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    [Mormons] and [Joseph Smith]. Autograph Letter Signed. Three integral pages, 14.75" x 9", Hannibal [Missouri], June 20, 1844, to the Reverend Milton Badger. Badger was Secretary of the American Home Missionary Society. Established in 1832, the Society was related to the Triennial Convention of Baptists and, in 1888, changed to the American Baptist Home Missionary Society (which today is part of the American Baptist Convention). Its mission is "to preach the gospel, establish churches and support ministry among the unchurched and destitute." Here the Reverend J. T. Tucker, reporting his activities in the area around Hannibal, down river from Nauvoo, Illinois, the center of the Mormon world in the early 1840s.

    By 1844, some Nauvoo Mormons were questioning the morality of Smith's leadership, especially after he announced his intentions to run for President of the United States. The apostate collective formed a competing church and published a dissenting newspaper, The Nauvoo Expositor, but only published one issue before Joseph Smith ordered its presses destroyed on June 11, 1844. Subsequently, Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were arrested. Of Smith's arrest, Rev. Tucker says, in part:

    "One grand device of Satan is just now being exploded in our neighborhood with a terrible noise and stench. The Mormon camp is in dire confusion. A party having sprung up in its midst - who are preaching a reformation from the abominations of Smith whom they brand a 'fallen Prophet,' fallen from his high estate, and now, as they say, 'an incarnate fiend.' They have stripped the prophets cloak off most unceremoniously and the pollutions concealed beneath are too vile for repetition. Mob violence among themselves has followed this exposure. And the prospect is that...Missouri will be repeated in the expulsion of this miserable sect from their present location."

    Smith was murdered by a mob while he was held in jail in Carthage one week after this letter was written, on June 27, 1844. His death led to a succession crisis and schisms within the Mormon movement. Brigham Young was chosen to succeed Joseph Smith, and from 1846 through 1852, he led the migration of sixteen thousand Mormons from a hostile Illinois to Utah.

    Very extensive repair has been done to repair tears in the paper. Folds are weakened and separation is occurring in places, but minor loss of paper. Text remains bright. Small hole at the right edge of page three. Ink has bled through in places. Even toning.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2012
    11th-12th Wednesday-Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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