Sunday, January 29, 2017

On the Trail North to Alberta

On the trek north to Lee’s Creek, Alberta (Cardston), how would the pioneers keep themselves clean when there was a lack of water?
a.                  Wash in milk
b.                  Wash in tomato juice
c.                   Go without baths and tolerate one another
d.                  Wash in sand
Yesterday’s answer:
D.   Plant land mines
Major Warren and other reliable state militia officers had been recently recruited to fight in the Mexican War—so when word of these events reached Springfield, Governor Ford dispatched Major James R. Parker of the 32nd Regiment of the Illinois State Militia with a token force of ten militiamen from nearby Fulton County to Carthage with the full authority of the state “to keep the peace.” Parker, a Democrat, was ill received. John Carlin, special constable of Hancock County and a leading Whig, with now more than one thousand armed men at his disposal, flatly rejected Parker’s authority. When attempts to ensure peace were roundly rebuffed, Parker, seeing he was vastly outnumbered, backed off. Colonel Thomas S. Brockman, a Campbellite preacher, now took command of the growing Carthage militia.
   Increasingly fearful for Nauvoo’s safety, yet unwilling to call out more units of the state militia to prevent a county war, Governor Ford tried diplomacy one more time by asking two leading citizens of nearby Quincy, Illinois, for assistance. Quincy, be it remembered, had ever treated the Mormons with fairness, humanitarianism, and compassion. Back in 1839, as the Mormons were hounded out of Missouri, it was the citizens of Quincy who, like Good Samaritans, had taken the Mormons into their homes, befriended them, and offered them protection. Unlike Warsaw and other anti-Mormon river towns, Quincy had continued in its tradition of fairness and open-mindedness toward the Latter-day Saints. Hence it should come as no surprise that Governor Ford turned to Quincy at this impasse.
   He first appointed Major Benjamin Clifford of Quincy (who also owned land and a store in Nauvoo) to replace the discredited Parker as head of the state forces in the city. Second, he commissioned the highly respected John M. Wood, longtime mayor of Quincy, to do all in his power to negotiate a truce. Responding to the governor’s request, Wood hurried to Nauvoo, reaching the city on September 10. Wood reached Nauvoo not a minute too soon:  on that same day, Brockman was marching his Carthaginians toward the Mormon capital. Wood immediately sent orders to the approaching force to disband, but his pleas fell on deaf ears.
   With Brockman’s forces now on the march, the Nauvoo Temple bell sounded the alarm. That evening, Brockman set up camp at Hunter’s Farm, just east of the city. Throughout the night some 250 men and boys in Nauvoo hastily erected breastworks, planted land mines on incoming roads, fitted out four makeshift cannons built from old, discarded steamboat chimney shafts, and otherwise prepared to give battle. Meanwhile, many of the women and children clustered together in homes and shelters near the temple while others, including Emma Smith, the Prophets’ widow, and her five children defied the quarantine and fled the city for Fulton, Illinois, to join relatives and such Mormon dissenters as William Marks. Lucy Mach Smith, mother of Joseph Smith, had already fled to Knoxville, Illinois.

Glenn Rawson and Dennis Lyman ed., The Mormon Wars (American Fork, Utah: Covenant Communication, 2014), 83-84.

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