22 July 1842 (Friday Morning). Meeting Ground

Times and Seasons 3 (1 August 1842): 869[1]

The meeting was called to order by the chairman [Orson Spencer], who stated the object of the meeting to be to obtain an expression of the public mind in reference to the reports gone abroad, calumniating the character of Pres. Joseph Smith. Gen. Wilson Law [2] then rose and presented the following resolution.

Resolved—That, having heard that John C. Bennett was circulating many base falsehoods respecting a number of the citizens of Nauvoo, and especially against our worthy and respected Mayor, Joseph Smith, we do hereby manifest to the world that so far as we know him to be a good, moral, virtuous, peaceable and patriotic man, and a firm supporter of law, justice and equal rights; that he at all times upholds and keeps inviolate the constitution of this State and of the United States.

A vote was then called and the resolution adopted by a large concourse of citizens, numbering somewhere about a thousand men. Two or three, voted in the negative.

Elder Orson Pratt then rose and spoke at some length in explanation of his negative vote. [3] Pres. Joseph Smith spoke in reply—

William Mendenhall Diary

Their was a meeting called this morning at the stand and in a three hours there was a large congregation of men the object of the meeting was not known til we met which was to pass certain resolutions respecting Joseph Smith's character and to send a petition to Governor Carlin for peace and Protection.

—22 July 1842


[1] History of the Church, 5:70-71, refers to this meeting but does not indicate that the Prophet addressed the congregation nor that Orson Pratt objected to the resolution. Not in Teachings. The History of the Church account comes from Times and Seasons 3(1 August 1842): 869.

[2] Wilson Law (1807-77) was baptized and ordained an elder in Nauvoo. He was brigadier-general in the Nauvoo Legion. Wilson was William Law's brother.

[3] See 15 July 1842, note 2.