Mormon History

Nauvoo After the Mormons - 1852

The Dixon Telegraph July 3, 1852

Nauvoo.

A correspondent of the Madison (Ind.) Courier has been making a pilgrimage to the ruins of what was the stronghold of the "Latter-Day Saints" -- in the time when Joe Smith was the Prophet. We extract the following from his interesting letter: --

The city of the Mormons once had 20,000 inhabitants; there are now but 2,000. One-half of the houses the Mormons left have been removed or pulled down, and the other half are tenantless. Each lot contains an acre. In walking through its deserted streets I startled several quails, in the midst of the once populous city. -- The mansion of Joe Smith is kept by his wife, once his widow, but now again a wife -- of another and a live man -- as a tavern. Between this mansion and the river are the remains of a famous hotel, which was abandoned after its walls had reached the second story; the walls are of fine pressed brick, with marble door-sills and caps. The Masonic Hall is a fine brick building three stories high. I am told that all the Mormons were Masons. Their lodge was under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of the State of Illinois. Smith, I am told, initiated some of the "mothers of the church," when the charter was taken from them, and the lodge closed. The front wall and the one next to it, which formed the vestibule, [are] all that is left standing of the achievement of fanaticism called the "temple," which as the inscription on a large stone, worked in the inner wall, informs the visitor, is THE HOUSE OF THE LORD, Built by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Commenced April 6, 1841.

A company of French socialists have purchased a portion of the property -- the site and the ruins of the temple included. They number about 400. While I was viewing the temple they all came out of their boarding-house from dinner. Their foreign aspect and clothing as they grouped about the stones of the temple to smoke their pipes and talk -- probably of la belle France -- made me almost fancy I was viewing a ruin in an older country. One group were gesticulating and laughing over the face of one of the ornaments which decorated each column, which I cannot describe it better than referring the reader to the picture of the full moon, which usually ornaments the cover of a Dutch almanac.

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