From the St. Louis Republican
Jo SMITH.—DISSENSION AMONG THE MORMONS AT NAUVOO.—We have good reasons for placing reliance in the details of a letter, the contents of which are hereafter stated, giving an account of an emeute at the chief city of the Mormons, Nauvoo. The occurrences took place on the 26th. On that day—says the writer—a fracas of an alarming and important character occurred in Nauvoo, threatening with impending distraction the Mormon government and even the life of the prophet himself. Jo Smith, prophet and Mayor elect, having ordered his police to arrest a man named Spencer, for an assault on his brother in his own house—the residence of his mother also—the accused refused to become a prisoner, alleging it was illegal to arrest without a writ from the Mayor.
All the parties, however, collected round the Masonic Half, or Courthouse. Jo Smith, Mayor, being present, ordered the police and the people to take Spencer into custody. The constable having placed hands on him, Spencer put himself in a fighting position, and was assisted by Dr. Foster and his brother younger Foster, and also James Higby—who said they would not submit to the authority of the prophet. Jo Smith put hands, too, to assist in taking him, when the younger Foster took out a pistol, presented it, and said he would shoot the prophet. At this moment I came up, and saw the struggle. The prophet got hold of the pistol, and held firmly round the breech until, by the assistance of Rockwell, the prophet succeeded in getting the pistol from Foster. The Dr. and Lasner at this time took up stands, and vociferated they would kill the prophet—said he was a villain and an impostor, and that he knew it; that they would be doing a meritorious act to rid the world of such a villain, impostor and tyrant.
Higby said he would certainly shoot him—at any rate told him he remembered by-gone times—knew of blood being shed on the island opposite that he, the prophet, was the right man. The prophet got his right hand cut and his nervous system shaken. Finally the authorities succeeded in bringing up the three traversers before the court. It would be too long to write all the trial. Let the following suffice : The traverses manifested no disposition to withdraw their threats—on the contrary, demanded their pistol from the Mayor, who gave it to them—said he was always lenient, and would tyrannize over no man. Foster took the pistol, and took another from his breast, examined to see all was properly loaded, and betrayed much wickedness and desperation.
The court having heard the evidence, the prophet made many observations about his clemency—adverted to the threats, and denied ever having been privy to any murders on the island—said he would maintain his authority and the law, should it cost life, and then fined the traversers—Spencer, for assaulting his brother, a cripple, in $100 ; and Spencer, Dr. Foster and his brother, young Foster, each $100, for resisting the city authorities. Appeals were taken in all the suits. The case is, at present, undergoing a second trial before a squire in the upper part of the city, where the mother, a brother of Spencer, and his two daughters, are called on to give evidence. The verdict is not returned.
Jo Smith has a number of enemies, and his influence is beginning to decline, but I think his doctrine is on the increase.
There are about fifty masons and stone cutters engaged about the temple. It will be the most extraordinary building on the American continent. We have a regular theatre got up by the Mormons themselves. Last night the play of Pizarro went off in good style to a large audience, of which about one hundred were ladies. I was astonished to see such an array of beauty in the new Jerusalem.
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