THE MORMON CITY.
NAUVOO—Its location ; bow the Mormons came by it; the dimensions of the city; houses; all residents are not of the Church ; temple ; sculptured pilasters; interior finished brazen laver ; erected by voluntary labor; the city will never be abandoned by its buiders.
Nauvoo—the city of the latter day saints—the place where Mormonism is concentrated, is beau-tifully located on the East side of the Mississippi river, follow the first rapids, and therefore accessi-ble to the largest class of steamboats on the "Father of Waters." Its name is derived from two He-brew words, somewhat distorted, which mean "beautiful rest.
When the Mormons were driven from Mis-souri, after passing through a series of hardships of a very trying character, the present site of Nau-voo was selected by Sidney Rigdon, for a town. Several land claims were purchased of individu-als, and by uniting the different parcels, constitu-ted a Mormon territory. The chartered limits I included a plat four miles long, by three in breadth—all laid out into squares and streets, at right angles, and on a scale of convenience that is hon-orable to the taste of those who projected the plan. Those who have examined Nauvoo with any de-gree of care acknowledge that it possesses the ele-ments of the most elegant city of the West.
When first taken possession of by the new own-ers, there were neither inhabitants nor dwellings; yet in the short period of three years, these were one : thousand houses; and now the population is not far from sixteen thousand—rapidly increasing too, notwithstanding 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 largest city in the state of Illinois—and regarded in all respects, 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 sixteen Common Council men—constituting the city government.
Property is not held in common, as frequently represented; many persons holding real estate in the city are not Mormons, let their rights and interests are protected with as much care as they would be in Boston or New York. There is not a square in the whole city that has not a building upon it. The squares being about a acre large, the houses have the appearance of being spread over a prodigious extent of surface—all portions, therefore, not occupied in buildings, are cultivated. As the population increases, the gardens 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 aston-ishment which already prevails. They extend both up and down the river for nearly thirty miles as farmers, Quite a town is also growing up on the Missouri side, opposite Nauvoo. The ground plot of Nauvoo is shaped some-what like an ox bow. The river embraces : two sites of it; while the back ground rises mag-nificently about a mile from the Mississippi, giv-ing the observer a vast field of vision over the most lovely rural scenery imaginable.
At the summit overrlooking the whole land- scape for nearly twenty-five miles in all directions, stands the Mormon temlpe, the largest structure in any of the Western states. When Completed it is assumed that the entire cost will not vary much from four hundred thousand dollars. Noth-ing can be more original in architecture—each of its huge pilasters rests upon a block of stone, bearing in relief on its face the profile of a new moon, represented with a nose, 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 face, the features of which are colossal and singularly expressive. Still higher are two enor-mously large hands grasping two trumpets, cros-sed. These all stand out on the stone boldly.
Their finish is admirable and as complete as any of the the best specimens of chiseling on the Girard 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 overhead. Neither pews, stools, cushions or chairs are to encumber the holy edifice. In the basement is the font of baptism—which, when completed according to the design, will be a pret-ty exact imitation of the brazen laver in Solo-mon's temple.
The tank is perhaps eight feet square, resting: on the backs of twelve carved oxen. They are of noble dimensions, with large spreading horns, represented to be standing in water halfway up to their knees. The execution of the twelve ox-en evinces a degree of ingenuity, skill and perse-verance that would redound to the reputation of an artist in any community. When they are finally gilded, as intended, and the laver is made to resemble cast brass, together with the finish-ing up of the place in which this unique appara-tus of the church is lodged—as a whole, that part of the temple will be one of the most strik-ing artificial curiosities in this country.
When the officiating priests in their long robes of office lead on a solemn procession of worshippers through the sombre avenues of the basement story, chanting as they go, the effect must be exceedingly imposing to those who may deplore the infatuation of a whole city of Mor-mon 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 vol-untary 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 constantly at hand to direct the operations. Each day, there-fore, ushers in a new set of operatives.
Some fine brick buldings are already raised on the different streets, and stores are continu-ally going up. Even were the Mormons to aban-don the city, as it is asserted that they will, some-body will own the property—and a city it is, and a city it will continue to be, of importance, un-connected with the false religious tenets of its in-habitants. But the Mormons will never leave Nauvoo. Its associations are hallowed in their excited imaginations, they would rolenquish life as soon as they would voluntarily, en masse, leave their glorious habitation, which to them is the gate of heaven.—Boston Transcript.
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