Excerpt from the “Affidavit of Hyrum Smith, Times and Seasons 3 (1 Aug. 1842):870–72: 1


On the seventeenth day of may, 1842, having been made acquainted with some of the conduct of John C. Bennett, which was given in testimony under oath before Alderman G[eorge] W. Harris, by several females, who testified that John C. Bennett endeavored to seduce them and accomplished his designs by saying it was right; that it was one of the mysteries of God, which was to be revealed when the people was strong enough in the faith to bear such mysteries—that it was perfectly right to have illicit intercourse with females, providing no one knew it but themselves, vehemently trying them from day to day, to yield to his passions, bringing witnesses of his own clan to testify that their was such revelations and such commandments, and that it was of God; also stating that he would be responsible for their sins, if their was any; and that he would give them medicine to produce abortions, providing they should become pregnant. One of these witnesses, a married woman that he attended upon in his professional capacity, whilst she was sick, stated that he made proposals to her of a similar nature; he told her that he wished her husband was dead, and that if he was dead he would marry her and clear out out with her; he also begged her permission to give him medicine to that effect; he did try to give him medicine, but he would not take it—on interogating her what she thought of such teaching, she replied, she was sick at the time, and had to be lifted in and out of her bed like a child. Many other acts as criminal were reported to me at the time. On becoming acquainted with these facts, I was determined to prosecute him, and bring him to justice.”

Excerpt from Sarah Pratt quoted in Wyl, W[ilhem]. [pseud. for Wilhelm Ritter von Wymetal], Mormon Portraits, or the Truth about Mormon Leaders from 1830 to 1886, Joseph Smith the Prophet, His Family and His Friends: A Study Based on Fact and Documents (Salt Lake City: Tribune Printing and Publishing Co., 1886), 60–61. 2

You hear often that Joseph had no polygamous offspring. The reason of this is very simple. Abortion was practiced on a large scale in Nauvoo. Dr. John C. Bennett, the evil genius of Joseph, brought this abomination into a scientific system. He showed to my husband and me the instruments with which he used to “operate for Joseph.” There was a house in Nauvoo, “right across the flat,” about a mile and a-half from the town, a kind of hospital. They sent the women there, when they showed signs of celestial consequences. Abortion was practiced regularly in this house.


1 “Affidavit of Hyrum Smith, Times and Seasons 3 (1 Aug. 1842):870–72 –
2 Mormon Portraits, or the Truth about Mormon Leaders from 1830 to 1886 –