Mormon History

Brigham Young Versus the State of Illinois - 1845

Sangamo Journal November 6, 1845

L A T E R.

From the information we have received from Hancock, within the last day or two, we have to inform our readers that the Mormon difficulties are assuming a shape, which must bring the difficulties to a close at once. The Mormons have defied the power of the State, and declare that no more arrests shall be made in Nauvoo. Our information runs thus:

On Saturday last, Col. Warren, Judge Purple, and Mr. Brayman, Attorney for the State, visited Nauvoo -- near the environs of the City, they saw assembled a force of about 200 armed men -- Mormons -- this being contrary to the order of General Hardin, in relation to armed men assembling in the county, Col. Warren felt it his duty, as an officer, to enquire into the matter. For that purpose he invited Brigham Young and others of the leading authorities to a conference. He informed them that the armed men on the Prairie was contrary to orders -- and wanted to know what it meant. To this Young gave an unsatisfactory reply -- he stated, however, that it was their intention to submit to no further arrests -- and ridiculed the court, the Judge, the Attorney of the State, who were present, and in substance, defied the power of the State. After him, Elder Taylor, another of the Twelve, got up, and abused the Governor, State officers, &c., and made himself quite ridiculous. Brigham Young again got up, and said he was not very good at an apology -- but that they must not mind what Elder Taylor said -- that he was always making trouble, &c. -- offered to treat -- and called in a couple of gallons of wine. But Col. Warren refused to drink with them -- he got up and told them in a plain talk what he thought of their conduct, and that, as an officer, he should do his duty and carry out the law.

While this was going on, an U. S. officer arrived with a detachment of the Quincy Rifles, with a writ for Brigham Young, charged with counterfeiting the coin of the U. States. This becoming known in the city, the excitement was tremendous -- the Mormons assembled in large crowds -- and a disposition was manifested by them to resist all attempts to arrest any person in Nauvoo. After a consultation with the officer, by Judge Purple and others, it was deemed advisable to postpone the execution of the writ at the time -- for the personal safety of all concerned. Thus the villain escapes, and with his followers, defies the power of the State and the U. States. Will such conduct longer be borne by the people? We shall see.

On Monday last, an officer from Rock Island, with a gentleman by the name of Bradley from Burlington, and a Mr. Johnson of Keokuk, went up on the Sarah Ann, for the purpose of arresting an outlaw by the name of Redding, against whom an indictment had been found at the Rock Island court, as one of the accomplices in the murder of Col. Davenport. When the boat landed at Nauvoo, Redding was standing on the shore, and the officers immediately arrested him. The Mormons soon collected around and began to show hostile demonstrations -- pistols were fired -- stones were thrown, and the murderer, Redding was finally rescued from the officers, by the Mormons, and is now skulking in Nauvoo. The officers were somewhat injured by the assault. Mr. Bradley was wounded on the temple very severely by a stone, and Mr. Johnson was also hurt. The boat was stoned, and was obliged to leave to escape destruction.

The above are facts that we have received from a gentleman just down from above, and may be relied on. All peace is out of the question -- Jack Mormons, and sympathizers abroad may croak and groan over the poor Mormons to their heart's content, but their sympathies will not shield the scoundrels collected at Nauvoo from the just indignation of the people of Illinois.

The officer being foiled in his attempt to take the murderer, immediately despatched a messenger to Col. Warren, with information of the fact Col. Warren was to have marched into Nauvoo on Tuesday with all his force for the purpose of making arrests. We are assured that he is an officer that will do his duty at the hazard of his life -- and if the Mormons resist, there will be blood shed. The indiscretion of the Mormons, incited by their leaders, is entailing consequences upon them of a deplorable character. But let it come soon, if come it must.

We have heard it stated that the recent change of conduct in the Mormons, may be ascribed to a certain humbug personage, who gives himself the high sounding title of "Gen. James Arlington Bennett, of the Arlington House, New York." He has recently been among them and in his bombastic manner, told the Mormons what he could do with 20 pieces of cannon and 12 or 15,000 men. If the Mormons have been taken in by his vaunting professions of bravery, and what he would do for them, they will find too late, perhaps, that evil councils have again led them astray. If "Gen. James Arlington Bennett," is the brave and skillful officer he boasts, why does he not stay with his valiant friends, the Mormons, and control their actions? His Generalship is all displayed on paper.