SKETCHES OF THE MORMON ERA
In Hancock County— No. 4.
The last No. of these Sketches gave an ac-count of the organization of the Anti-Mormon party in 1841, and the success of its candi-dates in the election of that year.
That was its first and final triumph, as a organized party. The next year, (1842) the party held another convention, and as before, nominated a full set of candidates, from both political parties. This year was the general election for State officers also. The Mormons voted the Democratic ticket throughout, elect-ing all their candidates by overwhelming ma-jorities. The following is the official vote,— those marked with a star, [*] being the Anti- Mormon nominees :
Governor, Thos. Ford 1748, Jos. Duncan 711.
Lt Gov. John Moore 1742, W H Henderson 687.
Senator, J C Davis 1530, * W H Roosevelt 620.
Reps. T H Owen 1608, * Wesley Williams 502.
Wm Smith 1459, * Edson Whitney 546.
Sheriff, W H Backenstos 1498, * S H Tyler 789.
Sc Com. FJBartlett 1596, * WDAbernethy 805.
Co Com. J T Barnett 1540, * Jno J Brent 567.
Coroner, GW Stigall 1595, * J AMcCants 581.
A large number of the Democrats refused to support the convention candidates, So also a portion of the Whig party adhered to their own organization and supported a full set of candidates, giving them an average of some-thing near 200 votes.
William Smith, elected to the Legislature at this election, was a younger brother of the Prophet; a rattle-brained man of no talent, and no education, and with very little charac-ter, even among his own people.
The Anti-Mormon organization was kept up until the final expulsion in 1846-7, with much the same result at the polls.
The W. H. Backenstos, elected Sheriff, was one of two brothers who held divers offices in the county during the Mormon era, always by Mormon votes—and who were conspicuous for their violence, and hatred of the anti- Mormon movement.
The election in 1843 resulted much the same as that of the previous year, excepting that the Mormons selected their candidates partly from each of the political parties. For Congress the vote stood:
Joseph P. Hoge, democrat, 2088
Cyrus Walker, whig, 733
showing about the proportion between the Mormon and anti-Mormon parties. At the election of 1843, James Adams, a convert to Mormonism, and a citizen of San-gamon county, and at the same time holding the office of Probate Judge in that county,— was placed on the Mormon ticket, and elected to the same office in this county.
In 1844, Almon W. Babbitt (Mormon) and Jacob B. Backenstos were elected Representa-tives by the following vote:
O. C. Skinner, democrat, 1080
Joel Catlin, whig, 886
For Congress, Hoge received 2251 votes, and Martin P. Sweet 702; the Polk electors 2399 and the Clay electors 747.
In 1845, County Commissioner, School Commissioner and Treasurer, only were to be elected. No serious opposition was made to the ticket placed in the field by the Mormon interest, and but few of the old citizens atten-ded the polls. The average vote was about 2300 to less than 100 against.
About two weeks after the general election in 1845, a special election was held to fill the vacancy in the office of Sheriff occasioned by the death of Gen. Minor R. Deming,— when the before-named J. B. Backenstos was elected over John Scott, (Anti-Mormon Democrat) by a vote of 2334 to 750.
In our next issue, we shall recall the stirring events of the summer of 1843— among the most exciting of the whole Mormon period.
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