Young to be church president. Taylor believed that the Twelve should lead
the church, under direction of the president of the quorum. (See
Stenhouse, who says that Brigham never forgave Taylor's opposition at
this time.) Taylor himself didn't mention the incident, nor did he ever
refer to the fact that while he and Brigham worked together, they weren't
(9) President Polk's primary aim in enlisting the Mormon Battalion
was "to conciliate" the Saints, "and prevent them from assuming a hostile
attitude toward the U.S. after their arrival in California." See Diary of
James K. Polk, June 1846.
(10) MS, Nov. 1 and 15, 1846. Taylor subsequently learned that the
two advance companies had been recalled, due to a power struggle (the
authority of the Twelve being questioned by some members). As a result,
no advance preparation had been made for crossing the plains the
(11) The dialogue between Mormon and Gentile, with the latter
invariably vanquished, was a favorite literary device of Taylor and other
brethren of the day.
 Chapter 7
THE JOINT STOCK SCANDAL
The primary purpose of the apostolic mission to England had been to
straighten out the financial scandal of the British and American
Commercial Joint Stock Company, an enterprise fostered by the presidency
of the British Mission. John Taylor reported:
Before we left , it was revealed to the authorities that
the presidency in England was in transgression, and that it was necessary some
of the Twelve should proceed immediately to England. Elders O. Hyde, P. P.
Pratt, and myself were appointed on this mission.
when Elder Hyde and myself were in New York, and Elder Pratt in Boston, we
thought it expedient, rather than wait two or three days for him, to proceed
immediately to Liverpool. We found, on our arrival, that we had not come away
too soon. The teachers of the people were under transgression, they were
corrupt; they were acting dishonorably and dishonestly, under false pretences;
stripping the poor of their last pittance, and yet those wanton profligates
professed that they were doing the will of God, while they, under the cloak of
religion, were reveling in debauchery, drunkenness, and fraud . . . .
This being the situation of these men, it could not but be expected that
the streams should be more or less contaminated with their influences . . . .
In fact, the whole head was sick and the whole heart faint; and had it 
not been that the Saints were in possession of the truth and verity of the
work, they might all have made a shipwreck of faith . . . . (1)
Original concept for the Joint Stock Company had come from Brigham
Young, who wrote Reuben Hedlock, president of the church in England,
advising him to unfurl your flag on your shipping office . . . . Ship
everybody to America you can get the money forSaint and sinnera
general shipping office . . . .
We will bytheby have offices from the rivers to the ends of the earth,
and we will begin at Liverpool from this time and increase and increase and
increase the business of the office as fast as it can be done in safety, and
circumstances will permit. (2)
Apostle Wilford Woodruff was president of the mission when he and
his counselors, Hedlock and Thomas Ward, launched the Joint Stock Company
during general conference at Manchester in April, 1845. (3)
The project was typical of cooperative enterprises undertaken by the
Saints since the foundation of the church. That it got out of hand was no
reflection on its original concept.
The Joint Stock Company planned to finance through stock sales an
organization which would engage in trade, manufacturing, shipping, and
the passage of emigrants to America. It would establish factories in the
United States, the machinery being made by British Saints, transported in
company ships, installed and operated by skilled LDS emigrants. On the
return trip to England, ships would carry produce and meat at low prices.
sold one shilling down and eighteen months of easy payments.
After Woodruff left for Nauvoo the following January, the project
soon degenerated under Hedlock and Ward. When Brigham Young received a
letter from Ward complaining of Hedlock's business methods and his
involvement with "the rascally brokers of Liverpool," the Twelve took
Camp of Israel, Council Bluffs, July 16, 1846.
The Twelve in council, this day, voted that Reuben Hedlock, and Thomas
Ward, be disfellowshipped until they shall appear before the Council and make
satisfaction for their repeated disregard of Council. (4)
The three Apostles left Winter Quarters 31 July. When the Patrick
Henry docked at Liverpool 3 October, Taylor and Hyde went directly from
the ship to the palatial offices of the British and American Commercial
Joint Stock Company in the Stanley Building, where they interviewed Ward
and discovered that Hedlock had fled. That very day the Apostles issued a
circular scheduling a conference at Manchester, and meanwhile warning the
Beloved Brethren: . . . We would advise the Saints... to patronize the
independent of the Church, and we do not wish to see a religions influence
enforced upon the Saints, to draw money from them, with the ostensible design
of conveying them to another country; when indeed, that money is applied to
purposes . . . .
 There are two ways of transacting businessone is with prudence and
economy, and another is with a wasteful prodigality. At our conference, proper
instructions will be given the Saints upon all these matters . . . .
Orson Hyde took over the editorship of the Millennial Star, advising
that "The Spirit of God never sent forth men to preach `Joint Stockism;'
neither did it ever inspire the hearts of our elders to proclaim it." (5)
Following the conference, Taylor and Hyde wrote to Brigham Young.
Prest. Young, . . . We found that money was daily coming in to the Joint
Stock Co., and that it was received by a set of men who ate and drank it up
and squandered it away as fast as it came in. The poor Saints were laying up
their pennies, their sixpences, their shillings, etc. . . . thinking that they
were paying their passage to America . . . .
Having ascertained that of the œ1,500 paid in to the Company nearly every
pound had been squandered and lost to irresponsible favoritesand that the
its officersœ100 annual rent, besides stationery, clerks, etc., and at the
same time not any business done at all, . . the officers had given
no bonds or security, but could dispose of the funds as they thought proper,
and no one responsible. (6)
Out of nearly œ700 worth of books, etc., in the office when Br. Woodruff
left, we found little more than œ100 worth on hand of the most unsalable kind.
The office was in debt to the printer of the Star œ50, and to the book bindery
œ30and nearly all the money collected except some bad
debts that can never be collected. Every department was run into debt just as
far as it could be. We met with Ward and his  associates on the same
afternoon and heard their stories . . . . They tried to pull the wool over our
eyes and represent the Joint Stock Company as the only power to redeem Israel
. . . .
about œ900had used all his presidential power and influence to borrow money
of the Saints to a large amount, many hundred poundsand had run away. Ward
says he obeyed Hedlock as the president of the Church here and let him have
money when he wanted it.
We issued our Circular . . . on the same day we landed, and before we
slept, they were over the greater part of England. This dried up the stream of
money that had been flowing in very speedily; . . . and on the sixth day,
Sunday, before the whole Church in Liverpool, we drew our long swords upon
them . . . .
The letter was frankly critical of Woodruff's misplaced trust in
Hedlock and Ward.
Why Bro. Woodruff appointed Hedlock to preside over the Church in England
after knowing his works were in the darkand that the Spirit was not with
himafter knowing him to be a selfish wicked man and unwilling to open his
heart or his books to him; or why he should suffer Ward to be the president of
that Company when he knew him to be next door neighbor to a confirmed sot or
drunkard and unworthy of any trust whatever, I cannot say, but it . . . has
involved us, assuredly, if not the whole Church, in the worst possible
difficulty . . . .
We have dissolved the Joint Stock Company by the law of the Realm. Our
Conference went off with a heavenly influence. (7)
After hunting up Hedlock in London, where he was living incognito
and consorting  with a woman outside the marriage relation, Taylor
SirI think it due to the public to state my feelings frankly in
relation to certain things that have transpired. . . . The Saints in this
country have had almost unlimited confidence in Elder Hedlock, thinking that
he was the representative of the Twelve here . . . .
I am very sorry to find that Elder Hedlock has descended so far from his
high and holy calling as to betray the confidence placed in him, and to sell
his birthright for a mess of pottage . . . . Elder Hedlock might have occupied
an high and exalted situation in the church, both in time and in eternity; but
he has . . . bartered the hope of eternal life with crowns, principalities,
powers, thrones, and dominions, for the gratification of his own sensual
appetites . . . .
Having heard that he was in the city of London, I visited him . . . for
the purpose of seeing what his views, feelings, and designs were. He professed
to be very honest, but unfortunate; he said that he was willing to render an
account of everything. I asked him for an order for twenty pounds that was due
to him in Liverpool (as he was very much indebted to the church.) He said he
would give it to me, or anything else that I wished. I obtained an order and a
stamp receipt for the same, and forwarded it to Liverpool; but by the same
mail, an order was sent to the same firm, ordering them not to
pay it. From this proceeding it was evident that he wished to act
dishonorably, and I thought it a duty devolving upon me, to give this
information to the brethren, lest they might hereafter be deceived by him. (8)
Hedlock was cut off the church. Ward died shortly thereafter. Taylor
and Hyde reported to Brigham Young:
 The cloud is passing off, and the attention of the elders will be
designated to the preaching of the gospel and not Joint Stockism. Many are
beginning to be baptized, and good feelings to be restored . . . . We hope to
sail in Jan. for home if we can raise money enough to do it. (9)
There was one more task to perform before leaving England.
Destination of the Saints at Winter Quarters was still under discussion.
Taylor, Hyde and Pratt published a memorial to the Queen of England,
asking government sponsorship of Mormon migration to British territory at
Vancouver's Island and Oregon.
A copy of this petition which we intend to present to her Majesty is
inserted in this number of the Star. We shall send blank sheets to the
presiding Elders of each conference, requesting them to get thereon all the
signatures they can, and forward same to us . . . .
Brethren and sisters, do you wish to emigrate? If you do, get your names
placed upon the paper . . . . (10)
It took little urging to obtain signatures from povertystricken
members of the working class, to which most of the Saints belonged, for a
petition asking free land and free transportation. When presented, the
memorial was 168 feet long, containing more than 1,200 names.
May it please your Majesty:
. . . Your memorialists are moved to address your Majesty by the
unexampled amount of abject, helpless, and unmerited misery which at present
prevails among the labouring classes of this country . . . . The sufferings
and destitution of these portions of your Majesty's subjects have . . .
reached a point at which it has become the duty  of all ranks to use
every constitutional means for their relief and remedy . . . .
feel convinced that Emigration to some portion of your Majesty's
vacant territories is the only permanent means of relief left to a rapidly
increasing population. . . .
If a part of the poor and destitute . . . were sent to the Island of
Vancouver, or to the great territory of Oregon, through your Majesty's
gracious interference and Royal aid, they might there find a field of labour
and industry, in which, after a short period, they could not only benefit
themselves, but open an effectual door for the interchange of commodities with
the home country, having brought into cultivation the soil that now lies
untenanted, and thus indirectly raise a revenue that would more than balance
the expenditure of the present migration.
It is now fully settled and determined that Vancouver's Island, with a
large portion of the Oregon territory on the Great Pacific Coast, belongs to
your Majesty's Empire. Their fine and extensive fisheriestheir safe and
commodious natural harbours for shipsthe salubrity of their climate, and
their remarkable similarity to the climate of the south of Englandall . . .
offer strong inducements to the surplus population of England to make that
delightful section their future home . . . .
Your memorialists are no less aware than your Majesty, that the
government of the United States is doing much to favour the settlement of its
territories on the Western Coast, . . . and enlarge their possessions in the
West . . . . Will not your Majesty look well to British interests in those
regions, and adopt timely and precautionary measures to maintain a balance of
power in that country . . . .
his support, during which the memorial
. . . was supplemented by the suggestion that the government survey its
into townships to be subdivided into sections, on the even numbers of which
the emigrants might settle, the government retaining the odd numbers until
such time as the improvements of the settlers would give such advanced values
to the retained government sections as would repay the government for present
expenditure in giving free passage by government aid to emigrants desirous of
going to those lands. (11)
Full of enthusiasm for the plan, Taylor composed a song, to the tune
of Auld Lang Syne.
Lines written while proceeding by the train from Edinburgh to Glasgow,
December 17th, 1846, and sung by him at the Glasgow Soiree, December 18th:
Eureka! now we've found the tree;
The balmthe heavenly boon;
That will the Saints and nations bless,
And perfect them in one.
And planted freedom's tree,
We'll taste its bud, but eat the fruit,
In California . . . .
And if we to Vancouver go,
And dwell on Britain's isle
We'll visit those we used to know,
On Zion's heavenly hill.
For there upon the mountain's top,
The house of God shall stand:
And to it all the nations flow,
From every sea and land.
The shamrock, thistle, leek and rose,
Shall planted be, around the tree,
And of its fragrance share.
And hail the British laws;
God save the Queen, and every King,
Who favours Zion's cause. (12)
However, the memorial to Queen Victoria received scant attention in
an English parliament beset with depression, unrest, and serious
Taylor and Parley Pratt set sail for home on the America in late
January, 1847. Among the fourteen LDS passengers were five lovely girls,
Martha Monks, Ann Agatha Walker, and three Whitaker sisters, Harriet,
Sophia, and Elizabeth. Martha and Ann were to become plural wives of
Parley, while Taylor was to marry Sophia and Harriet. (13)
After setting sail, the ship encountered a violent storm. After nine
days it was forced back to Liverpool Harbor to await better weather.
During the lull, Taylor addressed the Saints:
. . . I have frequently had it on my mind . . . to write an article for
the Star on the subject of Priesthood, but could not do it for want of time;
but now, . . having a few moments of leisure, I improve it for that purpose.
What is Priesthood? It is the government of God, whether on the earth or
in the heavens, for it is by that power, agency, or principle that all things
are governed on the earth and in the heavens . . . . It is the power of God
 delegated to intelligences in the heavens and to men on the earth; and
when we arrive in the celestial kingdom of God, we shall find the most perfect
order and harmony existing; . . and when . . . God's kingdom comes on the
earth, and His will is done here as in heaven, then, and not until then, will
universal love, peace, harmony and union prevail . . . .
To bring about this desirable endto restore creation to its pristine
excellency and to fulfil the object of creationto redeem, save, exalt, and
glorify manto save and redeem the dead and the living . . . is the design
and object of the establishment of the priesthood on the earth in these last
days . . . .
There are different callings, and offices, and stations, and authorities
in the holy priesthood, but it is all the same priesthood; . . it is the same
government; and all the priesthood are agents in that government; and they are
dependent one upon another, and the eye cannot say to the ear I have no need
of thee, nor the head to the foot, I have no need of thee. It is for everyone
to abide in the calling whereunder he is called, and magnify his office and
priesthood . . . .
I have noticed some in my travels, those who, like the disciples of Jesus
of old, evince a great desire for power, and manifest a very anxious
disposition to know who among them shall be the greatest. This is folly, for
honor proceeds not from office, but by a person magnifying his honor and
calling. If we have any honor proceeding from or through the priesthood, it
comes from God, and we certainly should be vain to boast of a gift when we
have no hand in the gift, only in receiving it . . . .
It is not the being an eye or ear that make these members honourable, but
the seeing and hearing; and a well foot is certainly much more valuable to the
body than a blind eye, a deaf ear, or a dumb mouth; and a priest, a deacon, or
a teacher who magnifies his office, is much  more honourable than an
elder, high priest, or an Apostle who does not . . . .
Taylor pointed out that despite the truths in the Bible, the Book of
Mormon, and the Doctrine and Covenants, the scriptures must be
supplemented by continual revelation.
These books are good for example, precedent, and investigation, and for
developing certain laws and principles. But they do not, they cannot, touch
every case required to be adjudicated and set in order. We require a living
treea living fountain, living intelligenceproceeding from the living
priesthood in heaven through the living priesthood on earth . . . . And from
the time that Adam first received communication from God, to the time that
John, on the island of Patmos, received his communication, or Joseph Smith had
the heavens opened to him, it always required new revelations, adapted to the
peculiar circumstances in which the churches or individuals were placed . . .
I speak of as I would of children's schoolbooks, which a
with. But I would here remark that we are most of us children as yet, and,
therefore, require to study our books. If there are any, however, who think
themselves men, let them show it, not by vain glory or empty boast, but by
virtue, meekness, purity, faith, wisdom, intelligence and knowledge, both of
earthly and heavenly things. (14)
The thirtysix day voyage of the America from Liverpool to New
Orleans became a honeymoon cruise for two couples. John Taylor married
Sophia Whitaker, and her sister Elizabeth became the bride of Joseph
Cain, Parley Pratt performing the ceremonies.
As the America lay at anchor in heavy fog at the Mississippi delta,
of counsel to the British Saints:
Ship America, mouth of the Mississippi River
March 13th, 1847.
. . . As I had no time before I left England, I now wish to say a few
words to the Saints . . . by way of caution. Because you have been deceived by
your former leaders, do not mistrust those you have now, but let them have
your confidence and your prayers . . . . You, some of you, may have suffered
in a pecuniary point of view, but you have learned a lesson worth a great deal
more than your money; and salvation and intelligence pertaining to the kingdom
of God is not to be compared with pounds, shillings, and pence . . . . It is
necessary that we should be tried, that, like Jesus, we may be made perfect
You will find us ever watchful over your interests as we have been; if