Title Descriptions: "F"

← Back

Facts relative to the expulsion of the Mormons

Greene, John Portineus. Facts relative to the expulsion of the Mormons or Latter Day Saints, from the state of Missouri, under the “exterminating order.” By John P. Greene, an authorized representative of the Mormons. Cincinnati, Printed by R. P. Brook, 1839.
v [i.e. iv], [5]-43 p. 22 cm.

View Document

John P. Greene, a brother-in-law of Brigham Young, converted to Mormonism in April 1832 and moved with his family to Kirtland in October. From that point on, he spent much of his life traveling as a Mormon missionary throughout the eastern states and Canada. In Kirtland and Far West he served on the high council. In Nauvoo he was city marshal, a member of the city council, and a member of the Council of Fifty. As the marshall he led the possee which destroyed the Nauvoo Expositor press. He died in Nauvoo on September 10, 1844, seven days past his fifty-first birthday.

Greene was appointed in May 1839 to preside over the Church in New York. In addition, he was delegated to publicize the Mormon expulsion from Missouri and collect funds for the relief of the destitute Saints. A month later Greene left Illinois for the East, and as the initial step in his publicity campaign, he published Facts Relative to the Expulsion of the Mormons.

Greene’s Facts is the earliest major work describing the Mormon conflict in Missouri. Joseph Smith’s Liberty Jail letter of March 25, 1839, urged the Saints to collect all the documentary evidence they could find of the Missouri atrocities. And the May conference, which appointed Greene to preside in New York, also designated Almon W. Babbitt, Erastus Snow, and Robert B. Thompson to gather up all “libelous reports” and other historical documents pertaining to the Church. Greene’s Facts prints some of this material. The book is based on “Memorial to the Legislature of Missouri,” signed by Edward Partridge, Heber C. Kimball, John Taylor, Theodore Turley, Brigham Young, Isaac Morley, George W. Harris, John Murdock, and John M. Burk, December 10, 1838–augmented with many annotations.

The memorial is a summary of the Mormons’ experiences in Missouri, beginning in Jackson County, with emphasis, of course, on their mistreatment at the hands of the Missourians. John Corrill presented it to the Missouri House of Representatives on December 19, 1838, evoking considerable debate in the House. Adding detail and examples to the events summarized in the memorial, Greene’s annotations comprise 60 percent of the text, and include, for example, Joseph Young’s account of the Haun’s Mill massacre; Governor Bogg’s extermination order; General John B. Clark’s speech of November 6, 1838; and the petitions of Caleb Baldwin, Lyman Wight, Joseph Smith, Alexander McRae, and Hyrum Smith to Judge Tompkins, March 15, 1839.

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 10, p. [11-12]; and Peter Crawley, A Descriptive Bibliography of the Mormon Church. Volume One, 1830-1847. (Provo, Utah, Brigham Young University, Religious Studies Center, [1997]). Item 55-56, p. 86-88.

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

Fireside visitor or plain reasoner

Candland, David. The fireside visitor; or, plain reasoner. David C. Kimball. Liverpool: Printed for the Author by R. James, 39, South Castle Street. [1846].
3 nos. 4[5]-8[9]-16 pp. 21.5 cm.

View Document

David Candland introduced the Fireside Visitor in the Millennial Star (see this digital collection) of August 1, 1846. Here he advertised the first number at one penny each, and remarked that if it was favorably received, he intended to publish “seven or more … till every principle embraced and believed by myself and friends, is placed before the people at their firesides.” The Star advertised the second number two weeks later, and the third on October 1.

It is reasonably certain that Candland got out only three numbers. Thomas D. Brown reported in the Star of February 1, 1847, that he had “some hundreds” of the three numbers to sell in order to settle the printer’s bill. The European Mission financial records also mention only three numbers. On October 3, 1846, Orson Hyde and John Taylor arrived in Liverpool to investigate the Joint Stock Company (see The British and American Commercial Joint Stock Company in this digital collection) Since Candland was slightly involved in promoting the company, its collapse undoubtedly diverted his attention from the Fireside Visitor.

Each number of the Fireside Visitor is signed at the end David C. Kimball, the name Candland adopted during his mission. Each number bears a separate subtitle descriptive of the topic it treats: “On the Necessity of Baptism as a Means of Salvation,” “On the Departure from the True Order of the Kingdom Foretold,” and “The Restoration of the Kingdom.” Candland’s treatment of the first topic is nearly identical with that in the third chapter of the Voice of Warning (see this digital collection).

The second number marshalls New Testament proof-texts which, Candland declares, predict that Christ’s church would slip into apostasy after his death. Almost all of these are included in Benjamin Winchester’s Synopsis of the Holy Scriptures. In the third number Candland cites passages from the Bible to support the contention that the ancient gospel must necessarily be restored by God to man, a concept more forcefully argued in the second chapter of Voice of Warning.

But Candland’s idea of issuing a series of tracts each defending a particular tenet of Mormonism was a good one, which would be borrowed by Orson Spencer with his Correspondence between the Rev. W. Crowel and by Orson Pratt with his A Series of Pamphlets (both these titles are in this digital collection).–two of the Church’s most influential works.

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 308, p. 345-47.

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