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Death of the prophets Joseph and Hyram [sic] Smith

Gooch, John. Death of the prophets Joseph and Hyram [sic] Smith, who were murdered while in prison at Carthage Ill., on the 27th day of June, A.D. 1844. Compiled and printed for our venerable brother in Christ, Freeman Nickerson. Contents. Account of the death of the Mormon prophet and patriarch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Two official reports from Governor Ford. A report from J. W. Woods attorney at law. A few sketchs [sic] from the faith and doctrine of the Latter Day Saints. Boston: Printed by John Gooch, Minot’s Building Spring Lane, corner Devonshire Street. 1844.
12 pp. 22 cm

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Although this tract is often attributed to Freeman Nickerson, it appears to have been compiled by John Gooch, possibly at Nickerson’s request. Born in Concord, Massachusetts, August 6, 1824, John Gooch was a member of the Mormon branch in Boston and a professional printer who regularly advertised in The Prophet. In 1845 he was married in Nauvoo, and three years later Orson Hyde engaged him to print the Frontier Guardian in Kanesville, Iowa. Gooch worked on the Guardian until Hyde sold it in February 1852, and later that year, en route to Utah, he died at Woodriver Camp, Nebraska.

Death of the Prophets is mainly taken from the reports in the Nauvoo Neighbor Extra of June 30. Its description of the events leading up to the assassination as well as Thomas Ford’s “To the People of the State of Illinois” and James W. Woods’s report are extracted from the extra. In addition it includes Ford’s proclamation of July 25, 1844, “To the People of Warsaw, in Hancock County”, initially published as a broadside and reprinted in the Nauvoo Neighbor of July 31, 1844, and in The Prophet of August 17. In this proclamation Ford condemns the threats of violence against the Saints and reminds the people of Warsaw of the Mormons’ peaceful stance. He further declares that if those agitators in Warsaw become the aggressors, he is “determined that all the power of the state shall be used to prevent [their] success.” The pamphlet concludes with the thirteen “Articles of Faith” from the Wentworth letter, and a testimony written perhaps by Freeman Nickerson.

Wilford Woodruff reached Liverpool on January 3, 1845, to assume the presidency of the British Mission. During the next eight days, he sold six hundred copies of Death of the Prophets to four men in the mission at 12s 6p. a hundred. One might guess that he used the tracts to help defray his mission expenses.

Excerpted and edited from Peter Crawley, A Descriptive Bibliography of the Mormon Church. Volume One, 1830-1847. (Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University, Religious Studies Center, [1997]). Item 232, p. 274-76.

Used by permission of the author and the Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University.

Deseret News

Deseret News.Salt Lake City : June 15, 1850-December 10, 1898.
57 v. 28, 54, 40, 30 cm.

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For Brigham Young, as with his predecessor, the importance of the press lay in communicating with the Saints. “This people cannot live without intelligence,” he wrote in 1847, “for it is through obedience to that principle they are to receive their exaltation; and if the intelligence cannot be had justice has no claim on obedience, and their exaltation must be decreased.” (“Journal History,” 1 April 1847.) On June 15, 1850, the Church leaders began what for many years would be the principle means of providing “intelligence,” that remarkable pioneer newspaper, the Deseret News -maintaining the pattern established by The Evening and the Morning Star and Upper Missouri Advertiser in Missouri, the Messenger and Advocate and Northern Times in Ohio, the Elders’ Journal in Ohio and Missouri, and the Times and Seasons, The Wasp, and the Nauvoo Neighbor in Illinois. Willard Richards, second counselor in the First Presidency, was the founding editor, Thomas Bullock, the editorial assistant and business manager.

The early issues of the News were printed in the Mint on South Temple just east of what is now the Joseph Smith Memorial Building , until August 1850, when the print shop was moved to the Council House, located across the street on the southwest corner of South Temple and Main streets. About fourteen months later the shop was moved again, to the second and third floors of the Deseret Store, on the northeast corner of South Temple and Main -undoubtedly because it had just taken delivery of a second press, a larger “Imperial.” It was relocated a third time in June 1854, to the north rooms of the Tithing Office on the east side of Main Street just north of the Deseret Store, and then transferred again eighteen months later back to the Council House. Still more moves were in store for these peripatetic presses, and when Brigham Young sent the Saints south in the spring of 1858 because of the Utah Expedition, he sent the presses too, one to Parowan, the other to Fillmore, where it was set up in the basement of the statehouse and used to print eighteen numbers of the News. That September they were returned to the Council House. Finally in May 1862 the print shop was relocated in the second and third floors of the Deseret Store, where it would rest for the remainder of the century.

A prospectus for the paper is printed in each of the first seven numbers. Unsigned and undated, it proposes “a small weekly sheet” designed to “record the passing events of our State” and “refer to the arts and sciences, embracing general education, medicine, law, divinity, domestic and political economy, and every thing that may fall under our observation, which may tend to promote the best interest, welfare, pleasure and amusement of our fellow citizens.”

Thomas Bullock records in the “Historian’s Office Journal” that “the printers” set the type for the first number on Wednesday and Thursday, June 12 and 13, and on the 14th, at 5:20 p.m., the first sheet for the first side came off the press. The “printers” began setting the second number on Thursday, June 20, he reports, and the next day he corrected the proofs. On Sunday, June 23, he came to the office at 8 a.m. and began distributing the second number before Sunday service, distributed more of them during the intermission, and continued to deliver papers that afternoon and the following day. He read the proof for the third number of Friday, June 28, and on Saturday, directed “Newspapers to Subscribers all morning.” The “Historian’s Office Journal” indicates that Bullock continued to read the proof for the paper into the fall and then apparently passed these duties to someone else, probably Joseph Cain.

The first seventeen numbers (June 15-October 5, 1850) were issued weekly on Saturday without a lapse. The News for October 5, 1850 , explained that lack of paper would delay the next number until October 19, and the issue for that date announced that until further notice, the paper would appear every other Saturday-which indeed was the case for nos. 18-29 (October 19, 1850-March 22, 1851). Vol. 4 is the first volume to contain fifty-two numbers-and the first to include some issues on homemade paper.

On October 8, 1865 , the paper launched a semi-weekly edition-also named The Deseret News -which came out on Tuesday and Saturday and ran until 1922. It began a daily, the Deseret Evening News, on November 21, 1867 , which is still being published. The weekly continued to be published in 8-page issues until February 10, 1869 (Vol. 18, no. 1), then in 12-page issues until March 27, 1872 (Vol. 21, no. 8), when it went to a 16-page issue. It maintained 16-page issues until it was superceded by The Deseret Weekly on Saturday, December 29, 1888 . The Deseret Weekly, with a reduced page-size of about 30 x 20 cm., was published in semi-annual volumes until December 10, 1898 , when it was brought to a close.

Like its predecessors, the Deseret News printed local and national news, poetry and fiction, agricultural advice, actions of the provisional and territorial legislatures and the city councils, messages of the governors and reports from the territorial auditors, lists of letters at the post office, immigration news, legal notices, local advertisements, editorials on various issues, doctrinal articles, conference reports, and letters from missionaries. Much of its space was taken up with reports of the discourses of the Church leaders, and beginning with the first issue of Vol. 2, the News resumed the serial publication of the “History of Joseph Smith,” which it picked up from the last installment in the Times and Seasons and ran until January 20, 1858 . The seventh and eighth volumes reported on the Utah Expedition, with, expectedly, much heated editorializing by Albert Carrington.

Excerpted and edited from Peter Crawley, A Descriptive Bibliography of the Mormon Church. Volume Two, 1848-1852. ( Provo, Utah : Brigham Young University, Religious Studies Center, 2005). Item 494. Forthcoming.

Used by permission of the authors.

Deseret News Extra

Deseret News,—Extra. Great Salt Lake City, U.T., September 14, 1852. Minutes of conference. A special conference of the elders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, assembled in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, August 28th, 1852, 10 o’clock, a.m., pursuant to public notice. [Great Salt Lake City, 1852].
48p. 22.3 cm.

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By the summer of 1852, the polygamous practices of the Mormons were no longer a secret. The reports of the territorial officers were now published around the country, and the Mormons were being forced to respond to them. Parley P. Pratt made such a response in July, for example, in his broadside Mormonism! Plurality of Wives! which implicitly admitted that Brigham Young was a polygamist. On August 28, 1852, a special conference was convened in Salt Lake City to call a new set of missionaries and to publicly acknowledge the practice of plural marriage. Ironically, Orson Pratt, who ten years before had become disaffected from the LDS Church for a time over the issue of polygamy, delivered the principal discourse defending the practice. Thomas Bullock read the revelation to Joseph Smith of July 12, 1843, which deals with the eternal nature of marriage and sanctions, under certain circumstances, a plurality of wives (Doctrine & Covenants 132). The minutes of this conference–including the text of the revelation of July 12, 1843–were hastened into print as a Deseret News Extra, but in pamphlet form for more convenient distribution. Later in the year, Horace S. Eldridge reprinted the extra in St. Louis; and the minutes of the conference were reprinted as a supplement to volume 15 of the Millennial Star.

Excerpted and edited from Peter Crawley and Chad J. Flake, A Mormon Fifty: an exhibition in the Harold B. Lee Library in conjunction with the annual conference of the Mormon History Association (Provo, Utah, Friends of the Brigham Young University Library, 1984) Item 39, p. [29-30].

Used by permission of the authors.

Dissertation on Nebuchadnezzar’s dream

Appleby, William Ivins. A dissertation on Nebuchadnezzar’s dream: showing that the kingdom spoken of by Daniel the prophet was not set up in the days of the apostles: and the order of the kingdom set up then explained. Also: the rise and faith of the most notable orthodox societies of the present day, together with a synopsis of the origin and faith of the church of “Latter-day Saints,” comparing their faith with the faith of other societies. By W. I. Appleby, minister of the gospel. Printed by Brown, Bicking & Guilbert, No. 56 N. Third Street, 4th door north of Arch St., Philadelphia. 1844.
24 pp. 18 cm.

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William I. Appleby had been laboring as a missionary in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey almost constantly since October 1840. On July 5, 1844, five days after he heard of the deaths of Joseph and Hyrum Smith, he returned to his home in Recklesstown, New Jersey, to rest for four weeks. During this period he wrote A Dissertation on Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream, which he seems to have finished by August 6, the date of a note To the Reader on the second page of the pamphlet. He reports in his journal that he published 2,000 copies, and the book sold well.

A Dissertation opens with some preliminary remarks on reading the scriptures literally and then launches into a discussion of the dream of Nebuchadnezzar (Dan. 2) that is taken virtually word-for-word, without credit, from the 1837 Voice of Warning, pp. 25-29 (see this digital collection). It includes some comments on the various kingdoms symbolized in the dream and then argues that the kingdom set up by Jesus was not the last kingdom spoken of by Daniel. The ideas here are from the third chapter of Voice of Warning, which at some points the tract quotes directly. Next it takes up the rise of the major Christian denominations, written from the standard church histories, including Mosheim’s Ecclesiastical History and William Gahan’s A Compendious Abstract of the History of the Church of Christ, and from Benjamin Winchester’s Synopsis of the Holy Scriptures, whose text it also borrows from time to time. A Dissertation then summarizes the beliefs of the major denominations. By performing some numerical gymnastics, it infers that the Bible predicts that Christ’s true church would be restored in 1830.

Excerpted and edited from Peter Crawley, A Descriptive Bibliography of the Mormon Church. Volume One, 1830-1847. (Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University, Religious Studies Center, [1997]). Item 230, p. 272-73.

Used by permission of the author and the Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University.