And now came again Governor Boggs, of Missouri. He, it seems, had not had enough, so he asked Governor Carlin to deliver to him Joseph and the other brethren who had escaped from Missouri. Governor Carlin of Illinois, made out the papers for the brethren’s arrest, but the officer could not find them when he went to Nauvoo. He therefore returned without his prisoners, and nothing more was done in the matter until nearly a year later, when Joseph was visiting the governor at Quincy. Governor Carlin treated Joseph kindly, but as soon as the Prophet had left, some of the officers were sent after him. They overtook Joseph and arrested him on the old charge from Missouri. However, they went on to Nauvoo, where the sheriff, being sick, was taken good care of by his prisoner. As it was Joseph’s right by law to be tried in Illinois, he was permitted to have a hearing before Judge Stephen A. Douglas, in Monmouth, Illinois. There was great excitement at the trial, some of his enemies trying to excite a mob against him. At the close of the hearing Joseph was set free by the judge.
Dr. J.C. Bennett was the mayor of Nauvoo, and held other high positions; but he proved to be a very wicked man. At one time, when the Legion was having a sham fight, Bennett tried to get Joseph into a position that he might be shot without anyone knowing who did it. This did not succeed. Then he began to commit sin, and say that Joseph upheld him in it. Bennett was of course cut off from the Church, after which he wrote many false things against Joseph and the Saints and was the means of bringing much persecution on them.
In May, 1842, Ex-Governor Boggs of Missouri was shot at and wounded by some person in Independence. Although at this time they were hundreds of miles from Independence, Joseph Smith and O.P. Rockwell were charged with this crime, and again papers were issued for their arrest. They were tried in Nauvoo and acquitted. As the Missourians were trying many schemes to take Joseph to Missouri and there kill him, he went in hiding for a time. Every effort was made to take Joseph, and rewards were offered for his capture. Elder Rockwell was kidnapped and taken to Missouri, where he was ill-treated, but at last escaped.
Thomas Ford now became governor of Illinois and to him Joseph went. The governor prevailed upon Joseph to stand another trial, which was held at Springfield, Illinois. Joseph was again proved innocent and released.
But the fiends from Missouri would not give up. Once again he was taken while away from Nauvoo, by two officers, who abused him shamefully. I cannot tell you all about his exciting adventures—that you must read in a larger history—but at last he arrived safe again in Nauvoo.
Persecution continued. Mobs now gathered around Nauvoo. Threats were made that mobs would come from Missouri, and join with those of Illinois, against the “Mormons.” There was great unrest. When Joseph was spoken to about the danger he was in, he said he was not exposed to as much danger from outside enemies as from traitors within. “We have a Judas in our midst,” he said.