The Mormons have doubtless suffered gross wrong at times ; but they have also themselves been very gross wrong-doers. The history of the troubles that they have occasioned is full of instruction and warn-ing. The power of religious imposture—the perver-sion and blinding of the moral sense by fanaticism—the danger of putting into office men who are so strongly partisan as to be influenced in the discharge of official duty by a regard for the votes of law-break-ers—the necessity of an energetic and equal adminis-tration of law, so as to make it a reliable protection to life and property and a terror to all evil-doers alike—are subjects that are urged most impressively upon the public attention by the events alluded to. We collect here a few facts by way of illustration.
In the first place we ask attention to the following extracts of a letter from the seat of war, published in the New York Observer. We have the more confi-dence in the writer's statements, because they are so fully confirmed from other sources. Writing from Hancock Co., Ill., Sept. 29, he says:—
"The present rupture began in a precinct called Greenplain, in the south part of the county. It was a beautiful district, with an enterprising and flourishing population of about 80 or 90 men. About the set-tlement was an extent of unoccupied land. Upon this the Mormons came and settled, most of them with the rights of squatters. Year after year they poured in till they were three times as numerous as the citizens. All other immigration has avoided Hancock as a district infected with the plague. We were a quiet people ; no bolts or locks secured our stables or our houses. But no sooner had the Mormons come, than cattle and horses and hogs began strangely to disap-pear, and every description of moveable property was unsafe. The value of real estate was greatly depre-ciated. Resort for redress was had to the law with little success for the amount taken at one time was generally small. But when the amount was larger, the arrangements for concealment were so complete that property was rarely recovered ; the whole settle-ment was found to be a mutual insurance company of thieves, and this band of a thousand souls was but a branch of the great association at Nauvoo.
"Once, in the life-time of Smith, they pushed their business so hard, that Joe sent them word to stop stealing, as the citizens began to be excited. The or-der was obeyed ; but after the death of Joe it recom-menced, and was carried on most unmercifully. But the stolen property was sometimes found. To meet this emergency, they had gathered in such numbers as to place the administration of the law in the hands of their chief men. Every week their numbers were in-creasing, and with their numbers their insolence.—They were in the habit of swearing for each other, like the members of other piratical associations. No men are so attached to "law and order" as the Mor-mons. Take an example, to show the meaning of law and order, as they understand it. A horse was stolen and traced to the Holy City by the owner, and found in the possesser of the thief. But he proved by a Mormon oath, before a Mormon magistrate, that he had bought the horse, and it was decided that the horse belonged to the thief. The owner was then ar-rested for an alleged infraction of the law in the at-tempt to recover his horse,—convicted,—robbed by the judge, of the horse he rode, and of his watch, to pay his fine. Such are the men who have invaded this unhappy county. But the thriving settlement of Greenplains had suffered perhaps worse than any oth-ers, having a heavy settlement in its vicinity on the South, and the general rendezvous, Nauvoo, on the North. Every night something was taken ; they had lost to the value of thousands. The Mormons had de-stroyed the value of their farms. They could sell for nothing. No decent immigrant would come among the Mormons. To seek protection from the law was worse than vain. It added injury to injury. Appli-cation had been made to the Governor, from whom they received an insulting reply, but no aid. Gov. Ford is a devoted party man, and the Mormons cast some thousands of votes, and those votes are always sold by the head of the church to the highest bidder. In this extremity, the citizens of Greenplains met—some sixty of them—to consult. The law in the hand of a society of freebooters was the instrument of heavy oppression, but no relief. To crown the whole, the Mormons fired upon the house where they had met to consult. This fixed their purpose. They would drive the Mormons from the vicinity. They gave no-tice to the Mormons that they must leave. They were allowed full time to remove all their moveable effects, and when the shanty was clear, the torch was applied."
"The only object of the burning was to put an end to the war which had been so long waged upon their property. There was no hope but in driving them out,—but they did not retaliate for the numerous loss-es they had sustained. They took no spoils, but they recovered some stolen goods."
"'But they should have waited in the hope of re-dress by legal means.' How long? Four or five years they had waited. They had every thing to fear from the law but nothing to hope. Our highest exec-utive and judicial officers have been bound by their log-rolling obligations with the Mormon chiefs, who dispose of all the Mormon votes, as Bishop Hughes does of the Romish vote of your city. Here is the true secret of our whole difficulty and the strength of the Mormons. I grieve to say it ; but without know-ing this fact you ca know nothing of our affairs."
"You will not give my name to the public, for it would seriously expose the life of any man in this county to have it known that he was the author of the above. Irvine Hodges, brother of the two Mor-mon murderers lately executed in Iowa, having had the imprudence to threaten some disclosures respecting the twelve at Nauvoo, was at once assassinated. Men here are very careful what they write. The Mormon spies and Danites are every where."
After these burnings, as has been already stated, an agreement was entered into with the Mormons, accord-ing to which they were to leave the country in the Spring. In the meantime, however, they seem bent on doing all the destruction and mischief in their pow-er. The following extracts are from different sources :—
More Mormon Difficulties. A gentleman from the Upper Mississippi informs us, that a few days ago the Sheriff of Rock Island came to Nauvoo with a writ for one of the Reddings, charged to have been con-cerned in the murder of Col. Davenport. After Red-ding had been arrested and was about going on board a boat for Rock Island, a body of Mormons collected round the Sheriff for the purpose of rescuing the pris-oner, and in the attempt Redding received a shot in the leg, and the Sheriff a wound from a pistol shot. The prisoner escaped.—St. Louis Republican.
ROCK ISLAND, Ill., Oct. 29, 1845.
There has been a special term of the Rock Island County Circuit Court in session here this week for the purpose of trying men concerned in the murder of Col. Davenport on the 4th of July last. William H. Red-in, and his father, George Grant Redin, were put on trial on Tuesday last as accessories in the murder, but the jury after being out three days were unable to agree. They stood eleven to one for conviction. Redin was a Mormon, and kept what is called a “sta-tion house,” [i. e. a harbor for robbers, thieves, cut-throats and murderers,] on "Devil's Creek," nearly opposite Nauvoo, on the Iowa side of the Mis-sissippi. It was at his infernal den on Devil Creek that the murder was planned—from there they started out on the enterprise, and there returned and divided the spoils.
John Baxter, another of the murderers, was put upon trial, and the Jury last night, after an absence of half an hour, brought in a verdict of Guilty. That makes four who have been convicted. There are three more in jail awaiting their trials at the next term of the Court.
When the whole history of this murder and rob-bery shall be written, and its connection with the Mormon Church developed, the world will be aston-ished.—N. Y. Tribune.
ST. LOUIS, Nov. 1.
Reding was rescued, and is now secured in Nauvoo; the officers were stoned, and otherwise injured. We now learn from the Quincy Whig, and other sources, that the Mormons in Nauvoo have actually defied the power of the state, and declared that no more arrests shall be made in Nauvoo. On Saturday last, the Whig says :
Col, Warren, Judge Purple and Mr. Brayman, at-torney for the state, visited Nauvoo. Near the envi-rons of the city they saw assembled a force of about 200 armed Mormons ; this being contrary to the or-der of Gen. Hardin, in relation to armed men assem-bling in the county, Col. Warren felt it his duty as an officer to inquire into the matter. For that pur-pose he invited Brigham Young and others of the leading authorities to a conference. He informed them that, the appearance of armed men on the prairie was contrary to orders, and wanted to know what it meant. To this, Young gave no satisfactory reply ; he said, however, that it was their intention to sub-mit to no more arrests, and ridiculed the court, the Judge, the attorney of the state, who were present, and in substance, defied the power of the state.
After him, Elder Taylor, another of the twelve, got up and abused the Governor, State officers, &c. Brigham Young again got up, and said he was not very good at an apology—but they must not mind what Elder Taylor said—that he was always making trouble, &c.—offiered to treat—and called in two gallons of wine. But Col. Warren refused to drink with them ; he got up and told them in a plain talk what he thought of their conduct, and that as an of-ficer, he should do his duty, and carry out the law.
While this was going on, a deputy of the U. S. marshal arrived, with a detachment of the Quincy Rifles; with a writ for Brigham Young, charged with counterfeiting the coin of the United States. This becoming known in the city, the excitement was tremendous—the Mormons assembled in large crowds—and a disposition was manifested by them to resist all attempts to arrest any person in Nauvoo. After a consultation with the officer, by Judge Pur-ple and others, it was deemed advisable to postpone the execution of the writ at the time, for the personal safety of all concerned.
Col. W., with the force under his command, was to march into Nauvoo on Tuesday last, for the pur-pose of executing the writs against Reding, Brigham, Young and others, but we are not advised of the re-sult of this attempt to enforce the law. It is saidt hat Col. W. is in possession of certain information that a bogus manufactory is now, and was, before the death of the Smiths, in operation at Nauvoo; and the twelve, or some of them, are interested in it.
The Circuit Court of Hancock county adjourned on Monday last. The trial of Backenstos, for the murder of Worrell, did not take place. Before the time of trial; Backenstos applied for a change of ven-ue, alleging that the Judge, Purple, was prejudiced against him. The application was granted, and the case removed to Peoria County.—Republican.
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