Who began the quarrel? Was it the “Mormons?” Is it not notorious on the contrary that they were hunted like wild beasts from county to county before they made any resistance? Did they ever, as a body, refuse obedience to the laws, when called upon to do so, until driven to desperation by repeated threats and assaults by the mob? Did the state ever make one decent effort to defend them as fellow-citizens in their rights or to redress their wrongs? Let the conduct of its governors and attorneys and the fate of their final petitions answer! Have any who plundered and openly insulted the “Mormons” ever been brought to the punishment due to their crimes? Let boasting murderers of begging and helpless infancy answer! Has the state ever remunerated even those known to be innocent for the loss of either their property or their arms? Did either the pulpit or the press through the state raise a note of remonstrance or alarm? Let the clergymen who abetted and the editors who encouraged the mob answer!
As a sample of the press comments against the brutality of the Missourians I quote a paragraph from the Quincy Argus, March 16, 1839:
We have no language sufficiently strong for the expression of our indignation and shame at the recent transaction in a sister state, and that state, Missouri, a state of which we had long been proud, alike for her men and history, but now so fallen that we could wish her star stricken from the bright constellation of the Union. We say we know of no language sufficiently strong for the expression of our shame and abhorrence of her recent conduct. She has written her own character in letters of blood, and stained it by acts of merciless cruelty and brutality that the waters of ages cannot efface. It will be observed that an organized mob, aided by many of the civil and military officers of Missouri, with Gov. Boggs at their head, have been the prominent actors in this business, incited too, it appears, against the “Mormons” by political hatred, and by the additional motives of plunder and revenge. They have but too well put in execution their threats of extermination and expulsion, and fully wreaked their vengeance on a body of industrious and enterprising men, who had never wronged nor wished to wrong them, but on the contrary had ever comported themselves as good and honest citizens, living under the same laws, and having the same right with themselves to the sacred immunities of life, liberty and property.
Settling in and about the obscure village of Commerce, the “Mormon” refugees soon demonstrated anew the marvelous recuperative power with which they were endowed, and a city seemed to spring from the earth. Nauvoo—the City Beautiful—was the name given to this new abiding place. It was situated but a few miles from Quincy, in a bend of the majestic river, giving the town three water