Hosea Stout witnessed and influenced many of the major civil and political events over fifty years of LDS history, but until the publication of his diaries, he was a relatively obscure figure to historians. Hosea Stout: Lawman, Legislator, Mormon Defender is the first-ever biography of this devoted follower who played a significant role in Mormon and Utah history.
Stout joined the Mormons in Missouri in 1838 and followed them to Nauvoo, where he rose quickly to become a top leader in the Nauvoo Legion and chief of police, a position he also held at Winter Quarters. He became the first attorney general for the Territory of Utah, was elected to the Utah Territorial Legislature, and served as regent for the University of Deseret (which later became the University of Utah) and as judge advocate of the Nauvoo Legion in Utah. In 1862, Stout was appointed US attorney for the Territory of Utah by President Abraham Lincoln. In 1867, he became city attorney of Salt Lake City, and he was elected to the Utah House of Representatives in 1881.
But Stout’s history also had its troubled moments. Known as a violent man and aggressive enforcer, he was often at the center of controversy during his days on the police force and was accused of having a connection with deaths in Nauvoo and Utah. Ultimately, however, none of these allegations ever found traction, and the leaders of the LDS community, especially Brigham Young, saw to it that Stout was promoted to roles of increasing responsibility throughout his life. When he died in 1889, Hosea Stout left a complicated legacy of service to his state, his church, and the members of his faith community.
The University Press of Colorado gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the Charles Redd Center for Western Studies at Brigham Young University toward the publication of this book.
“Joseph Smith’s Quorum of the Anointed” The first Latter-day Saint temple ceremonies were performed, not in Kirtland, Ohio, but on the second floor of Joseph Smith’s Red Brick Store in Nauvoo, Illinois. For nearly four years beginning in 1842, the prophet’s modest mercantile functioned as the de facto temple?the site of the first washings, anointings, endowments, and sealings. In contrast, the grand edifice known as the Nauvoo Temple was in operation for only two months before the Saints left Illinois for the West.
Preparations to initiate the first members of Joseph Smith’s Quorum of the Anointed, or Holy Order, as it was also known, were made on May 3, 1842. The walls of the second level of the Red Brick Store were painted with garden-themed murals, the rooms fitted with carpets, potted plants, and a veil hung from the ceiling. All the while, the ground level continued to operate as Joseph Smith’s general mercantile.
In this companion volume to The Nauvoo Endowment Companiesand The Development of LDS Temple Worship, 1846-2000: A Documentary History, the editors have assembled all available primary references to the Anointed Quorum and its regular gatherings, both in the Red Brick Store and elsewhere (women were initially washed and anointed in Emma Smith’s bedroom and then escorted to the store) prior to the opening of the Nauvoo Temple. The sources include excerpts from the diaries of William Clayton, Joseph Fielding, Zina D. H. Jacobs, Heber C. Kimball, John Taylor, Willard Richards, George A. Smith, Joseph Smith, Wilford Woodruff, and Brigham Young; autobiographies and reminiscences by Joseph C. Kingsbury, George Miller, and Mercy Fielding Thompson; letters from Vilate Kimball and Lucius N. Scoville; the Manuscript History of Brigham Young; General Record of the Seventies, Book B; Bathsheba W. Smith’s unedited testimony from the 1892 Temple Lot Case; other manuscripts such as the Historian’s Office Journal and “Meetings of Anointed Quorum”; and published records such as the History of the Church, Latter Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate and Times and Seasons.
from the jacket flap:
Despite the secrecy imposed upon members of the Anointed Quorum, word of the gatherings above Joseph Smith’s store soon spread. In one instance, housekeeper Maria Jane Johnston helped prepare the special ceremonial clothing for John Smith to wear at the group’s meetings. In another, Ebenezer Robinson innocently opened the upstairs door at the mercantile and was startled to see church apostle John Taylor in a long white robe and “turban,” carrying a sword. Only Nauvoo’s elite were invited to participate in these new ceremonies?never more than ninety individuals and even fewer during Joseph Smith’s lifetime?and, as the editors of the current volume write, only those who had been introduced to the prophet’s doctrine of plural marriage.
An unusual aspect of the Quorum of the Anointed, compared to the membership in the Nauvoo Masonic Lodge, was that women were initiated as regular members. However, the women effectively disappear after Brigham Young’s assumption of leadership in 1844, following Joseph Smith’s death, and remain virtually absent until the Nauvoo Temple is completed nearly a year and a half later. Readers will also note some of the differences in protocol between what Smith instigated and what Young eventually settled on, for instance that members could be washed and anointed repeatedly but were “endowed” only once. There were not yet proxy ordinances.
Among Latter-day Saints today, temple worship is a sensitive topic; but the editors of this volume do not reveal anything that would be considered invasive or indelicate. In fact, the accounts, which come almost exclusively from the early LDS leadership itself, manifest discretion about what to report.
Never before have these primary, authoritative sources been correlated by date for comparison and fuller understanding of the gradual development of the temple ceremonies. Readers may find an added benefit in discovering some of their own ancestors’ names included in these records; but in fact, anyone interested in LDS temple worship will find this compilation of primary documents to be invaluable.
Two incidents are particularly dramatic in this volume, thanks to the careful work of clerks who took the minutes, bringing to life some key moments in LDS history. One of the most memorable meetings of the city council occurred on June 10, 1844; the minutes capture the emotions as members debate whether to detroy the opposition newspaper, the Nauvoo Expositor. The publisher of the paper, Sylvester Emmons, had been a councilman until his June 8 expulsion for having “lifted his hand against the municipality of God Almighty.” As the hawkish councilmen became increasingly agitated, they began shouting slogans, asking whether the others had the neve to do what was right and crush the newspaper. The answer was a sustained, raucous cheer.
Yes resounded from every quarter of the room,” the clerk, Willard Richards, wrote. “Are we offering … to take away the right[s] of anyone [by] this [action] [to]day?” one of the city councilmen, William Phelps, shouted. “No!!!” was the answer “from every quarter.” Should they also tear down the barn of newspaper editor Robert Foster? Yes! they said. By the time the meeting was over, the Nauvoo police, assisted by 100 soldiers of the Nauvoo Legion, had “tumbled the press and materials into the street and set fire to them, and demolished the machinery with a sledge-hammer.
Another gripping event occurred on September 8, 1844, when the high council gathered outdoors to accommodate large crowds for the trial of Sidney Rigdon of the First Presidency. A behind-the-scenes power struggle became evident as Brigham Young stepped forward to take control of the meeting, culminating in a request for a vote from the audience. Young asked everyone to “place themselves so that [he] could see them, so he would “know who goes for Sidney.” There followed a flurry of denunciations of various Church members who were summarily excommunicated by acclimation rather than by trial in a meeting lasting six hours.
A history of what became a romantic
legend about a martyred prophet, a lost city, and religious persecution,
this volume tells the story of Nauvoo, the early Mormon Church, and the
temporal life of Joseph Smith. Nauvoo (1839-46) was a critical period in
Mormon history. The climax of Smith's career and the start of Brigham Young's,
it was here that Utah really had it's beginnings and that the pattern of
Mormon society in the West was laid.
"...the quality and quantity of research is commendable... an excellent
contribution to American mid-western history and to Mormoniana in general."
“This is a meticulously researched and skillfully written work on Mormon polygamy. The author does not take sides in this tangled web of theology and practice, but instead has produced what may well be the definitive work on polygamy. I highly recommend it.” —Linda King Newell, co-author, Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith
“Nauvoo Polygamy is s a thorough investigation of sexual politics in the City of the Saints, the 1840s Mormon headquarters in the U.S. State of Illinois. Written with precision, clarity, and ease, it is a major contribution to Mormon history, groundbreaking in identifying the other polygamists who followed the lead of their prophet, Joseph Smith, in taking multiple partners.” —Klaus J. Hansen, Professor Emeritus of History, Queen’s University, Ontario
“If for no other reason, the inclusion of chapter 6 makes this book worth its price. The chapter quotes liberally from those like Elizabeth Ann Whitney and Bathsheba Smith who accepted polygamy rather easily, those like Jane Richards who accepted it only reluctantly, and those like Patty Sessions who found plural marriage almost unbearable. A bonus is chapter 9 which provides a concise historical overview of polygamous societies in Reformation Europe, touches on similar societies in America, and offers an extended discussion of Orson Pratt’s 1852 defense of plural marriage.” —Thomas G. Alexander, Professor Emeritus of History, Brigham Young University
“George Smith shows how many of the prophet’s followers embraced plural marriage during a period when the LDS Church was emphatically denying the practice … [and he tells this in] a lucid writing style.” —Daniel Walker Howe, Pulitzer Prize winning author of What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America, 1815-1848.
“An extremely important contribution to the history of polygamy … that allows us to see how Joseph Smith’s marriages fit into the context of his daily life.” —Todd M. Compton, author of In Sacred loneliness: The Plural Wives of Joseph Smith
Hosea Stout was a participant in the mainstream movement as the newly formed Mormon Church expanded its membership and range. He held numerous positions of responsibility in church, civic, and governmental organizations, including as officer of the militias of Illinois and Utah, attorney general of the state of Deseret and the territory of Utah, and president of the house of the Utah Territorial Legislature. Such positions gave Stout the opportunity to observe and record events of great moment in Mormon history that were outside the reach of many diarists. His records of the territorial legislature offer a more informative and detailed account of the affairs of the legislative assembly than even the official journals of that body. Yet Stout also imbues his diaries with a sense of the familiar, recounting moving experiences from his daily life.
This edition of On the Mormon Frontier presents Stout’s diary in a single volume, proving that it continues to be an essential work in the study of Mormon and American history.
In the mid-twentieth century, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) returned to Nauvoo, Illinois, home to the thriving religious community led by Joseph Smith before his murder in 1844. The quiet farm town became a major Mormon heritage site visited annually by tens of thousands of people. Yet Nauvoo's dramatic restoration proved fraught with conflicts. Scott C. Esplin's social history looks at how Nauvoo's different groups have sparred over heritage and historical memory. The Latter-day Saint project brought it into conflict with the Community of Christ, the Midwestern branch of Mormonism that had kept a foothold in the town and a claim on its Smith-related sites. Non-Mormon locals, meanwhile, sought to maintain the historic place of ancestors who had settled in Nauvoo after the Latter-day Saints' departure. Examining the recent and present-day struggles to define the town, Esplin probes the values of the local groups while placing Nauvoo at the center of Mormonism's attempt to carve a role for itself within the greater narrative of American history.
In Revelation, Resistance, and Mormon Polygamy historian Merina Smith explores the introduction of polygamy in Nauvoo, a development that unfolded amid scandal and resistance. Smith considers the ideological, historical, and even psychological elements of the process and captures the emotional and cultural detail of this exciting and volatile period in Mormon history. She illuminates the mystery of early adherents' acceptance of such a radical form of marriage in light of their dedication to the accepted monogamous marriage patterns of their day.
When Joseph Smith began to reveal and teach the doctrine of plural marriage in 1841, even stalwart members like Brigham Young were shocked and confused. In this thoughtful study, Smith argues that the secret introduction of plural marriage among the leadership coincided with an evolving public theology that provided a contextualizing religious narrative that persuaded believers to accept the principle.
This fresh interpretation draws from diaries, letters, newspapers, and other primary sources and is especially effective in its use of family narratives. It will be of great interest not only to scholars and the general public interested in Mormon history but in American history, religion, gender and sexuality, and the history of marriage and families.