Volume 5 Chapter 15
Visit of the Prophet to Shokoquon—Wood Cutting Bee—The Prophet's Speech on Conditions at Nauvoo—On the Coming of the Son of Man.
The Visit to Shokoquon.
Thursday, February 16, 1843.—After breakfast, we [the Prophet, Mr. Cowan and their party] proceeded towards Shokoquon. After traveling five miles, Brothers Hyde and Pratt's sleigh upset. Brother Hyde hurt his hand; the horse ran away, and we brought it back. After dinner, at McQueen's Mills, we went to Shokoquon, viewed the place and found it a very desirable location for a city, when we returned to the place where we dined. Elder Hyde prayed and I preached to a large and attentive audience two hours (from Rev. 19:10), and proved to the people that any man that denied himself as being a prophet was not a preacher of righteousness. They opened their eyes, and appeared well pleased. When we had returned as far as McQueen's Mills, Mr. Cowan halted and proposed to call. While waiting a moment, Mr. Crane's horse, (Mr. Crane came with our company,) which was behind us, ran and jumped into our sleigh as we jumped out, and thence over our horse and the fence, sleigh and all, the sleigh being still attached to the horse, and the fence eight rails high; and both horses ran over lots and through the woods, clearing themselves from the sleighs, and had their frolic out without hurting themselves or drivers. It was a truly wonderful feat, and as wonderful a deliverance for the parties. We took supper at Mr. Crane's, and I stayed at Mr. Rose's that night.
Dr. Richards invited the brethren to come to my house on Monday next to chop and pile up my wood.
The Prophet at Home.
Friday, 17.—Mr. Cowan returned with me to my house, where we arrived about noon; and I enjoyed myself by my own fireside with man of my friends around me, the remainder of the day. Mr. Cowan proposed to give me one-fourth of the city lots in Shokoquon.
Saturday, 18.—Mostly about home and at the office. Several called for counsel on points of law. Esquire Warren, of Quincy, called on me. He had hurt his horse, and said it was not the first time he had missed it by not following my advice. While at dinner, I remarked to my family and friends present, that when the earth was sanctified and became like a sea of glass, it would be one great urim and thummim, and the Saints could look in it and see as they are seen. 1
Letter of the Twelve—Calling for Assistance for the Prophet.
The Twelve to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in La Harpe, greeting:—
Beloved Brethren:—We wish to present, briefly, one important item for your serious consideration. Our beloved President Joseph Smith is now delivered from the prosecution and oppression from without, by which he has been bound, and also by the same process has been relieved of his property; so that he has nothing now to hinder his devoting his time to the History of the Church and the spiritual interest thereof, except he has to spend his time in gathering food for his family.
This is the point, brethren, whether you will do your duty in supplying the President with food, that he may attend to the business of the Church, and devote his whole time to the spiritual affairs thereof; or shall he attend to your business [i. e., that which the Saints ought to do for the Prophet] by running here and there for a bushel of wheat or a pound of beef and pork, while the revelations to the Church cease? This question is for the Church to answer. Therefore we call upon the brethren in La Harpe at this time, for immediate relief. You are all well aware that we do not raise wheat, corn, beef, pork, tallow, lard, butter, eggs, and provisions and vegetables in the city, such as you all use, not excepting cotton, or woollen goods, or groceries, [a fact] which you are all well acquainted with. And we are the same kind of beings in Nauvoo as in the country; and what you raise and eat in La Harpe, we would eat in Nauvoo, if we could get it, our President not excepted. And everything which is required to fill a larder in La Harpe is required in this place; and by this you may know what is wanting by our President to prosecute the Lord's work and bring about your salvation.
Brethren, we hope you will give an immediate answer to this by loaded teams or letter.
Willard Richards, Clerk.
Nauvoo, February 18, 1843.
Settlement of a Difficulty.
Sunday, 19.—Spent the day from nine in the morning till midnight, in the High Council, who were attending to the case of Wilson Law and Uriel C. Nickerson, who were in dispute about the title to certain lands on the Island. After hearing the testimony, I explained the laws of the United States, Iowa, and Illinois, and showed that Nickerson had the oldest claim and best right, and left it for Law to say how much Nickerson should have; and the parties shook hands, in token of a settlement of all difficulties.
The following is copied from the Times and Seasons:—
Letter of Sidney Rigdon to Alfred Stokes—Correcting Misrepresentations of Nauvoo Affairs.
Nauvoo, Illinois, February 19, 1843.
Mr. Alfred Edward Stokes.
Dear Sir:—In obedience to your request, I send you one number of each of the papers published in this place. I am well aware that designing men, for sinister purposes, have put in circulation reports concerning the people here, which are so monstrous that it is a matter of surprise how any rational being could profess to believe them at all. If I were even to profess to believe such incredible and ridiculous nonsense about any people, I should consider the public would have sufficient cause to scorn me as the mere tool of corrupt and foul slanderers: but anything to stop the progress of that which cannot be stopped by fact and scripture truth. That man must have a large stock of moral courage who dare in anywise profess belief in such outlandish representations as are made in the public papers concerning the people of Nauvoo, and circulated orally by wicked and designing men. The old, stale story about common stock, in defiance of fact and truth, it would appear by your letter and that of your friend Evans, is professedly believed by the people in the vicinity of Waynesville, Ohio. This falsehood was invented by an ignorant blockhead, by the name of Matthew Clapp, who, for want of any other means to stop the progress of truth in its more incipient stage s, invented this falsehood, and, finding it took with persons of his own stamp, circulated it with untiring perseverance, in direct opposition to the testimony of his senses, knowing, at the time he commenced circulating it, that it was false. He was a preacher of the Campbellite faith.
It would require the ignorance of barbarians and the credulity of savages to attempt a belief in the falsehoods which are circulated against the Saints with great zeal by many. I have never supposed that the authors of these defamatory tales ever expected the public would believe them; but they expected that men of corrupt minds, like themselves, would profess to believe them; neither do I now believe that those who profess to believe them do actually believe one word of them; but they profess to do it, thinking that, by so doing, they can make some headway against us: but it is a vain attempt; for every attempt of the kind has only excited inquiry, awakened curiosity, and caused investigation, which have, in every instance, resulted in an increase of members to the Church; so that we grant full license to all defamers to do their uttermost.
Our city is a great thoroughfare: people of all classes are crowding into it; multitudes who do not belong to the Church of Latter-day Saints are seeking locations where they can prosecute their respective callings. If you wish the papers, you can put the money into a letter, and the postmaster at your place will send it without expense.
Yours, with respect,
Sidney Rigdon, P.M.
Beginning of the Work in South Wales.
Elder William Henshaw having been directed by Elder Lorenzo Snow to go to South Wales, he commenced preaching in the English language privately to several families in Pen y Darren, near Merthyr Tydvil, Glamorganshire. A number of the people believed his testimony, and this day he baptized William Rees Davis, his wife, and two of his sons, and commenced preaching publicly in Brother Davis's house, about one-third of the people only understanding the English language.
Wood-cutting Bee at the Prophet's Home.
Monday, 20.—About seventy of the brethren came together, according to previous notice, and drawed, sawed, chopped, split, moved, and piled up a large lot of wood in my yard. The day was spent by them with much pleasantry, good humor and feeling. A white oak log, measuring five feet four inches in diameter was cut through with a cross-cut saw, in four-and-a-half minutes, by Hyrum Dayton and Brother John Tidwell. This tree had been previously cut and hauled by my own hands and team.
From nine to eleven this morning, I was reading in German; and from eleven to twelve, held mayor's court on assumpsit, Charles R. Dana, 5. William B. Brink, which was adjourned ten days.
Last night, Arthur Milliken had a number of books stolen, and found them this afternoon in Brother Hyrum's hayloft. Two boys, Thomas Morgan and Robert Taylor, were arrested on suspicion and brought before me for examination. After a brief investigation, the court adjourned until ten o'clock tomorrow morning.
The Prophet a Peace Maker.
While the court was in session, I saw two boys fighting in the street, near Mills' Tavern. I left the business of the court, ran over immediately, caught one of the boys (who had begun the fight with clubs,) and then the other; and, after giving them proper instruction, I gave the bystanders a lecture for not interfering in such cases, and told them to quell all disturbances in the street at the first onset. I returned to the court, and told them that nobody was allowed to fight in Nauvoo but myself.
In the evening, called at Brother Heber C. Kimball's.
John Quincy Adams presented to the House of Representatives of the United States a petition signed by 51,863 citizens of Massachusetts, praying congress to pass such acts and propose such amendments to the Constitution as would separate the petitioners from all connection with the institution of slavery. 2
Tuesday, 21.—Opened mayor's court at ten o'clock forenoon, according to adjournment. Robert Taylor was again brought up for stealing, and Thomas Morgan for receiving the books, [referred to above] and each sentenced to six months imprisonment in Carthage jail.
Temple Workers' Difficulties.
At eleven I went to the Temple, and found a large assembly, and Brother Haws preaching about the Nauvoo House; after which, Mr. Lucian Woodworth the architect of the house, continued the subject and said "When I have had a pound of meat or a quart of meal, I have divided with the workmen. ['Pretty good doctrine for Paganism,' said I. At this time Mr. Woodworth was not baptized, and called himself the Pagan Prophet.] We have had about three hundred men on the job, and some of the best men in the world. Those that have not complained I want to continue with me; and those that hate 'Mormonism' and everything else that's good, I want them to get their pay and run away as quickly as possible." When Mr. Woodworth had done speaking, I addressed the multitude in substance as follows:—
Remarks of the Prophet to Workmen on the Temple.
Well, the Pagan Prophet has preached us a pretty good sermon this morning, and I don't know that I can better it much; but I feel disposed to break off the yoke of oppression, and say what I have a mind to. If the pagans and the Pagan Prophet feel more for our prosperity than we do for ourselves, it is curious; I am almost converted to his doctrine. He has prophesied that if these buildings go down, it will curse the place. I verily know it is true. Let us build the Temple. There may be some speculations about the Nauvoo House, say some. Some say, because we live on the hill, we must build up this part on the hill. Does that coat fit you, Dr. Foster? (Foster: "Pretty well.") Put it on, then. This is the way people swell, like the toad in the fable. They'll come down under the hill among little folks and say, "Brother Joseph, how I love you; can I do anything for you?" and then go away secretly and get up opposition, and sing out our names to strangers and scoundrels with an evil influence. I want all men to feel for me, when I have shook the bush and borne the burden in the heat of the day; and if they do not, I speak in authority, in the name of the Lord God, they shall be damned.
Some say that the people on the flats are aggrandizing themselves by the Nauvoo House. But who laid the foundation of the Temple? Brother Joseph, in the name of the Lord,—not for his aggrandizement, but for the good of the whole of the Saints. Our speculators say "Poor folks on the flat are down, and keep them down." How the Nauvoo House cheats this man and that man, say the speculators. Those who report such things as facts ought to hide their heads in hollow pumpkins, and never take them out again.
The first principle brought into consideration is aggrandizement. Some think it unlawful; but it is lawful with any man, while he has a disposition to aggrandize all around him. It is a false principle for a man to aggrandize himself at the expense of another. Everything that God does is to aggrandize His kingdom. And how does He lay the foundation? "Build a Temple to my great name, and call the attention of the great, the rich, and the noble." But where shall we lay our heads? In an old log cabin.
I will whip Hirum Kimball and Esquire Wells, and everybody else, over Dr. Foster's head, who, instead of building the Nauvoo House, build a great many little skeletons. See Dr. Foster's mammoth skeletons rising all over the town; but there is no flesh on them; they are all for personal interest and aggrandizement. But I do not care how many bones there are in the city; somebody may come along and clothe them. See the bones of the elephant yonder, (as I pointed to the big house on Mulholland Street, preparing for a tavern, as yet uncovered,) the crocodiles and man-eaters all about the city, such as grog shops, and card shops, and counterfeit shops, &c., got up for their own aggrandizement, and all for speculation, while the Nauvoo House is neglected. Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones. The building of the Nauvoo House is just as sacred in my view as the Temple. I want the Nauvoo House built. It must be built. Our salvation [as a city] depends upon it.
When men have done what they can or will do for the Temple, let them do what they can for the Nauvoo House. We never can accomplish one work at the expense of another. There is a great deal of murmuring in the Church about me; but I don't care anything about it. I like to hear it thunder, and I like to hear the Saints grumble; for the growling dog gets the sorest head. If any man is poor and afflicted, let him come and tell of it, and not complain or grumble about it.
The finishing of the Nauvoo House is like a man finishing a fight; if he gives up, he is killed; if he holds out a little longer, he may live. I'll tell you a story: A man who whips his wife is a coward. When I was a boy, I once fought with a man who had whipped his wife. It was a hard contest; but I still remembered that he had whipped his wife; and this encouraged me, and I whipped him till he said he had enough. Brethren, hurry on to the Nauvoo House thus, and you will build it. You will then be on Pisgah's top, and the great men will come from the four quarters of the earth—will pile the gold and silver into it till you are weary of receiving them; and if you are not careful, you will be lifted up, and become full of pride, and will be ready to destroy yourselves, and they will cover up and clothe all your former sins and, according to the scripture, will hide a multitude of sins; and you will shine forth fair as the sun, clear as the moon, and you will become terrible, like an army with banners.
I will say to those who have labored on the Nauvoo House, and can. not get their pay—Be patient; and if any man takes the means which are set apart for the building of that house, and applies it to his own use, let him, for he will destroy himself. If any man is hungry, let him come to me, and I will feed him at my table. If any are hungry or naked, don't take away the brick, timber and materials, that belong to that house, but come and tell me, and I will divide with them to the last morsel; and then if the man is not satisfied, I will kick his backside.
There is a great noise in the city, and many are saying there cannot be so much smoke without some fire. Well, be it so. If the stories about Joe Smith are true, then the stories of John C. Bennett are true about the ladies of Nauvoo; and he says that the Ladies' Relief Society are all organized of those who are to be the wives of Joe Smith. Ladies, you know whether this is true or not. It is no use living among hogs without a snout. This biting and devouring each other I cannot endure. Away with it. For God's sake, stop it.
There is one thing more I wish to speak about, and that is political economy. It is our duty to concentrate all our influence to make poplar that which is sound and good, and unpopular that which is unsound. 'Tis right, politically, for a man who has influence to use it, as well as for a man who has no influence to use his. From henceforth I will maintain all the influence I can get. In relation to politics, I will speak as a man; but in relation to religion I will speak in authority. If a man lifts a dagger to kill me, I will lift my tongue.
When I last preached, I heard such a groaning, I thought of the Paddy's eel. When he tried to kill it, he could not contrive any better way to do it, so he put it into the water to drown it; and as it began to come to, "See," said he, "what pain it is in; how it wiggles its tail." So it is with the nation: the banks are failing, and it is our privilege to say what kind of currency we want. We want gold and silver to build the Temple and Nauvoo House: we want your old nose-rings, and finger rings, and brass kettles no longer. If you have old rags, watches, guns, &c., go and peddle them off, and bring the hard metal; and if we will do this by popular opinion, we shall have a sound currency. Send home all bank notes, and take no more paper money. Let every man write back to his neighbors before he starts for home to exchange his property for gold and silver, that he may fulfil the scripture, and come up to Zion, bringing his gold and silver with him. I have contemplated these things a long time, but the time had not come for me to speak of them till now. I would not do as the Nauvoo House committee have done—sell stock for an old store-house, where all the people who tried to live in it died, and put that stock into a man's hands to go east and purchase rags to come here and build mammoth bones with.
As a political man, in the name of old Joe Smith, I command the Nauvoo House committee not to sell stock in the Nauvoo House without the gold or silver. We must excuse Brother Snider, for he was in England when the committee sold stock for the store-house. I leave this subject.
This meeting was got up by the Nauvoo House committee. The pagans, Roman Catholics, Methodists and Baptists shall have place in Nauvoo—only they must be ground in Joe Smith's mill. I have been in their mill. I was ground in Ohio and York States, in a Presbyterian smut machine, and the last machine was in Missouri; and the last of all, I have been through the Illinois smut machine; and those who come here must go through my smut machine, and that is my tongue.
As I closed, Dr. Robert D. Foster remarked to the assembly—"Much good may grow out of a very little, and much good may come out of this. If any man accuses me of exchanging Nauvoo stock for rags, &c., he is mistaken. I gave a thousand dollars to this house, (this he said upon his own responsibility) and fifty dollars to the Relief Society, and some to Fullmer to get stone to build Joseph a house; and I mean to build Joseph a house, and you may build this, and I will help you. I mean to profit by this: and I will divide the mammoth bones with you. I am guilty of all of which I have been charged. I have signed my name to a petition to have William H. Rollison to have the postoffice. I did not then know of a petition for Joseph Smith."
I replied—"I thought I would make a coat; but it don't fit the doctor only in the postoffice. If it does fit any one let him put it on. The doctor's mammoth bones are skeletons, and as old Ezekiel said, I command the flesh and sinews to come upon them, that they may be clothed."
Wednesday, 22.—At nine this morning Brother Abel Owen presented a claim of considerable amount against Carter, Cahoon & Co., Kirtland, and notes of Oliver Granger of about $700 for payment. He said he was poor and unable to labor, and wanted something to live on. I told him to burn the papers, and I would help him. He gave me the papers, and I gave him an order on Mr. Cowan for fifteen dollars worth of provisions. This was a gift, as the Church was not obligated to pay those debts.
I rode about the city with Mr. Cowan during the day, and also read German.
The latest accounts from the East Indies state that the cholera was raging in Burmah, Asia, to a fearful extent, whole villages in the interior had become desolate either by flight or death.
Thursday, 23.—This morning read German and rode out a few miles, but did not get off my horse.
In the afternoon Mr. Bagby called to collect county and state taxes. Brother Dixon called concerning some lost or stolen property. I burned twenty-three dollars of city scrip, and while it was burning, said, "So may all unsound and uncurrent money go down!" Gave my clerk instructions not to pay any more taxes on the Hotchkiss purchase.
Elder Amasa Lyman started for Shokoquon this morning and commenced preaching in that place.
Filed my bond as mayor of the city of Nauvoo.
Friday, 24.—Rode out with Elder Brigham Young; dined from home; called on Dr. Foster; had some conversation about the postoffice and several other matters; returned to my office; and at three o'clock walked out with Elder Young.
In reply to W. W. Phelps's Vade Mecum, or "Go with me," of 20th of January last, I dictated an answer: It consisted of the "Revelation known as the Vision of the Three Glories," Doctrine and Covenants, section 76, made into verse.
Saturday, 25.—This morning Brother Samuel C. Brown made me a present of a gold watch. Spent the forenoon in the city council. The council passed "An ordinance in relation to interments," "An ordinance in relation to the duties of city attorney," and an ordinance concerning a market on Main Street." Stephen Markham resigned his office as an alderman, and Wilson Law was elected to fill his place.
At three o'clock the council assembled after an adjournment for dinner. The subject of a sound currency for the city having previously arisen, I addressed the council at considerable length, giving, amongst others, the following hints.
Views of the Prophet on Constitutional Powers.
Situated as we are, with a flood of immigration constantly pouring in upon us, I consider that it is not only prudential, but absolutely necessary to protect the inhabitants of this city from being imposed upon by a spurious currency. Many of our eastern and old country friends are altogether unacquainted with the situation of the banks in this region of country; and as they generally bring specie with them, they are perpetually in danger of being gulled by speculators. Besides there is so much uncertainty in the solvency of the best of banks, that I think it much safer to go upon the hard money system altogether. I have examined the Constitution upon this subject and find my doubts removed. The Constitution is not a law, but it empowers the people to make laws. For instance, the Constitution governs the land of Iowa, but it is not a law for the people. The Constitution tells us what shall not be a lawful tender. The 10th section declares that nothing else except gold and silver shall be lawful tender, this is not saying that gold and silver shall be lawful tender. It only provides that the states may make a law to make gold and silver lawful tender. I know of no state in the Union that has passed such a law; and I am sure that Illinois has not. The legislature has ceded up to us the privilege of enacting such laws as are not inconsistent with the Constitution of the United States and the state of Illinois; and we stand in the same relation to the state as the state does to the Union. The clause referred to in the Constitution is for the legislature—it is not a law for the people. The different states, and even Congress itself, have passed many laws diametrically contrary to the Constitution of the United States.
The state of Illinois has passed a stay law making property a lawful tender for the payment of debts; and if we have no law on the subject we must be governed by it. Shall we be such fools as to be governed by its laws, which are unconstitutional? No! We will make a law for gold and silver; and then the state law ceases and we can collect our debts. Powers not delegated to the states or reserved from the states are constitutional. The Constitution acknowledges that the people have all power not reserved to itself. I am a lawyer; I am a big lawyer and comprehend heaven, earth and hell, to bring forth knowledge that shall cover up all lawyers, doctors and other big bodies. This is the doctrine of the Constitution, so help me God. The Constitution is not law to us, but it makes provision for us whereby we can make laws. Where it provides that no one shall be hindered from worshiping God according to his own conscience, is a law. No legislature can enact a law to prohibit it. The Constitution provides to regulate bodies of men and not individuals.
Alderman Wells and Counselor Orson Pratt objected to the ordinance regulating the currency from taking immediate effect. Orson Spencer and Brigham Young spoke in favor of the bill. I invited W. W. Phelps and Dr. Willard Richards, who were present, to give their opinion on the bill. They both spoke in favor of a gold and silver currency, and that it take immediate effect in the city.
The bill was postponed until the next council.
Sunday, 26.—At home all day. My mother was sick with inflammation of the lungs, and I nursed her with my own hands.
Monday, 27.—I nursed my mother most of the day, who continued very sick. I issued a search warrant for Brother Dixon to search———Fidler's and John Eagle's houses for a box of stolen shoes.
Tuesday, 28.—Mostly with my mother and family. Mr. John Brassfield, with whom I became acquainted in Missouri, called on me and spent the day and night. In the afternoon, mother was somewhat easier; and at four o'clock I went to Elder Orson Hyde's to dinner.
I saw a notice in the Chicago Express that one Hyrum Redding had seen the sign of the Son of Man, &c.; and I wrote to the editor of the Times and Seasons, as follows :
The "Sign" of the Son of Man.
Sir:—Among the many signs of the times and other strange things which are continually agitating the minds of men, I notice a small speculation in the Chicago Express, upon the certificate of one Hyrum Redding, of Ogle county, Illinois, stating that he has seen the sign of the Son of Man as foretold in the 24th chapter of Matthew.
The slanderous allusion of a "seraglio" like the Grand Turk, which the editor applies to me, he may take to himself, for, "out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." Every honest man who has visited the city of Nauvoo since it existed, can bear record of better things, and place me in the front ranks of those who are known to do good for the sake of goodness, and show all liars, hypocrites and abominable creatures that, while vice sinks them down to darkness and woe, virtue exalts me and the Saints to light and immortality.
The editor, as well as some others, "thinks that Joe Smith has his match at last," because Mr. Redding thinks that he has seen the sign of the Son of Man. But I shall use my right, and declare that, notwithstanding Mr. Redding may have seen a wonderful appearance in the clouds one morning about sunrise (which is nothing very uncommon in the winter season,) he has not seen the sign of the Son of Man, as foretold by Jesus; neither has any man, nor will any man, until after the sun shall have been darkened and the moon bathed in blood; for the Lord hath not shown me any such sign; and as the prophet saith, so it must be—"Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but He revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets." (See Amos 3:7.) Therefore hear this, O earth: The Lord will not come to reign over the righteous, in this world, in 1843, nor until everything for the Bridegroom is ready.
1. This is the first mention made in the history of the Prophet of this idea which receives its fuller development in "Important Items of Instruction" given by him on the second of April, 1843, and found at length in the Doctrine and Covenants, section 130. In these "Items of Instruction" we learn that the place where God resides is a great urim and thummim, that the earth itself when sanctified and made an immortal sphere will be a urim and thummim to the inhabitants who dwell upon it, whereby all things pertaining to inferior kingdoms will he revealed to them, and to each of such inhabitants an individual urim and thummim will be given through which knowledge pertaining to kingdoms of a higher order will be revealed.
2. This was but one of a series of such petitions from New England which Mr. Adams presented to the House of Representatives. In fact upon his entrance as a member of the House, in 1831, (following his term of President of the United States) he had begun an agitation of the slavery question in Congress, but his contention in the main was for the maintenance of the sacred right of petition by the people, which right had undoubtedly been abridged by some unwise resolutions that had been adopted by the Congress of the United States. In 1838 a set of resolutions was adopted in the House by a vote of 146 to 52, in which, among other things, it was "Resolved, that petitions for the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia and territories of the United States, and against the removal of slaves from one state to another, was part of the plan of operation set on foot to affect the institution of slavery in the southern states and thus tending, indirectly, to destroy that institution within their limits. * * * And that every petition, memorial, resolution, proposition, or paper touching or relating in any way or to any extent whatever to slavery as aforesaid, or the abolition thereof, shall on presentation thereof, without any further question thereon, be laid upon the table without being debated, printed, or referred." In the Congress of 1842, notwithstanding these resolutions. Mr. Adams, in January, presented a petition from the citizens of Haverhill, Massachusetts, "praying the immediate adoption of measures peaceably to desolve the union of those states, signed by Benjamin Emerson and four hundred and fifty-six other persons, in which the reasons of the petition were set forth with instructions to report an answer to the petitioners showing the reasons why the prayer of it ought not to be granted." (Stephens' History of the U.S.) Mr. Adams of course had no sympathy with this and many other petitions that he presented, but he held the right of petition to be sacred, and he continued the fight for it until he saw such changes in the rules of the House of Representatives as allowed petitions on the question of slavery to be received without objection and freely discussed.