ths. C. Sharp, in favor of the convention, and of the objects embraced in the resolution.

The question was then put to vote, and the resolution sustained with but one disenting vote.

The nominating committee then reported to the meeting the following gentlemen as delegates, to attend the convention at Carthage, which report was accepted, and the nomination confirmed by the meeting: Wm. H. Roosevelt, Mark Aldrich, T. C. Sharp, A. N. Worthen, J. D. Hollen, R. L. Robertson, A. I. Chittendon, L. Peyton, B. P. Chittendon, Wm. Ayres, T. Gregg, H. Greff, John Scott, C. Cole, J. H. Wood, G. M. Swope, T. B. Reynolds, J. Montagne, and J. B. Salisbury.

On motion of Mr. Roosevelt, Resolved, That the delegates to the convention have power to fill such vacancies as they occur from inability to attend or otherwise.

On motion, Resolved, That the proceedings of this meeting be published in the Warsaw Signal.

On motion the meeting adjourned.
                    A. I. CHITTENDON, Ch'm.
  WM. B. CHIPLEY, Sec'y.