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SANGAMO JOURNAL (newspaper, Springfield, Illinois) for August 22, 1844 [XIV:2; Whole No. 678].

Folio, 25 X 19 inches. [4] pages. Medium wear & creasing, with edge tears and occasional light stains. Some wear to the Mormon article, with slight loss.

**SOLD**   $ 600


Whig paper with extensive anti-Loco Foco editorial material on the second page and elsewhere. Abraham Lincoln is listed in the political ticket on page two as a senatorial elector; a small ad among many similar "Professional Cards" in the first column of the back page appears for "Logan & Lincoln, Attorneys and Counsellors [sic] at Law, Springfield—Office over the post office—third story."


SCARCE. I have never had any issue of this newspaper, nor do I expect to own one again. This is the paper which ran the notorious series of articles by John C. Bennett in 1842, later edited and published as The History of the Saints ;  Or, an Exposé of Joe Smith and Mormonism (Boston, etc., 1842). The issue now available and offered here does not so much attack the Mormons as those who would appease them for political reasons. It contains a lengthy editorial based upon an anonymous letter published in the Quincy Whig (page two, column 3). "THE MORMONS AND GOV. FORD," fills eighteen column inches with tiny type. The first half of this article is original anti-Mormon editorial material of the Sangamo Journal. It charges that Governor Thomas Ford has courted both the Mormon and non-Mormon vote by delaying the arrest of those suspected in the murders of the Smiths until after the election . . .



It is intimated that Gov. Ford promised the Mormons to arrest those engaged in killing Joseph and Hyrum Smith, soon after the election. But Gov. Ford having secured the Mormon vote, flushed with success, has gone off to attend a party Convention at Nashville.

We have good reasons for believing that Gov. Ford is in possession of all the facts in relation to the murder of the Smiths. he knows the names of the individuals concerned to a great extent, and especially does he know the name of the leader. As that leader was a captain in the loco foco party, of course he was not to be arrested before the election. An immediate arrest would have been a premature execution of his duty; it might have diverted votes from his party candidates;—whereas the scheme in operation was well designed to secure the votes of the anti-mormons, as well as those of the mormons.


Ford has sent a lengthy communication to W. W. Phelps in Nauvoo, detailing his position relative to the shooting of the Smiths. The editors of the Sangamo Journal here join the Quincy Whig in demanding that Phelps produce the letter for public scrutiny, since it is "a public document." Clearly, not all the citizens of Illinois desired to suppress the conviction of those who shot Joseph and Hyrum, particularly if there was political capital to exploit . . .

We understand that the documents in the Governor's hands state these circumstances:—that when it was learned at Warsaw that Joe and Hyrum Smith were in prison at Carthage, there was a draft among the anti-mormon troops at Warsaw of every tenth man; that ———— was appointed Captain; that they disguised themselves and proceeded to the neighborhood of Carthage; that an arrangement was made by which they should ostensibly attack the guard at the jail, fire over their heads, seize them, and then execute their purpose of killing the Smiths. The plan was fully carried out. The Governor at this time, however, is apparently too much engaged in politics to give attention to this matter, and it will probably not be disturbed again until the near approach of another election.

We again invite Mr. Phelps to publish the communication of Gov. Ford, unless the communication is of such a character as to reflect discredit on all the parties concerned.


The material quoted above constitutes only half of this anti-Ford editorial. The original material is then followed by the letter itself, as published (against the anonymous writer's wishes) in the Quincy Whig, from which a large portion is copied below. It is dated Burlington, Iowa, August 4, 1844 . . .

I have for the last few days been at Nauvoo, watching the movement of things . . . I was yesterday told by Mr. Babbitt, the Mormon candidate for the Legislature, that Ford had recently sent a private communication to the Mormons, covering three sheets, and directed to W. W. Phelps, who is one of the leaders at Nauvoo and a great loco foco. That communication contains a detailed explanation of his conduct in the late trouble, and he seeks in it to do away with the prejudices which the Mormons have against him. He tells them he thinks it better not to move in arresting those who murdered Joe and Hyrum Smith till after the election, as he should have to call out the militia to do it, AND that THEY WOULD ALL TURN MOB! . . . The other matters which this dignified Governor of the Great State of Illinois alludes to in his communicotion [sic] can be well imagined.

It has been the wish of three fourths of the Mormons not to vote at all this year, but that would not answer the purposes of Hoge and the unprincipled band at Springfield, for Hoge's election depends entirely upon the Mormon vote. They held a meeting at Nauvoo on Friday, to determine whether they would run a ticket or vote at all or not, and I was told the four-fifths of all who went to the meeting were opposed to doing any thing. But who should appear on the spot to pull the wire, but one of Ford's emissaries from Springfield, E. E. Taylor, commonly called Dick Taylor. Dick "fugles" with some of the leaders—gets a committee appointed, who report to the meeting a full church ticket—with Hoge at the head of it, and which, after much confusion, is adopted, and will be voted for to-morrow. . . .


one of three different amusing animal-theme
political devices which appear on the editorial page


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