[From the Boston Transcript.]
NAUVOO. Its location ; how the Mormons came by it, the dimensions of the city ; houses ; all residents are not of the Church ; Temple ; sculptured pilasters ; interior finish : brazen laver erected by voluntary labor ; the city will never be abandoned by its build-ers
Nauvoo—the city of the latter-day Saints—the place where Mormonism is concentrated, is beautifully loca-ted on the East side of the Mississippi river below the first rapids, and therefore accessible to the largest class of steamboats on the "Father of Waters." Its name is derived from two Hebrew words, somewhat distorted, whtch mean "beautiful rest."
When the Mormons were driven from Missouri, after passing through a series of hardships of a very trying character, the present site of Nauvoo was selected by Sidney Rigdon, for a town. Several land claims were purchased of individuals, and by uniting the different parcels, constituted a Mormon territory. The charter-ed limits include a plat four miles lo ng, by three in breadth—all laid out into squares and streets, at right angles, and on a scale of convenienee that is honorable to the taste of those who projected the plan. Those who have examined Nauvoo with any degree of care, acknowledge that it possesses the elements of the most elegant city o the West. When first taken possession of by the new owners, there were neither inhabitants n or dwellings ; yet in the short period of three years, there were one thou-sand houses; and now the population is not far from sixteen thousand—rapidly increasing too, notwith-standing the universal opinion of their enemies, that the spell is broken and the Mormon community will soon be dissolved In a word, Nauvoo is the larg st city in the State of Illinois—and regarded in all re-spects, one of the greatest curiosities of that part of the Continent. Nauvoo is divided into four wards, and governed by a Mayor, eight Aldermen, and six-teen Common Councilmen—constituting the city gov-ernment. Property is not held in common, as frequently repre-sented ; many persons holding real estate in the city, are not Mormons, yet their rights and interests are protected with as much care as they would be in Bos-ton or New York There is not a square in the whole city that has not a building upon it. The squares being about an acre large, the houses have the ap-pearance of being spread over a prodigious extent of surf-ce—all portions, therefore not occupied by build-ings, are cultivated. As the population increases, the garden will be fewer in number and smaller in their dimensions.
All the Mormons do not reside in the city ; if they did, their number would increase the astonishment which already prevails They extend both up and down the river for nearly thiity miles as farmers.—Quire a town is also growing up on the Missouri side, opposite Nauvoo The ground plot of Nauvo is shap-ed somewhat like an oxbow. The river embraces two sides of it—while the back ground rises magnificently about a mile from the Mississippi, giving the observer a vast field of vision over the most lovely rural scenery imag-inable.
At the summit, overlooking the whole landscape for nearly twenty-five miles in all directions, stands the Mormon temple the largest structure in any of the Western Stales. When completed it is assumed that the entire cost will net vary much from four hundred thousand dollars, Nothing ca be more original in ar-chitecture—each of its huge pilasters rests upon a block of stone, bearing in relief of its face, the profile of a new moon, represented with a nose, eye and mouth, as sometimes seen in almanacs On the top, not far from fifty feet high, is an ideal representation of the rising sun, which is a monstrous prominent stone the face and features of which are colossal and singular-ly expressive. Still higher, are two enormously large hands graspin two trumpets, crossed These all stand out on the stone boldly. Their finish is admirable and as complete as any of the best specimens of chis-eling on the Grard College, at Philadelphia.
The interior is to be one vast apartment, about 128 feet by 80, simply subdivided by three great veils, or rich crimson drapery, suspended from the ceiling, over head. Neither pews, stools, cushions or chains are to encumber the holy edifies In the basement is the font for baptism—which, when completed according to the design, will be a pretty exact imitation of the brazen laver in Solomon's temple. The tank is per-haps eight feet square, resting on the backs of twelve carved oxen. They are of noble dimensions, with spreading horns, represented to be standing in wa-ter half way up to their knees. The execution of the twelve oxen evinces a degree of ingenuity, skill and perseverance that would redound to the reputation of an artist in any community. When they are final-ly gilded, as intended, and the fever is made re resem-ble cast brass, together with the finishing up of the place in which this unique apparatus of the church is lodged—as a whole, that part of the temple will be one of the most striking artificial curiosities in this country.
When the officiating riests in their long robes of office lend on a solemn pro ession of worshippers through the sombre avenues of the basement story, chanting as the go, the effect must be exceedingly imposing to those who may deplore the infatuation of a whole city of Mormon devotees. Although estimated to cost so large a sum, the walls of the temple are gradually rising from day to day by the concurrent, unceasing labor of voluntary laborers. Every brother gives one day in ten to the undertaking. Thus there are always as many hands employed as can be conveniently on the work at the same time.—The architect and different master-workmen are con-stantly at hand to direct the operations. Each day, therefore, ushers in a new set of operatives.
Some fine brick buildings are already raised on the different streets, and stores are continually going up. Even were the Mormons to abandon the city, as it is asserted that they will, somebody will own the proper-ty—and a city it is, and a city it will continue to be, of importance, unconnected with the false religious te-nets of its inhabitants. But the Mormons will never leave Nauvoo,—no, never. Its associations are hal-lowed in their excited imaginations. They would re-linquish life as soon as they would voluntarily, en masse, leave—their glorious habitation, which to them is the gate of heaven s.
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