Nauvoo Neighbor: The Latter-day Saint Experience at the Mississippi River, 1843–1845

Nauvoo Neighbor: The Latter-day Saint Experience at the Mississippi River, 1843–1845
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Nauvoo Neighbor: The Latter-day Saint Experience at the Mississippi River, 1843–1845

Author Susan E. Black

This excerpt from Susan Easton Black's new book introduces the Latter-day Saint newspaper the Nauvoo Neighbor and the significant role it played in Nauvoo between 1843 and 1845.


The Nauvoo Neighbor is a significant key to understanding the Latter-day Saint experience at the Mississippi River from 1843 to 1845. Although only three volumes were published, the newspaper contains 127 issues, each spanning four pages in length, with each page divided into six columns. This translates into approximately 4,000 single-spaced pages on 8½″ × 11″ paper. From the first issue on Wednesday, May 3, 1843, to the last issue on Wednesday, October 29, 1845, its masthead proudly proclaims, “OUR MOTTO—THE SAINTS’ SINGULARITY—IS UNITY, LIBERTY, CHARITY.” The new book The Best of the Nauvoo Neighbor and the accompanying searchable DVD-ROM of all 127 issues surpass on many fronts local news printed in the official Nauvoo LDS paper, the Times and Seasons.

The Neighbor played a significant role in the national discussion of Mormonism, the presidential election of 1844, and perceptions of the martyrdom of Joseph Smith. The paper printed an unrelenting defense of Mormonism against a backdrop of exaggerated reports and sensational claims that stemmed from Hancock County to newspapers in the East. Senior editor John Taylor did not hesitate to confront politician, newspaper columnist, or the governor of Illinois on issues of the day that distorted the Mormon faith. His words were written in defense of Joseph Smith and thousands of Mormons, who had gathered on the banks of the Mississippi River and built Zion in Nauvoo. Among those who had come were Latter-day Saint exiles seeking refuge from unchecked persecution in the state of Missouri and English converts pushed westward by black clouds of war, poverty, and promises of a glorious new day in an American Zion. Nauvoo welcomed and embraced such immigrants, hoping that, as the town’s population swelled, there would be strength in numbers to face multiplying local and national foes. By 1843, what had once been a fledgling community of Mormon believers huddled near the Mississippi was a bustling metropolis. As such, the city of Nauvoo could support more than one LDS newspaper, especially a paper focused on local news.

After touching on LDS newspaper history and briefly examining John Taylor’s role as editor of the Nauvoo Neighbor, this article will analyze the historical significance of the Neighbor, which played such an important role in the national press with articles on the kidnapping of Joseph Smith, his presidential bid of 1844, and anti-Mormon meetings in Carthage that threatened to destroy Joseph and beautiful Nauvoo. This will be followed by an overview and analysis of other topics that frequently appeared in the newspaper columns.

Brief Review of Official LDS Newspapers

The Nauvoo Neighbor took its lead from earlier Mormon newspapers, although the Neighbor was never an official LDS paper. The first LDS paper was The Evening and the Morning Star, edited by William W. Phelps and published in Independence, Missouri. Religious doctrine, history, hymns, instruction, revelation, and missionary letters were printed in the Star. From June 1832 until July 1833, this eight-page, double-columned paper was applauded by Latter-day Saint readership as informative and inspiring. Although a mob destroyed the press, in some respects The Evening and the Morning Star survived the attack. Under the able editorship of Oliver Cowdery, ten new issues of the Star were printed in 1833 and 1834 in Kirtland, Ohio. These new issues included some doctrinal writings of Sidney Rigdon and commentary describing problems faced by the Saints in Missouri. Cowdery then reprinted all twenty-four of the original issues between January 1835 and October 1836. Differences between the reprinted issues and the originals were a new sixteen-page format, fewer grammatical errors, and the deletion of a few articles.1

In 1834, the Star was succeeded by the Latter Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate, a paper whose very name suggests its purpose—a messenger of the restored gospel and an advocate of true principles. Under Cowdery’s lead, first issues of the Messenger and Advocate were printed from October 1834 to May 1835. Editors John Whitmer and Warren Cowdery replaced Oliver Cowdery, then in February and March 1837 Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon became senior editors. Although the paper had multiple editors, neither its purpose nor its tenor changed through the years. In a sixteen-page, double-column format, the paper printed doctrinal addresses, missionary letters, poetry, hymns, minutes of Church conferences, local events (such as marriages and deaths), and an annual index (in the last issue of each volume).2

In late 1837, nearly four months after the final issue of the Messenger and Advocate, another Mormon newspaper commenced in Kirtland. This paper was the Elders’ Journal of the Church of Latter Day Saints, with Joseph Smith as editor and Thomas B. Marsh as publisher. (This was the first time that two LDS newspapers were printed in the same community.) Although the concept of an Elders’ Journal had merit—to keep traveling elders informed of Church affairs—after two issues (October and November 1837) the run of the paper stopped. Its small run in Kirtland was repeated in Far West, Missouri, where two additional issues were printed before the paper again ceased publication.3

In many respects, the next paper, Times and Seasons, was more successful than other Church periodicals, with a long print run of 135 issues. Similar to its predecessors, the sixteen-page, double-column paper contained Church doctrine, history, local events, missionary letters, and minutes of meetings, as well as general contemporary news. The paper was printed monthly in Nauvoo between November 1839 and October 1840, before becoming a biweekly publication, appearing on the first and fifteenth of each month through February 15, 1846. The first editors of the Times and Seasons were Don Carlos Smith and Ebenezer Robinson. In 1842, Joseph Smith became the senior editor. Under his editorship, documents such as the translation and facsimiles of the book of Abraham and the Wentworth Letter were published. Between November 1842 and January 1844, John Taylor and Wilford Woodruff edited and published the paper. From February 1844 until mid-February 1846, Taylor was the sole editor and proprietor.4

The Latter-day Saints’ Millennial Star was the fifth newspaper recognized as an official organ of the Church. The Millennial Star began in England in 1840 with Parley P. Pratt as editor and had a continuous print run until 1970. Pratt and subsequent editors printed doctrinal addresses of Church leaders and excerpts from Church history. The inclusion of conference minutes, missionary letters, local news, and poems mirrored the content of other LDS periodicals.5 The dramatic difference between the Millennial Star and other Mormon newspapers was the inclusion of emigration statistics, news of the Perpetual Emigrating Fund, and ship departures.6

Unofficial LDS Newspapers in Nauvoo

The Nauvoo Neighbor was never an official LDS publication. The Neighbor was a replacement for a proposed weekly newspaper entitled the Nauvoo Ensign and Zarahemla Standard. Unfortunately, plans to begin printing the Ensign and Standard were abruptly halted in August 1841 at the untimely death of Don Carlos Smith, proposed editor of the publication. The decision to halt the Ensign and Standard before it commenced was fraught with complications, the largest being subscribers who had prepaid for copies of the newspaper. Strong solicitation of subscribers or “friends,” as Don Carlos Smith’s brother William Smith called them, “induced us to engage” in another newspaper.7 The Wasp, first printed on April 16, 1842, was begun to appease subscribers.8

From the first issue to the last, the Wasp masthead proudly displayed a saying of William Cullen Bryant (1794–1878), editor of the New York Evening Post: “Truth crushed to earth will rise again.” Editor William Smith envisioned the Wasp as a public journal that carried rising truth of local and general interest. He did not see the Wasp as a vehicle for disseminating truths on religious matters. Smith held such matters were the domain of the Times and Seasons, the official LDS newspaper.9 In his “Proposal for Publishing the Wasp,” Smith (editor from the first issue on April 16, 1842, to the thirty-first issue on December 3, 1842) assured subscribers that his newspaper would disseminate truth of “useful knowledge of every description—the Arts, Science, Literature, Agriculture, Manufacture, Trade, [and] Commerce.”10 Smith saw his role as guiding the editorial staff to manifest a “spirit of boldness and determination that shall become our station,” not as defending the Mormon faith.11

John Taylor, who succeeded Smith as editor in chief for issues 32 (December 10, 1842) through 52 (April 26, 1843), disagreed. Taylor, a native of England, was not willing to leave religious matters to the Times and Seasons. Taylor’s religious stance was well known to subscribers of the Wasp. Several were aware that Taylor had seen a vision of an angel “holding a trumpet to his mouth, sounding a message to the nations” long before becoming senior editor.12 Some knew that he had been taught the gospel by Parley P. Pratt and had said, “If I find his religion true, I shall accept it, no matter what the consequences may be; and if false, then I shall expose it.”13 Only a few were aware that Taylor had “made a regular business” of listening to Pratt’s sermons and on May 9, 1836, accepted baptism. But all knew Taylor never doubted any principle of Mormonism and was not constrained to neglect Mormonism in the Wasp. After all, his testimony of the work was evident in his call to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles (see D&C 118:6). Of his apostolic appointment, Taylor said, “I felt my own weakness and littleness; but I felt determined, the Lord being my helper, to endeavor to magnify it.”14 Undaunted by poverty, he crossed the ocean to share truths of the Restoration with countrymen in Great Britain. He was instrumental in opening a mission in Ireland, assisting migrating Saints to America, and baptizing hundreds. Returning to Nauvoo, he became prominent in civic affairs, being elected to the Nauvoo City Council and being named a regent and trustee of the University of the City of Nauvoo and judge advocate in the Nauvoo Legion before becoming senior editor of the Wasp.

The Wasp was published every Saturday from May 1842 through January 1843. (Beginning on February 1, 1843, the paper was published on Wednesdays.) The Wasp was printed at the northeast corner of Water and Bain Streets. (The foundation of the building is still visible.) Ebenezer Robinson said of the printing facility, “A small, cheap frame building [was] put up, one and a half stories high, the lower room to be used for the printing office” and the upper room to be used as his family residence. Robinson reported the lower room “had no floor, and the ground was kept damp by the water constantly trickling down the back side.”15 This room was known as the office of the Times and Seasons.

John Taylor took over as editor in chief of the Wasp under the partnership name of “Taylor & Woodruff.” As to Wilford Woodruff’s role in the partnership, on January 1, 1845, Parley P. Pratt penned, “We have now three departments, duly appointed by the presidency of the church, viz: the Nauvoo office, under the management of Mr. J. Taylor, the English department, under Brother W. Woodruff, and the New York publishing department [The Prophet], now committed to my charge.”16

Although historians insist that the Nauvoo Neighbor was a replacement for the Wasp,17 neither the purpose nor the content of the two papers support this conclusion. For example, the Neighbor contained much religious news about general conferences, meetings of priesthood quorums, and epistles from the Twelve Apostles, whereas the Wasp ignored religious matters.18 In addition, size and distribution of the two newspapers varied. In the “Prospectus of a Weekly Newspaper, Called the Nauvoo Neighbor,” Taylor wrote of enlarging the Neighbor to double the size of the Wasp. Taylor described the Wasp as “small in stature, dressed in a very humble garb, and under very inauspicious circumstances.” He recognized “the little Wasp has held on the even tenor of his way the untiring, unflinching supporter of integrity, righteousness and truth,” but assured subscribers that the Neighbor had put “on a new dress, and [doubled in] size, that he may begin to look up in the world, and not be ashamed of associating with his older brethren [Times and Seasons]; and as he acted the part of a good samaritan, we propose giving him a new name.—Therefore his name shall no longer be called THE WASP, but the NEIGHBOR.”19

The Neighbor devoted column space to a banknote table corrected weekly, a listing of current prices for merchandise, a weekly record of deaths in Nauvoo, and ordinances passed by the Nauvoo City Council. Above all, the Neighbor advocated “the principles of Gen. Joseph Smith, and pursue[d] such a course as shall be best calculated to secure his election to the presidency.” Unlike the Wasp, which never had more than fifteen agents ranging from Illinois to Ohio and from there to New York, the Neighbor had agents throughout the states and in Great Britain. Even solicitors to the Neighbor were advised, “Every individual desirous to secure the election of Gen. Smith, should use every effort in his power to procure as great a number of subscribers to the Neighbor as possible.”20 Terms of the Neighbor were reasonable and creative, allowing neighborhoods to club together to purchase the paper for a cheap price. Advertisements were “conspicuously inserted on reasonable terms.”21

Success of the Neighbor was evident from the outset in May 1843. Taylor boasted, “The young gentleman [meaning the Neighbor] has grown in one short week to double his former size.” Taylor was pleased with subscription success and its immediate acceptance by competing editors in Hancock County. “Amidst the warring elements that are disturbing the world,” Taylor printed, “we are glad to find so amiable and friendly a spirit manifested to us at the present time by the press, and we can assure them that so long as they let us alone we shall not interfere with them.” Yet Taylor added, “We shall always contend for our religious rights. In short the liberty of the press, liberty of conscience and of worship, free discussion, sailors rights, we shall always sustain.”22

After a few short months in the editor’s chair, however, Taylor’s friendly tone changed. When the Warsaw Message threatened to go belly up, Taylor suggested a reason: “It keeps up a continuous yelp about Mormonism.” Taylor advised the Warsaw Message to “apply to us we will furnish [the editor] with a bundle [about Mormonism] that will keep his paper going for twelve months; we always wish to accommodate our friends.”23 Taylor’s sarcasm was noted by Joseph Smith. On February 19, 1844, Joseph wrote, advising Taylor to “cultivate peace and friendship with all; mind our own business and come off with flying colors, respected, because, in respecting others, we respect ourselves.” Taylor responded, “We certainly approve very highly of the above sentiment; we have pursued this course ever since we have had any charge of the editorial department of the papers of Nauvoo.”24

A dramatic increase in subscriptions to the Neighbor led Taylor to search for better accommodations for the office of the Times and Seasons. By 1845, Taylor had purchased brick buildings on the west side of Main Street between Kimball and Parley Streets. The lot on which the buildings stood was once the property of Joseph Smith. Joseph sold the lot on April 27, 1842, to James Ivins,25 who built three red-brick structures on the site. The corner structure was operated as a store by Ivins. Next to it on the north was Ivins’s residence, and beyond the residence stood a third building similar to the corner structure. (The purpose and use of the third building is unknown.)26 On May 3, 1845, when Ivins moved to Keokuk, Iowa, he sold the lot and buildings to Elias Smith in a very unusual property transaction that ultimately transferred the property back to Ivins.27 John Taylor’s journal entry of April 13, 1845, details his purchase of the lot and buildings:

A man of the name of James Ivins has considerable property, and wished to part with it, for the purpose (as he said) of placing his sons at some business, not having an opportunity in this place. . . . He had a first rate large brick house, brick store, and large pine board barn, on a half acre of land on Main street, corner of Kimball, which he had offered to me for three thousand two hundred dollars although the buildings had cost twice that sum. I asked the brethren what their counsel was upon the subject; they said go ahead and get it. I took measures forthwith to procure it, not that I wanted to build myself up; but my idea in getting it was to keep it out of the hands of our enemies, as it was offered so cheap; and I thought the store would suit us for a Printing office. My feelings after I had traded for this were the same as ever, I felt like sacrificing all things when called upon, my heart is not set upon property, but the things of God: I care not so much about the good things of this life, as I do about the fellowship of my brethren, and to fulfilling the work the Lord has called me to do; and the favor of the Lord, and securing to myself, my family, and friends an inheritance in the Kingdom of God. Moved into the house May 10, 1845.28

The print shop on the corner housed a large press on which the Times and Seasons and Nauvoo Neighbor were printed, plus smaller presses for custom print jobs, handbills, and flyers. The number of men employed depended on the work to be done. “Compositors” were employed to compose copy, one paragraph at a time, using a composing stick. “Daubers” were employed to ink type with lever balls, while “pullers” yanked press handles to lower the platen and apply pressure necessary to create an impression on newsprint. All worked to meet deadlines no matter the hour or wage. Taylor advised subscribers to pay in advance so that he could distribute wages: “Whether eatables, drinkables, wearables, or pocketables, (in the form of money,) will now be more acceptable than any other time because them fellows what work off the Neighbor are quite as keen for the good things of the earth, as you are for the great news of the world.”29 Believing his advice not enough, fictional stories were added as a reminder to subscribers to pay the printer. One such anecdote begins, “Father, what does the printer live on [when] you hadn’t paid him for two or three years and yet you have his paper every week?”30

Subscribers were leery about advance payments, especially when printers couldn’t guarantee papers would arrive in a timely manner, if at all. On January 29, 1845, Brigham Young wrote to John Taylor, “While I have been preaching abroad in the world from place to place, the question being asked of me so many times by the saints: Why do not my papers come? I sent the monies long ago to pay my subscription for the year, and have received but two or three numbers. Why is it that I do not get them?” Young confessed, “I have not had courage to ask men to pay their money: fearing they would never get their papers.”31

There were several reasons why subscribers did not receive issues of the Neighbor. Too often subscribers read, “Owing to the extreme lowness of the Mississippi, which detained our paper on the sand bars between this and St. Louis several days, we were unable to issue the Neighbor on last Wednesday.”32 They also read, “The Neighbor has been delayed a few hours, in order to say that the last shingle has been laid upon the roof of the Temple.”33 Then there was the proverbial explanation, “In consequence of the sickness of some of our hands, we have been a little behind.”34 Having enough paper on which to print the Neighbor also posed problems: “Our paper has been delayed beyond its proper time, for want of paper.”35 Such an admission was often followed by apologetic words: “We issued no paper last week for the all sufficient reason, that our supply of paper to print on was carried past Nauvoo, up the Mississippi, we know not how far.”36

Historical Significance of the Nauvoo Neighbor

More than any other paper of the day, the Neighbor promoted Joseph Smith’s run for the presidency of the United States. Correspondence between Joseph Smith and presidential hopeful John C. Calhoun received full coverage in the paper. In the correspondence, Joseph asked Calhoun, “What will be your rule of action relative to us as a people, should fortune favor your ascension to the chief magistracy?”37 Calhoun responded, “The case does not come within the jurisdiction of the federal government, which is one of limited and specific powers.”38 Joseph’s fiery rebuttal to Calhoun included the query “Why, tell me why, are all the principle men, held up for public stations, so cautiously careful not to publish to the world that they will judge a righteous judgment?39 and the prophecy that such a stance would not please Almighty God. Joseph’s answer as to whether “Missouri filled with negro drivers, and white men stealers, [should] go ‘unwhipped of justice’” was clear: “No! verily no!”40

The above correspondence was a precursor to Joseph entering the political arena. The Neighbor was the first paper to announce support for Joseph Smith’s presidential candidacy. Editors of the Neighbor encouraged subscribers and Mormon faithful to follow their lead: “It becomes us, as Latter Day Saints, to be wise, prudent, and energetic, in the cause that we pursue.” After all, to the editors and many Latter-day Saints, “[Joseph was] the most able, the most competent, the best qualified, and would fill the Presidential Chair with greater dignity to the nation” than other presidential hopefuls.41 The editors, in the context of Joseph’s candidacy, declared, “Executive power when correctly wielded, is a great blessing to the people of this great commonwealth. . . . It watches the interests of the whole community with a fatherly care” and never allows citizens to be “driven from their homes, and left to wander as exiles in this boasted land of freedom and equal rights, and after appealing again and again, to the legally constituted authorities of our land for redress, [to be] cooly told by our highest tribunals, ‘we can do nothing for you.’”42

The editors portrayed General Joseph Smith as “a man of sterling worth and integrity and of enlarged views. . . . [He is] honorable, fearless, and energetic.”43 Predicting the result of the boastful words or at least Mormon support, the Missouri Republican printed, “[Joseph’s run for the presidency] will be death to Van Buren, and all agree that it must be injurious to the Democratic ranks.”44 The Lee County (Iowa) Democrat printed, “If superior talent, genius, and intelligence, combined with virtue, integrity and enlarged views, are any guarantee to General Smith’s being elected, we think that he will be a ‘full-team of himself.’”45 By early spring 1844, straw polls taken aboard steamers plying the Mississippi showed Joseph with a commanding lead over other presidential hopefuls. For example, on the upward voyage of the “Osprey” from St. Louis to Nauvoo, Joseph received the votes of twenty-six gentlemen and three ladies, whereas Henry Clay received eight votes and Martin Van Buren only two.46 Another “Osprey” poll showed Joseph leading the presidential race with seventy-one votes and Clay with only thirty.47Hurrah for the General!” and “Elect our General Joe!” the Neighbor printed.48 In late spring 1844, when the St. Louis Republican reported a straw poll taken aboard the steamer “Die Vernon” showing Joseph with six votes and Henry Clay with fifty-eight, John Taylor had no comment.49

The Politician in Belleville, Illinois, was the first newspaper to join the Neighbor in advocating Joseph’s bid for the presidency.50 Confident that the Lee County Democrat and other fair-minded newspapers would lend support, the editors of the Neighbor printed “General Smith’s Views of the Powers and Policy of the Government of the United States.” By publishing the full text of “Views,” the editors hoped to inform the voting public that, if elected president, Joseph Smith would “reduce Congress at least one half. . . . Pay them two dollars and their board per diem; (except Sundays).” The editors wanted voters to know that Joseph would “petition your state legislature to pardon every convict in their several penitentiaries: blessing them as they go, and saying to them in the name of the Lord, go thy way and sin no more.” The editors supported Joseph’s plan to “abolish slavery by the year 1850, or now, and save the abolitionist from reproach and ruin, infamy and shame.”51

The editors’ support for Joseph ran deeper than politics. They saw in Joseph a man of extraordinary ability—a man who served Nauvoo as mayor and lieutenant general of the Nauvoo Legion. They sought for and reported any news of his whereabouts. When he gave notice of an upcoming dinner party held for young ladies and gentlemen, the editors noted with delight, “The General and his lady will also be present on the occasion.”52 When the editorial staff learned that “a great number of our citizens [for two days] turned out, for the purpose of chopping and hauling wood for the Prophet,” they hailed the brethren for doing “honor to themselves on the occasion,” and remarked, “They certainly did honor to the Prophet.”53

But nothing, not even the reporting of other folksy and heartwarming events, captured more column space than editorials written in defense of Joseph Smith. When Joseph was arrested on Illinois soil by Sheriff Joseph Reynolds of Independence, Missouri, the Neighbor gave unlimited coverage to what editors defined as “illegalities.” The editors published the full text of Governor Thomas Ford’s letter to Missouri Governor Thomas Reynolds. In the text, Ford explained his reason for not “ordering out a detachment of militia to assist in retaking Joseph Smith, jr., who was said to have escaped from the custody of the Missouri agent.”54 Editors praised Governor Ford and thanked God that Latter-day Saints could look to him to “magnify his office” and not “prostitute it to the base principles of mobocracy.” The editors derided Missouri officials for conduct unbecoming public servants. “Great God! is it not enough that they carry out their bloody designs at home?” editor Taylor penned. “Shall they pursue their victims to the State of Illinois, and pollute her free soil with their diabolical acts? Never! No never!! No never!!!”55

In a December 1843 issue of the Nauvoo Neighbor, Taylor called upon Missouri officials to “let the Latter-Day Saints ‘breath awhile like other men’ and enjoy the liberty guaranteed to every honest citizen” of this country.56 Taylor called upon Carthaginians to reconsider the worth of asking heavenly powers to destroy Joseph Smith and Mormonism. Recognizing his calls were largely ignored, Taylor kept subscribers abreast of anti-Mormon activities in Missouri and at the county seat of Hancock. For example, he reported news of a convention held in Carthage on March 17, 1844, in which it was resolved that “‘Saturday, the 9th of March next, [be] a day of fasting and prayer,’ wherein the ‘pious of all orders’ [be] requested to ‘pray to Almighty God, that he would speedily bring the false prophet, Joseph Smith to deep repentance for his presumption and blasphemy.’”57 Hoping that growing hostility in Missouri and Carthage could be curtailed, Taylor asked local enemies, “Why this excitement, why this confusion and uproar, about nothing?” especially when under the leadership and guidance of Joseph Smith, “we have raised up a large city where it was a wilderness; we have observed due respect and courtesy towards all, and have never been found the aggressors.”58 Yet when Joseph, acting as mayor of Nauvoo, issued an order to destroy the Nauvoo Expositor, anti-Mormons found reason enough to validate their hatred and hostility towards Joseph and all things Mormon.

The editorial staff of the Neighbor did not shrink from the escalating opposition. They gave full coverage to the Expositor affair, printing the entire text of Joseph’s executive order:

You are hereby commanded to destroy the printing press from whence issues the “Nauvoo Expositor” and pi the type of said printing establishment in the street, and burn all the Expositors and libelous hand bills found in said establishment, and if resistance be offered to your execution of this order, by the owners or others, demolish the house, and if any one threatens you, or the Mayor, or the officers of the city, arrest those who threaten you, and fail not to execute this order without delay and make due return hereon.59

The editors justified Joseph’s order by claiming the intent of the Expositor was to repeal the Nauvoo Charter and slander the Nauvoo City Council. The editors united behind Joseph in denouncing the “Expositor as a nuisance” and printing statements assuring subscribers that the destruction of the press was “sanctioned by legal proceedings, founded upon testimony.”60

The Neighbor, more than the Times and Seasons, printed significant events leading up to the Martyrdom and events stemming from the tragedy. Without comment, the editors reported that Joseph Smith and sixteen others were arrested on the charge of riot, “in the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor printing press and types.”61 When Joseph and Hyrum Smith were murdered and senior editor John Taylor brutally wounded at Carthage Jail with “three wounds in his left thigh and knee and one in his left wrist,”62 full columns of newsprint were devoted to dozens of testimonials decrying such brutality. Willard Richards’s “Two Minutes in Jail” was printed in its entirety so that subscribers could read a moment-by-moment account of the tragedy.63 In the Nauvoo Neighbor—Extra of June 30, 1844, the editors decried the “Awful Assassination! The Pledged faith of the State of Illinois stained with innocent blood by a Mob!”64

The Neighbor then reported that residents of Carthage and the neighboring town of Warsaw were fearful that “the Mormons will come out and take vengeance” upon the assassins and others in their communities.65 They gave a colorful description of the funeral processional honoring Joseph and Hyrum Smith and reported that an “assemblage of some 8 or 10,000 persons with one united voice resolved to trust to the law for a remedy of such a high handed assassination.”66 The editors praised Willard Richards for his resolute call for calm amid a backdrop of fear and hostility: “I have pledged my word the Mormons will stay at home as soon as they can be informed, and no violence will be on their part, and say to my brethren in Nauvoo, in the name of the Lord—be still—be patient.”67 The Neighbor named Colonel Levi Williams, Thomas C. Sharp, Mark Aldrich, and Jacob C. Davis, a senator in the legislature of Illinois, and indicted them for the murders of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, suggesting that William and Wilson Law, Robert and Charles Foster, and the Higbee brothers should also be indicted.68 The editors reported the trial of the indicted, hoping for a conviction. When a conviction was not forthcoming, they consigned the perpetrators to “merited infamy and disgrace.69

In addition to full coverage of the life and death of Joseph Smith from 1843 to 1844, the Neighbor served as voice for the Nauvoo city government. For example, the Neighbor was the only newspaper to publish each ordinance passed by the Nauvoo City Council and signed into law by Mayor Joseph Smith and his successors. Ordinances covered a wide variety of issues ranging from bathing and marriage to mad dogs and brothels. A few sections from selected ordinances follow:

That if any person shall bathe or swim in any waters, within the limits of said city, whereby such person shall be exposed to public view, in a state of nudity, such person shall be subject to a fine of three dollars.70

All male persons over the age of seventeen years, and females over the age of fourteen years, may contract and be joined in marriage; Provided, in all cases where either party is a minor, the consent of parents or guardians be first had.71

All dogs or other animals known to have been bitten or worried by any rabid animal shall be immediately killed or confined, by the owner, under a penalty not exceeding one thousand dollars, at the discretion of the court.72

All brothels or houses of ill fame erected or being in the city of Nauvoo, be, and the same hereby are henceforth prohibited and by law declared public nuisances.73

Each ordinance appeared without editorial comment.

The Neighbor was the only newspaper to give full coverage to Sidney Rigdon’s claim to Church leadership and his excommunication. On September 11, 1844, the editors reported the proceedings of a trial held on Sunday, September 8, to determine the membership status of Rigdon before six to seven thousand people assembled in Nauvoo. They told of the Quorum of the Twelve presiding and of Brigham Young laying before the assemblage Rigdon’s “secret plan to divide the church, by false prophecy and false pretences: blessing the church and people while on the stand before them, but secretly cursing the authorities, and the present course of the church, and many other matters derogatory to men of God.” Following Young’s comments, other LDS leaders expressed opinion on the matter. The issue of Rigdon’s membership, however, rested with Bishop Newel K. Whitney. It was not until near the conclusion of the meeting that Bishop Whitney announced his decision that Rigdon “be cut off from the church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, and the twelve high priests, sanctioned the decision by a unanimous vote. The congregation also (excepting some few whom Sidney had ordained to be prophets, priests, and kings among the Gentiles) sanctioned these proceedings by a unanimous vote.”74 Rigdon, who was in St. Louis at the time of these proceedings, wrote, “Any attack [LDS Church leaders] can make upon my character, I fear them not. I feel myself at their defiance, though they should assail me by falsehoods.”75 Rigdon moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he resuscitated the Latter-day Saint’s Messenger and Advocate and gathered such characters as John C. Bennett to his religious cause.76 Of Bennett and others who supported Rigdon, Americus (a pseudonym for an LDS Church leader) penned, “[I have] examined the records at the Temple, and learn that very few, if any of those persons who have apostatized from the church and gone after Rigdon, have ever paid any tithing for the purpose of erecting that edifice.”77

The Neighbor was the only paper to give details of the legislative proceedings leading up to the repeal of the Nauvoo Charter,78 printing in its entirety the speech of Representative Backenstos before the Illinois Congress. In the speech, Backenstos said, “Mr. Speaker, one very important reason in my mind why we should not repeal the city charter of Nauvoo is, that you strip the largest and most populous city in this state of all her police regulations. Why not amend the charter in all its objectionable features? why not leave them powers sufficient to maintain an efficient city organization?”79 His speech failed to persuade a majority in congress that day. The State Register reported, “On Tuesday last the House took the final vote on repealing the charter; which passed in the affirmative—yeas 76, nays 36. Every vote cast in the negative, was by a Democratic member.”80 In spite of predictions of civil upheaval in Nauvoo stemming from the repeal, the Neighbor reported, “About twenty thousand inhabitants live week after week in Nauvoo, without a charter, and no lawsuits. ‘Ain’t that a wonder?’”81 What the editors saw as even more wondrous was the fact that citizens of Nauvoo “can build the city; maintain the supremacy of the law; preach the gospel, and keep the peace just as well without a charter as with.”82

The mob element in Hancock County was not pleased with this turn of events. The Neighbor reported, “A meeting of a number of the mob, was held on Tuesday evening last, at a school house, near Baker’s, in Green Plains precinct”; it also reported that houses were set ablaze in the Morley Settlement.83 The Neighbor named Isaac Morley’s cooper shop as being burnt and Edmund Durphy’s house as being torn down. The editors wrote, “We have not been the aggressors, nor will we be; and we appeal to the law and the testimony, to shield us from such ‘outbreaks’ of rioters.”84 They credited the county sheriff with “doing all in his power, to quell the insurrection, and disperse the mob”85 by demanding that “the said rioters and other peace breakers . . . desist forthwith, disperse and go to their homes, under the penalty of the laws.”86 Taylor praised Governor Thomas Ford for warning citizens of Hancock County “that if taken in any act of war or mischief, they will be chastised in a most summary manner.”87 In spite of the sheriff’s demands and the governor’s warning, rioters destroyed about 150 LDS homes and other properties:

Suppose we put the number of houses destroyed by the mob in Hancock county, at 150, these, and the furniture and grain, destroyed at the same time, at $500 each, the lowest possible estimate, will amount to seventy five thousand dollars. Add to this the cost of the Sheriff’s posse, and incidental expenses, at about $25,000, and we have the enormous sum of one hundred thousand dollars saddled upon the mob of Hancock county and the State of Illinois.88

Upon learning of these outrages, the New York Tribune printed, “We begin almost to fear that the terrible scenes of cruelty, devastation of peaceful homes and indiscriminate hunting down of men, women and children, which disgraced Missouri a few years since, during the expulsion of the Mormons from that State, are to be re enacted in Illinois.”89 Within days, the Tompkins (New York) Democrat reported, “A battle had been fought between the Mormons and anti-Mormons, in which some five hundred were slain.”90 Another rumor had Mormons casting a cannon in “St. Louis, so large that it will require all the powder and lead that can be manufactured for five years to come to charge it once.”91 With such unfounded rumors circulating throughout the country, John Taylor admonished subscribers, “Under all the trials of life stand fast! Would you wish to live without a trial? . . . Without trial you cannot guess at your own strength. Men do not learn to swim upon a table. They must go into deep water and buffet the surges.”92

Analysis of the Neighbor’s Content

General Conference. Contrary to what some historians claim, the Neighbor was filled with news, proceedings, and minutes of general conferences held in Nauvoo. For example, the Neighbor reported, “The Semi-Annual Conference of the Elders and members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, commenced on Saturday the 6th inst. [April 1844], and continued four days.” The editors wrote, “We do not remember that we ever saw so large an audience before, any where in the western country. The number that composed it is variously estimated from fifteen to twenty thousand. . . . The good order that was preserved, when we consider the immense number that were present, speaks much in favour of the morality of our city.”93 Information on conference proceedings followed.

At the April 1845 general conference, the editors were pleased to report that a non-Mormon visitor observed, “So large a body could not be so perfectly united unless God be with them.94 The editors invited those planning to attend the October 1845 general conference to bring “provisions to sustain yourselves while you stay here, and also some to give to your brethren.”95 At that conference, five thousand people listened as “President Young opened the services of the day in a dedicatory prayer, presenting the Temple, thus far completed, as a monument of the saints’ liberality, fidelity, and faith,—concluding, ‘Lord, we dedicate this house, and ourselves unto thee.’”96 Following his dedicatory prayer, the remainder of the conference was devoted to preparing “a list of all the buildings and property belonging to our brethren which had been burned [or destroyed] by the enemies” and removal plans from Nauvoo to an unknown destination in the West. The editors reported the unanimous vote to move from Nauvoo “en masse, to the West”97 and the appointment of men to sell LDS property in Hancock County. (L. A. Bingham was appointed to sell land in Camp Creek, Hancock County, and Eleazer Miller and Jesse Spurgin were appointed to sell land in Montebello, Hancock County.)98 The Neighbor also reported that captains of companies were appointed for the removal to the West, including Alpheus Cutler, Isaac Morley, Joseph Fielding, Charles C. Rich, and Erastus Snow.99 The editors told of a “Bill of Particulars. For the Emigrants Leaving This Government Next Spring” being presented to the assemblage. In the bill, a family of five persons was given instructions about provisions needed for the westward journey, such as a “good strong wagon, well covered with a light box,” seed grain, fish hooks and lines, nails, cinnamon, and cloves.100

Epistles from the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. The first epistle, addressed to Latter-day Saints scattered throughout the United States, told of “the exodus of the Nation of the only true Israel from these U. S. to a far distant region of the West.” The epistle called upon LDS brethren to “wake up, wake up dear brethren we exhort you, from the Mississippi to the Atlantic, and from Canada to Florida, to the present glorious emergency in which the God of heaven has placed you, to prove your faith by your works.” Blessings promised for heeding the westward call were “the approbation of generations to come, and the hallowed joys of eternal life.”101 The second epistle, addressed to Latter-day Saints throughout the world, assured the faithful that “the work in which we are engaged is great and mighty, it is the work of God and we have to rush it forth against the combined powers of earth and hell.”102

Local News. The most interesting local news had religious overtones. For example, the editors wrote of days being set apart by Church leaders for “fasting and prayer for the benefit of the poor, and to supplicate our Father in Heaven for such blessings as we need to carry on his work according to the revelations.”103 They also wrote of William Pitt’s Brass Band ascending “the steeple of the Temple, [giving] a chant as the congregation dispersed from the grove, and being so high, the effect was as near heavenly as any thing we can think of.”104 They reported that Kish ku kash, one of the chiefs of the Sac and Fox tribes, spoke of Nauvoo being a “sacred land, where our nation once worshipped [God], and this is the good ground, where rests the dust and bones of our brave fathers, in peace. Oohoo!”105

The most unusual religious reporting was of public censures and reprimands. The most damning was hurled at William and Wilson Law for advertising that they had set aside “Thursday of every week, to grind TOLL FREE” for the poor until the “grain becomes plentiful after harvest.” In response, the editors printed, “When thou givest alms, don’t sound a trumpet! . . . Wo unto you scribes, pharisees, hypocrites! half faced, half eyed, with hearts of stone to grind the poor toll free!” The editors added, “Read your doom in the 69th section and 5th paragraph of the Book of Doctrine and Covenants.”106 The most creative censure was written by Joseph Young, one of the presidents of the Quorums of the Seventies:

Some month since, I was walking on the margin of the river, and met Mr. William Nicswanger, whom I reminded of an old promise he had made me for some Lime; which he instantly renewed by saying, he “would fetch me some next week, if he was alive.” This he twice repeated.

What may I expect sir, if you do not fetch it? I said.

“That I am dead!” Was his reply.

Shall I publish you, I said, if you do not bring it?

Yes Sir, if you please, said he. I told him I would. The Lime did not come.

I hasten therefore to inform you, that Mr. Wm. Nicswanger is dead! Good speed attend him on his tour to the next world: and, as he doubtless will suspend all the business of lime burning and grocery keeping: it is hoped he may have a chance to pause and reflect upon the principles and worth of truth.

Will some of Mr. Nicswanger’s friends who may be alive, have the goodness to inform the public who his Executors are, that his honest creditors may get their last dues.107

Nearly every summer issue of the Neighbor contained news of Mormon immigrants arriving on steamers at Nauvoo ports. Typical entries read: “The Maid of Iowa arrived with a number of passengers from St. Louis, on Tuesday last”;108 “Upwards of one hundred and fifty emigrants arrived at this place, this morning, May 31st, per steamer Amaranth, from England”;109 and “We have the pleasure to announce the safe arrival in Nauvoo, on Monday the 20th inst. of another company of Latter Day Saints from the east, by the steamer Maid of Iowa numbering 62 souls all in good health and spirits.”110 Building construction was a natural outgrowth of the influx of immigrants. The Neighbor reported, “Buildings are being erected on every side, and many excellent brick houses have lately been finished”111 and “tradesmen of all kinds seem to be full of employment.”112 The Neighbor boasted of the Nauvoo Water Power Company starting a dam in the Mississippi after dedicating “the land, water, men, and means, to Almighty God”113 and of plans to build the University of Nauvoo at a cost of “three to five millions.”114

Newspaper Exchanges and Telegraph Dispatches. As with other papers of the day, the Neighbor was a composite of exchanges, clippings, and telegraph dispatches. The Neighbor exchanged with papers printed in London, Edinburg, Dublin, and Liverpool as well as “most of the principal papers in the United States, both east, west, north and south.”115 The Neighbor also had access to prominent individuals. For example, editors acknowledged “Hon. Stephen A. Douglas; the Hon. Sidney Breeze; the Hon. Joseph P. Honge; and the Hon. J. J. Hardin; for Congressional documents and papers, which they have had the kindness to forward to us.”116

Once documents, dispatches, and summaries were available to the editorial staff, editors were at liberty to clip items of interest and reprint. Often reprinting was followed by editorial comments, such as giving the reason for fires and great calamities in the United States as “a just God is vexing his prodigal sons.”117 After reporting an earthquake in Independence, Missouri, and Cincinnati, Ohio, editors wrote, “We believe many large cities merit a few shocks to arouse them from m-o-b-o-c-r-a-c-y.”118 When editors reprinted a clipping about spots visible on the sun, they added, “Several large black spots have also appeared in the United States, about the same time, visible in Hancock county and in the city of Philadelphia, in the form of a mob; distance unknown.”119 When the sentiment of the clipping matched that of the editors, no comment was given. For example, the following clipping from the New Hampshire Statesman was printed without comment: “Gen. John C. Bennett, the notorious scoundrel who has been excommunicated by two wives (both of whom are now living) and the Mormons to boot, is, we understand, at present in Plymouth, Mass, where he is about to ‘halve his heart,’ for a third time. We think the lady must want.”120 When a clipping reported an unfounded rumor about Mormons in Nauvoo, the editorial staff corrected the wrong. For example, when the Cincinnati Philanthropist published, “The Mormons in Nauvoo lately lynched a colored man, to make him divulge the names of persons who stole goods, which were found in his possession,” the editors assured the Philanthropist that “Mormons tried the wretches for their brutal treatment to a poor black man.”121 When the New York Herald printed cartoonlike drawings of tragic scenes in Carthage, editors wrote, “There is no fact connected with these caricatures, they evidence a catch penny spirit, that adds only insult to outrage.”122 When the St. Louis Era reported, “Joe Smith has risen from the dead, and has been seen in Carthage and in Nauvoo, mounted on a white horse, with a drawn sword in his hand,” editors printed, “‘All fools are not dead yet’—nor will they be as long as such editors gulp down falsehood, and spue slander upon the people: or, filthify the community with a diarrhea of verbosity.”123

Poetry. Most poems appearing in the Neighbor captured events significant in Latter-day Saint history. “The Capstone of the Temple” told of the final stone being placed atop the Nauvoo Temple.124 “To a Ringleader in the Late Missouri Persecution” described past wrongs against Latter-day Saints in the state of Missouri.125 “Quill-Wheel Rhapsodies” disclosed character flaws of Thomas Sharp, editor of the Warsaw Signal.126 “Thou persecuted of Nauvoo” encouraged the Twelve Apostles to lead Mormon faithful to a new Zion.127

Fiction. Fabricated stories played a minor role in the Neighbor. However, the dialogue “Joe Smith and the Devil” became a classic. In the dialogue, the Devil says to Joseph, “The fact is, you go in for the wheat, and I for the tares. Both must be harvested; are not we fellow laborers?” Joseph rebukes the Devil by saying, “Here’s to his Satanic Majesty; may he be driven from the earth, and be forced to put to sea in a stone canoe with an iron paddle, and may the canoe sink, and a shark swallow the canoe and its Royal freight, and an alligator swallow the shark, and may the alligator be bound in the north west corner of hell, and the door be locked, and the key lost, and a blind man hunting for it.”128

Marriages and Deaths. It was customary to announce upcoming marriages in the Neighbor. The names of the bride and groom, the wedding date, and place of the wedding made up a typical entry. Occasionally, a poetic phrase promising happiness for the couple appeared next to the marriage entry.

Weekly death notices written in a brief, matter-of-fact manner appeared in the Neighbor. Notices told the name, age, and cause of death of the deceased: “August 27th 1845, Sarah Gould, daughter of David H. & Fanny M. Redfield, aged 10 months, and 17 days, of the canker.” An occasional eulogy or poem followed the death notice:

Sweet precious babe alas how dearly loved,
Thrice blest and yet too soon from us removed,
To heavenly joys yet to thy Fathers will,
We will submit, resign thee, and be still.129

Wise Sayings. Short pithy sayings were popular in nineteenth-century newspapers. Sayings were printed as fillers in the Neighbor rather than as weekly insertions. The following are examples: “He who always speaks the truth is respected”;130 “No man ever prospered who defrauded a printer or abused his wife”;131 and “If the best man’s faults were written on his forehead, it would make him pull his hat down over his eyes.”132

Humor. The editors touted good humor as “the most exquisite beauty of a fine face—a redeeming grace in a homely one. It is like the green in a landscape, harmonizing with every color.”133 The Neighbor printed humor that had spiritual and relational components, perhaps revealing as much about the editorial staff as the humor itself:

Why are the printer’s bills like faith? Because they are the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen.134

“Pa,” said a little fellow the other day, “was not Job an editor?” “Why Sammy?” “Because, the Bible informs us that he had much trouble and was a man of sorrow all the days of his life.”135

A gentleman rode up to a public house in the country, and asked, “Who is the master of this house?” “I am, sir,” replied the landlord; “my wife has been dead about three weeks.”136

A bad woman told her husband that he was related to the devil. Only by marriage said he.137

Advertisements. Discounted rates for favorable reporting of Mormonism were extended to merchants as far away as St. Louis. The most reasonable rates, however, were given to Nauvoo merchants. But when merchants complained of advertising costs, editors assured them that “the first thing the business man refers to, is the advertising page.”138 To alleviate complaints, the editors informed subscribers needing a buggy, a cook stove, ready-made clothing, straw hat, or a ferry ride to look no farther than Nauvoo. Whether they needed a watchmaker, jeweler, tailor, dentist, doctor, shoe maker, gunsmith, tin maker, music teacher, or attorney, such services were available in Nauvoo. To support merchants manufacturing goods in town and to “establish a uniformity in the prices,” the Neighbor printed a weekly price list for “all kinds of produce, groceries, &c. &c.”139 When the editors noted exorbitant prices for specific products, they printed, “Let not such a sin spot Nauvoo.”140

Conclusion

For Latter-day Saints on the front lines of verbal assault, the Neighbor was an outlet for sharpening skills of debate. The Saints needed to be armed with reason, rationale, and logic as well as the Spirit to combat county and state officials determined to end their faith, if not their lives. The wide distribution of the newspaper informed an outraged public of Mormonism and Latter-day Saint frustrations in defending their religious practices. In addition, the Neighbor did much to prepare Latter-day Saints to leave their homes and journey west. Yet the paper stopped publishing in the middle of the third volume on October 29, 1845, three months before the Nauvoo exodus began. Senior editor John Taylor explained to subscribers the reason for stopping the paper: “Because we are compelled by mobocracy, on account of the weakness of the law and the stupidity or hypocrisy of its executors, to quit the ‘asylum of the oppressed,’ we have thought it advisable to discontinue the Neighbor at this number.” Taylor advised subscribers to “flee from a liberty so terrible that it allows murder and arson to be committed with impunity by a portion of citizens, because they are a mob.” He pled with subscribers to “abandon the estates and tombs of our fathers because the glory of American liberty has been singed by the blaze of fools in a frolic of enthusiasm to the devil.” Such rhetoric seemed premature in October 1845. “But when it is understood that the people of the United States gloat themselves upon public opinion,” Taylor penned, “it will be considered a wise move, for why need we expend money and time, to warn a nation that already is grating its teeth at us.”141 For subscribers who had paid in advance for the entire third volume, Taylor advised them to look to the Times and Seasons, the official Latter-day Saint newspaper.

Susan Easton Black is Professor of Church History and Doctrine at Brigham Young University. She has authored, edited, or compiled over a hundred books during her career. This article is excerpted and adapted from The Best of the Nauvoo Neighbor, forthcoming in 2012 by BYU Studies with an accompanying DVD containing a searchable library of all 127 issues of the Nauvoo Neighbor. Her work has recently been published in Journal of Mormon History, Journal of the Book of Mormon and Other Restoration Scripture, and Mormon Historical Studies.


1. See Ronald D. Dennis, “The Evening and the Morning Star,” in Encyclopedia of Mormonism, ed. Daniel H. Ludlow, 4 vols. (New York: Macmillan, 1992), 2:477.

2. See J. LeRoy Caldwell, “Messenger and Advocate,” in Ludlow, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 2:892.

3. See Lyndon W. Cook and Milton V. Backman Jr., eds., Kirtland Elders’ Quorum Record, 1826–1844 (Provo, Utah: Grandin Book, 1985), 35–36, December 6, 1837.

4. See Reed C. Durham Jr., “Times and Seasons,” in Ludlow, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 4:1479–80; Robert T. Bray, “Times and Seasons: An Archaeological Perspective on Early Latter Day Saints Printing,” Historical Archaeology 13 (1979): 53–119; Parry D. Sorensen, “Nauvoo Times and Seasons,” Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society 55, no. 2 (1962): 117–35.

5. See Stanley A. Peterson, “Millennial Star,” in Ludlow, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 2:906; James P. Hill, “Story of the Star,” Millennial Star 130 (December 1970): 10–13.

6. See Hill, “Story of the Star,” 10–13.

7. “Introductory,” Wasp 1, no. 1 (April 16, 1842): p. 2, cols. 2–3.

8. William Smith, “Proposals for Publishing the Wasp,” Wasp 1, no. 1 (April 16, 1842): p. 4, col. 3.

9. “Introductory,” Wasp 1, no. 1 (April 16, 1842): p. 2, cols. 2–3.

10. Smith, “Proposals for Publishing the Wasp,” Wasp 1, no. 1 (April 16, 1842): p. 4, col. 3.

11. “Introductory,” Wasp 1, no. 1 (April 16, 1842): p. 2, cols. 2–3.

12. B. H. Roberts, The Life of John Taylor, Third President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1963), 28.

13. Roberts, Life of John Taylor, 34.

14. Roberts, Life of John Taylor, 38, 47–48.

15. Ebenezer Robinson, “Items of Personal History of the Editor including some items of Church history not generally known,” 81–82, Church History Library, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City.

16. Parley P. Pratt, “Regulations for the Publishing Department of the Latter-day Saints in the East,” Nauvoo Neighbor 2, no. 38 (January 22, 1845): p. 3, col. 2.

17. See Jack A. Nelson, “Newspapers, LDS,” in Ludlow, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 3:1011.

18. See Hayes, “Nauvoo Neighbor,” in Ludlow, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 3:999.

19. “Prospectus of a Weekly Newspaper Called the Nauvoo Neighbor,” Times and Seasons 4, no. 10 (April 1, 1843): 145–46.

20. “Prospectus of the Nauvoo Neighbor,” Nauvoo Neighbor 2, no. 7 (June 12, 1844): p. 1, col. 1.

21. “Prospectus of a Weekly Newspaper Called the Nauvoo Neighbor,” Nauvoo Neighbor 1, no. 1 (May 3, 1843): p. 3, col. 1.

22. “The Neighbor,” Nauvoo Neighbor 1, no. 1 (May 3, 1843): p. 2, col. 2.

23. “The Warsaw Message,” Nauvoo Neighbor 1, no. 30 (November 22, 1843): p. 2, col. 5.

24. Joseph Smith, “To the Editor of the Neighbor,” Nauvoo Neighbor 1, no. 43 (February 21, 1844): p. 2, col. 6.

25. On April 27, 1842, Joseph Smith, trustee-in-trust, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, acting as grantor, sold to James Ivins, acting as grantee, town parcel Lot #4, Block #117, Nauvoo Plat, Town of Nauvoo for $1,000.00. See Hancock County Deeds, Book K, 433–34, entry #4923; Susan Easton Black, Harvey B. Black, and Brandon Plewe, Property Transactions in Nauvoo, Hancock County, Illinois, and Surrounding Communities, 1839–1859, 7 vols. (Wilmington, Delaware: World Vital Records, 2006), 3:2003. See also Donald Q. Cannon and Lyndon W. Cook, eds., Far West Record: Minutes of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1830–1844 (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1983), 270.

26. Bricks in the existing buildings bear the imprint of Isaac Hill, a brick maker who managed the Law Brickyard in 1842. See “Times & Seasons Buildings—Tract 117–4: The James Ivins, Elias Smith Printing Complex,” Nauvoo Lands and Records Office; Hancock County Bonds and Mortgages, Book 2, 52–53, entry #6959; Black, Black, and Plewe, Property Transactions in Nauvoo, 3:2005.

27. On May 3, 1845, Elias Smith (grantor) sold to James Ivins (grantee) for $825, town parcel South/2, Lot #4, Block #117, Nauvoo Plat, Town of Nauvoo. Legal description of the property reads, “Exchange of 40 Acres in Adams County, Illinois deeded by James Bean to Elias Smith for $325 on which the Brick Store is situated on the Southeast corner of the South/2 Lot 4; said Lot sold by Ivins to Smith for $3,200.00.” See Hancock County Bonds and Mortgages, Book 2, 52–53, entry #6959; Black, Black, and Plewe, Property Transactions in Nauvoo, 3:2005.

On May 3, 1845 (the same date), James Ivins and wife Mary S. (grantors) sold to Elias Smith (grantee) for $3,200.00 town parcel South/2, Lot #4, Block #117, Nauvoo Plat, Town of Nauvoo (same land). See Hancock County Deeds, Book N, 410, entry #6968; Black, Black, and Plewe, Property Transactions in Nauvoo, 3:2005–6.

In May 1846, the brick buildings and equipment were transferred to the LDS trustees to sell. Trustee Almon W. Babbitt was appointed postmaster and continued mail service from the corner structure until fall 1848. It appears Babbitt lived in the center building. Some of the equipment left in the buildings was used to print the Hancock Eagle (April–August 1846), the Nauvoo New Citizen (December 1846), and the Hancock Patriot (1847–1850). Renovation of the two remaining buildings was begun in 1954 by the LDS Church. See “Times & Seasons Buildings—Tract 117–4: The James Ivins, Elias Smith Printing Complex.”

28. “The Journal of John Taylor,” ed. Dean C. Jessee, BYU Studies 23, no. 3 (1983): 47–48, entry April 13, 1845.

29. “How D’Ye Do!” Nauvoo Neighbor 3, no. 15 (August 13, 1845): p. 2, col. 4.

30. “A Bright Boy,” Nauvoo Neighbor 1, no. 28 (November 8, 1843): p. 3, col. 1.

31. Brigham Young, “Br. Taylor,” Nauvoo Neighbor 2, no. 40 (February 5, 1845): p. 2, col. 5.

32. “Owing to the extreme lowness of the Mississippi . . . ,” Nauvoo Neighbor 3, no. 16 (August 20, 1845): p. 2, col. 3.

33. “The Last Shingle,” Nauvoo Neighbor 3, no. 15 (August 13, 1845): p. 2, col. 3.

34. “In consequence of the sickness . . . ,” Nauvoo Neighbor 1, no. 23 (October 4, 1843): p. 3, col. 1.

35. “Delay,” Nauvoo Neighbor 2, no. 29 (November 13, 1844): p. 2, col. 3.

36. “Apology,” Nauvoo Neighbor 2, no. 30 (November 27, 1844): p. 2, col. 3.

37. Joseph Smith, “Correspondence of Gen. Joseph Smith and Hon. J. C. Calhoun,” Nauvoo Neighbor 1, no. 37 (January 10, 1844): p. 2, col. 5.

38. J. C. Calhoun, “Hon. J. C. Calhoun’s Reply,” Nauvoo Neighbor 1, no. 37 (January 10, 1844): p. 2, col. 5.

39. Joseph Smith, “SIR:—Your reply to my letter . . . ,” Nauvoo Neighbor 1, no. 37 (January 10, 1844): p. 2, col. 5.

40. Joseph Smith, “SIR:—Your reply to my letter . . . ,” Nauvoo Neighbor 1, no. 37 (January 10, 1844): p. 2, col. 6.

41. “For President, Joseph Smith,” Nauvoo Neighbor 1, no. 44 (February 28, 1844): p. 2, col. 3.

42. “Who Shall Be Our Next President?” Nauvoo Neighbor 1, no. 42 (February 14, 1844): p. 2, col. 3.

43. “Who Shall Be Our Next President?” Nauvoo Neighbor 1, no. 42 (February 14, 1844): p. 2, cols. 3–4.

44. “A New Candidate for the Presidency,” Nauvoo Neighbor 1, no. 47 (March 20, 1844): p. 2, col. 2.

45. “A New Candidate for the Presidency,” Nauvoo Neighbor 1, no. 47 (March 20, 1844): p. 2, col. 2.

46. “Steam Boat Election,” Nauvoo Neighbor 2, no. 6 (May 22, 1844): p. 2, col. 6. Note: numbers 6, 7, and 8 in volume 2 were mistakenly used twice, so this issue should be number 4.

47. See “Gen. Smith Goes Ahead,” Nauvoo Neighbor 2, no. 8 (June 5, 1844): p. 2, col. 3. Note: numbers 6, 7, and 8 in volume 2 were mistakenly used twice, so this issue should be number 6.

48. “Steam Boat Election,” Nauvoo Neighbor 2, no. 6 (May 22, 1844): p. 2, col. 6; “Do It,” Nauvoo Neighbor 2, no. 7 (May 29, 1844): p. 2, col. 1. Note: numbers 6, 7, and 8 in volume 2 were mistakenly used twice, so these two issues should be numbers 4 and 5.

49. See “The Steamer Die Vernon came down from the rapids . . . ,” Nauvoo Neighbor 1, no. 52 (April 24, 1844): p. 3, col. 1.

50. See “A new paper has been started in Belleville . . . ,” Nauvoo Neighbor 2, no. 3 (May 15, 1844): p. 2, col. 6.

51. “General Smith’s Views,” Nauvoo Neighbor 2, no. 2 (May 8, 1844): p. 2, col. 1; Joseph Smith, “General Smith’s Views of the Powers and Policy of the Government of the United States,” Nauvoo Neighbor 2, no. 2 (May 8, 1844): p. 2, cols. 1–6.

52. “Dinner Party,” Nauvoo Neighbor 1, no. 33 (December 13, 1843): p. 2, col. 4.

53. “Wood Chopping,” Nauvoo Neighbor 1, no. 38 (January 17, 1844): p. 2, col. 3.

54. Thomas Ford, “To His Excellency Thomas Reynolds, Governor of the State of Missouri,” Nauvoo Neighbor 1, no. 18 (August 30, 1843): p. 2, cols. 1–2.

55. “Numerous reports are in circulation . . . ,” Nauvoo Neighbor 1, no. 34 (December 20, 1843): p. 2, col. 5.

56. “Public Meeting,” Nauvoo Neighbor 1, no. 33 (December 13, 1843): p. 1, col. 5.

57. “A Day of Fasting and Prayer,” Nauvoo Neighbor 1, no. 44 (February 28, 1844): p. 2, col. 4.

58. “Carthage Warsaw and Green Plains,” Nauvoo Neighbor 1, no. 39 (January 24, 1844): p. 2, cols. 4–5.

59. Joseph Smith, “You are hereby commanded to destroy the printing press . . . ,” Nauvoo Neighbor 2, no. 8 (June 19, 1844): p. 3, col. 4.

60. “Retributive Justice,” Nauvoo Neighbor 2, no. 7 (June 12, 1844): p. 2, col. 3; “To the Public,” Nauvoo Neighbor 2, no. 7 (June 12, 1844): p. 2, col. 3.

61. “Further Proceedings concerning the Destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor,” Nauvoo Neighbor 2, no. 8 (June 19, 1844): p. 2, col. 3.

62. “Goodness Shall Be Rewarded,” Nauvoo Neighbor 2, no. 11 (July 10, 1844): p. 2, col. 3.

63. See Willard Richards, “Two Minutes in Jail,” Nauvoo Neighbor 2, no. 13 (July 24, 1844): p. 3, cols. 1–2.

64. “Awful Assassination! The Pledged Faith of the State of Illinois Stained with Innocent Blood by a Mob!” Nauvoo Neighbor—Extra (June 30, 1844): p. 1, col. 1.

65. Willard Richards, John Taylor, and Samuel H. Smith, “To Mrs. Emma Smith, and Maj. Gen. Dunham, &c.,” Nauvoo Neighbor—Extra (June 30, 1844): p. 1, col. 5.

66. “Awful Assassination! The Pledged Faith of the State of Illinois Stained with Innocent Blood by a Mob!” Nauvoo Neighbor—Extra (June 30, 1844): p. 1, cols. 1–2.

67. Richards, Taylor, and Smith, “To Mrs. Emma Smith, and Maj. Gen. Dunham, &c.,” Nauvoo Neighbor—Extra (June 30, 1844): p. 1, col. 5.

68. See “The Murders at Carthage,” Nauvoo Neighbor 2, no. 27 (October 30, 1844): p. 2, col. 5.

69. “Joseph Smith the Mormon Prophet and His Brother Hyrum Murdered in Prison,” Nauvoo Neighbor 2, no. 11 (July 10, 1844): p. 2, col. 5.

70. Daniel H. Wells, prest. pro. tem., and James Sloan, recorder, “An Ordinance concerning Bathing and Swimming,” Nauvoo Neighbor 1, no. 10 (July 5, 1843): p. 2, col. 6.

71. John C. Bennett, mayor, and James Sloan, recorder, “An Ordinance concerning Marriages,” Nauvoo Neighbor 1, no. 21 (September 20, 1843): p. 3, cols. 3–4.

72. Joseph Smith, mayor, and James Sloan, recorder, “An Ordinance respecting Mad Dogs and Other Animals,” Nauvoo Neighbor 1, no. 6 (June 7, 1843): p. 3, col. 4.

73. Geo. W. Harris, president pro. tem., and Willard Richards, recorder, “An Ordinance concerning Brothels and Disorderly Characters,” Nauvoo Neighbor 2, no. 16 (August 14, 1844): p. 3, cols. 2–3.

74. “Trial of Elder Rigdon,” Nauvoo Neighbor 2, no. 20 (September 11, 1844): p. 2, col. 5.

75. Sidney Rigdon, “Letter of Sidney Rigdon, Esq.,” Nauvoo Neighbor 2, no. 23 (October 2, 1844): p. 1, col. 2.

76. See “Sidney Rigdon Esq,” Nauvoo Neighbor 2, no. 28 (November 6, 1844): p. 2, col. 5.

77. Americus, “Mr. Editor: I have enquired of the Temple Committee . . . ,” Nauvoo Neighbor 3, no. 3 (May 21, 1845): p. 3, col. 2.

78. See “Illinois Legislature,” Nauvoo Neighbor 2, no. 39 (January 29, 1845): p. 1, cols. 1–5.

79. “Remarks: Of Mr. Backenstos, in the House of Representatives, January 1845, against the Senate Bill . . . ,” Nauvoo Neighbor 2, no. 45 (March 12, 1845): p. 1, cols. 1–2.

80. “Nauvoo Charter,” Nauvoo Neighbor 2, no. 39 (January 29, 1845): p. 2, col. 4.

81. “A Wonder,” Nauvoo Neighbor 3, no. 1 (May 7, 1845): p. 3, col. 2.

82. “Business,” Nauvoo Neighbor 3, no. 21 (September 24, 1845): p. 3, col. 2.

83. “Mobbing Again in Hancock!” Nauvoo Neighbor 3, no. 19 (September 10, 1845): p. 2, col. 3.

84. “List of Houses Destroyed,” Nauvoo Neighbor 3, no. 19 (September 10, 1845): p. 2, col. 3.

85. “The Latest from the Burning Mob,” Nauvoo Neighbor 3, no. 19 (September 10, 1845): p. 2, cols. 3–4.

86. J. B. Backenstos, sheriff of Hancock County, Ills., “Official Proceedings in Hancock, Proclamation: no. 1. To the Citizens of Hancock County, Illinois,” Nauvoo Neighbor 3, no. 21 (September 24, 1845): p. 2, col. 1.

87. Thomas Ford, governor, and Thompson Campbell, sec[retary] of state, “A Proclamation by the Governor of the State of Illinois,” Nauvoo Neighbor 3, no. 22 (October 1, 1845): p. 2, col. 6.

88. “Cost of Mobbing,” Nauvoo Neighbor 3, no. 21 (September 24, 1845): p. 3, col. 1.

89. “The Troubles at Nauvoo,” Nauvoo Neighbor 2, no. 13 (July 24, 1844): p. 2, col. 5; see also “Mob! Mob!! Mob!!!” Nauvoo Neighbor 2, no. 13 (July 24, 1844): p. 2, col. 4.

90. “The report that a battle had been fought . . . ,” Nauvoo Neighbor 2, no. 15 (August 7, 1844): p. 2, col. 4.

91. Americus, “Mr. Editor—Mr. Sharp of the ‘Warsaw Signal’ has been inspired with new fears . . . ,” Nauvoo Neighbor 2, no. 50 (April 16, 1845): p. 3, col. 2.

92. “Stand Fast,” Nauvoo Neighbor 1, no. 38 (January 17, 1844): p. 2, col. 3–4.

93. “Conference,” Nauvoo Neighbor 1, no. 50 (April 10, 1844): p. 2, col. 2.

94. “The Conference,” Nauvoo Neighbor 2, no. 50 (April 16, 1845): p. 2, col. 5.

95. Willard Richards, recorder, “General Conference,” Nauvoo Neighbor 3, no. 16 (August 20, 1845): p. 3, col. 4.

96. “First Meeting in the Temple,” Nauvoo Neighbor Circular: To the Whole Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (October 1?, 1845): p. 1, col. 1.

97. “Extract from the Minutes of a General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Held in the House of the Lord in the City of Joseph, Oct. 6th, 7, & 8, 1845,” Nauvoo Neighbor Circular: To the Whole Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (October 1?, 1845): p. 1, cols. 1–2.

98. “List of Committees,” Nauvoo Neighbor Circular: To the Whole Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (October 1?, 1845): p. 1, col. 4.

99. See “Captains of Companies: For Removal in the Spring,” Nauvoo Neighbor Circular: To the Whole Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (October 1?, 1845): p. 1, col. 4.

100. “Bill of Particulars. For the Emigrants Leaving This Government Next Spring,” Nauvoo Neighbor 3, no. 23 (October 29, 1845): p. 3, col. 1.

101. Brigham Young, pres. and Willard Richards, clerk, “To the Brethren of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Scattered Abroad throughout the United States of America,” Nauvoo Neighbor Circular: To the Whole Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (October 1?, 1845): p. 1, cols. 2–4.

102. “An Epistle of the Twelve, to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in all the World,” Times and Seasons—Extra (January 22, 1845): col. 1.

103. “Fast,” Nauvoo Neighbor 3, no. 6 (June 11, 1845): p. 2, col. 6.

104. “Chant,” Nauvoo Neighbor 3, no. 15 (August 13, 1845): p. 2, col. 4.

105. “A Word from the Redman,” Nauvoo Neighbor 2, no. 7 (May 29, 1844): p. 2, col. 2. Note: numbers 6, 7, and 8 in volume 2 were mistakenly used twice, so this issue should be number 5.

106. “Grinding the Poor,” Nauvoo Neighbor 2, no. 7 (June 12, 1844): p. 2, col. 4.

107. Joseph Young, “Mr. Editor, Sir, Publicity to the following announcement . . . ,” Nauvoo Neighbor 1, no. 52 (April 24, 1844): p. 3, cols. 4–5.

108. “Phonography,” Nauvoo Neighbor 1, no. 1 (May 3, 1843): p. 2, col. 3.

109. “Upwards of one hundred and fifty emigrants . . . ,” Nauvoo Neighbor 1, no. 5 (May 31, 1843): p. 2, col. 3.

110. “We have the pleasure to announce the safe arrival . . . ,” Nauvoo Neighbor 2, no. 6 (May 22, 1844): p. 2, col. 6. Note: numbers 6, 7, and 8 in volume 2 were mistakenly used twice, so this issue should be number 4.

111. “Nauvoo,” Nauvoo Neighbor 1, no. 17 (August 23, 1843): p. 2, col. 3.

112. “Our City is progressing rapidly . . . ,” Nauvoo Neighbor 1, no. 26 (October 25, 1843): p. 2, col. 5.

113. “Commencement,” Nauvoo Neighbor 2, no. 44 (March 5, 1845): p. 2, col. 4.

114. “Still They Build,” Nauvoo Neighbor 3, no. 16 (August 20, 1845): p. 2, col. 6.

115. “Prospectus of a Weekly Newspaper, Called the Nauvoo Neighbor,” Nauvoo Neighbor 1, no. 1 (May 3, 1843): p. 3, col. 1.

116. “We tender our acknowledgements . . . ,” Nauvoo Neighbor 1, no. 44 (February 28, 1844): p. 2, col. 5.

117. “Independence,” Nauvoo Neighbor 3, no. 10 (July 9, 1845): p. 2, col. 4.

118. “An Earthquake,” Nauvoo Neighbor 2, no. 15 (August 7, 1844): p. 2, col. 5.

119. “Spots in the Sun,” Nauvoo Neighbor 2, no. 15 (August 7, 1844): p. 3, col. 1.

120. “Gen. John C. Bennett,” Nauvoo Neighbor 1, no. 2 (May 10, 1843): p. 4, col. 1.

121. “Lynching among the Mormons,” Nauvoo Neighbor 2, no. 6 (May 22, 1844): p. 2, col. 6. Note: numbers 6, 7, and 8 in volume 2 were mistakenly used twice, so this issue should be number 4.

122. “Catch Penny,” Nauvoo Neighbor 2, no. 15 (August 7, 1844): p. 2, col. 5.

123. “More Humbuggery and Priestcraft,” Nauvoo Neighbor 2, no. 18 (August 28, 1844): p. 2, col. 6.

124. “The Capstone of the Temple,” Nauvoo Neighbor 3, no. 4 (May 28, 1845): p. 2, col. 2.

125. “To a Ringleader in the Late Missouri Persecution,” Nauvoo Neighbor 1, no. 6 (June 7, 1843): p. 1, col. 1.

126. “Quill-Wheel Rhapsodies,” Nauvoo Neighbor 1, no. 9 (June 28, 1843): p. 3, col. 3.

127. G. W. M., “Thou persecuted of Nauvoo . . . ,” Nauvoo Neighbor 3, no. 10 (July 9, 1845): p. 4, col. 1.

128. “Joe Smith and the Devil: A Dialogue,” Nauvoo Neighbor 2, no. 22 (September 25, 1844): p. 1, col. 6.

129. “Died,” Nauvoo Neighbor 3, no. 18 (September 3, 1845): p. 3, col. 4. Sarah Gould Redfield was born on October 10, 1844.

130. “He who always speaks the truth . . . ,” Nauvoo Neighbor 1, no. 40 (January 31, 1844): p. 3, col. 4.

131. “A Solemn Truth,” Nauvoo Neighbor 1, no. 41 (February 7, 1844): p. 3, col. 3.

132. “True,” Nauvoo Neighbor 2, no. 25 (October 16, 1844): p. 2, col. 1.

133. “Good Humor,” Nauvoo Neighbor 1, no. 15 (August 9, 1843): p. 2, col. 3.

134. “Apt Reply,” Nauvoo Neighbor 1, no. 3 (May 17, 1843): p. 3, col. 1.

135. “‘Pa,’ said the little fellow . . . ,” Nauvoo Neighbor 1, no. 45 (March 6, 1844): p. 3, col. 1.

136. “The Latest,” Nauvoo Neighbor 1, no. 15 (August 9, 1843): p. 2, col. 3.

137. “A bad woman told her husband . . . ,” Nauvoo Neighbor 1, no. 43 (February 21, 1844): p. 1, col. 5.

138. “Read and Understand,” Nauvoo Neighbor 1, no. 8 (June 21, 1843): p. 2, col. 5.

139. “List of Prices in Nauvoo,” Nauvoo Neighbor 1, no. 50 (April 10, 1844): p. 2, col. 4.

140. “Houses and Rent,” Nauvoo Neighbor 3, no. 4 (May 28, 1845): p. 2, col. 3.

141. “To Our Patrons,” Nauvoo Neighbor 3, no. 23 (October 29, 1845): p. 2, cols. 5–6.

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