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Remarks delivered at the Nauvoo Temple grounds on Thursday April 13, 1843 to newly arrived Church members
Sources: Joseph Smith diary (Willard Richards) and Levi Richards diary
Smith DiaryRichards Diary
Welcome to British Emigrants

I most heartily congratulate you on your safe arrival at Nauvoo. & your safe deliverance from all the dangers & difficulties you have had to encounter but you must not think your tribulations are ended.

¶ I shall not address you on doctrine but concerning your temporal welfare inasmuch as you have come up here assaying to keep the Commandments of God I pronounce the blessings of heaven & earth upon you. & inasmuch as [you] will follow counsel & act wisely & do right these blessings shall rest upon you so far as I have power of with God to seal them upon you

Holy Ghost Joseph's Guide

I am your servant. & it is only through the Holy Ghost that I can do you good. God is able to do his own work.

¶ We do not present ourselves before you as any thing but your humble servants. willing to be spend & be spent in your services.

Beware of Land Speculators

¶ we shall dwell on your temporal welfare on this occasion. In the 1st place. where a crowd is flocking from all parts of the world of different minds, religions, &c. there will be some who do not live up to the commandments; & there will be designing characters who would turn you aside & lead you astray. speculators who would get away your property. therefore it is necessary we should have an Order here, & when emigrants arrive to instruct them concerning these things.

¶ If the heads of the Church have laid the foundation of this place, & have had the trouble of of doing what has been done--are they not better qualified to tell you how to lay out your money & than those who have had no interest &c--

¶ Some start on the revelations to come here & get turned away & loose all, & then come, and enter their complaints, to us when it is too late to do any thing for them the object of this meeting is to tell you these things & then if you will pursue the same courses you must bear the consequence.

Purposes of Gathering

There are sevrl objects in your coming here--one object has been to bring you from Sectarian bondage, Another from National bondage, where you can be planted in a fertile soil, We have brought you into a free government, not that you are to consider yourselves outlaws, by free government we do not mean that a man has a right to steal rob, &c but free from Bondage. taxation--oppression. free in every thing if he conduct himself honestly & circumspectly with his neighbor--free in a Spiritual capacity.--

Nauvoo Appointed Place for the Oracles

This is the place that is appointed for the oracles of god to be revealed.

¶ If you have any darkness you have only to ask & the darness is removed. tis not necessary that miracles should be wrought to remove darkness Miracles are the fruits of faith. "how shall we believe of him of whom &c" we have not heard. I.E. inasmuch as I have resumed leading before I God may correct the scripture by me if he choose

How Faith Comes - Be One

faith comes by hearing the word of God. & not faith by hearing & hearing by the word &c If a man has not faith Enough to do one thing he may do another, if he cannot remove a Mountain he may heal the sick. where faith is there will be some of the fruits. all gift & power which were poured out from heaven were poured out on the heads of those who had faith. You must have a oneness of heart in all things, You shall be satisfied one way or the other with us before you have done with us--there are a great many old huts here but they are all new our city is not 6 or 700 years old as those you come from, it is only a 4 year old not a 4 year old but 3 year old. we commenced building 3 years last fall. there [were] few old settlers---

Lord Said Build up Nauvoo

I got away from my keepers in Missouri & run & come on these Shore, & found 4 or 500 families & I went to work to get meat & flour folks were not afraid to trust me, I went to work & bought all this region of country. & I cried Lord what will thou have me to do? "& the answer was build up a city & call my saints to this place!" & our hearts leaped with joy to see you coming here. We have been praying for you all winter, from the bottom of hearts, We are glad to see you--we are poor--& cannot do by you as we would, but will do all we can.--

¶ Tis not to be expected that all can locate in the city.--there are some who have money & will build & hire others. those who cannot purchase. lots can go out in the county. the farmers want your labor.---no industrious man need suffer in this land.--

Poor And The Church Have Claim On Your Funds

¶ the claims of the poor on us are such that we have claim on your good feelings for your money, to help the poor. & the church debts also have their demands to save the credit of the church. this credit has been obtained to help the poor. & keep them from starvation &c. those who purchase church lands & pay for it, this shall be their sacrifice.

¶ Men of 50 & 100,000 dollars who were robbed of every thing in the State of Mo. are laboring in this city for a morsel of bread, & there are those who must have starved but for the providence of God through me.

Buy Land from Trustee

If any man say here is land or there is land, believe it not. we can beat all our competitors in lands, price, & ever think. we have the highest prices, best lands. & do the most good with the money we get. our system it is a real smut machine a bolting machine.--& all the shorts brann & smut runs away & all the flour remains with us.--

¶ suppose I sell you land for $10 per acre & I gave acre. then you are speculating says one. yes, I will tell you how. I buy others lands & give them to the widow & the fatherless.--

¶ If the speculators run against me they run against the buckler of Jehovah.--God did not send me up as he did Joshuua Joshua in former days God sent his servants to fight, but in the last days he has promised to fight the battle himself

¶ God will deal with you himself. & will bless or curse you as you do behave yourselves. I speak to you as one having authority that you may know when it come & that you may have faith & know that God has sent me.

Lower Part of Town Most Healthy - Sarcasm

¶ The lower part of the town is the most healthy. In the upper part of the town the Merchants will say I am partial &c. but The lower part of the town is much the most healthy. I tell you in the name of the Lord.--I have been out in all parts of the city at all times of night to learn these things. 1

¶ The Doctors in this region don't know much; & the lawyers 2 when I spoke about them began to say we will renounce you on the stand.--but they dont come up & I take the liberty to say what I have a mind to about them.

¶ Doctors wont tell you where to go to be well. they want to kill or cure you to get your money.--Calomel Doctors will give you Calomel to cure a sliver in the big toe & does not stop to know whether the stomach is empty or not.--& calomel on an empty stomach will kill the patient. & the Lobelia doctors will do the same. point me out a patient & I will tell you whether calomel or Lobelia will kill him or not. if you give it, The river Mississippi is healthy unless they drink it. & it is more healthy than the spring water--dig wells from 15 to 30 feet and it will be healthy.

¶ There are many sloughs on the Islands from where Miasma3 arises in the summer, and is blown over the upper part of the city. but it does not extend over the lower part of the city.--

If not used to River, Settle Away from the Water

¶ All those persons who are not used to living on a river, or lake or large pond of water. I do not want you should stay on the banks of the river. get away to the lower part of the city. back on the hill-- where you can get good well water.--if you feel any inconvenience take some mild physic 2 or 3 times & then some good bitters.--

¶ if you can get any thing else take a little salts & cayenne pepper-- if you cant get salt take peconia, or gnaw down a butternut tree, eat some boneset or hoarhound.

¶ Those who have money come to me & I will let you have lands & those who have no money if they look as well as I do I will give you advice that will do you good 12 1/4.--I bless you in the name of Jesus Christ Amen . . . Joseph gave notice that Bro Gardner wanted 2 or 300 hands ditching--a good job.--

Spent the day visiting friends & attending Meeting at Temple to hear from Pres Joseph Counsel to Emigrants in relation to settling-- &, Speculation &c. 4

1. The land in the lower part of the city was originally swamp with its attending mosquito population. That mosquitos were vectors for malaria (the symptoms were called by various folk names like "the ague") was unknown at the time. The popular belief was that the "miasma" from swampy regions was the primary cause although some citizens had noted the waxing and waning of illness corelated with the mosquito population. [ Oliver Huntington Diary 1:47, Utah State Historical Society.]

The periodic nature of the symptoms including the intermittent fevers were known by Hippocrates. Quinine was known to protect against the disease, but was not well accepted among many on the frontier, some of whom pointed to occasional nasty side effects as proof that the drug was ineffective. Quinine was first isolated from the bark of the South American cinchona tree in 1820. The bark itself had been used as a folk remedy for fevers over the previous century at least. Not until the end of the 19th century would the cause of the disease and the effect of quinine be firmly established. See 30July40.

The Law brothers, William and Wilson, owned the land on the upper slopes of the city. The Church Trustee (Joseph Smith) owned the lower land. Joseph's advice to the new arrivals on where to build homes was clearly based on the folk-knowledge about the ague and his desire to move the Church out of debt at the same time. The Laws however apparently took Joseph's advice as a personal affront. The incident started a crack in the friendship which widened as the brothers became aware that Joseph was practicing plural marriage, something they had publically sworn he was not doing during the Bennett crisis. For the laws complaints on the land score see Nauvoo Expositor, resolutions 9 and 10.

2. The lawyers Joseph speaks of here are not the members of the bar, but the religious lawyers or in other words his religious critics who were growing in number in the town. The mention of calomel [calomel is a mercury compound and the potential for toxic effects is high] and lobelia point to two popular medical practitioners, "Calomel Doctors" and "Lobelia Doctors." Their treatments consisted of administering these respective compounds to their patients. Such medical practice may seem barbaric today, especially since the two potions are now known to be poisons. No wonder many shied away from their use as well as making jokes about the administrators.

3. I.e., the "swamp gas." See note 1 above.

4. Several men recorded a simular blurb to this one, e.g., Wilford Woodruff and Willard Richards.

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