There was a real economic rivalry between the cities of Warsaw and Nauvoo, Illinois. Is that the reason Thomas Sharp hated Mormons? Brian Stutzman will give us more information on this rivalry.
Brian: So the Latter day Saints come up and they come to Quincy, and Joseph Smith eventually joins them. They come up and they’re they are settling. As they come up, people in Warsaw are saying, “Why don’t you stop here?” See in 1837, there was this national depression. Half the financial institutions in the United States collapse, including our own Kirtland Safety Society. There’s these developers that have all this land, and they say, “Come settle here. So I don’t go bankrupt. I need to sell my land.” There were people in Warsaw that said the same thing and Joseph Smith and some of the other leaders, Isaac Borrow, some of these guys sit down. “We’re making this deal with Isaac Galland and we’re going to settle up here.” There were some good interactions between the two towns.
Brian: Not everybody in Warsaw at the time, was necessarily anti-Mormon…there were some political tensions that way, but also the fact that you could vote after six months of being in the States, even if you were an immigrant. So all of a sudden, you had bloc-voting going on. The people of Warsaw said, “We’ll never elect anybody with 6000, 8000, 10,000 LDS people when were at 400-500 down here.
GT 24:24 Because Nauvoo was really large.
Brian 24:25 It got really big, really fast. Those people could vote. If Joseph Smith came out for a candidate, they’re going to win, at least locally. You had some economic issues as well. People tended to trade amongst themselves. In 1842, I believe it was, Thomas Sharp wrote in his paper, he said, “It’s funny that the Latter-day Saints,” I’m paraphrasing, “up in Nauvoo don’t trade with us. We don’t have anything. You won’t find anything made in Nauvoo in Warsaw. You won’t find it.” He says, “We’re probably better off because of it,” as a joke. So economics also played a part in the expansion of the Church. Joseph set up what was called the hub and spoke idea of settlements. Nauvoo was going to be the hub, and then they’d have settlements. We did that in Utah with Salt Lake and all the little communities. So Nauvoo this is going to be the center and Montrose, which became Zarahemla and some of these other towns. Well, they were looking to put a Mormon settlement in Warsaw, just south of Warsaw.
Find out more about these early settlements. Check out our conversation….
Don’t miss our previous episode with Brian!