Nauvoo(nôvo͞o`), historic city (1990 pop. 1,108), Hancock co., W Ill., on heights overlooking the Mississippi River; inc. 1841. Situated in an agricultural area where fruit, corn, and soybeans are grown, the city produces wine and cheese, but tourism is the major industry. Settled in the early 1830s on the site of a Native American town as Venus and then (1834) Commerce, the city became (1839) a Mormon center and was renamed, securing (1840) a city charter. Nauvoo grew rapidly under Joseph SmithSmith, Joseph,
1805–44, American Mormon leader, founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints, b. Sharon, Vt. When he was a boy his family moved to Palmyra, N.Y., where he experienced the poverty and hardships of life on a rough frontier.
..... Click the link for more information. and the Mormons, to some 20,000 inhabitants in the early 1840s; it was briefly Illinois' largest city. After Smith and his brother were killed (1844) by a mob in nearby Carthage, his followers left Illinois for Utah (1846). From 1849 to 1856 Nauvoo was the site of a utopian socialist colony under Etienne CabetCabet, Etienne
, 1788–1856, French utopian socialist. He was elected to the chamber of deputies in 1831, but his bitter attacks on the government resulted in his conviction for treason.
..... Click the link for more information. . Smith's house and other buildings from Nauvoo's past still stand, but the original Mormon Temple was burned by anti-Mormon rioters in 1848. An imposing new limestone temple was erected on the site in 2002 and has become the focus of Mormon pilgrimage. Nauvoo State Park is nearby.
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