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Whereas a council of the authorities of the Church

Nauvoo, September 24, 1845. Whereas a council of the authorities of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, at Nauvoo, have this day received a communication from Henry Ashbury, John P. Robbins, Albert J. [sic] Pearson, P. A. Goodwin, J. N. Ralston, M. Rogers, and E. Conyers, Messrs. Committee of the citizens of Quincy, requesting us to communicate in writing our disposition.[Nauvoo, 1845].
Broadside 28 x 14 cm. In two columns.

Signed at end: By order of the Council, Brigham Young, Prest. Willard Richards, Clerk

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On September 24 Brigham Young, several of the Twelve, and about fifty others rode to Carthage, where twelve men, including Willard Richards, John Taylor, and W. W. Phelps, were to be tried on a complaint by Anthony Barkman for their involvement in the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor. At the hearing Barman admitted that he knew none of the defendants, and they were discharged for want of evidence. When the group returned to Nauvoo that evening, they were met by a committee from Quincy, named in this broadside’s title, which included some prominent Masons and a former Quincy mayor. This committee handed the Church leaders a report of a public meeting two days before which urged the Mormons to move from Hancock “within reasonable time” and expressed the opinion that should they so agree, the anti-Mormons would cease their efforts to expel them. That night Whereas a council of the authorities… was struck off, and the next morning it was formally presented to the Quincy committee.

In reality addressed to Governor Ford and the citizens of Illinois, this circular was an official statement that the Mormons would evacuate Illinois the following spring “for some point so remote, that there would not need to be a difficulty with the people and ourselves”–provided that those in Hancock and the surrounding counties assist them to dispose of their property and cease vexatious law suits and violent acts against them. A concluding paragraph remarks, “it is a mistaken idea that we ‘have proposed to remove in six months;’ for that would be so early in the spring, that grass might not grow nor water run, both of which would be necessary for our removal, but we propose to use our influence, to have no more seed time nor harvest among our people in the county after gathering our present crops.”

On September 25 word reached Nauvoo that the anti-Mormons were collecting near La Harpe and in Madison, Iowa, and the next day a report came from Carthage that some anti-Mormons were beginning to assemble there. About this time Thomas Ford appointed John J. Hardin to lead a contingent of volunteers to Hancock to restore order, and on September 27 Hardin issued a proclamation that no armed forces in Hancock County was to exceed four persons. Three days later he and 320 volunteers entered Nauvoo, accompanied by Stephen A. Douglas, William B. Warren, and the state attorney general James A. McDougal, special representatives of Governor Ford. That day the Warsaw Signal issued an extra reporting various public meeting, including one in Quincy on the 26th at which the proposals of the Mormons in the September 24 broadside were accepted. Hardin and his associates conferred with the Church leaders until October 2. The Nauvoo Neighbor of October 1 prints a letter from them, dated October 1, asking for a written statement of the Mormons’ intentions, together with a long reply from Brigham Young of the same date which includes the text of the September 24 broadside–reprinted from the same typesetting. Here Young comments that arrangement to move from Illinois had commenced before the recent outbreak of violence, that one thousand families, including the Twelve, are “fully determined to remove in the spring, independent of the contingency of selling our property,” that “some hundreds of farms, and some 2000 or more houses [are] for sale in this city and county,” and that “we do not intend to sow any wheat this fall.”

Hardin and his associates wrote to the Twelve on October 3 that they had met with the anti-Mormons from Hancock and representatives from nine surrounding counties and had received their acceptance of the propositions outlined by Brigham Young on October 1. “By carrying out in good faith, your proposition to remove as submitted to us,” their letter continues, “we think you should be, and will be permitted to depart peaceably next spring for your destination west of the Rocky Mountains.”

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 280, p. 323-24.

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

Woman’s Exponent

Woman’s Exponent. Salt Lake City: June 1, 1872-February 1914.
41 vol. 35cm.

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The Woman’s Exponent was established for the women of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Although never owned or sponsored by the Church, it certainly enjoyed its approval and support. In fact the first editor, Lula Greene Richards agreed to serve only after Brigham Young called her as a missionary and set her apart for the work.

Richards was twenty-three years old and unmarried when she assumed the editorship with her name listed as L. L. Greene, Editor. This was quickly changed to Louise L. Greene, by the fourth issue, after the receipt of letters addressed to “Mr.” The purpose of the Exponent was consistent throughout its 42 years of publication. It was to be a woman’s journal, but without the necessity of creating a battleground between men and women. “We have no rivalry with any, no war to wage, no contest to provoke; yet we will endeavor, at all times, to speak freely on every topic of current interest, and on every subject as it arises in which the women of Utah, and the great sisterhood the world over, are specially interested” (Woman’s Exponent, June 1, 1872, p. 4).

Earlier in that editorial, Greene had written that “we have no special need to advocate woman suffrage in Utah, for it is enjoyed by the women of this Territory.” Of course this enjoyment was not to last and the subject of suffrage became a constant in the pages of the Exponent. Defenses of polygamy, until after the Manifesto of 1890, were published regularly; the news of the Relief Society, including the local level was consistently reported; value of education for women, home helps, and women’s place in the world were frequently advocated; poetry and literature often graced its pages; history and news of the world were provided to its readers; news culled from other newspapers and fillers followed the common pattern for all newspapers; obituaries of the famous and not so famous were listed; and of course advertisements were a staple.

Richards, who married Levi W. Richards, one year after she assumed the editorship of the Exponent, decided to step down as editor in 1877 to devote more time to her family. After serving as coeditor from December 1875, Emmeline B. Wells was to become the only other editor of the Exponent, when she became its sole editor in August 1877. This remarkable woman, who had lost two husbands, was a polygamist wife of Daniel H. Wells, and the mother of one son, who died in infancy, and five daughters. A woman of great energy, she was to become an important figure in the women’s suffrage movement at the local and national level, a member of the Relief Society General Board from 1888 until 1910 and as general president of the Relief Society from 1910 until 1921, serving until just a few weeks before her death in April 1921. Her daughter, Annie Wells Cannon, was assistant editor from 1905 until the end of the newspaper’s existence in February 1914.

With little fanfare in the final issue of the Exponent, Wells bid a “Heartfelt Farewell,” stating that “the aim of the paper has always been to assist those who needed assistance in any or every line.” As Relief Society General President at this time, she naturally emphasized the Relief Society saying, “TheExponenthas striven more than anything else to be the organ of the Relief Society.” She did admit, however, that it would be hard “to lay aside the editorial pen, even after so many long years, seems a hard task, but though the pen may be idle, the mind will ever gratefully remember all the associations which this little paper has been instrumental in creating” (Woman’s Exponent, February 1914, p. 100).

The publishing patterns were to change over the years, but for the first 20 volumes, there were 24 issues each year, with the publishing year beginning June 1 and ending with the May 15 issue, and each issue contained eight pages. Starting with volume 21 (1892), for reasons not entirely clear, there were an increasing number of publishing changes. The number of issues published in a year began to vary, and beginning with volume 23 (1894) the habit of combining issues began, although it was never consistently applied. By volume 30 (1901) through to the end of its existence, the number of issues published each year began to shrink to only 12 or 14 issues for the year. There are numerous pagination errors, where the printer failed to begin new numbering at the beginning of the publishing year. Sometimes the issue number is incorrectly typeset. For example volume 11, issue 16 is printed as issue 15, but it is in reality issue 16. By volume 41 (1912-1914), the Exponent had become a monthly newspaper. These publishing anomalies are not unusual in nineteenth and early twentieth century newspapers. The key for the reader is that what is presented in this digital collection will be the complete Woman’s Exponent even when it may not appear to be complete because of issue dates and pagination problems.

Information was culled from various sources including the pages of the Woman’s Exponent itself. Especially useful were Sherilyn Cox Bennion, “The Woman’s Exponent: Forty-two Years of Speaking for Women,” Utah Historical Quarterly 44(3) (1976): 222-239, and Carol Cornwall Madsen, An Advocate for Women: The Public Life of Emmeline B. Wells, 1870-1920 (Provo, UT: Brigham Young University, 2006).

Women of Mormondom

Tullidge, Edward Wheelock.; The women of Mormondom.; New York [Tullidge and Crandall] 1877.
x, 552p.; 22.5 cm.

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Word of the Lord to the citizens of London

Kimball, Heber Chase, and Wilford Woodruff. The word of the Lord to the citizens of London, of every sect and denomination: and to every individual into whose hands it may fall–showing forth the plan of salvation, as laid down in the New Testament:–namely, faith in our Lord Jesus Christ–repentance–baptism for the remission of sins–and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. Presented by two of the elders of the Church of Jesus Christ, of Latter Day Saints. Heber C. Kimball Wilford Woodruff. City Press, Long Lane: Doudney and Scrymgour. [London, 1841]
8 pp. 17.5 cm.

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Wilford Woodruff labored in London for nineteen weeks after he returned to the city on October 17, 1840–three weeks with George A. Smith, twelve with Heber C. Kimball. Converts came slowly, but when the first Mormon conference convened in London on February 14, 1841, forty-six members made up the London branch. In January 1841 Brigham Young wrote to Kimball and Woodruff to arrange to return to the United States that spring, and during February they prepared to leave the London branch in the hands of Lorenzo Snow. On February 9 they worked on a parting statement to the indifferent Londoners, and two days later they finished the tract. Kimball’s and Woodruff’s journals suggest that they dictated the text to Ellen Balfour Redman, a well-educated Scottish woman who had joined the church in New York and who occasionally wrote letters for Kimball. Woodruff corrected the proofs on February 17; on the 20th, the day Kimball left London and six days before his own departure, he picked up 3,000 copies of The Word of the Lord to the Citizens of London, at a cost of £3, 3s. Most of these he left with Lorenzo Snow for distribution in the city.

Like A Timely Warning (see this digital collection) and An Address to the People of England, which clearly influenced it, The Word of the Lord was written as a warning to those who had not yet received the Mormon message. Its focus is Mormonism’s first principles: faith in Jesus Christ, repentance from sin, baptism by immersion, and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands by one having God’s authority. It is a significant pamphlet, for it was the prototype of Lorenzo Snow’s Only Way to be Saved (see this digital collection), the most widely published of all the nineteenth-century Mormon tracts.

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 101, p. 152.

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