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Remarks delivered at Nauvoo temple grounds on Thursday Morning and Thursday Afternoon, March 7, 1844
Sources: Joseph Smith diary (Willard Richards) and Wilford Woodruff journal
Thursday Morning
Smith DiaryWoodruff Journal
Joseph - the "Lawyers" of Nauvoo

9 A. M. I^Joseph presented to the meeting the proceedings of O. F. Bostwick. & the Lawyers &c - for the people to speak out, say whether such men should be. tolerated. and supported in our midst. = and from this time I design to bring such characters before the committee of the whole.- and if these things cannot be put a stop to. I will give them in to the hands of the mob - -. the hands of the officers of the city falter, and are palsied by the conduct of such men.

¶ There is another I will speak about he is a mormon. = a certain man. who lived here before we come here. the two first letters of his name are Hiram Kimball - - when the city had passed an ordinance to tax steam boats. He goes and tells the captains of the steam boats that he owned the landing. and they need not to pay tax- and I am determined to use up such men if they will not stop their efforts. If this is not true. Let him come forward & throw of the imputation. - when they people appeal to carthage I will appeal to this people-the highest court = I despise the Lawyers who lag on their law suits. Kimball. & Morrison say they own the wharfs. but the city own the wharf -. 64 ft. from high water mark from printing office to the northern limits of the city. -

annother thing. I want to speak about. the Lawyers of this city.- I have good feelings & and I will reprove them - and the prophets always did say wo unto you ye Lawyers.- the Maratime laws of the U. S. have ceded up the tolls wharfage &c to the respective corporations who have jurisdiction. &c = =

Pope Poem

¶ Shallow drafts intoxicate the brain &c.
Look at the reason.= no vessel could land any where if Subject to individuals laws.- = Corporation owns the streets of the city, and have a right to tax the Boats to make wharfs. the same as to tax citizens to make roads - want every man in this city to stay at home & let the Boat Captains, peace officers and every body alone.-

¶ How are we to keep peace in this city. & defend our selves against mobs.= disgrace evry man, by preaching him on the house top, who will, who not be still, and mind their own business.- Let them alone to use themselves up.--

The Prophet arrived & took the stand. and arose in the midst of people & said (Orson Pratt come & take your post) & further remarked I do not know whether the object of the meeting has been told or not I apologize for not comeing sooner. I have had so much on my mind since I saw you that I hardly know whare to begin or to say but one of the grand objects that I had in view in calling this meeting was in making a few remarks relative to the laws & ordinances and building the temple, the reason I want to speak of the laws is the Officers have difficulty in administering the laws. We are republican & wish to have the people rule but rule in righteousness, Sone would complain with what God himself would do, the laws are enacted by petition and they can all be repealed if they wish it but the people ought not to complain of the officers but to complain of the law makers, I am instructed by the City Council to tell this people that if you do not like any law we have passed we will repeal it for we are your servants, Any that Complain of our rights and Charters it is because they are wicked the devil is in them. the reason I called it up is we have a simple gang of fellows who does not know whare their elbows or head is if you preach virtue to them they will oppose that if you preach the Methodist God to them they will oppose that or any thing els & if their is any Case tried they want it appealed to Carthage Mr Boswick's case had to go to Carthage our Lawyers will send any thing to Carthage. I want to know if the Citizens will sustain me when my hands are raised to heaven for the people, I will areign the person before the people that act against the interest of the City & I will have the voice of the people which is republican and as likely to be the voice of God And as long as long as long as I have a tongue to speak I will expose the iniquity of the Lawyiers and wicked men I fear not their boiling over nor the boiling over of Hell their thunders & forked lightning. I despise the man that will betray you with a kiss. Here is Hiram Kimball has set at naught the ordinances of the City. By saying that He owns the wharf & steem boats need not pay them. wharefore this body is the highest Court what appeal to Carthage I would not appeal there if i died a thousand deaths. Kimball nor Morrison does not own the wharfage water street runs along the beach & belongs to the City & not individuals I will reprove the lawyers & doctors anyhow Jesus did & evry prophet has & if I am a prophet I shall do it, at any rate I shall do it for i profess to be a prophet. The laws & Constitution of the United States has ceded up the right to Corporate Cities to regulate all wharfage of shipping & Steem Boats &c all laws of taxation is subject to the City & not individuals, And I want from this time forth evry fool to stay at home & let the steem Boats & Captain alone and let the peace officers alone.
Mormon Critics Active

¶ A couple of merchants in this city. I was^visi told by an old gentleman this morning^ who told methat the spirit of Mobocracy was almost subsiding.- These mobocrats have as the people abroad say.- told the people that they need not bring butter eggs &c- - to Nauvoo will not tell their names. if they will not let the people bring in their produce.- the people will not buy their goods

¶ another Man. will not call his name. has been writing to the New York Tribune 1 some of the greatest most disgraceful- things possible to name.- he has stated in that article that there are a grat many appropriations. to the temple. applied some where else &c.--- to stigmatize the Trustee & turn prejudice against us abroad.-- if any man who has appointed any thing.- old harness horses. waggon. &c let him come forward the first farthing and we cannot show where it has been appropriated. I will give him my head for a foot ball.--

How can we keep off mobs & keeping innocent Blood from being shed, By striking a blow at evry thing that rises up in disorder & I will war an eternal war with those that oppose me while I am labouring in behalf of the City. A man has been writing to the New York Tribune I will not mention his name. He says that much has been appropriated for the building the Temple that has been spent for other purposes. But I pledge myself that any man that has paid any old shoes, harnesss, horses, or any thing els if he will come I will show him on Book that evry farthing has gone on Book & been appropriated for the building of the Temple if not so I will plede my head for a foot ball that this is true. their are men in our midst who are trying to build up themselves at our expense & others in our midst that are watching for iniquity & will make a man an offender for a word, But I will rest myself & give way for others.
Put Temple Ahead of Nauvoo House

;¶ he also states that the Temple cannot be build it costs so much.= who dont know. that we can put the roof on this building this season? by turning all the means of the N. House & doubling our diligence we can do it.

¶ The best way for such men is to be still. If I did not love men I would not reprove them. but work in the dark as they do = = = read the Tribune & you see for yourself -

¶ he is not a Lawyer. he is nearer related to a Doctor. a small man.- "Mr. McNeil = enquired if he was the man.-" No did not know you - you are a stranger.- - Joseph rested. [during Hyrum Smith's remarks].

¶ Chas. Foster asked. if Joseph meant. him Joseph said. I will ask you a questn [F.] that is no way. [J.] yes that is the way the Quakers do. Why did you denominate yourself.--Jesus said-- whose image & superscription is it--[F.] Did you mean me.--[J.] Why did you denominate yourself. did [F.] then I understand you meant me.--[J.] You said it.--[F.] You shall hear form me.--Mayor I fine you $10.00 for that threat, and disturbing the meeting Doctor [Robert] Foster spoke to palliate and exhort him to await---&c doctor said he has not threatened you. --Joseph says he has--Doctor no one has heard him threaten you--and hundreds cried I have. Doctor continued to speak & Mayor said stop[,] order[,] or I will fine you--

Powers and Policies Pamphlet - Relief Society Pamphlet

¶ W. W. Phelps read Gen Smiths views of the powers & policies of the Gen Government, after which it was voted unanimously with one exception, to uphold Gen Smith for the Presidency.

¶ "A voice of Innocence from Nauvoo" was then read by W. W. Phelps.2 ---and all the people assembly said Amen. twice

¶ Doctor Foster read a letter from Thomas Ford Governor

¶ 30 minutes past 12. adjourned till 2 p.m.


1. The man writing to the Tribune was Charles Foster, a later conspirator in plots to murder Smith.

2. The "Voice" was authored by Phelps, though appearing over the signature of Emma Smith. See Samuel Brown, "The Translator and the Ghostwriter: Joseph Smith and William W. Phelps," Journal of Mormon History 34/1 (2008):26-63.

Thursday Afternoon

Smith DiaryWoodruff Journal
Kirtland Policy Continues

Joseph said in relation to those who give property on the temple. be careful into whose hands it come into that it may be entered into the church books. that those whose names are found in the church books shall have the first claim in that house. I intend to keep the door at dedication myself---& not a man shall pass who had not paid his bonus
President Smith remarked in relation to those who give in property for the temple we want it brought to the proper source that it may be put on the Church Book So that in the endowment those whose names are on Book shall have the prefference.

Joseph and Presidency of U. S.

¶ I do not care 1/2 so much about the Pres election as I do the office I have got we have as good a right to make a political party to gain power to defend ourselves as for mormons demagogues to make use of our religion to get power to destroy ourselves.--we will whip the mob by getting up a president. when I look into the Eastern papers & see how popular I am I am afraid I shall be president.---
As to politics I care but little about the Presidential Chair., I would not give half as much for the office as I would for the one I now hold, but as the world have used the power of Goverment to oppress & persecute us it is right for us to use it for the protection of our rights. when I get hold of the eastern paper & see how popular I am I am afraid myself that I shall be elected, But if I should be I would not say that your cause is just & I could not do anything for you. 2

Texas and Slavery

¶ on the annexation of Texas---some object--the anti-Mormons are good fellows--- I say it in anticipation they will repent object to Texas on account of slavery.--- Tis the very reason why she should be received.--

¶ Houston says "gentlemen if you refuse to receive us we must go to the British" and the first thing they will do will be to set the negroes free & Indians & they will use us up.

¶ British officers running all over Texas to pick a quarrel with us.---more honorable for us to receive them. & set the negroes free & use the negroes & indians against our foes.

¶ dont let Texas go out. Our Mother & the daughter of the land, will laugh us in the teeth.-- and if these things are not so-- God never spoke with by any prophet since the world began.-- I have been [?]

What I said in relation to the annexation of texas is with some unpopular the people are opposed to it, I will take this objection away. the opposition is because it is filled up with Slavery, now I wish to turn the argument it is the vary reason why it ought to be received in order to watch over them of the greatest two evils3 we should reject the greatest The president of Texas sayes if you do not receive us in the United States we will go to the British this would certainly be bad policy for this Nation the British are now throughout that whole Country trying to bribe all they can. How much better it is to be to a little expens than to have the indians & British upon us & destroy us all, we should grasp all the territory we can and I know, much that I do not tell I have had bribes offerd me, but I have rejected them. The government will not receive any thing from me they are self sufficient, but they must go to Hell & work out their own salvation with fear & trembling.

Liberate Slaves to Mexico

¶ south held the balance of power &c---by annexing Texas.--I can do away this evil liberate 2 or 3 states & if that was not sufficient, call in Canada--

¶ Send the negroes to Texas. from Texas to Mexico where all colors are alike.---Notice was given for the relief Society to meet saturday 2 p.m. to adopt "the voice of Innocence from Nauvoo."

¶ Joseph stated the Mormon Zion has endured all animus

¶ Singing & prayer by B. Young.

as soon as texas was annexed I would liberate two or three states & pay them for their salves [slaves] & let them go to Mexico whare they are mixed blacks &c I would also receive Canida & stand by them & many other useful remarks He made.


2. During the redress of grievance mission to Washington in 1839, then President of the U. S. Martin Van Buren made this statement to Joseph Smith and the Mormon delegation.

3. The Mormons had been accused of being abolitionists during their Missouri troubles. Here Joseph Smith makes clear that his personal views are anti-slavery on principle. The Mormons as a whole held mixed views on the subject however.

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