170 years ago today - Dec 8, 1842

Thomas Ford is inaugurated as governor of Illinois, replacing Gov. Carlin. During the elections the previous summer, the Whig candidate, Joseph Duncan, ran on a furiously anti-Mormon campaign, urging repeal of the Nauvoo charter and the Nauvoo Legion. Because of John C. Bennett's articles against Joseph Smith, the anti-Mormon feeling in the state had been rising. It was thought that the Democratic nominee, Adam Snyder, who had been friendly to the Saints, would lose the election. When Snyder died suddenly, the Democrats took the opportunity to choose a candidate from northern Illinois, Thomas Ford, who could honestly claim he was neither for nor against them. The Saints voted overwhelmingly for Thomas Ford and he was elected, although he made no special concessions to the Mormons. Ford's basic campaign promise was to improve the miserable economy of the state. During these elections the Saints were often accused of voting as a bloc, but as they saw it, when one candidate was devoutly against Mormonism, they had no choice.

[Source: Conkling, Christopher J., Joseph Smith Chronology]

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