THE JO. SMITH MORMONS.
Their Proposed Return to Nauvoo.
[Correspondence of the Chicago Tribune.]
It is currently reported in Nauvoo that Jo. Smith, son of the founder of the Mor-mon Church, will move his printing mate-rial from Plano, Ill., to Nauvoo, within a short time, and there commence the publi-cation of a paper devoted to the interests of the dissenting faction of the Mormon Church, which refuses to recognize Brig-ham Young's authority, and follows the s leadership of the son of the Prophet. This body of dissenters, scattered around Plano, Ill., and vicinity, has grown, it is said, to be quite respectable in num-bers, as well as respectable in the good opinion of their neighbors, who give them the reputation of being a peace-able and orderly sect, industrious, and pos-sessing the elements of good citizenship. In this county there is also known to be many who sympathize with the Mormons of Jo. Smith's faction, Mormons who quiet-ly abandoned the faith and stayed on their farms when the great body of the faithful crossed the Mississippi on their march across the plains to the Salt Lake Valley. If Jo. Smith the later is successful in estab-lishing himself in Nauvoo, all of these, and many others, will flock to his stand-ard; and Nauvoo, once a city of nearly 40,000 inhabitants, will regain her former glory. It is also said that Smith will re-build the grand temple, which was burned by anti-Mormon hate shortly after the exodus to the West.
If I am informed aright, Jo. Smith's fac-tion do not favor the doctrine of polygamy, and very materially differ from the pre-cepts taught by Brigham Young and his apostles. Their ancient creed is practically abandoned, and Jo. Smith is instituting a reform or revolt from the tyranny of Young's despotism, and is endeavoring to weaken Young's power and hold on the Mormon people, and by this means amel-iorate the condition of men and women suffering from the dire effects of the doc-trine and practice of polygamy. He also is looked up to by his followers as the worthy successor of his father, and the man whom they can have as their leader and counselor. They have endured hard-ships and trials so long together, that it seems hard for them to separate and find homes apart—among the Gentile strangers. And it now seems that they have cast their weary eyes back to Nauvoo, their former home, and the Mecca where they will as-semble and rest in peace once more.
Public opinion in Nauvoo would wel-come them gladly. Jo. Smith is well known in that city, and greatly respected as an upright man. The citizens regard the return of Smith and his followers as no detriment if polygamy is abandoned, and the mass of the faction have the good qualities of their leader. One class of cit-izens would reap a harvest from the sale of lands and city lots, and of course they extend open arms. But it is safe to say a large number of the citizens would wel-come them from other than mercenary motives.
How the citizens of the county would welcome Jo. Smith and his followers back, I am unable to state. But it is well known that the later class are a much better order of people than those under the old regime. There are many who remember the Mor-mons with bitterness, and would dislike to have them return, some in this city where the prophet met with his violent death; but probably those do not represent the general sentiment. The feeling seems to be of a passive nature, and would seem to indicate that the people of the county in general do not care, and do not propose to trouble themselves about whether Jo. Smith and his followers return or not.
the old home of Jo. Smith and the Mor-mons, is now a sluggish town of 1,600 in-habitants. If the proposed return of the followers of Smith takes place, it will be-come a city of some importance, no doubt, as Smith's followers embrace a large class of people, representing all trades and oc-cupations. What magnitude the city may attain under such auspices can not yet be foreshadowed. But Nauvoo is really a beautiful location. Situated on a high hill, with a gradual slope backward, and commanding a large and extended view, it certainly possesses attractions which few, if any, other cities on the Mississippi can boast. Some years ago, when the removal of the National Capital was agitated, a correspondent of a Western journal said that, if the Capital was removed to the Mississippi Valley, Nauvoo would lead all competitors, St. Louis not excepted—pos-sessing greater natural attractions than any city on the great river.
Whether she will ever be the National Capital or not, Nauvoo seems destined to yet become a large city. O. R.
Click tabs to swap between content that is broken into logical sections.