From the details of the four days we willingly spare our readers, at least as far as regards our own columns. They have however filled large spaces in those of the daily press, and are by this time familiar to the world. But most earnestly would we hope that preachers and teachers would address their best faculties and warmest zeal to the inculcation of peaceable and orderly conduct, whilst on the other hand, when such broils unfortunately take place we would hope that magistracy and command will be exercised with promptness and firmness, to teach disorganization that the peace of the community shall not be trifled with by furious and ungovernable spirits.
Turn we now our faces westward and observe what is doing in Illinois, in and about the goodly city of Nauvoo. There we perceive a remarkable personage who has long led by the nose some fifteen or twenty thousand beings possessed of immortal souls, who has used their property, deceived their hearts abused their understandings, insulted their principles, and set himself up both as a civil and spiritual ruler among them. The prophet, (no less,) Joseph Smith, of that blind and devoted sect, the Mormons, began by exerting an influence over the minds of his enthusiastic disciples, and used that influence to establish one equally strong on their persons and property. There is no occasion to enter here upon the peculiar tenets of this devoted and misled people; suffice it that by dint of impudence and perseverance he had been able to bring his disciples to an implicit obedience and belief in his dicta; that he became the principal municipal magistrate in his district, got a council around him who had no will but his, and gradually, in the plenitude of his success threw off the mask of even such vague morals as his sect set up for their governance. He became arbitrary in his rule, dissolute in his conduct, and to an awful extent he debauched the morals and perverted the principles of the far greater portion of those who had placed themselves under his direction.
At length the enormity of his conduct became too glaring even to those who had hitherto bowed the knee before him. A considerable number who continued to hold the same religious and social opinions became disgusted with the outrageous insolence and latitudinarian conduct of the prophet and his immediate satellites. They seceded from his congregation, and not resting there, they proceeded to set up a journal called the "Nauvoo Expositor" in which they proclaimed him and his enormities to the world, and entered into their own justification for leaving their original teacher whilst they yet continued to hold fast to the principles he had pretended to expound. Smith in his magisterial capacity, as Mayor of Nauvoo, and his council of creatures, voted the "Expositor" a nuisance; he commanded the officials to destroy it, upon his authority, and professed himself ready to justify the command before the Governor of the State at any moment he might be required to do so. He quickly found, however, that the earth was sliding from beneath his feet, his numerous followers were falling away, and upon the intelligence that the State authorities were at hand he fled, together with his brother Hiram, and a few others who were too deeply implicated to remain.
Since the reverse of this man's fortune his career has been a short one, and it is to be feared that its termination has been by violence. He and his adherents probably made their temporary escape by crossing in a steamer to Montrose, but they were quickly overtaken and gave themselves up. They were lodged in the prison at Carthage and a guard was set over them ; but a body of about 200 men, disguised, overpowered the guard and obtruded themselves on the prisoners, being evidently determined to cut them off, root and branch. Smith, and his brother Hiram, were put to death, but the precise manner of the murder— for such it was—is not accurately known. Here is violence upon violence, and this last is perfectly indefensible. The offenders had surrendered themselves, and on being brought back had given up all the arms they had; they were completely secured from any attack by their own party, and ought to have been brought before a legal tribunal. These outrages are calculated to unsettle men's minds; the too frequent occurrence of such things tends to familiarise people with the idea of being their own avengers, and is deeply injurious to the frame-work of society. Such terminations are exceedingly reprehensible, and the public voice should be raised against them. Trust to the law, and respect it that you may trust to it, is a safe maxim.
The death of these men took place on Thursday the 27th ult.
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