Prejudice, violence, and deaths in a nation

As the Mormon faith began to grow, prejudice, hatred and violence were always close at hand.

Established by Joseph Smith in upstate New York, the charismatic founder and many of his followers eventually would make their way to Missouri in hopes of finding a place where they could live in peace. Then on Dec. 1, 1838, Smith and other church leaders were jailed on baseless charges. Smith’s followers fled to Illinois. Only by the charity of the people of Quincy were the Mormons able to survive a harsh winter.

The following spring of 1839, church leaders purchased a large tract of land on the Mississippi River in Hancock County, including the site of the stillborn town of Commerce. Subsequently, Smith and the other leaders were allowed to escape their jail cells back in Missouri.

On his return arrival in Illinois, Smith set to the task of creating Nauvoo (Hebrew for “beautiful place”) on their newly acquired land. &nbsp;&nbsp;<ahref=""><spanstyl... 13px; color: rgb(0, 0, 0);">To view more, please log in or subscribe to the digital edition.</span></a></p>