Joseph writes a letter to Governor Thomas Ford explaining his view of the events surrounding the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor.

Jun 14, 1844
Joseph Smith, Jr.
Scribed Verbatim

"Letter to Thomas Ford, 14 June 1844," The Joseph Smith Papers website, accessed January 18, 2022

Willard Richards
Joseph Smith, Jr., Thomas Ford, Willard Richards
Thomas Ford

Nauvoo June 14, 1844.

His Excellency Thomas Ford.

Sir— I write you this morning, briefly to inform you of the facts relative to the removal of the press and fixtures of the “Nauvoo Expositor[”] as a nuisance,

The 8th. and 10th. instant were spent by the city council of Nauvoo in receiving testimony concerning the character of the Expositor, and the character and designs of the proprietors.

In the investigation it appeared evident to the council that the proprietors were a set of unprincipled men, lawless, debouchees, counterfeiters, Bogus Makers, Gamblers, peace disturbers, and that the grand object of said proprietors was to destroy our constitutional rights and chartered privileges; to overthrow all good and wholesome regulations in society; to strengthen themselves against the Municipality; to fortify themselves against, Against the church of which I am a member and destroy all our religious rights and privileges, by libels, slanders, falsehoods, perjury, sticking at no corruption to accomplish their hellish purposes. And that said paper of itself was libelous of the deepest dye, and very injurious as a vehicle of defamation,— tending to corrupt the morals, and disturb the peace, tranquillity and happiness of the whole community, and especially that of Nauvoo.

After a long and patient investigation of the character of the Expositor, and the characters and designs of its proprietors there of.— the constitution, the charter. (see adenda, to Nauvoo charter from the springfield charter, Sec 7) and all the best authorities on the subject, (see Blackstone III, 5. and n. &c &c);

The city council decided that it was necessary for the “peace, benefit, good order, and regulations” of said city. “and for the protection of property” and for “the happiness and prosperity of the citizens of Nauvoo” that said Expositor should be removed; and, declaring said Expositor a nuisance, ordered the Mayor— to cause them to be removed without delay, which order was committed to the Marshall, by due process, and by him executed the same day by removing the paper, press, and fixtures into the streets, and burning the same, all which was done without riot, noise, tumult, or confusion, as has already be[en] proved before the municipality of the city, and the particulars of the whole transactions may be expected in our next “Nauvoo Neighbor.”

I send you this hasty sketch that your Excellency may be aware of the lying reports that are now being circulated by our enemies,— that there has been a “mob at Nauvoo” “and blood and thunder” and “swearing that two men were killed” &c &c as we hear from abroad,— are false,— false as Satan himself could invest [invent], and that nothing has been transacted here but what has been in perfect accordance with the strictest principles of law and good order, on the part of the authorities of this city,— and if your Excellency is not satisfied, and shall not be Satisfied, after reading the whole proceedings which will be forth coming soon, and shall demand an investigation of our municipality before Judge [Nathaniel] Pope or any legal tribunal at the Capital, you have only to write your wishes— and we will be forth Coming; we will not trouble you to fill a writ or send an officer for us.

I remain as ever a friend to truth, good order And your Ex’s. humble Sevt

Joseph Smith

His Ex. Thomas Ford) [1/2 page blank]

His Excellency

Thomas Ford— Govr.



Politness of Mr S. James)

Special Messenger)

June 14— 1844


June 14— 1844

Joseph Smith to Govr. Ford

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