Abraham Lincoln and the Mormons - Another Legacy of Limited Freedom.
Abraham Lincoln and Mormon Prophet Joseph Smith, Jr., were in Springfield, Illinois, at the same time, and they may have met in U.S. Circuit Court Judge Nathaniel Pope’s courtroom on the last day of 1842. Lincoln, as a state representative, had voted for the unusual city charter that granted a military force, the Nauvoo Legion, to Nauvoo, the Latter Day Saints theocracy on the banks of the Mississippi River. Both Lincoln, a Whig, and Democrat Stephen A. Douglas vied for Mormon political support. In the midst of the Civil War, Lincoln sought the aid of Brigham Young in Salt Lake City, Utah, but signed into law the Morrill Anti-Bigamy Act, outlawing polygamy and fulfilling a Republican political campaign promise to eradicate “those twin relics of barbarism– polygamy and slavery.”