180 years ago today - Jun 10, 1844

The city council meets again for over six hours to discuss the Nauvoo Expositor. Joseph reads from the Expositor and asks, "Is it not treasonable against all chartered rights and privileges, and against the peace and happiness of the city?" John Taylor says no city on earth would allow such a thing, that it is a threat to the security of the city. Councilor Stiles reads Blackstone and says that a nuisance is anything that disturbs the peace of the community. Hyrum Smith suggests smashing the press and scattering the type. Councilor Warrington, a nonmember, suggests fining the paper $3,000 for every case of libel, but Joseph answers that in order to take a man to court for libel, he would have to go to Carthage. The last time Joseph went to Carthage, he was almost killed. Therefore, the Saints have no legal recourse. (One historian states that there were 16 instances of violence between 1832 and 1867 to presses or editors who had expressed highly controversial views contraryto the
public consensus, including one murder of an antislavery editor. Therefore, destroying a press at this time was not unusual.) An ordinance concerning libelous publications is passed. The city council unanimously resolves that "the printing-office from whence issues the Nauvoo Expositor is a public nuisance and also all of said Nauvoo Expositors which may be or exist in said establishment." These ordinances are passed about 6:30 P.M. Joseph then orders City Marshal John P. Greene to carry out the order. Greene summons troops under Jonathan Dunham, acting major-general of the Nauvoo Legion. By 8 P.M. they destroy the press, scatter the type throughout the streets, and burn all the copies of the second issue.

[Conkling, Christopher J., Joseph Smith Chronology]

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